Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Day of School

Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. - H. Jackson Brown Jr.

My DD is acting like a teenager ... and she's only eleven. Uh oh. Woke her this morning at 7:00 (which is later than MOST kids have to get up for school) and she fussed and grumbled and complained. Used to be she was a total morning person and popped out of bed like she slept in a toaster. When she was a baby, she woke up singing and I'd lay there and listen to her on the monitor for ten or fifteen minutes because it was such a happy sound.

I'm thinking, "Go away!" isn't such a happy sound.

We didn't start school yesterday as planned because the LASR anniversary party put me behind. So, yesterday I worked on her schooling and set up her schedule so (in theory) we'll finish the first week in June. If nothing happens. :::insert laughter here:::

My LASR biz partner, Judy, is committing to write on her lunch hour at her EDJ and I told her to ping me on IM when she's ready and we'd do it together. It'll help me realize where the day and time is going. Most days, I lose track, look up and it's dinnertime.

In any case, wish me luck with day one of school... we'll see how DD does (besides grumbling).


You Should Learn a Foreign Language

You would like to turn your world upside down a little, and there's no better way to do that than immersing yourself in a foreign culture.

Learning a new language would broaden your perspective and give you an inside look at another area of the world.

Getting to know a new language would challenge your brain as well as your expectations about another culture.

Your opportunities in life would also be expanded. Imagine where you could travel once you had another language under your belt!

Does three years of high school French count? *G*


Monday, August 30, 2010

The Day After...

All my life I've wanted, just once, to say something clever without losing my train of thought. ~Robert Brault

I noticed as I logged in to blogger this morning that I lost a follower... I always wonder why... did I offend them? Bore them? Wish they would tell me.

So, this weekend was absolutely crazy. I was chained to my computer during our 12-hour, two-day chats. We hosted more than fifty authors on the three sites, and all things considered, it went really well. Thousands of messages, tons of fun. Plus, I heard from several authors that their website visits jumped by a LOT (like a few hundred) during their hour.

We gave away the Nooks, we partied, and I am still in a state of exhaustion -- my hands ache, my head hurts. Wahoo! *G*

I did little else this weekend. Didn't check email, didn't read blogs, barely remembered to feed the dog. So this week I have to catch up. I'll try to get to y'all in the next few days but OY is my Google reader FULL.

In the meantime, my friend Ceri has a new release today. It's called "Best Man" and you should check it out.

And now... I'm off! Have an awesome day.


You Are Devoted

Whether your favorite object is a wedding ring, engagement ring, or other ring, you are serious about commitment.

Once you've bonded with someone, that bond can't be broken. You love unconditionally.

Of all the types, you are most likely to wear the exact same jewelry every day. You cherish your jewelry that much.

You are old fashioned and loyal. You carry yourself with class and grace.

Yep ... that's pretty much right.


Saturday, August 28, 2010


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Friday, August 27, 2010

Somnolent Musings

Sleep is perverse as human nature,
Sleep is perverse as legislature....
So people who go to bed to sleep
Must count French premiers or sheep,
And people who ought to arise from bed
Yawn and go back to sleep instead.
~Ogden Nash, Read This Vibrant Exposé

I got nothing today, my brain is too tired. My DH's job is going to kill us both, I swear.

Last night, I went to bed. Woke up around midnight -- no DH. He was working. Finally nodded off again, but at 1:30 DH came to bed and woke me. Nodded off, but woke again around 2:30 a.m. with achy hips (ah the joys of aging), so got up and curled up on the couch. FINALLY nodded off. 3:12 a.m. his pager goes off. I take it to him, wake HIM up, turn on the light -- it's nothing. Stumble back to bed, but my brain is awake and it takes until almost 5 a.m. to fall back asleep (I should have gotten up). Alarm goes off at 5:30 because DH has to go to work (on his day off) to help with something.

Then ... tonight? He has to work remotely from 11 p.m. - 2 a.m.

He says, "I'll sleep when I'm dead." but at this rate, that might be sooner than later.


Today is the last day to enter to win one of three Nook eReaders at the LASR/WC/Aurora anniversary bash. Have you entered?

THEN, this weekend, we're having a wild two day chat with dozens and dozens of authors on all three yahoo loops. I'm tired just thinking about it. I remember last year being ready for a week's sleep on Sunday night. Fun, but crazy!!

So, mostly I'll be hanging around my computer this weekend.

Who has more exciting plans?


Warmth Feels Like Home to You

You're more likely to think that home is more about who you're with than where you are.

Anyplace can fell like home to you, but you especially feel at home when things are cozy and warm.

All you need is a place to kick off your shoes and enjoy the sunlight coming in from the window.

It's easy for you to settle in and be a homebody. When someone says "make yourself at home," you really do!

Yep ... that's about right :-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rain Rain Has Gone Away

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. ~Rabindranath Tagore

We had rain for three days. I'm not complaining (REALLY not complaining -- it's going to take more than three days of rain to make up for our hot, dry weather), but it made it tough on the dog. She's been crazy with energy and no way to expend it. Yesterday afternoon, after she hadn't ... *ahem*... gone that solid potty all day long, I took her to the door, opened and watched as she looked at me and tried to slink away. I KNEW she had to go (my eyes were burning from her gassiness), but she did not want to get wet.

Thankfully, today is clear.

Last night on the way home from agility, though, I knew there would be toads and frogs on the road. There is always mass carnage the night after a rainstorm. So, when I pulled onto the fairly main road that leads to MY road, I slowed down and turned on the high beams and looked for bumps in the road. It didn't take long to find one. I pulled over, put on the hazards and grabbed him. BIG toad. DD wanted to take him home, of course, so we did. :-)

Silly hoppies don't realize the danger of the wet road at night.


That book I mentioned yesterday that I thought was so good? It's already going downhill. It's suddenly moved away from the warm, fuzzy, goofy cast of characters and unique plot to the "same old same old". We've zoomed in on the H/H and lost some of the charm of the secondary characters who are now FAR in the background. That and the hero is coming across as a big of a jerk who refused to marry the heroine the year before and then married another chick a month later. He's not married now, but so far really all he wants (despite the author telling me he's in love with the heroine and wanting to get married) is to get the heroine into bed.

I'm continuing on for a bit ... because I loved the first two chapters so well, I'm giving it a chance, but it had better shape up soon or it's outta here.


Sometimes I think authors focus so much on the first chapter (we're told to "hook" the reader, so we polish, polish, polish) they forget that there is a whole BOOK that needs that kind of focus.


You Are Chocolate Pudding

You are both mature and playful. You have two sides to your personality that are constantly dueling it out.

Part of you likes all of the finer things in life while part of you is just like a big kid.

No matter what side you choose, you are always adventurous and dramatic. You take life by the horns.

You are up for fun of all kinds, and it's hard for you to say no. You tend to go until you drop.

