Saturday, May 31, 2008

Be An Adventure!

At one point in my life, actually a nice portion of my life, I was the someone dangerous.

Sad, isn't it, that I've let myself forget how to be an adventure?

Time to fix that. Anyone care to join me? How will you find me in the crowd? I'll be the one shaking in my boots. You'll have to look closely to see it but that'll be me, bolding my way through life as I used to. Yes, time to fix that.

Starting now.

That's it for today...places to go, people to see, adventures to be.

Have a good weekend.

Friday, May 30, 2008


It has not been my week for alarms. The first one that went off, my security system, was my fault. Yesterday, I had something in my yard that needed to go to work and without thinking I opened the kitchen door. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to remind the neighborhood that I have an alarm system but really I would never do that intentionally at six AM.

The second was not my doing. This morning at 3:35 the attic smoke detector when off. For no reason, thank goodness. Talk about being scared awake and into full alert, panic-mode in 2 seconds flat. I think it’s the battery going dead but why it didn’t chirp at me like they normally do I have no idea. Hm, better add batteries to the grocery list and replace them since it seems once one goes they all do.

My boss, gotta love that woman! Yesterday, she took me on a fieldtrip to pick out flowers for the courtyard outside the window next to my desk. Today, she let me come to work in my grungies and plant them. How cool is that! Now my squirrels have a pretty place to frolic.

After yesterday, I think a few of the neighborhood children now hate me. I was in my yard, doing my daily strawberry picking and the gaggle of little boys a few yards away kept asking me for some. I refused, not because I’m mean, because I don’t know them. I don’t know if they’re allergic. I don’t know their parents. I tried to explain that they should not be asking for or taking food of any sort from a stranger but they were too young to get that. What concerns me is that no one poked their head out the door to see who they were talking to. This time, the boys stayed in their yard but I can’t help but wonder if anyone would notice if they ventured further.

It’s supposed to be a wonderful weekend here. If you’re close by, get out and enjoy the sunshine before it gets too hot. Amarinda, I hope your area is getting a good soaking.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Stinky Surprise

When I was in my teens we had a Scottish terrier named Molly. Being a typical terrier, Molly liked to case small creatures. Her favorite, skunks. I don’t know if she was just dumb or actually liked the fragrance but being sprayed was a frequent occurrence for her. I think the local skunk family used to lay in wait whenever they were bored.

In case you ever need to know, brand name tomato juice works best for removing the smell. Much better than generic brands. Vinegar and water douche also works well.

Once, a few days after Molly had a run in, I was lounging at my boyfriend’s house when my mother called. She had heard rustling under the sink and, thinking it was a mouse, when to investigate. (Mice weren’t unusual guests in the old farmhouse where I grew up.) But what did she find when she opened the cabinet? Not a mouse, that’s for sure. Yep, you guessed it, a baby skunk.

Apparently it had gotten confused when running from the dog and had fallen into the basement through the cat door that was in the window. Again, it was an old stone house so the skunk was able to follow the pipes up through the wall and end up under the kitchen sink.

When I stopped laughing enough to question my mom the first thing I wanted to know was what she did when she saw it. Slammed the door shut. Had it sprayed her? No. What did she expect me to do about it? Help get rid of it. Um, no. Skunk removal was not my thing and I wasn’t about to get into it. I spent the night at the boyfriend’s as I’m sure you guessed.

After much debate it was decided the best thing would be to call the game commission. They instructed her to set up a path from the sink to the outside door so the skunk had a straight shot to escape. Put it in place and then close off the kitchen, the skunk would make its way out after it got dark. Sounds good, right? Only one flaw in this plan. It was a baby skunk who didn’t know it was supposed to wait until dark. Soon as the cabinet door was open, out it came. Fortunately, the she had already opened the outside door. Unfortunately, Molly was still out and it ran right into her. This time however, after spraying her, it ran the right direction and went off I’m sure to tell its siblings of its great success in getting the silly dog twice in one week and its big adventure inside the house.

Stanley Cup update - My Penguins won last night, 3-2! Sorry Dakota but you have to agree it was a much better game to watch with the Pens playing as they are capable of.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Think...

…I must have developed a stutter without noticing it myself. All day, while attempting to have conversations of any kind the universal response has been “Huh?” Wait. There was one exception…the Fed-Ex hottie but that’s another blog.

For example, I answered the phone, “Good afternoon, XYZ Company.” The response, “Is this XYZ Company?” If it happens again tomorrow, and it will, I’m going to say, “No, this is XYZ Company.” Or how about, “No I’m sorry. I can’t give out any information” followed by “I just want to know…” The one that really got me was the answer to “She used to wear her hair in braids, didn’t she?” which was “I think T’s sister is married to her ex-husband.”

And I think others have decided I’m losing my hearing. They insist on yelling when I’m only a few feet away. Um, no, I can hear perfectly fine. I’m just ignoring them. Guess they haven’t figured that one out yet.

Additionally, I am apparently simple-minded now too. Really there is no need to repeat yourself eighteen times when speaking to me. When I acknowledge whatever has been said the first six times I generally remember it. And yes, I do know Yale is a university and not just a mispronunciation of “jail”.

On a happier note, I know have two fat and sassy squirrels that come play outside my window while I’m working. Amazing what watching them frolic does for my morale.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Slow News Day in Reading

Sad to say it’s so uneventful here today that I am the biggest news in town. Well, the biggest news where I work anyway. Why? What did I do that has everyone in such a tizzy? Hang on and I’ll tell you.

I got a speeding ticket. And someone I work with just happened to be driving by and saw me. Sitting there beside the road where I pulled over and stopped immediately after I saw the state police car pull out behind me. So quickly I was stopped and getting out my information before he even had a chance to flip on the lights. There was no high-speed chase. No sirens blaring. No Barb facedown on the ground in handcuffs. Just me sitting patiently in my car while the nice sergeant wrote up my citation. Yes, he was a very nice officer because he gave me the inexpensive ticket where I did not get any points assigned to my license so my insurance is not going up and I do not have to attend traffic school.

