Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hair Cut Woes

Hair brings one's self-image into focus; it is vanity's proving ground. Hair is terribly personal, a tangle of mysterious prejudices. ~Shana Alexander

My day FLEW by yesterday. FLEW! I have no idea where the time went.

DD wanted her hair cut. She's been growing it out to donate again, and HATED the length, so I took her to a walk in haircut place. I mean, how hard is it to whack off a ponytail and even the ends? Her hair is not that hard to cut.

Evidently, I was wrong. Perhaps I should have run out the door when the stylist was a lady older than I am but wearing a pink Mohawk. Understand, I don't have an issue with Mohawks, per se, but on a 50ish woman, it was a little out of place.

She whacked off the pony, ended up "notching" one side of it about an inch higher than the other (which was WAY shorter than DD wanted her hair cut) and then, when she "evened" out her hair, one side was much longer than the other. It was wet when we left (I didn't want to pay for a blow dry... my bad) and DD kept tucking it behind her ears, so I didn't notice it until we were home.

Now, I know I can go back to that lady and have her fix it for free... but my concern is that the "fix" will be worse than the cut. And it's already so short that DD hates it, so there isn't a lot of room for error.

Teach me to go to a cheap walk-in place. I'm so sad. I could have done a better job cutting her hair.

We also had to run to the store to find clothes for the daughter. She's growing like a weed and all of her tops were too small. We found a couple at the L.L. Bean Outlet, and plan on hitting Kohl's at some point this week.

Now ... I didn't get a chance to respond to your questions and comments yesterday, so I'll do it here!

Maria Zannini said she was getting Nice / Naughty dog bones for her fur babies (having one of each... if you remember her Dog Dish interview, you know which is which). I love those bones! I don't have one of each, I have a dog with the proverbial Angel / Devil on her shoulder... so she can have both!

Dru Ann loves the bracelet... which is a good thing. *G*

Joanna St. James asked, "does she sell some of her designs on artfire or etsy" about DD's designs. Joanna, she does! LOL... I forgot to say that (assuming y'all knew). Her store is DistinctivelyDD on Artfire.

Tori said, "I bet Artfire has some awesome steampunk stuff." They DO. And lots of it!

Brandy said, "I'm STILL trying to find something for the Out-laws for the Holidays, so will be sure to check out Artfire." -- I swear, I'm so totally sold on goods from Artfire. I really, really LOVE the place. Bet you find something perfect there.

Thanks for visiting yesterday!

===========================




Your Color is Blue



You are a calm and content person. You find that the key to life is easy... just be yourself!

You believe in the importance of letting go. You release your anxieties and welcome renewal.

You are a generous person, and you look for the best of people. You promote peace and trust.

You value intellect and experience. Unlike most people, you truly respect your elders.



HAHAHAHAHA... no. Maybe the last sentence, but the rest? Not so much.

========================

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Shopping Ideas!

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart. ~Washington Irving

First, let me tell you about DD because I'm so proud of her -- You see, DD had several custom orders for jewelry to complete this weekend. I've been frustrating her lately because I won't let her rush through something -- especially custom orders where someone is specific about what they want. I've had her take apart items more than once. For instance ...

This bracelet is absolutely GORGEOUS -- but it took her three tries to get it done because twice she didn't do what the customer wanted. Now, though? It's amazing.




Her new favorite thing to make are "illusion" necklaces. They're so pretty that my SIL (who is VERY picky and exacting about things) saw one on the table the other day and bought it. I know she truly likes it because I've seen her wearing it three different times now: twice to work, and once to church.

For another customer, DD made necklace and earring sets that are lovely (I don't have a picture of the green necklace -- bad me):





I've very proud of her ... it's truly incredibly how talented she is and how skilled her work is getting to be!

One of the downsides to spending time on Artfire for DD, though, is being tempted by all the goodies. If you're not into jewelry, there's plenty there for you to buy for Christmas. Instead of supporting HUGE places like WalMart with your dollar, why not support independent artisans?

Like Merrimack Valley Essentials, who offers all natural soaps, lotions and more -- and the shipping is SO reasonable (that's what pushed me right over the edge on this one). My fave product? The Pumpkin Spice Goats Milk soap. Ooooh....

Shopping for cute pet stuff? Get Nice/Naughty dog bones here.

Need something for young girls? How about Barbie Clothes?

Seriously, if you want it, they probably have it at Artfire. I'm so impressed with the pieces there, I could spend all day shopping.

I'm a big proponent of supporting independent stores, and I really feel like I can vote with my money this year at Christmas. I highly encourage you all to do the same!

=================




You Are Lemon Tea



The word that best describes you is "fresh" - both in outlook and in attitude.

You are an outspoken and brave person. You definitely tell it like it is and shoot from the hip.

You are cheeky and even a little outrageous. You've been known to do things simply for shock value.

You have a lot of energy, but you always allocate it well. You're productive enough to avoid being overly hyper.




Well.. ha. That's pretty close to right on! LOL...

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Second Verse Same As the First

"It's a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired." — Robert Strauss

Yesterday was a LONG day, and it ain't over yet. Seems my woes with the vacuum sealer weren't just about sliding the bag in (which, interestingly enough, we were able to do yesterday -- go figure). I'm guessing it simply isn't up to mass quantities of sealing in one round, because it did about thirty pounds of meat and stopped working. After a 10 - 15 minute rest, it was good for another 20 pounds or so, then stopped working.

At that point, I gave up. It was late and I was sick of dealing with it. So, I packed up the other 40 lbs or so into Tupperware and put it in the freezing cold garage overnight. I'll try again today.

DH apologized (tongue-in-cheek) for getting such a big deer.

So, I'll be busy all morning and then one of our nephews is getting confirmed (along with 55 other people) this afternoon. I'm not sure what that entails, but we're going ... and I have no idea how long we'll be there.

Thank heavens tomorrow is Monday!!! ::::happy dancing::::

How was your weekend?

=================

So ... I posted this on my facebook page yesterday and got some fun results -- but thought I'd share here, too, in case you either aren't my friend on FB or didn't see it:

So ... I have this character whose mother died and left her the house. And in the garage are TONS of boxes. I didn't realize they were there until the character tripped over them! What could be in them?

I have a little more room here, so I'll also say that my character doesn't know who her father is (mom said she didn't know ... but we've already established that mom didn't sleep around, so she would know) and that she's just gone through a divorce.

Thoughts? There are lots of boxes, so they could all have different stuff in them.

===================




You Are an Aqua Bug



You are a bastion of harmony and tranquility. You have come as close as possible to achieving inner peace.

You have a lot of perspective on the world. You are able to see things clearly... much more than most people.

You can see all sides to an issue or person. You try to find the middle ground or middle road.

