Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ode to Electricity?

I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks. ~William Shakespeare

Last night I felt like I should write an ode to electricity. Everything I did was a wonder: washing dishes (hot! water!), laundry, cooking dinner, and especially flushing the toilet (woo hoo!). I murmured a word of thanks each time I did anything that required a bit of power.

We're so spoiled, we Americans. We really, really are. And so lucky.

DH said I'd make a terrible pioneer woman. I reminded him of two things:

1. Growing up for several years I LIVED as a pioneer woman -- with no power, no toilet, no phone, no NOTHING. I knew HOW to do it. That didn't mean I had to like it.

2. If I WAS a pioneer woman, my house would have been set up appropriately. I would have had an outhouse, a HAND pump on my well and a wood stove meant to cook on and in.

So :-P ~~

If you're interested in looking at pictures of the local damage, our NH Newspaper has a slideshow set up -- there are several pictures of my nearby neighborhood. No, I didn't take pictures. Sorry. I really need to get back into the habit of doing so ...

DD is moping about though. For two days, I did nearly nothing but play games with her ... and now I have other things I need to do. I still played a few games, but not for ten hours straight. There was much sighing and flopping onto the furniture to stare into space despondently. I imagine she'll probably survive.


You Are Creative

You are a fascinating person with many varied interests. You like living a less than normal life.

You are easily and often inspired. It doesn't take much to get you thinking, and you love to daydream over a cup of tea.

You're the type of person who puts a pot of tea on when the mood strikes you - even if it's in the middle of the night.

Your signature tea: red rooibos herbal tea

That's pretty close!


Saturday, February 27, 2010

BACK! And hoping it sticks...

Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all. ~William Faulkner

Many thanks to Judy for keeping y'all updated (and I laughed when I saw her YouTube videos!). Our power came back on about 30 minutes ago and I'm hoping it stays on! We had about 4 - 5" of heavy, wet snow last night and are expecting more snow today and tomorrow and maybe even Monday, so I know it's tough for the power guys out there. I'm so appreciative of all their hard work.

The damage here was pretty astounding -- LOTS of really huge trees down, and branches and debris everywhere. It looked like a tornado had hit. We had power lines down in the road with trees on top of them on both major roads out of my neighborhood.

I'm just glad I can flush my toilet without having to retrieve buckets of water from the creek 150 yards out back!!

In any case, I'm back (and hoping to stay that way) but have to get working on LASR/WC stuff in the worst way, so will sign off for now. Thanks to all for your positive thoughts and comments. They were all greatly appreciated. I'm obviously far behind on blogs and touching base, and will try to catch up as soon as I can.


Saturday Morning Update

Marianne is still powerless. She was able to get to Wendy's yesterday and do some "have to" stuff for LASR and hopefully will be able to pop in at some time today to let everyone know the latest. Keep them in your happy thoughts. Other than electricity and some blown-off shingles,they came through the storm okay.

I'll update more as I hear more.

And... for your viewing pleasure....

Friday, February 26, 2010

Good Friday Morning from Judy

Hi, all. This is Marianne's friend and business partner, Judy. Due to high winds and a tree across a power line, Marianne is without electricity. She's going to try to find an area that still has power, but until that happens I wanted to let you all know that she is fine and will be back as soon as she can.

I leave you with this:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times...

I haven't lost my mind; I have a tape back-up somewhere. ~Author Unknown

Weird, weird day yesterday all around. It snowed for half the day a dumped at least 4 - 5" on us, but then... the pouring (POURING) rain came, and melted it all. Had that been snow? We would have easily gotten a foot or two.

For today and tomorrow, they're predicting winds strong enough to break power poles (yet another reason I wish there would ONLY be underground utilities), and we're out of wood to burn, so if we lose power we freeze ... or move to a pet-friendly motel (I vote for the motel).

I whacked my head on my car hatchback and still have the "third eye" to prove it (which bothers me far more than the pain).

DD tried to set the house on fire (she was cooking stew on her own ... she's cooked it with me watching about a dozen times. Clearly it should have been at least 13 -- though I doubt she'll forget how this time). She put a small amount of oil in a pot, turned it on HIGH (this still amazes me) for a few minutes, and then added a liberal amount of cold water to it. All of sudden all I hear is crackling and spattering ... oil is spitting EVERYWHERE including on the red hot burner which is smoking and DD doesn't know what to do. I grabbed a lid and smacked in on the pot then tossed it into the sink, turned off the burner, on the fan ... and then spent the next 20 minutes cleaning pretty much every flat surface in the kitchen. Amazing how far hot oil can spit when given the opportunity.

But in the "good news" category, I became a great aunt one more time. Interestingly, it only just this morning occurred to me that my great-nephew was born on the birthday of one of my other nephews (who has two of my great-nephews -- confused? I come from a large family). DD was struggling to understand how she can have so many cousins old enough to be having families of their own (in fact, one of my great nephews is DD's age -- and THAT nephew got married before I did). My oldest brothers are quite a lot older than I am, and got married young. I'm the baby, and I got married late. It all works out...

So, Mom... that's your eighth great-grandbaby (and one more in the oven!).

And last night during agility, our new baby came with his mama (and auntie) -- One of the ladies who attends had a baby six weeks ago. We assured her that he'd be safe, dumb and happy at class with her so YAY! He was there last night. So cute!! So tiny. So good (didn't really fuss at all, even with being held by half a dozen different people and sniffed by dogs -- some REALLY big). He looked like a baby doll with his smooth skin and full head of dark hair. Just adorable. There is one other lady due in a month or so ... so hopefully, we'll have another baby to hold soon!

In any case, I'm hoping today is far, far quieter than yesterday.


You Have Your Friends to Smile About

You are truly blessed to have good people in your life. Your friends get you through the good times and the bad times.

You can't help but smile whenever you're around your friends. Even thinking about them brings a grin to your face.

You feel like everything will be okay in your life, as long as you have a support network.

And you get a lot of happiness from supporting your friends in return. You believe that people truly do need each other.

