Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Again blogger won't let me edit a post I just made, but in case you are interested you can visit Susan at www.susanmaywarren.com.

Reclaiming Nick

It's that time of month again when I get to talk about fun books I've read lately...as if I don't talk about that anytime I durn well please! Anyhoo...

I got to read Susan May Warren's newest book Reclaiming Nick the other day and as usual she didn't disappoint. Maybe it is just that I'm a country girl at heart, but you've got to love a cowboy.

This is sort of a modern day Western. Part romance, part mystery, part suspense, enough bad guy who isn't and good guy who isn't to keep you on your toes.

Here's the back cover copy:

Nick Noble hadn't planned on being the prodigal son. But when his father dies and leaves half the Silver Buckle--the Noble family ranch--to Nick's former best friend, he returns home to face his mistakes...and to guarantee that the ranch stays in the Noble family.

Award winning journalist Piper Sullivan believes Nick framed her brother for murder, and she's determined to find justice. But following Nick to the Silver Buckle and posing as a ranch cook proves more challenging than she thinks. So does resisting his charming smile.

As Nick seeks to overturn his father's will--and Piper digs for answers--family secrets surface that send Nick's life into a tailspin. But there's someone else who wants to take the Silver Buckle from the Noble family, and he'll stop at nothing --even murder-- to make it happen.

Jamie here: and none of that is even the best part of the book which I won't tell you about because reading is more of a pleasure when you don't know what's going to happen.

I have to say that this is one of my favorite of Susan's books so far. Grab it and give it a read. If you are anything like me, it will take all of a day of ignoring dishes, laundry, and meals to get it finished.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Hey Drew!

Just when you are seriously wondering why you exist because your IRL friends don't seem to really notice whether you are there or not, you get an email from a long lost friend who hasn't seen you since you wore your skirts too short and were not harboring an extra 40(!) pounds of baby.


So NOT surviving the chaos today.....

Friday, January 26, 2007

Teenage Boys

What is up with them anyway?

All week I have driven past 3 of them dressed in sweatshirts in 20 degree weather throwing snowballs at the street as I drive by (I'm going to pretend that they weren't aiming for my van).
Every morning.

Do they ever get tired of it?

Do they ever wonder if the same people drive past them everyday and it isn't a surprise that they are there nailing us?

And my second question: Why do they go outside in only a t-shirt? It is really that big of a deal to put on a jacket? I'm talking about a different one now. T-shirt, hands stuffed in pockets. Like it is uncool to cover the arms.

Well I suppose technically it is "uncool," it is warm. Hello!

And if they do put on a jacket (mom must have been standing vigil at the door) it is never zipped.

Ah, to be a cool teen again...

But God has chosen to give me three boys who will be teens. I'd better figure them out one of these days.

Well Knock Me Over With a Feather

I paid $1.89 a gallon for gas this morning.

I remember college when I would drive out of my way to pay 99 cents instead of $1.01, but still...considering we were at nigh $3 recently I wondered if we'd ever drop below $2 again. And lookie, it wasn't even $1.99.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

How Annoying Is That?

I realized that I didn't linky to Julie's blog, Beach-Lit Writer so I went in to edit it in. Every time I try it blanks out everything I wrote but the title. Anyone have a clue?

And as of the next morning....after all that I put in a crummy link. I think we are good now.


A Mixed Kinda Day

Today I am thrilled to report that I received my copy of Chocolate Beach by Julie Carobini, blogger friend and American Idol addict. I am so excited to start this book and I'll tell you all about it soon. Get a load of the cover. What woman wouldn't want to be afloat on that thong (that was for my 80s friends, for you youngun's you will recognize not underwear, but "flip-flops").

And on the down side, I got rejected today. Not even a real rejection. My proposal was solicited, I wasn't sure I wanted the project and aside from the butterflies I had while I opened the email, I am experiencing relief that I won't have to actually produce the article I offered to write. I lose sleep over the silly things. But I have to say that selling articles before they are written is a lot more fun that writing them and sending them all over tarnation trying to sell them. And probably not doing so....

