Wednesday, March 21, 2018


This has been a strange two weeks.  I knew my dad was having knee surgery on the 14th, so the entire family (sans older working kids) met in Terre Haute to celebrate my Teen's 14th birthday (March 1st).

3/11, Terre Haute
#1:  In hindsight, I should have switched places with my spouse, because we were in a cramped half booth/half table, and I was across from my dad, with my granddaughter at the end.  He was across the table from C, the family friend, who really doesn't care for him. 

#2:  After the stressful meal, in which Mom called me to the bathroom to express her displeasure with my spouse's attitude, I texted my BFF to meet me at McD's, so I could see her and get a sweet tea before continuing on north.  She wasn't able to, so I decided to go to her house and 'decompress'.  It was a good hour of catching up, then I headed north.

3/12-15, Lafayette:
(Mon):  Rather quiet. Dad took me out and showed me the route for where to drive Mrs. Sato on Thursday, and made a quick trip to the grocery store.  Mom and I fixed pork chops for dinner.

(Tues):  Mom's friend Remi and her friend Sue arrived for a visit, so I replaced the Valentine's Day decorations with the Easter ones, and vacuumed the floors.  Around 6:30, Remi, Sue, Mom, and I decided to go to Applebee's for dinner.  Dad declined the invitation, and we had a nice time.

(Wed):  Took Dad to hospital at 6am.  I picked up a pager from the front desk, then was able to hang out with him while they got his insulin level down.  They took him down at 8, and I went to the cafeteria for breakfast, and to find a quiet corner to read, since the waiting room was a little noisy.  They had said the procedure would take 3 hours, so I settled down.  90 minutes later, a nurse found me and told me the surgeon wanted to speak to me.  I checked the pager; it was silent.

Surgeon showed me before and after pics of Dad's aneurism, and said he'd spend the next hour or so in Recovery.  I opted to stay upstairs at that point.  An hour later, the volunteer told me Dad was alert and talking in Recovery, just waiting for a room.  Again I checked my pager.  Nada.  Another half hour went by before they told me where his room was.  I handed over my useless pager and remarked, 'Why did they give me this thing, if they weren't going to use it?'

Volunteer had no answers, but wished us well.

I found Dad's room and was told a) they were keeping him overnight and b) he would be unable to drive for a week.  No problem; that's why I was there.

(Thurs):  I drove Mrs. Sato to her Cardiac Rehab exercise and back home, then went to the hospital to spring Dad.  Got him settled, then packed my small suitcase and headed to my son's school, for a meeting about next year's DC field trip.  Afterward, I took myself to Buffalo Wild Wings (BW3) and indulged in my favorite Parm-Garlic boneless wings, french fries, and of course, basketball, since the NCAA tournament had begun.  After watching the 2nd half of two games, I drove to friend MB's house, nearly hitting a deer on the way.  I'd seen the 1st one, and stopped until it made up its mind to cross the road, but never saw the 2nd one as it passed within inches of my front bumper!  Made it safely to her house, then curled up on the bed and watched two more games before turning out the light.

3/16-17, Nashville, TN and Indianapolis:
(Fri):  MB and I left for Nashville around 8 or so, and arrived safely in Nashville, for the Weekend With The Authors.  1st person we saw at the Speed Dating was the always lovely Jean Joachim, then we spoke with several others, including Sarah Cass (whom I'd met back in Sept), Paige Tyler, and Elle James.  Went to lunch with Sandy and Shaun, Jean and Sarah, and ate off the buffet (making sure I could see the Purdue b-ball game, ha ha!).  Jean, Sarah, and I 'talked shop' until 3, and MB loved it, since she'd just completed her 1st story, and was soaking up all the knowledge she could:)  Attended the 'Readers Make The Wold Go Round' and Sci-Fi panels before saying goodbye to Sandy and Sarah, and heading back.

I was a little irked at MB on the way back.  She'd programmed her GPS for both trips, and the trip back took us a different way, esp when we were clearly close to I-64!  Why didn't she turn off Siri, follow 64-69 and back to her house, rather than follow Siri's (IMHO) BONEHEAD directions through winding country roads, when the interstate was RIGHT THERE?  To me, it made zero sense.  Especially after my near-miss with the deer just twenty-four hours before!

