Friday, December 30, 2016

Happy New Year!!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful and prosperous 2017.

2016 started and ended with a black cloud--there were a lot of big deaths this year. Here's hoping that in general we're see fewer big name deaths and that we'll all have a better year than this one.

It's better already for us in a couple of ways, so here's hoping the trend continues.

Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Marching Band Monday

Gosh, I love marching band music, don't you. I'm so impressed by these young people who have memorized a piece of music and who can play and march or remember complicated choreography at the same time.

In honor of Sonshine's birthday two Saturday's ago, let's watch the Beckman HS Marching Band's Fesitval of Bands Band Review program.

That was fantastic and a bit tear-jerking for me because Sonshine would have killed (okay, not actually killed) to be in a marching band like that.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas

I'll be celebrating with all my close in-town/in-state family (except for Sonshine) tomorrow. My Brown-Eyed Girl is bringing her roommate, so we have a new person to indoctrinate--I mean welcome into the family. This young woman has been such a blessing to my oldest daughter and I'm so glad to be able to give her a little something in appreciation.

(not this year's tree)

Merry Christmas to one and all!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Dallas Stars Hockey FTW!!!

Okay, well the Stars actually lost, but the adventure was a win. Last night, DD and I went to a Dallas Stars hockey game. DD had gone last year, but it was a first for me. Oh, man, oh, man!!!

My beautiful girl and me!!!

First, we took the Trinity Railway Express across the Metroplex--turns out there's a station right across the street from the American Airlines Center--which--no driving in traffic during rush hour in Dallas to attend the game. The downside was that we had to leave before the game was over to make sure we caught the last train back to our neck of the woods.

The AAC from the train station.

The facility was gorgeous, I must say. Our first stop once inside the building though? The Hangar--the Stars (and Mavericks) Fan Shop. I couldn't go to a game and not get some merch!

So...socks, a collector pin, a decal, Stars-brand "Lego" players Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, and a tee shirt... Tyler's "Lego" face even has his facial hair!

Our view from the cheap seats...
The Stars and the St. Louis Blues during warm-ups.

It looks farther away in the picture than it does when you're there. And I was pleasantly surprised. I could see the whole rink and follow the puck pretty easily. We were at the top with no one behind us, so that was a bonus too. We got lucky that there was no one in front of us either, so we could put our feet up on the seats in front of us.

The most interesting thing to me was there it was quiet, relatively speaking. I'm so used to watching on TV with the sound of commentators and the noises from the ice due to the cameras being down at ice-level. But at a play by play. There's the announcement of penalties and of course the crowd in general and semi-muted sounds from the ice, but otherwise, it's quiet.

A very cool experience and one I hope to repeat soon and as often as possible.

Are you hockey fan?

Monday, December 19, 2016

Marching Band Monday

Well, because, I've had a hankering for marching bands...and because I've been so busy, I keep forgetting to post. Since finding a YouTube videos and posting is pretty painless, it seemed like a good choice.

And because it's December and Christmas, let's enjoy Christmas music.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Happy Birthday Sonshine

Twenty-one years ago tomorrow in the wee small hours, the most beautiful baby boy ever was born. Tomorrow, the boy will be a complete adult, legal for military service, gambling, car rentals, and, last but not least, alcohol. Where the heck did those twenty-one years go???

One of the best things I ever did...the other two are in the next picture up...

Monday, December 12, 2016


Despite some of the crap that's rained down on me/us over the last month or so, there have also been some blessings.

While I'm not thrilled with having to buy (well, lease) a new car, I can't deny that having one isn't also a treat and blessing--nothing's wrong with it, it drives like a dream, and it has several pretty cool bells and whistles.

This past Saturday was my writers group meeting. There was no program, we just had a great time visiting, playing a game, and exchanging tacky/ugly ornaments.

 (Can you find me?)

This group of ladies and one gentleman are some of my favorite people and I'm always blessed to spend several hours in their presence each month.

