Friday, October 31, 2008

My Day

It started out rather interesting. My mom and I were held hostage at IHOP. No, not really. It just felt like it. Her birthday is next week and that's what she wanted to do to celebrate. When we were ready to leave our server was nowhere to be found. If you were ever actually held hostage however, that's the place to do it. I brought home enough food to last through tomorrow.

Next up, I was having a nice conversation on-line and my DSL decided to go wonky. An hour and a half later when I finally managed to reconnect I opened an email from the fellow I had been talking to, wondering what he had said that was so wrong that it chased me off without a trace. This is the second time in a week I've spoken to my service provider. I don't like those people anymore. As it's All Hallow's tonight I am considering mounting my broomstick and buzzing by their windows in a show of what's to come if they don't fix the problem once and for all as they promised at the end of today's phone call. If that doesn't work, I know people... There. They've been more than sufficiently warned. Think they'll heed it? Besides, I still have my spoon.

The highlight of my day was a visit from the heater cleaning man. Yes, I now have heat in my house. I can stop wearing hoodies and vests on top of my cute pj's and I don't have to search for my gloves as I feared I might have to do soon. The bad news is he recommended I start saving up for a new heater. I think I'll move instead. If I start fixing all the things wrong with this house, I'll be trapped here forever and that's not part of the plan.

What did you do today?

Halloween Tidbit - More than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That equates to nearly 9 billion pieces - enough to circle the moon nearly 4 times if laid end-to-end.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Safety First

With the economy the way it is I’m sure more and more of you will be reverting back to pioneer ways. Since hunting season is almost upon us, I thought I’d remind of something very important, tree stand safety. My guess is you’re much more likely to wait for the game to come to you rather than go out and track it. Am I right?

First, and this one seems rather obvious but maybe not since it may have been some time since you were last hunting, never climb with loaded weapons. If you’re using an archery system, cover the broadheads (arrow tips) before climbing. Better yet, use a haul line to raise and lower your gear so your hands are free to support yourself.

Two, a safety belt or climbing harness is recommended since most accidents occur while climbing up or down the tree. Hm, perhaps if you’re not capable of doing this safely you should hunt from a stand on the ground? Just a suggestion but if you insist on an elevated position you may want to remove any logs, upturned and cutoff saplings, rocks and other obstructions from the ground immediately below the tree stand just in case.

Three, choose only healthy, living trees for your stand, preferably with rough bark as it makes climbing that much easier. Never put all your weight on one single branch and always keep one hand and foot secure while reaching for the next hold. Also, do not grab or step on rotten branches. You’ll fall.

Four, wear boots with non-skid soles because platforms can be slippery in rain, sleet and snow. Yes, I’m sure you’ll be out in all weather conditions.

Five, always climb higher than your stand and step down onto it. Climbing up onto it can dislodge it and you’ll fall, probably with the stand landing on top of you. Of course that would entertain your prey when they wander by and stop to laugh and point.

Last, but not least, tell a dependable person where you’re going and when you expect to return. Give them a good idea of where you’ll be. Draw a map if they’re unfamiliar with the area. Leave a second one in your car if they’re questionable. Have a first aid kit with you for minor injuries. Carry a flashlight and a whistle in case something happens and you need to signal people searching for you. Carry a cell phone but check for a signal before hand since your life may depend on it.

Oh wait, there is one more thing but this is even more obvious than the first so I hesitate to mention it but I will in the name of safety. Don’t fall asleep. See? I told you it was superfluous. Or I should hope it is. I mean really, you’re standing in a tree with a loaded gun in your hand. Do you truly need to be cautioned to stay awake?

Okay, I feel much better now, sending you out there. Be careful. Send us pictures and please, only kill what you’ll eat.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It Snowed

Not right where I live but in Pennsylvania. I heard on the radio this morning that the Poconos, the little mountains in eastern PA had a foot of snow. That’s about an hour away from me. It won’t last though. It’s just a tease because it’s supposed to warm up again over the weekend.

It’s rare that it snows this early around here these days. It used to back when I was a kid. Sound old now, don’t I? Maybe the weather forecasters will be right for a change. They’ve predicted that the northeast will have an unseasonably cold winter. Perhaps they should call it a traditional one instead. People might not get so grouchy when they hear it then.

Personally I like winter. I like having four distinct seasons. If I didn’t, I’d move. As it is I’m seriously considering heading north. Yes, that’s correct, I said north. It’s not a typo. I really do mean north. I honestly do like cold weather and it’s been so mild I haven’t owned a winter coat for the last two years. Hm, if this week truly is a preview of what’s to come I may have to break down and get one.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tick, Tick, Tick

Ever have one of those days that you thought would never end? That was mine today. Not that there was anything specific wrong with it.

It was cold and rainy with wet snow predicted for later, my kind of weather so that wasn’t the problem. It’s just that I have an idea for a new story (YAY!) and I really wanted to be home writing.

