Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I am so very sad tonight...


Because Moose is dead.

We brought him home Sunday night, and I secluded him from the other horses so that they could all acclimatize again. Well, he let himself out Monday morning, pushing the gates apart so he could get out. Everything seemed fine. Monday afternoon, he was out at the chicken coop, nibbling grass. Before I left for work, he was out at the far fence, standing alone. Nothing unusual.

Today I didn't see him at all. I walked around the top of the hill, checked around the barn, didn't see him. But I wasn't too concerned.

I called hubby and asked him to ride the 4-wheeler around to look for him when he got home from work. He suggested sending our son out while it was still light. They had just gotten home from school, and the sitter's property adjoins our own. It was no big deal for him to go looking for the horse; he'd done it many times before.

I had just pulled into the parking lot at work when I got a call from my sitter. Moose was dead. My son was in tears and incoherent when I tried to talk to him. I was bawling my eyes out by this time, and I called my boss to let him know I had to get home. I'm sure he thinks I'm a flake. Hubby was just leaving work as I was getting there, so we caravanned home as quickly as we could.

After gathering the kids from the neighbor, and consoling my son, we set out to find Moose. He was down at the edge of a thicket, and it looked like he had been there for a good while, at least several hours. There were no obvious injuries other than a spot high on his neck where it looked like the taller horses had chewed at him until he was bloody. There were skid marks around his body, as if the bigger horses had stopped suddenly. I think, perhaps, Moose was galloping around, as he always did, and had a heart attack. He was 19 this year, a pretty respectable age. And he'd been pretty stressed the past couple of days. I kind of wonder, too, if he didn't try to come down and run the herd. For 6 months he's been in Ohio, running my mom's herd, being The Man. When he came down here, he was definitely bottom of the rung, having to start all over again.

Maybe it was too much for him.

All I know is my heart is very sad tonight.

Fat Thursday and Black Friday...



I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with friends and family. I know I did. Living in Kentucky, I don't get a chance to run up to Ohio to see my family very often any more. With the kids at school, and hubby and I working alternating shifts, it's not as easy to just hop in the car and go. Honestly, when the weekend rolls around, I just want to put my feet up, cuddle under a furry blanket and vegetate.


So, the times when we do get together are more special now. And poingnant. My grandparents are getting older and more frail, and I'm always afraid each visit may be the last. I know one day it will be.


I didn't get to see everybody, (Hello Nee, we missed you!!! Helloo in-laws, see you at Christmas!!!) and others I'm glad I didn't see, you know what I mean?


I know I should feel terrible saying that, but I don't... Actually, they probably feel the same about me. Oh well...


So, I'm curious as to how many other nuts there are out there that went shopping on Black Friday? You notice, of course, that I am counting myself as one of those nuts. Yes, I went shopping at 3:30 in the morning. And I dragged my mother along with me. I actually found some really awesome deals. Definitely worth the lost sleep and aggravation.


And, I got to bring Moose home. He's done his job for Mom's mares, and they look VERY pregnant already. I figured he would be upset at leaving, but he didn't make a sound. Moose is pretty mellow. We did get a lot of looks on the interstate though. Hubby didn't want to put him in the back of the Tahoe again, so he built a stall on the 4-wheeler trailer. It worked out really well. Moose has been wandering ever since we got home though, looking for his herd. Sorry Buddy.


Anyway, hope you have a productive week. I'm inputting all the notes I took longhand over the weekend, then off to work I go, hi-ho-the merry-o.....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lynn Viehl has pulled me out of the Cave...


I know, I know. Where the hell have I been, you're asking. Thought you dropped off the face of the earth, yada yada yada. No, actually, we've been working our butts off.

Hubby is settling back into travelling again this year. He's in San Francisco right now, with another trip scheduled over Christmas Break. The plant where we work actually closes down for two weeks, but they want him to work. And so far, JUST him. Next year (or should I say 2 months from now) they have him scheduled to go to Tiajuana Mexico for three months. Then to Texas for three months. The Tiajuana trip has me worried the most. They will send him with armed guards everywhere. The drug war down there is so bad, you need guards! This one is freaking me out.

My job is cruising along as well. I'm averaging about 50 hours a week. Still on afternoon shift, but I have some hope I may be able to go to dayshift after the first of the year.
We never did find Cricket. I posted Reward papers everywhere. Did get a couple of calls, but nothing that was concrete. Makes me sad. I miss the little bugger.

Now for the focus of this blog.

I love Lynn Viehl's work. She writes in depth stories with so many layers. One of the things I admire about her most is she tells you how it is. Several years ago, she promised her friends that if she hit the New York Times Best-seller list, she would post her income statements on her blogs. And she has. This is the first statement for her novel Twilight Fall. The blog that goes with it is also extremely enlightening. Check it out. This is the follow up statement several months later. Also extremely informative. FYI, you have to scroll down the page. Hers is the 5th entry.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Short Weekend...


I'm sorry I haven't been keeping this up like I promised. It's difficult. Not actually writing the blogs, but physically getting a chance, and TIME, to write them. Our lives are so crazy right now. Today is the first day I've seen my kids in a week. Yesterday was a mandatory overtime work day, and I had my KYRW meeting yesterday afternoon. (Which was awesome by the way! Hello ladies.) Kids had an eye appointment early yesterday morning, so this is the first time I've seen them in forever.

I'm making them clean today. Maybe they want me to go back to work.

Hubby is pretty frazzled. He had no idea how busy the evenings were, and what all needed done before he could head to bed. Cleaning has kind of taken a back burner, recently, and my one day off, I have to clean up five days worth of clutter.

Oh, and look for a dog.

Cricket is missing. The little Pomeranian. She was riding in the truck bed with the mastiff yesterday when hubby went down the road. He only went about a mile, then turned around and came back. But somewhere in between Cricket either jumped out or fell out. Or maybe Murphy threw her over the side? Either way, we can't find her. I went up and down the road on the 4 wheeler talking to the neighbors in the rain looking for her. No Cricket. One little girl saw her running towards home yesterday afternoon, but that's the last sighting. I'm afraid somebody stopped and picked her up and took her home.

Makes me sad.

If that did happen, I really hope she gets a good home.

Well, hubby's home. May go spend a few hours with him before bed. Have a good Sunday all.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Back to the Land of the Living...

Yes, it's me. I'm back.

FINALLY!!!!

I tell you, it is incredibly hard going without internet for 2 months. I didn't think I was so hooked I couldn't go without, but man, that 2 month span was a real test. I broke down once and went to Starbucks to download e-mails, but that was the only time.

And , of course, internet was the last utility to be hooked up. We kind of drug our feet because we didn't want to pay a guy $300 just to come out and set the dish. We tried to hook it up ourselves, but we had no way to hone in the position to the satellite. So, $125 later, we're set. We had the contractor position the dish, then hubby (wonderful, darling, hubby) finished running the wire.

And I'm live. Yay!

House is pretty much done. There's some trimwork outside and inside that needs repaired, but other than that, we're done. Finally. I thought building a house would be bad, but this has been bad enough. Nothing worked out the way it was supposed to. We had so much rain this summer, that every time a contractor planned to come out, they were delayed. Even on my hilltop, it was a muddy mess more often than not.

Just moving the house out here took 2 days, and had my road closed for a total of about 10 hours.

No, that's not our driveway. That is our road. At one point, there were guys on the roof with chainsaws clearing the way.


Anyway, all is settled now and I love my house. I adore my big kitchen. My mom and step-dad came down a couple weeks ago, and I invited a neighbor up for dinner. I actually had room for everybody to sit down and eat together.

And I had a dishwasher to clean up when we were done.

I love my dishwasher.

My writing did suffer over those two months though. My poor laptop did not see the light of day much at all over that time.When I did write, I used pen and paper. Now I have to transfer everything to pc.

I have noticed, though, that I have a lot more enthusiasm for my wips. I'm excited to get back to the keyboard.

Maybe the break was good?

