Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cat Agility

Yesterday, Brandy, Angelina and Tori wondered why I didn't just have the lump on Dakota's head removed.

Here's the plain truth: It would require surgery ... to the tune of about $800. If it the vet had come back and told me it was cancer for certain, we'd have tightened our belts and done it, because she's family. But since the vet is nearly 100% certain it's NOT cancer, we're playing the odds.

Pets aren't cheap folks. Even healthy pets aren't cheap (right, Brandy?) but when they start getting sick, it's no fun at all. It's why we don't have three dogs and seven cats. Because to be a responsible pet owner means being able to take care of your critters, no matter what.

Speaking of cats... check this out:


You Are a Bridge to Happiness

You enjoy a good challenge or competition. You're bored when things are too easy.

You are focused and committed. You never lose site of your goals.

You like to surround yourself with beautiful objects. Aesthetics are important to you.

You are passionate and romantic. When you meet the right person, you just know.

Maybe 75% right.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monday in Review

Was crazy busy yesterday, and I don't think today looks any better... why did I ever think I'd have more time with DD in school?

I checked my calendar, and this Saturday will have been twelve weeks since I submitted "Now and Forever" (my "Kitchen Matches" sequel) to Samhain Publishing. *sigh* I'm not sure what I'll do at the end of the time. Oh.. well, shoot -- I just checked their submissions page and it says this: Please allow up to 12-16 weeks for a personal reply.

Guess I'll add another four weeks to the calendar. :-P

It's absolutely amazing how much turkey meat was left on the legs, wings and bodies of the three turkeys I deboned on Sunday. I ended up with about eight cups of cooked turkey bits from my stock pots!

I got two more turkeys yesterday. I just couldn't resist. I have one in brine for roasting today (but need to find a solid five hours at some point today ... not sure that's possible, and am checking into whether a turkey can be "over brined" if I leave it until tomorrow). Not that I'm going to have any more time tomorrow. Oy vey.

I took Dakota to the vet yesterday to have that yucky red growth on her head checked. At first look, the vet said, "It's either (insert unpronounceable name of really bad cancer here) or else it's (insert unpronounceable name of totally benign tumor here)." and she took samples by sucking goo from the center to look at under a microscope.

After about five minutes that felt like a hour, I found out that she didn't think it was the cancer. But, the cells are "definitely growing" and apparently this unpronounceable tumor will be getting larger before it goes away. And if it grows to more than twice the current size, or if it takes longer than a couple of months to go away, we should have it looked at again.

Fun times. But at least, for now, Dakota's okay.

How was your Monday?


You Are a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

You like throwing random things together and seeing what works. You love to mix things up.

You have an open mind and an open heart. You are all about possibilities.

You have an incredible work ethic and are very tenacious. You like to productive.

You dare to be different, and almost all the risks you take come out in your favor.

About 75% right.


Monday, November 28, 2011

It's Starting to Look A Lot Like Christmas

At least it is at our house...

We got our tree on Friday and, after some issues with lights not working (again) and buying a new set (again) after DH spent a good two hours trying to figure out why the original set would work, we decorated the tree on Saturday evening.

DD asked if I thought the tree would be prettier if it had a "theme" or if it was all the same color ornaments, etc. One of her friends has a tree that is decorated in some theme every year -- usually the same color balls and ribbon.

I said (very adamantly) "NO".

Our tree is covered in memories. I have an ornament on there I made when I was a toddler. I have an ornament that I got from a friend for DD when she was still in utero (technically her first Christmas, lol). Ornaments from family. Handmade ornaments. Every one of them comes with a memory, and nothing can replace that.

We did have a brief blip in all the good cheer when DD unpacked the stockings and found Breeann's. There were tears and sad times. We put her stocking with her box of ashes, sniffed awhile and then moved on.

This helped:

When do you decorate for Christmas?

I have to take Dakota in to the vet today. On Friday, we found a suspicious lump on her head that wasn't there before. It looks like a pink wart... sort of. But the fact that it appeared so quickly and isn't going away (even after four days) means it could be something more serious. We're very "lump" conscious here because Bailey was lumpy (and we had to biopsy every one). We don't even think about it, just whenever we're petting the animals, we automatically register any lumps or bumps. This thing is right on top of her head, so there's no way we would have missed it before.

We're hoping it isn't anything serious (:::cancer:::) but prefer to be safe. Because I needed another vet bill. *sigh*

I found fresh turkeys on sale at the local store yesterday: $0.39/lb! I bought three, then spent the afternoon deboning them and running them through my grinder for ground turkey. DH didn't get a deer this year, so our freezer is going to be very empty. He strongly suggested getting a couple more turkeys today since the price is good AND it's from a very good company who uses no antibiotics or growth hormones.