Only once I got home I was tired and grumpy so all I wanted to do by then was put on my pj’s and curl up in a ball. I really need to start playing the lottery.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Was Bad

But in my defense I was justified.

When I first moved to Reading the bar on my corner was a real dive. The kind only the regulars and those on a dare went to. I won’t tell you which I was. Back then there was no parking lot so we who lived in the block had to jockey for spaces with the regulars. Let me tell you it was damn annoying, especially in bad weather.

I was like everyone else when it snowed. I shoveled my space and put something in it to save it for me even though it was technically illegal. Hey, I’m tired at the end of the day. The last thing I want to do is hunt for a parking space and then hike however many blocks home from wherever it is.

The first winter I remember one particularly deep snow. Yes, it actually snowed for real back then. I came home just as one of the regulars was parking in my space. My street is narrow. There’s parking on both sides and only one lane of traffic. I got out and yelled at him to move his car. Guess what? He laughed at me. That’s right. He laughed at me and proceeded into the bar.

Wrong thing to do. I left my car where it was and went inside to change my clothes. I couldn’t get away with that now since Reading’s cracked down on double-parkers. They’ve finally figured out what an excellent source of income that is so you now get a fine within minutes. But I’m getting sidetracked.

So I was changed and back out in the street. With my trusted snow shovel in hand. Figure it out yet? No? I was in the process of shoveling the snow I had removed back into the space, packing it tightly around the offender’s tires and up along the driver’s side door when some of the other regulars who lived within walking distance arrived. Of course they recognized the car and paused to watch. Finally one of them asked what I was doing. I very calmly explained that as I saw it I shoveled the snow out of the space so I could therefore shovel it back in if I chose to.

Within half a minute the car owner was out to move his vehicle, apologizing profusely as he went. And do you know what? I never had any trouble after that. Can’t imagine why, can you?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

And Then There Were Three

Angel Cats

“Angel cats are just pretend
Just sorrows that will never mend”

But if I believe that, I’m untrue
To someone who loved me and you.
For I have felt my cat’s sweet weight
As she cuddles into bed so late
And heard her purrs, and felt her sigh
Mend my grief: sweet lullaby.

Faulty vision? I think not!
An angel cat, off like a shot
For that was how she ran while here:
Now plain sight, now disappear.
Angel cats are surely real
They stay in touch to help us heal
Their fur dries tears that will not dry
And as we mend, our spirits fly.

Rachel McGrath-Kerr

I had to let go of my Mouse.

That’s the decision that had me so distracted the last few days.

Unfortunately no one had a magic wand that could send him back to the one pound kitten he was when we first met 18 years ago.

His name was originally to be Rudy only he squeaked with every step so it soon became Mouse instead. He and his twin, Bixby, used to have purring contests that kept me awake at night. Mouse stopped purring over a week ago. That’s when my heart started to break. Bix seems as lost as I feel. He keeps looking at me as if asking what I’ve done with his brother. I know he knows he’s not coming home and it’s my fault but he’s purring at me anyway. Thank you, Bixby. I need purring now.

When Mouse was agitated about something and talkative he would meow every eight seconds, yes, I timed him, until he was too hoarse to continue. I always felt guilty for not understanding what he was trying to tell me although sometimes I suspected he talked just because he liked the sound of his own voice. I hadn’t heard that in a week either.

My Mouse had the most expressive tail too. He’d swat it in ways that let me know in no uncertain terms he had an opinion on whatever was going on whether it was time for food or one of the other cats had his toy or I was in his seat. Let me tell you, when Mouse wanted your attention one swat of his tail was all it took to get it.

I’m not sure I can write without him. Seriously, I don’t think I can. I strongly suspect he’s the true storyteller in the house. I never typed a word without him lounging behind me on my chair or on my lap with his paw between my hands on the keyboard. Other than this, my mind is blank. Maybe that’ll pass with the numbness I feel but I’ll have to wait and see.

I do have other cats but they’re all individuals. To me, each has his own unique personality. None of the others can replace Mouse just as he could never have replaced any of them. Mouse was my lap cat and now my lap is empty, just like a big chunk of my heart.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


There's something important I have to take care of and I just can't do this too. I can't explain now but I will when I'm back, promise. Until then, treasure the little the things because in the end, they're the ones the mean the most.

October 22

Do you know what today is? October 22. Yes, I know. I just told you that. In addition to that.

It’s my first real boyfriend’s birthday. We started going together in sixth grade. Our big romance at the time consisted of holding hands at lunch. We didn’t really talk. I had my friends to the side of me and he had his to the other side of him. You remember how it was.

We went to our first dance together. No, of course we didn’t dance. We had our first kiss together. It was the most innocent peck you can imagine. But we stayed together long enough to also have our first real kiss together too. Sigh. He was a true sweetheart.