You are confident and sure of yourself. You are clear headed, and that allows you to do that needs to be done.



HAHAHAHAHAHA... no. Okay, maybe 25% percent, but I'm still laughing over the "bastion of harmony and tranquility" part...

================

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Day of the Deer

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

I won't be online much today. I'll be on my feet, packing and vacuum sealing deer meat. I finally pulled out my new vacuum sealer I got last year. It's pretty nifty with one exception: You're supposed to "slip" the open bag end into a slot where it will vacuum and seal automatically. Sadly the bags tend to gape in the middle, so you CAN'T slip them in (they get caught up). Last night, whilst creating bags from rolls, we had to open up the sealer EVERY time to get them to seal. Plus there is a ton of waste -- they seal about 1 1/2" up on the bag. My last sealer, you just popped the end onto the seal and voila! Done.

Sometimes I think they try to get too fancy for their own good. Plus, I have to wonder if they ever even tested the thing because it's clear it doesn't work. I'm looking into getting containers to use instead. But, they're expensive, so I'll have to wait for an amazing sale.

In any case, for me it's out the door at seven a.m. to get a couple things at the store, run to the P.O. to mail some books, off to the dog park for an hour so the pup will sleep while we're working and then on my feet all day -- here's hoping the knee holds up!

I did manage to get to a few blogs yesterday. I got to see pictures of Brandy's adorable new kitten, Christmas photos of New York from Dru, hear the woes of farm life from Maria Zannini who lost a chicken to a coyote and whose husband had his first scorpion sting, see sexy pictures of Daniel Craig at Joanna's blog and more! Hopefully this evening, I'll be able to catch up just a little bit more.

Have a great day!

==========================




You Are an Online Deal Seeker



You are technologically savvy and extremely comfortable with online shopping.

When it comes to Black Friday, there's no other choice but to shop online. How else can you be at multiple stores at once?

Besides, you don't even have to leave your warm home to shop. You may have to get up early to get the best deals, but at least you can do it in your pj's.

You don't need the stress of crazy crowds and long lines. The sales are just as good online!



That's exactly right!

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Friday, November 26, 2010

The Day After Thanksgiving

Gratitude is the memory of the heart. ~Jean Baptiste Massieu, translated from French

Had a remarkably decent day yesterday, but was pretty much forbidden to hop on the computer, so didn't get to visit anyones blogs. :-(

Hit the dog park early since Dakota was going to have to spend the afternoon alone. I was shocked at how many people were there! It was a Lab fest, too, so Dakota and her friend, Patience stuck out quite a bit. Even my friend's new puppy, Envy (a pit/lab mix who looks mostly lab except her square head) blended.

They had a pretty good time, too, though Patience is really struggling with having to share anything with her new housemate and it's lead to a few pretty teeth-involved tussles. Envy doesn't start anything, but she won't put up with being attacked (like Dakota does ... she just rolls over and gives up). My friend is worried she won't be able to keep Envy if this keeps up.

Thanksgiving afternoon at the in-laws went by pretty well, too, but that may have been because I was so exhausted I spent a good part of it sitting in a chair staring off into la-la land! LOL...

This morning, it's icing out. Happy Black Friday shopping to the folks here in New Hampshire. I'm SO glad I don't do that craziness... I'm a sucker for a bargain, but there are somethings (like my sanity and safety) that just aren't worth it. Plus I'm not that big into electronics, etc., and those are usually the biggies.

Today will be an inside, hang around the house day. However, since DH is home and doesn't have projects (deer butchering commences on Saturday) I don't expect to have a lot of computer time. But, YAY, next week we go back to routine ... at least until Christmas.

Hope you all had a fabulous day yesterday. I'll do my best go come visit later!

====================




You Are Kermit



Like everything else in your life, you take Thanksgiving pretty seriously.

It's a time for reflection and gratitude. You also like to just sit back and observe the party.

You love Thanksgiving, but having a huge amount of people around can be a bit overwhelming.

As long as you're allowed some privacy and independence, you'll have a good Turkey Day.



Yep... that's about right.

=======================

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart.
~J.A. Shedd


Happy Thanksgiving!

We were awakened at 2:15 a.m. to our smoke detectors going off... sort of. They'd ring for about 45 seconds, then stop. After a few minutes, they'd do it again. And again.

DH and I checked all the detectors -- changed the battery in one -- couldn't figure out what was up. Finally called the fire department for help. The captain came over (it was about 3 a.m. by now) and went through them one by one, finally finding one that was broken and setting off the entire system.

So, around 3:30 a.m. we all crawled back in bed. Unfortunately, DH wanted to go hunting in the morning, so it was up at 5 a.m.!

However, despite the severe lack of sleep, it worked out okay ... DH just called and told me he got a deer. I was shocked, honestly, since it's "buck only" now and you can't take a doe anymore this season. I was also shocked, since he'd only been out for about five minutes. Right place, right time I guess.

So... we have much to be thankful for today.

I'm thankful that our smoke detectors weren't announcing that the house was on fire.

I'm thankful for the gorgeous buck who sacrificed his life so we could eat healthy, low-fat, no chemical meat for the year.

And, I'm thankful for all of you.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday!!

=====================




You Are Mashed Potatoes



You are reliable and steady. People know that they can count on you each year at Thanksgiving, and you are never a disappointment.

While you may seem simple, a lot of work goes in to who you are. You are a bit of an under-appreciated masterpiece.

You are both decadent and indulgent, while still being accessible to the common thing. In some ways you are all things to all people.

You get along well with other people, but you're also good all on you're own. The bottom line is that you're easy to love.



That's me... easy to love. :-)

===================

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Day Before Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude. ~E.P. Powell

Something happened yesterday that made me realize that sometimes things that aren't so good are things that we should give thanks for. I have a friend (:::waves:::) who has a dog with cancer. This dog was my dog, Bailey's, best friend and has morphed into Dakota's as well (though at first the dog was a bit hesitant: "What is this little yippy, jumpy, bitey thing you've brought to see me?").

We're all terribly sad to think of losing her, but grateful that things seem to be progressing very slowly. Yesterday, her owner knew something was wrong so took her to the vet, steeled to hear the worst. Instead, she discovered the dog had a kidney infection.

And we celebrated.

I told her that it felt strange to be all, "WOO HOO! She has a kidney infection!" but it was wonderful to know that her discomfort and need to potty so often wasn't a result of her cancer progressing.

I'm thankful that she's still around. Yesterday felt a little eerie to me, though, because three years ago, at this time of year, was when we lost Bailey.

So, sometimes it's good to be thankful for the not-so-good things.

What odd thing are you thankful for?

========================




You Are Cinnamon



You are warm and friendly. You are a social creature and a true extrovert.