I have two huge stock pots of turkey broth done as well (plus all the meat from the legs, wings and bodies that I couldn't get off when it was raw) and am thinking about trying my hand at pressure cooking turkey vegetable soup. We'll see if I have the time or inclination any time soon...

What did you do this weekend?


You Are Successful

Mellow and wise, you like to be with others but also to be alone. You seek a balance.

You are hard working and enterprising. You find staying busy satisfying.

You have high standards, and you are fair to everyone. Manners are important to you, even if that's old fashioned.

A bit demanding, you expect proper behavior from others. Your standards are tough but fair.

That's pretty much spot on...


Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

Dinner was good (I ate myself silly, of course), had a nice day -- very quiet, and little dull, but still nice.

Got home from the in-laws and found the newspaper in the paper box. Had forgotten that our "Sunday" subscription includes the Thanksgiving paper with Black Friday ads. Looked at some of them (there were about four inches of ads!!) and decided that, despite the great deals and coupons, there was NO WAY I was shopping today.

I used to do Black Friday. I'd go to the craft stores, and maybe WalMart and Staples. I avoided the mall, but the satellite places weren't too bad. A few years ago, I stopped going when parking was obscene and it appeared people were ready to kill or die to save a few bucks. Despite being a super frugal person, the stress simply wasn't worth saving a buck or two.

What about you? Any of you shopping Black Friday?

Hope everyone had a great day!


You Are a Special Dark Chocolate Bar

You are a deep and complex person. You don't let anyone get too close to you.

You stay a mystery, and you're good at keeping secrets... especially your own.

You prefer to stay on the outside a bit and observe. You find people fascinating.

You seek to understand and appreciate the world. There is more to you than anyone will ever know.

Not only is that spot on, but dark is the best kind of chocolate. If I were queen, I'd outlaw anything below 70%, lol...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Day Before Thanksgiving...

It's sleeting. I'm on the fence as to whether that's better or worse than snow. The good news is it's supposed to change to rain the moment the sun comes up. But DH may stay home -- it's a long drive in and when the roads are iffy, it takes twice as long. This will put a huge wrench in my plans for the day.


Today, I'll take the girls (DD's BFF slept over last night) to my Mom's house to swim (her apt has an indoor, heated pool). Then I'll brine the turkey, make potato salad and do some other Thanksgiving Day prep.

I miss the days when I was little and the entire family would come over for Thanksgiving. It would be complete chaos, people everywhere, guys outside tossing a football around, girls inside chattering and working on dinner, kids playing tag.

My DH's family doesn't get together for a meal. Everyone eats on their own, because, "We don't want to impose." DD has never known the tradition of a kid's table. She's missed out on the joy of chaos. The first year we lived here, I invited everyone for Thanksgiving dinner. One family showed and that was all. I thought it was fun, but after that year, it was always, "We don't want to impose." or "It's too much for one person."

I wouldn't have invited you if I didn't want you to come.


So tomorrow, DH, DD, Mom and I will sit down to a huge meal all by ourselves. There's a gathering at the in-laws after ... to sit and talk for hours on end (oh joy) but that's it.

It just seems odd.

What about you? How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?


Your Color is Orange

You are a harmonious person with good communication skills. You draw people together.

You have a strong sense of purpose, and you're a natural leader. You want to make the world a better place.

You are honest and open. You feel like you can express your feelings and opinions without fear.

You are organized and find it easy to concentrate. You are very productive.

Mostly right...


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Tuesday Post Without A Title

Quiet, though busy day yesterday. Boiled a turkey for Dakota's meal -- and hopefully my next turkey will thaw by Thanksgiving! Did some last minute grocery shopping (bought two more turkeys ... yes, I really did) and felt like I was running around getting nothing done all day long.

DD has a Grandparents Day celebration at her school today. My mom will be going and taking here there. I'm so excited to have one less trip today! DD is off tomorrow through next Monday, so life will be out of routine again.

My friend, Michele, will be coming up with her family for the weekend following Thanksgiving, so I'll get to see her again! I'd thought the last time would be the last until spring, so this was a nice surprise.

Still no word from Samhain about my "Kitchen Matches" sequel ... I'm really starting to get both antsy and a bit nervous. *sigh*

Lexie is settling in very well. She's finally starting to spend a bit more time upstairs and is, as I write, laying sprawled in front of the wood stove. She's still being really good about not climbing on the counters and is seldom on the furniture (which I consider negotiable ... I'd rather she slept on the couch than on the dining table). She and Dakota are still working things out, but she's pretty much stopped smacking the poor dog in the nose whenever Dakota sniffs her.