I haven’t seen him since two years after high school graduation and that was just across the street to wave hello, not even to speak. After we broke up for the final time, my doing, he started dating a friend of mine. I was then no longer permitted to be part of the group. I suspect she was slightly paranoid that we might get back yet again. They got married after college and I’ve heard they have some kids though I can’t tell you more than that.

His wife was a class officer so when it was time for reunions she was involved. I don’t go. The only person from high school I ever see intentionally is my former neighbor. I didn’t much bother with many of those people then so I see no need to now. I don’t know what possessed me but one time, I think it may have been the 20th RSVP, I declined but added a PS to wish my former beau a happy birthday since I sent in my response the week of October 22nd. I later heard from someone who I do occasionally bump into that my doing that caused all sorts of problems. Oops. Apparently he had remembered when my birthday was that August and happened to mention it so naturally his wife assumed we’d been secretly meeting all those years. Seems he was in the dog house for quite some time all because I was nice enough to send some harmless birthday greeting to someone I hadn’t seen for over half my life. Talk about misplaced paranoia!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Last Night

When I went to bed, I had half. My spot, the middle. It was chilly when I crawled in so I had the down comforter tucked up to my chin.

Bixby was in his normal place to the right of my feet, keeping them warm as he generally does. Isn’t he a sweetie!

Now that it’s cool, Quinn’s decided he’ll come to bed too. After the first two tries he’s figured out that he’s supposed to sleep, not pounce on anything that moves throughout the night. He’s claimed the spot to the left of my feet.

Mouse, as usual, was sharing my pillow, tucked in the covers next to me and Harry was roaming as Harry does. He stops by to say hi during the night but he’s the busiest little cat I’ve ever met. I think he’s on patrol, protecting his domain. Perhaps I need one of those signs, “Attack Cat on Duty”.

When I woke up this morning I still had half of the bed. Only it was the top half. And my down comforter was gone so I was shivering. I looked and there was Mouse, curled up between Bix and Quinn with the comforter in a ball under him. I’ve seen him do that so it didn’t surprise me at all.

My guess is he got warm and crawled out of the covers. Then he probably decided he’d be more cozy with the comforter beneath him. I’m sure my feet made it too lumpy so he moved me out of the way. Amazing, isn’t it, how a five pound cat can rearrange me in my sleep without me waking up?

The other boys were in their spots, playing possum, I’m sure. Probably just waiting for me to wake up and see what I had to say about this. Harry was next to my head, looking into my face, openly laughing at me. Yes, cats do smirk. If you don’t believe that, stop by sometime and mine will demonstrate.

So what did I do? Nothing. Mouse is showing his age these days. He was still asleep and looked very comfy so I didn’t have the heart to disturb him.

Only Me

I met someone on one of the on-line dating sites. Now don’t get excited. It’s not at all what you think. In fact, he has me thinking it's time to pull my profile.

The first message from this man asked how I felt about submissive men. My immediate reaction was no thank you but then I thought research so I responded that I’d be willing to chat with one. Before I knew it this man was begging to be my slave/maid/cook. My naked slave/maid/cook. In exchange for domination/punishment/humiliation.

I was very up front with him and made it quite clear that I was not currently in need of a slave even though the thought of a maid was very tempting. In the name of research I did ask for his qualifications and for more specific details on the sort of punishment he desired. I also stated that I would keep him in mind should I hear of anyone seeking someone for that position.

So far so good, right? Wrong. The slave then decided to beg, naked and on his knees or so he claimed, for the privilege of kissing my feet. Um, no, I don’t think so. I ordered him to get up, saying that I preferred my slaves to have a modicum of dignity. I went on to explain that I abhorred begging, that I would only tell him things once because repeating myself annoyed me. If I chose to permit him to speak to me again it would benefit him to remember that and I ended our exchange.

I thought I handled it fairly well though I suspect he was lacking in experience. Any tried and true slave would have pegged me for the fraud I am right off and known any knowledge I possess came from reading. I didn’t feel at all guilty because I did tell him I wasn’t interested and I wasn’t lying because I will pass him on if I do happen to encounter someone in need of a slave.

Last weekend he reappeared, once again begging to be of service to me and begging to be punished. Yes, that’s correct, begging, naked, on his knees. Exactly as I ordered him not to do. Sigh. How do I get myself into these things? Naturally, I couldn’t just let this transgression go. Could I?

Stalling for time, I asked what implements of punishment he had available. Of course he offered to come to me to be punished in person. I declined, saying that would be too much of a reward for him. He gave me his list. Nothing that appealed to me (translation – nothing I knew what to do with) so I had him get dressed and hike all the way around the college campus that he’d told me was nearby. I think he’d hoped to be sent out streaking but he’d have enjoyed that too much. Being sent fully clothed was a much more fitting punishment as I saw it since he seems to have a penchant for being naked. But as I’ve said, I don’t have a clue so what the hell do I know?

