Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fun, Fun, Fun!

A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half-cracked. ~Author Unknown

Yesterday, I met with a friend of mine -- multi-published author, Allie Boniface. She's up in my neck of the woods doing some author appearances and having a grand old time.

We met for lunch and talked for ... oh, 2 1/2 hours... pretty much non-stop. Her DH was there, too, and patiently let us gab. We talked about our beginnings (we "met" at WVU -- Allie was one of the first people I "met" in a romance writing class), and how far we've come since then. That was... oh... six years ago, maybe?

We talked about the future (she kept asking, "What are you working on NOW?" because she knows I'm busy, but wants to encourage me... thanks, A). We talked about her coming up here again to join me for appearances up here after "One Love for Liv" comes out in print.

We talked about LASR. We talked about her cats, my cat and dog. We talked about gardening. And the time flew by.

It pretty much made missing the RWA conference in SF worth it.


Some randomness...

So, the older I get, the more I look like my sister. Isn't that funny? She's blonde and blue-eyed, but I think the resemblance is uncanny.


DD played a Wii yesterday. My neighbors watched her for me while I met with Allie, and they have one. DD had a blast, though she says her muscles are sore! LOL... And now, she has a Wii on her Christmas list.

I told her not to hold her breath.


I realized yesterday that the summer is nearly over! I have to get DD's letter of intent to homeschool in to the school district TODAY. How did the time go by so quickly?


I canned ten quarts of pickles on Tuesday. Ten. Quarts. And I still have more cucumbers than I know what to do with. That's okay -- I'd rather have too many, than not enough!


I've decided the voles are definitely gone. It's been quite some time, and still no holes. Now, I just need to redo the dirt pile that was my garden.


Why do weeds grow faster than the stuff I plant?


You Are a Chocolate Flavored Popsicle

You are hedonistic. For you, summer is all about indulging your five senses.

Some people may call you spoiled, but your simply the type of person who knows what they want.

You have sophisticated tastes. You like sweet things as much as the next person, but you don't like cheap treats.

You're much more drawn to the dramatic in all aspects of life - including dramatic desserts.

Hedonistic? ME? And, since when is a chocolate Popsicle "dramatic"? LOL...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Welcome Guest Blogger: E. G. Parsons

Long Distance Romance

“That’s just gross. Will you turn that thing off and talk to me?”

I laughed at Barb’s irritation. “You’re the one who wanted to watch. I can’t just quit in the middle and leave the poor guy hanging.”

“Oh yes, you can.” Reaching over me, she grabbed the mouse and clicked off the IM box. “Now come on, get me some coffee.”

“Hey, why did you do that?” Swiveling the desk chair, I followed her to the kitchen and poured two mugs of steaming coffee.

Plopping down into one of my mismatched chairs, she sighed heavily. “Look, Lisa, since your divorce you’ve been spending entirely too much time in those chat rooms. I’m worried about you. Charlie Hobson was asking about you the other day and I…”


“But he’s interested and he’s a real live flesh and blood guy.”

“No. I told you before, I don’t want you fixing me up. I’m not interested. Most of the men around here are just like my ex. They have the same mind set. Women should not have an opinion. They should be kept barefoot and pregnant.”

“Now you’re just being stubborn. Charlie isn’t like that. Besides I never said to marry him. Just go out and have some fun. You can’t possibly get anything out of all that typing.” Rolling her head back and breathing faster she spoke in a sexy voice and made typing motions with her hand. “UMMMMM…AHHHHH…Oh that feels so good. Oh yes…yes.”

“Stop it, you look ridiculous.” I couldn’t help laughing at her antics.

“Well, it is ridiculous. You’re an attractive, passionate woman. Why waste time on that crap when you could be having real sex with a real man?”

“What would you say if I told you I was meeting one of them?”

“ I’d say you’d lost what little sense I always thought you had.”


“Okay, sorry. Wait, you aren’t serious?” I avoided her eyes and turned to pour another cup of coffee.

Jumping up from the chair, she came over and spun me to face her. “You aren’t serious?”

“As a matter of fact he’s flying in this weekend.”

“Have you lost your mind? You want to end up floating in the river?” I could feel her trembling and knew she was truly frightened for me.

The above is from one my works in progress. It’s also pretty much the true story of how I met my husband of three years. He lived a thousand miles away from my home and there was more than a few obstacles to us ever truly having a life together. He had friends and family, a home and a business he didn’t want to leave. I too had friends and family and I had a seven-year-old son I didn’t want to take so far away from his father that he couldn’t see him whenever he wanted. The distance apart was a huge obstacle in itself. It wasn’t as though we could ‘date’ and get to know each other in the normal way.

Then of course there was the added pressure from friends and family, both his and mine, telling us how insane we were to even contemplate meeting and having a relationship with someone we’d met in a chat room. My friends tried fixing me up with every single man they knew, not to mention regaling me with all the horror stories of what could and has happened to women meeting men this way. I suppose they thought I was truly naive or stupid. I was neither. I knew the dangers and took all necessary precautions as well thoroughly checking this guy out before we’d ever had our first phone conversation.

I’ve heard it said many times that long distance relationships don’t work regardless of how you first meet. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard to keep one going over a long period. I suppose it depends on just how badly you want it to work. My husband and I communicated by email, phone and snail mail for over a year before we ever met in person. We discussed our beliefs, our faith, our likes and dislikes, and our feelings about everything imaginable. There wasn’t anything in our past or current lives we didn’t talk about. We had our differences and even fought about any number of things, just as all dating couples do. Being physically apart was the hardest thing. Once you establish an emotional bond, there’s a longing to be with that person, to touch, kiss, make love. It can be frustrating to say the least and I imagine has been the cause of many failed long distance relationships.

