Monday, February 23, 2009

Romantic Heroes

I enjoyed the Oscars last night, the more intimate setting, and especially the way they used prior winners to introduce the nominees. The best actress and supporting actress segment was especially touching with Sophia Loren, Shirley MacLaine, and Nicole Kidman having intimate conversations with the nominees while we watched.

But my favorite part was the new host, Hugh Jackman, his singing, sense of humor, his interview with Barbara Walters and the lap dance. Oooh baby!

The man is hunk city, a sweet guy with a great sense of humor, a fabulous body, and a devoted husband and father. Just what a romantic hero should be. And they say romance isn't based on real life.

Here's an older picture of him I like.

On another note, I was glad to see Heath Ledger get the Oscar for best supporting actor.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Suzanne's Clover

I regularly visit Suzanne McMinn's blog, Chickens in the Road, and today's blog, Clover Takes a Trip had me rolling with laughter. The animals of West Virginia have so much personality. And I never knew goats liked home-made cookies so much!

Before she meets her intended, Clover has to suffer the affections of Admiral, a Great Pyrenees, and the family she left not long ago. And do without Momma Suzanne's treats.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sleeping Sound

Can you guess what these things are?

They look a little like some kind of archeological find, pieces off an old pitcher maybe. They are customized ear plugs.)I never knew my ears were quite so irregular.)

Last week, I was in Walmart in a city nearby looking for a digital scale for CFM. Just his luck, I found one on the clearance aisle along with this little box of customizable ear plugs. I've been having trouble sleeping at night because of his snoring.

He snores, I shake the bed, he quits, I almost get back to sleep, he snores, I shake the bed... well, you get the picture. So I thought these might help, but I didn't realize what I had til I got the box open.

Inside were two little containers of putty, white and natural. The instructions said to mix half of each compound until there were no streaks. Then you roll it into a ball and begin to press it into your ear pulling the edges and continuing to press into the center. Then you flatten the outside and let it cure in your ear for 15 minutes before removing. After three or four hours you have a custom set of ear plugs. And boy, do they work!

I plan to hit the clearance section again to get a back up set.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Not such an ordinary life

Chickens in the Road blog

Ever visited a site or blog that just made you feel good. That's the reaction I had to Suzanne McMinn's blog, Chickens in the Road. If you've never visited her blog the sampler is a good place to start.

Suzanne writes for Harlequin - Silhouette Romantic Suspense. But I'd have never guessed that from her blog. She has a wonderful sense of humor and a great eye for photography (as well as Shakespeare speaking goats). The photography alone is worth seeing.

I think she's got this longing to be paparazzi. She practically stalked Nora at the RWA conference, but it's okay cause they're like THIS close and it was for a good cause (the nozy writers who read her blog wanted a glimpse of a writing goddess and Suzanne was in the neighborhood.)

I love it when she puts recipes on the blog with pictures!! Like the Pepperoni rolls. Nummy, they look good.

Today she celebrates the light at the end of the snow tunnel with Chocolate Mint Snow-top cookies.

If you'd like insight into her personality disorder read her hilarious blog Ornery Angel.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Little Demon Update

Dustyyyyy! No! Quit that! I said quit! No! Bad puppy. Settle down, baby. You want a treat? Calm and sweet, baby. Calm and sweet.

Want a treat? If you're a good boy, Momma will give you a treat.

The little fart is so smart he's already figured out that he's gotta be a bad boy first to be enticed to be good. A double edged sword.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Baad Weather again

I know - it's that time of year but it seems to be happening early in 2009. Although, scratching my head, I remember when I first moved to Mississippi from D.C. in 1973, the tornados were walking the interstate in February. One of the worst years ever. I used to sit up at night in the dark and look out the window thinking, Is that a train? or is that tornado?

Of course, today I'm having the same old internet weather rant. It totally messes with my satellite.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Is Spring here?

Okay, I love cold weather but I'm sick of the dreary look of everything. The dead looking trees, mud instead of grass, wet cold.

I'm read for Spring. So Sunday we dragged the plants outside and I planned on sitting out by the bayou and writing. I get my best writing done on the lounge chair overlooking the water, listening to the birds and squirrels, watching the alligators float by.

