Thursday, June 30, 2011

Virtual Book Tour: Lure of the Wicked by Karina Cooper

We have a special surprise today -- a visit from Karina Cooper, a paranormal romance author who's latest release is "Lure of the Wicked" -- released by Avon/HarperCollins this week! She'll be giving one lucky commenter a $25 GC -- so make sure you enjoy her post and then leave a comment for her. She's at the RWA conference this week, but is stopping in when she can and I know she'd love to hear from you!

1. If someone were writing a story about Karina Cooper what would your blurb say?

In a world where one woman hears the voices of the unwritten…

Wait, is that too epic? I keep hearing the Movie Guy. What a unique question! Okay, let’s see… Probably something like this: Every girl has a story. For some, it’s tea parties and dolls, trips to the mall and school dances. For Karina Cooper, it’s more. More stories, to be precise.

Raised all over the country and independent at an early age, Karina is a woman whose struggles, failures and tears are as character-shaping as her accomplishments. Seeking a place, she tries—and often fails—to fit into pre-determined boxes too structured, too small, too narrow to contain a personality as bright and sometimes abrasive as hers. This is her journey into greatness—into the world of fiction.

Hey, nobody said we couldn’t tart it up a bit, eh?

2. Can you tell us a little about your newest release, Lure of the Wicked that isn't in the blurb?

Oh, there’s so much that isn’t in the blurb! We can talk about the fact that the rogue agent Naomi’s trying to catch has some secrets of his own that should shake up a few long-held beliefs. We could talk about the fact that poor Naomi, on the verge of a psychological break, might not be in the mood—or have the right presence of mind—to hear it. We can talk about plot-threads left dangling mysteriously, or about the fact that Phin has been raised by two mothers.

Each of the characters in Lure of the Wicked have so much going on. The rogue agent, Joe Carson, is a little insane, Naomi West is trying so hard to find her mental footing, and Phin just wants to do what’s right by everyone he’s responsible for. It’s a muck-up of the highest order, with secrets and lies and politics gumming up the engine.

It’s also my favorite of the two so far, though not everyone agrees.

3. What was your inspiration behind the creation of Lure of the Wicked?

A Korean spa.

Seriously! I’d gone to this lovely spa inspired by Korean bath houses and I was hanging out with a couple friends who very graciously didn’t call me insane for wanting to go. We were soaking in one of the amazing heated pools when it hit me: a spa would be the perfect place to lock down a bird desperate to fly.

Phin came to me in the same flash of inspiration, and then I realized there was only one character so over the top that she’d chafe under such constraints, and that’s how I paired the two together.

4. What was your favorite scene to write in Lure of the Wicked?

I call Phin my “alpha-beta”: a man raised by women, so he doesn’t resort to brute strength or aggressive demand when he wants something. He actually is quite sensitive, which I love, but his disciplined determination is what allows him to force things into his own way. He’s not rude, and he really doesn’t swear beyond “hell” and “damn” (his mothers would never allow it!).

So, the scene that really drove this home for me is also my favorite scene. Without giving too much away, Naomi has just come face to face with someone that gets under her skin and makes an already brittle psyche crumble. Before she can make a scene, Phin intercepts her and gets her into a quiet room to break down in peace. Only she’s not the type to kick her and feet and cry, so what he does next was so perfect—so Phin—that I cackled the whole time I was writing it.

He’s sensitive, I said. That doesn’t mean he isn’t manipulative.

5. Are there any other genres you want to tackle?

There are! Gosh, so many. I really love Paranormal romance, and I’ll write in it for as long as the market allows me to. But I’ve also just completed a Steampunk urban fantasy that is decidedly not a romance.

I also have some other “flavors” of paranormal romance that I’m saving for something along the way, and then I really want to tackle a serial killer series. How fun would that be? Well, on paper, I mean. Ahem!

6. If you could trade places with one of your characters, would you want to and who?

Oh, grim! Let’s see… If I had to choose, I’d trade places with Jonas Stone. He’s the best tech analyst in the Mission, and because of that, he has a certain amount of freedom, but he’s also one of my favorite, most surprising characters. Complex, really. I hope you’ll like what you see as he shows up in future books.

But really? I don’t want to trade places with anyone in the Dark Mission world. It’s too dark!

7. What accent is sure to make you swoon?

Australian, every time. There’s something about it that makes me snap to attention—right before I lose all cognitive reason. I love the inflections.

8. What was the most challenging thing you’ve done in the name of research that might have been out of your comfort zone?

So far, all of my research has been comfortable. Even my various piercings, although painful, were things I wanted and therefor didn’t really see as out of my comfort zone. But I can, however, speak for something that will happen in the future.

See, I’m terrified of zombie movies. I can’t make it through one. Even in Resident Evil—which, as we can all agree, is basically the most expensive music video ever made—I had to walk out. But eventually, I’ll be dealing with zombie-like creatures (new series? future Dark Mission? not telling!) and I figure, the best way to know the tropes is to watch them all.

So… I’m arranging to have a zombie movie night with as many people as possible so that I don’t have to do it alone. And this concept scares me so badly, I can’t even tell you.

9. Please share with us something that readers would be surprised to learn about you.

You mean aside that I’m terrified of zombies? Okay, let’s see… I have two microdermal piercings on the back of my neck. Not surprising? Hmm. I…

Oh, here we go! I am a complete and total Star Wars freak. I read the Wookiepedia and Databanks for fun. I will play Star Wars games (with plot) all day long, and if I could be a Jedi, I would. In a heartbeat. My rabbit is named after Juno Eclipse, the love interest and pilot from The Force Unleashed video game. Miralukans are my favorite species, with Twi’leks a close second,a nd I sob like a little baby every time the tragedy that is Episode III is playing and the Order 66 is given.

Damn it, Aayla Secura. You should have survived!

10. How can the readers stay in touch with you online?

I’m all over the place! You can visit my website at, and for you Facebook lovers, I’m at Most of my internet chatter is done over on Twitter, @karinacooper, but be warned: I’m not adverse to coating the walls of your eyelids with my glistening spammeats. Prolific Twitterer is prolific!

11. If you could ask readers any one question, what would it be?

If you could only pick one thing, one single thing, and you had to flee your home, what would you choose and why?

How about sharing the blurb for Lure of the Wicked?

Plucked from the no-frills interior of a stark jail cell, missionary Naomi West has been buffed, polished, and shined to topside perfection. Bitterly resentful, she is imprisoned within the city’s premier spa and resort and forced to pass as one of the topside elite to hunt down an agent gone rogue. The plan is simple: kill him, before the gilded cage she hates so much gets to her first.