I often wonder if we’d lived closer and done the normal dating rituals, if we’d have had such long, in-depth conversations or gotten to know one another as well as we did. When you’re face to face you can do other things besides converse, but when you’re sitting there holding a phone to your ear it forces conversation. My long distance romance worked out beautifully when after looking at the pros and cons of the situation and much soul searching, my husband decided to leave his old life behind and move here to begin a new life with me. We married four years after having that first conversation by instant message and for two of those years we lived a thousand miles apart. It wasn’t easy, but we both knew we’d found in each other something we’d searched our entire adult lives for. We were soul mates and determined to make it work.

What do you think? Have you ever or would you even consider having a long distance romance?

Let me know!


Author E. G. Parsons -- Visit me on the web at

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What About Love?

Forget love - I'd rather fall in chocolate! ~Sandra J. Dykes

I've been missing my dog, Bailey, quite a bit lately. It's been nearly a year since she crossed the rainbow bridge, and I still think about her pretty much every day. I imagine that will change with more time, but it's still pretty raw and I'm easily brought to tears by her memory.

I love my new dog, Dakota. I do... but I find myself comparing my feelings. Do I love her as much as I loved Bailey as a puppy? How much would it hurt if I lost her now? Will I ever love her as much as I loved Bailey? Will it be the same kind of love?

All this led me to think about feelings of love in general. For instance, I have a family member I love very much, but there are times I don't like her. She's difficult to be around, though I understand that has changed a bit. She can be very negative and judgemental, and for someone like me -- who already struggles with feeling low -- it makes life difficult. But I love her.

OTOH, there are other family members I love AND like. Does that mean I love them more? Or just differently?

What about romantic love? If I loved someone before my DH, but didn't marry him, does that mean I loved him less than my DH? Or just differently? Does love go away or do you always love someone?

How do you quantify or categorize love?

I'm feeling terribly philosophical today. Or maybe I just need another cup of coffee.


I'm going to make pickles today. I have... well, a LOT of cucumbers. Lots, and lots, and lots. I gave away several, but I really like pickles and wanted to try my hand at it. We'll see how it goes. I hope it doesn't flop like my strawberry jam.


DD gets to see a sugar glider today for her Summer Reading Program! She's so excited. We have to be there early, and we have a lot to do today, but that's okay. After all, how often do you get to see a sugar glider up close?



You Would Make an Okay 1930's Wife

You have some of the attributes of an ideal 1930's wife... but you probably didn't intend it to be that way.

You don't buy into retro gender roles, though you do embrace your femininity at times.

A 1930's man may find you passable, but you probably wouldn't want anything to do with him.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Morning Meme

Time is what we want most, but... what we use worst. ~William Penn

1. What is your blogging style?

** Stir it up
** Can we talk?
** Observing the scene
** Stuff you want to know

Why is that? Tell us why you think your blogging style falls into one of the above categories. Are you okay with this style? If you could change your blogging style, what would you change it to?

I think I'm mostly "Can we talk"... I feel like I should be "Stuff you want to know", but honestly I just like to gab. IRL I'm kind of into stirring things up, to be honest, but not in my virtual one. What do you guys think? Should I stick with gabbing, or try to teach you something now and then?

2. Have you ever read a book because Oprah suggested it? If so, what was the title and was it what you expected? If not, why not?

Good heavens NO!! In fact, I go far, far out of my way to avoid anything she recommends, running as quickly as possible in the opposite direction. She likes far too somber and depressing books, not my forte at all. Blech.

3. Who do you turn to if your techie things die? Why this person? Are you very good at fixing techie things? Tell us your most successful, or most terrible, experience at fixing something techie.

My DH works in the industry, so he is always my tech support. I'm fairly technically saavy, but when I'm stuck he's my go-to guy. Off the top of my head, I can't recall an especially bad or tremendously good experience of my own trying to fix something to be honest. Sorry.

4. July is nearly over, any final words? (Sum up your month for us - the good and the bad).

Wasn't the best month, to be honest. I found THREE bees/yellow-jackets nests. The weather has been WAY to wet (in fact, it's raining even as I'm writing this. DD sliced her toes open. DH work 500 hour days (okay, I admit to exaggerating just a little on that one).

And the WORST thing? No one else though my milkweed moth pillars were cute!


Come on... they're CUTE. I want to hug them and love them and call them George.


You Are Not a Wimp

In fact, you are an incredibly tough person.

Your nerves do not get the better of you.

You don't back down from challenges or intimidating situations.

You love the thrill of conquer... so much so that it outweighs the fear of defeat.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Smatterings

While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about. ~Angela Schwindt

DD got her stitches out with some success... she can put a little weight on the foot, but taking "real" steps hurts because it pulls (since the injury was where the toes bend). Yesterday, we were outside for a bit, and a deerfly started buzzing her and wouldn't stop. She whacked at it with her hat, but it wouldn't leave it alone, so without thinking she turned to run.

Not a good idea. &%$# deerfly.

Still, the doctor has decreed that her foot will be healed enough by next weekend that she can go swimming in the lake again. She is thrilled!


Evidently our milkweed is on the map this year. Not only do we have monarchs (three more came inside yesterday and DD named all nine of them but I don't remember what the names were except Sylvia, Dew, Cassie and Curly), and milkweed beetles (these don't make me happy -- their larva actually bore into the roots and stalk to eat which effectively kills the plant), but yesterday DD said, "Mom, this leaf is hairy!"