About 75/25 ...


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla or The Joy of Pronouns

You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives. ~Clay P. Bedford

I was editing something yesterday for another person, and she'd started three consecutive sentences with the H/H's names: John and Martha walked over to the store. John and Martha bought ice cream....

I laughingly told a friend I was online with at the time that this person needed to watch Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla (one of my absolute favorite Schoolhouse Rock vids). So without further ado, allow me to share.

Oh, Schoolhouse Rock how I love you...

Speaking of school, Brandy commented yesterday that she's required to teach 180 days after I mentioned that we have 170 days. Let me clarify: I have to TEACH 170 days of lessons, but I'm required to have 180 days of school. The other ten days are for things like field trips and activities (just like in public school).

I'm still in shock that DD is in junior high.


I was reading a book that I hope stays as good as it is right now throughout. It's fun and interesting and different (No, I'm not saying the title because it might end up sucking... if it stays consistent, I'll share when I finish). Anyway, it really inspired me to write again. I've had a rough week or two in writing where I'll open my file, put my hands on the keyboard and have nothing to say. A couple times I've tried to force words out, but it's been just awful.

But, after reading a bit on this book last night, I lay in bed and my mind came up with a TON of neat things to add, change and write about in one of my stories... nothing to do with the book I was reading, mind you, it just really put me in the mood to write again.

Authors -- does that happen to you?


Your Brain is Organized

You like a lot of structure in your life, and you're good at getting things in order.

You have a good eye for details, and you are excellent at following difficult directions.

You are a natural planner, and you always feel a bit lost if you don't have a plan drawn up.

You like to have a routine and stick to it. Chaos stresses you out.

Yes... yes, that's all true.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Junior Handler

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher

I'm so proud of my daughter. She's really found her niche working with dogs, especially in agility, but outside it, too. We have one member of our advanced class who is fostering a Jack Russel mix pound puppy who is sweet as can be but has few manners. She's been bringing the dog into class with her, but can't watch her and participate. It's the class in which I run Dakota, so DD takes the foster and has been working with her, teaching her basic obedience (sit, down, stay, leave it, off) and has been walking her to help her with manners on leash.

She also runs other dogs pretty regularly. We've had instances several times when owners have been out of town, but boarded their dogs where we run agility. And, they've asked if their dogs can be pulled and have DD run them on class night. She has been so lucky to work with different dogs of all sizes and temperaments and I think it will really serve her well. I suspect she's going to want to work with dogs as an ongoing thing... we'll see. Kids change.

Here's a video of her running a dog, Candy. She's one of the dogs of out-of-towners and DD ran her both classes. It's VERY poor quality (taken with my cell because MY CAMERA IS BROKEN).

DD really keeps her cool with dogs -- you'll see when Candy runs off course for a second, DD doesn't panic, just stops and calls her. She's calm and confident. I really think it's helped her self-esteem to see that she can do things this well.

This fall, we're going to attend some real agility competitions and see how they work, and then I might start competing for real, now that the AKC allows mutts to participate (I'd have to register Dakota with them, but that's no biggie).


In other news, we got the schoolroom organized yesterday, and I put together all my teacher materials. It's going to be a challenging year for both of us. I still need to divide our 170 days into weeks and set up a schedule allowing for the time off that DH takes in November and then time off around Christmas. We don't want to school until the end of June again. That was no fun.

School starts next week. Oh. Boy.


You Are a Cat

You are agile and mysterious. You have you own way of navigating the world.

You enjoy exploring new ideas and places, but you also like to be able to retreat quickly.

You are a bit standoffish and aloof, but you aren't shy. In fact, you are brave and courageous.

Always resourceful and fearless, you can handle any situation. You are a survivor.

That's remarkably close to all correct!


Monday, August 23, 2010

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Print only, until 1/15/2011.

People Watching

People are like holidays. Do others see you as Christmas, or more like Tax Day? ~Terri Guillemets

Yesterday, my DH decided to install the switch panel thingie for our generator (and now that we have one, I can guarantee no power outages in NH ever again! *G*) and in order to do so, he'd have to shut of all power to the house for a few hours.

When that happened, it was off to Barnes and Noble for DD and I. She sat and read for free on her Nook and I worked on the LASR/WC/Aurora website (I was behind since I'd had my friend up on Saturday). The store was PACKED with people, Starbucks was doing a booming business (to which I contributed by getting a venti mocha and a Godiva chocolate cheesecake slice which was un-freaking-believably good).

I had a hard time concentrating on what I was doing, though, because so much was happening around us.

Behind me, two twenty-something girls were passionately discussing Christianity while right next to me, a couple was meeting with what was either a wedding planner or a pastor-type person. They were planning a very pagan wedding ("The Goddess" was mentioned several times). One toddler had a complete meltdown, screaming at the top of his lungs and, as his dad carried him out, the kid's body was stiff as a board as he shrieked.

I went to the bathroom, and a mom stood there with a little boy (maybe 2 y.o.) who kept peeking around the corner and down the hall -- I suspect they were waiting for the lady and her daughter who were in the bathroom. The woman held the door to the stall. They had this conversation:

Mom: "Hurry up."

Daughter: "Moooommm.... I'm going POTTY."

Mom: "I know, but hurry up."

Daughter: "Moooommmmm..... (pause).... I'm going the BIG POOP."

I had to keep myself from cracking up. Kids are the best.

There were people reading on their Nooks (LOTS!), people on computers, people reading books and magazines, and a lot of people were buying things. It was great to see.

Barnes and Noble was always a place I went for time alone when I was younger. I'd peruse the stacks, sit on the floor and read a little, and always walk out with something. I haven't been there on a weekend in a long time, but I was amazed at how busy they were -- partly due, most likely, to the weather (it was raining!! YAY!), but also it's a great place for a family outing.

Recently, there have been discussions as to whether any brick and mortar bookstore will be able to survive online sales. It breaks my heart to think of it. I admit to buying a lot online, but I love my bookstores, too. I think the stores need to rethink their sales strategies (for BN, having options for the Nook instore -- like the free reading and coupons is a great start, IMHO) and make themselves more than just books. Getting people in the door is what's important. Once there, folks will be inclined to shop for something, even if it's just a magazine or a cup of coffee.

I made the decision some time ago to support online and brick and mortar retailers other than Amazon. I recognize that it's all about free enterprise, but I'm very uncomfortable with the corner Amazon has on the market. Yes, they're cheap NOW. But, what happens when no one is left to offer them competition? It worries me.

It's one of the reasons I bought a Nook instead of a Kindle. It's also why I buy my Harlequins FROM eHarlequin (and they are cheaper there than at Amazon!) and not at Amazon or even WalMart. And there are Nook applications for your iPhone, iPad and Android.