Hmmm.... not that I don't love the friends I have, but I've never been a tremendously social person.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Welcome to Ruth J. Hartman

Welcome to the inaugural post of this year's off-the-wall interviews! I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.

Tell me five things I probably don’t know about you and that most folks wouldn’t guess.

1) I've ridden a camel, climbed up in the pyramids, and had several marriage proposals. This all happened when I was a junior in high school and took a trip of the Holy Land with my dad. When one of the men asked dad if he could buy me from him for 51 camels, my dad, a minister, looked at the guy and said with a straight face, "Sorry, I won't go lower than 52."

2) I'm left-handed, but practice dental hygiene with my right hand, because the instructors at school told us it would be easier for them if we switched.

3) I am severely directionally-challenged. It's so bad that one time I actually got lost in my brother's house. It was a big house, but still...

4) I'm 100% cat-crazy. I've loved them all my life. I've even been known to hiss at someone before if they were being particularly annoying.

5) I never planned on writing romances, but once I wrote my first one, I loved it. And it stuck!

Finish this sentence:

The greatest heroine of all time was _____ because _____ .

The greatest heroine of all time was Buttercup (The Princess Bride) because She believed her hero would come for her even though she thought he was dead.

Write me a paragraph using the following three words: Upscale, Houseplant, Crazy.

The crazy loon who lives up the road lives in what he thinks of as an "upscale" house. It has bathroom facilities. Inside! The only problem? He thinks the houseplant he has in the bathroom windowsill fulfills the requirements of a curtain. He's sadly mistaken.

Ruth J. Hartman is a published author/licensed dental hygienist. She lives in rural Indiana with her husband and their two very spoiled cats.

Her website/blog can be found at:

Her newest romance novel, "Pillow Talk" about a tooth fairy who falls in love with her dentist, will be available in June from Class Act Books.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Nostalgia part Deux

If you're yearning for the good old days, just turn off the air conditioning. ~Griff Niblack

Yesterday's post kept me thinking all day. My mom mentioned how schools used to be able to have band and PE and sports all in their budgets. When I was in school (and it hasn't been THAT long), I played the flute with an instrument on loan from school, had PE every day, and was in basketball and volleyball (that I TRIED OUT for ... and not everyone was allowed on the team) -- and the uniforms were provided by the school, as well as transportation to and from ALL games. I tried out for choir (got into chorus, but didn't get into concert choir, sadly because I wasn't good enough ... oddly it didn't scar me for life), and our costumes and transportation were provided by the school. It's sad that schools can't seem to do that anymore.

Ceri mentioned being able to take off with your friends all day and your folks didn't worry.

I remember having to look things up in books for information instead of having Google, lol. I still have my Safari Cards... how I loved them.

For fun, here's one more "looking back" video for you all (can anyone else think of songs like this?):

Then I got to thinking about historical romances. I'm reading some of Julia's Quinn's books right now (they're quite good, actually, and that's something coming from me because I'm not typically a huge fan of regency-type romance) and ... well... people didn't bathe a whole lot back then, did they? Or, yanno... brush their teeth? And weren't the "sewers" just canals down the street?

I remember reading "A Knight in Shining Armor" by Jude Deveraux and when her heroine goes back in time, she's horrified by what she sees.

Yes, I certainly prefer the glamor of the Regency era to the reality, but ... I still wonder.

And how much attention to accurate detail should an author use? I guess the hero can't lean into the heroine and say, "Egads, you rather stink. Perhaps a bath is in order?"


You Are Skinny Dipping

You are a fairly conservative, down to earth person. You aren't known for making trouble.

That being said, you can be a little mischievous at times. You have a bit of a wild streak!

You have probably been accused of being a flirt or a tease - and you're guilty as charged.

You are naturally quite playful and coy. You're mostly sugar, but you're also a little spice.

While the description is mostly accurate... I'm not sure about the skinny dipping part. :::shakes head wildly:::


Monday, February 22, 2010

Feeling Nostalgic

Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days. ~ Doug Larson

Happy Monday!

DH's phone rang at 3:45 a.m. ... and again at 4:20 a.m., so I've been up awhile. I often wonder what life was like before 24 hour business. He works for an international company, so if something goes down in China, and it's a system he supports, then we get called no matter the day or time.

It's one of those good news bad news things, I suppose. There are many benefits to a world that's working at all times, but other stuff not so great.

Recently, DD and I were listening to a song called "I Watched It All On My Radio" by Lionel Cartwright:

There's a verse that says:

And 'round about midnight some preacher came on
To tell me what's right, to tell me what's wrong
And there was a test at the sound of the beep
'It was only a test' the voice would repeat
And the National Anthem would sing me to sleep

DD asked what he meant about the anthem.

I told her that TV and radio used to go off the air at midnight and they'd put a picture of the flag and play the National Anthem and then ... static.

Remember those days? Before cable? Before 24 hour news and weather and music videos? We had five channels: NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS and a UHF station (ours was channel 40). And WOW! The excitement when a SIXTH channel arrived: FOX

Those were the days when the TV season started in September and ended in June, not all the funkiness there is now with maybe 10 shows in a season that starts in October, goes on hiatus in December, returns in March and stops in April.

In the summer, when the regular stations were showing repeats, our Channel 40 station showed all the classic movies for 40 nights. The summers were when I found "Cat Ballou" and "Singing in the Rain", where I learned that "West Side Story" was both beautiful and tragic and realized that I was already a hopeless romantic when the ending of "Casablanca" depressed me.

There was no MTV or VH1 or CMT. I relied on "American Bandstand" and "Solid Gold" and eventually "Friday Night Videos" to show me what was hot in the music industry.

Our telephones had cords and no call waiting. I reheated my leftovers on the stove or in the oven.

You couldn't buy movies on video.

And we didn't get phone calls at 3:45 a.m. calling my step-dad into work.

In the spirit of looking back, I give you one more video, "19-Something":

Oh man. Did you see all that stuff? Wax lips! Atari! ... ah, memories...

What are some things you remember?