Work has been keeping me worn out too. As if moving and the kids starting school aren't enough, I accepted a job working at Toyota. And it is kicking my butt. Big time. It's afternoon shift, for one thing, so I don't get to see my kids and hubby much. The money is nice. I'm getting at least an hour of overtime a night. But man, it wears on your body. For a month now, my feet have been bruised. Not just sore. Actually bruised. Hubby tried to give me a foot rub last week, and it actually hurt.

So, that's my life in a nutshell right now. We're loving the house, and trying to get into the new schedule.

And I'm trying to get back into my writing.

So, till next time...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Light at the end of the tunnel...

Finally, I think we're getting our house next week. The saleslady called me yesterday to tell me that. She also gave me some bad news. We have to fork over $1600 for a survey. The finance company had said even yesterday morning that everything was fine, and we were set to close. But I guess yesterday afternoon they changed their minds.
Damn it.
It may not be that much, but our property is pretty oddly shaped, with a lot of corners, so I'm erring on the high side. I told the saleslady to let the surveyor know to come to the house, and he could use a bike to get around if he needed to. With all the rain we've had, trees and bushes are out of control. I can't imagine him hiking the entire 104 acres.
While I've been waiting, I've been packing. Kind of. As of Monday, the house wasn't coming in till the last week of July. So I slowed down on the packing. I've been having to open boxes up for things I've needed already, so I thought, Why pack until the time is closer? Then she calls me yesterday and tells me the dozer will be here Monday or Tuesday.
(Insert scream here!)
Now I'm running around like a mad woman trying to get things done. I have fence to build to section off the horses, concrete block to pound, three trees to cut down, plus all the packing left inside the house. I thought I was ahead of the game, but I'm slowly slipping behind.
So, if you don't hear from me for a while (or I should say, a longer while), you know why.
Uh oh, I guess I need to call Hughes net too, huh, to get my satelite moved.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Changes...



I love this picture I took the other day. We had five miles of crap rolling through, then suddenly there was this break in the clouds. It only lasted a few minutes, then more storms took over.



I'll show you another pretty picture in a minute.



We're, I'm, still packing. The house is in Mt. Sterling right now, and I've chewed my nails off waiting for it to arrive. For three years, hubby and I have been debating whether to build a new house on the property we have, get a double wide or move completely. This has been a constant source of contention for us. Not enough to fight over, but we've definitely had a lot of strong debates over the issue.



Hubby wanted to build, of course, and honestly, I kind of did too. More of me dreaded it though. Since he's out of town 90% of the time, damn near the entire building process would fall on my shoulders. Now, I am a very intelligent, strong woman, but I did not feel confident enough to try to do this on my own.



Our debating has drawn out 3 years now, and nothing has changed. Well, it hadn't changed.



Last month we were heading to town to get gasoline for the tractors and some lunch, then groceries. We stopped at a new modular place and looked around, and found a couple we liked. We signed a couple papers, and well, needless to say, that's the most expensive gasoline we ever bought. I think we were kind of frustrated with the whole process of trying to decide what to do and just said 'hell with it'. At the time, too, Hubby was heading to Canada for 6 months, and then to Japan for a year. The kids are growing up, getting bigger, and we needed more space desperately. Also too, we went the easy route because Hubby thinks we're probably going to move in the next three years anyway, closer to Cincinnati for his job.



The house that we bought is big. 2500 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 2 huge baths, office, living room, den, and beautiful kitchen. Hubby was happy with the way it's built, and I'm happy with the things inside.

I already love my kitchen. I have not had a decent, usable kitchen for literally about 8 years. The one I have now is too small, with about 4 total feet of counter space. The last house we lived in was huge (6 bedroom 4 bath) but even it didn't have a decent kitchen in it. It had 2 half kitchens on two separate floors on opposite sides of the house. I know, you're wondering where the heck has this woman lived?

I know people will probably smirk at what we did, but I'm not worried about it. We're comfortable with our decision, and I think we will love living in the house. My kids will be able to grow.

And I'll be able to cook.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I know, I know...

I'm BAD! I'm so sorry I haven't been here more. Kind of have a lot of things going on right now.
I'm moving, is the biggest thing. Not very far, only about 25 feet, but still have to go through the packing, sorting, cleaning that goes along with changing a household. Hubby and I finally bit the bullet and committed ourselves to something, and it is now consuming me.
Also too, the kids are taking up a lot of my time. It's summertime, obviously, and there is no more 'me time'. It's all US, US, US time. Mom can we do this? Mom can we go here? Mom are you going to wear your pajamas all day? All the questions drive me batty.
I try to lock the little buggars out of the house, but they keep getting back in.
Just Kidding.... mostly....
Nah, I love my kids. Today, actually, hubby and I took them swimming at a local beach, and we had a blast. Yeah, we're a little well-baked, but we had fun. I was defrosting meat for dinner when I realized the house was pretty quiet and maybe I could squeeze in some computer time.
So, here I am.
And here I go. Hubby just woke from his nap, and kids are wanting dinner.
sigh...
I'll try to be back more often, but don't be surprised if I lose internet for a while. Haven't exactly worked out yet how to move the pole from one house to the other.
Night all.

Friday, June 12, 2009

True Love sucks....

So, I have these two ducks that absolutely drive me nuts. They crap everywhere, eat all the chicken feed, and generally just make a mess with their feathers and stuff. They don't stay down at the pond where they are supposed to, they hike a quarter mile up to the barn to see what they can get into. They irritate the heck out of me, and I've wished more than once that somebody would eat the damn things.
Well, somebody did. But they only ate one.
So now the male wanders around everywhere quacking, looking for his female. He's been doing this for two days now. It was irritating at first, now it's just sad.
I felt guilty for wishing somebody would eat them, and now I feel even worse because this duck actually cared for his female. He's lost his love. My daughter told me ,"Oh Mommy, he's crying!"
Yeah, Honey, ok, thanks for rubbing it in that mommy wanted them to get eaten.
But you know what? I'm getting over my guilt and kind of wishing he'd get eaten now too, but for a different reason. Maybe there's some little duck pond up in heaven where she's waiting on him now. Maybe they can be reunited once again. And have little duck babies like they tried to do here, but it never worked out.
Hmmm, am I totally off my rocker, or what?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lexington Herald...

The second piece of information from yesterday was that I was interviewed by the Lexington Herald!!! No, I'm not published yet, but the fact that I was unpublished was why he wanted to talk to me. Kathy Logan, the current President of KYRW, had sent a message around the loop, saying that a reporter wanted to do an article on romance writers in Kentucky. Those that wanted to be interviewed were to forward their information. I threw my name into the hat for the heck of it, and he called me. Honestly, I think the ex-cop-to-romance-writer thing was what caught his eye.
He asked a lot of in-depth questions which I hope I answered intelligently. I made sure to throw in as many authors and publishers names as I could. I gave him an outline of what my current story was about, and who I was going to submit to.
I also told him how completely wonderful and encouraging the romance writing community was to us newbies.
He wasn't sure exactly when the article was coming out, but said he would try to drop me an e-mail. So, If you get the Herald, maybe you can let me know. ...
Hope it's a good article....

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lots to talk about today...

So, this weekend was the Lori Foster get-together for readers and writers. It was a blast! There were sooo many people there, as well as authors I knew and many more I didn't. Faces I had seen on book jackets suddenly came to life; Lori Foster, Donna McMeans, Stella Cameron, Marjorie M. Liu.


Marjorie Liu was one of the biggest pulls to the event. I absolutely love her writing. She has two separate series going right now. One is a paranormal line with supernatural detectives, and a second line veers more towards urban fantasy. I enjoy everything she writes, but prefer the Dirk and Steele series. She has a release coming out for each line within the next couple of months. She also writes Marvel comics, which is a personal passion of hers.


I wanted to pick her brain a little more in depth, but I didn't want to appear like a stalker. She was very gracious with her time, though, and was a total sweetheart.

Her website is very informative and has a lot of helpful direction for writers.


The get-together raised a lot of money for the Animal Adoption Foundation. All of the proceeds from the raffle went to the foundation, and that itself raised over $6600.


This is a shot of some of the raffle baskets. I think I heard there were over 125 total. (I won 3, YIPEE!!!)