Today will be spent finishing making Dakota's food (yes, it's a two day ordeal) and digging out my Christmas cards (yes, I do buy them the week after Christmas for the next year and then have to find them!). I like to get them mailed out right after Thanksgiving when possible.

I still refuse to start celebrating Christmas until after Thanksgiving. One holiday at a time works for me. I remember when I was little watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade so I could see Santa for the FIRST TIME EVER. He never showed up in shopping malls or anywhere else until after Thanksgiving. Now? Meh...

It's too bad.

Have a great day!


You Learn by Teaching Yourself

There's very little you can't teach yourself. You are a huge self-learner.

You don't have one learning style that works for you. You try everything that works.

You experiment with learning and figure out what works best for you in each context.

Your most important attribute is perseverance. Even when it feels like something is impossible to understand, you don't give up.

Mostly right!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend in Review...

Looong weekend here at the casa.

DD had a slumber party / birthday party Friday night into Saturday. It was for her BFF but things didn't go so well. Ah, the drama of childhood friendships...

You see, BFF had invited lots of people and there were 5 or 6 for the slumber party, one of whom was BFF's cousin. Well, BFF and cousin have known each other a long time (yanno, like their whole lives) and so ended up spending a lot of time talking and leaving DD alone with people she barely knew.

THEN the next day, when everyone showed up for the party, only one boy showed (several had RSVP'd) and he felt awkward, so BFF spent a lot of time trying to make him feel better. And the weather was deemed "too cold" to play outside, so many of the planned activities were canceled. Boredom ensued. As did much fussing and crying by BFF.

Drama, drama, drama.

Saturday night, DD sat with me for a bit talking and then said: when you spend a lot of time with someone, do they stop liking you?

And I responded: There's a saying "familiarity breeds contempt" which basically means that when you've been around someone for a long time, eventually you take them for granted. You figure they've been around for this long, they'll always be around, and lots of time you stop making the effort to keep the relationship strong.

It's true. And it's sad. Because you never know when that person won't be around anymore...

She'll recover and go on to have more heartache ... but it's hard to watch your kidlets get hurt.

Saturday afternoon, DH decided he HAD to take down pretty much the biggest tree at SIL's house. He did this on his own, because the time he decided to go was the time I had to stay to wait for DD to get home. No, I wasn't happy about it, but he's bigger than me, so I couldn't make him stay.

Sunday morning, DD and I got to spend helping DH haul all that wood out of the yard. Not only was the tree HUGE but it was way the heck back -- 200 yards maybe. So we'd pick up a piece, walk 200 yards, drop it, walk back and get another piece. Repeat 800 million times.

Then we got to load the truck, drive to our house, unload the truck and stack the wood.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

We started around 8:30 a.m. and finished around 1 p.m. at which time I decided that I needed to rake the leaves out of my flower gardens out front. The little garden that bisects my yard and my neighbor's is about two feet wide by 60 feet long. I didn't think there would be THAT many leaves. Boy was I wrong.

I raked his side first and got a pile about four feet around and two feet high. Had to rake that to the end of the sixty feet and into the woods. Then I did my side, which was wider and had about three times as many leaves. Un-freaking-believable.

Worse, we HAVE a leaf blower but it needs a new carbeurator. Had needed one for two years. DH won't buy a new blower because the part is only about $20 -- but I don't care how much it costs. It doesn't do me ANY good broken. If he doesn't fix it by spring, I'm going out and getting a new one myself. Because raking THAT many leaves that far is absurd.

I have blisters on my hands, and blisters on my feet. I couldn't sleep last night because everything on my body hurt and there was no such thing as a comfortable position.

And now that I've moaned and groaned, I feel like I wimp.

Today, I'm cooking a turkey for Dakota's food (yanno, I only make her food once every three weeks, and this is the second year in a row it's fallen the week of Thanksgiving. I need to work on that) and preparing to have DD and DH home again most of the week.

November is officially my least favorite month.

How was your weekend?


You Are a Siamese Cat

You are a very communicative creature. You're eager to express yourself - and do so often.

You are very dependent and love attention. You will complain if you are not getting enough affection.

Even though you are very loving, you can seem aloof, unpredictable, and stubborn in relationships.

A relationship with you takes a lot of patience.

50/50 ...


Friday, November 18, 2011

Warning: Sleep Deprived Rambling

Spent the night coughing, so if my post sounds a little like I've lost a few brain cells, that's why.

The good news is that coughing is the final phaze of a cold for me, so after today, I should be pretty well done. Yay.