Maybe I'm being a little paranoid (but HEY... I remember Ma Bell -- "We don't care, we don't have to").

In any case, I sure hope the brick and mortar bookstores remain in business. I think it would be a great loss for the next generation to miss out on the experience.


You Live Out Loud

You are adventurous, outgoing, and totally fearless. You just go for it!

You tend to have all eyes on you, and you don't necessarily mind. You were born to be a star.

You would make an excellent rock star or actor - you have an undeniable charm. You are magnetic.

Even if you aren't ever famous, you're still pretty darn popular. People love to be around you.

Hmmm... not really .... though I do love to act!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fall's In The Air

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad. ~Edwin Way Teale

The past week or so, the nights have been downright chilly. That fall snap is starting to show up in the weather.

This time of year I feel a little lost ... the butterflies are done, the garden is nearly done (all that's left is to pick the last of everything, then pull up the plants and turn the garden). I didn't have enough "anything" that I grew myself to preserve (I had BIG plans for my green beans, but the year was just too hot and the plants struggled and produced very little). Preserving foodwise, all I have left are the butternut squash and apples.

Then it's fall and winter. No more outdoor time really. Walking the dog, sure, but ... nothing else. In one way it's a bit of a relief -- I don't have to feel guilty spending time inside on the computer. But it's also such a loss. There are days I just like to walk around my yard and smile at the flowers.

I know I'm borrowing trouble. It's only August. But, we'll most likely have our first hard freeze in less than a month. I miss long growing seasons.


I ran into our first dog trainer yesterday at PetsMart. It was great to see her and we gabbed for a while. She was so pleased with Dakota's behavior. Even though Dakota was SO excited to see her (it's been well over a year, but I swear Dakota remembered her), she DID sit for her greeting (whined the whole time, but kept her butt on the ground).

We talked about agility and about Dakota being a therapy dog. I asked her if she honestly thought Dakota had it in her to be one. I absolutely know Dakota has a sweet temperament -- she'd never nip or bite anyone under any circumstances. But she's also a scaredy-dog and I worry about new situations (and wheelchairs and walkers). She'll put up with any kind of human treatment. She's had kids slap her in the face (they mean to pet, but toddlers don't always control their movements well), poke her eyes, step on her paws, etc. And she doesn't even flinch. But new OBJECTS can freak her out.

Take yesterday.

After playing at the dog park and bathed her. And once all her fluffiness was wet, I noticed she'd torn out all the fur on her cheekbone and it was red and raw from all her scratching. Uh oh. Only one thing to do: the cone of shame.

When I held it, she was fine. When I put it (flat) under her face, she was fine. When I curled it around her head? She absolutely flipped out, terrified. Crying, jumping, shaking ... she ended up destroying the e-collar (apparently even fairly pliable plastic WILL shatter if you hit it against the wall, the table, the banister, etc. enough times) and then just lay there, wearing the remnants, shivering.

So... therapy dog? Or not?


You Are Sweet and Sensitive

You're the type of person who's always taking others into consideration. You are very empathetic.

You like to think everything through carefully. You tend to regret rash decisions.

You are tentatively playful. It takes you a while to open up to new friends.

You prefer calm waters where you can drift along peacefully. You don't like waves.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.... NO. Is there a stronger word for no? If so, insert here.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Play Dates!

Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends, never lose a chance to make them. ~Francesco Guicciardini

Gotta be quick -- DH and DD are going boating and I have to wake them up in only a few minutes. Dakota has her regular play date at the dog park this morning, too, after which I'm going to bathe her in some new all natural, fragrance-free oatmeal, flax oil and aloe shampoo and see if that helps her itchiness.

I also have a friend coming in from out of town unexpectedly. I'm excited to see her -- she's a person I met online when she started reviewing for me at LASR/WC and she only lives a couple hours away. We've been able to get together a few times and it's always a lot of fun. So, I have a play date today, too!! *G*


FYI, there's a new eBook store in town. DigiBooks! Right now, they're offering 20% off your entire eBook order (so if you haven't bought my books, nows a great time to do it!).

Here's a coupon for you:

They aren't just romance, either -- they offer several different genres (including some non-fiction) and are adding titles regularly. Have fun shopping!


I posted this on Facebook a day or so ago -- it's the newest "Simon's Cat" and it absolutely cracked me up because it's SO TRUE. For those of you not on Facebook (:::cough, Maria Zannini, cough:::) I thought I'd post so you could enjoy:


You Have a Goth Soul

You are complicated, and it would be oversimplifying to say you're obsessed with death.

You are attracted to the darker side of life, but you're also deeply spiritual.

You are curious with the world, and you're probably quite intellectual. You like to study obscure topics.

You are likely quite introverted and quiet. You prefer your own world to the world around you.

Hmmm.... maybe 60% right.


Friday, August 20, 2010

The End of Pillar Place 2010

And the case of butterflies so rich it looks
As if all summer settled there and died.
~Philip Larkin, "Autumn"

Yesterday marked the end of Pillar Place 2010. Both of our last monarch pupae hatched successfully. Here is our final butterbaby of the year, Xandy:

DD documented our year of monarchs on my white board:

She added tidbits, and made sure all the name tags were included:

I guess it rather ended up like a science project. :-)

We had a very successful year -- between Black Swallowtails and Monarchs, we released more than 60 butterflies, with only one loss -- a newly hatched monarch pillar. That is absolutely incredible. We've never had such a productive year with so few losses.

All the boxes are washed and stored for next year, except the cardboard "hatching" box which is in the garbage. It's seen us through many, many years, but was on its last legs. Next year we'll start fresh with a new box and hopefully as many or more pillars.

Good luck butterbabies!!


You Are Even

You are an easy going person who is both even-tempered and even-keeled.

You value stability above all else, and change can be a bit hard for you.

You are compassionate and understanding. You want everyone to feel included.

You tend to shy away from anything you don't understand and know. Embrace your odd side every once and a while!

About 75% right.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Stuff and More Stuff

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive. ~Gilda Radner

I went to agility last night and gabbed with the instructor about Dakota's itchies ... she suggested two things: a moisturizing spray (in case it's just dry skin) and benadryl (in case it's an allergic reaction). Since I had Benadryl at home (but not the spray) I started her on that last night. So far, she seems better though she was tired last night and was only up long enough this morning to potty and eat. We'll see how she does during the day.

I still think it's that new shampoo :-(

We bought new treats for agility yesterday: Eagle Pack Holistic Salmon dog treats. Oh my word... if you're looking for something to REALLY get your dogs attention, these will do it. They smell VERY strongly of fish and the dogs last night went crazy for them.

Here is DD with Dakota and good friend Maxie:

Think they wanted treats?

DD found another friend yesterday, too. He had a leg stuck in our electrical/cable box thing where we know there is a wasps' nest inside, so my bee-phobic DD was very brave.