You are welcoming, and you love to have people over to your place. You make everyone feel at home.

You are sweet, but you aren't overwhelming. You know how to be subtle with people. You have tact.

You love life, and people love to be around you. You are very popular without trying to be.



Hmmm... not so much.

===================

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Romance

A kiss that speaks volumes is seldom a first edition. ~Clare Whiting

I've had a big case of the totally tireds lately. I've been visiting blogs, but honestly haven't had the brain power to think of coherent comments. Today is no better yet, but then it's early. Maybe the cells in my brain will start firing more readily soon?

Something outside has scented my lawn and the neigbhoring woods to the point where I can't let Dakota off leash at all ... not even to fetch the ball (something that usually keeps her quite focused). Yesterday morning, we tossed her ball, she went racing after it, grabbed it then stopped. Dropped the ball and started sniffing like mad. Tail straight up, nose alternately on the ground and up in the air. She wouldn't come, wouldn't stop ... it continued into the night, with her asking to go out about every 15 minutes and doing nothing but tracking something.

Late last night, as she was outside and finally settling down to actually do her business though, we heard a pack of coyotes singing (which, of course, distracted her again). Makes me wonder if they've been visiting our yard.

Here's what they sounded like:



==================

Did some more editing. Still like the story, which is important. Needed to watch or read something romantic so I watched a couple of videos last night on YouTube. This:



And this:



What are some romantic moments you can recommend for me?

=====================




You Are Festive



You are an open minded, happy go lucky person. You don't need a reason to celebrate.

You are prone to overindulgence. You have a hedonistic streak, and you enjoy spoiling yourself.

You find yourself liking so many things, it's sometimes hard to juggle them all.

You prefer to have busy, adventure filled days. There's so much to do that you rarely get bored.



About 75% right :-)

====================

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Mumbles

The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one. ~Erma Bombeck

It's Monday and we'll be mostly back to normal today... of course it's Thanksgiving week, so DH will have a half day on Weds and then is off Th/F/S/S but after this week, I do believe routine will return (except for Christmas/New Year's week).

I miss routine.

Of course, we have dentist appointments today, so that's going to mess with us a bit, and I want to get DD's hair cut (she's donating to Pantene Beautiful Lengths -- they're like "Locks of Love" but they take shorter hair, 8" instead of 10"), too ... maybe there is no such thing as routine?

So, I went to a different grocery store yesterday -- the same chain I usually go to, but a different place -- and discovered that their prices are lower. It's only about eight miles away from the other store, and their prices are lower. Why is that? It made me a little cranky, because it's just not that convenient for me to go there, despite the fact it's not *that* far away, but I'm going to feel obligated because their prices are lower.

It's amazing how much prices differ from store to store.

For instance, a half-gallon of soy milk (something I buy regularly) is VASTLY different.

At the natural foods market: $4.99
At Shaws: $4.29
At Hannaford: $3.29

Or, this great new local organic baby spinach that's suddenly entered the markets here:

At the natural foods market: $7.99
At BJs: $5.99
At Hannaford: $5.99
At Shaw's: $6.99

Guess where I do most of my shopping?

It frustrates me because I really prefer to support the independent "little guy" stores and wish I could do the majority of my shopping at the natural food store, but when the prices are that different I just can't justify it.

Do you find the prices varying greatly between the stores you shop at? Do you make trips to different stores when you do your shopping in order to get better deals?

=====================

Hey all, just a heads-up because I know Melissa McClone is very quiet about promoting herself. She's hanging out with us this week at The Long and the Short of It in our author spotlight. You should swing by, read her daily posts and keep her company.

My particular favorite of her posts (yes, I peeked) is the one for Friday. Cracked me up! *G*

Hope to see you there.

======================



You Are Cinderella



You believe it's important to do the right thing, even if you aren't rewarded for it.

Not everyone treats you with respect, but good people see your goodness.

You've had a lot of bad luck, but these days it feels like you luck is about to change.

Even though times are tough, hang in there. You'll eventually get the life you justly deserve.



Interestingly enough, I DID clean the fireplace this morning... ;-)

=======================

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Temps Are Dropping

When the bold branches
Bid farewell to rainbow leaves -
Welcome wool sweaters.
~B. Cybrill


I said something yesterday that, in retrospect, made me shiver. What was it?

"It's going to be warming up into high the 40s next week."

Yes, it's true... it's COLD here. Blech. Today I am thankful for my wood stove. Yesterday our house got so warm, we opened the windows. LOVE having a wood stove.

DD watched a bunch of cooking shows yesterday. I now have a pile of recipes she wrote down that she wants me to try (including Chickpea meatless Meatballs) and last night she sauteed herself a bunch of different veggies based on color ... because everything they made on the shows looked so pretty and she wanted her plate to look pretty, too.

I told her she could take over cooking dinner any time she'd like. She declined.

Nothing planned for today here. Anyone out there doing anything exciting?

=================




You Should Go on a Disney Cruise



You are family oriented, fun loving, and truly a kid at heart.

For you, a cruse is less about the destination and more about the total experience.

You love the idea of a cruise with a little nostalgia and lots of activities for everyone.

A Disney cruise will wow you, entertain you, and give you memories to last a lifetime.



I'm good with that... when do I leave?

=====================

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Just Rambling...

I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren't certain we knew better. They fight for honor at the first challenge, make love with no moral restraint, and they do not for all their marvelous instincts appear to know about death. Being such wonderfully uncomplicated beings, they need us to do their worrying. ~George Bird Evans, Troubles with Bird Dogs

So ... DD got a custom order request for necklace/earring sets for Christmas gifts, and has been working diligently on them. The first necklace ended up being too small (put the "choke" into choker) so had to be taken apart. The first earrings were too big (the person wanted "dainty" on that particular set).

She spilled her box of beads once. Spilled her nearly microscopic crimp beads. Spent hours working and only ended up with one set that made it through Q. A. (that's me *G*).

She's learning what it means to work for a living. I think that's good. I'll post pictures of the set once we have natural light to work with (it looks better than flash).

We ran by the dog park for a few minutes yesterday. It's gotten to the point now that whenever we drive anywhere in the area, Dakota starts to pace and whine and fuss. So, when I have the time to stop, I take her.

Yesterday, there were three unaltered, male large breed dogs there. A gorgeous harlequin Great Dane, a half grown (but still big as a house) Neapolitan mastiff, and a good sized Golden Retriever.

The thing that cracked me up, though, was that they pretty much ignored Dakota (the only female in the bunch, albeit spayed) and the two largest dogs decided on making the Golden their ... ahem... girlfriend.

If I had been the owner of the golden, I would have stepped in because he was really being picked on. They weren't aggressive, but the two dogs were so big that the golden simply could NOT get away.