I'd already decided to forego driving back to Lafayette, and just buy a cheap green shirt at Walmart, then continue onto to Indy on Sat.

(Sat):  Got up at 6, and was on the way to Walmart by 6:30.  Found a cute Pug Crawlin' black and green tee in the men's section, plus green top hat earrings, and hopped on I-69 north.  Got off at Martinsville to cruise past our old church, and followed 37 to 144, where I crossed over to 67, which ultimately turns into Kentucky Ave, and would take me downtown.  Arrived at the hotel around 9:30, but the event wasn't ready yet.  Hung out with Cindy Barton, a reader I've met at several events, and her friend Denise, who recognized the Kenzie Michaels name.  Yay, I've met another Kenzie fan:)  Anyway, the room finally opened up an hour later, and I made it halfway around the room before lunch was announced.  Cindy, Denise, and I sat at the self-proclaimed 'Fun Table', and whatever spicy/dijon mustard was on my sandwich soon had my mouth on fire.  After lunch, I picked up where I'd left off, then went around with my camera and 'autograph' notebook.  Got to meet Jayne Rylon, whom I've heard about for years!

Minor Observations:
1)  Paranormal Romance and Motorcycle Club (MC) are 'hot' this year.
2)  A lot of Indie authors are writing in that horrible, 1st person, present tense POV.  WHY?
3)  One author needed formatting help.  His book had no page numbers; no headers/footers; the margins were wide; it just looked unprofessional (says the author who injected no headers/footers or page numbers until last year....*whistles*).
4)  This one blows my mind.  One author's books were formatted ALL to LEFT side!  WTH?  When I questioned her about it, she said her publisher did it, then corrected it.  I would not have let my author display/sell such a horrible book.  I told her I was interested in her story, but was not going to buy the print book until the formatting was corrected, and wished her well in future ventures.

Left around 3:30 and drove back to Lafayette.

3/17-present, Lafayette:
(Sat):  Arrived at Mom's, and ate filet mignons while watching the 2nd round games with Mom.

(Sun):  Watched the church's live stream, then spent a lazy day watching basketball.  Mom ordered Chinese; family friend CC picked it up and joined us for dinner.

(Mon):  Took Mom to Young At Heart, then to get her blood drawn.  Came home, picked up Dad and took him for his blood draw, then went to the grocery store.  Ate leftover Chinese for dinner.

(Tues):  Dad went with me to drive Mrs, Sato to her reading lesson (we went to the church for an hour to read), then to her exercises.  Came home, picked up Mom, and drove her to her Wound Care appointment (Nurse practitioner was a former student of Mom's, and we didn't know if he was intimidated by her, or if he'd neglected to take his afternoon ADHD meds....seriously, the guy repeated himself several times and seemed overly eager to be helpful!), then had lunch at Subway (chicken teriyaki sandwich and broccoli-cheese soup, yum!), before taking her to get her hair cut.  Made mine for April 10th.

(Today):  The plan is to take Dad to the bank, then to CC's to pick up a lasagna, then to Small Group Bible Study.  Mom apparently had a rough night, and needs to stay home and sleep.  So we're apparently having lasagna tonight.  I will watch Survivor and Criminal Minds, then catch up on my 70's sitcoms online.

Dad will be cleared to drive tomorrow, but he's not supposed to lift more than 10 pounds for a month, which means no taking out the trash or carrying in groceries.  Looks as if I'm elected to stay until April 11th.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Flashback Friday: Oops....Busted!

March 1987:
Back in January, I'd received my 1st speeding ticket.  I'd dutifully called the Knox County Superior Court and asked who to make the check out to, and mailed in my $45 payment....I also broke up with CS on Valentine's Day, but returned the next week in order to party and say goodbye.  But Fate had other plans.....

When I arrived that final weekend, the gang introduced me to an albino guy, DB.  He and I ended up clicking, personality-wise, so I was reluctant to return to BSU.   We exchanged phone numbers, then I returned to take my final exams for the quarter and to get ready for Spring Break.