I know I've said it before, but I love stick bugs.

In Pillar Place: Monarch, our last two pupae are dark -- one will hatch today for certain, and one will probably wait until tomorrow. Then .... that's it for the year. Another signal that summer's over... *sigh*

Hope you all had an awesome day!


You Are Almond Bubble Tea

You are an ideas person, and you are always thinking of new ways to change the world.

Your taste is somewhat unconventional, although you don't like anything too far out.

You have a reputation for being quirky, and at times, you make sure to fuel it.

You're definitely adverse to following the crowd. You want to do things your way!

Hmmm... fairly close to right!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Heritage Veggies

High-tech tomatoes. Mysterious milk. Supersquash. Are we supposed to eat this stuff? Or is it going to eat us? ~Annita Manning

Thanks for all the well wishes yesterday -- DH and I actually spent almost no time together (thanks to his EDJ), but even so it was a good day. Maybe we'll do something this weekend.

I ate an orange tomato yesterday. Yes, it was supposed to be orange -- it was from one of my heritage tomato vines I planted, and let me tell you, it was one of the BEST tomatoes I've ever eaten. Last year I got yellow tomatoes, and those were incredible, too... heritage plants don't produce as much as the hybrid, boring red tomatoes most folks grow, but the payoff is so worth it. I always plant a least a few of them in my garden.

Dakota has been scratching and chewing herself like crazy the past couple of days, to the point where hair is coming off in clumps (this dog doesn't have an undercoat and rarely sheds much). On Saturday, I gave her a bath after playing at the dog park and used new shampoo, so I thought maybe that was the problem (though the scratching didn't start until Monday). Yesterday we bathed her again, in the medicated shampoo we've used before, but she's still itchy. And, no, it's not fleas.

I hate trying to figure out what's wrong with her. We'd also gotten new treats on Monday, but I read the ingredients, and there didn't seem to be anything unusual. Still, we're not feeding them to her for a few days to see if that makes her stop.

Otherwise, it's pretty much same old, same old here.

Anything new with you?


Your Thoughts Are Constructive

You are a highly analytical person, and you tend to sit back and cooly assess a situation.

With you, logic and facts rule. And you never jump to conclusions.

You are always looking to think in new ways. You believe that reflecting is a good way to better yourself.

You tend to think before you talk or act. You are calmer than most people around you.

Mostly right, though I've often said to my friends that it's a GOOD thing I don't have thought bubbles over my head, because I do think before I speak and frequently don't say the first thing that pops into my mind...


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Happy FOURTEENTH Anniversary

In every marriage more than a week old, there are grounds for divorce. The trick is to find, and continue to find, grounds for marriage. ~Robert Anderson, Solitaire & Double Solitaire

In my last post, I said it was my thirteenth anniversary. DH disabused me of this fact -- it is our FOURTEENTH. Guess they're already starting to blend together? Time flies? I am mathematically challenged? Whatever the case, he is right and it's fourteen years of marriage we've enjoyed.

I was nearly thirty when we were married (he was twenty-five ... yes, I robbed the cradle ::rawr::), my dad had passed away years before and we were financing our own wedding. I was already working full time, but took a second job waiting tables nights and weekends to pay for everything. Still, it was a modest wedding. DH stayed out of the planning, but did say he wanted to be able to wear Wranglers during the ceremony.

Okay ... I could work with that.

I bought a tea-length, western wedding dress. My mom added the bustle/train to it. The most expensive part of my wedding outfit was the boots -- and I only wore them once! I tried to wear them again after I'd had my DD, but my feet had gotten larger and they didn't fit.

I remember the morning of my wedding, I (and my attendants) stopped by a local convenience store to pick up ice. I had a caterer, but had to provide the drinks, so needed bags of ice. While we were paying, the cashier said, "Summer picnic?" I said, "Nope, wedding. Mine. I'm getting married in less than an hour." The jaw-dropping surprise made me wish for a camera.

I did my own hair. No limo was involved. The reception was in the church hall. But, hey, it worked. And sometimes I think folks put more effort into their wedding than they do their marriage.

So ... pictures. Please remember that not only do I not have a scanner, but my real camera is broken, so these are pictures of pictures I too using my cell phone.

Me, getting ready. I'm holding my teal garter and, no that isn't a real smile, lol.

Putting on my boots:

My mom walked me down the aisle and gave me away:

Here's our cake:

It had the cutest topper:

And our wedding party (and quite possibly the only photo that will be posted of my DH online ever):

If you want to read a fictional account of our meeting, I wrote up a story that loosely follows it here (click the cover):


Now ... on to the drama about DD's sinking swim fin.

We went to The Sports Authority and told them the story. The girl helping us disappeared for a bit, then returned and indicated that they would be unable to issue a return, a store credit or anything else. That items needed to be returned in the condition they were purchased. I told her that if I was able to return them in the condition purchased, I wouldn't BE returning them.

I asked for the number of her district manager. She advised me that she'd already called him and he backed the decision. She wouldn't give me his number, but would give him ours. I gave my DH's number. She also said they recommended I contact the manufacturer.

I didn't even get a "We're sorry this happened."

When the district manager called, he basically said that because so many people lie and defraud the company about returns, they have a strict policy. Period. No exceptions. He also suggested we contact the manufacturer. The fact is, though, they could have refunded us the money (or given us a store credit) and then contacted the manufacturer themselves. These were $25 fins ... it wasn't as though I was asking for hundreds of dollars in a refund.

The Sports Authority gets a BIG "FAIL" in my book. And in Manchester where I shop, there is a Modell's Sports right next door to TSA. Guess who will get my business from now on?

We emailed the manufacturer. The fins we bought were Gnarly Swin Fins from Fluid Water Sports (part of C Walters Intercoastal Corporation ).

In a matter of a couple of hours we had a response. Not only would they refund our money (I simply have to fax a copy of the receipt), but they apologized for what happened, indicated that those fins ARE supposed to float. She said they would test a pair to make certain they floated and would send a pair to DD in her size. This ON TOP of refunding the money. This was so far above and beyond what we expected, I was floored. After the incredibly poor service we received from The Sports Authority, I wasn't certain we'd receive any better from the manufacturer.

Here's the thing: Fluid Water Sports has built SUCH good will with us at this point that, when DD buys her mask and snorkel that she's saving for ... guess who we'll use? Their gear is nice, their prices very reasonable and their service is absolutely amazing.

So, although I'm disgusted at TSA, my confidence and faith was restored by the outstanding care we received from Fluid Water Sports. Kudos to them.


You Are a Snake

You have extraordinarily sharp senses.

You sense what's going on almost before it happens.

You connect with the world. People instantly feel close to you.

You are a natural protector. You take good care of your friends.

You are an ambitious person. Your ambitious drives you.