See Lori Foster at the end?
And the book signing was wonderful, too. A bunch of the authors were at tables at the edge of the room, and a bunch sat at the round tables. When we first arrived, the round tables were set up author, reader, author, reader. And there were eight spaces to a table. It forced you to be sociable.
It was really a wonderful time.
I'm going to close this blog for now, but don't be surprised if you see another one from me today.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'm feeling old...



I hit kind of a milestone yesterday, and I'm not sure I like it.


My son is now old enough to mow.


The yard looks a little rough, but he got all but a tiny piece done. I figured he would gripe about doing it, but I think he thinks it's a manly job. I also told him it contributed to his allowance for the week, and he kept going. I was actually impressed. Our yard is fairly large, so I thought for sure he would poop out, but he didn't.


Made me proud enough I had to take a picture.


I was also surprised he didn't wimp out because of his 'injury'. He got stung by a wasp while playing in the tire swing yesterday morning. It does look bad, and I think he may be a bit allergic like I am. But, of course, Dr. isn't in today, and it's not bad enough to go to the hospital. We'll make do with Benadryl and children's aspirin.


This summer is going to be a busy one for the boy. He barely scraped through math this year. Not because he can't do it, but because he doesn't want to do it. Doesn't want to pay attention. All the 'testing' we did for ADHD came to naught. The teachers wanted him tested for it, so we went to the Dr., but the Dr. wanted the school to test for learning disabilities, which the school wouldn't do because his grades were too good. So, we're at an impasse I guess. I know he does not have a learning disability. And I don't say that because I'm his mom. He just doesn't present the way kids with lds do.
So good old mom is going to be part-time tutor this summer, with a little bit of drill-instructor thrown in. Third grade is going to be hard, and I don't think he has any idea how hard.
My own writing is progressing well. The short story I was working on is completed, but being edited as we speak. Once I complete corrections, I'll submit it and cross my fingers. I've already started several new ones, and I'm trying to decide which one to focus on.
Anyway, gotta get going. The rain has let up and Annie needs insulin. Maybe we can get back before it starts raining again. Or hailing. Yes, I had hail last night. Only about pea-sized, but still. 90 degrees yesterday, and I had hail.
Crazy...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Today is an important day...



Because it is my dad's birthday. Hi Dad. Happy Birthday. I won't tell how old he is, just in case he's squemish. We'll just say he has many years of experience, and the white hair to prove it.

We got together with Pop and Nee , as the kids call them, Friday, and had a wonderful dinner at Malone's. (Have to tell ya, that place is addictive. They wanted to go there, and they live in Ohio!) They got a hotel room that night in Lexington, then were heading south to Nashville / Knoxville area on the Goldwing. We had a nice visit while they were here.

Dad's favorite thing to do is go for a ride on the motorcycle. 1300, 1500 miles in a weekend is no big deal for Dad. He's always had bikes, for as long as I can remember. Usually fast bikes. If he didn't have a fast bike, he had a fast car. There was also a fast boat or two thrown in there as well. See the pattern?

I think Dad's met more cops than I have. And that's saying a lot.

But we love him anyway.

Have a Happy Birthday Dad. Oh, wait, by the time you read this, your birthday will be over.

Have a good day Dad.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie


I read a book recently that really got me thinking. It's by Jennifer Ashley and titled The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. In it, the hero, Lord Ian Mackenzie, has a disease of the mind. This is set in the 1880's, when medicine was still pretty archaic. Treatments were often worse than the original affliction. Lord Ian spent many years in an insane asylum, where they tried to beat the madness out of him. I won't get into too much detail, because you should check out the book.


His affliction was Asperger's Syndrome, which I believe is on the same level as autism, just not usually as severe. According to Wikipedia, people with Asperger's lack nonverbal communication skills, demonstrate limited empathy with their peers, and are physically clumsy. Ms. Ashley did a wonderful job portraying this in her book, especially the limited empathy.


'I can play this piece note for note' Ian said, his breath warm in her ear. 'But I can not capture its soul.'


Mmmm, yummy.


My question is- how much illness or injury can a hero have and still remain a hero? I know we generally like to read about stong, handsome, extremely masculine men sweeping the heroine off her feet. But what if, like a very large part of the rest of the population, he has glasses, or is overweight, or diabetic? Or what if he's been molested? Or, oh my gosh, maybe he's losing his hair! We have a large influx of wounded veterans returning home right now. The very fact that they fought valliantly for their country makes them heroes, right? Yet I've only seen one or two books deal with the subject.

I never thought Asperger's could be portrayed in a hero, and have the story work. I've seen the occasional case of OCD, but nothing more serious than that. I admire Ms. Ashley for what she has put out for the public. I think this was a well thought out portrayal of a not quite perfect hunk.

Check out her website here. You can read the first chapter of her book.

My question to you is- at what point does a hero physically, and mentally, stop being a hero? Or, what aspects/characteristics/flaws would you NOT give a hero? Or heroine, for that matter? Would the public be interested in these flawed heroes?

Let me know your thoughts...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Catching up...


So, hubby and I went out on a date Saturday night, and I just have to tell you how much I enjoyed it.

We went to Lexington Green, where Comedy Off Broadway is located. We planned to eat dinner first before we went to the show. On the patio of the seafood restaurant there at the Green, we heard somebody playing Hotel California by the Eagles. But we couldn't see them. When we finally got into position to see who was playing, we were stunned.

It was a little girl. 'Little' meaning 11, maybe 12. Long dark hair, jamming away on her guitar, doing bar chords, singing, working foot pedals to loop her music. She was spectacular. She gave me goosebumps just watching her. Unfortunately, that was the end of the set, and her dad started packing everything up. I never did figure out what her name was, but I have a feeling we'll see her again. She was THAT good!

And Roy Wood was good too. Hubby and I were worried, because our table was in the very front. We thought for sure we'd get picked on. But we didn't. I left that place in tears, I was laughing so hard. It's Monday, and I can still feel my sore tummy muscles. He wasn't exactly politically correct, but he was hilarious.

It was only about 9:30 when we got out of there, and not wanting to admit we were getting older and wanted to go home, we decided to go to a movie. Anybody seen the new Star Trek? Coming from one who has seen pretty much everything Star Trek, it was an awesome movie. Action packed, a lot of good backstory, great characters. I want to see it again.

Hubby and I had a wonderful date. Unfortunately, he developed a cold yesterday from allergies, and he's been sleeping the weekend away trying to get better. Doesn't it just figure?

Have a good Memorial Day all. Be sure to remember the meaning of the day. The picture above was just heartwrenching, and a reminder of what might have been lost.












Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fornication Farm...







So, talking to a relative the other day (who will remain nameless bc she has a dirty mind), she referred to my farm as "Fornication Farm". I laughed, but I really have no idea what she's talking about.

These are some of my older chicks. They've completely destroyed the inside of the rabbit hutch. Bunnies are NOT going to want to go back in there.




This is the hen taking care of her babies. There are 4 in the grass. Can you see them?




Then this is a picture of a couple of kittens we were suprised with yesterday. Video Game Cat (named by my daughter) is the stupidest thing I've ever seen. I think she may have actually been clipped in the head by a horse hoof. No balance, acts like a dog. I never imagined she would have babies. But she did.
Anyway, the black and white one has no tail, like her momma. I think having no tail makes momma stupid too. She's just not your average cat.



And the little box they're in. Yeah, my step-dad built that for when we have bunnies again.




I just don't understand what she means by "Fornication Farms".

Monday, May 18, 2009

Techniques of the Selling Writer...