We turned it over, and look what we found:

Want a closer look?

Aren't they COOL!?! They are the larva of the Milkweed Tussock Moth and they get to be just GORGEOUS as they get older. Check out this picture (not mine):

And, no, they are NOT coming inside. We'll just enjoy them in their natural habitat.


Today, I will spend building next week's pages for the LASR/WC website. AND... getting ready for the LASR anniversary party that starts on Friday, August 1st. Remember, besides all the really amazing prizes that include books and various other cool stuff, the grand prize is a $50 Gift Certificate to!! Have YOU promoted it on YOUR blog yet? You get an extra entry in every daily contest AND into the GC drawing if you do :-)

Have a great Sunday!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Pleasant Surprise

I just discovered a new review for an old story.

Fallen Angels Reviews posted a review for "Don't Fence Me In" and gave it five angels! I know you shouldn't love any of your babies more than the others, but this story (along with "Now That We've Found You") is my fave. And, I had more than one person email and tell me it made them cry. In a good way :-)

Here's what reviewer, Kimber had to say (in part):

Marianne Arkins does a superb job of weaving historical references into a well crafted plot. Lizzie is eighteen and as sweet and silly as an eighteen year old should be. Although not much older, the dour Jeremy has been prematurely aged by horrors of war. These two lonely souls are destined for each other. The deceased brother Seb gives them a little push. Don't Fence Me In was as sweet as the cherry cokes Lizzie sips on.

It's always a nice surprise when an older story gets a little new recognition. And just for grins, and in case you hadn't seen it, you should take a look at Allie Boniface's birthday present to me last January -- a trailer for the story.


Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy. ~Leo Buscaglia

I will...

... weed.

... clean.

... write.

... edit.

I will also....

... enjoy working a puzzle with DD.

... make dill pickles from the massive amount of cucumbers from my garden.

... play with the dog.

I will not ...

... worry about tomorrow.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Tornadoes in NH?? Seriously?

Weather is a great metaphor for life - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella. ~Pepper Giardino

As we recover from crazy storms, and my DH heads up to Alton and New Durham to see if his brother and uncle still have lake camps, I'm finally sitting down to breakfast (granola with blueberries, in case you wondered).

Yesterday the weather was absolutely nuts. Tornadic-type activity (they haven't decided whether we had "real" tornadoes or not, but the damage sure seems to indicate that we did). Thankfully, my town was spared, but a town just a few miles over was hit really hard (and sustained the only fatality). We had HEAVY rain and strong winds, but nothing catastrophic.

In between downpours, I went outside to gather some veggies for dinner (I love being able to do that) and I made the mistake of glancing at the milkweed. The wind had bent some of it over, and I saw... yes, you guessed it: a monarch pillar on a leaf that was shredded.

The skies were black, the storms were coming... what else could I do but bring him in. Um... him and five of his friends.

So, yes folks -- the second half of Pillar Place 2008 has begun.


DD gets her stitches out late this afternoon. Thank heavens...

She's not healed yet, but getting there. It'll probably be another week or two before she's back up close to speed. Thank heavens. She is going NUTS.


You Are a Rainbow

Breathtaking and rare

You are totally enchanting and intriguing

But you usually don't stick around long!

You are best known for: your beauty

Your dominant state: seducing



Thursday, July 24, 2008

My First Real Post of My New Life :-)

Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day. ~Author Unknown

So. Glasses. Who knew what a difference they would make? Not only can I ... yanno... SEE again, but I'm not getting my daily headaches. For the past several years, I've fought a headache everyday. I'm not sure why I didn't connect that with my poor eyesight, but I always blamed it on something else: I slept wrong, I didn't sleep enough, I'm tense, etc. But, no, it appears to have been directly linked to my eyeballs not playing nicely with each other.

Now, I just have to decide whether I wear them all the time or not. Distance vision has been fine thus far, it's just the up close stuff that bothered me. Still, things are a bit crisper far away with the glasses on (though I get a bit of motion sickness still, blech).

Problem is: there is no surgery to correct this problem, and there are no contacts to wear. So, if I go with the glasses for distance, too, then I'm glasses forever. And since I plan on living to 107, forever is a long time.

Anyway, for now I'm just enjoying being able to use the computer again!! YAY!! And, yes, I'll post a picture eventually. I just haven't remember to take one when, oh... my hair is brushed. Or, I'm not in my jammies. But I will.


Note to people who buy stuff from spammers: JUST. SAY. NO.

If spamming wasn't profitable, people wouldn't do it. So. STOP. For the love of all that's holy... STOP!!!!

I hate spam.


Allie comes up to my neck of the woods next week! I can't WAIT to see her again. It's good to gab with someone in person... woot! Still looking for a sitter for my DD, but hopefully something will pan out.


"Funny" story: Remember the yellow-jackets nest I found? Well... a few days later, I found a second one on the other side of the yard, against our house. Same scenario... I was pulling weeds and at one point, when I tugged and the grass peeling back a bit, it buzzed. I dropped it, and stepped back to wait. Sure enough, within seconds the troops were alerted and came pouring out of the nest! YIKES! I grabbed the dog and went inside.

Well, even "funnier"... two days ago, I was moving the plants in front of the house. DH is going to replace the steps he demolished when fixing our front door, but he wants to make them a little bit wider, which will cause them to overlap my garden a bit. So everything needed to scoot down about 8 inches.