Phinneas Clarke has put heart and soul into the spa, turning his family’s secrets and dreams into a successful business that hides the operation he runs behind the scenes. When the beautifully untouchable Naomi checks in, everything starts to unravel, and he must choose between protecting his investment, his family, or a woman too damaged to be any good for his heart.

Remember, folks -- you can visit with Karina at ALL her stops this week:

June 27: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
June 28: Book of Secrets
June 29: Black Velvet Seductions Reader's Blog
June 30: Marianne Arkins
July 1: My Bookish Ways

Every comment earns you an entry into the $25 drawing!

Thanks for visiting.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Break...

Folks, I'm flat wrung out right now .... too much going on, not enough time and something has to give. For now, it's the blog. At least for the next few days, I'm going to take a break. Hopefully, things will get back to normal soon, but in the meantime, I don't even know how much I'll actually be online. I plan on trying to visit blogs, but make no promises.

Wishing you all a great week!

And, no, I couldn't end without a quiz!

You Are Red

You are a highly passionate person, and you'd stand up and fight for anything you believe in.

You're a lot like the founders of the United States. You are a bit of a revolutionary.

Like most modern Americans, you are have things you love and hate about the USA ... and you're not afraid to say what they are.

Keep expressing your opinion and acting to fix what's wrong. People like you are what makes the USA great.


Monday, June 27, 2011

The Weekend Recap

I love my mother as the trees love water and sunshine - she helps me grow, prosper, and reach great heights. ~Terri Guillemets

Happy Monday!

My blogging may be sporadic the next couple of weeks. Not only is my mom staying here until her apartment is ready, but DH is taking of next week, so things will be crazy. I should hopefully be back to normal (or what passes as normal for me *G*) July 11th.

Friday, Dru asked:

Is your mom living in the same place she lived before moving out west?

No. She lived with us before, in an apartment over our garage. When she moved, we totally renovated it, including some structural changes and it's not really usable (or available -- it's DD's school room, craft area and my office) now. She's getting her own real apartment thins time (complete with two pools -- one indoor, one outdoor, which THRILLS DD).

At DD's new school, do they wear uniforms?

No, though they do have a very strict dress code. I'll be honest, I wish they DID have a uniform. It would make my life a million times easier.

I spent the weekend reacquainting my mom with the area (much has changed -- even one road was completely redesigned and moved!) and letting her rest a bit. My DH went out on Thursday night to Kansas City to pick her up and drive her the rest of the way here. It was a marathon trip straight through with stops only for potty breaks and food. They got here Saturday morning, and both were exhausted.

But it's done.

In other news, I took my mom couponing with my on Sunday. We hit CVS, RiteAid and Walgreens. She got her cards for the two that offer them, and I showed her how to find the deals in the flyers and go from there. I gave her two of my UpRewards/ExtraBucks to get her started. She needed Zantac, and I showed her how it was on sale at one place - plus we scored: we HAD a $1 off coupon, but ONE of the packages in the store came with a $2 off coupon attached! She ended up getting it dirt cheap.

She's excited by the prospect and got her own coupon container started (with the UpRewards/ExtraBucks she earned) and is ready to do more.

I'm telling you folks, it's not THAT hard to get stuff for free or nearly so. In fact, at this point I won't "buy" toothpaste unless it's free (and I got two tubes at RiteAid for -$1 this weekend. They were free after UpRewards AND I had a $1 off coupon).

We've also been having a "Leverage" marathon -- we wanted to catch Mom up to speed since the fourth season started last night.

I did discover yesterday that the deer hit my veggie garden. My own fault -- I'd forgotten to put out my milorganite bombs (you put it in pieces of nylon stockings and hang it around the garden... keeps the deer away cuz it STINKS). They ate about 2/3 of my tomatoes down to about 6" high, nibbled my butternut squash and cucumbers about halfway down. I'm most upset about the tomatoes, though they'll bounce back. But they were loaded with blossoms and now ... they aren't.


Worse, I saw my first Japanese Beetles. We call them the advance guard. The first ones that hatch are this dull brown color instead of the shiny, iridescent color of most. It means the "real" beetles will be hatching in a couple of day.

Oh. Joy.

How was your weekend?


You Are a Performance Based Tipper

You believe that hard work should be rewarded. You always like to recognize a job well done.

You are a natural motivator. You propel others into action.

You have an unusually high sense of fairness and justice. You give everyone a chance to impress you.

You are an empowering influence. You encourage others to be the best they can be.

That's about right...mostly.


Friday, June 24, 2011

It's a Wet, Wet Summer..

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

Sung to the tune of this:

Check out the gas prices... and that was England, so higher than us because the dollar used to be strong once (especially in the mid-80s).

Holy smokes ... did you know Ace of Base redid "Cruel Summer"? It's pretty cool:

And, yes, I'm a little random today.

We're having another week of rain, and I'm about done with it. It'll be great for my garden (and the weeds), but it makes the dog a little crazy -- especially since we didn't have agility this week (our instructor is on vacation in Ireland, lucky lady!).

DD officially finished school yesterday, though she still needs to take her finals. She did a happy dance, then asked me when her first day of school was and calculated how much freedom she had (about two months).

My mom will be here on Saturday ... I do wonder how things will change. I'm such a "set in routine" gal. I'm thrilled she's going to be here, but ....

In any case, my weekend will consist of computer work and housework, most likely -- and if it EVER clears up, yard work.



Your Drive is Colorful

You're the type of person who's going to take on the world, but you do it one day at a time.

You are hard working. You are industrious with an amazing work ethic.

You have strong opinions about the way things should be done. You are very competent.

You can accomplish almost anything you put your mind to. Slow and steady wins the race!



Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sleep, Ah Sleep ...

Sleeping is no mean art: for its sake one must stay awake all day. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

I'm tired.

Here's the thing: I'm not a good sleeper. I don't know if I was as a kid (well... except when my brother would threaten to wait until I was sleeping and then push in the "drawer" of the trundle bed I was sleeping in), Mom would have to answer that -- but the last 15 years or so, I don't sleep well. If I get more than a couple hours solid sleep in a row, I call it victory. OH, I stay in bed a good solid eight hours (mostly), but I spend much of that staring at the walls.