I was simply going a little too fast on a wide-open road with no traffic in my zippy little car on a holiday weekend. Gee, aren’t I just such a hardened criminal? Get over it already! Now, if anyone is looking for me, I’ll be out in the yard, picking strawberries.

Monday, May 26, 2008

New Political Study

Today's news is even weirder than yesterday's.

The politcal analysts were tired of doing the same old age/gender/income studies so they opted to focus on food instead. It's been determined that those who prefer ketchup, a red, aggressive, war-like condiment on their burgers and dogs at picnics today will be more likely to vote Republican in the upcoming election than those who choose mustard, a yellow, passive, low-key condiment.

Oh. Okay. I see. But what this group of experts either didn't bother to take into account or decided not to report was the inclination of those individuals who like the combined taste. And what about relish-eaters? Where do they fit into this scheme? How about cheese? Spicy, brown mustard as opposed to bland yellow? Onions? Very shoddy work, I think. If we're going to spend money on such things I want a thorough study, not a half-assed, non-comprehensive one. There is much more out there than your standard ketchup and mustard.

Even so, today as your picnicking with your friends and family, take a look around and see if there's any basis for their findings. Does overbearing Aunt Matilda use ketchup? Mustard for mellow Uncle Howie? Both for your bipolar buddy, Brandon? Let us know what you observe.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


For some unknown reason I was surfing various news sites this morning. Not the norm, I assure you. I know it's wrong but the headlines have been so upsetting lately that I've opted to skip delving into any additional news.

Here's something I stumbled across..."Fourth Severed Foot Found Off B.C. Coast". Okay that got my attention so I read the article. Apparently there have been four right feet, all in socks and running shoes, washed up on various islands in the Strait of Georgia within the past year. Two were size 12. There is no evidence to suggest the feet were forcibly removed. Huh? They were too heavy for the ankles so they just fell off? And then the owners of the feet simply tossed them into the ocean once that happened?

The article went on to include bits of an interview with an oceanographer whose speciality is studying floating objects. He said left feet and right feet often wash up at different times in different places because they float differently. Hm, and how exactly did he make this determination? He added that it's not unusual for beaches to collect all rights or all lefts since ocean currents and winds sort out left and right footwear. Again, I ask, whu-the?

I wonder how much money has been invested in these studies. I also wonder how this man made the decision to get into this sort of thing. Do you think perhaps he grew up near a beach and kept finding all the same side body parts and just had to research why that happened? And how many parts are out there floating around, waiting to wash up thousands of miles away from where they originated? Do you think there are "Lost" posters on poles somewhere with instructions on where to return these feet to when found?

Maybe I should read the rest of the news more often.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

C'mon Over

Chex mix is ready. Drinks are mixed. Music provided by the neighbors both out front, across the parking lot and out back, down the alley.

That brings up a complaint about summer. Musical choices of others. Now don't misunderstand. I like music. Pretty much all music. Except when there's more than one thing playing at a time that is. I really wish they'd coordinate better. It's a beautiful day and I have all the windows open. It's very distracting, having overlapping rhythms like there've been all day.

I have a question. Why does pineapple juice only come in wee tiny non-reclosable cans? Why is it the only juice that doesn't come in full-sized bottles? It means I have to mix pitchers of Malibu bay breezes instead of individual glasses. You better all be on your way over here. I going to need some help with these.

My Penguins play tonight, game one of the Stanley Cup finals. Send out good vibes please. I should be working on revising my new story but I know I'll be too involved watching the game to get much accomplished. At least with the holiday I should be back on track before heading in to work Tuesday. Um, unless none of you show up for drinks or I spend too much time at the picnic Monday.

Well that's my weekend. Hope you're doing something you want to be doing. Whatever it is, be safe.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I Have...

...the bestest friends!

I was having one of those moments. You know them. I was home from work, about to change into my at home clothes and I decided I didn't feel like staying in. Now don't get me wrong. I'm perfectly capable of entertaining myself whether at home or out somewhere. It's just that sometimes I feel like company.

I made the first answer. Darn! Second call, sorry, obligations - she owns a fabulous B&B and was waiting for a late arrival. Sad but the conversation did get me an invitation to Sunday's cookout. Third call was not someone available to hang out with, too far away, but she's someone who would commiserate not to mention the first call's child. She informed me her mom was most likely mowing the grass and to call her back. So I did. This time she answered.

I barely finished explaining the reason for my call and she said sure, dinner was cooked for the family, she was on the way. No questions. No hesitation. Just an instant yes, she'll join me. Gotta love a friend like that! Especially since I know I'm not the easiest friend to have.

For example, there are times I get a little absorbed in my writing and forget I'm supposed to be somewhere. Also, I tend to not show up if I'm given too much warning. I'm great last minute, spur of the moment. I'm just not that good at sticking to prearranged plans when made too far in advance. I'm also a bit too self-sufficient at times and don't always socialize. Hm, could be why she dropped everything to join me since it's so rare I ask. Also could be why the second person I called was genuinely disappointed she couldn't come out tonight.

Thinking on it, I really don't know why they put up with me but I sure am glad they do. I don't say this nearly often enough but I love my friends. They are the absolute bestest friends ever!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Memorial Day

Tomorrow starts the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend. As you're out and about enjoying your day off at your picnics and gatherings please take a moment to remember the meaning of the day. Because of those who gave their lives in our armed forces, we have the freedom to celebrate as we choose.

To many, Memorial Day signifies the beginning of summer. True, but to me, there is an additional meaning. What is that, you ask? Chex mix. No, not the prepackaged stuff on the shelf in the grocery store. I'm talking about the homemade variety that I make myself. I have a recipe, sort of. It came to me by way of my mom but I'm not sure where it originated. Not that I follow it exactly as written anyway.