Besides it is like being "accepted" about six times. I feel acceptance when I get the email that asks for my ideas. I feel more accepted when my idea is actually accepted. I feel accepted when the article I send in is finally accepted. It is super acceptance to get the fat envelope with the contract in it. And then there is the acceptance when the check shows up. And finally....THE ACCEPTANCE when I see it in print. Something I WROTE was worth printing. WOW! So it is a bummer to get the "sorry, everyone wanted to write on that topic this month." Even if it isn't really a rejection, boy there isn't all that acceptance.

Of course with all that acceptance going around, who would want to write the Great American Novel so that a whole bunch of upstarts can sit around and discuss why on earth you were ever published in the first place? One must wonder.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Cookin' My Grits

My kids have been a little....er....demanding since the flu episode. I think they got used to stating fact (I'm thirsty) and having it produce action on the part of the parents. So much for giving 'em mercy when they are sick...

So I was upstairs and I heard Hubs tell the kids "You're Cookin' My Grits, Guys." About 2 seconds later I heard him yell, "I told you that you are cookin' my grits! Chill out!"

Okay, chill out they understand. Cookin' my grits? I hardly understand it. One, they have no clue what grits are. I'm not a big fan. I'm not Southern. I don't make them. Two, if they've heard the expression it wasn't in this house.

I've been married to this man going on 11 years. We dated 3 years before that. I met him 3 years before that. I've never heard him use the expression. I've never heard his parents use the expression. I have no idea what got him started.

Did he read it somewhere? Last I checked he was reading Plato. I doubt he said it. I have no idea. Anyone read "The Never Ending Story?" He's been reading that to the kids. I suppose someone in there could have said it.

Dunno. What I do know is if you are going to use an expression on the kids, you gotta use one they know.

Speaking of, the other day I heard Eldest tell Princess, "Well, that was passive aggressive."

That's what I'm talking about. Chip off the ole block.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Ah, Kids....

This morning my children invaded my bed at about 6:45--which I welcome if they go back to sleep. It is kind of like my pre-wakening. But this morning, oh man.

Eldest is on my right, displacing Frodo who came in earlier but still wanted to sleep, Princess is on my left. I, who spent many words in thankful gratitude for my awesome kids last night after the went to dreamland, was feeling motherly and well rested so I put out my arms in order to "cuddle" both kids. (What a good mom. LOL)

Eldest noticed his head was in my armpit. NOT because it smelled, but because he opened his eyes. Then he asked how I washed them. Are you noticing the "subtle" jab? I showered last night after they went to bed. I know my pits do not stink when all I've done is sleep.

Then Princess joins in asking "what stinks?"

As if it isn't bad enough to be awakened before necessary in the morning. Be kicked and jabbed and footed and poked and breathed on with morning breath and listen to air being sucked through snotty noses just because they don't feel like blowing them. No they have to gang up and comment on my hygiene which, need I remind you, was fine because I SHOWERED LAST NIGHT!

I love them. I love snuggling with them in the morning. I believe it helps us all welcome the day a bit more gracefully. But if you are going to climb into MY BED at 6:45 in the morning, you'd better darn well not start criticizing me.

Hello? Don't like the way I smell? Go get in your own bed. Trust me, I won't be climbing in and bothering you anytime soon.

Friday, January 19, 2007


Just when you think you are over something....

The six year old figures out how to fake it well enough to come home from school.

And the husband comes down with whatever the kids had.

And another winter storm is heading your way.

And the tires are not $23 apiece as the tire guy told you, but $100.

Still a spoiled sub-urban American, just feeling a little disgruntled.

Thanking God that I don't yet have the flu and begging that I never will.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Spoiled Suburban American

(Deep Sigh of Relief) Life for me should soon return to "normal."