Part of that is because I'm a light sleeper and I acknowledge that, but the other part ... ? I have no idea. Last night was no exception. Bed at nine-thirty, read until ten, lights off. DH comes home from work around eleven and I wake up when he comes to bed. I did get a solid hour of unconsciousness, which was good. Then, because I'm awake, he gets gabby and we talk for awhile until he nods off (DH could sleep through a nuclear war -- comes from being stationed on an aircraft carrier in the Navy). I lay there, wide awake. Finally, after listening to him snore ("I don't snore") I get up. The dog gets up with me. I wander around the house, have a drink, stuff a rag in DD's door because it's thumping just a bit from the wind, check the emails on my new phone (*G*), curl up on the couch with the dog. By now it's well after midnight. I stare at the ceiling a bit, brain is going a hundred MPH and won't slow down...

Eventually I nodded off, but this morning five a.m. came WAY too early.

In other news, the friend from yesterday with the swallowtail butterbabies on her fennel reported MORE swallowtails on her parsley! AND, she said her kidlets found two monarch pillars on her milkweed (yes, I've indoctrinated her and her boys to the dark side ... of pillar ranching). She's not THAT far from me (a couple hours), so I guess it's about time to start looking for monarch eggs. YAY!

Brandy had asked about the field Cigna owns with all the milkweed. I haven't seen the woman who was going to work with them on NOT mowing until the first frost for several weeks, but I'm hoping to see her this weekend at the dog park (she's owned by a goofy Golden Retriever). Hopefully, that's all settled and there won't be a mass pillar-cide this year.

DD found the coolest spider in her schoolroom the other day. He was fairly small with a bright yellow butt.

I've never seen one like it before. We scooped and released. Anyone know what he is?

And now I need more coffee.

Have a great day!


You Have Depth

You are the ultimate escapist. If you can't escape physically, you escape with your thoughts.

You love the idea of travel and faraway lands. If you could, you would travel constantly and see the world.

While you are a bit on the quiet side, you're a great partner. You are supportive, devoted, and loyal.

More than any other type, you honestly still believe in true love. You hold on to your ideals.

Mostly right.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pillars Move South

Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine. ~Jeffrey Glassberg

I was greatly heartened yesterday when a friend who lives in Massachusetts told me that she had black swallowtail caterpillars all over her fennel. She's a good doobie, and is letting them consume it (and I might have to plant some next year, along with lots of dill). They eat: parsley, fennel, dill, carrot greens, rue and queen anne's lace. Interestingly enough, they will ONLY eat what their eggs are laid on -- i.e., if they hatch on rue, they won't eat dill. This even goes as far as if they are hatched on curly leaf parsley, they won't eat flat leaf parsley!

I can NOT believe we haven't had even ONE pillar this year. Neither can DD, who is incredibly sad and disappointed. Monarch season should start in the next week or two. I hope the trend doesn't continue.

In other news, after spending three long hours at the phone store yesterday (with DD and the dog -- who got pats and dog cookies from the FedEx lady and the mail lady, but interestingly enough NOT from the man who was the representative from a popular dog food company... he barely even glanced at her) I am now the proud but confused owner of a Droid "The Charge" phone.

It's slow learning, though now that I've found the users manual on the phone (silly me... I was trying to use the little print one they provided which has almost NO information) and also found a tutorial on the phone, things should go a little faster. I did manage to get most of my email accounts added (yeah, I have a lot of those) and got onto one of my Facebook accounts (it won't let me add more than once, which makes me sad). I got my weather and local news and did all my contacts... I haven't set up my voice mail yet, or even really played with the fun stuff.

Seriously, though... I'm pretty sure my phone is smarter than I am.


You Should Take Up Knitting

You are patient and focused. You are good at sticking with projects and following instructions.

You follow and play by the rules. It's important to you to do things by the book.

You are highly observant. No detail slips past you.

You are generous with your time. You believe that the best things in life don't come quickly.

Mostly right, but knitting drives me crazy ...


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Call Do Over!

There is one kind of robber whom the law does not strike at, and who steals what is most precious to men: time. ~Napoleon I, Maxims, 1815

Yesterday went by in a blur ... and it seems like I got very little accomplished. Days like that drive me a little wonky. DH also came home early and unexpectedly, and I about wet my pants when someone walked into the house -- nearly grabbed for the cleaver (I was starting dinner). He's lucky he survived. *G*

Dru asked if my mom was here yet... not quite. She's stopped over in Kansas City visiting my brother. Actually, this has been a great trip for her, time to reconnect with all her kids. We're spread out all over the country and some of us haven't seen her in a very, very long time. She'll be here this coming weekend at some point. YAY!

We're teaching Dakota to know her right paw from her left paw. It's been fun... she's bored with her old tricks, and so are we, so we thought we'd give this a go (since trying to teach her to spell wasn't working -- she has a paper fetish and kept trying to eat the flash cards).

I'm looking at getting a smart phone -- I really wanted something I could use for internet when I'm somewhere I don't have internet. DH keeps talking about going away for a week or two on an island at the lake for a family vacation, but I can't be gone that long without getting online. After a great deal of research and asking around, I'm settling on a Droid (which I think beats iPhone on several levels -- those were the two I was looking at). I'm greedy, and want to be on the 4G network, so it looks like I'll be getting "The Charge". It has an insane amount of memory (32GB), the battery charge is significantly longer than any other Droid, and the biggest complaint I've seen is the quality of the case (I suspect it was made that way to make it lighter than the other Droids, and it is a LOT lighter -- I held all the models yesterday). I can get a skin for that and not worry...

I admit, I never really thought that much about having a phone that did anything but make phone calls, but the more I played with the test one yesterday, the more excited I got. It has GPS (with traffic reports!), and so much more. And it will hook up to and get up to EIGHT other gadgets online. I don't even HAVE that many gadgets! LOL... Between the three of us we have three computers and two eReaders.

I should have it in the next couple of days. Woot!


Your Spirit Flower is the Daisy

You value close relationships with friends. You count on your friends as much as they count on you.

You are completely unpretentious and carefree. All you care about is whether someone is a good person.

You are a natural counselor. You listen well and give out good advice when needed.

You love all of life's simple pleasures. You find a lot of joy in a walk outdoors or a day at the park.

About half right.