Saturday I went to a meeting in Lexington for KYRW. Everybody was supposed to meet for lunch at Malone's before the meeting, but for some reason only 3 of us showed up. (Hi Fonda and Rita!) 9 showed up for the meeting, and Teresa Reasor did a great demonstration on Sue Vider's 'Deal a Story' card game. Oh, yeah, and I won a book. 'Techniques of the selling Writer'. I never winn anything! But Saturday was apparently my lucky day.
On my way home, I talked to hubby and decided to stop for pizza and beer. I went into Little Ceasars to pick up a couple of the ready made pizzas, and of course they were running out and had more in the oven. So, I ran a couple doors down to the liquor joint and watched the Preakness with the owner.
Damn! What a great race. For those of you who have not seen it, check it out here.
Even the replays give me goosebumps. Once again, Calvin Burel comes through.
Went back to LC and the pizzas still weren't done. I paid for 2 pizzas and an order of wings. By the time I had walked out of there, the girl had given me an extra pizza, crazy bread and dipping sauce to go with my original order. Because I had waited so long.
I'll wait an extra 10 minutes for another pizza. The spare went into the freezer for later.
Night all.
Oh, by the way, Chickie experiment is doing ok. Chicks in cage are growing faster than the Free-range Foursome, I think simply because they gorge themselves on the manufactured chick food. I put chickfood out for the Foursome, but they don't eat as much.
I'm just amazed none of the four have been eaten yet.
Till next time...

Friday, May 15, 2009

What's in a name...

So, I came across something kind of strange today. My own name.
I guess Criss Angel, the magician, stole a cat from some producer. The gist of it is; the producer's parents died, leaving him the family cat. The producer was living in a hotel at the time, so he left the cat with his friend Jennifer Madden, until he could move out of the hotel. Somehow or another, Criss Angel ended up with the cat. The producer is threatening to sue Angel if the cat is not returned, but Angel claims that the cat no longer likes the producer and wants to live with him .
Ok, whatever.
Anyway, when I saw my name there, it really did hit me as kind of strange and even a little offsetting. I don't know if I want to keep my own name when (IF) I get published. There is no other author, that I know of, with the same name, but still. Some anonymity will be required I think.
So, I was thinking about pen names. Some authors pick names out of their hats, or use their pets names. Some only use one single name. A lot of erotica authors use some kind of love related word in their name, like Wendy Harte or Buffi something-or-other (not actual authors names as far as I know, just examples).
So how 'bout:
Scarlet Bliss, or
Tori D. Afair, or
Beezee Hooker
Like any of those? I'm just joking, of course.
Uh, unless one sounds good.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday, wednesday...



Isn't this pretty? It's the view from my yard down to one of our ponds.

I wish the day was going to be as pretty. I have to take my son in to get an EEG, which is part of his testing for ADD. I talked to our local doctor about his discipline issues, and she set me up to get all these other things done. I, personally, don't think he has ADD. The teachers do. The doctor's not sure. But we have to rule it out. Last week, he was solid gold, and he only got 1 discipline stick for the week. Over the weekend he was perfect. Then Monday, I get a call that he had been suspended for writing bad things on his hand. Just for 1 day, but still. Frustrates the hell out of me.

While we are in town for the doctor, I am turning in my census bureau computer and misc. junk. My crew leader called me last night to see if I wanted to take a weekend trip to get Hazard, Ky done. Aren't they flooded right now? I told her no thank you. I have plans anyway to go to my KyRw meeting saturday. Yahoo!!!

I've been bitten by the writing bug bad since my job ended. Last night I think I pounded out about 7 K words on two different manuscripts. It helped that the house was quiet and I didn't have to break up my day with the job. Contemplating taking the laptop with me to the dr's office. Mmmm, maybe not. I'd be in deep doo-doo if something happened to it.

I'm also conducting an experiment. A chicken experiment. I have 20 some babies in my rabbit hutch right now under a heat lamp. Growing. Eating. Pooping. And growing some more. I also have a crazy gray hen who hatched out 4 babies. I don't think they're actually her babies, but they were under her when the eggs cracked, so she has claimed them. I've decided to let her raise the babies. Because as crazy as she is, she's an awesome momma. She clucks to the babies and digs then up food, guides them away from danger, etc. I'm really impressed with how well she's doing. I watched her last night for a while. She found a piece of dogfood on the ground yesterday, and banged that piece on the ground for probably 5 minutes so the babies could eat the smaller pieces. I'm embarrassed to say, it's fascinating to watch her.

So, my experiment is, to see which babies do better. Those in the cage being cared for by me, or the 4 babies running around with momma. I have a feeling momma will do better. I'll keep you updated.

Anyway, have a good Wednesday.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Weekend Update...


So, went up to my hometown this weekend to celebrate Mother's Day with 2 of my mothers. Not together, of course. Dad divorced Mom many, many years ago, and remarried an equally wonderful woman the kids call Grandma Nee. Dad still owns land in Cambridge, where Mom lives, so occasionally, my two moms are in the same town at the same time. Makes holidays a little easier, even if they are several miles apart.

We had a huge cookout on Dad's hill, and most of my family showed up to say hi and catch up. For a little background, Mom and Dad grew up together, literally a couple miles away. Dad's family and Mom's family were always close, working together on their farms, etc. Dad grew up with my 3 uncles, and have stayed friends ever since. It's also kind of strange, because my half-brother (Dad and Nee's son) is dating my 1st cousin on my mother's side. There's no blood relation of course, but there is a family connection.

Did you get that?

So, up on the hill, everybody gathers even though they are no longer related by marriage. They are still childhood friends, and very often you see those outlast many marriages.

Around the campfire we gather, day and night, swapping stories and gossip. The men ride bikes, shoot guns and drink beer. No, not all at the same time. The women compare kid stories, gossip about what's been going on in 'Douglas Hollow' (so-named because there are so many of my relatives around) and worry about what the men are doing. Throw in a few new friends, newly found relatives, and you've got an awesome party going.

We had planned on seeing Mom on Sunday, before we headed back to Ky, but she called Saturday asking for my help with Moose. She had just gotten a new mare who was in full heat, and Moose was having problems reaching her with his, well, you know.

I'm going to try to keep this as clean as possible.

The mare is 33 inches tall, and Moose is only 29 inches. Now, 4 or 5 inches isn't a big deal to you or me, but to Moose it may as well have been a mile.

So, Mom wanted me to come up and help Moose, uh...copulate.

And I did.

First we tried a raised area outside where the horses drop hay from the mangers. It's a raised area about six inches above the field itself. Mom backed the mare up to the board, and Moose mounted her from the raised area. All was going good until he took a small step forward, over the board. He lost his balance and tipped over to the right, falling to the ground. The bad part was, he fell on his erect penis.

Poor Moose was done for, and the mare was left unsatisfied. When we let them loose, she was chasing Moose across the field, spraddle-legged and with her tail in the air. Hussy. We ended up putting Moose in the barn, just to give him a break.

After about an hour, Mom and I went out to try to help them again. This time we had an idea. Rather than raising Moose, why not lower the mare? As stupid as it sounds, we dug a hole. It was about 16 inches long, 8 inches wide and 5 inches deep.

We put the mare's back legs in the hole.

Are you laughing yet?

I helped Moose get lined up, and he did his business. All was going good until he stepped into the hole in his excitement. Needless to say, down he went, whipping himself out of the mare.

And spraying me with , uh, Moose juice.

This time, though, I think he got the job done. The mare seemed satisfied, and Moose seemed drained.

No pun intended.

So, I guess we celebrated a different kind of Mom's Day.

My son did make me tear up. Sunday, Dad went into town to get a new lock for the gate at the bottom of the hill, and my son went with him. He only had $7.00 on him, from his allowance for the week, and it was not enough for the hanging and potted plants they had at the hardware store. After looking for a long time, he settled on buying me a packet of flower seeds so I could grow my own. It really made me tear up. I don't think he was encouraged to buy me anything by anybody. I think this was his own motivation, and that made it super-sweet.

Hope everybody had a great Mother's day.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Highlights and Lowlights...

