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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Worth Blogging About

Yes, I've been neglecting the blog. But really, there just hasn't been much blog-worthy going on. I wish I were like some of my blog buddies ... okay, all of my blog buddies, LOL, who can come up with interesting things to say each and every day. No one has ever accused me of being quiet, and yet... I'm clueless most days on what to blog about.

With summer vacation in full swing, and my nose to the grindstone as much as possible to keep on top of my workload, there just hasn't been much happening. My oldest son started summer school this week; don't even get me started on my feelings about this. I went to school when teachers actually taught--if a student wasn't catching on, they took a little extra time to work with them. Not anymore. (No offense to those of you out there who are teachers; my anger is directed at one particular school district. I've talked to plenty of "good" teachers about this; sadly, my son's teacher wasn't one of them. ) Now sending that student to school for two weeks in the summer is supposed to make up for it. Nothing quite like dragging an 8 year old out of bed at 7 a.m. after he's gotten used to sleeping til ten for the past month. Anyway, summer school is held at a school over near my parents, about 3-4 miles from my house. Not far, but in morning traffic, a good 15 minute commute. With gas prices the way they are, and mom and dad's house only a block from the school, it hardly makes sense to come home. School is only 90 minutes long, so by the time I get home, toss in some laundry, load up the dishwasher, etc., it's already time to head back over to get him.

Anyway, I had a point to this blog, didn't I??? Ah yes. Drum roll please. My something worth blogging about is.... my new website!! Ever visit someone's website and think wow, I wish I had a website like that! Well, it happened--and now I do. The incredibly talented Pamela Roller put it together for me. I absolutely love it. I really, really wanted to do my own webpage, but the little time I had to devote to it just wasn't enough. It's hard for me to give up on something like that, but when I saw what she could do... I just knew I had to have her do my webpage! And she didn't disappoint! It's both sides of me--the feminine "girly girl" side that likes hearts and flowers and pearls--and the old west, historical side of me that thinks things like six shooters and cowboys are way cool, LOL. I still need to update some of the information, but I'm so delighted about the way it looks!

Won't you stop by and check it out?
These pictures, btw, are of a recent outing. My "back yard" so to speak. No, I don't live right on the water (I'm still a few best sellers away from that!) but within walking distance. I was amazed at how calm these swans were --they can be quite aggressive even when they're not with a baby. But the big guy here on the left was actually taking crackers and bread right from people's hands. They were amazing -and beautiful- to watch. The sea gulls and geese were out in full force, too. It was funny to watch people trying to drive past who had to slow down to wait for the geese waddling across the road, or actually had to back up and turn around because the geese were too slow.

Home sweet home. What is it about writers and water, anyway?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Very Happy Fourth!

If you are, or have ever been, a migraine sufferer, you’ll understand when I say I’ve been to hell and back this past week. Weather has always been one of my worst migraine triggers; summer is probably the season where I see them the most. Whether it’s the constant back and forth from muggy outdoor heat to cool air conditioned indoors, or the frequent fluctuations from damp to dry or hot to cool conditions, it’s enough to have me ducking and running for cover.

The past week saw a lot of those kinds of fluctuations and a lot of migraines. It also saw a family funeral (the stress of which also triggered a migraine!) So I apologize for not getting back with blogs about the book signing.

So how did it go? LOL. Well… it went. Christine(in the green Starbucks apron along with me, center in the blue jacket, and my two CP’s Kathy and Melissa) was sweet to set it up. But she and I both realized within a very short time that most people venturing into Starbucks that night were in search of coffee. Not books. The weather cooperated with a picture perfect summer evening—so perfect in fact that it turned out to be one of the quietest evenings they had seen in Starbucks for quite some time. I sold all of two books, one each of The Model Man and one Small Town Christmas. Both to the same person. A friend who came out to the book signing. But nothing ventured nothing gained, so at least now I can say I’m a seasoned pro at book signings. And next time… maybe I’ll bring a book to read, LOL.

I did get to take some time out for some serious rest and relaxation on July 4th. My hubby always takes the week of the 4th for vacation. Rainy weather kept us all indoors those first couple of days, and with me with a migraine to begin with, it was not entirely pleasant with all of us being cooped up together. But the Fourth was the most perfect summer day you can imagine (and the first day in nearly a week I woke without a migraine!) Not too hot, not a rain cloud in sight—just sunny blue skies and comfortably warm temperatures.

If I’ve said it before, it bears repeating; no one knows how to celebrate the Fourth of July like my adopted hometown. Our town parade sees marching bands from other towns who don’t celebrate on the grand scale that we do, as well as pretty much any politician running for office. There’s always a big turn out. My dh has dragged me along to this for thirteen years now, and at some point, he stopped “dragging” LOL, I pretty much go willingly. After the parade there’s an old fashioned celebration on the grounds of our town hall with games for the kids, music, craft booths, food and lots of relaxation. Hot dogs, Italian sausage loaded with peppers and onions, lemonade, apple pie on a stick—it’s all there. The kids played games—after all these years, the duck pond is still my favorite!—and browsed the crafts and other goodies. There’s a gentleman there every year who sells homemade lollipops; my kids look forward to that. I look forward to the fudge lady whose peanut butter fudge tastes almost as good as the kind my dad used to make. After lunch, we sat around beneath the shade of one of the many, many maple trees, enjoyed the band and a cooling breeze. Not once did I think about work, laundry, writing or any of the things I “should” be doing. I think it’s probably the only day of the year I’m really able to fully relax. This year's celebration was made even nicer by my father-in-law joining us; in the 60+ years he's lived here, he's never once gone to the parade, so the boys were glad to have Papa along and we all enjoyed the festivities together.

My boys are still too young to stay up until ten o’clock to go to the town fireworks (the oldest could stay up that late, but I think by the time we got back he'd be pretty wiped out!). My youngest especially was feeling the effects of a change in his asthma medicine and quite tired, but my 8 YO stayed up to watch the Macy’s fireworks on television and we snuck outside to oooooh and aaaaaahhh over what we could see of the fireworks happening at Town Hall, and a few neighbors joined in the celebration with their own displays, so he didn't feel too deprived, LOL.

The good news is I feel refreshed, relaxed and ready to return to the daily grind of work and writing tomorrow. How about you?

How was your holiday? Do you celebrate quietly with loved ones –or host the biggest cook out in the county?

The Struggle is Real Week 8: When Life Hits Back

  It’s been nearly two weeks since my last post. Did anyone notice I was missing?   But I have good news/bad news.   The good news. I wr...