My father met me at the door, a little upset.

"Did you know you cannot pay a speeding ticket with a check?  Also, I told you not to drive the car over 65 mph.  You were going 68."

I thought to myself, then I won't tell you I was actually going 73 when he pulled me over!  Outwardly, I agreed, and went to the bank as soon as I could, in order to get a money order and pay my fine!

Since I was the only one on Break, the house was quiet, so DB and I spoke on the phone quite often.

Next Month:  Phone Bill Fiasco and 1st Official Job

Present Day:
Miss Melissa and I are headed to Nashville today!  Dad's surgery was a success, though he's not supposed to drive or lift over 10 lbs for the next week or so.  Tomorrow, I'll be at Wanderlust In Indy, down on Monument Circle (Sheridan Hotel???)/ 

Dad had to spend the night, so I drove Mrs. Sato to her exercises, then 'sprung' Dad, dropped off and picked up his prescriptions, then headed first to the CMS meeting for next year's trip to DC, ate dinner at BW3, and headed for Petersburg to spend the night with Melissa and Claire Bennett.  I'll return to Lafayette late tonight, then head to Indy tomorrow.  I'll probably sleep all day Sunday, ha ha....then drive Mrs. Sato all next week, plus take Mom and Dad to appointments.  My next 'personal day' is a week from Monday, when I have to be present for an intake meeting at The Willows for my Teen.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Flashback Friday

February 1978:
The only thing I remember is enjoying the deep snow, plus sledding at a friend's house on her new saucer....we used her front yard instead of the driveway, and again, everything went fine until we both hit a tree or two.  No serious injuries, but it caused us to re-think our sled path!

March 1978:
I don't remember when we got our first black lab/shepherd mix Pepper, but he begins showing up in pictures this month.  I do remember the night Mom brought home the cats Gus (gray longhair) and Morgan (Main Coon longhair)....she'd been at a late evening meeting, and I woke up to the sound of meowing.  I climbed out of bed and was excited by the sight of one feline prowling the living room and my mom opening the door with another indignant feline in her arms!

She wasn't sure how my dad was going to react to the new pets; someone at the meeting needed to get rid of both cats, and my mom had offered.

Gus was the friendlier of the pair, but the job of cleaning up his hairballs soon fell on me, a job I hated.  I managed to win Morgan over eventually, even getting her to purr.  She liked to climb on the top of my shelves, and do the 'let's-give-my-owner-a-heart-attack-and-move-around-her-breakables-without-knocking-anything-off' trick.  I held my breath one more than one occasion, fearful that my antique liquor bottle was about to be smashed! 

Hindsight:  I don't know whatever happened to that bottle....maybe it disappeared when I went off to college???

My piano lessons continued to go well, and even my music teacher took note that I was picking out songs on the piano during Girl Scout Fly Up practice.

I also think this was the month I began writing letters to SH and DH, since their birthday is March 17th (St. Patrick's Day).

Next Month:  1st 'Recital'

Present Day:
Getting ready to head back up to Lafayette for Hell Week-er, I mean, being helpful after my dad's surgery!  Dad's surgery is Wed, and has to spend the night.  Thursday afternoon, I have to leave by 3 in order to be back at the middle school for an informative meeting about next year's class trip to DC.  Friday, I'm scheduled to be in Nashville, TN.  Saturday, it's the Wanderlust book signing in Indianapolis.  Really hoping Dad's okay without me until Saturday night.....

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Date Night With The Daughter:)

Three years, three movies.  Can you guess which one?

Daughter:  Let's go see the new *Movie based on the Book Which Shall Not Be Named*.
Me:  Sure; I hope the screenplay is better written/edited than the book!

After watching (with five others in the theater)....
We sat probably center-screen.
Daughter:  I paid $17 for that?
Me:  I liked it!  WOW!  Love the music!!!  But did you notice at times it was if she'd forgotten to wax completely?  Ugh....peach fuzz on legs.
Daughter:  Yeah, I noticed that too.  Ugh.