I went to DD's school last night for a meeting about entering high school -- how did my kidlet become an almost highschooler so quickly?? They talked about expectations (they do four years of the core subjects instead of fewer like most schools... for instance, when I was in high school we were only required to take two years of math). She'll have four years of Spanish when she's done (which is wonderful). They have a work experience program set up to help the kids earn money for tuition (it's with a nearby credit union and their pay is automatically set up to deduct 30% for a tuition account). It sounds wonderful. I admit, I've been looking at another private high school that's about ten minutes from my house (they're high school ONLY so I couldn't put her there for this year). It's slightly less expensive and SO much closer. But DD melts down if I so much as talk about it.

I bought three turkeys yesterday. Then I discovered I already had five in my freezer (yes, I have a huge chest freezer). When I posted about having eight turkeys in my freezer on Facebook I was surprised at the responses. Folks seemed surprised that I had bought three turkeys in the first place, never mind the other five. I can't be the only person in the world who stocks up on things when they're on sale, can I? I've also bought a TON of gravy and canned vegetables. There are times of the year when different things go on sale -- so why not buy a TON if you have the room to store them? I'm giving serious thought to buying more turkeys, actually, because I can use them for Dakota's food and I can donate some to the local food pantry. A fifteen pound turkey is only $5 right now ... it's crazy to not buy as many as I can keep.

Still waiting to hear from Samhain ... two more weeks will be twelve weeks. See what happens when you don't have a contract in two years? Would have been nice to have my old editor back (though, to be honest, my actual editor left Samhain and I'd been reassigned to someone who never contracted anything I sent, so maybe this is a blessing in disguise -- perhaps my submission will be sent to someone who has a better appreciation for what I write, as my last editor was looking for erotic romance, primarily M/M).

No big plans for the weekend. I imagine we might take down one more tree at my SIL's house, but otherwise, it should be fairly quiet (:::fingers crossed:::). Anyone have any news? Plans? Silly jokes?


You Are Ready to Take on the World

You are clear-minded and bright. You think through things well.

Your personality is extra spicy and larger than life. You love to have fun, and you are passionate about everything you do.

You are inspired and energized by so many things. You've got a natural high going on.

You tend to have a fast paced, busy lifestyle. Not a lot of people can keep up with you.

About 75% right.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Back Among the Living

Here, sort of. Feeling MUCH better today. Got knocked on my rear Tuesday afternoon. Was tired, dizzy, congested. Unfortunately, the worst hit when I was picking up the kidlet from school and I swear I wasn't sure we'd make it home safely -- I was unfocused, blurry-eyed. I truly shouldn't have been driving.

I came home and did a couple things that I *had* to do and went to bed. At 5:30.

Felt more human yesterday, but still massively congested and coughing. Thankfully not as tired.

Today, the congestion is down a bit. Still coughing a little, but definitely on the mend. Yay.

Being sick makes me cranky.

So far, DD has managed to stay healthy. Hopefully it'll stay that way.

Really not much else happening here at the casa. Who has news? My life is dull... let me live vicariously!


Your Sunglasses Say You're a Realist

You are down to earth, stable, and practical.

You see the world as it is. You accept facts easily.

You need to be shaded from overly dramatic and problem prone people.

You feel sunniest when things are calm and peaceful

That's mostly right.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I've decided the best part about having a son as opposed to a daughter is that a son won't TAKE YOUR CLOTHES AND ACCESSORIES.

Got up this morning, showered, dressed and went to grab a scrunchie for my hair off my scruchie holder which, up until recently, was jam packed with the things. This morning? Here's what I found:

I'm willing to be if she actually owned green clothes, those last two would be gone as well.

A few days ago, I went to put on my sneakers to take the dog for a walk... and they were missing. When DD got home from school, I saw them on her feet.

"Why didn't you wear YOUR sneakers?"

"Because they were upstairs and yours were right there by the door."

Of course .... makes perfect sense now.

A boy wouldn't do these things. Right? Or, at the very least, he'd be stealing from my husband and it wouldn't be my problem.

I think I'll commission my mom to make me some scrunchies. And then, some day I should probably invest in my own sewing machine ...


You Are Goal Oriented

You've figured out systems that work for you in life, and you rely on those systems for stability.

You don't dislike alone time... in fact, you savor it. You grow and learn the most when you're by yourself.

Focused and super charged, your instincts are a good guide for your next step.

Sometimes you wish you could express yourself better, but you don't feel like you know how to do it.

ROFL... this is just about spot on.