This year they better be careful coming too close cause my little Dusty will be playing around outside and I wouldn't want him to hurt one of them

Here's a picture of my biggest aloe plant. That thing has grown to overwhelming proportions so many times I've split it and given it away to everybody but here it is again - Huge! And it blooms! Everyone I've talked to says they've never seen one bloom. It puts out this 6 ft tall stem with littel peach and orange colored bells at the end.

Want a piece? Come and get it.

You'll notice Tiger is on the outside of the window and Dusty behind the glass. No more romps on the refuge for him.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Clydesdale ads

I posted this last week but Leah pointed out that the commercial site coldn't be viewed in Canada. Phooey on them.

One of the best things about Super Bowl Sunday is the great ads. I always look forward to the Clydesdales and this year we got two. And the original displayed at the bottom.

So for those of you I love outside the US -


And Generations!!! Nothin like a Clydesdale with a Scottish accent!

And the original - When you say Bud.

And just once on the anniversary of 9/11 this tribute aired.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Flying toward D.C.

As our plane left the tarmac one month ago today, and headed into the heavy clouds like a rocket, I could see container ships lined up, bumper to bumper rush hour traffic on the Mississippi. Much as I like to fly, I'm always uncomfortable on takeoffs into storm clouds until we break through to clearer sky.

Then the visual landscape changes into stark whites, darker grey shadows and muted pinks and blues of what looks like that other arctic landscape. If you didn't know you were in the sky 30000 feet above the earth, you'd think you could land, just over there on that flat stretch, or on that river running between those mountains of snow. I love the ever-changing panorama on display at that altitude and kick myself for not having my camera in my purse.

Not to self: Never try to save $100 again if it means having CFM deliver me to the airport in a CITY. He's okay on interstates on long stretches or around our rural community but when you get on a highway with more than one lane, 4 GET IT. I thought we were both going to have heart attacks before I could get me to the airport.

He jerks the steering wheel instead of turning it, passes cars and pulls in so close a couple times I thought we were going to hit them. He totally panics to the point of wrecking in an otherwise safe situation.

But he's nearly home and I'm 35000 feet up on my way to Orlando to change planes so we're both happy. Live and Learn.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Happy Bithday to me

Yesterday. Normally I wouldn't advertise it especially at my 'ahem' advanced age. Uh uh we're not really going there.

But this year I'm making some birthday resolutions. You know this is coming, just like the January deal, I must get in better shape.

But more importantly, this year I'm going to concentrate on being REAL. Allowing myself to be more open to emotion. To be less worried about what other people think and more in tune with what I think.

It's ironic that one of the weaknesses I remember about my mother was her obsessive anxiety over what others thought. It defined her. There's tact and then there's people pleasing.

Unfortunately, during a recent Enneagram course we had to determine our likely type. Trying to fit myself into the Romantic, Skeptic, Nurturer all in an attempt to avoid actually admitting the obvious. I'm a Peacekeeper. God, I hate that.

I want to break some rules or help someone else break them. I want to fly, create, let my muse loose to explore the unknown. Shoot, I'm just starting to get into Fantasy. Maybe I'm in my second childhood. Well, I don't want to go back that far.

I recently decided to create a synopses a day just to exercise my plotting skills. As a writing experiment this week, I plan to do what ifs on my life. Well, maybe just one what if because it had so many twists and turns to it as it is.

Maybe in looking back and imaginatively recreating, I can start a new trend for the future.

Happy Birthday to all the other Aquarians out there!

Edited: Okay so much for not caring what others think, the first day of my resolution. I discovered my drivers license expired today so... Monday I'll probably spend the day at the DMV getting a new one. And of course I'll have to get as pretty as I can for the picture. I'm not going to look like a hag on my DL for 8 years! Silly, huh. But you know every time you pull your DL out people look at it and go ick that's a bad picture. Ironically, I had theee best picture on my license for the last eight years. So I guess I'm due to look like i just escaped from prison.

AND Reedited:
I got started early but when I got to the drivers license bureau, the woman who processed me hit the button which put me in the system and asked me for $21.50 CASH!!! I had planned on writing a check. So I had to find someone in that town who would cash a check for me. After getting that taken care of, I pulled out of the parking lot and noticed my inspection sticker had expired in November!!!!!!!! CFM!!!! So I had to go to the friendly local body shop and get my inspection sticker redone. Okay, that wasn't quite smooth, I found out my registration is about to expire. Sheesh, what have I been doing? Not taking care of the vehicle business for sure.