My chex mix is sooo much better. Not that I'm biased or anything. Nope, not me. It truly is better. My secret? More. More nuts, more spices, more margarine. More. I don't know about you but I find chex to be somewhat bland as it comes out of the box. Fine when you're consuming it for breakfast but as a snack it needs more flavor. I even customize different batches by levels of spiciness. Not everyone likes the same amount of cayenne pepper.

The thing about this is the quantity of chex mix I end up with. To me, it's kind of the same principle as soup. I have to keep making it until all the cereal is gone. Great for my friends because they all get some but where does one store 30 cups of chex mix while waiting to see them? Want some?

By the way, I did a guest blog over on Night Owl Romance today about my books. Stop by and see it if you have a minute.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Do No Harm

That’s my basic philosophy of life now. Sadly it hasn’t always been but age and circumstances have mellowed me. Not that I ever deliberately went out of my way to hurt anyone but I was a teenage girl and we all know how they get at times.

Anyway, do no harm. Generally a good way to live I think. But why not take it a step farther? Let’s add one more thing that is so incredibly effortless I find it unbelievable that it’s not the norm for many of those I encounter on a daily basis. It really is very simple. Ready? Be kind.

That’s it. Seriously. Just be kind. Meet the eyes of those who cross your path, those who look at you instead of around you, and smile. Say or nod hello. If it’s an individual that you are spending a few minutes with for any reason start out with a polite “How are you today?” and mean it. Listen to their response. If the situation of your meeting calls for it say please, thank you and you’re welcome. Come on. It takes very little extra time so why not try it? Now don’t misunderstand. I’m not suggesting you interrupt routines and spend serious time conversing with everyone you see. Nope, that’s not my intent at all. Simply be kind.

What set this off? I had a reality check recently that got me thinking. You see, I did say hello to someone and I did ask how she was, not really expecting a real answer at the time. But I sure got one. The person I was speaking with started to cry. Apparently I have a nice voice and a caring expression. It had been so long since she had anyone sincerely asked after her that it was somewhat overwhelming. Hm, yes, I’ve had times when I could relate to that. Probably not in the same manner as she’s going through but similar enough to understand her reaction.

Which brings me to my point. No matter what else is going on, would it kill any of us to take a few seconds and show each other some courtesy? Would it really hurt to slow down and spend a moment being interested in each other as fellow human beings? Would it be such a bad thing to take a deep breath and share a tiny bit of real contact with others throughout our days? Personally, I think we would all benefit from some honest interaction now and then. Let’s give it a try.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I Wonder...

I got new Crocs today. Any day when I can say that is a good day. I have the worst feet in the world, probably because I grew up in earth shoes and wooden clogs, and Crocs are the only shoes that never hurt. The fact that they come in a rainbow of colors is an added benefit. If that's not good enough you can also get charms to personalize them. Yep, I have a "B" on each left shoe plus something that holds a special memory on each right one. Didn't know so much thought went into this sort of thing, did you?

Have you ever tried a pair? The insides have little ridges that give you a foot massage while you walk. And they're springy/spongy so each step is cushioned. Not to mention that they weigh absolutely nothing so it's like being barefoot without worrying about stepping on something sharp. Then there are the furry ones. Mm, toasty and comfy.

I already had beach (grape, chartruese), baya (sea blue), mammoth (pink), islander (cream/sky) and mary jane (lavendar, lime) Crocs. Today I added relief in practical black and white. Relief are made specifically for arthritic feet and yes, there really is a difference. The ultimate comfort just got maximized.

So here's what I'm wondering. I wear my Crocs every day so no one even reacts to the colors anymore. Do you think anyone would comment if I mixed and matched them? Or would they just assume I wasn't paying attention when I put my shoes on in the morning? Perhaps they'd think I finally lost what little was left of my mind? Would anyone even notice as long as I stuck to mixing colors and didn't swap styles too?

Yes, I know. I'm rambling terribly. Forgive me. It was one of those days and now that I'm home my mind doesn't feel like it. Who knows what I'd be babbling about if my new Crocs hadn't come today!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy Dance Time

Sorry but break out your umbrellas.

Beyond Meddling released today from Total-E-Bound. This story is very special to me. Nope, I'm not explaining why. You'll have to read it and then I'm sure you'll understand. I posted a tame excerpt a few days ago to help Molly write my release ditty. Never read any of Molly's work? Shame on you! I'm honored so be sure to check it out.

The wonderful and talented Amarinda Jones posted an adult excerpt today so I'll post one that's in between.

Excerpt Beyond Meddling, not so tame:

As he thought back to the first days of their reacquaintance, his fingers gripped his cock. Before they left the coffee shop Be had accepted his invitation to meet again the next day. They ended up going for a walk around the lake. At one point they took a break to sit on a bridge and watch a pair of swans. It had warmed up by then and Be unzipped her jacket. He couldn’t help but notice she was braless. By her grin he could tell that she knew he’d noticed.
Mm, he sure had. How could he not? Her top was pale green and light weight. Her nipples were protruding and he could see them clearly. He squeezed his shaft, stroking faster at the memory of how much he’d wanted to slip his hand under her shirt and touch her. Or even better, pull her shirt off so he could sample her. Just the thought of having his mouth on her luscious breasts made his cock throb. He’d kissed her then. Or she’d kissed him. He wasn’t entirely sure. All he remembered was one moment they’d been talking, the next he’d lost his train of thought because he was staring at her chest and then they were kissing.
Oh God her lips were so soft. He was lost as soon as he first felt them caressing his. Then she’d leaned closer, her breast ended up pressed against his arm. It had taken all his self-restraint not to devour her. And that was before he’d heard her little whimper. The thought of that sound, so full of desire, pushed his control to the edge.
“Evan,” she’d sighed. “Touch me,” she’d whispered, her breathing ragged as her hand guided his to her breast.
The memory of that first touch was more than he could stand. He groaned as his cock pulsed, emptying himself until he was drained. He slumped then, resting his head against the arm he rested on the shower wall until he finally noticed the rapidly cooling water. His heart sank. Be was already gone for him. In a few short days she’d be gone from the area and it would be final. He wondered how long he’d continue to torture himself with thoughts of the woman he wanted more than life itself but could never have.