I've received and taken a handful of proofreading jobs, got the next book in book series I'm maintaining the series bible for, as well as updating a I've got this influx of cash in order to pay for the copy/content edits and book covers for my series of books I'm working on publishing next June.

I discussed my expenses with DH several month ago and he said he'd get me the money (probably out of the profit of selling fireworks this New Years season), but you know what--it feels really nice and is definitely satisfying to be able to be as self-funding as possible. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this blessing means that modest success (at least) is in store for these books once they're out in the world.

And one last blessing to come...having all my babies home for a very short time--Sonshine will more than likely be granted leave to come for a ten-day visit.

Blessings on all of y'all as well.

Friday, December 9, 2016

So...I got a new car...

I would have rather not had to do it, but sometimes, Murphy just doesn't like you. Anyway, new vehicle is a Toyota RAV 4 LE, a small SUV. It's nice and I love it and it has some nice features...

Well, here's the car...

It had 39 miles when we took possession!

It has Bluetooth capability so it automatically connects to my phone and gets my music going. I gotta say, this tickles me to death. Also the talking on the phone, hands free, is pretty cool--not that I do that often, cuz I'm not much of a phone talker, but if someone calls me while I'm driving, there's a button on the steering wheel--no worrying about where the phone actually is.

And it has backup cameras, so I can see what's behind me as I backup. Nice!

So Merry Christmas to us for the next several years. :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

It's only Wednesday...?

Sorry, sorry. I had plans to write some sort of post, but the "check engine soon" light came back on in the truck and so my brain has been taken over by car repair considerations and preparations for my writers group meeting.

It's been a heck of a month, so I'm working on one day at a time as best I can, but really, I have to be looking three days ahead at least to make sure things happen on time.

On the bright side, Sonshine has submitted leave paperwork and as long as it's approved *fingers crossed*, we'll be seeing our boy in three weeks or so. If that's not cause for happy dancing, then I don't know what is.

Well, time to get my work day started... Have a great day.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Wow, I really dropped the ball last week...

It was a bit hectic. My car (truck) needs a lot of work and I don't want to drive it much, so we were trying to get the car situation figured out.

Anyway... it's getting close to Christmas time. As I mentioned last week, I put up the tree.

Then, on our shopping travels this past Saturday, DD and I found a paper chain garland kit and spent some time together linking it up. I think I'm going to hang it up in the kitchen.

I also found this Nutcracker at a ridiculous sales price and couldn't resist.

How are your Christmas preparations coming along?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday, Monday...

Well, I was a bad blogger and didn't post on Friday. I don't have much of an excuse because I was up early and at the gym, but then DH and I got sucked into TV before we had to head south for our Thanksgiving celebrations. We had a delicious (as always) dinner at my in-law's house and just sat around and visited for a couple of hours before heading back home for a low-key weekend.

I did break out some Christmas decorations...garland and the strings of snowflake-tipped lights that go around the front window. I busted out the winter/Christmas votive holders and tea light candles too. I put up the tree, too, which took all of twenty minutes because the tree is only 18" tall. There's still more stuff I want to put up, but it's start and I have to find the rest before I can do anything.

Oh! I'm happy to report a weight-loss break-through. I finally dipped below the 132.8 lb. mark I haven't gotten under that in forever. I know it won't hold, but I broke the plateau, so I've got incentive to keep pushing until I can get below the 130 lb. mark once and for all and stay there. The biggest obstacle is going to be the weather now that it's getting colder. My warm cozy bed is going to be hard to leave each morning once the temperatures get below the 50s overnight. But I can the light at the end of the tunnel, so hopefully, I'll keep reaching for the light.

On the writing/publishing front, things are going mostly well. Book one is ready to go, with cover art and everything. Book two is with the content/copy editor and on her schedule starting tomorrow. No cover art as of yet. That's scheduled for end of January. Book three is in progress and I need to get my act together and finish it. Book four is done and ready to go to the content/copy editor and ready for cover art (end of February). Book five needs to be read and revised. Book six is in the planning stages. I have characters and a premise and some scene ideas, so once book three is ready for it's 2-to-3 week deep freeze (when I don't look at it in order to re-read with fresh eyes), I can juggle books five and six. I'm mostly on track. I'm not stressing because I am self-publishing, so I can push back deadlines, but I really, really want to keep my original goal of publishing on my birthday in June.