Daughter:  Mom, the sequel's out....I got my tax refund, so let's go see it.
Me:  Okay:)

During Movie (again, with maybe 5 others in attendance):
We sat in the top row, center-screen.
Daughter:  *drooling over the sight of a shirtless Jamie Dornan doing push ups on a table*
Me:  *trying to fall asleep several times during this booooooring movie!*

After watching:
Daughter:  OMG....that scene.....that scene!  I'm so in love with him!
Me:  Just take me home......

Daughter:  Mom, which time is better for you?
Me:  *sigh*  We might as well finish this tradition....sure, the 10pm show works for me.
Me (to spouse in private):  I wonder if I'll be able to finally snooze through this one, since I tried 3-4 times during the last one?  Thank god I woke up early this morning.

During Movie:
Like the previous times, there were only about 5 other people in the place with us. We sat just behind the handicapped seats, center-screen.  We shared pretzel bites during the Coming Attractions, and decided we need to go see the Jane Fonda/Candice Bergman/Diane Keaten one AND the new Amy Schumer "I Feel Pretty" one coming out!

Onscreen:  C wakes up, notices he's alone in bed.  Goes into kitchen, opens the refrigerator.
A:  Hello.
C (closes fridge and turns around):  I've been looking all over for you!
Me:  In the fridge?
Daughter (giggling):  I know, right?
Me:  OMG....that kitchen!  I want him AND the kitchen!
Daughter:  Same here!

Onscreen:  A smears ice cream over C's chest, then licks it off.
Daughter:  She's doing that waaaay too fast.
Me:  Maybe the director is telling her to speed it up, otherwise it's going to end on the cutting room floor....

Onscreen:  This apparently happens in the same day, b/c A is wearing the same clothing.
A tells a bearded C he needs to shave.  (Previous scene, he was clean-shaven)
Five minutes later, he now has 'scruffy look'.
Me:  Wow, his beard grows fast!
Daughter:  I know.....what the hell was wrong with the beard?
C takes A to new house site.  His scruffy look now looks more like 5 o'clock shadow.
Daughter:  I love that house!
Me:  Me too!  Don't change a thing, other than minor repairs:)

Onscreen:  Clearly in Aspen, Co, and both A and C are in a bubble bath, in front of open window.
Daughter:  OMG....that view of the mountains!
Me:  I know!  (Wow, what does that say about us, not being turned on by the site of two naked people in a bath, but by the sight of the mountains out the window???  LMAO!!)

Onscreen:  A is signing check.
Me:  Did she just sign her maiden name?
Daughter:  I think so.....
But yet, check is cashed???

Onscreen:  A is slapped twice and kicked in stomach.  She still manages to fire a gun while lying on the floor AND hit the kidnapper in the knee.  She wakes up in the hospital and the first thing she does is remove the oxygen tube.  WTH?????
Daughter:  She looks way more banged up than just being smacked twice.
Me:  That's from the multiple takes.  I'd have demanded a stunt double....or blame make up person.

During Credits:
Me:  When was 'Elena's ex-husband' onscreen?
Daughter:  What?
Me (pointing):  See?  I didn't even know he was a character.
Daughter:  Probably someone who just wanted credit for being an extra.
Me:  Wonder if the author of said trilogy was ever an extra in these movies?

After Movie:
Me:  Your favorite scene from #2 was in it!
Daughter:  I know.....too bad it was at the end, though.
Me:  We may actually have to buy this one.  Nice way to wrap it all up.
Daughter:  Yeah, I liked the final scene, with them all together at the new house, and she's pregnant again.
Me:  I also enjoyed the music in this one better than #2.  I enjoyed being with you tonight.
Daughter:  Yeah, it was fun.  Thanks for going with me, Mom.

Reality TV Catch Up

I thought I was going to keep up with Amazing Race, Ink Master, and Celebrity BB, but I didn't realize BB was going to air four nights a week.  Plus, with being gone and having to watch some episodes online or waiting until I returned, it was easier to simply skip the Saturday posts.  So here are the observations, short version:

Amazing Race:
I was extremely disappointed in several teams.