But while you are ambitious, you are also humble. You are thankful for everything you have.

Mostly right...


Happy Anniversary to Me

Hey all.. today is my thirteenth anniversary, and my DH is up early to spend some time before he has to go to work. Will bbl to talk about my trials, tribulations and triumphs regarding DD's swim fin. And I might post a wedding picture.


Come on back, now. Y'hear?


Monday, August 16, 2010

A Cool Tool for Writers

The only reason why we ask other people how their weekend was is so we can tell them about our own weekend. ~Chuck Palahniuk

Hey all ... the other day I got a Google alert on my print book, "One Love For Liv". It was from a site called NovelRank, and they provide free tracking of your Amazon sales and sales rank.

I added all my books and eBooks that are available via Amazon (not many, actually -- The Wild Rose Press doesn't have them up, so it's only my Samhain releases) and have been watching them. It's interesting, and the books don't have to be yours for you to add. I added a couple from some NYT authors, just to see their sales (yes, I'm snoopy).

You can also follow the RSS feed for a particular book to receive updates on sales. It's very cool. And a little addicting.

If you're an author, you should give it a try. And, heck, if you're just a snoopy reader (like me!) you should check out some of your favorite author's sales, just because you can. *G*


Had a very, very busy weekend. Did lots of gardening -- I moved three fairly large Rose of Sharon bushes to a new garden DH wanted me to make around our chimney. It's fairly dry there, the sprinklers don't hit it, and the grass doesn't grow. Rose of Sharon don't mind sun or drought for the most part, so once their roots are settled, they should do fine. I did use Soil Moist to get them started though and will be going to the store today for a few bags of mulch. I moved several other shorter plants there as well to fill in the spots: seedum, phlox, gallardia, portulaca. And I'm going to pick up some more stuff on sale at the store today. Technically, our gardening season is over, and all the nurseries have their stock marked down 50% or more, so I should be able to get stuff at a steal.


DD bought swim fins last week to use while swimming in the lake. She very carefully looked to make sure the package said that they floated before she bought them (with her own money that she's been earning taking care of other people's dogs at agility).

Saturday, she jumped into the lake, grabbed a fin to put it on and lost hold of it ... and it sunk like a rock in what my DH's fish finder said was about sixty feet of water.

Today, I get to take the remaining fin back to The Sports Authority where she bought them and get a refund. We'll see how customer service oriented they are ... IMHO, since the package says they float, and they clearly don't, they should give us a refund, or at the very least a store credit.

Poor DD was devastated. She doesn't really get an allowance from us, and she doesn't have rich grandparents throwing money at her for every occasion (like one of her friends -- "It's Flag Day? Have $20!"). She works hard for every dollar. So the thought of losing so much money crushed her. TSA better step up.


You Are a Black Pen

You are personally conservative and adverse to taking risks. You prefer to do things the conventional way.

Of course you have your own personal flair, but you tend to keep it under wraps. You're very professional.

You are very concerned about your own image, and you like to be as polished as possible.

You have always been quite mature for your age. You grew up quickly and embraced adulthood early.

Pretty close, except this part: You are very concerned about your own image, and you like to be as polished as possible ... HAHAHAHAHA... no.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hic.... Hic....

It is utterly forbidden to be half-hearted about gardening. You have got to love your garden whether you like it or not. ~W.C. Sellar & R.J. Yeatman, Garden Rubbish, 1936

I woke up with the hiccups. I hate hiccups. I get hiccups when I eat if I don't have something to drink. And once I have hiccups once in a day, I'll get them over and over and over during the day, for no apparent reason.

Today I'm going to do some gardening. I'm moving a few things around, doing some pruning, etc. It's a good day to move things because next week we're expecting several days of overcast with some rain -- so not as warm and dry and the plants will have time to establish roots without having to struggle in the heat.

I was going to dead head my echinacea, but yesterday I saw little goldfinches all over them, eating. So ... I'll leave them for now, even though they're a little on the ugly side. Next year, since I can't have birdfeeders out in the summer (bad, BAD bear) I'm going to plant a bunch of sunflowers as well.

I may not plant tomatoes, however. This is the second year in a row where I've had virtually no tomato crop for one reason or another. I went out yesterday, and discovered that we clearly have MANY tomato worms because I have piles and piles of stripped branches. I looked for them but couldn't find them (darn their camouflage) and am disgusted. I also found three more half eaten tomatoes still on the vine, and a few more on the ground -- thank you chipmunks.

The tomatoes take up a LOT of room in my garden. Room I could be using for stuff that actually produces food I can eat. I'm giving a lot of thought to planting more beans next year as well as more eggplant and possibly potatoes instead. We'll see how I feel next year, but this has been ridiculous.

What are your plans for the day?


You Are Pie

You are sweet, but there's more to the story than that. You're quite complicated.

Sometimes people don't appreciate you as much as they should. You are really quite special.

You are deep, thoughtful, and get better with time. You are subtle but powerful.

You are very traditional, and that's a good thing. You remind people of simpler and happier times.

About 50/50


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Good News and Validation

Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day. ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

In Pillar Place: Monarch we had good news! Thomas hatched successfully :-)

He was a little ... um... challenged, but seemed to function successfully. His little behind was shaped differently than the other butterflies, and his ability to "cling" wasn't working as well as it should (most butterflies have a pile of little prickles on their feet that actually stab in and hold -- they're probably hairs but they're sharp enough to hurt when they climb on more tender areas like your face). It seemed as though it took him longer to be able to fly as well, BUT in the end he did his thing.


Only three more pupae left and then Pillar Place is over for another year. We've been incredibly successful though, with numbers nearing 40 - 50 released butterflies, so I'm thrilled.


Need a smile? You HAVE to watch this. I admit I watched it at first because it's Hodgins from "Bones", but what a fabulous FABULOUS video. It's a little long, but worth every minute.


You Are Powerful

You have the determination and drive to get anything done. You won't be stopped.

You know your strengths, and you play know how them up. You compensate nicely for your weaknesses.

You are hardcore and tough. You don't give in to your weaknesses.

People don't know at first glance how strong you are. You are always defying expectations.

Hmmm.... mostly, yep.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Expecting a Hatching

If you were to open up a baby's head - and I am not for a moment suggesting that you should - you would find nothing but an enormous drool gland. ~Dave Barry

In Pillar Place: Monarch, Thomas -- the pupa I had to glue back into place a little over a week ago -- is showing black, so he's ready to hatch and I'm a nervous wreck. I swear, it's almost as bad as having one of my own!

In any case, I'm afraid he's not glued solidly enough to stay in place as he pulls out of the exterior case of the chrysalis, so I keep glancing over every few seconds. I hope he hatches soon, or I'm going to be a prisoner inside all day. Watching. Watching. Watching.