In other book street-dance-worthy news, the Bound Brits Anthology was reviewed by Joyfully Reviewed.

All Roads Lead to Ripon is intriguing. Barbara Huffert kept me guessing about Simon. I thought for sure All Roads Lead to Ripon was going to have some paranormal elements because of Simon’s secretive nature. When I found out what Simon was all about, I had an ahhh moment. Ms. Huffert kept me on my toes.

Thank you, Jambea! Click here to read the full review.

Well that's about it for today. It's about to rain again so I better go close up my windows.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I Am My Own Aggravation

Don't laugh. Seriously. Do. Not. Laugh. See the image at the right? Can you guess what it is? Oh come now, you're all creative individuals. Surely you know what that is. No? Why my new website of course. Yep, that's as far as I've gotten and the truth is I didn't create it myself. My friend D did it for me. She took a web design class a few semesters ago and used me as her class project. Got an excellent grade I might add.

And then she put it on a cd so I would have it for when I changed my site next time I have a book coming out. That would be Beyond Meddling from Total-E-Bound tomorrow. Well, something obviously got lost in the translation. I think it may be me because I have files and files of all the images and text and cute little buttons to click and links and everything else that was on the pages when D showed me what she did. Wish you could have seen it. It was really great.

Only problem is I am admittedly the biggest techno-moron you'll ever find. I know everything's there. I just can't get it to hop from the files she gave me to the pretty varigated pink pages I set up. Hey, quit snickering. I'll have you know it only took a day and a half to make the four pages I want. I even have the tabs approriately labelled. Now if only I could get the rest into the proper position I'd be all set. Hopefully, she'll read this and take pity on me. Bet she could have it set up in no time.

YAY!!! The Penguins just scored again. It's now 3-0 with just over half the game to go. When they win today they're in the finals!

Thank goodness for the Pens. My other project for the day isn't going all that much better than my website. I'm tweaking a story I wrote a little bit ago. The characters appeared back in my head which told me it's their turn again. I was cruising along, foolishly thinking piece of cake when I hit a scene with so much head-hopping it's making me dizzy. And now they aren't being cooperative. Silly people like it the way it is. They want you to know what they're both thinking. They don't seem to care that it's a tad bit confusing and doesn't flow. Neither will concede and step back to let the other dictate the moment. I'm finding this somewhat odd since they are both truly nice people, generally kind and considerate. Perhaps it's because they're getting hot and heavy and they're worried that you'll miss something. Both are a little too excited to be reasonable. Hm, maybe I'll leave it go for now and sneak back later when they're resting.

Ooh it's now 4-0!!!

So what are you up to on this now sunny Sunday afternoon?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Reclaiming Me

I did something today I haven't done in years. I planted flowers in my yard. I always used to have a whole mess of all sorts of flowers growing out there. It drove my mother, the master gardner, crazy because I'd plant too many different things in the space allotted, I'd put shade plants in full sun, marsh plants in my dry yard... You get the idea. What annoyed her most is that everthing always grew.

Anyway, I went out and got a slew of every imaginable color flowers today and was in the process of stuffing them in the ground when it hit me that I couldn't remember how long it's been since I've done this. Really, I have no idea. However, I do know why. And I'm very ashamed for the reason. I let my ex get me so down that I lost my ability to enjoy even the simplest things like tending a patch of flowers, something I always enjoyed before. I was that depressed that I lost the joy of nature's colors.

So today, as I was arranging and planting all those baby plants I was also beating myself up for being such a fool. I sat there and cried because I didn't have enough sense to save myself sooner. And then I stopped. As I see it, better late than never, right? It's been six months now and I'm still finding parts of myself that I'd tucked away for safekeeping without even realizing it.

Today demonstrated that I'm nowhere close to reclaiming all of me yet. I still have a long way to go before I feel whole again. But I've also come a long way since I made the decision to evict him from my life. It hasn't been easy but then I didn't really expect it to be. There are some hurts that I'll never get over even though I will learn to live with them. No, not yet but someday.

Why am I rambling on about this? Because it's important. If you've never found yourself in a similar position in your life then hooray for you. I hope you never do. But if you have or if you're still struggling with the decision to make the change and start over completely then this is for you. My life is far from perfect these days but it's a hell of a lot better than it was last year at this time. Or the year before that. Or the year before... I guess my point is that no matter how scared you are, don't be. It's better to be scared and alive than letting yourself die a little more each day without consciously ackowledging it and at least trying to do something about it. If I can do this, anyone can. All you need is a little faith in yourself. And if you think you don't have any left, I can tell you from personal experience that you're wrong. It's still in there, hidden beneath the layers you've concocted, just like I did, to rescue yourself so that someday, you too can once again find the pleasure in something as simple as planting a marigold.

Friday, May 16, 2008

For Molly

Evan Wilton is lost and confused. So much so he’s about to let Belynda Himmel, the woman of his dreams, slip away. He has every intention of doing just that, for Be’s own good of course, when his grandfather shows up to knock some sense into him.

Now if only he can get past the fact that the man died months ago and actually manage to listen to him, he might end up where he’s always wanted to be - in spite of himself.