Anyway, he reported to me that he was back. I said I was pleased and bid him goodnight. I told him to remember him manners or next time I wouldn’t speak with him at all. Perhaps that’s my out. If not, I’m going to need some help here. Anyone have any advice? Better yet, anyone want a slave?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Something Different

Okay, I provided the picture. You add the blog to go with it this weekend.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pretty Clever

My squirrels at work haven’t quite reached the point where they will accept a nut from my hand yet. They do stay put on the wall and wait for me feed them so I can get within a few feet.

Now that it’s getting cooler they’re coats are really thick looking and very pretty. I guess they’re filling in for winter. You should see them pose while they’re waiting for me to come feed them. So cute!

I know the general perception of squirrels is that they are dumb critters and yes, sometimes they do seem to be but I have to tell you that mine have learned a few things this summer.

First, they know I am specifically the person who provides them with all the yummy nuts. How am I so sure of this? The facility where I work has several separate buildings. I feed the squirrels in the closed in garden outside my window in the main office. One day I was leaving a different building and one of my squirrels was lounging on the fire escape. I asked her what she was doing there, away from her yard and told her that she was going to miss lunch if she didn’t get back where she belonged. Yes, you guessed it. I had a squirrel escort back to the office. I assume she recognized my voice since I speak with them all the time.

Second, they know which door I come out of when I feed them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve glanced out the window to see one of my buddies standing up, looking in the back door, waiting for me to appear.

But yesterday tops everything. I was sitting at my desk, working away and hadn’t realized how late it was. It was a nice day and the window was open. I kept hearing this odd noise, not really tapping but not scratching either. Eventually I looked. My squirrel friend was on the windowsill plucking at the screen to let me know I was overdue with her snack. Thank goodness that’s all she did. If she’d screamed or chattered as they sometimes do when they’re chasing each other around the yard I probably would have jumped out of my skin! I suspect she knew that which is why she went about quietly getting my attention. Otherwise, she would have missed out on her afternoon treat altogether. See? Not so dumb, is she?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hey, It Worked

Years ago I worked in a less than savory section of Reading. I used to walk at lunch. Back then I was a bit bolder than I am now. Or perhaps now I know better?

Anyway, my solution to the very real possibility of being mugged in broad daylight as so often occurred in that neighborhood was to carry a spoon. Yes, that’s correct, a spoon. An ordinary, average teaspoon. I think it was one I’d received free in the mail, one of those offers to buy a whole set.

When approached by any potential hoodlums, I would stop, extend my arm to full length, spoon in hand, look them square in the eye and announce as seriously as I could that I had a spoon. Then I would wait expectantly for their response. Sometimes, if they looked exceptionally horrified I’d go a step farther and ask if they wanted to hold my spoon, just to mess with them. Occasionally one would tell me it was a nice spoon or something equally inane. More often than not the individuals decided I was not someone they wanted to approach and would back away.

I must admit it was quite a challenge maintaining a straight face until they were far enough away so as not to hear me burst out into fits of laughter. I’m probably lucky to be alive. Personally, I believe it’s all in the attitude. As I see it anyone who would so proudly display a cheesy spoon wouldn’t have anything worthy stealing anyway. Who knows? My spoon might have even earned me their protection since I only had to show it a few times before everyone along the blocks I walked became friendly and started chatting with me. I guess they decided I was someone that needed looking after.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I found a 1937 Indian head nickel today. It was in a spot I look frequently. One moment it wasn’t there, the next it was.

There was no one else around at the time which is how I know it got there all on its own. This is also how I know that it is meant for me. I’m sure there is something incredibly significant about this magical nickel. I can’t wait to discover what it is.

I haven’t figured out how it works yet. I don’t know if it’s the sort of talisman you rub or merely wish on. For now I’m holding it close and brining it with me wherever I go. It seems to like that idea, staying with me.

Perhaps it’s something I’m just supposed to hold onto for now. Maybe its importance will make itself known at a later date. I really don’t know. It’s old and very worn and I like it. Maybe that’s the true magic of this nickel. It makes me smile just having it in my possession. And, since it clearly picked me, I think I’ll keep it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How Does It Work?

I’ve read many articles that claim we all have latent psychic abilities. What they fail to explain is how to develop them. In intricate detail, I mean, so I actually stand a chance of doing so.

I have no interest in reading anyone’s mind although there are times when that might not be such a bad talent to possess. No, what I’m more interested in is having the capability to move things. Or make things pop, say tires for instance. Not while in motion. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I just want to be a nuisance. Hm, perhaps not pop all the time. Perhaps develop a slow leak at times instead would be more frustrating to the individual I have in mind.

This brings up a question. I know if I were to physically go and let half the air out of a tire it would most definitely be construed as vandalism. If I could manage to do it by mental telepathy from halfway across town is it still? How about if I don’t know if it actually happened or not? I can’t be held responsible if it’s just wishful thinking that worked, right?