Oh well. I'm just glad they left Dakota alone.

The funny thing was, though, that she's gotten used to having a bath when we get home from the dog park on Saturday. THOSE days, she ends up rolling around in the urine-soaked sand (sounds yummy, huh?) and there's no way she gets to live in the house again until she's thoroughly bathed. We get home, she goes in the tub, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

Now she associates bath with dog park so even on the days she doesn't roll around (like yesterday) when we get home, she walks in the house and puts herself in the tub. And waits. And she will NOT get out unless we wash her off in some way. I've started rinsing her feet off...

She HATES baths. But she knows her duty. Good puppy. :-)

As a side note, I watched a show on PBS the other day, Nova: Dogs Decoded, which was very interesting to me. I recommend dog owners give it a watch if they can.

=========================




You Are Easygoing and Forgiving



Your sense of humor is goofy and silly. You try to never hurt people with your jokes.

You are the type of person who does well with math, writing, and other academic subjects. You are a good student.

You have fun when you're doing something new. You crave novelty and different experiences.

You are the type of person who completes projects easily. You like to do one thing at a time.



Hmmm..... 75/25 I think.

======================

Friday, November 19, 2010

Following Up

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~Anatole France

Long day yesterday, but productive.

We went to the school -- there was one other couple with two kids (4 & 5 y.o.), and a grandmother who came (she's raising her granddaughter) who were there as well. I won't go into all the details, but suffice it to say we were very excited about the opportunities there. It's a very small school -- we went to three different in-session classes and there were 8 kids in one, 10 in one and 6 in the other. The paperwork says they have an average of 1:10 teacher/student ratio.

Technologically, they're pretty amazing, too. There's a full science lab (even has a safety shower), a cafeteria/auditorium and the school is locked down while it's in session (we had to ring to get in).

Loved the people, enjoyed the students we talked to. And, speaking of students, here's an interesting tidbit: the high school student we talked to told us his story (from the Congo, father assassinated, etc). He was just an amazing kid, happy and enthusiastic...he practically glowed. After we gabbed for a bit, he went back to class and one of the people taking us through mentioned that he was there on financial aid, that his mother worked three jobs to support her five boys and that dance was something that unified the family. He said that the mother was a huge fan of "Dancing With the Stars" and that the boys wrote in to see if they could sit in the audience one night as a gift to their mom. Instead, it turned out to be a little more -- those of you who watch DWTS may remember the Mwano family:



In any case, DD liked the school, I liked the school, we were both excited about it (and since we'd started out VERY apprehensive, I figured that was a good sign), so we're going to start the application process for next year.

A big change it is a-coming...

Then it was off to the orthopedic surgeon to discuss the MRI results on my knee.

In a nutshell: I need surgery and my knee is wonkier than I thought!

On one side I have a meniscus tear -- not a bad one, and easily fixed. On the other side I have indications that I injured my knee as some point (who knows? I was ridiculously active as a kid) and there's a cartilage problem there that needs help, too (this one's a little more complicated... they're going to try something simple first, but if it doesn't work then it gets gradually more and more difficult and invasive -- I'm figuring the first surgery will do the trick). The pain I feel is from the ligament tear, the "catching" I have is from the problem on the other side.

And then to top it all off, my kneecap is lopsided and off center and has been rubbing where it shouldn't and so has wrecked the cartilage in one spot so it's bone-on-bone (I asked, "Is that the grinding/squeaking noise I hear?" - "Yep.") and it leading to a lovely case of arthritis. On this, he says there's not much I can do (I figure he meant "surgically" because I'm looking into homeopathic arthritis remedies).

All of this means a few things... I'll be having surgery (probably in January -- don't want to be unable to drive and/or on crutches at Christmas) for the two problems. It also means I MUST drop about 15 - 20 lbs to take some of the stress off my joints and it means I have to "baby" my knees more than I do. No high impact exercise, no carrying heavy loads up and down stairs, etc.

Seriously sucks. But it's better than not having a knee (ala "I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet").

========================




You Are a Home & Garden



You are a total homebody who loves to create things. You're very handy.

You're always cooking something new in the kitchen or making up a funky new craft.

Your home is your castle, and you are always looking for more inspiration.

Your place probably doesn't look like those in home and garden magazines... it looks more unique!



About 50/50 ...

=====================

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Times They Are a-Changing

"Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." — John F. Kennedy

I'm writing this on Wednesday night because I'm heading out the door early Thursday. We're going to the open house of a nearby private school to see if we want to enroll DD next year. Due to the dearth of good homeschooling groups and activities, we feel that it's probably best for her to attend school. We'd planned on starting her for high school regardless, but I'm thinking that starting her in eighth grade might be easier on her.

I did a drive by of the school today because we have to be at the open house so early, I didn't want to run the risk of getting lost. Good thing -- it wasn't where I thought it was exactly.

DD is scared and apprehensive about school since she's never gone. "How does the cafeteria work?" or "What do I do a recess?" or "What if no one talks to me?".

Hopefully the open house tomorrow will help with some of her fears. She doesn't realize how nervous I am, too. I've not had her out of my sight, except with good friends or at a relative's house, EVER her entire life. This will be a difficult life change for us both.

Now I just need to figure out how we'll fund this little change of plans. *sigh*

==============

I got through the first fifty pages of Camilla's story in edits. It was the easy part, not a lot of plot changes there. Now it's getting a bit stickier. I have to change the things her mom does and why, I have to incorporate Jed's new business, and slow down Matthew's infatuation. Lots of changes on the horizon, but the story is just so much fun (I'm giggling half the time... either the story is cute or I should go stay at the place with the padded walls) I'm not complaining about the editing too much.

================




You Are a Jellyfish



You are a vulnerable person, but you also have a lot of inner strength. Sometimes you even surprise yourself.

You are very honest and open. You have nothing to hide and resent it when people don't tell you the truth.

You are illuminating and insightful. You understand and explain the world well.

You are energizing and enthusiastic. You get people up and moving.



Hmmm, maybe 50/50...

===============

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

“Good writing is rewriting.” - Truman Capote

So ... I agonized all yesterday about my NaNo project. Is it better to get words down on a story that isn't working, just to get my "winner" badge and then have to either toss the entire thing and start over, or edit the H-E-Double-Toothpicks out of it later -or- is it better to set it aside and "moodle" over it awhile to figure out what's working, what isn't and how to make it right?

The clincher for me is this: I hate editing. HATE it with an all-consuming passion. I know it's a necessary evil, but I do my very best to have a relatively clean first draft with all the ducks in as straight a row as possible in order to do as little major editing as possible.