You Are the Dog

Like a dog, you are a completely loyal and devoted friend. People can count on you.

You are brave and a good leader. You like belonging to a pack, and you get restless if you're alone for too long.

You tend to accept and love everyone no matter what. But when someone is a bad seed, you know it right away.

You have a bad temper occasionally, and you're protective of the ones you love. You will stand up and fight to make sure no one gets hurt.

Mostly right, though I really do like my solitude.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thinking Thoughts of Publishing

The beauty of the written word is that it can be held close to the heart and read over and over again. ~ Florence Littauer

This post may make people who are only readers (and not writers) eyes glaze over. Just a heads up.

I've been thinking about publishing a lot lately, and publishers. What folks want out of being published, what I want, and whether all of us a a little out of our minds.

I get asked by a lot of people what I think about such-and-such ePublishers. Because of LASR, I have dealings with MANY romance ePubs (I won't say "all", but I will say I've probably touched something from every romance ePub that's out there at least once). I know who responds quickly to my requests, who is polite, who isn't, whose authors are the most professional, who gets dinged for editing errors the most, which ones consistently rate highest with my reviewers because their releases are consistently good, which ones my reviewers will buy from if they don't get the books they want from us, and more.

I know who I would and wouldn't publish with based on this knowledge. And, no, I'm not saying that here. What I will say is this: DO YOU HOMEWORK. Don't just send out submissions willy-nilly, or take the opinion of one or two authors who are published with someone.

Read several releases from them. Are the stories good? The editing? Would YOU have contracted it, had you been the editor?

Scour the internet (but take what you find with a grain of salt). If the vast majority of what you find from different sources is positive, then it's probably right, and vice versa. There are always folks who are angry and/or glowing that could probably be written off (sort of like in the Olympics when they don't include the highest and lowest scores).

Decide WHY you want to be published. Is it to build a strong writing resume? To make decent sales? To strengthen your writing (because a good editor will teach you incredible amounts of stuff)? Or, do you just want to be published... because?

Decide what you want and what isn't negotiable and then do that. I have a friend who is being published with a company that is a British one, and her manuscript is being released in British English. Not that big a deal, right? I mean, the folks from over the pond who publish HERE have to do the reverse... but for some strange reason, I wasn't thrilled with the idea. I can't put my finger on why, but I probably wouldn't want to publish with them (despite the fact I've heard nothing but good things about them, and the work we've seen from them at LASR has been top-notch).

What about those of you published with ePubs? What things do you look for and what are deal-breakers for you? Please chime in!!


You Are a Giraffe Print

You are a graceful and classy person. You are flexible enough to fit in with any crowd.

You are very down to earth and responsible. You always see what's coming, and you are prepared for it.

You may not look like the strongest creature in the world, but you are secretly incredibly tough.

You have an amazing survival instinct, and your endurance is unmatched. People should never test you!

Hmmm... yes and no.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fun With Kid's Videos

Good children's literature appeals not only to the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child. ~ Anonymous

I'm having a lazy morning... it's been nice. But now I have to wake up DH, so have little time to chat with you!

Yesterday was tough -- I was very achy in all my joints and my eyeballs felt bruised. It was the strangest thing. So far this a.m., I'm feeling a bit better (especially my eyeballs, which bothered me worst yesterday).

I finally got the rest of my tax documents yesterday (I have one place who can legally wait until the end of February to send me something ... which really annoys me), so I can finally get organized and see how much I hate the federal government this year. A nice, simple flat tax would be so much easier... I really hate figuring taxes.

DD and I have been listening to Schoolhouse Rock lately. She had to memorize the preamble in school and she just giggled. "I already know it!".

And when it comes to diagramming sentences, these types of songs really help:

It's a shame they don't this anymore. It's such a fun way to learn stuff. The closest I've found in modern kid's stuff was on "Between the Lions".

Today's blog brought to by the letter B and the number 20.



You Are the Alarm Clock

You don't have much of an opinion on mornings. No matter whether you like them or hate them, you have to get up.

Your mornings tend to be a bit of a rushed affair. You have to be out the door by a certain time, and you have to hustle.

You are not a big fan of wasting time, and the morning is no exception. You have a lot to get done, and it's time to get cracking.

It's fair to say that you're on autopilot during the wee hours of the day. You have mornings down to a science.

Nope... not at all, except the not being a fan of wasting time part.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Happy Friday

Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday. ~Author Unknown

Happy Friday!

While Monday is my favorite day of the week, I'll let those of you who prefer to appreciate Friday's indulge a bit.

Learn everything there is to know about Friday, here.


I slept better last night. I suspect it was actually a case of sheer exhaustion, since I really hadn't slept more than 4 - 5 fitful hours a night since last week. I still played "Jack-in-the-Box": bed at 9, up at 11:30 (I put wood on the fire ... DH was still at work), back to sleep around midnight, up at 1:40 (put wood on the fire), crawled onto the couch and slept until about 4:30 when the cat woke me. The times I slept, though I SLEPT and hard. So, though I don't feel super perky, I do feel much better than I did yesterday.



It's snowing outside... how odd. I didn't realize we were expecting snow. Huh. Now -- next week? Snow every single day (oh joy), but I thought today was supposed to be clear. ::shrugs::


You Are Mellow Yet Energetic

Most of the time you are a cool cucumber, but occasionally you can get extremely hyper.

You are indifferent to most things, but a few ideas really inspire you. And when you're inspired, you totally take off.

You rest up most of the time, saving your energy for what truly matters to you. You are highly selective.

Some people may think you're moody or temperamental, but they don't understand what really makes you passionate.

Hmmm... about 50/50 ...


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Counting Necco Wafers

How do people go to sleep? I'm afraid I've lost the knack. I might try busting myself smartly over the temple with the night-light. I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things. ~Dorothy Parker

Last night I was exhausted, went to bed and then couldn't sleep. I HATE that. After a couple hours, I finally tried to bore myself to death. I usually start by thinking up names (M & F, A- Z) and typically fall asleep before I hit the end. Didn't this time. Next I opted for foods, A - Z and got so hung up on "N" I couldn't sleep. I finally settled for Necco Wafers, which aren't really food, but you do put them in your mouth, chew and swallow. Why can't I think of a food that starts with "N"?