Last week I had a triple whammy. Three kids with the flu (as if I haven't whined enough about that). Ice storm. Flat tire. No matter what I was staying home. And Hubs mostly worked so I had one shot a day at the grocery store at best IF I could talk him into stopping for me IF he came home early enough to make it worth it. IF.

My cupboards have never seen so much space. My fridge has never been so empty. My deep freeze? Don't even ask. We are out of food.

Except we aren't.

I've managed to provide some meals every day that are relatively healthy. But it has been a stretch.

We are out of milk. Out of pasta. Out of fresh fruit. Out, out, out.

But yesterday it occurred to me how spoiled I really am. I was baking cookies. I had no trouble with ingredients (because I stocked up when sugar, butter, etc. was on sale before Christmas). I have a wheat mill and wheat so we had no shortage of bread or flour.

So many people in so many places live hand to mouth and I'm whining because I can't get to the store for a week.

It was a good reminder.

Thank you, God for my country and the freedom to run to a fully stocked store most anytime I want.

Oh, and I'm still pretty thankful for the ability to buy flu medicine in the middle of the night, also.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

feeling off

I feel dissatisfied. Or antsy. Or irritable. Something.

Maybe it is because I've hardly left the house in a week. I don't know.

Maybe it is because I can't seem to get my behind BEHIND a story I want to write. I don't think so.

Everything I read irritates me. Especially the fiction.

Everything on TV irritates me. Especially the two hour premieres that are preempting my regularly scheduled programming (Don't get me wrong, I like a little American Idol, but two hours of those poor folk who sing like junk isn't my idea of a quality pastime.). I watch two shows a week. At least one won't be on this week. And it isn't like a book is going to grab my attention--in a good way that is.

Okay, but a book that didn't annoy me...Deb Raney's Remember to Forget is out next month. And lookie here: I got quoted. You'll have to scroll down a bit to the book bio. I always love her books. I felt cheezy setting my book in small town Kansas wondering if anyone who hasn't been here could appreciate it until I read how realistically Deb writes Kansas. Then again, I grew up here so I guess I'm not the best judge.

Anyway. A bright spot in an otherwise dreary day.

Monday, January 15, 2007

A New Fav

Children's Dimetapp Nighttime Flu Syrup.

Trust me. I got three uninterrupted hours of sleep last night. It was SOOOOO worth going out in the ice storm for this stuff. And I can't even get my ice covered van back in the garage so you know the stuff is good.

Can anyone tell me how long this illness is going to last?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Totally Cracking Up

Someone visited my blog after searching "what makes you fall asleep in the middle of doing something." One, I have no clue WHAT I was blogging about. Two, I wasn't even on Google's first two pages as a hit and I'm not curious enough to check twenty thousand pages to find out.

But in case someone really wants to know the answer.....


And I think Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner should hook me up with some free stuff. You wouldn't believe the number of people who visit me when they search for that.

I knew I should never get into Googlies (Thanks Tess, Um, Liz, Um, not sure I should link because you've gone all "check your references and I'll let you know if you can have a link" on me.(my references checked out)).

In Case you are Curious

When you have three kids with the flu, by day five you are all out of compassion.

Mother Theresa types need not comment.

But you are welcome to pray for me.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Falling Ice Balls

I am so much loving the street I live on this week. Ice began falling from the sky this morning and before noon the salt truck made four passes down my street.

I don't live on a busy street. I live on a hilly street. I live on a curvy street. But my street is not a thoroughfare. My sister's street may make it all the way through a storm and well beyond without one plow or salt truck passing her home. And she lives in a "nicer" neighborhood.

Hubs thinks one of the salt truck drivers must live nearby. Whatever. I'm thankful.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Plague

aka The Flu?

I don't really know. I've never had the flu. I hear about the flu. Nurses are always recommending that I get a flu shot. I hear about the "feel like I've been hit by a train" comparison. I don't know. I've never understood the flu.

My mom used to always call our stomach bugs "the 24 hour flu," but I'm pretty sure that isn't worth panicking over not enough vaccine for...I mean, really.