Finally, finally, finally, I'm done with the Census job. Yeah!!! Can not begin to tell you how happy I am. Well, actually I can. I'm very happy. Stupendously happy.
And wouldn't you know it, I had my craziest day yet today. Tried to get an address from an older woman , and she swore up and down it WAS NOT census time! There had been a lady stop by just a couple of years ago, she said, that had done it. And why hadn't she gotten paid for that one, yet? she wanted to know. Were they going to pay her for this one? And what exactly did a Federal Agent look like? I told her technically I was a Federal worker. She looked me up and down, and finally told me, "Well, I ain't never seen you on tv."
Huh?
I finally told her I had to get going to a meeting, (which I did) and she waved me off. I think I was as confused as she was when I left.
The funniest incident I had was the drunk-at-ten-o'clock, one-eyed old man who told me I was the prettiest thing he had seen (kinda, I guess) in a long time, and did I have room in my car for him to go for a ride. I told him no, apologized and promised him maybe next time.
I'll have to tell hubby he has competition. ;p.
Then there were the sad cases. I went to a place yesterday that had several chained and loose dogs, all obviously hungry. One black puppy, about 6 months old, was curled up in a discarded recliner on the front porch. I thought it was just laying there, but when I offered it a treat, it couldn't hardly raise it's head to sniff it. I realized then it was desperately sick. Though it didn't eat the treat, it wagged it's tail for me twice, then put it's head down again. When I went back by about 2 hours later to talk to the owner about her address, the pup was dead in the chair.
Directly across the road was a large round pen with a pony inside. He was skin and bones, standing in muck, trying to find a single blade of grass in the mud. Outside the round pen, the grass was a foot tall, but he could not reach it.
Why do people bother to have animals if they can't take care of them?
Anyway, I'm glad to be out of the job.
And as a special surprise when I got home, I found out I won a free download from Mia Watts and the Ellora's Cave chat from last night. I downloaded Claimed by Darkness and read it in two hours flat.
It was deliciously yummy! You can read the blurb on her website here. Thanks Mia!
Anyway, I'm going to work on my current wip for a little while, and head to bed. Have a good night everyone.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Derby Afterglow... Mine Who???

So how many of you watched the Derby? If you're a Kentuckian, I shouldn't have to ask this question.
For those of you that did not watch the Derby, Shame on you. It was FABULOUS!! It was gutwrenching, unexpected and so completely thrilling. It was a perfect example of the underdog coming out on top.
Mine That Bird was a relative unknown from New Mexico, of all places. No great record, no great pedigree, no great trainer. Just an average thouroughbred. The only thing he did have going for him was an awesome jockey, Calvin Burel. It's so refreshing to see Calvin when he wins, because his emotion is out there for all to see. He cried because his mom and dad couldn't see him. How sad. Even I teared up.
Although he cried the day before too, at the Oaks.
It's been a busy weekend for Calvin.
Friday was Kentucky Oaks day, for the girls. Calvin was on Rachel Alexandra, and he absolutely DOMINATED to field. You can watch it here. He was second at the start and held his position all the way around the track, until the final turn, when he let the filly have a bit of rein. She took off! He was not pushing her though, just riding along. If you look at the clips, it even looks as though he may be pulling her back a bit.
The filly won by 20 1/4 lengths, and she wasn't even running hard. Her time was 1:48.87, just .23 off the track record.
I wonder what she would have done if Calvin had actually pushed her a bit?
I wonder what she would have done in the Derby?
It was an amazing weekend for Calvin Burel.
I wish him congratulations!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

So, Just A Quick Update...


I'm back up to 20 chicks now, and all are flourishing. They eggs are not hatching as fast now, so I think they did get too cool the other day.

Hubby came home yesterday and brought a new dog. Kind of. There's been a puppy, 5 or 6 months old, hanging around down at the end of the driveway for the past 3 days. She hadn't figured out to come down the driveway to the house. Which was good. With the 3 dogs we have now, it's a good group. I think a 4th would upset the status quo, and we may regret keeping her. It's obvious she's had the crap beat out of her though, and I do feel bad for her. She was absolutely starving, and I do admit I took her some canned food down when she was at the gate. But I didn't bring her home. Hubby did. Now we have to decide what to do with her.

Honestly, I guess it is my fault because I didn't tell him about her, and he always brings me home the strays he finds.

Think I'm going to plant part of my garden today. If it's not too muddy from all the rain we've been getting.

And , Of course, I've already told hubby I need several hours of me time for the Derby later. Gotta watch the Derby. Even before I moved to Ky I was a fanatic. I have old notebooks with notes in them from Jr High. I would write down all the horse names, trainer names, jockey names, anything interesting about them, and the order they all finished in. I remember specifically when Winning Colors won, in 1988. I think I was about 14 at the time, and I was fascinated by the big filly. I was so proud of her, just for being a female and winning against all the boys.
How sexist is that?
Have a good weekend.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I Feel Terrible...

So, yesterday I come home, and go about my business. Did some computer work, some laundry, then headed out to check on the chickens. When I lifted up the feed bags that were covering the holes, I was amazed to see empty nests, and the regular chickens on top of the boxes. Apparently the bags had worked, and kept out the chickens. It just kept out too many chickens. I assume the sitters went out to get a drink or to eat something, then could not get back into the nests. I felt so guilty.

Then I went out to the tack room, where I was keeping the babies.

I had a meeting that morning with my crew leader, and I did not pay a lot of attention to the animals because I was running late. I had glanced into the tack room, and raised the heat lamp a few inches above the night level, because they don't generally need as much heat during the day. The ambient temperature rises, and they stay warm with that. What I failed to notice was that they were almost out of water. The chick waterer is a small round tray that screws onto a mason jar. When the jar is inverted, the water comes out into the tray. When I looked, I saw the tray was wet, but not how much water was in the jar.

Without water, chicks overheat.

I killed 10 little babies.

I thought more were going to die, but I removed the heat lamp completely, sat my guilty butt on the floor and started feeding the sickest ones drops of cool water with a small syringe. 5 were really, really close to dying when I found them. When I was done, 4 had recovered. It took the better part of 2 hours to make sure everybody was rehydrated, but I now have 17 live chicks. I better take care of these ones, because I don't know that anymore will hatch out after being cool without the hens.

Damn...Bad day...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mmmm, Mushrooms...



For those of you that don't know, these are Morel mushrooms. They have a very short life and can actually grow several inches in a day. They grow in warm, moist areas, usually on northward facing hills. And they taste PHENOMENAL! Coated in flour and sauteed in butter is the best way. Yummy!!!


Unfortunately, these ones are dry. The exterior actually feels like wood. I knew I was a little late in the season to find them, but I thought we would try anyway. My kids actually found them, with their sharp little eyes. Magdalena Scott and I were talking about Morels at the conference this past weekend, and my dad had said that a buddy of his was finding oodles of them up north, so I thought I would check. I keep forgetting though that Ky runs about 2 weeks ahead of Ohio, so where they are in the height of the season up there, it's past down here.


I have heard though, that if you soak the mushrooms in water and pour the water into the ground in a mushroom-friendly environment, they may come up there the next year. Something about the spores dispersing in the water. So, I'll try that later on today.


Chick count is 23 now. I think. They're pretty hard to count. How many heads can you count in this bucket?

Also, just a warning, ticks are out already. Be sure your kids and pets are protected.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Chickie count...

As of right now, it looks like I'm up to 20 on the chick count. The hens are still sitting, but there has been a lull in the action. I don't think we're done though.
I should be heading out to work right now, but I'm dragging my feet, bad. Kids are gone, hubby just left, and the house is quiet. Perfect time to write.
But I'm almost done with this job.
Once I get it done, I'll feel better about sitting down to write. Guilt free. Isn't that sad I feel guilty about not going to a voluntary job?
Anyway, get out and enjoy the sun today.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


So, I returned from Dogwood yesterday, head full and heart warm. I met some fantastic people, re-met others and learned some interesting things. Our guest speaker was Tara Taylor Quinn, a well known and prolific author. I don't generally write suspense, but there were many items in her presentation that could be applied to straight romance. She was very articulate and gave wonderful examples of what she was presenting.
In this picture, Maddie James is on the left, Tara Taylor Quinn in the middle and Jennifer Johnson on the right. They were critiquing pages being read to them.


Unfortunately, I think I accidently deleted my notes from her presentation.


I was juggling 2 or 3 word programs, trying to e-mail another atendee's 2 page critique piece to the front desk, and somehow when I closed my Word program, I lost the three pages of notes.


That sucks. Big time.


She laid everything out perfectly too. My notes were neat and made sense, and I would have gone back to study them.


Grrr...