In any case, I did finally crash, but I'm a little dopey this a.m.

What do you do when you can't sleep, but are completely exhausted?


I gave my latest heroine a grandmother. She's a sweet old lady who's beginning to get a little forgetful. She lives with my heroine in a loft over the business and I think Zach is going to fall in love with grandma first.

I still need an animal of some sort. No story is complete without one... but I haven't decided what or who owns it yet. I'm sure something will show up as I write, lol...


My friend, Judy, was telling me how she plotted out her garden yesterday. She has her seeds started and I'm so jealous! Of course, she's in Georgia so her growing season starts a little earlier than mine. I can't even start my seeds until April... I wanted to start them the first waxing moon of April, which is April 15th (the day after the new moon), but I think I'll wait until April 20th. Planting by the moon phases is something my mom taught me, but which old time gardeners swore by. I figure since their lives depended on it and they couldn't run to the local grocery store if their crops flopped, it might be good advice to take.

I'm ready spring... come out, come out wherever you are!


Your Face Says You're Energetic

At first glance, people see you as down to earth and reliable.

Overall, your true self is passionate and physical.

With friends, you seem dramatic, lively, and quick to react.

In love, you seem mysterious and interesting.

In stressful situations, you seem cheerful and optimistic.

I was doing good until that last line... cuz, uh... no.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Welcome to J. A. Saare!

I'm excited to welcome my friend and very talented author, J. A. Saare! Jaime is touring via Goddess Fish Promotions to celebrate her just released Urban Fantasy "Dead, Undead and Something In Between" and she's here today to talk about where she got the idea that the story hinges on: vampire blood as a drug.

Give a big howdy to Jaime!!


Hey M~ Thanks for hosting me on your blog today! I’m so excited to be here.

As many people already know, I’m a sucker for a good paranormal story – the darker, the better. I’ve always been drawn to those kinds of themes. Perhaps it’s because the darkness allows a person to perceive the light with a greater clarity, or maybe I’m simply wired to enjoy the macabre things in life that many find disturbing. *grin*

In all seriousness, when writing paranormal offerings, the challenge is creating something unique in a genre saturated with fangs, fur, and blood. Most of the ideas have been driven into the ground, to the point that when someone decided to make vampires vegetarians who sparkle (wish it had been my idea!) the entire world took notice.

How can you set yourself apart? In what way can you create something that remains yours, is original, and will tempt readers?

Those were questions that came to mind as I was writing my newest release, Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between. As someone who enjoys reading paranormal books, I am very aware of unexplored concepts and ideas. I knew I wanted to write a darker urban fantasy, but acknowledged that in order to gain notice I had to offer something new and exciting. The foundation of the story involved a girl, working in a strip club as a bartender, who saw dead people. Yes, that’s somewhat different, but not entirely novel. Therefore, I knew that the vampire who arrives in the picture had to offer something dangerous and unexpected – but what?

The decision to use vampire blood as a drug came unexpectedly, as I was pondering their capacity to heal and regenerate. Vampires are stronger, faster, and have exceptional reflexes and senses. So wouldn’t their blood, which is an essential element of their existence, provide much of the same to a human who ingests/injects it? Armed with this idea, I went full-on with it, and was pleasantly surprised at how well the story formed as a result. Using blood dealers as suspects, I was able to guide my characters through the underground world of blood dealing. It added a slice of darkness, and allowed me to place the heroine, Rhiannon, in the hot seat on more than one occasion.

Which brings me to a question – what is the most unique and original idea you’ve read in a story? Was the blurb on the back enough to get your attention and encourage you to give it a go? I’m a very visual person, so sometimes a cover is enough to have me pulling out my wallet. But I have been known to purchase more than one story entirely by the blurb if it promises something I’ve never experienced before.

I can’t wait to read your answers! Happy Reading!

Jaime AKA J.A. Saare


One bad corpse can ruin your whole day. No one knows that better than Rhiannon Murphy.

She’s left behind the flash and sass of Miami for the no-nonsense groove of New York City, eager for a clean slate and a fresh start. A bartender by trade, a loud mouth by choice, and a necromancer by chance; she’s managed to keep her nifty talent hidden from those around her – until now.

The deliciously good-looking vampire Disco knows her secret, and when he strolls into her bar to solicit help investigating the mysterious disappearances of his kind from the city, she discovers he’s not the kind of person that appreciates the significance of the word no.

But in a world where vampires peddle their blood as the latest and greatest drug of choice, it’s only a matter of time before the next big thing hits the market. Someone or something is killing vampires to steal their hearts, and unlike Rhiannon, this isn’t their first stroll around the undead block.

Available now from Eternal Press

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Baby Steps

Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you. ~John De Paola

Yesterday was obscenely busy. Just plain crazy. We started a new promo in LASR/WC for Easter, and I got slammed with emails (which is good... but not, yanno?), we were all running out of socks and undies, so laundry was a must-do (six loads... yeah, it had been a while), the dog needed her food made (chop, chop, cook, cook, grind, grind), we had books due at the library, I had no cheese for what I had planned for dinner (drive, drive).

I ran flat out all day long.

Dinner, though, should be getting easier soon for two reasons. First, I'm doubling everything and making one pan for the freezer on anything I can (last night I made enchiladas -- one for us, one for the freezer), so I'll have things I can just pull out on nights that are crazy (like my agility nights where I lose a good four hours). Second, I'm having DD work with me every time I cook now in the hope that she'll eventually be able to take over cooking at least a couple nights a week (she can already do the simpler stuff like stew and spaghetti). She may not like that idea so much (yesterday ... after I washed and she dried/put away three sets of dishes, and then I told her she was helping me cook, she said, "Do I get paid for this?" and I replied, "Yeah: room and board."), but it's all part of growing up, IMHO.