Monday, June 20, 2011


I do not really like vacations. I much prefer an occasional day off when I do not feel like working. When I am confronted with a whole week in which I have nothing to do but enjoy myself I do not know where to begin. To me, enjoyment comes fleetingly and unheralded; I cannot determinedly enjoy myself for a whole week at a time. ~Robertson Davies

So ... I was away most of the weekend. Saturday we spent up at my DH's uncle's place on the lake -- DH is the caretaker there, so this time I went with him to help and to get away from it all. DD has the job of mowing, and the yard is HUGE so it's quite a job with the push mower. She's done it two weeks now and has blisters on her blisters. But she's a trooper (and the fact it's a paying job helps!).

I reclaimed a flower garden -- neither DH's uncle or his wife are gardeners, so the poor thing was more weeds and overgrown plants than garden. It took me a couple of hours but it was FUN. I pulled weeds, I pruned bushes, and thinned a couple of plant groupings that were taking over. I found amazing joy in the discovery ("Oh! LOOK -- day lilies!") and in the organizing and cleaning. I was surprised at how good I felt when I was done, stepped back and saw the results. The carnage was huge -- it took three overflowing wheelbarrow loads to clean up all the stuff I took out, but it looks amazing. I only hope DH's uncle and wife think so, too. *gulp*

It was oddly relaxing as well -- because I COULDN'T get on the computer (no internet there) I was free to do what I pleased. At home, despite having LOTS of yardwork, I feel obligated to work on the computer because there is always work to be done. I do some gardening every day, but not for hours at a time. And we had a group barbecue and small family gathering. It was good.

Sunday we spent at DH's brother's place on the lake (oh... if only I could say we spent the weekend at OUR place on the lake, but no such luck because -ha- we don't have one.. yet) with the entire family (which is amazingly large anymore -- lots and lots of kidlets). I wasn't allowed to bring the dog up to this one (and I have to say that I think people who don't like, or at least tolerate well-behaved dogs have something fundamentally wrong with them ... no offense to any dog-haters out there, but how can you not like dogs???), so I only stayed for a few hours. It's a long drive up and back, and I prefer not to leave Dakota for more than 6 - 8 hours at once. Still, it was a pretty good day. Ironically, since we were there with the family, I mostly ended up spending the day with my husband -- we ate together, took a long walk together, and when we got back from the walk everyone was swimming (and we didn't choose to) so we hung out on the deck and gabbed. It was a pretty darn good day, too.

Then I came home and had to build all of the pages for next week's LASR/WC website and edit the reviews. We won't talk about the book videos I still have to create. But everyone needs a break now and then, right? LOL...

How was you weekend?


You Are Dumbo the Flying Elephant

You rather be with your friends than be alone. You prefer to be surrounded by others.

If you're bored, you will tend to become lazy and apathetic. You are content to just be.

You are a total people person, and you get listless when you're alone. You need someone to bounce energy off of.

You are outgoing and a social butterfly of sorts. You pride yourself on being able to get along with everyone.



Friday, June 17, 2011

Father's Day Weekend

Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes. ~Gloria Naylor

Just to make me a liar, yesterday we saw several black swallowtail butterflies (Dakota almost ate one). Hopefully this means we'll be seeing some butterbabies soon.

The weather here went from cold to cooking overnight. The plants (mostly) like it, but I have to get out and water every day again. Stuff is growing, but SO slowly -- everything is only a few inches tall ... I'm ready to start harvesting squash and it's barely got three leaves! LOL...

Don't know what this weekend will hold, other than a family gathering on Father's Day... I really miss my dad every year at this time. It's been twenty years since he's been gone, and there are times I feel like I should be able to call him up, or visit. I didn't appreciate him nearly enough when I had him.

And now my brain is empty. I feel like I should have more to say, but ... :::looks through the files in brain::: ... nope. Empty.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and Happy Father's Day!


Your Friends See You As Confident

You automatically take charge when chaos or confusion arise. You know you make a good leader.

You are strong and determined. You are ambitious and even stubborn at times.

You are dominant, and you enjoy being in charge. You have vision and ambition.

You have a vision of how your life should be. And you plan on getting there one day.

That's pretty much right, though it makes me look a bit like Napolean...


Thursday, June 16, 2011

New and Notes

Lots of people talk to animals.... Not very many listen, though.... That's the problem. ~Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

Woke up with an amazingly bad headache, so any brilliant ideas I might have had for a blog post escape me (and it seems like I *did* have something to say).

We still haven't found any swallowtail caterpillars. The day before our insanely bad storm last week, we thought we had a black swallowtail laying eggs on the rue -- but have to assume that the wind and deluge of rain must have killed the eggs. DD is very sad at the thought of having NO swallowtail pillars. With the exception of the one black swallowtail butterfly we saw, we've seen no others. Very sad.

I pulled up all the lettuce in my garden -- it had bolted and was bitter. Everything else appears to be VERY happy, though. And several plants I thought were dead (leaves shriveled to the ground) apparently decided they were only taking naps. I have three cucumbers and an eggplant coming back from the ashes, so to speak.

My mom is moving back here after leaving us almost four years ago to live in California. She's slowly driving cross country, visiting family. Her last solo stop is Kansas City, where my DH will go pick her up and drive her back. We're very excited to see her again! Only ten more days...

Father's Day is Sunday and we haven't gotten so much as a card for DH. I should probably remedy that today.

DD has two more days of school... she's VERY excited to be done. And her new school starts off with a barbecue / orientation for their first day, so that should be fun. She's thinking about playing soccer... something she's never done. So, I'll probably invest in a soccer ball and she and I will practice over the summer.

Maria Zannini has a new book out. She sneaked that sucker through without even letting us know she was WORKING on it. Just BOOM! Oh, by the way, I have a book out... sneaky, sneaky.

I bought $66 worth of stuff at CVS yesterday for $14 (including toothpaste, deodorant, fish oil, gum and a razor and refill blades. My best scoop yet.

And that's about all my brain can say today. Sorry... hopefully my meds kick in soon and I can function normally.

Hope you all have a great day!


You Would Be a Logical Doctor

You are a very rational person, and it's nearly impossible for you to be swayed by emotions.

As a doctor, you would let logic be your guide. And with it, you'd find some ingenious remedies and cures.

You are a natural problem solver. And you never give up until the problem is solved.

You would be well suited to being a neurologist, pathologist, or oncologist.

That's mostly right.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Little House in the Big Woods

Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars... and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers - for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are. ~Osho

Yesterday, Angelina asked: Are there a lot of bears where you live or was there just one stray lingering through town? If there are a lot, can't the town's animal control help? I wouldn't feel safe living somewhere where a bear could come out at any time.