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend! Tell me what you did.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving...

Here's wishing all my family and friends and their family and friends a love Thanksgiving.

Because the holidays just aren't' holidays without the Peanuts.

Friday, November 18, 2016


Yep, I'm definitely looking forward to this weekend. Partly because it's been a hell of a week and partly because I get to spend AAAALLLL day tomorrow with some of my favorite people in the whole wide world--my critique group. Right, we rarely critique anymore, but it's more like our little writer sisterhood. We gather monthly to talk and talk and talk and talk. We support one another in all things; family and jobs and personal issues as well as writing. And they are all such wonderful, beautiful women. I don't know what my life would be without them.

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

American Fun Facts

Borrowed from the Readers Digest...their sources at the bottom...

Our Grand Old Flag
The current 50-star American flag was designed by a 17-year-old as a school project in 1958. He got a B-.

Talk about a Great Lake
There is enough water in Lake Superior to cover the entire landmass of North and South America in one foot of liquid.

A whole lotta pizza
Meanwhile, we sell enough pizza every day to cover 100 acres.

Our mighty military
The largest air force in the world is the U.S. Air Force. The world’s second-largest air force is the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps combined.

Cry me a (very old) river
Three of the world’s five oldest rivers flow here: The New, the Susquehanna, and the French Broad Rivers are each hundreds of millions of years old.

The power of youth
But our nation is young: The government is still paying one pension on behalf of a Civil War veteran (to his 85-year-old daughter).

America's deadliest job
Statistically, the deadliest job in America is … president. Of the 
44 men who’ve held the post, four have been assassinated in office—
a rate of roughly 9 percent (or about one in ten) killed on the job.

An entrepreneurial president

The only U.S. president to own a patent and a saloon: Abraham Lincoln. His patent was for a device to lift boats over sandbars. His saloon was a miserable failure. Here are famous presidential "quotes" that are completely fake.

The president you don't want to mess with
The only president who was an executioner: Grover Cleveland. As sheriff of Erie County, New York, he hanged a murderer.

In praise of the pilgrims
An estimated one in ten of us could be a blood relative to one of the original 102 pilgrims who arrived aboard the Mayflower in 1620. But we still believe these myths about Thanksgiving.

The FBI is watching us
And roughly one in three of us has his or her fingerprints on file with the FBI.

A nation of do-gooders
According to the World Giving Index, Americans are the most likely people in the world to help a stranger.

Thanks to our firemen
Case in point: Slightly more than 69 percent of firefighters in the United States are volunteers.

Our real Independence day
The day Congress voted us free from British rule is July 2, 1776. July 4 is just when John Hancock put the first signature on the Declaration of Independence to spread the word.

The highest court in the land
Finally, the real acme of the American justice system? That would be the basketball court on 
the fifth floor of the Supreme Court building. It’s known as the Highest Court in the Land.

Sources:,,,,,,,,,,,,,, the Mayflower Society, and

Monday, November 14, 2016

Dr. Strange...

It's a week of Benedict Cumberbatch!

Yesterday, DH and I went to see BC's latest film, Dr. Strange...the story of a neurosurgeon who loses the use of his hands after a car accident. After traditional medicine fails him in his quest to regain the use of his hands, he searches the globe for something else. During his journey he comes across a sorcerer and becomes a student. Over the course of his training he transforms into a superhero.

The movie wasn't what I was expecting, so despite Cumberbatch, I'm only giving it seven stars. That is of course a subjective opinion. I haven't looked, but I'm sure it's gotten rave reviews. I wasn't keen on Rachel McAdams as the love interest. I just felt like someone wiht more acting chops--on par with Ben--should have been in that role. But that's just me perhaps? The character wasn't an integral part of the whole thing, so...whatever I guess.