During the time I was sending out about 100 email responses for the promo yesterday, my brain was working on my story. I just let it drift and kept a pad of paper beside the computer to scribble ideas. I had a few that will be so much fun to write... my favorite thing about writing romance that's a little nuts is that I can do just about anything and it's okay (like my character in "One Love for Liv" who is trying to break a Guinness World Record).

I still have obscene amounts of work to do, but that's okay. I took advice from Kris Kringle yesterday (couldn't find the original clip, but this works):

So, I'm off to put one foot in front of the other...


You Are Sleepy

You are an easy-going, relaxed person. You don't have a care in the world, and you find it easy to nod off anytime.

People enjoy being around you. You are a complete natural, and you always act however you feel.

Despite what people may think, you don't have a lazy bone in your body. You are a very hard worker.

When work needs to be done, you'll work your hardest. That's why you're so sleepy at the end of the day!

Uh... that first part? SO not right...


Monday, February 15, 2010

Going Gray

How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were? ~Satchel Paige

I a moment of great irony, my snow-loving husband who has been bored out of his gourd this weekend will be going back to work on Tuesday -- a day on which we will be getting a bunch of snow! Now tell me God doesn't have a warped sense of humor...

I did some writing yesterday, which made me happy. I got stuck on choosing a name for a fictional online dating service, though, and lost a good 20 mins of writing time because of it. But, after much brainstorming with my pal, Judy, I came up with something and can now move forward!

I colored my hair yesterday. More appropriately, I "washed the gray" out of my hair. My gray hair really stresses out DD -- it makes her see me as "old" and she starts thinking I have one foot in the grave. Because, yanno, coloring your hair makes you younger and healthier, lol.

I used Garnier Fructis (#53, in case you wondered) because the last time, I used L'oreal and it didn't color the gray at ALL -- I was not happy. But, I forgot how frizzy Garnier makes my hair. When it dried yesterday, it was quite amusing, to say the least ... and even using a flat iron didn't help much! Anyone else out there color the gray? If so, what hair color do you use (unless it's your stylist ... I can't swing $60 every few weeks, so I need mine from a box)?

I'm posting on Healthful & Homemade today -- if you read this a bit later in the day, my post on my first attempt at homemade sourdough bread will be up.


You Should Get a New Laptop

Let's be honest... you're not exactly the most romantic person in the world. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Flowers, chocolates, and stuffed animals don't really do it for you. Your eyes only light up for a new toy.

You are a bit of a geek, and traditional romance just isn't a priority for you. You find somewhat unusual things romantic.

You'd prefer a laptop to an expensive piece of jewelry. At least you'd actually use the laptop!

ROFL... this is exactly right! I told DH I wanted a small, handheld shampooer if he was going to buy me anything. *G*


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day

I don't understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon. ~Author Unknown

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!!

I have to admit my guilty secret: for a romance author and reader, I'm not terribly romantic. Conveniently, neither is my husband, lol... My daughter, though, loves all holidays and is going to town for V-Day today. Hers and the card my mom sent me will mostly likely be the only things I get today.

What about you? Do you and yours go all out for this holiday? Diamonds, chocolate, roses?


You Are Creative And Chaotic

You are all over the map, and you really don't try to get yourself on one path.

You enjoy multitasking, and in fact, you feel like you think better when your mind is going in many directions.

You always have to have your hands in something. It's impossible for you to stop creating.

You are fun, lively, and even a bit outrageous. You like to push boundaries and find out what is possible.

Hmmm...that's *mostly* right....


Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Olympics!

I am building a fire, and everyday I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match. - Mia Hamm

So sad about the luge competitor at the Olympics yesterday. Not a great way to start them off...

I was too tired to watch the opening ceremonies, so have it on my DVR -- will try to watch today. I really prefer the winter Olympics over the summer ones ... I like *nearly* every competition. Not so fond of curling, lol... but I do love all the skating (speed, figure, etc), the skiing, the hockey, everything. I wonder if it's because most things in the winter Olympics are FAST.

Some of my fave moments in previous Olympics:

Dan Jansen winning his only gold medal in '94:

Paul Wylie unexpectedly winning the silver in men's figure skating '92:

My roomie and I used to call him "Smiley" Wiley... he was so adorable.

And yes, my best memories are the oldest.

What about you? What are some of you favorite moments of the winter Olympics?


You Are a Romantic Valentine

You can't help it... Valentine's Day means a lot to you. You have a lot of expectations about this day.

And when it comes to Valentine's Day, money is cheap. A big, expensive gift isn't about to win over your love.

You prefer a gift that's straight from the heart. Nothing would make you swoon more than a handwritten love letter.

And if your sweetie doesn't happen to have a way with words, that's okay. You'd love a drawing, photograph, song, or even a special home cooked meal.



Friday, February 12, 2010

Reverse Evolution

“The reason why the universe is eternal is that it does not live for itself; it gives life to others as it transforms” - Lao Tzu

I've come to the recent conclusion that my arms are growing. Seriously... I'm pretty sure by the time I'm 50, my knuckles will be dragging on the ground like some Neanderthal. This winter, the sweaters and sweatshirts I've owned, worn and loved for the past few years no longer fit me. They fit MOST of me... but the sleeves are far too short. How did this happen? It has me scratching my head, and filling a bag for Goodwill -- leaving me nearly naked and hoping spring comes early.

Worse, I can't find any clothes to replace them. Are my arms really that much longer than most women's? Am I going to be relegated to wearing men's clothes during the winter?

I'm so far beyond frustrated. I suppose I could just say that everything I own comes with three-quarter length sleeves... except the length drives me crazy. **sigh**


DH's job called at 2:43 a.m. this morning, and again at 3:48 a.m. and again at 4:40 a.m.

I'm a little tired, and I really REALLY hope the job market picks up because if it does, he is SO out of there.


Last night I was feeling a bit discouraged about my writing. So, I shut down the computer early (around 8 p.m.) and went to my bookshelf full of "how to write" books. I pulled this one off:

I'd flipped through it a little before, and thought it showed promise, but like so many other "how to" books, it ended up gathering dust.