I don't know whether leaving the area late was good or bad. About 30 miles from my destination I ran into backed up traffic on a stretch of road that is notorious for fatal accidents. I could see the flashing police vehicles from where I sat. And sat. And sat. Apparently two people died. I wasn't about to give up; I was too far from home but had to turn around and follow someone through the back woods way to get around it. This threw me about three hours late. So one carfull of groceries and odds and ends later, I'm home. Whew.

I thought about the poor victims of that wreck who won't be going home tonight...thankful to be home.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Another Internet Rant

They can't get broadband to the communities at the end of the world fast enough for me!

Weather is moving in, the forecast calling for rain FIVE DAYS in a row, so I'm sure I'll have spotty internet. It always makes me feel like throwing my computer through the window.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Morning Romp

I got up a little later this morning, 6:30, and surprisingly, Dusty was being quiet. But as soon as I tiptoed out of the bedroom the sound of the fan tipped him off to my presence. He began yipping and jumping against the side of the playpen in his usual unrestrained fervor.

I called to him soothingly, "Is Momma's baby awake. Come here, Sweetie." And as usual for the first full minute of momma-loving, he's sweet and gives good puppy kisses. Then things turn to non-momma-loving activities. Peeing, Eating, Playing and Biting.

But this morning, he wasn't too unruly so I decided to get down to his level - quite a task for an adult to get to eye-and-cuddle level with a six inch tall dog - and slip his collar on.

Let me digress a second. As you may know, Dusty has been showing extreme aggression when we try to slip a collar over his head. Yesterday - I hesitate to mention this but here goes - CFM was babysitting and took the little boy outside. Tiger, the maniacal cat has decided she likes playing with Dusty, or else she's trying to get rid of him.

She leads him down the steep hill to the bayou, around the lot, playfully batting and teasing him. She won't even climb a tree unless absolutely necessary and then only to say, Naa Naa Naa NaNa Na, see what I can do!

So CFM followed them around the yard, down the hill, over limbs and never could catch him. He told me on the phone that he'd finally had to resort to extreme measures to catch the boy. He found a lightweight fishing net that he uses to seine bait fish in the bayou and tossed it over Dusty as he made a pass. Sheesh!

He said, "You'd have thought I was killing him. He screamed and whimpered and cried."

Well, duh. No use wasting a lot of words. I simply said, don't do that again.

So this morning I told him I've been getting Dusty used to treats. I used one to get his collar on yesterday and figured he could tempt him with it and get him in the house. After I got his collar on, I tucked a treat into my pocket, took my camera and with just my slippers on, let him outside.

WHAT was I thinking? Tiger was waiting for him. She ignored the food I uncovered for her to lure him into play. It started innocently enough, a romp near the back door, then they Tiger ran down the hill by the boat.Snugging my sweater around me, I hollered at CFM to throw me my sandals. ( I didn't know it was 30 degress outside, the coolness hadn't seeped into the house.)

Then I took off after them. Up and down the hill, over tree branches and dead limbs, through the wet gumbo (louisiana mud) up the hill and over concrete steps and old bricks. Tiger stopped and climbed a tree just out of Dusty's reach and I thought, oh good, I've got him.

The the cat jumped over him and he took off. I was stepping gingerly on the steep hill which was getting steeper and brushier, the closer they got to the Wildlife refuge. Ironic huh? The wild cat taking wild pup into the refuge to lose him.

I was getting desperate to catch him, the leaves and briars were getting thicker, the palmettos slapping my sides as I tried to run after them, yelling toward the house, Hey, and Help, hoping CFM would hear me. Then the maniac twins were entering the refuge about a quarter mile from the house. My sweater got hung on a thorn tree and I began to fear that would not catch my crazy little dog. When the terrain got more difficult for his short legs Tiger sat just out of reach and waited on him to catch up.

I was out of reach and sound of the house, my only hold card - the little treat that was still in my pocket. I pushed branches and palmettos aside and kept telling him to come. Yeah right. Once he actually looked at me and I said, "Dusty, Treat," and held it out.

The cat moved away grabbing his attention. Cat 10, Marley 0.

My hands and feet felt like they were getting frostbitten, my nose was running, and I was getting scared that I wasn't going to catch Dusty in this trashy, rough terrain. I kept thinking, thank God it's not hot, because it's rattlesnake territory.