In gardening news, I finally had a large tomato ripening ... I've been watching it closely because YUM! Nothing tastes quite as good as a homegrown, vine-ripened tomato warm from the garden.

Yesterday? I went out to look and it was half eaten. Since there were tomato skin remnants encircling the nearby chipmunk hole, I'm pretty sure who the culprit was. Where's the feral cat when I need it?

Speaking of the cat, he must have heard rumors that I was planning to trap him and take him to the vet, because he hasn't been hanging out in my yard. He HAS been in my across the street neighbor's yard, driving her dog crazy, but not here. Darn it. I had PLANS.

Speaking of plans, we're finally going to make the rest of our homemade agility equipment this weekend. It's just been TOO hot to do anything much outside, but since it's cooled down we can. DD is thrilled. I'm sure Dakota will be, too.

DD is NOT so thrilled about the fact that I have everything for her to start school, however. This weekend, I'll be sitting down and going through things to set up her schedule. This year is seventh grade, so things are a bit different for both of us. The school classes are set up differently, and I have more work to do. So does she. I suspect we're both dreading it a little.

But, for now we still have a little time before we have to hunker down and get back to school, so we'll enjoy it while we can.

Have a great weekend!!


You Are an Artist

Whether your creations are in your mind or on paper, you are definitely an arty person.

You see the beauty in the world, and somehow the ugly parts are beautiful to you too.

You have an intensity that's unmatched and unstoppable. You feel strongly about everything.

You are driven to create. You are never content to just sit still.

That's true. It's also true that I like chocolate. Just saying.

Speaking of chocolate, apparently this week's NOOK In Store coupon is for a small box of Godiva chocolates. So, go into your local Barnes & Noble, show your Nook at the cafe (or the checkout if yours doesn't have a cafe) and get a box of chocolates 9while supplies last). It was on the Nook Facebook page. I'm going today. *G*


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Things That Make Me Go ... HUH?

It is only the constant exertion and working of our sensitive, intellectual, moral, and physical machinery that keep us from rusting, and so becoming useless. ~Charles Simmons

Some things puzzle me. Okay, a lot of things actually...

Like, why do people use herbicide instead of pulling weeds? I mean, I watch these people hauling their jug-o-poison around in one hand, the squirter in the the other, painstakingly looking for a weed. Then they bend and spray. Repeat.

My confusion is two-fold.

1. Why does your rock garden or lawn look better with DEAD weeds in it than live ones? Really. Or are you planning on pulling the weeds after you kill them?

2. It would take an equal amount of labor to bend and PULL the weed as it would to bend and spray it. It's cheaper, too. Have you SEEN how much a jug of Round-Up costs? And it often takes more than one.

Also, when I read articles like "Weed killer kills human cells" I can't help but think, at what cost using anything with -cide at the end. Worse, these are all places I walk. DD walks. Dakota walks. It gets into the water system. Into the dirt. The air.

But really what boggles my mind is simply this: it's just as easy to weed. I really don't get it.

What things do you observe that make YOU go ... huh??


You Are a Kitten

You are playful and sweet, but you also treasure your alone time.

You're pretty independent, and you resent anyone trying to tell you what to do.

You don't get bored easily. You are quite good at entertaining yourself.

Deep down, you are quite sensitive and intuitive. You are less standoffish than you seem.



Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dakota Does Good

There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound. ~Diana Cortes

We had a busy, fun day yesterday. An old neighbor was in town and stopped by with her two boys. They are so funny, and so completely different in demeanor. The oldest (who is just over a year younger than DD) is loud, extroverted, not shy in the least, confident and funny. We'll call him Boy1. The younger of the two (who is two years younger than his brother) is quiet (he actually has some speech problems, and had to go through therapy), introverted, and far less confident. He's also mildly afraid of dogs. He is, of course, Boy2.

When they showed up, I let Dakota out. When she lived here, I had my other (much larger) dog and they never had problems -- but Boy2 was only a toddler when they left, and has apparently had some bad episodes with dogs jumping and knocking him over, so he refused to get down. His mom carried him inside, where he sat on my breakfast bar.

But, Dakota showed just what a fabulous dog she is -- and proved to me again that she'd make a good therapy dog. She settled right down when I asked, just laid quietly on the floor and didn't move. Finally, after much thought and evaluation, Boy2 got down and joined in with DD and Boy1 playing. When Dakota STILL didn't get up, he got brave and petted her. At this point, I grabbed some treats and put her through her dog and pony show (sit, shake, high five, bow, down, roll over, etc). When I gave him treats to do the same, he fell in love.

From that point on, they were inseparable. He wanted Dakota with him everywhere. His mom almost cried and when Dakota finally had a break, so got down on the floor and hugged her.

It was great to see my friend again. I sure miss her and her kids...


You Should Be Elected US Senator

You have a strong interest in political issues - both on a state and local level.

You love to debate for debating's sake. You could argue for hours.

You are dignified and well spoken. People naturally want to give you authority.

You are a wheeler and dealer. You are willing to compromise a little to get what you want.

Ha... Look out world!! LOL.... and the explanation is about 75% right.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

TV Commentary

Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn't have in your home. ~David Frost

A few folks asked me what I thought of Warehouse 13 / Eureka from the other nights (they had crossover shows, for those of you who don't watch). It made me think of what I DO watch on TV and I thought I'd share my opinion. I don't have a lot of time to watch TV, so am fairly picky about what I do spend my time on.

LEVERAGE - Sunday on TNT

I'm a late comer to this show -- started watching it last season. Melissa and Tori had talked and talked and talked about it (and my best friend's sister actually worked for Timothy Hutton many years ago), so I was finally intrigued enough to watch.

This has to be one of the cleverest shows around. I'm sure there are some things they do that are technically impossible (ala McGuyver) but every week I laugh my way through this show. The characters are all unique and believable and the interaction between them is what really makes the show.

From Wikipedia: Leverage follows a five-person team of professional thieves, computer experts and con artists, headed up by former insurance investigator, Nathan Ford, who use their skills to right corporate and governmental injustices inflicted on common citizens.

I can't recommend this show enough and it's the one I look forward to most every week.

EUREKA - Friday on SyFy

Until "Leverage" came along, this was by far my favorite show on TV. Another fun, clever show with a great, unique cast of characters and more stuff that's most likely impossible, but this show makes it believable. Carter is the everyman (like us) who finds himself a fish out of water surrounded by a bunch of geniuses.

I'm not entirely sold on this season's twist, though, but I suppose there wasn't a whole lot more they could do to make things interesting. Clearly, Allison needed a new love interest, and things were going too smoothly for Jo and Zane. Fargo has always wanted to run GD, so this is his chance, lol. Henry was stuck in the past as far as personal relationships go, so what they did in this new time period was a great way to kick him in the butt. Still, I miss the old Eureka. I'm sure I'll get over it eventually.