Until last night. Last night, I opened it at random and came across one of the "Tool" pages (there are tools, checklists and Q&A pages) called "Organizing Ten Easy Scenes".

He discourages overt outlining, but says if you can brainstorm the ten main scenes of your novel, and write with them in mind, you're good to go.

My sequel to "Kitchen Matches" has been giving me fits, so I opted to try his idea with that story. And, you know what? I think it worked. I have my ten main scenes (most of which are "complications") and I also got to know my heroine better ... she's been sort of ambiguous. But now I know she cries at weddings (but ONLY at weddings), has a list of questions she asks all her dates to see if they meet her criteria and so much more.

I'm re-energized.

Now, if only I hadn't been awake since 2:43 a.m.


You Are A Peanut

You are popular, even with people who tend to have picky taste.

Kids love you, as do dogs. From rednecks to snobs, most people have a place for you in their hearts.

As popular as you are, there are some people who can't be near you.

Don't take it too personally. There's just a few people you rub the wrong way.

ROFL... that's about right.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday This and That

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

Our "snowstorm" was a bust yesterday -- we had flurries most of the day, but it barely made the road wet. Very disappointing. Poor DH is dying to go snowmobiling, but hates to drive 3 hours north to do it. It's been a very odd winter, exceptionally cold but with very little snow (which is the opposite of what Farmer's Almanac predicted for us).

We had agility last night. Dakota had an absolute blast and was completely exhausted at the end. In the second class, we had a new participant -- a gorgeous Doberman with uncropped ears (how cute are floppy ears on a Dobie?). She was a sweetie, and played with Dakota as we broke down the equipment for the night. Finally my poor pooch was so tired, she just flopped down and wouldn't move. The Dobie would bark at her ("Hey, come on!! Play with me!!"), but I just don't think Dd had another ounce of energy. Wish I could tire her out more often.


I'm going to start hosting interviews on Wednesdays again -- starting next week. Actually, next week is a guest blog, but after that, it'll be interviews (slightly off the wall because, yanno, that's just how I am). If you or anyone you know would like to participate in them feel free to email me (authormariannearkins AT gmail DOT com) and put "AUTHOR INTERVIEW REQUEST" in the subject. But I warn you -- the questions are atypical and I have a short writing prompt included.


I posted a pile of new earrings on DistinctivelyDD on Tuesday night. DD is getting so good at what she does -- they're gorgeous. I do have to admit to being amazed at which ones sell and which don't (seeing as they're all priced about the same). I'm clearly in the minority when it comes to what I think is prettiest! We're working on learning how to create chain mail and lampwork beads next. Whee! She's WAY better than I am at this stuff, so I limit myself to making things for gifts for my friends and occasionally helping with design ideas.


You Are Sweet and Sensible

Your idea of romance is a weekend with no troubles or cares. You don't need much to be happy.

You feel like almost any situation can be romantic. It's all about having the right attitude.

Your ideal partner is down to earth, practical, and responsible. You want someone that you can rely on.

For you, love almost always makes sense. You don't believe that love is irrational.

I almost chose the tassels... just because *G*


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blessings Come In Different Packages

Stubbornly persist, and you will find that the limits of your stubbornness go well beyond the stubbornness of your limits. ~Robert Brault

Last night, DD asked me if I could find "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" on YouTube done by a baritone. She's mentioned the song the other day, and I asked if she'd ever heard it sung by a man with a low voice. So... I went on a hunt on YouTube and found it by a man I've never heard of: Thomas Quasthoff. What an incredible voice!

It was done with stills from album covers, so I had no idea about the man I'd stumbled over.

Next, I had to play "Ol' Man River", right? I mean... when you think 'baritone' isn't that the first song you think of? Maybe it's just me... *G*

And here, in this video, is when I realized that Thomas Quasthoff was no ordinary man.

And I realized that he'd been truly blessed in his life with a voice that can bring you to tears but that he had to get past those things he'd been born with that would have held back a person less determined.

You see, Thomas Quasthoff was born with serious birth defects caused by his mother's exposure during pregnancy to the drug thalidomide. I remember my mom telling me that her doctor had prescribed this to her and she didn't take it -- it was given for morning sickness, and it was only later they realized what it would do.

From Wikipedia: Thomas Quasthoff is unusually short (about four feet tall) due to shortening of the long bones in his legs, and he has phocomelia of the upper extremities with very short or absent long bones and flipper-like appearance of his hands.

He lived in a home for handicapped children, was teased and ridiculed and even denied admittance to the school for performing arts because he was unable to play the piano.

But, determined, he forged ahead -- and thankfully we are now blessed with his voice. He's amazing... here he is with Bobby McFerrin:

Doesn't it make you think?

Doesn't it make you realize that maybe you don't have it as hard as you might think you do?

It does me. Just saying.


People Think You're Sometimes Happy

At times, you seem like a very happy person. Other times you don't seem happy at all.

Happiness is a bit complicated for you right now, and you may not always feel like you can be happy.

Perhaps it's time for a big change in your life. You may need to work on finding relationships, hobbies, or a career that makes you happier.

Be thankful for what you have, but don't be afraid to strive for something more. You have it in you!

Ah... very true.


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Drama, Drama, Drama

Stress is the trash of modern life - we all generate it but if you don't dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life. ~Danzae Pace

Yesterday was all drama, all day long -- not going to get into details, but OY am I tired today, lol. With any luck, things will be much MUCH calmer today.

I have errands to run and they have to be done today, because we're expecting upwards of 6" of snow tomorrow. Oh. Whee. Not sure if this means my DH will be working from home Weds & Thurs or not, but could make life interesting, to say the least. He's still upset we didn't get whomped by the snowstorm that hit south of us last week. Me? Not so much.

So. yesterday in the comments I was amazed at how much everyone read the same stuff I did growing up. Was it that there just weren't as many juvenile books available then as there are now? I mean, Twilight series aside, if you polled fifteen 10 - 14 y.o. kids today, you'd probably get fifteen different sets of books. The selection for youth fiction today is amazing.