My daughter came down with something. I suppose it is the flu. It has been going around since before Christmas and we missed the first bout and I expected to miss this one. They sort of cough for about a day, but not like a bronchitis. Then fall asleep in the middle of the day, then spike a fever, then break the fever, then puke. Then nothing for hours, then fall asleep in the middle of the living room, then spike a fever again. Is this this flu?

My eldest son keeps complaining about not feeling quite right also, but he is always so suddenly better just as soon as he gets whatever treatment his sister got that I'm suspicious. She didn't go to school this morning and he therefore didn't want to go either. Of course the school called an hour later that he wasn't feeling well. I drug her out of bed, drove over to get him wondering how I had missed the symptoms so badly.

Nope, he was fine. Still is. And yet I probably won't send him to school in the morning. Might as well save myself the trip of the extra pick-up, don'tcha think?

Though my mom would never let me stay home with a little cough and headache. No fever, no staying home from school. Especially if the headache only manifests itself five minutes out of every two hours.

When a kid chatters all the way home and asks if he can have friends over...I don't care what he is coughing and how bad his "head hurts" he isn't sick.

But my friend, who is on child number two of this disease we will call the plague promises me he will be sick tomorrow and the guilt will eat me up.

We'll see. He did this all day yesterday also.

I really prefer to just have well children. I suppose a lively game of dominoes tomorrow instead of schoolwork and housework will be worth it for them all to be well Tuesday when they go back.

Maybe by then everyone else will have had the plague also and we can go back to real life.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Best of Intentions

My dishes are stacked in the sink, but not washed.

My laundry is in the laundry room, but not washed.

I made cookies, but don't feel like putting them away.

My boys room is picked up but not vacuumed.

And a literary agency that doesn't take unsolicited queries (much less manuscripts) from unpublished writers is open to queries (this month only) from people with my initials (the odds aren't good folks) and I can't decide whether to send anything in.

I am tired. So tired. And so unmotivated. I know it all needs to be done, the question is, will I do it?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Tonight I'm going over to pray for a friend who can't seem to kick a cancer. All she has so far is a blip on the MRI and a lump, but she's going in for further testing tomorrow. Anyone who would like to send up a prayer for Cara, I'm sure it'll be appreciated. We're praying that a blip is only a blip and nothing more.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


How can men, who have cared nothing about certain teams (ahem, the NFC for example) spend an entire weekend watching their games?

I understood as long as the Chiefs were playing (better luck next year...). I even sort of get the AFC West teams (we even can name some of the players). But if you tell me the Jets are playing the (crud, can't even remember because there has been so much football today), and I can't bring up the city the teams are from (I know now, I asked) I don't see the point.

I asked Hubs. Not trying to pick a fight. I wasn't. I just don't understand why we all of a sudden care. He said it is because we will be watching them next week in the next round of playoffs....

And why?

Well, we want to be familiar with the teams when they get to the Superbowl.

We do? Don't we just root for the AFC? Don't we primarily watch for the commercials and the food?

Until the Chiefs make it, I won't get it.

Ugh, and I wrote and sold an article about men deserving an afternoon of football every now and then.

I just don't think they necessarily need an ENTIRE WEEKEND OF TEAMS WE DON'T GIVE A RIP ABOUT.

I have a TV noise headache.

I'm reading a really cool book though (dangerous in January considering the content):

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Bit of Sanity

Posted: November 20, 2006 1:00 a.m. Eastern By Craig R. Smith C 2006

The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right? The same magazine that employs Michael (Qurans in the toilets at Gitmo) Isikoff. Here I promised myself this week I would be nice and I start off in this way.

The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president. In essence 2/3s of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change.

So being the knuckle dragger I am, I starting thinking, ''What we are so unhappy about?''

Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job? Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter? I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all involved. Whether you are rich or poor they treat your wounds and even, if necessary, send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home, you may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of having a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes; an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?

Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an ''other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig.