So, "A Jewel For Geoff" is once again shelved. It just wasn't working for me -- the characters didn't have chemistry, the conflict was weak, the plot was all over the place, I couldn't decide if Geoff's parents were dead or not and how that would change things, I couldn't decide if any of the girls had boyfriends, I couldn't decide... well, you get the idea.

It all began to feel like a royal waste of time, and time is simply the one thing I don't have any of to spare.

Instead, I'm rewriting a story (Camilla's story) that I actually have nearly finished and changing two things in the plot to make it work for me and building up the internal conflict between the H/H. I worked on it last night and again this morning, and I'm really excited about it. I like the story, the plot and the characters. I plan on having it done by the end of November -- can that count for NaNo? I'll need a couple folks with good editing eyes who like contemporary light-hearted romance to look it over for me (anyone?), but the plan is to submit to Harlequin American. By end of December.

Am I being unrealistic? I have no idea.

Following THAT, though, I want to get my fantasy done. ASAP.

And after that, I have big plans for "Return to Stiller Creek" which include completely changing "who dunnit" and making the story less reliant on DNA testing -- and, yes, I've figured out how to do that. And, I need to ramp up the suspense. That one I'd like to submit to Harlequin Romantic Suspense.

Hmmm....

Eventually I will return to "A Jewel for Geoff" and to the "Kitchen Matches" sequel. I think about them constantly, so something is going to click in my brain eventually. It always does on the ones that matter.

In other news, I think I have one manuscript that is history -- permanently shelved. That would be "Playing House". With the incredible leaps that technology has taken in the last five or six years, my premise won't work at all. I may recycle the characters though and try to give them a different story (at the very least, I want to use Minerva because I <3 her).

So many ideas, so little time. We won't talk about the other twenty or thirty started manuscripts I have on my hard drive.

===================




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 the "chill to the point of being lazy" part, this really fits.

=======================

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Should Have Named Her Socks

“Fanaticism for anything is addiction.” - unknown

Dakota has a little addiction... she can't help herself, she knows she's being naughty, but they call to her and she can't resist their siren's song.

Socks (though I admit she has an equal fondness for slippers).

She doesn't chew them. She snuggles with them.



We keep our laundry in the closet, but leave the closet door open so she'll sneak in and nab a sock, several times every day.



Sometimes I'll just find socks laying around (her version of "Dakota was here").



But mostly I find her napping happily with one.



Do they have "Socks Anonymous"?

====================

I wrote nearly 2000 words yesterday. I *need* to write about 2200 words a day to catch up by the end of November, so I'm aiming for more today. Instead of running errands during DD's art lessons, I'm going to take the time to write. DH and I have a date tonight while DD is at a friend's house, so that time is gone and my Thursday is packed, so I'm hoping to get twice what I need.

We'll see. I'm marching on, regardless...

=====================




You Were One of the Emo / Goth Kids



When you were in high school, you were still figuring out what you were all about.

You underwent an intense period of self exploration, and you learned a lot about yourself.

You may have felt like a bit of an oddball, but luckily you had friends who were in the same boat as you were.

You probably aren't very goth or emo these days. However, you still are likely to see things from an alternative point of view.



HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.... no. I was the one of the "get along with everyone, good student, average joe, drama nerd" kids. I loved school, had plenty of friends from all walks of life and really actually quite enjoyed being there.

==================

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's Monday ...

"Creativity, as has been said, consists largely of rearranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know. Hence, to think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted." — George Kneller

But not a usual one because ... yes... DH is still off! LOL!

The weekend wasn't too bad, and WOW was the weather beautiful. On Saturday we were in the low 60s and I had my house all opened up. Amazing.

Unfortunately, I got nearly NO writing done, and am now about 10,000 words behind on NaNoWriMo. I should have time to write this morning, though, after DH leaves to go hunting and before DD wakes up. I did manage to write about Geoff's unexpected mentor and father figure (he never really had one), so that was good, and I shifted POV in one scene I was struggling with from Emmy to Geoff, and that worked. Not a lot of words, but some, and at this point I'll take what I can get.

Honestly, I'm struggling with creating real chemistry between my H/H. I know it's there somewhere, I can totally picture them together, and the scene I wrote with the Traveling Shovel of Death was exactly right and showed it perfectly, so I just need to channel that into the rest of the story. I'm still working on writing random scenes for a few reasons: because sometimes it's just easier to write the fun stuff, and it helps me really get a feel for my characters (which I think I need -- I *thought* I knew them, but new stuff keeps popping up).

Onward and upward...

I also posted a few new items on DistinctivelyDD yesterday. I really LOVE the new camera -- it takes amazing close-up pictures. Check out this picture of the beads I took of one pair of earrings.

Here are the earrings, and this is the type of picture I had to use with my old camera:



And here is the close up I took with the new one so I could show the detail:



I did it with a few of the items and was so amazed!



LOVE, LOVE my camera!

=======================

I am going to try to catch up on my blog-hopping again ... I hate getting behind because then it's just overwhelming, but I needed the break from everything this weekend. I'm very much a person who needs a routine, and this month I've had none. It's incredibly stressful for me, and is taking a toll on my health, mental and physical. I swear, next year I'm going on vacation in November. But then, I say that every year!

========================




You Are Lucy



You are smart as a whip... maybe a little too smart for your own good! Other people tend to annoy you.

You tell it like it is, and you're not about to spare anyone's feelings. You're very blunt.

You are assertive to the point of being aggressive. You know what you want, and you're going to make sure you get it.

Deep down, you're trying to be helpful. You give good advice, even if people don't want to hear it. You always shoot from the hip.



I had a feeling that was what I'd get! LOL....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

TTFN

A library is a hospital for the mind. ~ Anonymous

Taking the weekend off again -- just too much to do, too little time and DH is (of course) still off -- has been most of the week and will be off most of next week.

Come ON December.

Will be back on Monday. For now, I share a few new to me Simon's Cat episodes:





And an interview with Simon:



======================




You Are a Wool Coat



You are both driven and accomplished. You are good at cutting to the heart of the matter.

You dress for success and it shows. You always look your best, and you present yourself well.

You are practical and smart. People would definitely describe you as savvy.

You plan ahead and anticipate worst case scenarios. You are always prepared!



All my quizzes say I'm driven ... huh...

====================

Friday, November 12, 2010

Knees and NaNo

Writing only leads to more writing. - Colette

I finally went to the orthopedic doctor yesterday about my knee (yes, I am still having troubles). He's not sure what's wrong so has me scheduled for an MRI next week. Seven minutes in a metal tube. Whee.

Being the up front kinda gal I am, I told the doc right off that I don't really like conventional doctors, that I don't take prescriptions meds and that if he says I need surgery, he'd have to prove that nothing else would work and that surgery would fix the problem.