“Boy, you’re a damn fool.”
Evan Wilton sat upright in bed, scanning the room for the source of the voice that awakened him. He saw no one. Of course he wouldn’t. His grandfather, the man he thought he’d just heard was dead. He died over three months ago. It was merely a dream. He flopped onto his back and draped his arm over his eyes. His grandfather was dead. When would he just know that and not need to continually remind himself of the fact? How long would it take?
“I’m speaking to you, boy. The least you could do is pay attention.”
“Pop?” Evan asked aloud, feeling the fool for doing so as he cautiously removed his arm.
“Of course it’s me. You think after all these years you’d recognise my voice.”
“But you’re dead,” he stated.
“So? What’s your point?”
“I’m dreaming. That’s it. I have to be. It’s just because I miss the old coot so much that I think I can still hear him.”
“Old coot? Who you calling an old coot, boy?”
Evan shook his head. He rubbed his eyes and looked around the room again. This time he saw his grandfather leaning against the doorjamb. He jumped out of bed. “Pop? What the fuck?”
“Put some pants on, boy. It’s too early in the morning to be waving that around. And watch your mouth.”
Evan pulled on some shorts and sat on the edge of the bed. “Pop?”
“Jeez, would you get with it already, boy? You act like I’ve never visited before.”
“It’s not that, Pop. It’s just that you’re dead. I wasn’t expecting you.”
“Harrumph. You should’ve been. Someone has to knock some sense into that fool head of yours.”
“Huh? What do you mean?”
“What do I mean? What. Do. I. Mean? The girl, you idiot. The girl. Be. You’re going to lose her if you don’t get your head out of your ass.”
“Be,” Evan sighed tiredly. “She’s already gone, Pop.”
“Stupid fool. Serve you right if she was, acting like that,” the recently deceased Walter Evans grumbled. “You still have time if you’d stop hiding like some snivelling coward and be the man that I know you are.”
“She doesn’t really want me. I’m not good enough for her.”
“Hogwash. Stop talking out your ass and think for a minute here. She’s got a good head on her shoulders. Yup, Belynda Himmel is one of the finest women I ever met. Right up there with your Gran and that’s saying something.”
“Yeah she is so what the hell would she want with a loser like me?”
“Damned if I know when you’re saying stupid shit like that. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and go after her. There’s still time."

Feeling Almost Human

I’ve spent the last twenty-four hours being a zombie-like lump. Not exactly awake but not sleeping either. My head hurt enough that I went for the heavy duty meds, Maxalt. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Either way it leaves me feeling funky and not in a good way so you know it really has to hurt for me to go that route.

Yesterday, Anny Cook awarded me the “Blogging with a Purpose” award. Thank you, Anny. The rules are that I must now award this to five different people who haven’t already received it. Difficult for me since I read so few blogs faithfully and some of the ones I’d choose were selected previously. After some very groggy thought, I’ve decided on Kelly Kirch, Sayora Poirier, J.J.Hebert, R. Paul Sardanas, and Angela Guillaume.

And now for a little rant…captchas, otherwise knows as word verifications. Yes, I understand their purpose. Yes, I see why they are necessary. What I don’t get is why some of them are made so damn impossible to read. Really, if the simple, block letter ones work then what’s with the squiggly, linked together, curly ones? They make my head hurt on a good day. Not to mention reminding me that it really is time to schedule an appointment with my eye doctor. But if they give you a second and third chance and then finally give you one you actually have a chance at copying why can’t they start with that one in the first place? Perhaps it's the self-willed computers messing with us.

Well that's it for today. Mouse is here giving me a look that says we're overdue for naptime. Since I know better than to argue, I'm going to refill my ice pack and join him like the good girl I am. *snort*

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Just a Bit of News

Beginnings of a migraine from hell today so this will be short. At this rate it is going to be a very long summer.

Soon as I feel better I'll be dancing in the street again. Please come join me. Why? As part of Total-E-Bound's anniversary celebration in July, they are releasing three volumes of Lust Bites. Beyond Meddling, my story that will be availabe on Monday, is in volume 3. Sorry, no cover to show you yet but I'll post it when I have it.

Here is the whole line-up for that volume:

Picture Perfect Lexie Davis
Carnal Collision Jamie Hill
Beyond Meddling Barbara Huffert
Beg Me Desiree Holt
The Sexier Side of the Hill Victoria Blisse
Pandemonium Alexis Fleming/Lyn Cash

What a great bunch to be included in!

The Zen Queen, Anny Cook, chose me for the Blogging with a Purpose award. Thank you, Anny. I'm honored. More on that tomorrow.

Time for me to go find a way to lull the baby oragutan growing inside my head back to sleep before his little foot pokes a hole in my skull. Cheer on my Penguins for me. I couldn't stand watching them skate around tonight so I'm counting on all of you.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I Have a Confession

There is a sport I watch. Ice hockey, the ONLY sport as far as I'm concerned. And one I even understand fully, thanks to a very patient guy I dated who took the time to explain all the fine points of the game to me. Thanks J. Of course somewhere in his tutelage I meandered off on my own and became a die-hard Pittsburgh Penguin fan. He was a Flyers fan and yes, we tormeted each other about it terribly when our teams played each other.

Showing my age again today, I'll tell you that I became a loyal Pens fan before they signed Mario. They lost so many games that year I decided they needed at least one person to believe in them and know that they'd win it all someday. And then came Mario. Anyone who knows even a little about hockey knows who I'm talking about. After that, they built on the "double trouble" theme, all of the super-talented players with double numbers on their jerseys. Still have my locker room double trouble sweatshirt.

Part of that line-up included my favorite player of all time, Paul Coffey. He was a defenseman but was always breaking away on his own and flying down the ice to score. Mm, I loved to watch that man skate. So much so I even have his "Learn to Skate" video. I still watch it now and then. Anyway, he came to Pittsburgh by way of the Edmonton Oilers. Where he played with Gretsky. Surely you've all heard of him. Now I've never been much of an Oiler fan but even I have to say how incredible it was to a Coffey breakaway pass to a Gretsky tip-in. My opinion - it was great but not nearly as great as watching a Coffey/Lemuix scoring combination.