It’s not like anyone would ever be able to prove it was me. Even if I had the ability to do this I’d certainly keep it to myself. In case you’re wondering, I don’t. Not yet anyway. I have spent some time on my front steps, picturing tires in the parking lot across the street going down but nothing so far. Or not enough for me to see any difference. I figure that might be easier to start with than making one over-inflate enough to pop.

Maybe I have to start with something smaller, like a bicycle tire. And that I could do in my living room. Yes, that’s probably a better idea that sitting outside, staring blankly all the time.

If anyone has an owner’s manual on this I’d sure appreciate if I could borrow it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Color Me Murphy

Yep, one of those days.

If it could go wrong, it did.

I'm sure I'll think it's all funny sooner or later, just not today.

Going to bed now. Yes, I know it's only 5:23. I don't care. Back tomorrow. Really hoping the universal powers are done targeting me by then.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

No Way

It’s October. Halloween. To some of you insane individuals that means corn mazes. What are you thinking? Seriously, are you nuts?

I grew up next to a corn field and I can assure you there are things in the corn. No, I’m not talking about the four legged furry kind of things. I’m talking about the other kind. The kind you can’t see. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. They are. Stand there if you dare. Let it get quiet and you’ll feel them.

When I was a kid I was friends with the boy on the other side of the field. Never, even in the winter when the field was bare, did we cut through it to visit. Not in the spring when it was freshly tilled. Not when the corn was newly sprouted. The things in the corn stayed in the field no matter what the season. We always went all the way around the field. Always. His grandfather knew though we never talked about it. He rented the field to a local farmer who planted it in corn. One year he decided no more corn. He told the farmer to plant something else or the lease would not be renewed. After that the field was fine to walk in. Winter wheat, oats, soy beans anything other than corn and nothing. Whatever had been there with the corn was gone.

It wasn’t just field corn either. Jan, the woman I went to when I needed mothering lived down the hill from us. One year her husband decided to plant two huge fields of sweet corn. No one ever figured exactly why he did that. That’s just the way he was. The only thing to do was to sell it at the local farmers market. That was the only fun part about it.

I remember sitting in her kitchen, crying once the corn started to grow. Jan was like that. She didn’t laugh at me. She listened when I told her I was afraid for her to be there alone with the corn. I think I spent the whole summer at her house like I could protect her somehow. When the corn was ready to be picked I was youngest so I got to stay in the truck and count the ears instead of doing any of the picking. You should have seen me. I stayed dead center in the middle of the truck bed. Never did any part of me extend over the edge. Jan told me I didn’t have to help at all. She would have fixed it with my parents but again, I had to be there to watch out for her. Being the sweetheart she was Jan made sure her husband never put us through that again. Nope, no more corn planting there. Not even a few rows, just for them.

Anyway as I started out saying there are things in the corn that you can’t see. But they are there. Oh yes they most definitely are there. And they know exactly where you are within those mazes at every second. You are not safe because one of these times they will decide they are tired of you traipsing around and they will get you. So stay out of the corn.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Big Day Out

Warning: If you're overly excitable you may not want to read today's blog. It could be too much for you.

Today I went to BJ's. I meant to get just a few items. I know exactly where they are and had no intention of shopping. I wasn't even going to look at anything on the way by. I had other things to do and didn't really have time to meander.

My first stop was outside. Gas is down to $3.02 here. I guess that's something good to be said about the upcoming election.

Inside next for catfood and paper staples. I was on my way to the check out when I had to pass the clothing section. Big mistake! It's fall. Do you know what that means? I don't think you do so perhaps I should tell you. Here goes...

Writer PJ's! You may not know this but BJ's has an excellent selection this time of year. And this season's come with matching booties! I snagged two new pair, for inspiration of course. Dark blue with the cutest frogs and lavendar with yellow ducks. I considered the pink with black and white cats but I was afraid they'd clash with my pink boa.

Since my schedule was blown anyway I picked out some funky socks too. Hey, I heard the northeast is supposed to have a colder than average winter so I figure I'll need them. While I was at it I decided to be nice to my office mate so I went and found her some jelly belly's. I don't particularly like them so I got dark chocolate covered cranberries for me. A strictly healthy snack of course. Cranberrries are very good for you. So is dark chocolate with all its antioxidants. Yep, that's my story and I'm sticking too it. Forget that they are just plain yummy.

I finally made it to the check out area. I still go to the real live person. I've tried the self-check outs. Things always go wrong and I generally end up needing three people to fix it. It's just not worth the aggravation so I don't even bother anymore. Anyway, I was sharing my excitement of the PJ's having booties this year with the cashier and she just didn't seem nearly as thrilled as I was. Perhaps she'd already heard about it too many times today. I don't know but either way she didn't appear unhappy to hand over my receipt.