I started on the left and dug up the echinacea and replanted it, then headed for the chives (my SIL thinks it's funny I plant chives for their flowers... do you?). DD had mentioned, in passing once, that she'd seen a bumblebee in the dirt by the chives. So, I cautiously stabbed the area with my shovel and lifted the chives a little.

No buzzing. Cool.

Did the other side. Waited. No buzzing. Phew. False alarm.

Now, chives have these tiny, hair-like roots that don't just pop out of the ground, so I needed to do some tugging. I put one foot on either side of the plant, grabbed the base and pulled. And pulled. And pulled.... and they started to move a little.

And then I saw bumblebees. Just one or two at first, but I still stepped back, with the chives all but pulled up. More came out of the dirt, and more, and more... Holy cow!

I found a bumblebee nest. AND, I discovered that they go for depth, and can make their nests a couple feet deep. There is no easy way to destroy one, even if I wanted to, which I didn't. I like bumblebees. They're very non-aggressive (my SIL likes to pet them, lol) and they pollinate my flowers. I just wanted to move the bushes.

In any case, I waited until the sun went down and it was raining, and I went back out and moved everything, leaving the bees their happy home, now underneath a huge seedum plant instead of chives.

Still, I'm just flabbergasted at the number of nests I'm finding this year! What are the odds?


Enough gabbing for now, I've probably bored you to tears! LOL... I'll fill you in tomorrow or Saturday on DD's foot.


You Are an "A-OK"

Your life philosophy can be summed up as, "Whatever will be, will be."

Your greatest wish is to live each day a little better than the next.

You are naturally calm and stable. Some people would call you a rock.

You feel one with the world. You are a spiritual person, though no one who knows you would guess it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Welcome Guest Blogger: Michelle Cary

First I want to thank Marianne for having me back to guest blog again.

Now let’s get down to the topic at hand…Organization.

One of the first questions I get when I start talking to people about my writing is ‘Where do you find the time?” I’ll admit it’s not easy and many times, I fail miserably at one thing or another. Usually it’s stuff like forgetting to take the laundry out of the washer and put it into the dryer before falling asleep. Or, on occasion I’ve been known to let the dinner dishes sit in order to get a scene down before I lose my muse.

I’ve been lucky in that my hubby is a musician and completely understands my need sometimes to put aside housework for writing. He gets the fact that if I don’t put the idea down then I could lose it. Now that’s not to say we live like slobs. I may not be June Clever, but I’m not one to live in filth either.

So, in order to keep my life spinning in some sort of order I do my best to organize. That’s gotten harder since I’ve returned to work, but it’s still not impossible. Here’s just a few of the things I do. If you’re like me and need time to post your blog or do a little internet promoting, why not set your alarm clock ½ hour earlier, and spend that quiet time marketing? Maybe you’re one who can’t eke out the time to write because housework is consuming your day. I say recruit your family to help. It doesn’t hurt any child to do a few chores and in the long run they might have more respect for you if they see everything you’re responsible for in a day. Almost every night after dinner, my two kids pitch in to clean the table and dinner dishes. It’s time spent together and work gets done faster, thus giving you more time for your muse.

Don’t be afraid to schedule some time for your writing, or really, whatever else you might want to do. If you schedule it and make your family honor the schedule, you’ll be less stressed, and more apt to spent extra time with them doing fun family things because you’ve had the time you need to accomplish your goal.

I say if it’s important to you, then you owe it to yourself to get organized, and make the time for you and whatever it is you want to do. You and your family will be happier if you do.


You can learn more about Michelle at her website.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Eagle... er the Eyeglasses Have Landed!!!

I'll post pictures later. Now, I have BLOGHOPPING to catch up on!!

And, yes, at least thus far they really, REALLY help!!


Still Blind Tuesday

A quick rundown...

Me = no glasses, still blind, still massive head- and eye- aches -- missing my computer fun days something fierce.

DD = still has stitches, must soak foot, air it out, let it heal for four more days. We go back to the doc on Friday.

So... I leave you with the latest installment of "Simon's Cat":

Monday, July 21, 2008

PSA and Howdy!!

An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow. ~Author Unknown

First, a public service announcement:

First Anniversary Banner

I can’t believe it. The Long and the Short of It is almost ONE YEAR OLD! Who would have thought that last year, when I said to Judy, “I think I want to start a reviews blog... do you want to help a little?” that we would be where we are today???

It's been so much fun, and the best part has been all the truly amazing, gracious and talented authors we've worked with.

We knew we had to do something special to celebrate our birthday, so we are having a blowout party and you are all invited. We have a month of fun planned... and some of our very favorite writers are involved.

Every day, from August 1st to the 26th, you can visit one of our author sponsors to find out how to win her special prize. Not only that... but with each daily entry you’ll also be entered into the drawing for the $50 Amazon Gift Certificate we’ll be giving away on our actual anniversary date of August 27, 2008.

You can also get an entry for the grand prize just by telling other people about it on your website and/or blog... just enter the link on Mr. Linky on the anniversary page. If you have a daily entry, your Mr. Linky will also count as an extra entry for that contest.

You can see all the authors that are participating on our anniversary page. The question and link to their site will be on our anniversary page on their designated day. Be sure and check every day, because once the link is gone.. it’s gone and you’ve lost your chance at that particular prize (and for your entry that day for the Grand Prize).