If you want to get a chuckle this week, you should go visit the LASR author spotlight -- I don't usually promo them here, but this is a man who writes romance, and a good many of his posts just made me laugh. Only Mon and Tues are up so far (of course), but you should go have a chuckle (hint: tomorrow's is good, too). Today's cracked me up -- the end of it was so funny! The link may be found on the home page of LASR here.


You Are Somewhat Competitive

Like most people, you feel like a little healthy competition is good for you sometimes. You like to be motivated.

And no matter whether you win or lose, you are a good sport. You take competition seriously, but not too seriously.

You know that you have to compete to win, but sometimes you don't feel like competing - and that's okay.

Just the fact that you are willing to compete puts you ahead of 99% of all people.

That's about right...


Monday, February 08, 2010

Old Favorites

I've traveled the world twice over,
Met the famous; saints and sinners,
Poets and artists, kings and queens,
Old stars and hopeful beginners,
I've been where no-one's been before,
Learned secrets from writers and cooks
All with one library ticket
To the wonderful world of books. ~ Anonymous

DD and I watched the movie "A Wrinkle In Time" this weekend. While I think they did a pretty decent job with it (I didn't like how they handled the stuff with Charles Wallace, Meg and It) it made me crave reading the book again.

So I did.

I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed it. I'm rereading the entire series now, just because I can. Back when DD was younger, I used to read to her every night -- mostly from books that I loved when I was a child. I don't do that anymore, and I think I'm missing out of some well-loved faves. "Black Beauty", the Black Stallion series (yes, I was a horse freak), The Prydain Chronicles, The Dark is Rising series (I LOVED this one) and so many more.

So, I'm visiting DD's bookshelf and snatching some of the books I loved then. Some don't resonate with me like they did way back when, but most do. How amazing that something can be eternal.

What were some of your favorite books when you were a kid?


You Are Cheese

You are rich, distinct, and completely addicting. You make everything a little bit better.

People love you - pretty much no matter what you do. No one can ever get enough of you.

You are indulgent and over the top. You don't hold back or do anything half way.

You are a comforting and soothing person. You are accepting and you don't judge. People turn to you in times of need.

Not even close, lol...


Sunday, February 07, 2010

Dancing in My Dreams

It takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer. ~Shanna LaFleur

I had very odd dreams last night, but the one I remember most was one where I was dancing with Gene Kelly to "I Can't Smile Without You" by Barry Manilow.

I idolize Gene Kelly. No offense to Mr. Astaire, I think Gene Kelly was the greatest dancer ever -- though this was probably in great part due to his animation when he danced.

For a little fun this fine Sunday, have a gander at this:


In other news... I've gotten half a dozen google alerts about my books and stories being uploaded to illegal piracy sites. It's demoralizing, to say the least. Since being published, I've become a bit of a maniac when it comes to copyright protection -- something I can't get through to certain people I know, who are otherwise law-abiding citizens.


The other day, I stumbled across a YouTube video from Kid Rock about this. It's an absolutely perfect illustration of why what people are doing is wrong, even when they don't think it is. I will warn you that, it IS Kid Rock, so there is a bit of profanity here, but it's well worth a watch if you have folks in your life (like I do) who think nothing of burning an entire 12 season set of DVDs for everyone in their family (having BOUGHT the set from someone who had done the same thing first) and who don't think they've done anything wrong. I liked having the ammo to fight back.


And, on that note I'm going to listen to my "Singing in the Rain" soundtrack and do some writing.

Have an awesome day.


You Think Objectively

Your brain works best when you are able to think in steps.

You like procedures and routines. You are good at staying focused and on task.

You are excel at developing workable solutions to difficult problems. You simply look at the facts.

You have an excellent memory, and you are a quick thinker. You can sort out what's important from what's not.

Absolutely correct.


Saturday, February 06, 2010

Saturday Sauntering

Edible, adj.: Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm. ~Ambrose Bierce

DH got up yesterday, looking through the pantry and fridge before settling on ice cream for breakfast.

I said, "Ice cream for breakfast?"

He replied, "Nothing else to eat."

I looked up from my yogurt and strawberries, DD glanced over from where she was cooking eggs and I thought about the three kinds of cold cereal, the oatmeal, yogurt, eggs, pancake mix and loaf of bread for toast or french toast. And then just said, "Huh."


DH's phone rang at 3:13 a.m. today. Problem at work (as always), and he's still up. So am I. There are days (so many days) I wish we could have him leave his position. I swear, it's slowly sucking away his sanity.


Did a little writing yesterday. Had fun. I think one of the reasons I typically write stuff that's humorous is because it gives me a chance to giggle. I love thinking, "What's the craziest thing that could happen here?" and then letting my brain run wild.

Hopefully, I'll get this done soon -- it's the new sequel to "Kitchen Matches" (the old one being changed to a completely different story with a new cast of characters), and involves Zach and a cherub... okay, Zack and a wedding planner, but you get the idea.

Am going to try to write more today.

As a side note, every time I write that I'm going to "try" to do anything, I hear Yoda in my brain: "Do. Or do not. There is no try."



You Are Conventional

You are a pretty average guy or girl next door, and you live a pretty blissful life because of it.

You fit in with almost any crowd, and you have a lot of people who you consider to be good friends.

You are happy with your life, and it's likely you feel quite blessed. You don't let yourself feel dissatisfied.

You have an optimistic attitude that has served you well. By staying positive, you are better off then most people.

Hmmm... 50/50


Friday, February 05, 2010

A Day Off and a Funny

In order to keep a true perspective of one's importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him. ~Dereke Bruce

Taking a break today, but I leave you with this (which you may have seen, but it makes me laugh every time I read it ... because it's SO TRUE):

Excerpts from a Dog's Diary

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk Bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Excerpts from a Cat's Diary

Day 983 of my captivity...

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets.

Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a 'good little hunter' I am. Bastards.

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of 'allergies.' I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs. I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.

The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now...


You Are a Thunderstorm

You are a bit temperamental and unpredictable. You have a lot of pent up energy.