The kaleidoscope graphics were awesome, but the other froo froo ones left a lot to be desired and contribute a lot to my lower star rating.

Benedict played Strange with an American accent, which was fine. I've heard him do it before. I would have much rather he'd been allowed to be British. I mean it's not unheard of for people to move to another country to live and work, so I think it could have been fine. I get that the original character of Dr. Strange was American, but, really, worse things have been done cinematically.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Friday, November 11, 2016

The dangers of the Internet...

So when I went to look for some sort of amusing hockey meme for today, I ended up on Pinterest somehow and got lost for about thirty minutes looking at easy Christmas crafts!

I found a handful of really cute and simple ornaments and gifts to make, but that hadn't been my intent.

So here I am with this. And as a watcher of both soccer and hockey, I can say with some certainty, this is very true!

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Road Trip...

I'm recovering from a whirlwind trip to Houston this past weekend. A friend had a book signing at an indie book store and wanted some company. So I went. I was lucky enough to see my gorgeous Brown-Eyed Girl, but wouldn't you know...I took a picture of the view from the deck where we ate brunch, but I didn't get a picture of her and I. Duh!

While in Houston, my friend Gina Lee Nelson, writing cozy mysteries as Rebecca Adler, hit six Barnes & Nobles so that she could sign her books. As you might have noticed at any retail outlet you've visited, Christmas is upon us. So in the second store we hit, I saw a table full of blankets, scarves, covered hot water bottles, and slip-free socks. One pattern option was a lovely red plaid and the other was music staffs and a line from God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman. Had it been just the one store, I could have resisted, but seeing those delightful socks that reminded me of Sonshine over and over, I finally broke down. Cute, huh??

Of course being gone for the weekend meant none of my usual chores got done, but as of this morning's quick trip to Wally World, we're back on track.

I know I'm kinda late with this, but how was your weekend??

Friday, November 4, 2016

Gonna have to watch the replay...

From left to right: Jordie Benn, Jamie Benn, and Tyler Seguin...

Because I started watching the game and there was no score after the first period when I went to walk on the treadmill and the laptop died while I was doing dishes at the beginning of the second, and because it was late and the boys had lost the last several games I did watch, I thought, "whatever--I'll just listen to the end of the game on the radio." And DAMMIT! I missed all the excitement.

Congrats to the Dallas Stars who ended their losing streak. Also congrats to Tyler Segin who had a hand in at least four of those goals. :)


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Thanksgiving Myths

We've reached November! On, my goodness--where did the year go??? In celebration of Thanksgiving--the only holiday we regularly get two days off for. (I'm not talking retail, I'm talking banks, governments, and general businesses.)

Let's talk about some myths, courtesy of Readers Digest.

Myth: The settlers at the first Thanksgiving were called Pilgrims.
Fact: They didn’t even refer to themselves as Pilgrims—they called themselves “Saints.” Early Americans applied the term “pilgrim” to all of the early colonists; it wasn’t until the 20th century that it was used exclusively to describe the folks who landed on Plymouth Rock.

Myth: It was a solemn, religious occasion.
Fact: Hardly. It was a three-day harvest festival that included drinking, gambling, athletic games, and even target shooting with English muskets (which, by the way, was intended as a friendly warning to the Indians that the Pilgrims were prepared to defend themselves).

Myth: It took place in November
Fact: It was some time between late September and the middle of October—after the harvest had been brought in. By November, says historian Richard Ehrlich, “the villagers were working to prepare for winter, salting and drying meat and making their houses as wind resistant as possible.”

Myth: The Pilgrims wore large hats with buckles on them.
Fact: None of the participants were dressed anything like the way they’ve been portrayed in art: the Pilgrims didn’t dress in black, didn’t wear buckles on their hats or shoes, and didn’t wear tall hats. The 19th-century artists who painted them that way did so because they associated black clothing and buckles with being old-fashioned.