Monday, November 14, 2011

The First Time

So, my friend and fellow author, Charity Tahmaseb, was part of an anthology released recently. It's a YA about firsts (all kinds of first including, if I'm not mistaken, your first zombie *G*).

You never forget your first...

In THE FIRST TIME, 25 young adult authors contribute 25 stories all about firsts: first loves, first kisses, first zombie slayings, and more. Featuring New York Times bestselling authors Carrie Ryan and Jessica Verday, plus a host of others. From humor to horror, and everything in between, these stories will make you laugh, cry, cheer, (and maybe even scream) as you experience something brand new from the authors that you love.

I have a copy on my Nook, but haven't had a chance to start reading. Still, it got me to thinking about some firsts of my own.

My first "ma'am": Seriously, don't we remember this? For years I was "miss" and then WHAM! suddenly I've aged, and out comes the "ma'am". I was bartending in a family style restaurant (ala Applebees of Chilis) called "Wood'ys Grill and Bar" (yes, that's where they put the apostrophe ... dare to be different). We had a game room with four or five pinball machines and video games and the kids tended to come to the bar for change. One night, a couple teenaged boys came over with their dollars and ... they MA'AM'd me! They did... right there in public. "Excuse me, ma'am, can we get quarters?" I was traumatized for life.

My first car accident: I made the mistake of driving through "the cruise" one Friday night en route to a friend's house. I can't imagine what I was thinking, but it was the quickest way... or maybe "shortest" way is more accurate since the roads were clogged with kids driving around staring at each other. So there I was in the only new vehicle I've ever owned (it was about 6 months old at this time), with my friend Mary (who was drinking a cherry Slurpee -- yes, this figures in), minding my own business in the left turn lane waiting for the light to change. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw this car coming at me and knew she wasn't going to stop. I couldn't go anywhere or do anything but brace myself.

BAM! She hits me. And I hit the car in front of me, and so on and so on. It ended up being a five car accident, during which my bright, shiny new truck was totaled. Mary ended up with cherry Slurpee drenching the front of her (and freaked everyone out because they thought it was blood). The stupid girls left two perfect head prints in the shattered glass of their windshield ("Of course we were wearing our seat belts, officer.") and then said that *I* had hit the car in front of me, bounced back and hit them.


It went to litigation since everyone sued whoever hit them and I wasn't going to take the blame for a sixteen y.o. who was too busy looking at some cute guy to pay attention to traffic.

Since my truck was new, the insurance company pretty much only paid off the loan, and I had nothing for a new car. I ended up with a friend's '77 Toyota Celica (which is the whole reason I met my DH ... another story) and a bad back.

My first job: My senior year in high school I participated in "work experience" since I had all my credits (but Mom wouldn't let me graduate early, which in retrospect was probably good since I was only 16). Senior year was crazy easy for me. I had Yearbook, Drama III, Jazz Choir, and work experience. Tough times.

It was cool, though, because basically the school found jobs for you. You still had to interview, but I got the first one I applied for (and YAY never had to work fast food!). I was a cashier at a restaurant and that's where I learned how to make change in my head, carry four plates of food without dropping them and to ALWAYS ALWAYS pass on the right. To this day, I struggle passing anyone on the left, even if I'm just in a store or on the street.

I loved that job.

I'm still waiting for my first zombie slaying.

What are some firsts you remember?


You Are Ma'at

You believe in doing what's right. You have the inner strength to stick to your guns.

You have a quiet spirituality and balance to you. You don't preach; you lead by example.

You are peaceful and serene. You try to make life go as smoothly as possible.

You have a reassuring nature. Your friends find you to be both soothing and comforting.

I'm thinking this is about half right.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day!

For my father, my husband, my brother who served and for my nephew, a new Airborne soldier who's following in the family tradition.

On a side note: Applebees is letting Veteran's eat free today. And I imagine there are other specials in your local area (I know there's a car wash here that is giving free washes to veteran's).

Take a little time to remember them today and appreciate what they've fought to give you.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: eRevolution

E-readers like the Kindle and iPad are sweeping the nation … do you have one? Do you like it? Do you find it changes your reading/buying habits? If you don’t have one, do you plan to?

I have a Nook "classic" (read: old, outdated Nook -- but then, what electronic device isn't outdated five minutes after you buy it?). I also have the Nook and Kindle apps downloaded on my Droid.

When I first got the Nook, I did it because of the sheer number of books released in eFormat that I was reading and reviewing for LASR. It hurts my eyes to read on the computer and, besides, my preferred reading spot is in bed, and the laptop is a bit clunky for that.

When I bought the Nook I thought I'd still read print books whenever they were available. I loved print. I couldn't imagine switching over to eBooks as a preference.