From Wikipedia: The show is set in a fictional town called Eureka, Oregon in the Pacific Northwest inhabited almost entirely by geniuses and scientists. Nearly everyone in Eureka works for Global Dynamics, a huge advanced research facility responsible for the development of all major technological breakthroughs in the last 50 years. Each episode features a mysterious accidental or intentional misuse of technology which is then solved by the town Sheriff, Jack Carter with the help of town scientists.

Thoroughly enjoyable, smart and fun, "Eureka" is another show I very much recommend.

WAREHOUSE 13 - Tuesday on SyFy

I feel like I'm repeating myself when I say "a fun, clever show" -- but apparently that's what I gravitate to. I'm also a big fan of unique composite casts, which this show has as well.

From Wikipedia: The series follows United States Secret Service agents Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) and Peter Lattimer (Eddie McClintock) as they are reassigned to the government's secret Warehouse 13, which houses supernatural objects. They are tasked to retrieve missing objects and investigate reports of new ones. ... the dramatic comedy ... has also been described as "part The X-Files, part Raiders of the Lost Ark and part Moonlighting."

That last description is quite apt. I love watching Pete and Myka fumble their way through each show and seldom finish without a smile on my face.

NCIS - Tuesday on CBS

The only show both my DH and I watch, this is an intense crime drama made a little lighter by Tony (esp. his McGeek names for McGee every week). I watch this less for the crime solving and more for the enjoyment of seeing the characters interact with one another. It's the only "CSI"-ish show I watch, and probably wouldn't have started if it hadn't been introduced on "JAG" (which I watched until it went off the air).

From Wikipedia: NCIS, also known as NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service, is an American police procedural drama television series revolving around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which conducts criminal investigations involving the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps

If you like a show that can be fun and intense at the same time, this one hits the nail on the head. Plus, the characters that people it are just fantastic.

I also watch NCIS: Los Angeles and Rizzoli & Isles, but am not as passionate about them, so won't extol their virtues.

Animal show are another thing that suck me in. Most recently, I've become a fan of "LAST CHANCE HIGHWAY". Interestingly, one of the ladies who adopted a dog from there brings it to the place I do agility for obedience training. I see her every Thursday after helping at beginning agility.

But aside from all the various Animal Cops, that's pretty much all I watch!

What about you? Any shows you could recommend to me? I'd say they'd need to be fun, clever and have a unique cast. :-)


You Are Assertive

You can't help it... you have a competitive streak. You like to be at the front of the pack.

Your gut reactions are neither negative nor positive. You tend to see both sides of issues.

You are thoughtful and a natural researcher. You always are investigating a new idea or plan.

You are very self sufficient and independent. You prefer to rely on yourself.

Yep.. that's right on.


Monday, August 09, 2010

Summer, She is Coming to an End

Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~Henry James

Signs that summer is nearly over:

It was DARK when I got up this morning...

Yesterday I peeled, chopped, steamed, smashed and froze five butternut squash. My SIL said I should just store them like the pioneers did, whole and down in my basement, but I HATE processing them so just want to get it over with.

I cut back most of my perennials because they're done blooming and look ugly now. Plus, some of them have a tendency to reproduce like CRAZY if I don't dead head them immediately (the coneflower, black-eyed susans, columbine and bachelor buttons are the worst, but they're all pretty bad).

My tomatoes are beginning to ripen. It's mostly the cherry tomatoes right now, but a few of my larger ones are beginning to blush (either that or they're embarrassed).

Back to school sales (office supplies, how I love you).

The nights are getting cool and crisp (except for last night, which stayed quite warm).

We only have four more monarch pillars, and they are all pupae (so far, the one I glued to the roof is still green, leading me to believe he's still alive -- but only when he hatches and is NOT deformed will I truly breath a sigh of relief).


The summer flew by. It's just not right considering how slowly the winter drags.


You Have a Melancholic Temperament

Introspective and reflective, you think about everything and anything.

You are a soft-hearted daydreamer. You long for your ideal life.

You love silence and solitude. Everyday life is usually too chaotic for you.

Given enough time alone, it's easy for you to find inner peace.

You tend to be spiritual, having found your own meaning of life.

Wise and patient, you can help people through difficult times.

At your worst, you brood and sulk. Your negative thoughts can trap you.

You are reserved and withdrawn. This makes it hard to connect to others.

You tend to over think small things, making decisions difficult.

This is only about 25% correct.



Sunday, August 08, 2010


Remedy it, or welcome it: a wise man's only two choices. ~Terri Guillemets

Had a really nice day yesterday. Took Dakota to the dog park to play with her friend, did some weeding, watched "Eureka" and "Warehouse 13" (was terrifically behind on those), and worked on the website. It was really relaxing...

...right up until I got a call from my DH that the boat trailer had a flat and he was stuck on the side of the road.


He had help coming for the trailer, but didn't know how long it would take so asked me to drive up and get all his passengers and bring them back. It was late, it was dark and off I went on my almost hour-long drive there and another hour back.

We got home quite late. He wasn't too far behind me. But, wow, did it end the lovely day (for them, too) on a downer.

Oh well. At least we're expecting nice weather again today. I plan on doing some garden clean up. Most of my perennials are past, so I need to cut them back before they reseed. I really, REALLY don't need any more coneflower or black-eyed susans.


You Are Cranberry Lemonade

You are sassy and snarky. You are full of attitude.

You may be a bit sharp and sour at times, but you're always lively.

You bring a bit of zing to every occasion. You are loud, honest, and spirited.

You love to tell it like it is. You're one of a kind, and people love that about you.

LOL... that's pretty much right.


Saturday, August 07, 2010

Snake and Toad

Life's not always fair. Sometimes you can get a splinter even sliding down a rainbow. ~Terri Guillemets

Can you believe it got down into the 40s last night? It's FREEZING this morning. ::::shivers:::

I swear, the weather this year is totally nuts.

My DH did a good deed yesterday (well, good for the toad, anyway ... I'm pretty sure the snake isn't happy). I was inside when he came in, got these huge BBQ-ing tongs and started out. I knew he wasn't cooking, so asked if he was using them to pick up something dead (eww). He told me to go look outside at the walkway.

I did.

There was a garter snake (not really that big ... maybe a foot long and as big around as my index finger) with a toad in its mouth (the toad was about the size of my palm). DH (who is quite snake phobic, so I give him credit) picked up the snake with the tongs (as an aside, when snakes are threatened they will regurgitate a recent meal to make for a fast getaway, so the moment the snake was touched, he let go of the toad). While DH and the snake headed for the woods, I checked out the toad.

The top of his head was covered in snake spit and he just sat there, crying. Really. He kept making this little high-pitched mewl over and over. Saddest thing I've ever heard (who knew toads could sound like that?). We washed him off and then DD kept watch to make sure he started behaving like a toad again. Once he started acting a little more lively, we put him in our veggie garden.