So... tell your friends. Tell your relatives. Tell your blog buddies. Tell your loops. Tell the strangers in the street. The Long and the Short of It is ONE WHOLE YEAR OLD!!! And giving away twenty-six prizes from twenty-six great authors AND a $50 Amazon Gift Certificate. How cool is that?



My eyes are still bugging me, and I had to use my limited computer time to build pages for next week's LASR stuff. I admit that Judy helped me write the above post (which is nearly the same as the one she put on her site... I had to change a little just cuz that's how I am).

In any case, I'm going to call the eye doc today and see if they have an ETA on the glasses. I hope they come in soon AND I hope they help. I can't function without the computer.

I've been typing with my eyes closed most of the time, in an attempt to ease the eyeball pain, and DD asked me how I knew what I was writing. LOL... she was amazed that I knew where the keys were!

Speaking of DD, she goes in this morning to get her stitches out. It's been a rough week, and she's still not completely healed, but it's getting there. Still, she'll have to wear either a bandage or a sock for a few more weeks. That's going to drive my barefoot baby nuts!

We released more butterflies, and are down to two more chrysalis'. I hope they aren't going to over winter. Blech.

Anyway, that's all I can do for now... the telltale ache is beginning behind the eyeballs again. But I missed you guys!!


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Brief Break

My eyes are really, really bothering me today so I'm going to severely limit my online time over the next day or two.

No posts here.

No comments there.

It's not that I don't WANT to blog hop, it's just that my eyes ache, and it's making me dizzy and nauseous.


Hopefully, I'll be back on Monday.

Friday, July 18, 2008


An eye can threaten like a loaded and levelled gun, or it can insult like hissing or kicking; or, in its altered mood, by beams of kindness, it can make the heart dance for joy.... One of the most wonderful things in nature is a glance of the eye; it transcends speech; it is the bodily symbol of identity. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, yesterday I mentioned headaches... and also mentioned that I might have a remedy for them. Over the past year or so, when I get tired, my eyes won't focus together. I spent my evenings reading with one eye (typically my left eye) closed or covered. Even when I'm NOT tired, I frequently have to look away from something to "reset" my eyes before they'll focus.

I finally gave in an scheduled an eye appointment. The last time I got glasses (about three years ago), they really didn't help much. They were, essentially, reading glasses. I don't need things magnified -- that isn't the issue. I see things fine, up close AND far away.

DD needed her appointment anyway, so I scheduled one with her. This doc discovered the problem almost immediately... my eyes see at different angles. My left eye actually sees higher than my right, so I basically have double vision. He told me that I've probably had it my entire life, after noting that I tip my head to the left. He asked to see picture ID, so I showed him my drivers license and warehouse club card. He pointed at the photos and said, "See how your head is tipped?" -- and, honestly, if you look at 90% of pictures with me in them since the day I was born (just look at the profile picture in my Blogger profile!), my head is tipped to one side. He said it was my unconscious way of making the vision field level and helping my eyes focus together. But, now my eyes are getting old and tired (and, no he didn't put it like that, lol) and don't want to work together any more.

So I'm getting glasses with a special "prism" in them that will level out my vision field. And, maybe I can stop winking at the computer...

Better, maybe I can go through a day without massive headaches. We'll see... I should have my glasses next week.


I picked three more squash yesterday, and a "mess" (that's for Judy *G*) of green beans that even DD enjoyed eating (she doesn't usually like green beans). I have about fifteen more baby squash that will be ready over the next week, and twice that many blossoms. Still, the squash doesn't worry me nearly as much as the cucumbers. I think I'm making pickles this year!


What Your Sunglasses Say About You

You are spontaneous, open minded, and optimistic.

You are very youthful and free wheeling, no matter what your age happens to be.

You need to be shaded from the darker, more depressing aspects of life.

You feel sunniest when everyone around you is up for a good time.

Um... no. Not even close...

But they were pink :-)


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen: 13 Reasons I Haven't Been Blogging

I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

Have you missed me?

I've been a poor blogger the past couple of days... and I've missed y'all. But here's what I've been doing instead.


Beating my DD at Battleship.


Bandaging her foot twice a day.


Weeding and watering my garden. I admit to being just a little afraid of my cucumber plants... there are (no exaggeration) probably 150 baby cucumbers. **gulp**


Dealing with a bored dog who has: torn up a throw pillow, eaten part of a couch cushion, and gnawed on a rug. So far.


Carrying my DD wherever she needs to go because her good leg is now so sore she can't even hop well


Constant headaches. Severely limits my time on the computer. There is good news, though. I may have found a solution... but that's a story for tomorrow.


Housework. I know, I know... I could let it slide. But it needed doing, badly. And, it's something I can do even when I do have a headache.


Errands. Made more difficult with a DD who can't walk.


The Cunning Voles of Doom. I finally had to bite the bullet with these guys, when they started on my ground covers (I lost more than HALF of my dragons blood seedum, pretty much the only thing left in that garden). After catching and releasing 1,984,735 of them I decided that they were procreating too quickly for me to get them all. So... I broke down and used:


Revenge. I hate the name. I hated using it. I've always felt like we should try to live with the critters instead of just killing them off. But, once they finished with this garden, they'd have moved to another, and another. It was the most humane way I could find to assassinate them -- certainly better than anti-coagulant poison (nothing like bleeding to death slowly, over a period of a week). I still feel guilty. But, it's been two days and no new holes have appeared. Man, I hope it worked.