There was one season when I went to all the Pens away games against the former Patrick division teams. No, I never managed to meet Paul Coffey but I did get caught drooling over him in a pre-game skate in New Jersey once by Mark Recchi who then skated over to Paul and got him to wave at me. Yep, still have my whole collection of Coffey memorabilia

My point here? Don't really remember because I'm too lost in memories but it might have been that my Pens beat the Flyers last night. They lead the semi-final series 3-0. One more win and they're in the Stanley Cup finals. Of course I emailed J a Pen celebrating a goal last night. I couldn't resist and we're still friends so I know my bratiness made him chuckle. The next game is Thursday so tune in and cheer with me.

Let's go Pens!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I'm Old

Believe it or not, I received my refund check from the cable company today. A whole $4.22. Woohoo! I can take the rest of the week off. NOT! What can I get with that? A gallon of gas, perhaps a gallon of milk, four Hershey bars, half a sandwich from my former favorite pizza place, 10 postage stamps, a loaf of decent bread.

I think I’m old. I remember when gas was 49.9¢ a gallon, Hershey bars where 5/$1.00, stamps were 6¢ and people used them to send notes written on actual paper. I also remember when milk was delivered to your doorstep as were chips and pretzels. Where I grew up we had a grocery truck that came around with fresh meats, vegetables and a few staples. Since the driver knew there kids on his route he also stocked Tasty Cakes. Real Tasty Cakes that had flavor, not the kind they mass produce today. I’m pretty sure my $4.22 would have financed one of the impromptu picnics the neighbors across the street had throughout the summer.

Do people still do that? Have spur of the moment gatherings for the surrounding neighbor kids even when they don’t have any children of their own? Do parents let their kids under the age of 10 roam for hours without knowing where they are or who’s feeding them?

Do kids still go outside and play in the sunshine? There was a creek about a mile or so down the hill from our house where we used to hunt for crayfish under the rocks. I even had a pair of sneaker just for wading since we were always splashing around in the muck. To get to the creek, we would cut through another neighbor’s yard. She didn’t mind. More often than not she’d be waiting for us with glasses of lemonade when we came back through her yard.

Yes, I really do think I’m getting old. I must be because I’m sitting here thinking that kids today don’t know what they’re missing.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I Was a Bad Child

When I was about 12, I had a friend whose mother was a hairdresser. It wasn’t unusual for me to come home with a new do after a visit to her house.

There was one occasion when my mother went on and on about how much she really liked my new look. God knows how but I convinced her I had paid close enough attention to how it had been cut to do the same to her. Can you believe she actually let me go at her with the scissors!

The style I had was short, multiple layers that fluffed around my face. Hers was several different lengths of what looked like a crooked bowl cut, the shortest on the very top of her head half an inch long at most with several patches missing.

At the time my dad was playing in a band. When he came home hours later she was still sitting in the dining room, sobbing in the dark. His first question was what I was still doing up. Then he heard her and asked what happened. I explained and I could tell how hard he was struggling not to laugh but, being a psychologist used to dealing with all sorts of things without reacting, he rapidly got control of himself. He sent me off to bed before going to see how bad it really was. His verdict – even worse than he imagined.

My mother was a teacher, a dedicated one. I think that Monday was the only day I ever remember her not going to school without being seriously sick. In order to fix it, the hairdresser she went to had to cut all of her hair half an inch long and even then she still looked extremely odd. She couldn’t wear the hat she wore at home to school so she spent at least a week fielding questions from her colleagues and ignoring stares and laughter from her students.

Me? Well, I think she might have said a dozen words to me the entire time it took it to grow out enough for her to look presentable again. She never has seen the humor in it although my dad and I started laughing openly about it the following year.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Sky is Falling

Not everywhere. Or at least I don't think so. Just above my front door. Actually it's the permastone. I was speaking with my neighbor today and she pointed it out. Now I don't know whether to live dangerously and let it fall randomly, a little at a time or to go out and poke at it. Can't you just imagine the entire front of my house crumbling around me? Perhaps I should have the man who lives on the other side of my neighbor move his new truck first.

Ever watch Absolutely Fabulous? It's one of those shows that you either love or hate. You either get it and think it's hysterical or you don't and then the parts I laugh at make little sense. My ex hated it. He had no understanding whatsoever. There's one character, Bubble, who is portrayed as the absolute dumbest bimbo ever. Any episode with Bubble made him furious. The writers always had her ask some question that was so incredibly simple and stupid it came off as bizaree. My ex's problem was that he tended to take them seriously and ponder them. As soon as I chuckled he'd turn bright red and start yelling. In all the years he was here he never once bothered to sit down and attempt to watch the show with me so he could then understand why I thought it was so funny.

BBC America is having an AbFab marathon today in honor of Mother's Day. If you've ever seen an episode you'll know why just hearing this advertised got me started laughing today. I've seen the entire series I can't tell you how many times but I have it on in the background anyway. I'm finishing up my edits and am feeling a bit braindead so it'll be a good subliminal influence. Hm nope, that statement doesn't make any sense to me either but it sounds good so I'm sticking to it.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I Am Not A Mom

Not in the standard, biological sense. Not in the adoptive sense either. But that doesn't mean I don't have kids. I do. A handful whose wonderful mothers are generous enough to share. I don't know if they realize just how special and important their children are to me. Or how much I treasure my time with them.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day so I thought this the perfect time to say thank you to the moms who have welcomed me into their families. I also want to thank my girls for accepting me and allowing me to be involved in their lives. I wouldn't have missed any of it for the world. I couldn't love them more if they were truly my own.

Friday, May 9, 2008

We Interrupt Your Regular Schedule... bring you this important bulletin. I can no longer order delivery from my favorite pizza/sandwich place. Why, you ask? Because, um, well, you see, I sort of flashed the delivery boy. Only half, okay three-quarters of a breast when the corner of the pizza box snagged my shirt but he almost tumbled backwards down the steps.