I know, easily entertained, aren't I? But really, is that such a bad thing? Whew, now I'm tired. Better go lounge on the porch and watch the leaves change color with the boys. I know you're all off to your local BJ's now to pick up some new writer PJ's too.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Hope as well with you and your family. I live in Bernie, Missouri and we had bad flooding.My home got wet.
I had an autograph of you and it was ruined. May, I please have a autograph of you inscribed to me?
Bless you and your family.Love Deal of a Lifetime.

Steve Creg
Box 758
Bernie, Mo. 63822 usa

The above is an email I received yesterday. Imagine my surprise considering I have never given an autograph in my entire life unless you count my high school yearbook. Nope, no Steve Creg in my class so in this case that doesn't count. Even if it did, my signature would be the last thing anyone would want to replace.

Color me skeptical and I apologize to good old Steve but I simply don't believe he's legit. Oh there is a Bernie, Mo. and it did flood at some point. Look. I even found a picture to post here, probably the same one he did just in case I happened to check his story. Not that I wouldn't take him at face value. No, I'm sure Steve is a straight up kind of fellow.

I'm a little short of cash this week or I'd send him a donation, just to help him get back on his feet again. Oh wait, he'd probably just send it right back to me anyway, don't you think so? Better yet, perhaps I should just include my credit card with the autograph he's asked for and instruct him to only purchase the essentials that he absolutely has to have to get his household up and running again. Yes, I'm certain Steve would return it, with only a few small charges on it. Don't you agree?

Up To Me

Now that Neeley’s back in school full time she lives on campus again. To me, that means very limited vicarious exercise opportunities. So, believe it or not, I’ve actually been doing some real exercising lately.

Wait, don’t panic. I don’t mean I’ve joined a gym or done anything that drastic. I haven’t gone to that extreme yet. Baby steps. What I am doing is picking up the pace on my biweekly treks to the post office for work. Not that I ever lollygaged to begin with but now I’m walking as if I’m on a mission.

And while I’m standing in line, and there’s always a line with a 10 to 15 minute wait, I do toe lifts. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow. If I happen to be wearing my crocs I can slip my feet halfway out of them so they’re even more beneficial.

I can picture the expressions on your faces now. Before you start wondering about my sanity I should add that it before I started doing my little line exercises every crazy in the post office wanted to speak with me. It was to the point where the window personnel would tease me about it. Now, they steer clear of me. See? An excellent secondary purpose that I discovered purely by accident.

The only drawback is that I can’t carry my cell phone while working so unfortunately Neeley is missing out on vicariously exercising with me. It doesn’t seem to work telepathically. You have to actually be speaking with the individual who’s exercising to share in the results.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Look What I Got!

Isn't it awesome? Eerie yet sexy, exactly as I imagined when I was filling out the request for the cover gurus.

Linked, coming next spring from Ellora's Cave

Tentative blurb:

Tori Banks has been having nightmares of the same two murderers for years. When she hears the latest one reported on the radio she has to question whether all the others really happened too. But who can she trust to believe her?

Detective Guy Breauchard is skeptical to say the least when he sets out to meet a woman who supposedly sees serial killers in her sleep. Little does he know that not only is she psychically linked to the pair, she’s also the woman of his dreams. Now all he has to do is catch the killers so he can concentrate on convincing her of that.

I might have to rewrite this somewhat. Two trusted friends told me to spice it up a bit. I loathe blurb writing but I'll have to see what I can do.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Summer’s over! Or as my dad would have said, the frost is on the pumpkin. Doesn’t matter that there hasn’t been an actual frost yet or that I don’t have a pumpkin. It’s the sentiment that counts. The heat is over and I’m happy!

Personally, I like slipper and sweats weather. Well, except for the increased laundry aspect of it but nothing’s perfect. I like snuggling under my down comforter. I don’t even mind it getting dark earlier in the evening. I know, from an economical standpoint that’s probably wrong this year but as I said nothing’s perfect. I’m ignoring that and enjoying the season.

Here in eastern Pennsylvania, the leaves are just starting to turn. Soon the mountain that I can see from my porch will be a blaze of color. The crickets are having their last hurrah. I love how their chirping slows down just the tiniest bit when they get really big like they are now. Have you ever noticed that? The birds are migrating so every now and then I’ll have an unusual visitor in my yard. I don’t know enough about birds to ever identify any of them but I can tell when they’re not local. Some over the years have been striking. I have a friend near Toronto who has migrating monarch butterflies who stop at her house. I bet that’s a sight to see.

How about you? Do you like this time of year too or are you like my office mate who is already dreading the approaching winter?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Coming Next Spring

From Cerridwen Press

Drake’s Rules - Blurb:

Megan Lewis has been alone ever since a bad experience in college left her afraid to trust her instincts about men. When she comes home from her morning bike ride to find her neighbor’s young daughter alone in the hallway, the last thing she expects is overwhelming surge of desire she feels the moment her panicked neighbor joins them.