So why then the flat out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells. Just ask why they are going to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book and do a TV special about how he didn't kill his wife but if he did . insane!

Stop buying the negative venom you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad.

I close with one of my favorite quotes from B.C. Forbes in 1953:
''What have Americans to be thankful for? More than any other people on the earth, we enjoy complete religious freedom, political freedom, social freedom. Our liberties are sacredly safeguarded by the Constitution of the United States, 'the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.' Yes, we Americans of today have been bequeathed a noble heritage. Let us pray that we may hand it down unsullied to our children and theirs.''

I suggest we sit back and count our blessings for all we have. If we don't, what we have will be taken away. Then we will have to explain to future generations why we squandered such blessing and abundance. If we are not careful this generation will be known as the ''greediest and most ungrateful generation.'' A far cry from the proud Americans of the ''greatest generation'' who left us an untarnished legacy.

Value of Babies

**before you read this, I now know details and they are this. Miscommunication happens. Especially when you get the story third hand. But when one guy tells the next guy that they got a weird call and the next guy says "oh I heard about that on TV this morning" so guy number one calls gets a call from his friend in the middle of trying to figure out what has to be done and tells his friend that he will call back after he takes care of calling the police....well, you get the picture. No dumpster baby. Not yesterday, anyway. But the thought is still disturbing so I thought I'd leave the post. C-J

I'm distraught this morning. A friend of ours owns a business establishment that got a "prank call" Tuesday night about a baby in a dumpster. There was a dead baby found yesterday morning.

Those details are pretty sketchy. I know that. Like, was the baby found in their dumpster or halfway across the city? What did the caller say? Do they get calls like this often? And our friend is pretty bound up in calls to the police for us to get more details yet.

My first reaction, right after the wretching that my stomach insisted upon doing, was anger at the guy who answered the phone. Was he so busy he couldn't peek into the dumpster out back and make sure it didn't hold a crying baby?

My second reaction is anger at the mother. We live in a day and time when she could drop that baby at any fire station or hospital and walk away. At the very least, a doorstep. Why a dumpster? Why are children so disregarded we put them out with the garbage? And, come on, have some originality? Does this have to happen twice a year?

Hubs says "drugs." Or that maybe the baby was already dead (and mom didn't want any questions) and checking wouldn't have saved it and we don't yet know if it was their dumpster or one across town and this is just a weird coincidence.

I'm just disturbed regardless of the answers.

You know what I was doing Tuesday? I was on the web looking at children who need a home, and hoping to provide it sooner than later. I know that I am a little wacky that way. Not everyone is like me and I'm okay with that. What I'm not okay with is that either myself or one of my sisters would have taken that baby in. And I know there are thousand of others who would have as well.

So why the dumpster?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

And now resuming life...

My poor children suffer from disorganized mama syndrome. I've been on holiday so stinkin' long I'm not even sure I'm capable of parenting again. But as of today at shortly after 3 pm I officially am back on real time with real obligations.

Never mind my kids started school yesterday (no they haven't made it on time yet).

This afternoon I did dishes. You wouldn't think that would be newsworthy, but I guarantee that it is. And it was somewhat fun. You know you have been gone too long when dishes are anything but torture.

I also made bread. And I flat whipped through it. And then we ate a loaf for supper because I didn't have the time nor the inclination to cook anything else. Hopefully tomorrow.

But how bout them Chiefs?

I hear that Vegas gave them 1:161 odds of making the playoffs. How I wish I was a betting girl and had a spare grand to lay on those odds! Though I have to admit that I saw enough football and cared about enough games on Sunday that if I wasn't dedicated, boy, I'd be ticked off at Hubs. As it was I was cheering on those Steelers, 49ers and Patriots. And Chiefs, of course which is all I care about anyway.

And now I'm wondering why I logged on to blog. All those interesting topics I had to write about back in the days when blogger wouldn't let me on...wasted. Hopefully my energy level will return and with it some semblance of a personality.