Yeah, I'm a little stubborn. But I also think conventional medicine tends to slap a band-aid (AKA prescription drugs) on symptoms instead of looking for the deeper issue and that drugs only tend to make things worse. Blame it on my mom whose had Rheumatoid Arthritis for 15 years and doesn't take meds for it (and isn't crippled by it).

Anyway, I'll keep you posted.

On the writing front, I'm slowly falling more and more behind... but I had a brainstorm today that should help a little. Part of my problem is that the story just isn't light-hearted enough. I don't expect it to be slapstick comedy, but it should be at least a little funny. And, I got to thinking that I gave Liv an unconventional mentor in "One Love For Liv", so I wanted to give Geoff one, too. He's about to meet his, but won't realize that the guy is wicked wise for a bit -- because he won't appear to be. Emmy helps open his eyes.

I love Emmy.

I also used another one of your challenge objects today:

She spun around, holding an antique magnifying glass to her eye, making it appear three times as huge and twice as green as the other. “Hey, you’re even more handsome close up!” (Brandy)

And I've decided that every scene needs to include a reference or an appearance of a particular item. Not saying WHAT -- that'll be for you to figure out once it's published. *G*

So, even though I'm 4000 words behind, I'm still motivated. And all I have to do is write at least 2000 words a day for the next couple of weeks and I'll be good.

Yep.... that's "all".

:-P

=======================




You Are an Extrovert



You are honest and comfortable in your own skin. You don't show off, but you never hide who you are either.

You like to weigh all of your options before making a decision. You are apt to look for a compromise.

You are responsible and determined to do the right thing. There is often a lot on your plate, but you handle it all well.

You rely on yourself first and foremost. You know that you won't ever let yourself down.



Though I don't really think of myself as an extrovert, I'll take their word for it. The rest though? Pretty close...

=====================

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chasing My Tail

"A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people." - Thomas Mann

I'm still about 3500 words behind in NaNoWriMo -- but I'm still writing and have high hopes of catching up. This morning I wrote a scene using the Traveling Shovel of Death (recommended by Kristina .

I've also continued taking your challenges of objects to use and have managed these:

He slapped the paper down on her copy holder and grabbed a sticky note to add his two cents to what she’d written when he heard a strange noise... a squeaking sound. (From Dru)

When footsteps thundered down the hall, she knew it was too late, and grabbed the closest object to protect herself, disgusted to find herself holding an enormous stuffed pig from Ruby’s collection. (From Tori)

Am plugging away, so my blog posts will be short, but I'm here! I'm trying to visit blogs, too, but have to budget my time -- so I am reading most blogs, but haven't always clicked through to comment.

Hopefully in December things will be a little back to normal.

====================




You Are Confident



Your friends would describe you as a real "go-getter." You're very accomplished.

You're a natural leader. You always know what needs to be done and who should do it.

You trust yourself to perform well. You like to challenge yourself. You aren't afraid of failure.

You are proactive instead of being reactive. You just get going and do what needs to be done.



Yep.

===============

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Dog Dish Goes to the Birds!



Today Dakota interviews Petri Lender (and did so without drooling -- not an easy task, considering her opinion of birds :::nom nom:::). Petri Lender is a sun conure extraordinaire and owner of Fantasy Author Sandy Lender. You can visit his facebook page at “Petri the Parrot” on facebook.com.

This interview is part of Sandy's virtual tour celebrating the release of her Young Adult fantasy book, "Problems on Eldora Prime" ... but more about that (and about her cool giveaway) at the end of the interview.

Without further ado, welcome Petri!

Dakota: So, your human writes books. Does this mean she is home all day and easy to access? Elaborate if necessary.

Petri: “My mom (Sandy Lender) is home all day and pretty easy to access, but not because she’s writing books. She’s an editor for a magazine, which is what she says ‘pays the bills and buys the toys.’ She tells me that the royalty checks should start showing up now that she has six books out there in the world. Three have been released during October and November, so I’m ready for the cool toys to start pouring in.”

Dakota: What are your techniques for distracting your human during crucial writing moments, just because it's fun?

Petri: “I try not to disturb my mom too much when she’s writing because she looks so peaceful and content. Of course, there are times when I require attention. If a hawk flies by outside, she’s GOT to deal with that. Hawks are natural predators; therefore evil. I need her to close the blinds immediately so it disappears. To get her attention, and get it fast, I scream. If she doesn’t respond immediately, I fly down off my playgym in her general direction, but that’s really a last-ditch effort. Flying takes so much energy.”

Dakota: What indignities and neglect have you suffered because of your human's writing career?

Petri: “I’m the center of the universe, so I don’t tolerate any type of neglect. If my water gets too warm or if my food dish contains only the yucky green pellets that I don’t care for, I let my mom know that something’s wrong and she tends to it. What’s nice is she usually anticipates these problems and rectifies them before they get out of hand. Now, I will tell you that she goes on these writing binges sometimes that leave me alone for 12 or 14 hours at a time. I can only tolerate that for so long. I mean, I can nap and play with my toys and climb around on my playgym for a while…I’m very smart and good at entertaining myself…but we all have our limits.”

Dakota: I know the feeling... that's when I start bringing over my toys, one by one, and dropping them at my mom's feet. She usually responds.

So, tell me about the birds in your human's fiction. How often do they appear and how big a part do they play?


Petri: “My mom’s only included one falcon in the Choices Meant for Gods series. It’s supposed to be very pretty and all, but, you know, after looking at me, I don’t know how she can think a plain ol’ brown bird is pretty.”

Dakota: I'm with you on that, being rather colorful myself.

What movies involving birds does your human enjoy sharing with you? Books with birds?


Petri: “Oh. This is a sad question. My mom watched a movie called ‘Paulie’ with Tony Shaloub in it that had a parrot who was separated from his person. She saw it at the movie theatre and cried and cried and cried. She won’t ever watch that movie again. Then there was a movie called ‘The Parrots of Telegraph Hill’ that she sat down to watch with me. We were really enjoying all the conures and their antics, but it started to get sad, too, and she wouldn’t let me watch the end of it. She got rid of that DVD. Now we just share the hardwood floor commercial with the naughty macaw who cages the cat. :::Hee hee:::. I think that’s pretty funny.”

Dakota: My mom won't watch sad movies, either. Especially if the dog dies. If you could make one change to your human, what would it be?

Petri: “I’d get her to stop using the evil vacuum cleaner.”

Dakota: ::::shudders and nods emphatically::::

Are you happy with your human? If you could tell your human one thing, what would it be?


Petri: “I’m very happy with my mom. She’s awesome and liberal with the treats.”

Dakota: What things does your human do that would mortify her if known? What does your human do that most annoys?