Where I live is sort of the best of both worlds. I'm ten minutes from civilization -- I get to WalMart, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, three drugstores, two grocery stores, the doctors office one of four fast food restaurants and more in fifteen minutes or less.


I also live in the boonies. You see, the property we own abuts conservation land. Technically, there is other "owned" property behind us, about a forty acre strip, and someday it might get developed but right now we have nothing but wilds. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of acres of undeveloped land.

Yes, I have a yard:

But it has a secret world behind it:

Want a closer look?

Is it any wonder we constantly fight ticks (three yesterday -- two on the dog, one on my stairs...ICK) or that we're just as likely to see a deer, as a person walking down the street? I've "met" more wildlife here than I ever did when we truly lived in the boonies in California. We have the standard hundred or two chipmunks, about the same number of red squirrels (though their numbers have dwindled since I pulled the bird feeders), owls and bats, racoons, porcupines, skunks, wild turkeys and the four-footed and hooved critters: deer, moose, fisher cats, foxes, coyotes, bear and more (DD is especially partial to playing with the toads, frogs and snakes).

It's a zoo.

I was just talking to my SIL yesterday about the bat I found in my bathroom when DD was just a baby. He was hanging from the window... scared the pants off me. It's just not something you expect to see when you walk into your bathroom! LOL...

And, so, that was my roundabout way of saying, "No, animal control can't help." and honestly, the bears usually aren't out during the day -- the one who hit my feeder last year was young and probably really, really hungry. Even so, it meant that my "trick" of pulling my feeders at night was no longer working (that's what I'd done the last ten years or so).

My neighbors up the street had a hummingbird feeder on their deck and one evening heard something outside, turned on their light and saw the bear on the deck, on his back drinking the feeder like a baby bottle.

So, yeah, I miss my birds. But, safety first!


You Are Motivated By Autonomy

While you are at ease around others, it's very important that you're able to do your own thing.

You are engaged with the world and with life. You find it easy to get in gear, and you're usually busy.

You are emotionally stable and totally together. You have struck the perfect balance in your life.

You are confident and self-assured. You believe in yourself fully and completely.

About 3/4 right.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Animal Tales

It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man - for precisely the same reasons. ~Douglas Adams, The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

I have the noisiest cardinal outside my window right now. I don't feed my birds anymore, not since last spring when we had a bear march up to my feeders in the back yard in the middle of the day and take one. I miss my birds. I really found a lot of joy and peace watching them.

My favorite time of year was when the Hairy Woodpecker babies would fledge and mom would show them how to use the suet feeders. She'd fly over, leaving them in a nearby try, get a mouthful of suet and take it to them. She'd do that a couple of times, and then then next time, she wouldn't take them any.

Finally, after peeping and peeping, they'd make their way over. They usually had pretty poor aim, and would miss the feeder the first few times. Finally, though, they'd land and eat. It was a lot of fun. I missed it last year (it broke my heart -- I pulled the feeders right around that time, and for a couple weeks I'd have woodpeckers in my trees peeping and peeping and looking at where they used to be... made me SO sad. Stupid bear.) and I'll miss it this year. I just can't figure out a way to "bear proof" my feeders, not to mention I'd rather not have bears nearby with Dakota and DD outside.

In other animal news, a third white duck has joined the crew at Quackie's pad. All of sudden they're coming out of the woodwork! Two seem to have paired up, and one tends to hang around the edges, but at least it's company. Plus there are still about half a dozen male mallards swimming around there. I hope that at least the white ducks stay -- I'd hate to see Quackie all alone again.

And in sad news, I just saw that author L. A. Banks was diagnosed with late stage adrenal cancer. They're accepting donations toward her medical costs, and I expect the prognosis is not good. Very sad. She's a talented author, and from what I can tell, a good person, too. My thoughts and prayers go out to her and her family.


You Are Gothic

You can be too moody and impossible to understand. Most people don't have feelings as strong as yours.

You are a sensitive, romantic soul. You live to love... it's the most important thing for you.

You're quite loyal to those you love most - friends and family. You have a sweet heart.

You are a deeply spiritual and wise person. You seek meaning in every aspect of your life.

Oddly, that's quite close to correct. How'd they get that from the questions they asked? :::scratches head:::


Monday, June 13, 2011

Thank God It's Monday

Boredom is like a pitiless zooming in on the epidermis of time. Every instant is dilated and magnified like the pores of the face. ~Charlotte Whitton

Can I just tell you how truly glad I am the weekend is over? It was a LONG, difficult one. The weather was dismal (rain -- which we needed -- and cold, gray, blech) and the family was down, cranky, bored, tense ....

I'm glad we ended up not doing the craft fair, though. It was not well advertised, which wasn't that big a deal when it was going to be outside (because people would see it and stop), but with the rain, it would have been moved INSIDE and the crafters would have been in areas not so good. The church was having a flea market, bake sale, etc., and had already planned on being inside, so had the best spots.

In any case, DD was diligently taking pictures of all of her pieces and I was trying to find the time to get them up on her site in between all the other work I had. I got about 15 new things up and have another 40 or so to go.

Some of my faves (you can click on the pix to get to the store):

Once I get all her stuff up, I'll be having a promotional contest of some kind. Haven't decided WHAT yet, but hopefully it'll bring her a little business!

Last night was eventful ... I'd taken a long, hot bath and crawled into bed. Dropped off like a rock until I heard this loud THUMP and then a kid yell, "Let's go!" and screeching tires all outside our house.

I heard DH open the front door, so I went down to see what was going on. Apparently, he'd heard someone in our garbage can (we'd pulled it to the curb since garbage goes out today) and turned on the porch light. When he did that, whoever it was dropped the lid (the thud I heard), hollered, jumped in the car and took off.

We went and looked inside. Nothing added, nothing taken (everything in there is bagged first and I knew I had three bags -- all still there and not opened). We probably caught them right as they'd started -- when people drive up to our house, the headlights shine right in because of the angle of the road, so DH knew someone had stopped outside before they even got out.

We pulled the can back to our garage and DH called the cops. We just wanted to let them know it was possible some kids were either vandalizing stuff or trying to steal stuff (I always think about identity theft, etc -- those lovely preapproved credit applications just BEG to be stolen).

We shred everything (or burn it in the winter), and we recycle as well ... so mostly our garbage is icky stuff: food leavings, bags of scooped cat excrement, coffee grounds that don't make it to the compost, etc. But this isn't true of many people.

In any case, that lovely, warm drowsy that I'd been in went away and it took me forever to get back to sleep. *yawn*

How was your weekend?