When Professor Drake Edwards loses his wife and son in a horrible accident he moves his daughter to a new town for a fresh start. He has no intention of getting involved with anyone. But when he finds his neighbor, Megan, watching over his daughter, his body has plans of its own. Can his heart and mind overcome the guilt he feels?

Drake's Rules - Excerpt:

“Daddy, the bread’s gone. Can we get ice cream now?” Christy bounced on her toes in front of them.
“Megan?” Drake deferred to her since it was meant to be a thank you for her kindness.
“Fine by me.” She hopped off the bench. “Lead the way. And for future reference, I consider ice cream to be a staple, consumable any time, day or night.”
“What’s that mean?” Christy chose to hold Megan’s hand instead of Drake’s.
“That means,” Drake responded as he clasped Megan’s other hand, “That we’re going to keep an eye on her so she isn’t a bad influence on you.”
“Daddy,” Christy sighed. “Talk kid English.”
“It means that I don’t always eat the way I should, honey.” Megan caught his amused expression and looked relieved that she hadn’t offended him. “I eat sweets instead of real food sometimes even though I know I shouldn’t.”
“Ooh, that’s bad.” Christy’s eyes were huge. “Daddy says we have to eat all sorts of stuff so we don’t get sick.”
“Your daddy is right,” Megan assured her.
At the small ice cream parlor, they sat at one of the tables outside while Christy devoured her cone. Drake was having trouble not staring at Megan’s tongue as she licked the chocolate sprinkles from her ice cream until Christy stopped eating, mid-cone.
“Daddy said about Mommy and Jimmy,” she stated to Megan.
“Yes,” Megan confirmed.
“He gets sad when he says about them. Uncle Adam says it’s ’kay ’cause they can’t be with us ever now and Daddy misses them. Uncle Adam says they had to go be angels ’cause they’re very special. He says that Mommy and Jimmy are in my heart forever and if I get scared or lonesome I can talk to them there and they’ll help me,” she paused to study Megan. “Did Mommy make you find me? I was talking to her in my heart and then you came.”
“I don’t know,” Megan answered truthfully.
“But Uncle Adam said she’d take care of me from where angels are.”
Drake had to swallow several times before he could speak. “Christy, there’s no way to know if Mommy sent Megan or not. Angels help without letting us know. But even Uncle Adam will tell you that sometimes things just happen the way they do without involving angels. Do you believe Mommy sent Megan to keep you company?”
She chewed on her lip before nodding. “Yeah. I think Mommy sent her to make you happy too, like when I was little.”
Drake ignored the ice cream smeared on her cheeks and hugged Christy tightly. “Maybe she did,” he whispered, his voice unsteady as he watched Megan’s reaction over her head. “I love you, Christy.”
“I love you, Daddy. Always and forever.”
“Yep, always and forever.”

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Uh Oh

It seems my cleaning frenzy sent my characters into hiding yesterday. I think they were afraid I'd figure out some way to put them to work otherwise. Must have been all that racket I was making in combination with the various fumes from the cleaning solutions. All that had the cats cowering in the attic too. Couldn't possibly have been the repeated threats to tie dust rags to their tails if they didn't get out of my way. Nah, couldn't have been that.

I tried asking my characters to come back nicely last night. I tried asking again this morning as I was hiding out on the porch, staying out of the way as Harry and Quinn repaved the steps with cat fur by racing up and down as fast as they could multiple times.

Neither worked so now I'm pulling out all the stops. I'm watching Holiday. It's the Cary Grant/Katherine Hepburn movie from before Philadelphia Story. Ever see it? Entertaining little movie, doesn't take much thought, about the differences between the classes. Grant plays a working man who falls for an heiress, Hepburn's sister, who wants him to fit into the position she has all picked out for him in daddy's company. He's a dreamer. Hepburn is the black sheep in the family, also a dreamer. Yes, you guessed it. After lots of hard feelings and turmoil they end up going off together. It's worth seeing if you never have. Kind of bittersweet if you're in a mood when you watch it. Add in the overbearing, controlling father who never listens to anyone but himself and the brother who deals with everything by drinking and it's perfect for coaxing wayward characters back out of hiding.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll be immersed in something new. Oh, for those of you who are wondering, I skipped the literary festivities for this weekend. Annoying my mother wasn't worth putting on real clothes. I still have the rest of the month to accomplish that.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Blog Called...

On account of major chores.

It sucks. That's life. Get over it. You'll live. You spend too much time on your computers anyway.

Wow, guess my complete and utter loathing for household chores is no longer a secret.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I Feel Slighted

Reading is having a month long literary celebration and I was not invited to participate along with all the other local authors and poets. At first I thought it was because there was absolutely no why for the organizers to know of my existence. Then I went to their website to find out more about the whole thing and low and behold several of them are acquaintances of my mother.