My dad and step-mom stopped by today on their way home. They ride a huge white Goldwing, and have put about 20,000 miles on the bike since they got it last year. The thing has every bell and whistle you can imagine, plus 'air conditioning'. This weekend they made a loop down into southern Ky , Va area, then came back up through. It's always good to see them.


Anyway, I think I'm going to write for a while. Hubby and I took a nap today after Pop and Nee left, and I'm feeling guilty. Must have been the tryptophan in the hamburgers we grilled out.


Oh, up to 20 chicks now too. I gave six away to the sitter, and we have twenty now of our own. And still hatching.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Damn Chickens!!!


So... I have chickens sitting on eggs right now. Like 500 hens sitting on three nests. No, just 10 of them. On three nests. But it's still a lot.
Can you see the 4 hens on this nest?

The stupid things are crushing the babies. Because they don't have the sense to go to another nest and give the eggs room to hatch.

I have bruises all over my hands from these nasty wenches pecking at me as I'm trying to rescue the babies. So far I have 12 live babies and 4 dead. With a couple pecking their way out now. I'll go out in the morning and rescue the live ones. I put feed bags over the openings to the nest boxes, and removed 2 hens from each nest. Hopefully they'll have enough space now to spread out a bit. The nests were only designed to hold one hen at a time.

Grrr...

Then, my lovely neighbor down the hill bought a horse. To be his lawn mower. Because he has 4 mowers and not one of them works, he says. And of course, the horse is a MARE. Female. My quarter-horse stud is going to love her as he tears through the barbwire fence to introduce himself when she comes in heat.

Grrr.......

And you know what's great about these two problems? I don't have to deal with them this weekend. My wonderful hubby does. I'm going to The Dogwood Workshop in Ashland Ky.

Have a good weekend everybody. I'll be back Monday.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Just ...sublime.....

So, to catch everybody up, the weekend was wonderful. Mom came down Friday afternoon, and we took the kids to the sitter. Hubby promised to pick them up by seven, and he said he actually got there at 5 minutes till. Yay. Can't make the sitter mad, especially when she's watching them past her normal hours.


After we dropped the kids off, we headed into the Man O' War area for dinner. I told Mom she could pick our dinner spot, because I was probably not going to see her for Mother's day. She chose Logan's Roadhouse, and we had a very nice dinner. Sirloin over a grilled bed of onions. Yummy!!!!


Rupp arena was not as packed as I expected, and the show was absolutely sublime. We were about halfway up the rows, and we really had a great view of all the horses. Actually, we could even see the horses in the holding area before the show started. They were absolutely beautiful! Actually, 'beautiful' is too tame of a word.



I learned that this group was not acually from the Viennese Spanish Riding School, though they were affiliated. They had purchased several of their horses from the school, and communicated on training issues regularly. It also made me happy to know that several of the horses in the show were actually adopted out of abuse situations.



This is a demonstration by an Andalusian, which was one of the base breeds of the Lippizan. I apologize for the brightness. These bright white horses just got brighter the closer they got. This one is gray, and even he got brighter with the spotlights on him. If you'll notice, about 48 seconds into the clip, the horse starts across the ring diagonally. If you watch closely, you will see him change leads every second beat. For those that don't know, this takes serious talent. The ringleader advised that the horses are only trained 45 minutes a day...........for 9 or 10 years. Not one of the stallions in the show was under 10 years old.






video


This is another demonstration, this time by a Lippizan stallion.




video


I don't know about the Spanish Riding School, but this demonstration had mostly women riding, which I thought was very progressive.

Mom and I enjoyed the show soooo much. There were many people there who were obviously not horse people, but everybody was talking about how much they enjoyed the show. Next time I'll be sure to take my daughter with me.


Saturday was devoted to building fence around my garden and relaxing. Mom left early sunday morning in the rain, and the family finally got one whole day to just veg out.

Hope you enjoy the clips.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The New York Times...


So, I don't normally read the NYT, but one article was mentioned in the RWA magazine, and I had to look it up. Basically, it said that romance purchases were up, again, 32% in the fourth quarter of last year as compared to the year before. A lot of people expected romance sales to flag, as the economy did last year, but it didn't. Conservative estimates claim that romance sales increased 2.4 % in the first three months of this year, as well, where regular fiction decreased a bit.

Personally, I think it's more than that. I think its escapism.

The figures they were using did not plot popular chain stores, like Wal-mart or K-mart. The average woman does not normally cringe at spending five bucks on herself, as many impulse romance buyers do. Big ticket items are suffering overall, but smaller, more manageable product sales are on the rise. I saw the other day where even chocolate sales are on the rise. Rather than buying themselves large, big money things, women are compromising with smaller treat items. They actually feel justified in purchasing the smaller items.

I do anyway.
The books themselves offer a way to get out of their normal, hectic, often times worrisome lives. It gives them a chance to relish in somebody else's trials, rather than their own. And it gives them hope that there is light at the end of the dreary tunnel.

Congratulations to Lora Leigh. Her book cover made it into the NYT article. Congrats also to J.R Ward, who had a mention in the article itself.

If you want to read the whole article, go here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Horse-crazy? Well, of course...


So, I was reprimanded recently because I haven't updated my blog. "Now I have to call you to see what's going on!" Ok, Lurkers, here's my update.


This weekend, we headed north to visit hubby's family. We had a lot of fun. My sister-in-law has two kids about the same age as mine, a little younger, and they don't get together very often. They absolutely love to play together, and of course it helps that my kids have a whole new choice of toys to play with. Friday we had pizza and socialized, and Saturday we colored Easter eggs with the kids. They all had a blast. We went for a hike in the woods on their place, and wouldn't you know it, that darn Easter Bunny was at the house while we were gone with the kids. Amazing that the bunny knew when exactly when to be there, huh?

Sunday we headed to the eastern part of the state to see my mom, whom I haven't seen since I took Moose up in the Tahoe. Right now, she's waiting on tenterhooks. One of the mini mares she bought recently is pregnant, and if the seller gave her the correct dates, the mare should be foaling sometime this week.

I hope it doesn't happen. For selfish reasons, of course.

My wonderful, awesome, fantabulous husband bought me tickets to see the Lippizaner Stallions at Rupp arena Friday. To a horse lover, this is such a coup. I remember years ago, they came to Columbus, and I really wanted to go then, but didn't. My wonderful, awesome, fantabulous husband also offered to babysit the kids if Mom wanted to go with me.

Sigh...

Mom is one of the few people in the world who didn't think it was strange to put Moose in the back of the truck, or take a horse in my basement when he was wounded, or any other crazy animal thing I've done. She's probably already done it. This is the same woman who used to deliver mail on horseback.

Although to be fair, my dad contributed a large part to the fascination as well. I remember him riding this bright, shiny horse on the dirt road in front of our house. And trying to save an orphan foal's life. He used to shoe his own horses, and I have his leather apron for when I work on my own now.
Yep, I'm horse-crazy. Always have been and always will be. And where Dad has gotten away from horses, Mom never has. She literally gasped when I told her what hubby had done and offered to do.
So now I guess we're both kind of waiting on tenterhooks to see what happens with the mare. Hopefully mom will come down either way, but we'll have to see.
As thrilling as the weekend was, the only downside was: my lack of computer. Tonight is the first night in DAYS I've had to do anything for myself on the laptop. And I'm enjoying it while I can. So, off I go to surf land...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Meetin' the County...


So, I didn't realize how many dogs are in Nicholas county Kentucky. Today was my first day canvassing, and I probably went to 60 houses (in the rain/snow crap coming down, but I'm not complaining). Probably 80% of those houses had at least one dog, most two. Throughout the day, I think I met 10 times more dogs than people today. Probably 50 dogs, and maybe 5 people.