Petri: “Oh! The thing that annoys me to death is when she hands out treats to the other birds before me. She has this idea that she needs to be ‘fair,’ so she makes us take turns being first each day. I don’t get that. I’ve been with her since forever. I should always be first. Always.”

Dakota: Has your human named a character for you? Are you pleased? If not, why?

Petri: “I don’t know if the name ‘Petri’ works in the fantasy worlds my mom creates. She comes up with names for dragons and faeries and that kind of thing, and ‘Petri’ doesn’t quite fit in there.”

Dakota: She invents the worlds, right? Then she decides what's right or wrong there. I think you need to talk to her about that. She might include a smart, beautiful character named 'Dakota', too. Just a thought.

And did your human name you for a fictional character? Hate it or love it? If you could rename yourself, what would your name be?


Petri: “Yes, I’m named after Petri, the young pterodactyl in the movie ‘The Land Before Time.’ In the movie, he saves the day when he finally flies. It’s an awesome moment. I think it’s a great name for me because I’m important like that and I like the idea of being named after a ferocious pterodactyl.”

Dakota: Thanks for visiting today! Good luck to your Mistress with her new book. Can you share what it's about?

Problems Mount! When 17-year-old pilot Khiry Okerson crashes on Eldora Prime, alarms still ring in her ears. She might have solved one problem, but she courts more danger than she realizes when she liberates some unexpected hostages on a foreign planet. Will the dragons she releases become her allies? It’s more likely they’ll join the inhabitants of this unforgiving world to hunt terraformers and the Instigator’s dwindling crew.

Khiry must find a way off this rock and into the United Society for Peace and Strength’s good graces. She’s got a capable marksman on her team in the handsome and renown Kor, but Khiry still wonders how her people can escape with a captain’s treason on her hands and a political leader’s sister in her care—care she can’t guarantee.

As part of her tour, She will also be giving away magnets to several randomly drawn commenters and a dragon ornament to one randomly drawn commenter. So leave a comment and let Petri know you were here -- he LIVES for comments. Don't let him down!

===========================

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

NaNo Nope

"When in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns." (Raymond Chandler)

I didn't reach my NaNo goal yesterday, and didn't write a word this morning. Why? Because I'm bored. Today I'm going to write random scenes (I have this great scene idea where the box under Geoff's temporary secretary's desk has ... well, I can't tell you, but it should be fun to write) and just see what happens because right now it's all a big YAWN.

In today's NaNo Pep talk, the author wrote: "My friend Phil once said that if I wrote every day what I felt like writing that day, then my writing would not be dutiful. It would have life and interest in it."

It was as though she was speaking directly to me.

================




You Are a Silver Cell Phone



You are quiet, thoughtful, and contemplative. You definitely don't like to show off.

You're the type of person who's more likely to surf the web on your phone than text or talk.

You probably also have a bit of a thing for gadgets. You're somewhat of a geek.'

You are addicted to being plugged in to the world around you. You need to have the internet at your fingertips!



about 75% correct...

=======================

Monday, November 08, 2010

Back! And Back To Routine

For pragmatic reasons, I love the routine. I love the structure of it ... I know my life is kind of orderly. I just like that better. - Andrea Martin

I'm still suffering from agility hangover today, so bear with me.

After a crazy weekend -- during which I still managed to maintain my NaNoWriMo word count (yay me!), I'm ready for a quiet Monday.

RE: NaNo -- Maria Zannini said in a comment a couple of days ago, "Maybe a mysterious letter arrives..."

And I thought ... OKAY! Let's do that.

So, a mysterious letter has arrived for Geoff. I don't have a clue what's in it -- guess I'll find out when he opens it (he hasn't yet, his night at the charity auction was stressful and exhausting).

Any thoughts as to what might be in the letter?

And, I'm still working on placing all your objects in the story. I have BIG plans for the stuffed pig coming up. *G*

RE: Agility...

Saturday was interesting and exhausting.

It took place at a different dog's gym and this place does professional AKC agility tournaments. The difference in terms of equipment quality and space was amazing. I love where we are, but our equipment is worn out and much of it it jury-rigged (using water bottles as weights on the chute, for instance).

This place's stuff was incredible. It practically sparkled. It was also AKC regulation -- so the frame was steeper and the jumps were different. Thankfully, Dakota wasn't fazed in the least.

There were about a dozen kids there, ranging in age from 5 y.o. to 16 or so (two of the girls drove themselves, so they had to have been at least 16). The rules for junior handling is kids up to age 19.

There were four groups based on experience. Because my DD hasn't competed professionally, she had to start in the beginner group. This was both good and frustrating.

The good? It was FAR less stressful for her. The frustrating? They pulled all but the simplest of obstacles (we had no chute, no teeter, no dog walk and few tunnels) and the courses were ridiculously short. But DD has to "Q" or qualify at each level in order to advance. The other frustrating thing is that THIS competition didn't count her last junior handler competition scores. Apparently different clubs do things differently.

So now she has TWO binders with check lists to keep track of.

They did well in their runs, though. Dakota did get distracted once -- she was running out of a tunnel at one point and saw the teeter off course, but pretty much right in front of her. She LOVES the teeter. So, of course she had to go and do it... thankfully it didn't disqualify them, and they still finished in the allotted time with only the one fault.

They competed in four different "games" -- she "Q'd" in every one and got first place in her class.

On Sunday, we had the fun match at our dog gym. DD ran three different dogs and did fabulously. The course was challenging and a lot of fun. I videoed everything, though I discovered that my camera's memory card wasn't big enough (it's EIGHT gigabytes!!) and that the battery wasn't good enough for the entire day. I the middle of the second batch of runs, I had to hurry home and grab my laptop, download the videos and charge up the camera. As a result, I missed about eight of the dog's runs (including two of DD's).

Dakota's team came in second and she came in first in her class. Though there was another dog who had the best overall time, she ... how do I put this nicely? ... okay, there isn't a nice way to say "she cheated" so there you go. This is an advanced dog, and the owner didn't have her do closed poles, even though she is more than capable. As a result, she ran down the middle of open poles which cuts off a couple seconds from her score. She only beat Dakota by less than one second, so ... :::shrugs::: . We know who did best. ;-)

I'm still working on getting all the videos posted. I'm not going to put them here -- you can see DD's face too clearly. But -- to all my regular commenters, if you'd like to see them once they're ready, shoot me an email and I'll send you the link.

==================

Today, DH goes back to work. Only for two days (he's off again for just over a week starting on Wednesday), so it will be back to routine. I'm relieved. I really don't do well when things just .... happen. DH is not the kind of person to do a lot of planning. He's very spontaneous and has a habit of not telling me what's going on until about five minutes before it happens. Drives me wonky.