Myth: They ate turkey.
Fact: The Pilgrims ate deer, not turkey. As Pilgrim Edward Winslow later wrote, “For three days we entertained and feasted, and [the Indians] went out and killd five deer, which they brought to the plantation.” Winslow does mention that four Pilgrims went “fowling” or bird hunting, but neither he nor anyone else recorded which kinds of birds they actually hunted—so even if they did eat turkey, it was just a side dish. “The flashy part of the meal for the colonists was the venison, because it was new to them,” says Carolyn Travers, director of research at Plimoth Plantation, a Pilgrim museum in Massachusetts. “Back in England, deer were on estates and people would be arrested for poaching if they killed these deer … The colonists mentioned venison over and over again in their letters back home.” Other foods that may have been on the menu: cod, bass, clams, oysters, Indian corn, native berries and plums, all washed down with water, beer made from corn, and another drink the Pilgrims affectionately called “strong water.”

A few things definitely weren’t on the menu, including pumpkin pie—in those days, the Pilgrims boiled their pumpkin and ate it plain. And since the Pilgrims didn’t yet have flour mills or cattle, there was no bread other than corn bread, and no beef, milk, or cheese. And the Pilgrims didn’t eat any New England lobsters, either. Reason: They mistook them for large insects.

Myth: The Pilgrims held a similar feast every year.
Fact: There’s no evidence the Pilgrims celebrated again in 1622. They probably weren’t in the mood—the harvest had been disappointing, and they were burdened with a new boatload of Pilgrims who had to be fed and housed through the winter.


Monday, October 31, 2016

(Movie) TV Monday

DH and I started watching Arrow...a show about a youngish guy who returns to the world after having been lost at sea/on a not-so-deserted island for five years and immediately sets to writing the wrongs of his father and other ultra-rich men who've wronged the citizens and city of Starling City.

It's based on the DC Comic character, which I guess I have a theme (or two) going--still watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with DH too, but we're all caught up with what's now airing on regular TV so that's a once a week endeavor.

Anyway, the premise is interesting and Stephen Amell who plays Oliver Queen/Arrow isn't horrible to look at so.

Most of my gripes center around the fact that friends and family think this guy has returned unchanged from being mostly on his own for five years. He hides most of what he went through from them, but really? You gotta think even even hadn't been captured or tortured, he's still probably got some sort of PTSD going on or something. Why hasn't he been sent to a therapist??

On the other hand, it's a DC Comic character so some suspension of disbelieve is in order.

The other show I've discovered is Designated Survivor.

This show is revolves around the Designated Survivor--the government official not allowed attend the State of the Union in case the unthinkable happens. Which does. The Capitol Building is bombed and the HUD Secretary becomes POTUS.

The writers have done a great job so far. The victories are small and short-lived. But the hits, as Tom Cruise's character in A Few Good Men says, just keep on coming. One after the other after the other.

Anyone watching either one of these?? What do you think?

Friday, October 28, 2016

Gotta get back into the groove...

I've taken a mini-hiatus from writing, but it's time to get back into the groove.

As far as I know, all writers struggle with aspects of writing. Those who have publisher imposed deadlines don't have the luxury of just not working on their books. Successful indie publishers have a little more leeway, but not much.

I am a hobby writer. I'm embracing the term. I'm not looking to make a living. I have tales of good-looking heroes to tell and so I shall. But as I said a couple of months ago, this is supposed to be a no-stress endeavor, so I've tried not to worry too much about being stuck. Of course, I need to figure out why I'm stuck or how I got stuck in order to figure out how to get un-stuck, which, I admit was stressing me out.

But then I remembered: no-stress endeavor, and I took a step back. The book and the characters were set aside for a few days. And I read. A LOT. And watched some TV. Not a lot/a lot, but enough. Found a new show (or two), which I'll talk about Monday.

Yesterday I had a reminder-epiphany--I'm supposed to be writing whatever it is I want to read. So no reason to follow all the RWA/Harlequin rules of writing romance. I much prefer the fan fiction rules of romance writing. So, yeah. Time to remember the fun of telling a tale.