Most were friendly, some were skittish, and one was pretty scary, until I realized he was on a log chain. Whew!!! One of the scariest incidents I ever had as a cop was a call in a little podunk town for a dog bite. When I arrived, I spoke to a woman who had been bitten in the breast area by a pit bull bitch. A little boy had been riding his bike in an alleyway and the dog came out and bit him on the ankle, knocking him to the ground. The woman ran out to save the little boy and got bitten in the process. The dog ran off into a garage. When I arrived, the dog had gone patrolling, and I unknowingly parked between her and the six puppies she had in the garage. There was a chain link fence between she and I, and I saw her running at me as fast as she could. Of course, she thought I was after her puppies. I wasn't of course, but there's no talking to a mad pit bull. I didn't want to shoot the dog, because I knew she was only acting like any other mother, so I pulled out my Asp. An Asp is a metal expandable baton, about three feet long. I hit her once solid across the face, and she did not like that at all. She disappeared around a vehicle in the driveway and tried to sneak around the opposite side, but I thought she might and I was ready for her. I struck her a second time, and she ran down the alley. The owners pulled in about then and got the dog under control. Needless to say, that was one of the most scary times of my career. If I hadn't hit her just right, she'd have been on me.

Incidents like that make me love staying home with my kids.

Anyway, I'm wandering. Canvassing...
I think the job will be fine, but it's really going to add miles onto the vehicles. I totalled 106 miles just today. The biggest problem is, there is a certain way you have to count the houses, and you end up lapping yourself on the blocks. It's been 10 years since they did the last major address check, so things have changed a lot. Roads overgrown, new roads, falling in houses. It's interesting though, surprisingly.

Different subject, The boys had fun at the gun show. Hubby brought home this ... stuff that explodes when you shoot it. This is Kentucky, and there's a lot of shooting around. But I'm sure the neighbors probably think we're freaks with explosions going off on our hill.

Sigh...

Well, I'm trying to catch up on writing tonight, so this one's gonna stop here. Night all...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Refreshed... Kind of...

Finally today I'm getting a chance to recharge. We have no training today. Yahoo!!! And due to the weather and my boss being over on her hours, probably no work this weekend. SUPER YAHOO!!!
Yesterday was a trial though. It was the first time we were out on our own canvassing a block. Basically all we're doing is confirming addresses, and that there is a physical house at that address. If it's an apartment building we have to make sure all the apartments are listed. If the streets are mis-marked or not on our computers at all, we have to add them. The census itself doesn't actually come out until this summer, I believe. We're just getting ready for it.
That part of my day was not the trying part.
At 10:00, I got a call from my son's teacher. He had already gotten two sticks, and he had only been there two hours. For some reason he's been going in the pre-school rooms and playing blocks, so that was one stick. Then he got into an argument with a little girl he can't seem to stay away from. I can't tell if he likes her and doesn't know how to tell her, or if he actually dislikes her. It seems like a little of both. Anyway, that was stick two.
"Do you want to talk to your son?" Sigh... "Yea, put him on..."
Every question I ask him gets a response of ,"I don't know." At least I think that's what he's mumbling. So of course I warn him, and tell him he's not going to be able to go see Pop this weekend if he doesn't straighten up. And I cross my fingers for the rest of the day.
I explained to the teacher before I hung up that this weekend he was going to a huge gun show called Knob Creek. They're going to have machine guns and artillery and canons, all things all of the men in my life love. My dad, Pop, is going, as well as hubby and son. My step-brother and cousin are tagging along with the group now too, I believe. My son has known this was coming up, and I've repeatedly warned him that he was going to lose his weekend if he didn't straighten up.
But it was not to be.
His poor teacher called me yesterday when I got out of training, telling me there was too much to talk about to put in a letter. (Great...) Son seemed to be testing her to see if she would give him sticks. She had told him that she knew about his weekend, and she told me that after that , he seemed to be tempting her to give him sticks. He did everything bad he could do, then just looked at her when she got after him. He did everything from killing tadpoles in the stream behind the playground to running in the halls to lying to the reading teacher about having his work done. Teacher said, in total, she could have given him five sticks for the day. It only takes 10 to get suspended!!!
Needless to say, he was not happy when I told him his weekend was cancelled. Daddy was going, but he wasn't. Bawling, crying, pleading, bribing, he did the whole gamut. Then he switched tactics. I've been getting after him to clean his room for 4 days. Suddenly it was done in 15 minutes. Chores he hadn't done in weeks, he was suddenly under my feet trying to do. He was begging me to give him chores to do. (Which was kind of nice actually.) But he always does this. It's how he missed going four-wheeling with my husband a couple months ago, and how he missed the circus a few weeks ago. But I was standing firm in not letting him go.
Until I got that e-mail from Pop. 'He's done his penance. Let him go.' And the second one from Nee, my step-mom and my son's grandmother. 'Make it easy on yourself and let him go with the guys.' I told Nee he would have to have an exceptional day today in order to go. He gets home in about 2 hours, so I guess we'll find out then.
Nothing like a little extra pressure.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dragging...



So, I'm trying to get back into the swing of working during the day again. And not just writing. Monday I started training for the census job, and the material is not hard, it's just tedious. To cover their butts, the government puts out truckloads of paperwork, hoping you'll get lost in the mess if you try to come back on them for anything. Literally, I have three manuals teaching me how to check addresses, and enter the information into a very basic hand-held computer. It's not rocket science.

The hard part is trying to stay awake during class. It is so, so dry.

Hubby is in Indiana right now, so everything comes down to me. Kids on the bus, training, pick up the kids, take care of the animals, feed the kids and try to catch up on housework. Today I took Annie in to the vet for an all day sugar-check. In addition to everything else.

Then that darn Teresa Reasor went and wrote this awesome book I've been reading when I should be sleeping. It's called Highland Moonlight. I think I got a total of about 4 1/2 hours of sleep last night. Thanks Teresa. ;-p .

Then I keep hoping to eke out just a few more minutes of time to work on an idea I had coming home from the workshop.

Sigh... I'm tired. And then Friday it looks like I'm driving to Louisvile.

I wouldn't know what to do if my life was somewhat normal.

Sunday, March 29, 2009




This weekend was a blast. Friday was the booksigning at Barnes and Noble Books, and I know several authors sold out of their books. Yay, Girls!

After the booksigning ( $150 poorer, because I had to buy one from everyone) we went to Malone's for dinner. I REALLY wish I could have been 5 different places at once, to listen and participate with all the conversations that went on. Dinner was wonderful, and after several hours they finally booted us out.

The conference the next day was spectacular. I have so much information floating around in my head. Honestly, I usually nod off a bit when I have meetings in that type of setting, but not yesterday. I could have sat there another two days, just absorbing, and been happy.

I'm off now to try computer story boarding. Thanks Teresa. And maybe some script writing. Thanks Maddie.

I have too many ideas in my head right now not to go write today. Bye all...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Catching up...


So, this week has been especially busy. It started with the weekend being thrown off kilter.
Hubby works in Indiana during the week right now, and drives home on the weekends. This friday, on his way home, my brother-in-law called him and asked him if he wanted to go to Tennessee to the race at Bristol. Hubby actually hesitated, simply because he wanted to come home and see us. Isn't he sweet? But I encouraged him to go, because it was a once in a lifetime chance. Everything was already paid for, tickets, hotel, everything. Even most of the beer. (I think that was actually the deciding factor.)
I met him down on interstate 64 and swapped out dirty clothes for clean, told him I loved him and sent him on his way.
He had an absolute blast! My husband is not usually into races, but I think he may be on his way to becoming a convert.
Saturday, I took the kids to see Witch Mountain. It was surprisingly cute. For those of you that remember the original movies, you may notice the original kids, now adults of course, doing cameos in the movie. I had a pretty big 'DUH' moment when I realized. They looked familiar, but I just couldn't place them.
The kids and I built fence and worked on the garden Sunday. The sun was so nice, the three of us, as well as the three dogs, laid down in the field for a while and dozed off. Needless to say, we've gotten our first bit of sunburn for the season.
Monday afternoon hubby came home tired and happy. We relaxed for the day before I sent him on his way Tuesday morning.
Annie went to the vet Tuesday for a check up, and she's doing fine.
And today, I'm catching up on all the things I should have done this weekend.
Here's a funny one for you. We get after my son all the time to do good at school. He gets 'sticks' if he's bad. Monday and tuesday he got zero sticks, and I told him if he got zero sticks today (wed), he could go to the book sale and buy something. His teacher sent this note home :
'***** had a good day today, no sticks, UNTIL he went to the bathroom at the end of the day and locked the stalls and crawled under to keep the doors locked. He has received a stick for tomorrow.'
How the heck am I supposed to be mean mom when I read that? I glowered enough to make it to the truck, then I burst out laughing, out of his sight. What a stinker he is!! At least what he does is usually cute, and not destructive.
Sigh...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My Protector...

This happened the night I brough Annie home, but the post was running long , so I saved it for today.
It was just past 10 o'clock, and I was in the bedroom getting changed for bed when Cricket, the Pomeranian, started growling, and doing this funny chuffing/bark thing. I didn't really pay attention until she went to the back door and started doing the same thing. Ok, maybe she had to go potty, I thought. So, half-dressed, I go to the door and let her out. You should have seen the HUGE possum outside just beyond my deck. It weighed at least 15 pounds! Little Cricket goes out, barking her head off, when she sees this thing. I'm calling to her as I head back into the room to grab a gun and a flashlight. Yes, a gun. I've lost too many chickens over the years to varmints, and I take care of them myself. I prefer to do a live trap, then a trip to Clay Farm, but that does not always happen.
Anyway, I pull out one of my husband's rifles, but I could't find the right shells, so I pulled out the little Marlin 22 I gave him for Christmas one year. I grabbed a handful of shells and dropped them into my sweatsuit jacket pocket, then dug for a flashlight. Why is it you can never find a good light when you need one?
By the time I got out on the deck (in my underwear and shirt, mind you) the possum has waddled around the side of the house, with Cricket on it's heels. Murphy, all 190 pounds of him, wagged his way around the deck licking my legs as I shone (shined?) the flashlight, trying to see where Cricket was. I could hear her, but I couldn't see her. I tried to encourage Murph to 'go get it, go get it boy'. He just sat there. Murph is a sweetheart, he's just not real bright, poor thing.
So, off I went through the yard. I realized they had circled the house and headed back towards the chicken coop. Cricket ran back to me at one point, basically telling me to get my ass in gear, then took off again, barking her little head off. At the chicken coop, I looked around, but could see no possum. Cricket was still growling and chuffing, but she had lost it too. I shined the light in a broad circle, and finally saw a pair of eyes watching me. By the time I got the rifle aimed through the two rows of fence he had made it through, he was waddling down the hill. I cracked off a couple of shots, but I know I didn't hit him.
Cricket was so proud of herself, because she felt she had chased that huge thing off. So I praised her as if she had in fact done that. What a crazy little bad-ass she is! All three pounds of her.
Murphy never saw the possum at all.
I had hung up on my husband in the middle of all this, so I called him back and told him what had happened. He was at a bar with his buddies. He laughed his butt off, then told his buddies, who were horrified. They already think we're gun fanatics, now he's telling them his wife is running around in her underwear shooting rifles at wild animals at night. Yea, great image. Thanks honey.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Annie Update...


So, I haven't posted anything for a while about Annie. That was because I didn't know how things were going to turn out.

Last Friday, I thought Annie was a goner. She wouldn't get up, wouldn't eat. So, I called the vet closest to me, whom I had never been to, and they told me to bring her in any time. I carried her in expecting to have her put down, but the woman doctor told me, "Let me do a quick $12 test to check something." She whipped out a needle and drew a tiny amount of Annie's blood, then tested it on a human glucometer. "This dog looks just like a dog I have in the back right now," she told me, "who is simply diabetic."

Diabetic?

She told me that a dog's blood sugar is the same as a human's, running 80-120 for average.

Annie's was 400.

The vet told me that it presented very similar to kidney failure. The blindness was caused by the diabetes in addition to Cataracts Annie already had. She was not able to control her urine because she had a urinary tract infection from all the sugar in her body. Everything was explained.

Let me tell you, I was a mess when I took her in. And I dared not hope, just in case she was wrong and I would have to do it all over again.

The vet kept Annie and put her on IV fluids for several days, and began her on antibiotics for the UTI and insulin for the sugar. I checked on her on Tuesday, and I was amazed to find her with her head up and tail wagging when I called to her. It took a while to get her sugar down, it's still around 300, but the vet said you couldn't drop it too fast because that would cause its own problems.

I picked her up friday, and she walked out under her own steam.

The best part is, she can see. Not great, but certainly better than last week. The drawback is, I now have to give her two shots a day to keep her sugar down. I checked with the vet, and they do take boarders over the weekend, so if we do take a trip or something, I have a place I can leave her. When I asked her where I needed to get the insulin, she told me just go to Wal-mart. Same with the needles. The dogs use the same insulin as people do. Isn't that crazy?

What a tumultuous week. This has been weighing on me heavily. I'm still kind of waiting to see how well she recovers, and if her quality of life is acceptable. So far, I think she's doing good, but she could be better.
I'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Word Count...

Ok, I didn't do as good as I had hoped on my word count. I only got a little over 2200 words down. My problem was, it was beautiful outside. I had to go out and get some work done. And enjoy the sun.
For writing purposes, I find that rainy days do the best. There is no guilt in sitting down at the computer for hours on end and not getting stuff done outside. If the sun is out, I should be out doing something. That's what my head tells me, even though my heart is pulling me back in the house to the desk.
I'm getting ready now to go on a long walk, and I'm probably going to work on fence after that. Have to keep the chickies out of the garden, you know. I'll come in around lunch and spend some guilt-free time at the computer as I eat.
What kind of weather is most productive to your writing habits? Or times?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Oh, Great...


So, March 16th will be a day people in Carlisle Kentucky remember. But not fondly. It's the day we made NATIONAL NEWS. Yep, not the nightly news, but the news shows that are after the nightly news. Theirs is a bit more sensational, a bit more controversial. Anyway, our local high school principal decided to body slam a student on video tape. You can look at it here. Supposedly, he had his reasons, but I don't know. The principal out-weighs the student by at least a hundred pounds, and puts him down not once, but twice. The lawyer for the principal says when you hear his client's side, thoughts will change.

I don't know.


And today is a lucky day, I guess. Remember I applied for the census bureau job months ago? I thought they had filled the positions, but I got the call today. I start training March 30th. The job will only run about 8 weeks, so hopefully it won't take up too much of my time. Anyway, we'd like to take a florida trip with the kids this summer, so the money will come in handy.


I've given myself the task of writing 3k by tomorrow morning. I'll let you know how that goes.


HAPPY ST. PATTY'S DAY!!!!!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

No writing done this weekend...


Which was not a surprise. I knew I wouldn't get anything done till this morning.

We headed north this weekend, this time to see my dad, who lives around the Columbus area. Saturday morning early (ugh, shoot-me-now early) we headed up to the convention center at 68 and Interstate 71. Hubby, my dad, my son and my step-brother went to the Ohio Gun Collectors Club there. I guess it's a pretty exclusive club. You have to pay dues and everything, so that kind of excludes the average flea-market-type gun seller. Little girl and I headed on up to Columbus to meet up with my step-mom and cousin. We went to the Dublin Irish Festival saturday, while the guys were at the gun show. It was cute. Not as big as the one in the summer, but still cute. They had a lot of kid friendly things to do- bouncy stuff, planting plants and other things. After that we went to the mall at Tuttle crossing. I had to find an outfit or two for the KYRWA Conference coming up in two weeks. I found exactly what I wanted, and maybe a little extra. And we had a great 'Girls Day Out'.

In the afternoon, we ALL met up at the house. The girls ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the boy's purchases, and they had to do the same for us. We had an awesome visit, posibly, just possibly, involving a little too much alcohol. ;) Somebody came up with the idea to go to our favorite mexican restaurant, and the only way logistically we could do it was with Dad's truck. I'm the DD, always have been, always will be, because I very rarely drink. So with me driving, step-mom beside me, kids behind in the jump-seats, and Dad, Hubby, step-bother and cousin in the back we headed to El Vaquero. They do not know what hit them. They're probably still recovering.

All in all though, it was a really good visit. No mishaps on the way home, and sunday a nice liesurely trip back to Kentucky.

Writing- zilch. I've got to get on the stick. I've had too many zilch days recently.