Utter exhaustion. Mostly mental and emotional, but I also haven't been sleeping a solid eight hours (or even six) either. Who knew taking care of an injured kidlet could be so wearing? Unfortunately, this has also led to:


Depression. This is something I struggle with, even on good days. But, since there has been quite a bit of stress and difficulty lately, it's been worse than usual. And, I typically react to it by retreating. From everything. And doing really brainless things like:


Playing games at Facebook. Nothing like a good game of Blocky to make you smile. Now if only people would stop snatching my pets (like Tori and Groovy) from me, all would be well in the world.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Welcome Guest Blogger: Cindy Green

Chick-lit…What is it?

Chick-lit—that is an odd sounding term which makes me think of the gum (chicklets). It’s a genre designation that has been in use for a few years now so I wouldn’t be surprised that those in the reading community have heard of it, but what does it really mean? Where did it originate and come from?
To put it simply, chick-lit is primarily about young women in their 20’s or 30’s dealing with life (though new subgenre’s include several different races and age groups). It contains a light, humorous and most importantly confiding tone—almost always in the first person. The themes focus around love, relationships, friendships, professional dilemmas, and a penchant for fashion—usually facing hilarious and embarrassing situations. But what it all comes down to is the heroine figuring out herself and what she really wants out of life. There is usually some kind of epiphany that blows her mind away and finally she can see clearly about what she really wants—or more importantly—needs.

The expression ‘Chicklit’ came about back in 1995 as a satirical title for the anthology: Chicklit: Proto-feminist Fiction. This new step in the women’s movement within literature would encompass a larger part of a woman’s experiences—loves and losses, relationships, and their lives as a whole.

But it was perhaps books such as Bridgette Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding and Sex in the City by Candace Bushnell that propelled the genre into the limelight and into the hands of eager and waiting women. This trend in women’s fiction took off until it has become one of the most popular in their demographic—ie: The Devil Wore Prada or The Nanny Diaries. And there are so many off-shoots now including Christian chick-lit from authors such as Kristin Billerbeck which have really been growing in that market.

Chick-lit is a different genre completely from romance because the focus is on the woman and how she navigates her way through the twists and turns life throws at her. But the romantic angle is usually at the forefront of the story in some way. In fact, Chick-lit is more akin to Women’s Fiction. The difference is in the tone. Chick-lit can be very fun and light and yet find the way to hit those import topics that many of us women struggle with on a daily basis—be it our weight or the impossible boss at work. Some critics have put-down the genre as just being ‘fluff’ about fashion-obsessed women who’s only focus is on when they’ll walk down the aisle. Yet in truth, these books find a way to deal with serious subject matter, putting these heroines into realistic ordeals that readers can really relate to.

And what about the whole ‘Happily Ever After’ ending that we romance readers crave? This is another difference in chick-lit. They do not always end in an HEA for the heroine and her love interest. But instead it concludes in such a way that it seems to be in the best interest of the heroine.

Today, I’d love to know if you’ve read any chick-lit and what you think of this genre. Any favorite authors or books? I personally think they are very fun to read. I love the tone and the ‘voice’ of these heroines. And it didn’t take time for me to dive into writing the genre myself. Feel free to visit my website and read a couple excerpts from my chick-lit novella, Meeting Mr. Right Online, and a make a choice for yourself about the genre.


Cindy K. Green is a multi-published author with degrees in History and Education. Previously a middle school English & History teacher, she now homeschools her own children and writes in several genres: Inspirational, Contemporary, Suspense and Historical romance. Find out more about Cindy and her books at

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No Post Today

Sorry folks, life is too crazy.

So I leave you with this:

Monday, July 14, 2008

Manic Monday

Cockroaches really put my "all creatures great and small" creed to the test. ~Astrid Alauda

Please insert "japanese beetle" in place of the cockroach above. Explanation below (near the bottom)...

Only one day of being my DD's slave and I'm already ready to be done with it, LOL. She's really good, and I can't complain about her attitude. But, she's typically pretty self-sufficient, so this is taking some getting used to!

Brandy asked yesterday about getting rid of slugs naturally (sans pesticides). Aside from picking them daily (which is what I do for red lily beetles and frequently for Japanese beetles), there are a couple of things I know about that you can try.

1. Beer traps...Set traps in troublesome beds. Sink a shallow jar so the top is flush with the ground. Fill the traps with beer - regular or nonalcoholic - to 1/2 inch from the top and wait for the snails and slugs to fall in and drown. Check the traps every few days. Or, if you don't want to waste the beer (*G*), Add 1/2 tsp. baking yeast and 1 tbsp. sugar to the water in each trap.

2. Salt...If you can't stand the thought of "picking" them, you can sprinkle them with salt when you find them. It sucks the water out of them and makes them dehydrate (rather spectacularly, actually, as they foam up). Truthfully, this always seemed sort of cruel so I always recommend drowning instead -- which seems more peaceful. I'll bet there are a few people who wouldn't mind choosing their death by drowning in beer! LOL....


Yesterday heralded our first (or the first I saw, in any case) mass swarming of Japanese beetles. Nasty buggers. I was outside watering my birds (some day I must get a bird bath... in the mean time, we have dips in our driveway that hold water, and the birdies will come drink and bathe there, so I fill them up a couple of times a day), when I saw what I thought were bees (I have yellow jackets on the brain). I moved a bit closer and discovered BEETLES. Hundreds of them. Blech.

I dumped water on them so they couldn't fly and started stomping. Yuck, yuck, yuck. They CRUNCH. And leave white goo behind. Ugh.

Worse, when I couldn't stand it any more and went inside, I swore I could still feel their pokey little feet crawling up my legs. ICK.