So looking forward to getting back to my fictional friends this weekend.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

"It's Alive...!"

The Creature discovering its world.

If I'm not mistaken, that's a line from the original movie Frankenstein. Last night, I saw the fourth encore screening of National Theater Live's 2011 production of Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller, alternating performances as the Doctor and the Creature. I found myself amazed by Cumberbatch's performance as the Creature. I wasn't sure whose I was going to get, but now that I've seen the performance, I'm glad this is the version chosen for filming.

The story of Frankenstein is a story that is apparently always relevant and can be applied to many hot topics vexing society since it was written. I won't get into the philosophy of it all, mostly because I don't have the mind for that, but YES. Towards the end, the Creature tells Frankenstein's wife (I'm paraphrasing): "Just because I'm different, doesn't meant I don't want to be accepted, want to be loved."

Frankenstein's wife is the first person since the blind man to show the creature compassion.

Even though this was performed in London in 2011, I found it rather sobering that the Creature says that once he joined society, he learned to hate and to lie. Huh.

Okay, enough of that. It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Benedict Cumberbatch. It all started in early spring of 2014 when my daughter happened to be watching an episode of the BBC's Sherlock. And that was all she wrote. Everything I've seen him do has blown me away. I think he's already being looked upon as the Richard Burton or Laurence Olivier of our time. One of the all time greats.

If you get a chance to see him in a stage performance, DO IT.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Fall is definitely here to stay now...

And it's lovely temperatures. It's time to get out the winter blanket for the bed, too.

How an update on me? I mean, it is my blog right...

Okay, so binge-watched the last half of season two of Madam Secretary. Some interesting twists and turns and now I can catch up on season three, which is airing this TV season. Discovered that there's very little fan fiction for the show as a whole and none for my favorite character, Blake Moran, the Secretary's personal assistant. Not that I need to be reading or writing fan fiction for another fandom, but I might dabble a little bit when I need a break from writing my books. :)

(Erich Bergen as Blake Moran)

I am also following Stars hockey closely this season. The boys aren't doing so hot at the moment. They had a couple of back to back losses as well as some unfortunate injuries. And in support of my new sporting fandom, I bought this...

...also because my trusty duty travel mug is on its last legs with a crack on the inside and hole on the outside from two separate drops. Oops.

My work PC was updated to Windows 10 this past weekend, so I will slowly have to re-download all my usual pieces of software and applications. I have to get all my background and options and tabs re-set too. That's the part I hate the most...getting my little environment all set back up the way I like it.

Workouts are going well, too. I'm still not losing the weight like I want, but I know I'm building muscle and (hopefully) eliminating fat. Which might account for some of my struggle. I also binged carbs yesterday, so that may be why the scale is being ornery. I did good last week in general though and cut way back. I also resisted the urge to buy cereal and milk when I went grocery shopping the last two weeks because I cannot resist a bowl of cereal to save my life. But overall, for 48 years old, I think I'm doing rather well.

Hope you had a lovely weekend, and here's to a decent work week. See you Wednesday. :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Love, Mom...

I've been a mom since 1988 ('87 if you want to count gestation :))...

Of course, I've answered to some form of the word since then, but writing "Love, Mom" in emails just feels strange to me.

For as long as I've had email, which has been well over ten years, I've rarely emailed my own children and certainly not until they became adults, and not even then much because they were at home and I just talked to them.

Even now, I text more than I email because that's what kids their age do. And I like texting too. It's generally more immediate.

But Seaman Sonshine is now ensconced on his ship and there's no cell service. So email it is.

Anyway, I'm so used to signing off with my actual name that sometimes I have to stop and think--this is my kid, sign it MOM.

Anyway, happy hump day and congrats to the Dallas Stars on their win over the Nashville Predators last night. :)

Jason Spezza scored the game winning goal.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday Motivation

Friday, October 14, 2016


Yep, celebrating Friday today...tomorrow is writers group, so I'm excited about that as well. Let's just celebrate with pictures...