You don't strike often, but when you do it can be deadly. You can be extremely destructive.

People find you to be amazing and awesome. You can be a bit scary at times, but that just adds to your appeal.

You tend to get other people excited whenever you're riled up. You aren't usually the only storm in town.

Um... okay. I actually DID have someone tell me I was scary yesterday, lol... hmmm...


Thursday, February 04, 2010

This and That

Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work. ~Robert Orben

Thanks to all for your encouragement yesterday -- I appreciate your thoughts. Some were pretty close to right, lol. Fact is: my DH works 12 hour days at a job he doesn't like, so spends the weekends destressing. He does that so I can stay home with our daughter. He's also quite a neat freak, so my way of helping him be less stressed when he is home is by keeping the house very clean. DD helps where she can, but her school takes up a LOT of time anymore, so it's really up to me.

Also, I'm a wife and mom before I'm anything else -- that's MY job -- so those things relating to being a wife and mother take priority over everything else. OTOH, it's true that I don't deal well with letting things just sit when they need doing, especially when someone is counting on me to get them done.

But, I did take time for a walk again yesterday and that was good. I'll work it out.


I posted on Healthful & Homemade today -- how I make my homemade pet food.


Speaking of people counting on me, I have a crit partner who asked me to take a quick look at a short story this a.m. -- so I'm off to do that.

Have a great day!


You Are a Lava Lamp

You are dreamy, relaxed, and contemplative. You like to get lost inside your own head.

You never know where your thoughts will take you, and you consider reflection to be a wild ride.

You're happy to sit and be alone for long periods of time. You only do well with others who are like minded.

You appreciate other peaceful, creative types. Great things can come when great minds get together.

Yeah... that's mostly right.


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Too Much

"Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever." — Isak Dinesen

So... Monday I had a little breakdown because I'm so overwhelmed with "stuff". By the end of the day, when I still had laundry to put away, dishes to do, things that needed doing in my business in box, a daughter who wanted some MOM time, tax stuff that needed organizing.... I could go on, but I won't -- I just sat down and wanted to cry.

Yesterday, I decided I had to take a break. I couldn't keep up the pace and survive... so I slowed down. I gave myself permission to NOT do things and not feel guilty about it. It mostly worked. Yes, I'm backed up worse than ever today, but it was nice to have at least a few minutes to do whatever I WANTED to do yesterday and not what I HAD to do.

And now, I need to figure out a way to do that more often. I have to decide what I can stop doing on a permanent basis, because when the weather is nicer, there will be hours each day that I'll be spending outside, hours I'll want to spend with my daughter, hours I'll want to spend walking, weeding, planting, enjoying.

How do I remove things from my list, though, when I know people count on me? That is the question of the day... But I'll figure it out.

What do you do when you're overwhelmed?


You Are Meatloaf

You are old fashioned and traditional. In fact, you'd go as far as to call yourself retro.

You have a strong appreciation for the classics, especially forgotten classics. Why try to invent the wheel?

You prefer well established restaurants with menus that don't change. An old diner is right up your alley.

You're also the type most likely to always order the same thing. Why mess with perfection?

Yep.. that's me!


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Warmer Weather

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see. ~John Burroughs

We took a walk yesterday -- the temps were in the 20s (a veritable heatwave!) but the wind was blowing pretty good, so it wasn't as long as walk as I would have liked. This a.m., though, there isn't a wind (so far) and it's already nearly 15 degrees (and the sun isn't up), so I'm thinking it's going to be a good day to get our, walk and then ... ah, the glamorous life, so a little pooper scooping where the snow has melted.

Yes, folks, I'm actually looking forward to doing that. It's another sign of spring!

Maria, re: what potatoes am I planting ... I tried blue potatoes one year just for fun, but I'll probably end up with whichever ones have the shortest growing season and are good for baking (I'll read the little cards on the barrel and decide). I don't know what I'll end up with until I go shopping -- I'll also take into account which ones have the best eyes on them. One year I went, and there was a whole barrel of seed potatoes with no eyes on them at all ... makes it tough to plant them and get a quick response.

Counting the days until I can start my seeds. First waxing moon in April... woot!


Your Inner Blood Type is Type A

You seem cool and collected, though a bit shy.

You are highly driven and a perfectionist, but that's a side you keep to yourself.

Creative and artistic, you are a very unique person who doesn't quite fit in.

People accept you more than you realize, seeing you as trustworthy and loyal.

You are most compatible with: A and AB

Famous Type A's: Britney Spears and Hitler

Okay...while not my actual blood type, I'll go with most of that. But -- Britney Spears and Hitler? My brain is struggling to wrap my brain around those two names in the same sentence...


Monday, February 01, 2010


Just woke up at 6:15 a.m. -- and I had a PILE of stuff that was supposed to have been done early. My alarm didn't go off, and for once the cat didn't pester me.

I woke up at 1:30 a.m. and went downstairs to put wood on the fire, like always, but apparently DH went to be earlier than usual because the fire was nearly out. So... I had to put paper and kindling and wait and wait for it to catch well enough for me to shut the stove all down and go back to bed. By the time I crashed, it was after 2 a.m. and I was too awake to go right back to sleep.

I swear, I should have just gotten up then.

Anyway... I got the most urgent stuff done this a.m. and now I need to take a deep breath and settle down. I hate getting up late, it starts the day off all wrong.

At least it's already 11 degrees outside -- that bodes well for a warmer day today! YAY!

Gotta fly -- still have things to do. My Google Reader is at nearly 200 blogs posts to read, but I'm trying to stop by everywhere when I can. Some day I should be caught up at least a little... right?

Happy Monday!


You Are a Snow Bear

Like a bear, you're not a big fan of snow. If it has to snow, then wake you when it's over!

You think everything about snow stinks - it's cold, it's wet, and it's a total pain.

You rather be swimming than skiing. And you even think warm drinks are totally overrated.

You're happiest when you don't even have to think of snow. You were meant to live in the tropics.

Except for the warm drink thing, this is right on.