But I did.

The Nook was actually easier on my eyes than print. Lighter. I read faster on it. I loved the instant gratification of finishing a book and opening (or buying!) a new one without getting out of bed. I love being able to borrow from my library (as a side note -- the books there almost always have waiting lists, so I'm clearly not the only one using an eReader).

When I don't know what I feel like reading, but know I'm going somewhere I'll want to read, it's so simple to tuck the Nook into my bag and go, and have hundreds of books at my fingertips.

I prefer the eInk eReaders and have no interest in a tablet. The backlight hurts my eyes. It's why I read on my Nook more than my Droid -- though the Droid has come in handy for reading now and then. Should I replace my current Nook, I'd get the Nook black and white. I played with one at Barnes and Noble and love how small and light it is -- even smaller and lighter than my current Nook. And since I have WiFi capability from my Droid, it doesn't matter that it's not got a 3G hookup.

So ... do I have one? Yes. Do I like it? YES. Did it change my buying habits? Absolutely -- I now have complete access to pretty much every book in the world and am not restricted to print only.

I still buy the occasional print book. But I'd say that 95% of the books I read now are in eFormat.

What about you?


You Are The Warrior

At your best, you are brave, intense, and fearless. You have guts.

You have no problem standing up for what's right and asserting yourself. You'll fight for what you believe in.

You face the abyss head on, an you challenge your friends to do the same.

You have the guts to be who you are. You believe that you are important and special.

And because this quiz gave me an earworm ... I'll share it with you (and dear dog the 80s were really strange ... this video is just ... nuts -- and yet, I think I have this song on 45):

Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Missing: One Happy Place

Not a lot to say today.

DH starts his next batch of vacation today, and he's sick. This doesn't make him a pleased person. He can't hunt when he's sick, which is the entire reason for his time off.

We got the results of Lexie's fecal exam, and it looks like she has worms. Remember our flea problem? I'm still fairly certain they came in on her. And, for cats, fleas mean worms. Despite using Frontline on her when we first had our problem just over a month ago (and reapplying when the next month started), she had flea dirt at her appointment on Monday. *sigh*

My contact at the shelter doesn't seem to think they can do anything.

So, not in my happy place right now.

In other news ... it's been nine weeks since I submitted my story to Samhain. Three more weeks equals the twelve they ask us to wait. *sigh*


Your Persona is Elegant

You are wise and thoughtful. You are very philosophical about life.

You love to have fun, possibly more than most people. You have your own kind of fun though.

You are the master of new ideas, techniques, and ways of looking at things.

Your thoughts may seem scattered to you, but they seem strong and passionate to those around you.

Oh yeah, that's me: elegant. From head to toe. :-P

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Vet Visit

We have good news/bad news on the kitty after our vet appointment yesterday.

The good news? He thinks she probably has a food allergy of some sort, and recommended some limited ingredient / hypo-allergenic food. He gave me a list of brands, and two of them are actually something I'd feed my pets, so I'll try that.

The bad news? Her back teeth are nearly rotted out. I knew she had bad breath, and had mentioned it. It's clear just why now. I'm so angry ... the shelter had to have known. It's not something anyone would miss and they'd only had her since July. This problem has taken WAY longer than a couple of months to develop. The cost to have them pulled is in the many hundreds of dollars and after the many hundreds of dollars I spent on Breeann, more vet bills just aren't in our budget right now. I know the owner of the shelter personally, and I mentioned it to her via email. I doubt anything will be done, and I can't take her back (though the thought did cross my mind).

But I've learned my lesson about adopting. Next time, I'm treating it like buying a used car -- I want a full vet checkup with MY vet before I sign anything.

Hope your Monday was better than mine!


You Are Lottery Tickets

You charge full speed ahead. You have a lot to get done and not a lot of time to do it.

You are a master at efficiency, and if you were to gamble, you'd like to get it done as quickly as possible.

Your friends, family, and job rely on you. You like being needed, and you would never want to let anyone down.

You take shortcuts to have time for what matters in your life. You only have so many hours in the day.

Mostly right ....


Monday, November 07, 2011

Busy Weekend

Spent the day at the agility fun match yesterday. DD did great! I was very proud. She and Dakota got best overall time, first place in the advanced dog category and their team (of a mix of advanced, intermediate and beginner dogs) also placed first!

Here's a video of one of her runs, the first (and not the best one, but still good -- I haven't uploaded the others yet):

I was exhausted. So was DD and the dog. In fact, we fed the dog lunch when we got home (around 2 pm) and then I forgot to feed her dinner -- because I didn't eat -- and she never woke up to ask for it! LOL...