Perhaps I’m paranoid, thinking that she called and begged, no, more likely bribed them to exclude me. After all, it’s a fairly new organization and they do new contributors. But there’s a little piece of my mind that continues to hear her asking what she did to deserve a daughter like me who writes what I do. One the other hand I could have been right in the first place, thinking they don’t know I’m here.

I checked the event calendar and noticed they have a ghost story and tour of a local mansion at what is now Nolde State Forest this Sunday. It’s a place my mother, thanks to my grandmother’s second husband, was able to socialize during her high school years. Yes, she was one of the prissy crowd growing up. Perhaps that’s why she disapproves of me so much. There’s more of her mother in me than she’s comfortable with. My grandmother, now there’s a woman for you. But that’s a different blog.

Anyway, I always did want to see the inside of that place so perhaps I’ll go and stick around to introduce myself as a local author afterwards. Maybe that way I can be included next year. It would give me plenty of time to tell everyone I know locally to come out and support such a good cause. I’m sure my mother will come out to any event I might be involved it. She’ll bring all her friends too!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Need Your Help

This morning on my way to work I bopped into my local WaWa as I often do, for some chai. I got my cup carrier. I got my hot thingys for on my cups. I got my cups. I always pick some up for my office mate too. Put the thingys on the cups. Put the cups with the thingys in the carrier. All set.

Only when I turned around to fill the cups I discovered that chai was not one of the options. Must be a mistake. I’m not fully awake so I looked again. Nope, still missing so I asked the lady who’s always lurking to make more coffee, wipe up spills, whatever and she informed me that they no longer offer it.

No!!! After gaping in shock for longer than she was comfortable with I handed her my cup carrier complete with empty cups all set up with hot thingys, gave her what I’m sure was the most pathetic look she’d seen in years and left.

I pouted at work for an hour, my co-worker with me after I told her we wouldn’t be having any more chai since the only Starbucks has absolutely no parking. Then I got annoyed and decided to call WaWa to ask why. I know, I know. You can’t believe me of all people would ever want to know why, can you?

I spoke to the manager, Joe was his name. He apologized and even sounded somewhat sincere for ruining my morning. He extended an open invitation for me to stop by and share a complimentary cappuccino with him. Nice touch even though I’d already explained I do not drink coffee. What he did do that was useful, and this is where you come in, is give me the corporate number. It’s not just my WaWa that eliminated chai from their selection, it’s all WaWas. My new buddy, Joe, recommended I contact the main customer service and register my displeasure because only with enough complaints will the reverse their decision.

Of course I called. Spoke to Malcolm after being on hold for less than a minute. He was pleasant and so was I. I pointed out that to coffee drinkers one flavor more or less won’t make much difference when they have over two dozen to choose from but to chai drinkers it will when they only have one to begin with.

I don’t know how many of you read J.J. Hebert’s Platform of Self-Importance but he’s declared October Pay It Forward month. If you’d like to do something nice for someone, please help me get chai back into WaWa. It really only takes a minute to call and it’s a toll free number so it doesn’t cost you anything. The number is 1-800-444-9292. If you call, go visit J.J’s blog and leave a comment. He’ll be so proud of you and I’ll be very happy when I can have my morning chai again.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Eva May and I, along with Riley and her daughter, had a girls' night out Tuesday. We started with dinner and then went to see a travelling company of Stomp. Have you seen it? If not, you sure are missing something truly fun.

The show was almost two full hours of non-stop energy. Eight performers who created incredible rhythms out of average items you'd literally find on the street, from push brooms, to paper and plastic bags, to rubber hoses, inner tubes, trash cans, paint cans, road signs, plastic water bottles, wooden sticks, newspapers, their own bodies, even the kitchen sink, they used everything.

And don't think they just stood there and beat on these things. No, they were in continual motion the entire show. You really should see how these people can stomp their feet, tap dance, snap their fingers, clap their hands, twirl around in mid-air, click their six-foot long sticks together, smash trash can lids against the person next to them, toss paint cans and plastic jugs in the air all while continuing to drum, not missing a beat or dropping anything or hitting anyone or themselves. Seriously, go see it. If I didn't have edits to do tonight, I'd go back again. It was that good.

If that doesn't have you convinced, it's also funny. There's absolutely no talking but the facial expressions are a riot. There is one character who is the scapegoat for all the skits though I'm not sure that's the appropriate word. He's the one who cleans up when the sinks splash water and catches the paint cans at the end of that segment after not being permitted to join in and has the small, wimpy section of rubber hose as opposed to the big, manly hose. Yes, they do hold them up and compare. There's lots of little things like that throughout the whole show.

On top of that, it's interactive. We, the audience had our assigned clapping to do too at various times throughout. At the end they attempted to teach us some more involved rhythms. Eva May was much better at it than I was because she's more coordinated but we had fun laughing at me. I didn't feel bad. Lots of other people there couldn't do it either.