I suppose it could have been worse. He could have fallen and bashed his head on the cement, needing me to call 911 for assistance and then had to explain what happened. It could have been both boobs. There could have been a parking lot full of people across the street to see me. My neighbors could have stayed outside a few seconds longer to witness my display.

What did I do? I waited until he seemed semi-steady on his feet, asked innocently if he was alright and then closed the door on his gaping expression. Really, what else could I do? I'm going to miss eating from there.

We now resume your regular editing...


Edits. Don't you just love 'em...not! Especially since I'm not certain the suggested changes are valid and can be made without altering the point of the story I've told. But I'll be back with an excerpt when I'm done. Somedays it's more fun to be a writer than others.

Update - Minor edits accomplished without fuss. Workable compromises under consideration for additions. It's very difficult because I'm one of those authors who writes from the heart for me, not commercially for you. But I've calmed down enough to at least think about it reasonably and stopped taking it so personally. Well for the most part anyway.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

This Is War!

Not only does springtime signify the beginning of migraine season, in Reading it also marks the start of ant season. Ever year for the twenty years I’ve lived in my house there have always been two weeks around this time of year that the tiny variety of ants think they should dwell inside. No, not all of them, just a random handful. Sorry but to me any ant inside the house is one too many. After all, I don’t poke around in their abodes. They should stay out of mine.

Bixby loves ant season. He’s the great hunter of the house. He stalks relentlessly, often swatting, until finally he traps them beneath his paw. I think he likes the way their squirming tickles. Occasionally I let him play with one but generally I squash them. Bix really hates when I do that. He sits and stares with his sad little cat face.

Yesterday, I came home to find him in full stalk mode. In the living room. Nope, never had ants there before and I am not putting up with it. I don’t care if it’s only for another week they have to go. Since it’s spring and the boys are shedding their winter coats I already vacuum more than once a week. Ants on the carpet, however, are cause to vacuum at least once a day if not twice. Hm yes, twice is much better.

So today, before I left I announced that I was officially declaring war and that all intruders had until I got home at five to vacate the premises. I know, I know, didn’t work since ants aren’t known for following orders issued by humans. On my way home I stopped for both internal bait traps and external perimeter spray. And no, I don’t feel at all bad. They were warned.

And now for something completely different – a question. Ever sit next to one of those incredibly rude individuals whose music you can hear in spite of the fact that they are wearing earphones? I did this morning. If that in itself weren’t bad enough, today’s occurrence including singing. Normally, I’d give my best death glare at that point but the guy was so incapable of carrying a tune it sounded like he was singing an entirely different song. He was so bad I actually felt sorry for him. Not sorry enough to prevent me from laughing openly of course, after which he switched off the music, removed the earphones and pouted at me. There goes my reputation of being the nice one.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


I was having a discussion with some coworkers today and at one point noticed they’d stopped talking and were staring at me with odd expressions. That’s when I realized I’d just told them how to make a shrunken head. In detail. The looks I got said they weren’t certain if I was speaking from actual hands-on experience or not.

Ever ask someone what you thought was a simple question and then have it mushroom out of control until everyone imaginable was involved, even those without any real cognizant input? Do you try to stop it before it spreads like ripples across the entire pond or sit back and watch in amazement, perhaps even stirring things up a bit when they start to settle? Today was an “add chaos” day for me. Why do people get so riled up for the wrong reasons?

Know any drama queens? How do you handle them? Do you play into whatever has them in such a tizzy or squash them like the silly bugs they are at the height of their latest tragedy? Though I tossed fuel on the benign question fire today I did some serious bug squashing. I just couldn’t help it. The latest BIG EVENT is completely uncalled for and has been going on for days now. Enough is enough. In the overall scheme of the universe it really does not matter and I’m tired of listening to it for hours every day. It’s casting a shadow over my perkiness and you all know how important it is to me to maintain that image.

Yes, it’s getting a bit deep here. I don’t have my boots so perhaps this would be a good point to quit. Hope your day had more Tao than mine.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Sorry, not much to say today. In less than a week the headlines of the local paper have included at least a dozen murders, suicides, murders staged to look like suicides, hit and run homicides, armed robberies that resulted in cop/crook killings, missing persons found dead, and the capture of murderers from crimes committed years ago. I turned the page today to world news and stopped reading at the story of three infants found dead in freezer by older siblings searching for pizza.

It seems every day there are more. And more. And more. When did life become this disposible? How can we, as individuals, change it without being viewed as fanatical crusaders? Most of all, why do so many not seem to care?

Monday, May 5, 2008

I Love Ebooks But...

I love the entire ebook concept. Think about it. No matter what time day or night it is you can shop for a new read. With a handheld ebook reader you can take up to 200 books to the pool with you. Or to whatever appointment you know will leave you sitting in a waiting room for an extended period of time. Not to mention how environmentally friendly they are.

Okay that said, I have news to share. BIG NEWS!!! Bound Brits will be available in paperback on May 15th. Although I knew this was in process it was still a thrilling shock to find it on Amazon yesterday. I googled myself while chatting with Neeley. Yes, multi-tasking here with the best of them! Perfect timing for it too. Neeley's in the middle of finals. She's on the post-one set, pre-another rollercoaster so my excited shriek served as a good distraction for her. Hopefully her eardrum will recover shortly.

Click here to view the page. Now before you do I should tell you that it's still being set up. There isn't a lot of information. When I first looked at it there wasn't even an image of the cover but I fixed that post haste. Check back again on the 15th and everything should be in place.

So yes, as much as I adore being an a part of the whole ebook system I must admit it is still pretty damn cool to be a print book as well.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunday Extra

Why do these draw me so strongly?

The artist is Antony Micallef. Is it perhaps because I feel like these look at times? Don't really know but they disturb me as much as they fascinate me. For more of his art, and no it's not all like this, click here.