You Are Thoughtful

You need to know someone a long time before you open up. You are enigmatic and reserved.

You are a visionary. You have big ideas for the future.

You are inventive and easily inspired. You like to put your spin on things.

You work best alone and at your own pace. You have a quiet and low key way about you.

Mostly right.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Self-Esteem and Storms

Self-respect cannot be hunted. It cannot be purchased. It is never for sale. It cannot be fabricated out of public relations. It comes to us when we are alone, in quiet moments, in quiet places, when e suddenly realize that, knowing the good, we have done it; knowing the beautiful, we have served it; knowing the truth we have spoken it. ~Whitney Griswold

So ... yesterday was my craziest yet, and I am going to STAY HOME today, dang it. Sorry, Sarita, though flowers ARE blooming in my garden, I haven't had any time to just go and enjoy them all week long. I have high hopes for the weekend... though I expect I'll be spending much of it taking pictures of jewelry. Angelina, if you like danglies, you're going to LOVE most of the earrings DD's made.

So yesterday ... first a little backstory that I'm too tired to weave skillfully into the current story (*G*): DD has been having serious self-esteem issues lately. She thinks she's ugly, fat, stupid, useless... she's VERY emotional and quite a drama queen, even on the best days, but the past week or so I've found her puddled on the floor more than once, crying so hard she can't breathe. Yeah ... it's been fun. ::rolls eyes::: I've done my best damage control, but I'm MOM and when MOM says you're pretty, it doesn't count as much. Moms HAVE to say you're pretty. Oy. We've discussed how brutally honest I am. "When I don't like what you're wearing or how your hair looks, do I tell you?" ... "Yes." ... "If I thought you were ugly, I might not say THAT to your face, but I wouldn't lie and tell you that you were beautiful, would I?" ... "No." ... "Okay, then listen to me: you're beautiful." And she really is... inside and out (which is another thing I try to emphasize).


Yesterday, we had to go out by our mall anyway because she had to do something at her new school, so I made a day of it (well, half a day anyway), and we did some power shopping, because nothing makes you feel as good as new clothes (and since she's pretty well outgrown what she has, it needed doing anyway). We got her a new tankini (that was HARD ... they're mostly either too low ... because my 12 y.o. needs a neckline that plunges to her navel, right?) or the cups are too big (she wears womens sizes, but doesn't have a woman's figure yet). I'm a sucker ... we bought black bottoms (a cute skirt one) at L.L. Bean, but couldn't find a matching top in her size, so bought tops at Sears. Yes... topS... as in two. Because I couldn't say no.

Then off the Macys -- I love their sale racks: good clothes at low prices. :-) We bought a pile of new shirts (she had SO much fun at home later trying everything on ... a little fashion show).

It helped some, I think. Last night she came over en route to bed and said: "Mom, I've decided I am pretty. Thanks for telling me that."

Hope it sticks.

In weather news, we got PUMMELLED yesterday. As we were leaving the school, the skies got black as night. It was a little scary, and all I wanted was to get home. Then some thunder rumbled ... and about ten mins from home all hell broke loose. The wind was insane! Trees were bending over 'til they were nearly horizontal and there are a LOT of trees here. I kept saying, "Please don't let a tree fall on me." because I was pretty sure it would happen. I've NEVER seen the trees bend that much. Then the rain!! THE RAIN!! It dumped so hard, heavy and fast when I was about five minutes from home that I could NOT see. I probably should have pulled over, but Dakota was home alone, and I'd left windows open. I crept down our street, praying nothing would run out in front of me ... I could see car lights, but if a dog, or a deer or (God forbid) a kid had crossed the road, it might have been dicey.

We made it home, mopped up the mess from the open windows and waited for it to pass. It was, without a doubt, one of the worst storms we've had in years.

I am grateful for the water though. We were desert dry. And... even better? It cooled it off. We're only supposed to be in the high 70s today. YAY!!

Any excitement in your lives you want to share?

Have a great weekend!


You Are a Black Eyed Pea

You are a naturally energetic person, and you've always done things in your own, wacky way.

You know that you'll never fit in perfectly, and you never really even tried.

Most people consider you to be extremely lucky. You may find friends hanging around you hoping that your luck will rub off a little.

You've done well for yourself in life. You know how to thrive, and you're good at keeping pests away.

Um... okay? Maybe? ::shrugs::


Thursday, June 09, 2011

Answers and Ambling

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. ~Russel Baker

Yesterday, Brandy asked: So CVS and Walgreens don't mind you stacking coupons?

I can't use two manufacturers coupons, but I *can* use a store coupon with a manufacturers coupon. The register returns, up rewards, etc., are also considered manufacturers coupons, so I have to make sure I buy enough stuff that I can use them -- usually if you aren't getting everything free, they don't care.

And Angelina said: Can you be my personal shopper? I'm really bad at finding deals, and I never remember to bring coupons.

I actually use a couple of couponing sites (via Facebook) who help "match up" coupons with deals, and I clip nearly every coupon out of my flyers weekly. Even if I don't think I'd use it (like the one I have ... and forgot to use... for Blink eye drops), I clip it. I do draw the line at things like Fixodent, but for the most part I pull every coupon because if I can get it free, even if it's not something *I* would use, I probably know someone I can give it to.

Also, I never go anywhere without my box o'coupons in the car -- which is why I'm doubly annoyed at missing that Blink coupon. :::slaps self on hand:::

It's fun and I also have my DD helping -- she clips coupons for me every week for a small fee :-)

In other news, we've decided NOT to do the craft show this coming weekend for a number of reasons. Partly because I'm SO not prepared, partly because we'd be out in the roasting sun with no protection for six hours (and it's HOT here lately, people... it was 90 yesterday with a "real feel" of 98), partly because I can't get in touch with the organizer for ANY details, partly because my husband is going boating on Saturday and DD has already missed two other trips for stuff (like agility last weekend) and partly because I've just had a really bad feeling about it for the past couple weeks. That's a little "woo woo" I know, but I really believe in intuition (don't you think your brain picks up on things subconsciously that you don't realize consciously?), so I'm kissing the reservation fee goodbye and giving it a pass.

That does mean, however, that all the stuff DD has been cranking out has to get up on DistinctivelyDD (she's done maybe 50+ earrings, several necklaces and some bracelets and hair pins). It also means I'm going to have a contest for her very, very soon.