I wish the snakes would just eat the grasshoppers. We have millions of those.


You Are a Green Light

You take life at a fast pace. You act quickly and decisively.

You have good instincts and trust your gut. You're confident and brave.

You are determined and ambitious. You don't allow yourself to waste time.

It's no surprise that you get a lot done. You are efficient and productive.

Hmmm... yep.


Friday, August 06, 2010

Something Cool

Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book. ~Author Unknown

Nothing new in my life, lol, so I thought I'd share something cool I just read off the Wild Rose Press author loop.

Apparently, The Wild Rose Press was asked to provide hundreds of romance novels as props for a movie. One of the characters is a romantic suspense fan, and reads them. How cool is that? It's not like any of my books are there, but still ... I think it's incredibly neat. AND, the movie looks like it's going to be a hoot.

The movie company provided the trailer for The Wild Rose Press website and I gave it a look. It's called "Red" and stars some big named actors like Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren. It also stars Mary Louise Parker as the romance novel addict.

So, if you go see it, watch for romance novels in Mary Louise Parker's place, and apparently also in Bruce Willis' place (he reads them to get to know her better).

I love the that studio is using a smaller press for this. How cool is that?


You Have a Wild Imagination

You can think or dream anything. You have very vivid and colorful thoughts.

You have a refreshing and bold attitude. People can count on you to be honest.

You are chill to the point of being a little lazy. It's hard for you to get motivated at times.

You are a very thoughtful person. Even when you're resting, your mind is churning a bit.

Except for the "you are chill to the point of being lazy" part (because I DO not know how to just slow down and relax ... something that makes my DH crazy), the rest is pretty right on.


Thursday, August 05, 2010

Drama in Pillar Place

Never say, "oops." Always say, "Ah, interesting." ~Author Unknown

Thanks for your input yesterday -- I'm going to write to Cigna and see what happens. I'm going to suggest that they toss in some flower seeds (I'll even provide them -- I have PILES of dead head/seeds from several butterfly friendly flowers) and become a certified Monarch Waystation. They'll have a cool sign they can post and be listed on the Monarch Watch website.

We had two more successful releases in Pillar Place: Monarch yesterday: 2 more boys. They were lovely. We've seen a few monarchs fluttering around the past few days. We wave. *G*

Also in Pillar Place, we had one small problem that will hopefully end up being no problem at all. One of our "J" pillars from yesterday, Thomas, had some issues shedding his skin and ended up falling off the roof of his box. I remember a couple years ago this happened, and I tried to glue the chrysalis to the roof, but the pupa died almost immediately -- probably from my handling.

This time, I've let the pupa lay on the floor of his box overnight. It hasn't turned black, so it's not dead, and the shell around him has hardened. I've read that they can be handled successfully (if you're careful) once the exterior is hard. So, today I'm going try to reattach him to the roof. I'm not sure how yet -- he doesn't have much of a "stem" so I don't know if I want to glue him because the glue will get onto the chrysalis.

Oh the drama. Now, with my luck, he'll hatch deformed and DD will want to keep him as a pet.


It's hot here, in case anyone wondered. Really hot. I'm dying. My life for air conditioning ...


You Are Charming

You are quite stylish and unique. You have a flair for living well.

You have a bit of attitude, but you're definitely not stuck up. You know how to let loose and have fun.

You are well liked and a total people person. You are almost always at ease in a crowd.

You are a huge lover of life and all it has to offer. You're proud of who you are, but you never brag.

About 25% correct...


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

A (Not So Good) Day in the Life

Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat.
"I don't know," Alice answered.
"Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."
~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

The vote was overwhelmingly for the picture with Dakota (maybe I should have let Dakota wear the shirt? *G*), so I'll be sending that to Lori today.

DD decided that I didn't have a good picture of Dakota as wallpaper on my phone, so took a bunch.

Pretty puppy.

We released four more butterflies yesterday, and have two more emerging today and then we're done for a little while. We had three pillars left and two made their "J" yesterday, so will be butterflies in about 10 - 14 days. After the last one does his thing (soon!), we'll be done for the summer.

In butterfly news, too, we were horrified to discover that Cigna (bad, bad Cigna) who owns the HUGE field of milkweed across from our library MOWED it yesterday. WHY? They couldn't wait until our first freeze? It's not as though they use it for anything. It just sits there and feeds monarchs and tussock moth babies. And those rotten humans destroyed the nursery. It was undoubtedly a mass Monarch-pillarcide (based on how many we found this year, there were probably upwards of a thousand, maybe more, in that field). I wish I knew how to get in touch with someone who would care... DD was almost in tears.

It was just not a very good day for DD. She also got stood up for her play date. She waited. And waited. Then cried. The people did finally call at around 7:45 -- they'd had a funeral to go to (not immediate family and the death was one they'd been expecting), but I'm thinking they probably knew about the funeral before yesterday afternoon. I had rearranged my entire day around that play date and both DD and I were frustrated, angry and sad.

But, HEY! It rained last night! A real rain ... just falling from the sky over a long period of time. Certainly not enough to do any real work at filling the empty ponds and rivers, but it watered.

Speaking of water -- it's mind-boggling: my flowers are dying, my grass is dying, my veggies are dying, but the weeds? THRIVING.

In any case, here's hoping today will be better.


You Are a Geek

You definitely have some nerdy ways, but you've evolved into something way cooler - a geek.

You are free spirited and quirky. You're proud of who you are, and you've got style.

You may not fit in completely, but you don't have any problems socializing.

You're witty, smart, and very knowledgable. You believe that everyone should embrace their inner geek!

I embrace my inner geek daily...


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

You Choose

A photograph is memory in the raw. ~Carrie Latet


I'm making this quick so I'll have time to visit with some of you on YOUR blogs. I haven't had a chance to do so the past couple of days and I miss you!

Yesterday, I had DD take pictures of me (no makeup!) for Lori Foster's Facebook page. She is trying to get a picture with one of her shirts from every state. I'm New Hampshire. Unfortunately, as you know, my camera isn't working so she used the cell. I'm not in love with any of them (the T-Shirt is HUGE!), and can't decide which to send.

The studious one:

The Vanna White one (you get the dog butt for free!):

Me and the Dog one:

The just standing there one:

What do you think? Which one should I send?

As an aside, and in case you're wondering, that's my "backyard" -- hence the bears and the deer and the turkeys and ....


You Are Modern

You are optimistic and forward looking. You love living in this world.

You are constantly looking to improve yourself. You don't think you have all the answers.

Food excites you. You are definitely a foodie, and you're adventurous about trying new restaurants.

Right now you have one thing, and one thing only, that is consuming all your time. And you love it!

This couldn't be more wrong... of course, they didn't include the romance section in fiction so that could be why!