Ah well, such is life.

How was your weekend?

===================




You Are Innovative



You're the type of person who is always putting a new spin on things. You are very creative.

You sometimes feel like you are a square peg trying to fit into a round hole, but that's okay! You'll build your own square hole.

You are cutting edge to the point of being avant-garde. You are extremely inventive.

You can't help but be original. You love to experiment and try new things.



Okay ... but mostly, that sandwich just looks yummy. I may have one just like it for lunch today.

==============

Friday, November 05, 2010

Like Pulling Teeth

The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it. ~Jules Renard, "Diary," February 1895

I managed to stay slightly ahead of the necessary word count ... but it was an extreme effort. I did look through the "dares" on the NaNoWriMo forum, though, and found some interesting ones that I might just have to use.

I spent time yesterday looking for the perfect gown for my heroine. She needed to have something a little unique, something that would stand out in a crowd, but still be appropriate for a high society charity auction. Those of you who are my friends on Facebook have already seen it, but this is what I chose:



So... I'll keep on keeping on, though I'm not entirely happy with what I have thus far. The conflict is weak and needs to be dramatically increased. I need to have some secondary characters added who are really "out there" (like Frank in "One Love for Liv" -- he really was my fave character). Geoff is so somber. His life pretty much sucks right now, so it's been a bit dark. Time to lighten up a little!

I still haven't used any other of the objects you gave me, but I will. I will!

In other news ... I will probably not post on the blog over the weekend. Between usual weekend craziness and having full day agility competitions BOTH days, I'm going to be both brain dead and exhausted. BUT... come Monday, hopefully I'll have some fun videos to share with you and be a little bit back to normal.

Have an awesome weekend!

===================




You Are Dorothy



You are a little lost right now, but you are slowly finding your way home.

You are a kind and loyal person. You are the truest friend anyone could ever have.

You have an active imagination, and you are intrigued by far away places. You make friends easily.

But at the end of the day, there is no place like home. You value your family and roots.



Mostly right :-)

=========================

Thursday, November 04, 2010

No No, NaNo

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. ~Newt Gingrich

This morning was a bit of a bust ... but I'm going to keep moving on today, somehow. Part of it was lack of sleep -- I got *maybe* five hours last night. I'm not sure what the other "partly" was, but I'll get through.

So ... for the challenges yesterday, I got the following:

Objects to use in my NaNo book:

a gun (Joanna St. James)
dust (Maria Zannini)
a dill pickle spear (Anno)
an antique magnifying glass (Brandy)
A leopard print thong with a bow and tiny lace trim (Xeranthemum)
A pair of granny panties (Judy)
a copy holder (Dru)
a stuffed pig (Tori)
a Kewpie doll (Ceri)

I don't know what a copy holder is (Dru? help?), but have used two so far. My poor heroine is having an identity crisis:

Emmy rubbed a palm over her red spikes and snorted, then snagged one of the Kewpie dolls off her dresser top and held it up next to her face. “This is what they want at those things... cookie cutter women, Stepford Wives. Not people like me.”

She wore nothing but a leopard print thong with a bow and tiny lace trim. As tight as all the gowns were, she didn’t want panty lines and certainly couldn’t wear a bra.

So, it's thanks to Ceri and Xeranthemum that I got ANY writing done at all this morning!

========================

I bought a new camera yesterday -- finally bit the bullet and made a decision. I ended up with a Nikon P100:



It's more than a basic point and shoot, but not as complex as a "real" camera. Lots of bells and whistles that I need to figure out, though. And I need to learn quickly since we have TWO agility competitions this weekend (yep, I have one on Saturday -- a CPE event -- and a fun match with our classes on Sunday) and need to take video. I promised to video the fun match and put it up on my YouTube channel for the participants to view.

DD played a bit last night, too. Meet Simon:



And my little buddy, Tyson (I just love him to death):



And we have big:



And small:



And everything in between... Hopefully I'll have some great videos to share next week.

====================




You Are Analytical



You see where most of the pieces of life fit together. You are excellent at organizing chaos.

You are a natural tinkerer. You're interested in how things work and how you can improve them.

You tend to have your head in the clouds, but your daydreams are very important.

You're the type of person who could change the world - if you're given enough space and freedom.



Mostly right ...

=======================

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

NaNo News and a New Challege Request

"Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young." - W. Somerset Maugham

My DH's cold is lingering ... but DD and I are already pretty well over ours. Mine never got unbearably bad, and now it's down to a little bit of a sniffle. YAY.

So far, DD has been keeping on track with school. Having the husband home every day has been interesting, but she's been getting up with us in the morning (he leaves to go hunting at 5:30 a.m.) and starting school almost immediately, so she's pretty well done by the time he gets home.

So far it's working.

I've been getting up around 4 a.m. to write and so far that's working, too. This first bit has been pretty simple since I already had it plotted out. But starting tomorrow, things are a little more ambiguous and getting my word count will be harder. Geoff already messed things up for me, though. I'd intended to make him a boy from the wrong side of the tracks who made good. I loved the idea that he was hiding his past that way. I had BIG plans for his biological father to show back up his life ... but -- noooooo....

Turns out Geoff's father was killed in a car accident with his mistress after driving the family into debt and his mother off-loaded Geoff on her parents and then drank herself to death.

Who knew?

In any case, I've used all but one of the words you guys gave me, so I'm ready for another challenge. First, though, the sentences with the challenge words:

Still, he’d be more comfortable clothed. He’d never been one to flaunt his body, no matter that he did his best to stay in shape. (from Anno)

All dollhouse sized, they were incredibly intricate and looked to be the makings of a Thanksgiving dinner, right down to the cornucopia that was no bigger than the tip of his finger. (from Dru)

Geoff trailed off and took a breath before he lost his nerve. He’d never been one for such extemporaneous behavior. (from Ceri)

He fought to not scrunch his face in consternation despite feeling as though he was the second to last kid chosen for the team who didn’t want to be the last kid chosen and waited. (from Anno)

Not out of affection, something there had been a dearth of in that family, but out of a sense of responsibility. (from Groovy)

Are you and your sisters always this rambunctious? (from Maria -- I still need to use rigmarole)

For the next challenge -- give me an object to include in a scene. It can be anything from the Eiffel Tower to a dust bunny. Go ahead, have fun and give my brain something to chew on!

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Accomplishment is in Your Big Picture



You're not sure how long it will take to get where you're going... but you'll feel amazing once you've arrived.

You've got an uphill journey ahead of you, and you can't even really see what's around the corner.

And while you have your destination in the back of your mind, you are going to enjoy every turn of this road your on.

You're gaining strength, skills, and insight as you travel. And you won't be the same person at the end of the trip.



That's about right!

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