There are few bugs I despise and will kill without a thought. Japanese beetles are one of them.


The Road Trip of Your Life

You see companionship and loyalty as what's most important in life.

You live a life of leisure. You take your time in every aspect of life and enjoy it to the fullest.

You're willing to take a few risks in life. You may not take the road no one travels, but you're happy to take the road less traveled.

You are able to find a fairly healthy balance between work and play. You work when you need to, but you never let yourself burn out.

You could have owned an indie bookstore or boutique in another life.

Wait... wait... I LIVE A LIFE OF LEISURE????

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha... **snort**....


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Questions Answered!

I'm such a dork... I keep forgetting to answer questions. I'm going to do my darnedest to reply in comments after today, okay? Cuz, I hate it when I go to a blog and feel like MY comment is ignored.

So, without further ado--

Dru asked (in regards to the yellow jacket nest): What does spraying and putting the grass back on do to the nest?

Spraying will hopefully kill anything that comes in contact with the poison, and putting the grass back keeps them from being able to escape easily. I checked yesterday, and nothing buzzed when I wiggled the grass so it seems to have worked.

Amy said: I'm a nudist!

That made me ROFLOL... thx. :-)

Amy said (in response to my comment about the Monarch parasite): Sad on the Monarchs. Will you be involving DD in the process of checking?

Yep, she will. And, the "good" news is, to kill them, you just freeze them. I would imagine it's fairly painless and I don't have to get bloody. Still, it's breaking my heart ahead of time to think about destroying something as lovely as a Monarch. **sigh**

I think I got them all, but if I missed you, I'm sorry. I'll do my best to stay on top of things from now on.

Have a lovely day :-)

Hard Lessons to Learn

The trouble with using experience as a guide is that the final exam often comes first and then the lesson. ~Author Unknown

Yesterday, DH and DD (and other family members) went boating. I was supposed to have the entire weekend blessedly alone.

Alas, it was not to be.

At approximately five o'clock, I received a call from my DH. He needs to take lessons on Not Panicking Your Wife 101.

"Hey, I'm taking DD to the ER. Can I give them my insurance card?"

Yes, it's true... there was not anything to preface that remark. Eventually, I discovered that she had cut her foot and probably needed stitches, but he was across the lake from where he had the truck parked and needed to go. He'd call me when they were off the water.


Twenty minutes later, he called from the truck. Told me where he was headed. I told him I'd meet him there as soon as I could.

I checked, and all my neighbors were gone... what to do with the dog? Last time we hit the ER, it took upwards of nine hours. Considering it was more than an hours drive time to the ER at the lake, I could potentially be looking at eleven hours. Couldn't leave her crated that long...

I took her with me.

When we arrived, DD was in the exam room. She'd had x-rays to make sure nothing was broken, and was waiting for the doc to have her stitches. And, I finally discovered what had happened.

She'd been sitting somewhere she shouldn't have, and when a wave hit the boat, she fell off. Onto the brand new, stainless steel propeller. The one that cut my DH's hand when he put it on. Apparently, she'd clutched her toes to try to stop the fall... instinctive, yes. Good idea? Um, not so much.

She sliced her big toe half off (seriously... ick... down to the bone), took a chunk out of her second toe, and sliced her third one. She ended up with eight stitches. Her toes now look like this.... (I'll put some spaces for those folks who don't want to see the icky picture)....


Worse? Aside from the fact that DH laid into her about obeying your father, she's out a two-day trip to the lake, fireworks AND a week's worth of swimming next week in my neighbor's pool (they're out of town for a week, and offered us the use of it).

AND... it MUST stay clean. Period. So... no walks, no bike riding, no bare feet.

It looks like this:

And SHE looks like this:

I don't expect it to be a fun ten days.

What's the worst injury YOU'VE had?

I broke my wrist falling off my pony in fourth grade, and had surgery on my leg in seventh to remove a bone growth. I ran into a glass chess board with my head in kindergarten and had a bunch of stitches just above my left eyebrow. And I tried to slice off my pinkie when I was four y.o. --- but I survived them all.




Never do anything that you wouldn't want to explain to the paramedics. ~Author Unknown

There was great drama at our home yesterday... well, not at our home precisely, but involving people who live at our home. I want to include photos when I discuss it, and that's not possible currently, so I will post about the great drama later today.

In the meantime...

I don't think I need to worry that I'm underwatering my house plants...

And, a skill I firmly believe everyone should have. From WikiHow:

How to Draw an "S" Made Entirely of Straight Lines


You Are Bold When it Counts

You don't make a big fuss about getting what you want... unless it's really important to you.

Then you're as bold as you want to be. You just go for it!

You're often up for a little excitement and adventure. Well, as long as the cost isn't too great.

You enjoy risk, but not for it's own sake. Let's just say you've learned a few lessons about risk in your life.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Guess What I Grew?

In gardens, beauty is a by-product. The main business is sex and death. ~Sam Llewelyn

Watching this guy never ceases to make me feel better, LOL. (Um, warning, graphic animated cartoon).

I made strawberry jam a couple of days ago and it didn't set. I emailed my mom, and she told me why AND how to fix it. So, I may tackle that this weekend. Or I may not. But, I will do it before blueberry season, which is SOON considering DD, DH and I all went out back and picked and ate blueberries to our hearts content yesterday. MMMMM....

Hey, guess what I grew in my garden?? A YELLOW-JACKETS NEST! Oh. Yay.