This morning, after several insanely hot, VERY dry days (my POOR garden ... I'm watering, but it's still struggling), we're having a thunderstorm. The rumbles have just started, but I'm just so grateful for the rain. I hope it pours... It should also clear out the 90+ degree heat and 9 billion percent humidity. Those of you down south are probably laughing up your sleeve at me, but just remember -- I don't have A/C here.

I've also been insanely busy. I can't remember the last time life has been this nuts. I won't go into it all, but suffice it to say I seldom get a moment to just slow down ... it's go-go-go all day long. I've tried to visit your blogs, but I'm a day behind again. I MISS you guys when I don't visit (though I am on Facebook a lot, so at least can see your posts there, in passing... I really do love Facebook).

I'd like to say that things will settle soon, but I don't see that happening any time in the near future. It's a good thing, really, but exhausting! LOL...

How's life in your neck of the woods?


You Are a Lion

You are just in all your actions. You want to be seen as both honest and fair.

You are wise and discerning. You focus on what really matters in life.

You have ideals, but you try not to let those ideals get in the way of living your life.

You are conscientious. You are diligent and reliable, even when it isn't easy to be.

Mostly right :-)


Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Ticks and Thrift

Thrift is not an affair of the pocket, but an affair of character. ~S.W. Straus

Yesterday was a banner day for us -- we found NO TICKS. It's the first day since tick season started that we didn't have at least one (and usually more) ticks on the dog or in the house our (:::shudder:::) on one of us.

Hopefully that trend continues.

I also did some couponing. I'd taken a break for a week or two -- truthfully, I was just burned out and frustrated that none of the items I wanted were available. Many stores are starting to put limits on how many of anything you can buy to avoid having people clear the shelves, and I'll be honest -- I'm thrilled. I don't mind "only" getting four deodorants or six toothpastes. That's enough to see me through until the next special.

We went to three stores, only Walgreens didn't have anything in stock we wanted. The people there are the nicest of all, though the lady who helps us at CVS is starting to warm up to us (because we chat with her all the time). It's a pain for them to run all the coupons and Up Rewards / Register Returns, so I try to be as nice as possible.

Here's what we scored.

From CVS:

The Crest Rinse had a Register Return in the amount of the entire product, and I had a $1 off coupon, so I actually made $1 on it.

The Gillette deodorant was Buy One, Get One 50% off, and I had two BOGO coupons, so I got four deodorants for the price of one.

The toothpaste had register returns making each tube cost $0.75 each.

The toothbrushes had register returns making each one cost $0.99 and I had two $1 off coupons, so I earned a penny on each.

The lipsticks were $5/each. I had a coupon for $2 off plus when you go to CVS, you scan your card and they spit out coupons, one of which was for $3 off, plus I got a register return for another $2, so got two $9.99 lipsticks for a total of $3.

Granted, you have to pay up front and the RR's are for use on another purchase, but it all comes out in the wash.

At Rite Aid:

The Blink eye drops had a rebate for the total cost of the item (and I could submit it online, so didn't even have to pay postage), so they were free.

The Pringles (a concession to DH's junk food needs) were on sale 2 for $3 and I had a $1 off coupon, so they came to just over $1/ea.

The gum was on sale for $0.77/each and I had a $1 off 3 for Stride and a $1 off 2 for Orbit. Please don't make me do the math ... let's just say it was cheap.

The shampoo and conditioner were on sale for $3.50 and had up returns that, along with my coupons, made them free.

The toothpaste had up returns, making them $1/each.

There were a couple goofs on my end on some other things that I didn't pay close enough attention to ... but I'm still learning. And, I discovered I had a coupon for the Blink eye drops for $2 off that I could have used and actually made money on the deal, but didn't because I'd forgotten. Bad me.

Still, for a newbie, I'm doing okay.


You Are Sweet Because You're Passionate

You provide direction and leadership for others. People are looking to you to see what you'll do.

You focus on goals rather than people. You've always been happiest looking out for yourself.

You welcome new challenges without fear. You're ready for whatever comes your way.

You are a very ambitious person. You aren't about to settle for second best.

Mostly right.


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Weekend in Review - A Day Late!

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. ~Philip K. Dick

Ever notice how, when your day starts off badly it tends to continue in that direction? Is it pure physics? An object in motion and all that jazz? Yesterday was nuts.

Today, though, DH couldn't sleep and got up VERY early. Ergo, *I* got up very early. Maybe today will stay on this already productive path...

Over the weekend, DD has her Junior Agility competition. The turnout was small (which was kind of nice) and she did well, getting first place and a "Q" (or Qualify ... which helps her go up in levels of competition) in all her classes.

Here are her videos, if you're interested.

The Tunnel Game is first -- just a series of tunnels. The courses get more complicated (with more tunnels and more difficult turns) as you go up in level. DD is a level 2, but has "Q'd" for level 3 next competition.

Next was "Dealer's Choice" where the handler chooses a course based on points -- you'll hear the judge calling out numbers every time Dakota takes an obstacle. Each team has to earn a minimum number of points, but can earn more. When the whistle blows, they have 5 seconds to get to the table.

Then came the Standard Course which includes everything Dakota and DD can do at their level -- really it only excludes the teeter and poles (both of which Dakota loves ... but has to earn the right). She's been having LOTS of trouble hitting her contacts on the A-Frame lately, and sure enough she misses here too, even though DD slows her down. You'll hear me groan... she also goes for the Dog Walk instead of the jump coming out of one tunnel, but that was DD's fault -- she didn't call the obstacle and Dakota just went to what was in front of her face.

Lastly was the Jumpers course (which only means no contacts like the Dog Walk or Frame). She did really well:

All-in-all a good day and one of the scorekeepers as well as two of the other helpers, all of whom run their dogs professionally, suggested that DD start competing in CPE (Canine Performance Events) trials (which are "real" trials where, in theory, you can qualify for nationals but aren't as crazy competitive as AKC or USDAA). They said she'd do fine at level 1, Junior. There's a CPE Trial in July... we might do it. It's a two day event, so I have to decide if I can stand two full days ...

This weekend is the art show. I'm still on the fence as to whether we're doing it ... there are multiple problems that are making it massively stressful for me right now. I'll probably end up doing it, just because DD will be so sad if I don't, but I'm dreading it with every fiber of my being...

We got DD's Standardized Test scores back yesterday and she did great! Got a 96 overall. Her math concept & application was the only score that wasn't above average (she missed 3 out of 20), but otherwise she either missed none or 1 in all the rest. Guess I managed to do my job this last year of teaching. *G*

And so are the days of our lives ...