Cookies Instead of Kisses

Don't blame me for today's topic. Blame Amarinda. She's the one who brought it up and started me thinking. This is how she ended her blog today. May you be kissed often by one with knowledge.

Mm, yes please. I would dearly love to be kissed often by one with knowledge. There's only one snag. No one to kiss. Before I tossed the ex, I had myself to the point where I didn't think about kissing. Well, not in relation to me that is. My characters are a whole nother story. But I'm not talking about them now. I'm talking about me. I gave up kissing the ex years ago for reasons you really don't want to know. Then, back in October, I liberated myself. Even since the parts of me I'd tucked away for safe-keeping have been slowly reawakening and coming back to life.

Hm, what to do? All reaved up and no one to kiss. Yes, this is becoming a problem. There is one individual I'd like to spend unlimited time kissing but he's currently in hiding. Seems I scared him off last time we saw each other. Perhaps I should come with a warning label about being too potent. All I know is how terribly unfair it is for him to kiss and run when I was just getting started. Oops, rapidly approaching the TMI line here so veering off in a slightly different direction.

Ever find yourself wandering around, checking out those in your immediate vicinity and spotted someone you wanted to kiss right then and there? Every now and then I do. Look, that is and see someone. I really don't go around kissing random strangers on a whim. Anyway, I was at the grocery store today, lip viewing to make it bearable. Nope, no good window shopping going on there today. sigh

What I did discover is that Oreos now have easy open pull tabs on the front of the package. Tabs that reseal too! When did that happen? Persaonally, I see this as a splendid addition. Probably a good thing they didn't have this feature when I was a kid or I might have been tempted to sample an occasional Oreo when accompanying my mother. You all know how that would have gone.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

My Day

In case you haven't picked up on it yet, I love musicals. Today my mother and I are collecting our Christmas gifts to each other. We're off to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Have you ever seen it? No? What are you waiting for? Because it's biblical you say? Nonsense! Go see it anyway. It's truly fun and you're missing out if you don't. Yes, I've already seen it with my young actress friend. We were both disappointed when it was over. We agreed that there should have been more.

I don't want to spoil it for you so I won't give out too many specifics. I will say, however, that I'm sure it will surprise you at least once with how the show's been revamped to make it current. I gave my mom a few hints since all she heard about it was from years ago. She knows a little of what to expect but I'm still willing to bet it's more than she anticipates. Yes, it is biblical. But it is also funny. And entertaining as can be.

What are you waiting for? Get yourself unattached from your computers and go find a travelling version. You'll enjoy it!

Okay, that's my afternoon. Tonight I'm off to a surprise birthday party. The individual it's being thrown for will like it. Me? Don't even think about pulling that on any of my birthdays no matter what milestone I reach. I'll turn around and walk out.

Some surprises are fine. Many aren't. Just my opinion, of course, and what do I know? I'm the girl who wouldn't open the elaborately decorated egg one Christmas even though I knew it contained an engagement ring because it was presented in front of his entire family. At the time, I really wanted the ring but not like that. Anyone ever put you on the spot like that? Why do people do these things when it's the last thing you'd want? To me it means they simply haven't bothered to get to know you at all. Hm, could that be why I gave the ring back? Yes, I do believe it was.

Friday, May 2, 2008


When I was young I would go and spend part of each summer with my great aunt. Usually my grandmother would join us for a portion of the visit. When she did, she and my great aunt, her sister, would go out and about as they did when they were girls.

Occasionally, I was permitted to stay at home with my great aunt’s gentleman friend, George. George was in all ways a character. He was bald with a belly and his favorite expression was mighty souls, which was at least five syllables when he said it. He was a whiskey-drinking, cigar-smoking, card-playing man.

Why is that significant? Because when we hung out we played poker. If our game started before the ladies left, we used matchsticks since I was five and they were afraid I’d break the official clay poker chips. But the instant we heard the car pull away, George would break them out anyway. He also traded in my glass of soda for a small shot of whiskey and gave me my own cigar. This man took his job of teaching me to be one of the boys seriously. My great aunt was always very punctual. Must have been the school teacher in her so we always knew when to expect them back and had time to eliminate all evidence of our “real” game.

Our ritual lasted until the third summer when something happened, I think perhaps one of their intended destinations was closed or someone wasn’t home to visit, and they returned early. You guessed it! Busted red-handed. From then on, our games were supervised and not nearly as much fun.

More about George on a later blog. I suspect that in a few ways, he influenced who I am today.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Yep, It's Thursday

With all that happened yesterday and the aftermath today which is the equivalent of gawkers parading past a bad traffic accident, I completely forgot I got my summer haircut. What a shock it was to step into the shower this morning and find it missing. Of course that was after I already started with way too much shampoo for the little amount of hair I have left. Poor Mouse usually wakes me by tugging on a few strands and there’s not even enough for him to do that. Guess that’s why I woke to the sound of his meowed complaints instead. Maybe next I’ll play with the color. My only concern with this is that once you start you almost have to continue. I just don’t know if my attention span is long enough to deal with it on an on-going basis.

I work in an office smack in the center of downtown. Sounds bad but this particular office is located in a converted home. I sit between an eight foot window that looks out on a walled garden and a gorgeous brick fireplace.

There’s a squirrel who I’ve been watching for months. Now that the weather’s warm, I’ve decided to attempt to befriend him, much to the dismay of most of my coworkers. One woman went so far as to tell me she deliberately aims for them when driving. Hm, not something I understand. In fact, to me, that’s just plain cruel. They’re living creatures who aren’t hurting her in any way.

My friend Molly’s children just got a pair of rats. Ones that live inside the house. Ones that they’ve named and hold. Pet rats. She’s posted pictures if you want to see them. I’ve heard rats make cool pets but they’re not for me. Nope, I’d rather stick to my fluffy-tailed squirrel friend who lives in the yard. I’m sure by the end of the summer I’ll have her sitting with me at lunch, eating cashews out of my hand.