Yep, yesterday I was weeding on the edge of the garden and where the lawn ends, there's a drop of about 3-4" that's a dirt wall of sorts. I was yanking weeds when I saw a bee-type creature buzz between my hands and into the wall. Peculiar... but I kept weeding until another did it, and another.

I went and got my pitchfork, came back and jabbed it into the ground about six inches back from where I saw them fly in and then wiggled it. It buzzed. Loudly.

I backed away, then found DH and gave HIM the pitchfork and a bottle of wasp killer. Understand, I could have done this, just like I can change my own tire. But, why should I went I have a big, strong, capable man around? *G*

He jabbed the pitchfork in where I showed him, peeled back the lawn to expose an big, honking nest and then emptied the can into it and flopped the grass back into place. I may have him go check it this morning before he leaves to go boating... yanno, just in case.

Blech. And, yeah, I should have taken pictures (It would have made the telling much more interesting), but I didn't think about it until later.

DD took a picture of our latest butterfly, though (we released two yesterday -- she named them Lucy and Dew... this is Lucy):

She is clinging to the last pupa in the dill box. The pupa was NOT happy about it and wiggled until poor Lucy fell off and DD had to rescue her.


You Are a One Piece Swimsuit

You are a bit conservative and traditional.

And you are not at the beach to put your body on display!

You are a low maintenance person. You like to look good, but you're not vain.

Your taste tends to be sophisticated. You always opt for classy over trashy.

Yep. That's me: classy, not trashy.

I think I'll have that tattooed on my derriere.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Facebook, Fungus and 'fessing up

No road is long with good company. ~Turkish Proverb

So... I joined Facebook. Yep. Cuz, yanno, I didn't have anything else to do. If you're on Facebook, feel free to friend me. Here's my page. It seems that Michele now owns me as a pet. She's a good owner, because she bought me a crab. I'm not sure what that means, but there you are.


Now... to answer a few questions from the last couple of days:

Jen - "Return to Stiller Creek" is with a friend, waiting for an eyeball. And then, yes, it'll be ready to submit. Soon. That's also the one I'm considering for HQ, but am on the fence.

Allie - I believe that the woman on the "Kitchen Matches" cover is making a salad. Though I would guess that's not where her attention is *G*.

Jen - Yes, Micah can cook. It's what he does for a living. Cori, OTOH, um... I'm guessing even dishwasher salmon is beyond her skills.

I think I covered it all. I'm trying to get in there and start commenting in the comments, but sometimes I just forget. Sorry!!!


RE: Writing and reading... so here's the thing. I haven't written much about my writing because I haven't written much.

And, I haven't written much about reading, because I haven't done much of that either. Most of my time is taken up with the LASR website and a side job that I do for, yanno, modest income. The rest? I do things like play board games with my daughter (who is the person sacrificing the most because of my busy-ness).

Something has to give, and the only thing I want to give up is the only thing that puts food on the table (albeit, not MUCH food). Or, maybe it's that I don't use my time as efficiently as I can.

I've actually lost free time with the end of our school year, because DD isn't busy every afternoon. Dakota doesn't help, either, because she's oh-so high energy.

But mostly, it's just the other stuff.

I love working as the LASR webmistress and reviews (and advertising) coordinator (and woman of many other hats). I really, really do. But there are days... oh, there are days... when I question my sanity.

I think things will be better once winter arrives. And, I can't believe I'm saying that.


We released two more butterflies yesterday: A boy and a girl. There are two more ready to pop today. That will leave me with one in the dill box, and four in the parsley box. I'm ready to be done ... and yet, just about the time the swallowtails are done, the monarchs will be here.

Worse, I discovered that there is a bacterial infection (a fungus among us) carried by monarchs (I know that at least one of mine last year had it, because he died as a pupa with all the symptoms) and you need to check for it, if possible, before releasing your butterflies so that you don't make things worse. Unfortunately, I don't have a miscroscope, so I'm going to have to try to do it with my eyeballs.

Worse, if they have it, you have to destroy them. **sigh**

It's a cold, cruel world.


You Are Hot Sauce

You are the life of any party, because you're so good at bringing people out of their shell.

You have a knack for helping people happily embrace their true selves.

You are ambitious, driven, and fearless. You love taking risks.

Your taste in food is 100% adventurous.

You're up for sampling any exotic cuisine or someone's kitchen experiments.

You live for trying new things, and you get sick of eating the same food (even if it's very delicious).

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Missed this. I had an article in the May issue of the Samhellion, and didn't even know it, lol.

If you're interested, it's here. It's called, "It's All About the Emotions-or-Why Should I Care?".

You know you're too busy when you miss something you've written being published.

Once Upon A Time...

Once upon a time there was a much beloved fairy princess who crossed the rainbow bridge:

Her family loved her and missed her very much, and the castle seemed so empty. So they searched for someone new to fill the void:

She was precious. She slept in their laps:

and on their shoes:

and their clothes:

and she was also deeply loved by everyone but the queen of the castle:

...she was certain it was all a hoax, and that the new fairy princess was actually possessed by demons. Demons that would cause her to eat the couch:

and lick the clean dishes in the dishwasher:

and all sorts of other perfidicious behavior. But when confronted with the accusations, the fairy princess merely smiled:

And reminded the guardians of the castle that she had vanquished many enemies.

The evil bunny slipper:

The wicked blue bug:

The deplorable toilet paper roll:

How could she possibly be anything more than a sweet girl? All this defending of herself was exhausting, so she took her feminine, charming self and had a nap:

And they lived happily every after.

Except for the queen.