The cat goes in for her first check up with my vet today. She's still having vomiting problems. If I feed her more than a few pieces of food for a meal, she gobbles it down and then throws it right back up. So I have to try to remember to feed her 10 - 15 pieces every hour or two. I know she probably isn't getting enough to eat, because there are times I'm just not around (like yesterday), but I'm not sure what else to do. Will talk to the vet today. Maybe soft food is the answer...

Just once, I'd like to have a low maintenance pet.

Otherwise, she's settling in pretty well. She decided to use DH's hockey equipment as a litter box (I'll admit... I can understand the confusion because it really stinks) and she's starting to climb on the counters (a big no-no), but DH has been remarkably patient.

And, yes, she still loves him best. :-P

Today is supposed to be gorgeous, weatherwise, so I might finally go out and cut down my perennials, and pull down my tomato cages for the winter. We'll see...

Have a happy Monday!


You Are a Blackberry Smoothie

You are mentally alert and curious. Your mind is always at work, even when you're resting.

You produce valuable and original works. You are quite the creator.

You are insightful and astute. You are quite savvy when it comes to most things.

You are probably an expert in at least one field. You love gaining deep knowledge.

LOL... mostly right.

Friday, November 04, 2011

The Fates Are Conspiring ...

Welcome to my pity party.

It's November 4th and my NaNoWriMo total is a big, fat goose egg.

There are a million reasons why. The "day job" is killing me. DH is home. Yadda yadda.

Really, aside from that I don't have a lot else to say. I'm surviving on coffee and very little sleep and still don't have enough hours in the day to do the things I'm being paid to do. I haven't done anything around my house but the dishes in a week. The cat is vomiting again -- we're going to the vet on Monday. Maybe my house is toxic. I have the agility fun match on Sunday ... I considered skipping, but my daughter and the instructor nearly cried.

Today, I'm taking a notepad with me when I pick up the kidlet. I have about ten minutes while I wait in line that I can at least jot something down. I'm not the kind of writer who can write in ten minute bursts, though. I need to reread what I have done, get absorbed in the story again, before I really get words down.

And that's my life.

Wishing you all a great weekend with electricity and beautiful weather (wishing it for me and mine as well *G*).


You Are a Blue Flower

You know a lot, and you're always learning more. You believe in being self-sufficient.

You are a rule breaker but not a rule maker. You generally despise all rules.

You are very fantasy prone. If you don't like how the world is, you imagine how it could be.

You are an open, flexible person who is able to see the world through many perspectives.

75% right.


Thursday, November 03, 2011

Post "Snowtober" storm Report

Okay ... I'm finally officially back online, though much of my town is not. The library only got power late yesterday afternoon, and the place I do agility was still closed last night. Our local Super WalMart lost power for three days and had to toss all their frozen and perishable foods, though they probably could have just put them all outside in the two feet of snow, lol...

The local school district was closed Monday and Tuesday, but opened yesterday. Manchester was closed until today, and the Nashua schools are still closed.

DD's school opened on Tuesday, thankfully (would really stink to already have three snow days to make up in June ... I swear, kids are going to be going to school all summer at this rate). Sadly, her school was vandalized -- someone spray painted graffiti on the two little school buses they have and on the doors and windows of the building. It's already been cleaned off, but made me very sad.

Some pictures:

My driveway immediately following the storm (yes, there's a car under there somewhere):

And the back deck -- we got about two feet of nasty, heavy, wet snow:

Some random pictures of tree damage (we had a small tree on one of the power lines up the road a mile or so, which is what killed our power).

One house on the way to school had a tree drop on it (Mom, you'll know it -- the blue house with the gingerbread bright yellow shutters) and now has a tarp over the roof, and one street about a block from DD's school was closed because a huge oak was down. No matter where I drive, branches still litter the sides of the road, trees are broken and there are leaves and debris everywhere.

I'm pretty sure this storm caused worse damage than the ice storm in 2008 and the wind storm last year.

We had our generator, thankfully, but I admit to getting nervous when the few gas stations with power in the area started running out of gas. In the past couple of days, too, generators are being stolen in huge numbers, even when they're chained up. I'm always saddened when hard times bring out the worse in people instead of the best. I did see one picture in Amherst where a woman (on Sunday) who had power was inviting folks to her house to watch the NE Patriots game. Just stuck a sign out that said "I have power and the Pats ... fans welcome".

In any case, this doesn't bode well for the rest of the winter, but I'm betting there's a run on generators this coming week. *G*

Tomorrow I'll talk NaNo.


Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Interview with Gordon Kessler

Folks, I asked Gordon to my blog because I love his work. He was here earlier in the year talking about his thriller, "Brainstorm" and today he's sharing a bit about his horror/thriller, "Jezebel". Since it has dogs as central characters, it was a no-brainer to have him on the blog.

His post is also part of a Goddess Fish Promotions tour, so everyone who comments is eligible to win a $50 Amazon GC.

AND!!! All his eBooks are only $0.99 right now from Amazon, iBook, B&N, Kindle and I highly recommend you give his work a try if you're at all fond of the thriller genre. You won't be disappointed. I'm buying his books for one of my friends who's terribly hard to Christmas shop for. I know she's going to love them.

Gordon, welcome back! Tell us a bit about yourself for those who might have missed you last time.

A former US Marine recon scout, parachutist and Super Squad team leader, I teach novel writing and am president of the Kansas Writers Association. I try to stay connected to writers and the writing industry by doing speaking engagements at writers conferences and for writers organizations, and do my own "The Storyteller" seminar in Wichita, Lincoln (Nebraska), Kansas City, and other Midwestern cities based on my Novel Writing Made Simple book.

What is the most interesting fact about you?

Maybe that I like to pull things from my real life and use them in my thriller novels. I've been privileged to go many places and do many exciting things in my life.

What got you into blogging?

I've found it a great way to get in touch with readers and to promote my writing, especially my thriller novels Jezebel, Dead Reckoning and Brainstorm as well as my book on the novel writing craft, Novel Writing Made Simple.

What is your favorite genre of books?

Thrillers, because there's usually a good mix of drama, romance, suspense and intense action. Where else can you have it all?

Name an achievement that you are most proud about? Why?

I was a founder of the Kansas Writers Association, a group of about 150 writers, back about 15 years ago. It's still a thriving organization and I'm privileged to come back and be their president this year after being away for some time.

What is your favorite hobby?

Writing is top on my list. I have a "real" job that keeps me extremely busy, so writing is my "getaway" when I'm home. Second on my list is teaching new or struggling writers how to write better. When I find the time and the place, I also enjoy snow skiing, sailing and SCUBA diving.

What way is the industry going? EBooks or Books? Which one do you like? Why do you think the industry is going this way?

EBooks are definitely the future. Still, there's something to be said about the inviting feel, look and even the smell of a paperback or hardcover. However, I travel a lot, and being able to carry thousands of books on my tablet makes it very convenient. Also, with the new eBook readers and applications for PCs, they're made it as easy or easier to read from the screen than from a paper book inside a dim airplane.

The industry is quickly going to the eBook—but don't get me wrong, there will always be a place for paper. Still, I know that not only brick and mortar chain bookstores, but also the independent mom and pop stores, and even libraries are having to diversify to stay viable. I say, patronize your neighborhood library and local indie bookstore often. But when you have to go with convenient....

Bloggers, how about giving me your comments on the Halloween season; what makes a good scare for you?

Here’s how to find out more about my novels:

The book videos on YouTube:

Jezebel --

Brainstorm --
Thanks again for hosting me on your wonderful blog!

Sleep lightly tonight…

A madman has come to town seeking a diabolical revenge and large dogs begin attacking their masters for no apparent reason and with heinous results.

Animal Control Director Tony Parker must find out why and stop the murderous attacks. Meanwhile, Jezebel, a huge black Great Dane has killed her master and is loose, terrorizing the city and stalking Parker and his family. Parker and Sarah Hill, his beautiful and seductive young assistant, attempt to unravel the mystery and stop the terrible carnage while dealing with their own demons and lusty desires.

The attacks must be stopped. Jezebel must be found-and soon, you see--there is one other complication. Parker seems to have come down with an annoying little virus. No, it's not one of those irritating summer colds. It's certain death.

She's a murderess, huge and black as a hell-bound night.

Beware. Jezebel is on the loose!

Read an exciting excerpt:

In the grayish soup, a dark vision appeared. Floating down the middle of the street, it slowly formed into a recognizable shape.

An animal. A large black animal. A huge Great Dane. It walked with confidence. Long, thin legs. Mouth closed, head and eyes fixed straight ahead. Occasionally, its feet splashed one of the pools. Light from the streetlights caused a sparkle from underneath its neck with every step of its left forefoot. A large diamond, set on a gold tag, captured the light and shot it out like a laser. The dog maintained its pace for what seemed like minutes.

Finally, it stopped. With its body still pointing down the street, it slowly turned its head to the right and looked up a sidewalk leading to the front door of a house. It stared, still emotionless, at the door. At Tony Parker’s door.

Visit Gordon online: