Sunday, December 28, 2008

Trampolines are eeevvviiilll!

Okay, not really, but the setting up of the trampoline sure is. I thought I was sore when I wrote yesterday's post. Oh, my friends, that was only a small sign of pain to come. As the day wore on, the soreness progressed to agonizing pains shooting up my arms and across my chest every time I raised my arms more than a couple of inches. I had difficulty driving the car to town to buy crickets for the geckos. I forgot half the things I was supposed to buy and by the time I got home, my muscles were screaming! I took four Ibuprofen and it barely dulled the aching. I am so not even kidding here, people.

And the pain lasted through the night. I'm slightly better this morning, but not by much. I took two Ibuprofen first thing this morning, but it's not helping much . . . or maybe it is because last night after the Ibuprofen wore off, I thought I would die! I had to sleep sitting up in bed (propped up by pillows) so I could breathe without too much pain so now my tailbone is sore. *sigh*

What's that? You think I'd be in less pain if I did some sort of exercise for upper body strength? Yeah, well, had I known setting up a trampoline was so difficult I might have started an exercise regimen in preparation. Why didn't you people warn me? I thought you were supposed to be my friends. *wink*

So, I didn't get my Christmas decorations taken down yesterday, I didn't finish the crit I was working on, and I didn't replace the doggy door. I think the doggy door and decorations will have to wait until I'm not in so much pain. I have been working on the crit though (taking a break to write this).

As I sit outside with my laptop, the monkeys are enjoying jumping on the trampoline while I try to find a comfortable position on the wooden porch swing so my aches and pains are manageable. Yeah, did I mention trampolines are eeevvviiilll?

Yes, yes, I know. If I didn't suffer from OPMS (OverProtective Mom Syndrome) I could be sitting inside on a cushioned surface, but despite the protective netting around the trampoline, I can't bring myself to leave them out here without supervision.

At least I've gotten some crit work (and now this blog) done. I think I'll take a break from the crit and do some revising on WaM. Then I'll beg the children for sympathy and see if I can come back inside to finish working on the crit.

Write on.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Trampolines and things

We managed to get the trampoline set up yesterday. It started out warm . . . I even took my jacket off . . . but by the time we were finished building the beast, it was really cold and snowflakes began to fall.

Yeah, it took SEVERAL hours and it was horrible! Hubby and I are both very sore today. I think we're too old (or maybe out of shape) for this stuff. Still, the sun is shining today and while it is still cold outside, the kids are bugging me this morning to allow them to go jump on the new trampoline.

See, now this is what makes it worth it. I told them they couldn't jump until they cleaned up the house a bit. :D Oh, they are flying through the house like you wouldn't believe. YAY! I think I may have a clean house for the rest of vacation at this rate. Hopefully the desire to jump continues and they don't get bored with it.

In other news, if everything goes well, my first Toy Fox Terrier, Jewel, will have puppies in February. She only  had two puppies for her first litter and this will be her second so we'll see how many she has this time.

Writing wise, I haven't accomplished anything this week. I'm hoping to get to a critique (and finish it) today after I take down the Christmas decorations and replace the doggy door (it's broken and won't stay closed so our house was REALLY cold last night). So I've got to head into town soon if I plan to accomplish anything at all. But first I think I'll eat something and maybe have a shower. ;-)

Write on.

Friday, December 26, 2008

On the first day after Christmas . . .

my children gave to me, a headache from too much candy.

Yeah too much candy makes them hyper and LOUD so I've got a terrible headache today. Lack of sleep may have something to do with the pain in the head because candy also kept the kiddies up late.

But all in all they had a good Christmas. Oldest son decided he would take his DS games back to the store and trade for something else so we get to do that sometime today . . . when I get up an moving.

It was raining all day yesterday so we couldn't set up the trampoline Santa gave the kids (and it was raining the night before so Santa couldn't set it up either). We are hoping to get to it today, but it's supposed to rain/snow so we'll see. Right now it's cloudy and cold, but no precipitation . . . the kids are bugging me to go set it up, but DH is gone to work and I don't feel like setting it up myself so I'm trying to put it off . . . I'm hoping a trip to the store to see the deals and let big brother trade in his gifts (as well as some we got that were duplicates) will amuse them enough to forget about the trampoline for a while.

I'm glad it's over and I want desperately to take down the tree and lights today so I can get my living room furniture back to normal. I doubt I'll get to it with everything else I have to do, but we'll see. I used to leave the decorations up until after New Year's, but I want them gone this year for some reason . . . feeling desperate for less clutter and don't know why.

I'm looking forward to Monday so I can get away and have my hair done (cut and dyed). It will be nice to have some "me" time. Then for New Year's Eve, we go to my parents house for all night game playing. I have to discuss with hubby about getting a hotel room or two for that evening as there isn't room for us to sleep at my parents' house anymore (brother, wife, and children moved in with parents until they get back on their feet). I'm not sure how it will go and we may end up skipping the New Year's bash and staying home . . . though I don't want to. *sigh*

And now kids are bugging me about the trampoline so I guess I better get moving with the distraction. *wink*

Write on.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Christmas Eve day

Am I ready for Christmas? Almost. I only need to get oranges for the stockings . . . which I will do later this morning. I got a . .  Christmas bonus from my boss so I made an appointment to get my hair done (desperately needed) on the 29th. YAY!

I got all the shopping done, though after I came home from shopping oldest son decided to tell me what he wanted for Christmas . . . and it wasn't what we had purchased. *sigh* Oh well, that's what he gets for not speaking up sooner! I still think he'll like what he got, but if he doesn't, he can take them back and see if it adds up to enough to get what he really wanted.

I am feeling much better today so I'm thinking my blahs of yesterday were do to lack of sleep . . . but I really didn't sleep much longer last night so who knows. Anyway, I'm feeling better, and since I purchased the ingredients for the cheese balls, I'll be making them this morning so we can deliver them later today.

Tonight we get to set up the trampoline for Santa . . . cause you know he's way to busy to do it. It will be cold, it might be raining, but the joy on the faces of the kids in the morning will be worth it.

So, Merry Christmas or Happy (insert holiday you celebrate here) to everyone. Here's hoping 2009 is the year for us!

Write on.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hmm . . .

I composed a poem about the holiday season but since I'm not much of a poet, I decided not to post it.

After this post, I am heading for the shower and then going into town for what I hope will be my last bit of shopping before Christmas. I have to purchase gifts for our oldest child, E, who never did tell me definitively what he wanted. So, I'm going to buy him something I think he may like . . . a video game, or a gift card, or something really lame that he will open Christmas morning and pretend to like.

We tried to get him his learner's permit yesterday, but, because I'm a terrible mother, I never got his name changed on his Social Security card after hubby adopted him. So poor E was not able to get his permit . . . but he was great about it and will wait impatiently for us to get the Government straightened out. ;-) Seriously, he was disappointed, but understanding about the whole thing and now I REALLY want to get him something good for Christmas, but he doesn't really "want" anything. *sigh*

I also woke up with a bit of a cold this morning (or maybe it's lack of sleep since my mind raced through a to do list all night) so my brain feels all fuzzy, my nose is slightly stuffy, and I'm tired. But I have to get the shopping done, not only for E's presents and the stocking stuffers, but also, the stores will be closed on Christmas Day and I think we ought to have some food in the house in case we get hungry and maybe want to eat something besides candy and oranges from the stockings. Oh, and the geckos need crickets to eat so I need to visit the pet store, too.

But I have to remember what Christmas is truly about and find joy and the spirit of the season (which was also touched on in the poem I'm not posting). I get too caught up in the pressure of trying to keep the whole Santa illusion alive for my kids (all but the oldest) until it becomes a burden and I forget I am doing this to make them happy. And I want them to be happy because I love them.

I need to remember I don't HAVE to do any of the things I do this time of year, and start WANTING to do them out of love. So I will get a shower because I don't want to offend my community. Then I will go shopping because I love my oldest son and want him to be happy, because I love my children and want them to be able to hold on to the magic of Santa a while longer, because the geckos are hungry and I love them, too, and because I want to make my traditional cheese balls for my friends and neighbors.

Write on.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shopping with Snakey and D2

Okay, I just returned from the first of my shipping sprees. I took daughter two (D2) and Snakey (our nickname for the youngest) in an attempt to get things done a bit faster. I thought it would be like last year when D2 would hem and haw and have trouble making up her mind and Snakey joyfully and easily made choices.

But, it was a horrible adventure in which Snakey slithered up and down the aisles of the store, hissing about all the things HE wanted. I reminded him several times of his true mission but to no avail. It ended with him spitting venom and hissing until tears flowed. He did eventually choose gifts, but I'm not sure brother (he's 15) will enjoy the gifts much. The gifts came from the TOY section where Snakey insisted on looking. I tried to take him to electronics thinking he might be able to find something for brother's iPod, but Snakey would have none of that. *sigh*

D2 had D1's (daughter one) name. I expected HOURS spent browsing and the eventual setting of time limits in which I threaten she won't get to buy anything if she doesn't choose before time runs out. Surprisingly, she chose three gifts within a few minutes for within the set money limit! And the gifts were very well thought out and appropriate. D1 will be thrilled!

Now I get to take D1 shopping for Snakey while brother baby sits Snakey and D2. Brother will have to go shopping for D2 when Dad takes him to test for his learner's permit . . . or I'll take him later or something. But now it's lunchtime so I better get D1 to the store so I can get back and feed the hungry masses.

Write on . . . or shop on as the case may be. ;-)

Shopping spree

Okay, so Christmas is almost here. You'd think I'd be finished shopping by now, right? WRONG. My oldest has yet to inform me of his Christmas wishes . . . he's going to end up with a gift card or something lame if he doesn't speak up soon.

But he's not the only reason I'm not done shopping. We started a new "tradition" last year where we put the kids' names in a hat and have each child draw a name (not their own). It was supposed to be a "secret Santa" thing but they can't seem to keep from telling whose name they drew so it's morphed into more of a gift exchange thing. Well this year the drawing took place late . . . Friday to be exact . . . and today is the designated shopping day. I'm not looking forward to it as it means I have to make several trips to town for the shopping and then help each child wrap their gifts.

But I have to keep reminding myself that the kids enjoy it and I'm teaching them it is more fun to give than to receive. Hopefully this year our youngest won't tell his recipient what they are receiving (yeah we had tears over that last year because the recipient DIDN'T want to know what she was receiving).

Yesterday my extended family started a new tradition. We will have an annual gathering wherein we have the children perform a Christmas Pageant. This year I was designated as the director. I got the script Saturday and had about an hour to rehearse with the cast (ages 18-2). It was an interesting experience and I decided I'm really glad I only have four children to "direct" every day. But in the end, everything came together fairly well. We're planning a few changes for next year (and hopefully I won't have to direct again), but all in all, it was a success.

But now it's after ten in the morning and I have to get started on this shopping thing if I hope to finish sometime today . . . oh and oldest child is supposed to go to the DMV and test for his Learner's Permit today. . . yeah, I'm going to have a teen driver to deal with on top of everything else . . . *sigh*

I'm hoping to find time to get some work in and maybe even some revising on my new WIP done, but my hopes aren't high for either.

I hope all of you have a great Holiday Season and I'm sending wishes for lots of good news for all of you in 2009 (or what's left of 2008 for that matter).

Write on.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Honest Scrap Award

My blogger friend Bish nominated me for the Honest Scrap Award. What is the Honest Scrap Award? It is an award given to those who tell it like it is. Does this mean I'm rude? No. I'm honest (as those who've received one of my critiques can attest to).

I am honored to be nominated . . . but the award comes with certain requirements.

1. You must list ten (10) honest but interesting things about yourself (so I can't tell you I brush my teeth every night because it isn't interesting and I can't tell you I brush my teeth every night with the dog's toothbrush because it isn't honest).

2. You must present the award to seven (7) other bloggers.

I'll tackle the ten (10) honest but interesting things about myself first (if you don't find these honest truths to be interesting, tough for you, cause this is it).

1. After reading "How to Eat Fried Worms" in grade school, I ate fried worms. We flavored the worms with ketchup and mustard. No, the worms did not taste like chicken . . . more like dirt flavored with ketchup and mustard.

2. I acted in high school, college, and community theater productions as well as participated on the high school and college Speech and Debate tournaments (I won lots of medals for my efforts).

4. I didn't date much (I can count the number of boyfriends on one and a half hands). I attribute this lack of boyfriends to living in a small town where my father was a police officer . . . yeah, that puts a damper on the dating life. But I'm sure there were other reasons, too.

5. I wanted to be a ballerina and play the violin when I grew up. I am neither.

6. My family tells me I was always good at making up and telling stories. This was their nice way of saying I was a liar . . . I just embellished the truth a little.

7. As a child, I loved horses and always dreamed of owning one of my own . . . I still love horses and still dream of owning one of my own.

8. I am running out of interesting things about myself . . . Um . . . oh, I am afraid of ventriloquist dummies.Yeah, they freak me out, big time.

9. While I'm on the subject of fears . . . I'm terrified of those haunted houses/mazes/spook alleys/etc. people do for Halloween. If you want to see a grown woman have a melt down, just try to take me inside one of those horrors.

10. Come on, I have got to be able to think of one more thing . . . hang on, let me brush the cobwebs from my brain . . . I think I'm getting something . . . wait . . . nope, it's gone . . . oh wait, there it is again . . . I crochet, sew, paint, draw, knit (barely), raise/breed Toy Fox Terriers (I own two AKC Champions and am training a couple for the show ring), and, finally, people tell me I have a very good singing voice . . . but maybe they like to embellish the truth a bit.

Whew! I made it.

Now for the next part. I nominate the following bloggers (in no particular order) for the Honest Scrap Award:

1. Cindy Pon

2. whitehousemom

3. Amanda Marrone

4. Mandy Hubbard

5. Mindy Alyse Weiss

6. Meg

7. Robin

Now go forth my fellow bloggers and spread the Honest Scrap!


Write on.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Can this day be over now?

After my last post, I was informed the geckos needed more crickets. Grrr! I dutifully went into town and made my way through the traffic to the pet store. Once inside, the friendly girl at the counter (I sold her a Toy Fox Terrier so she loves me) sold me three dozen crickets. We chatted and I was happy and relaxed when I left.

I was about four blocks from home when my kids called to tell me, "the lady from the pet store called. You left your credit card there."

I had to turn all the way around and go back to get my card. It was only about six miles, but still, it was annoying. But I got my card, brought the crickets home, fed the geckos, and am now cooking dinner . . . yeah, it's late, but they're lucky they're getting fed at all tonight!

But as I'm cooking, I get a phone call from someone interested in purchasing one of the dogs I have for sale. So, now I'm happy again . . . oh, and my boss is letting me bring my box of letters home to read during the rest of the week "if I get around to working with the holidays". She's such a sweet heart. But I'm sure I'll get some work done because we could use the extra cash.

Write on.

Five Things That Did Not Make Me Smile Recently

This is from whitehousemom and her blog the buttered dog incident

1. My horrible day at work in which I spent two hours reading letters and summarizing their contents then hitting the wrong button and deleting the summaries.

2. Having to re-type the summaries I deleted when I hit the wrong button (I blame my stroke of non-genius on my lack of breakfast this morning).

3. Telling my boss I would be at work tomorrow and Friday then picking up my oldest from school and having him inform me tomorrow and Friday are finals and he has half a day of school both days.

4. Coming home from my horrible day and discovering my husband (yeah, the man of my dreams *roll eyes*) had used PERMANENT black marker to draw a mustache and goatee on my youngest son's face (thankfully he was able to wash it off).

5. After the marker incident, my oldest daughter reminded me she has a concert tomorrow at 10:00 (now she's mad at me because I told her I needed to go to work for the three hours before her brother gets out of school).

But I did have ONE happy thing happen:

I got some books I'd ordered from today . . . I was going to wrap them and put them under the tree, but I may dive in and start reading one of them instead.

Write on.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ready or not, here it comes . . .

Oh yes, my friends. Christmas gets closer and closer each day. And am I ready? Nay, I am not. But from reading some friends' blogs, I discover I'm not the only one. However, some of them are much more prepared than I am.

Each year I am determined to have all the gifts purchased, wrapped, and under the tree long before now . . . but each year things don't fall into place until the last minute. Why? Heck, I don't know. If I knew the answer, I'd be able to get it together and meet my goal.

But things will work out. The presents will get wrapped and placed under the tree . . . well most of them. My oldest has yet to make up his mind as to what he wants to receive. Maybe he'll decide before Christmas . . . yeah, that would be nice.

I'm still debating the whole baking and delivering of goodies to friends and neighbors. And I only got a few of the Christmas cards on my list sent off. I'm hoping to pop more in the mail tomorrow.

Yeah, I'm ready for Christmas to be over. Are we done yet?

I've worked on a few more crits this week, but have had little time for improving my own work. But my time will come . . . hopefully soon. :D

Write on.


Lisa Schroeder, author of I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, is celebrating the release of her upcoming YA novel, FAR FROM YOU, and hosting a contest with LOTS of great prizes!
For three days leading up to the book’s release date of December 23rd, you can watch VLOGs and hear some excerpts read from the book. The VLOG schedule is as follows:
Sunday, December 21st – Liv’s Book Reviews -
Monday, December 22nd – What Vanessa Reads -
Tuesday, December 23rd – Lisa Schroeder, author - AND
Help spread the word, and you might win a fabulous prize!
Copy and paste THIS entire blog entry into your blog between now and December 21st, then come back to Lisa’s blog at either Livejournal OR Myspace and leave a comment with the link to your blog and you will get TWO entries to win a number of prizes.
Wondering what you might win? Here is the list (there will be multiple winners):
~ An Advanced Review Copy of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH, by Carrie Ryan
~ An Advanced Review Copy of SOMETHING, MAYBE, by Elizabeth Scott
~ Young adult novel GIRL, HERO by Carrie Jones
~ Young adult novel, THE POSSIBILITIES OF SAINTHOOD by Donna Freitas
~ Young adult novel, UGLIES by Scott Westerfield
~ Pair of YA fairy tale retellings by Cameron Dokey (BELLE and BEFORE MIDNIGHT)
~ TWILIGHT movie soundtrack
~ $15.00 Barnes and Noble gift card along with some Harry & David’s chocolate moose munch
~ And of course, a signed copy of FAR FROM YOU
For more chances to win, watch one or all of the VLOGs and leave a comment on that vlogger’s page, and you get another entry. That means if you post the schedule on your blog AND comment on all three VLOGs, you can have FIVE entries for the contest!
A live drawing with winners announced will be done by Lisa Thursday morning, December 24th, in a special holiday VLOG.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Working on it

My bosses sent work home with me this week because they are going out of town. I found I actually get more work done at home . . . what's up with that? Maybe it was a fluke, I don't know. But if I can get more done at home, maybe I should work from home all the time. I'll see if I get as much or more work done from home tomorrow and maybe I'll talk to my boss about working from home from now on.

I had a birthday on the 9th (as some of you know) and thought I'd share a moment. My youngest child (five years old) crawled into bed with me Tuesday morning, wrapped his arms around my neck and said, "Happy Birthday, Mom. How old are you?"

I replied, "I'm thirty-seven."

He hugged me tight and said quite seriously, "You're really old and will probably die soon. I'll miss you." Then he went on to ask me if he could have my stuff when I died.

Such a sweet child.?

In writing news, I've been spending my free time revising my Nano novel and critiquing work of my fellow writers. I'm enjoying it all, though I wish the revisions would go faster.

Write on.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas, Christmas time is near . . .

It's true. It will be here before long. I'm not prepared. But I promised the monkeys we'd decorate the house today and I've procrastinated long enough. I must keep my promise. It wouldn't be that bad if I didn't have to CLEAN the house in preparation for the decorating. *sigh*

And the last two days have been chore free since I spent the majority of both days at the monkey's school running a booth at the Holiday Store. The house is a mess . . . and I'm not kidding. To let you know how bad it is, we don't have any clean forks, plates, or cups. The kitchen sinks are piled with all the dirty dishes waiting to be washed. The living room is a mess of boxes of decorations, baskets of clean clothes, papers pulled out of backpacks, and more. The dishes need washed, the clothes need folded and put away, the decorations need to be strewn across the house so the boxes can be put back in storage, the papers need sorted through, and the floors under all the rubble need swept and mopped.

I earned some extra cash for gifts so I suppose participation in the Store was worth it. Unfortunately, all this housework/decorating makes it unlikely I'll get any writing done this weekend. Even though I already anticipated this, I'm still a bit disappointed.

Then again, my yearning to write will be good motivation to get the cleaning and decorating finished quickly.

Hope you all have a great weekend.


Write on.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I have a face . . .

I gave in to the pressure and joined Facebook. I'm still trying to figure out how to use it so be patient with me, please.

I spoke to my boss today and we determined I will need to work five days a week in order to finish the archiving portion of the project by February. I told her I would give it a try, but she agreed I don't have to continue five days a week if it starts to stress me out. I love flexible bosses . . . but at the same time, I'm really going to try my best to stick to five days a week because I want this project finished as soon as possible, too.

I think I'll miss it when it's gone . . . and not just the extra money (which is always nice this time of year), but the learning about the "characters" in the lives of Fran and Irene. And boy did they know some "characters". *grin*

But it will be hard working five days a week and only having the weekend for my writing . . . and the kids are home on the weekend so it's quadruple hard to get writing done.

And where am I going with this? I'm trying to prepare you for the possibility of not having good news as soon as I'd hoped. I think I may have to wait until May/June to submit things.

Why? Because I want the writing time I do have to be spent in revising my new Nano novel. If I can revise AND prepare submissions, I'll do both, but the majority of my efforts will be thrown into revision.

I hope you'll forgive me, dear friends . . . but don't lose all hope for the possibility still exists I shall have good news by April/May 2009 (or was it May/June or June/July? *grin*)

Write on.

Creatures of the night, be quiet!

Which creature of the night are you?
Your Result: Vampire

You are a social pragmatist, as likely to kiss as to bite. Your sensuality and social pragmatism is the counter-balance to your existential angst and your tendency toward depression.

Cthulu Spawn
Which creature of the night are you?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday mopes

I'm going back to work today. Part of me is happy because the sooner I go back to work, the sooner I can complete the project and be finished. But the other part of me enjoyed the child-free writing time I had five days a week. *sigh*

But I keep reminding myself I'm only working Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and will have two days of child-free writing time. Plus, the extra money will be a bonus this time of year. *smile*

The kids only have three weeks of school before Christmas the two week Winter break (they're not allowed to call it Christmas because not everyone celebrates). This means I will only have three weeks of work as we don't usually work when the kids aren't in school . . . but since it is a two week break, I may beg and plead to come in to work to escape the madness that is my children.

My oldest is fifteen so he can watch the younger three while I have a few hours of work, right? *grin*

In writing news, I stayed up late and finished doing the crit for my friend, Meg. I hope some of my comments and suggestions will be helpful to her. I enjoyed reading her MS and look forward to seeing what kind of changes it will go through on it's journey to publication. I'm looking forward to some other crits that should be coming my way soon (eh-hem, Tolk *grin*).

And while I will be unable to work on my MS this Thursday and Friday (already volunteered to help at the school), I will be able to dive back into revisions on my Nano novel next week for sure. After school today we will be decorating for Christmas . . . the kids are more excited about it than I am. LOL

Write on.