Finally, the cat perched on the end of a log that Dusty couldn't jump over without extra effort. He turned and I offered the treat. He came over and sniffed, then stole the treat and ran off. Talk about panic! Now I'm screaming at him. Dusty. Dusty, drop it. Uh huh, he understands, drop it, right? But I got lucky.

He always drops it to get a good bite on it so as I came closer, I noticed it was a foot away from him. I reached for it and this time I held it firmly in my hand. "Come here, sweetie," I said aloud, thinking, you crazy little fart, wait til I get my hands on you. As he reached me I grabbed him, holding tight as he wiggled. And started back toward the house, knowing I'd have to be double careful getting there. If I dropped him and he took off again, I wouldn't be catching him this time.

Okay, so why didn't I take his picture as he stood on the other side of the thorn trees, briars, downed limbs and foot deep leaves of the wildlife refuge. The little bugger's eyes gleamed with maniacal intent. The cat sitting nearby, non-chalant, as if this wasn't all her fault.

I was too damn cold.

Never again..

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Eliminating Writer's a**

I've often wished there was a viable solution for working while treadmilling. I'd seen pictures like this on the net.

This week, Robin Kaye wrote about her experience with a new treadmill setup over at the Casablanca Authors blog.

She must have a pretty handy hubby. If CFM and I attempted to recreate this, not only would the desk and treadmill be unusable but we would be divorced. We nearly got one over a simple doghouse.

I'm anxious to see how it works for her. I can see the benefits in fitness and creativity. Surely there are a few hundred writers who would spring for one, enough to make the manufacture of it worthwhile.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I love dragons

Just when you think you've run out of great new-to-you authors you luck up and find an author that has a backlist of books you can dive into.

I've been reading Katie MacAlister's You Slay Me and I've fallen in love with Drake, a green dragon. Who would Drake be if they made a movie of Aisling Gray's story. I know who would play her lovable demon - the Newfie who won the Westminster Dog Show in 2004. Josh.

Although it seems that Josh has more class than Aisling's demon.

Instead of reading the first book, I downloaded it from Audible. Barbara Rosenblat does a wonderful job of narrating with characterizations of an Italian dragon, a Hungarian dragon, a French cabbie, and a Newfie. I loved it. It is laugh-out-loud enjoyable. You can read more about Katie's upcoming books and the world of her dragons at

New motherhood

"Mine. It's Mine."

Though I love the little lovable, too smart for his own good or mine puppy, he is playing havoc with my life. Writing-sleeping-housecleaning-interruptus. This boy has taught me the meaning of being a new mother. And at my age. Well, it will be great fodder for a book.

I kept thinking about what Leah told me about being in charge. I'm determined that I will be the boss.

Today, we tried to overcome Dusty's bad behavior to get his collar on him. CFM, big guy that he is, succumbed to Dusty's flailing by letting go and getting bitten. So after he left, Dusty and I had a talk. I managed to get the collar on him but it wasn't tight enough and of course, he ended up in a bind with it locked in his jaws.

Then we had to work through that crisis which seems to have given him some faith in my handling him. Each time he got through the traumatic process he got a treat. Maybe we're building a little respect between us. I hope so. That's one of my goals today. To get a leash on him so I don't have to chase him into the night, down the muddy hill to the bayou, or off into the Wildlife refuge where the night predators can get him.

It gives me nightmares just thinking about it.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday is Here!

Finally! For a little while there it looked like the satellite might get rained out for the game.

For the record, I pick Curt Warner and Bruce Springsteen.

I know, as I write this, the Steelers' Harrison, made the longest play in Super Bowl history for a touchdown just before the half. As an unpublished writer, I have to appreciate this man's persistence. He was cut four times before coming to the Steelers in 2002.

His first year with the Steelers he thought he was going to be cut again admitting that he didn't understand the defense. Amazed that he escaped the first season cut, he started to learn more about his position, studying training tapes and working with coaches. Last year he learned as much as he could about the entire defense. He studied his craft, his industry, learned more about his responsibilites and his team, then figured out how to make the changes that would turn his failures into success. This year he was named Defensive Player of the Year. What an inspiration.

To start everything off Jennifer Hudson sang the Star Spangled Banner. A beautiful rendition that made us all proud.

Then the BOSS did the best Super Bowl halftime show in history. When he started singing Glory Days it seemed as if the crowd could have rocked all night.

Springsteen and the E Street Band performing Born to Run.

The bittersweet thing about Super Bowl Sunday is no football for six months. :-(