You Are a Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake

You are a true friend. You are compassionate, loyal, and generous.

You are reliable and faithful. You can be counted on, even in the worst of times.

You have an outstanding memory. You remember every person you've met in your life.

You are rarely stressed out or in a rush. You take the time to do things right.

About 80% right ...


Monday, June 06, 2011

Friday, June 03, 2011

Has Quackie Gotten His HEA?

The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread. ~Mother Teresa

Last fall and this spring I wrote posts here and here bemoaning the fact that the little white duck (that I call Quackie) who lives in the pond down the road is now alone. Ducks shouldn't be alone, and the past month I've celebrated whenever mallards have come to visit. They seldom stay long (interestingly, they've almost all been males), but when they're there, Quackie always hangs out with them. It's clear Quackie is lonely.

A few days ago, when we drove past and looked, there were TWO white ducks. I couldn't believe my eyes! I thought it was a fluke... I figured the duck was en route somewhere else, but as of last night both ducks are still there (along with a handful of mallards). I found it fascinating that, when Quackie was alone and the mallards came, he hung out with them, but not that there's another white duck, they've segregated: mallards over there, white ducks over here.

I really, really hope that Quackie's found a mate. More, I hope they stay at the pond here, so I can watch. I'm half afraid that this new duck will whisper of the joys of freedom, of flying where you want, when you want, and tell tales of faraway ponds to lure Quackie away.

I wonder, too, if it's the white duck who was odd man out a couple years ago (when the first duck of the foursome was killed and its mate never quite fit in with the other two) and has returned.

Regardless, I really hope this means Quackie has gotten his HEA. Maybe all our positive thoughts worked!


Tomorrow, DD has a junior agility competition to attend. She's up one level so it will be a little tougher, but they're ready (I hope). Dakota's been having some trouble hitting her contacts on the dog walk and frame and in this competition you can't touch your dog or the obstacle or you get a fault, so we'll see how it goes.

Next Saturday is the craft show that I'm still utterly unprepared for.

Busy, busy...


You Are Well Grounded

You are cautious and guarded. Whenever possible, you choose restraint and moderation.

You create a logical environment in every aspect of your life. Reason rules for you.

You are concerned about others and the world at large. You worry a fair amount.

You like to think everything through throughly and carefully. You don't make snap decisions.

That's pretty much correct.


Thursday, June 02, 2011

Are We In Kansas?

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore. - Dorothy Gale

So ... New England had a crazy day, weather-wise, yesterday! Just after lunch, our town emergency system called and told me we were under a tornado watch. Tornado? REALLY?

We've had them before, but so seldom as to be nearly non-existent. We aren't the midwest, folks. We have mountains and trees and valleys... our terrain alone just isn't conducive to tornadic activity. Apparently Mother Nature thought otherwise, however.

Though the weather around my place settled down pretty well (we had some wind, rumbles and a little heavy rain), south of us was another story. My friend, Michele, reported HUGE hail and heavy winds. There were trees downed in her town and other damage.

Worst hit, though was Springfield, MA, who actually did have a tornado hit:

It's amazing watching it suck up all that water from the river before hitting the town.

Folks, we're used to blizzards and ice storms and even hurricanes. But tornadoes???

Today promises to be much calmer and the storm cleared out the extreme heat and humidity, so that's even better.

Still... tornadoes? Sheesh...

Yesterday, Dru asked me the status of the story I'd hoped to submit this past weekend. Well... I'm doing another scene. I know, I know ... but it needed it. It just keeps growing. If I can manage to find time in the next few days, though, it should be done. Finding time is the problem.... life has been particularly crazy this week and I barely have time to breathe.

I keep thinking life will settle down. Apparently not. *sigh*


You Should Win a Grammy

You are extroverted and sociable. You feel comfortable at any fete or soiree.

You like to be the center of attention. You have a flair for working a room.

You have no problem getting front of a group and singing your heart out. You were born to perform.

You are both a risk taker and a showoff. Whenever possible, you go for the glory.

Though I have no fear of standing in front of crowds speaking or anything else (hello... umpteen years of drama), the rest really isn't me.


Wednesday, June 01, 2011


"Pursue one great decisive aim with force and determination." - Karl von Clausewitz

The quote has nothing to do with today... I just liked it. :-)

Aside from the fact I kept forgetting it was Tuesday, yesterday was a pretty good day. I'm still fighting a raspy, mostly non-productive cough that I got following my sore throat escapade last week. It's bad enough it wakes me up 2 - 3 times a night. It has DD worried enough (granted, she IS a drama queen) that she keeps hugging me and saying, "Don't die." Aside from the cough and being really tired, though, I feel fine. It's weird.

Liz Fichera said yesterday that she's living vicariously through my pix because of the greenery in the back. While I understand -- Liz lives in the desert, and I remember living in Colorado Springs (which is high desert and oddly devoid of plant life and trees) and missing green stuff fiercely. Now though? Not so much. Things grow SO well in New Hampshire, it's a little scary. 100 years ago, the state was largely pastureland, pretty much cleared of trees. You saw the picture of my yard, right? That's how most of the state looks now. DH says he'll be out in the wild, hunting or hiking, and stumble across things like rock walls in the middle of nowhere (that's the other thing NH grows efficiently ... rocks.) and ruined buildings, so it's clear folks used to live and farm there.

Brandy asked on Friday if I'll have more time to write once DD is in school. I hope so. I'm not sure what my days will look like, how much volunteer time I'll be putting in at school, since they strongly encourage that, and how much of my time will be spent on other things: errands, etc. But I have very positive thoughts on finding more time to write.

Today we have to go get some new flippers for DD. Remember the flipper fiasco of last year? She still has the Visa gift card the manufacturer sent to cover the cost of the flipper and since the lake water is finally about warm enough to swim in (it's 65 degrees as of last weekend), she's eager to go get a pair. Otherwise, we'll stay home and work/school because I want to GET DONE with her school. She's only got 6 more days to go... I think I'm as antsy as she is!

Have a great day all.... I hope the weather is gorgeous and the day calm.


You Are Strong

You are independent and resourceful. You prefer to rely on yourself and not involve others.

You are a rock. There may be a world of chaos swirling around you, but you stay steady.

You may have had a difficult time earlier in life. You are highly sensitive and a little cautious.

You lay the groundwork for months or years before you act. You like to be completely and totally prepared.

About 75% right...