Team Ocean:  They were doing well, until a lost passport caused them to be twelve hours behind the other teams, once they arrived in Thailand.  Good effort, but also a good lesson for the reason you hang onto your passport, AND the red tape of getting a replacement!

Team Indy:  They missed being in the top 3 by one stupid sign clue, which they were standing in front of, and didn't recognize it.  Team Yale had tried to help them, but with Team BB on their heels, they couldn't be specific about it.  Phil had to come find them.  Still, very happy about their success to Final Four.

Team Yale:  Henry is probably kicking himself.  It was down to him, Jen, and Jess for the final challenge, and Henry had the plane assembled correctly, but second-guessed himself, swapped out one piece, and had to redo it.  Had he called for the check 1st, Team Yale would have won.

Team X-Treme:  That final airplane puzzle did Jen in.  She didn't understand what she was doing wrong.

Team BB:  Ugh.  Jess finally figured it out after 10 or 12 tries and was able to push her assembled airplane to the finish line.  I will admit, Cody was a beast at many of the challenges, while Jess whined her way through several, even getting snarky on two legs.  I soooo wanted BB to come in 2nd or 3rd!!!

Celebrity BB:
I was soooooooooo happy when that b**ch was voted out of the house!  For one thing, I have asthma, and her fake attempts drove me crazy!!  If you're having an attack, and you start talking in a long-winded rant, you don't suddenly pause and *cough cough*, you start coughing uncontrollably!!  Take it from one who coughs a LOT!

I had an eye-roll moment when Ross thanked Julie for the 'Full BB Experience' when slop was finally introduced.  Ummmm.....wait a minute.  If you wanted the Full Monty.....
     -Your season would have lasted 3 months, not one;
     -Slop would have been a punishment on Day #3;
     -Someone would have been a Have Not starting on Day #3;
     -Challenges would have been a little harder;
     -OTEV, and the Soap Slide would have been played;
     -I doubt alcohol would have flowed that freely;
     -There would have been 16 of you, not simply 11.

Marissa won, which earned her a 'meh' from me.....the only thing she did was align herself with Ross, and won a challenge when it counted.  There were 6 women and only 5 men, and all the women wanted a female to win BB.  Ross didn't stand a chance.

James....omg.....he's gorgeous!  I sooooooo wanted him to go farther in the game, and make it to the final two!!!  I was very impressed when he finally had enough of Brandy's bitchiness and told her a civilized manner!

Mark.....didn't do a great deal, other than quietly sit back and let the drama queens sink their own boats. that woman an alcoholic?

Keisha.....OMG woman....cut the cord!  My first thought when you said you were breast-feeding was why in the WORLD did you agree to do this?  Then when I found out your child is a YEAR OLD.....for god's sake, it's time to wean her!!  She can't stay attached to you forever!

Ink Master:
Still going on.  Teams are getting whittled down.

Friday, March 2, 2018

March 2018

For a short month, this one certainly dragged!  How did I do?

Finish Buying Inventory Check:)  All but more copies of TP.
Write Ch. 6 of Heart Song  Nope.
Start 'Bad Ideas' story Started 1/30 and finished 2/4!!!!!!
Finish paying WHH cover artist Not yet....
Lose 5 lbs (starting weight:  236)  Ugh....due to being at Mom's and the arrival of the GS cookies, I actually GAINED 5 lbs!  Went the wrong way, lol....
Watch SE7 Game of Thrones  Nope....
Watch Stranger Things on NetFlix SE1, check:)
Be helpful to the parents when Dad undergoes knee surgery (aneurysm behind knee cap) Scheduled for March 14th
File Taxes  Check:)  Filed March 1st.  Still don't have my SSI info...

Books Read:  4
            Print:  1
        E-Book:  3

Karaoke Songs Added:  6
                            Thurs:  0  (Due to weather, Brower's sickness and being out of town.)
                                 Sat:  6

March Goals:
Lose the 5 pounds I put on last month (241)
Buy copies of Teacher's Pet and Winning Her Heart (need 5 more copies of each)
Write Ch. 6 of Heart Song
Finish paying Val $25
Pay Cynthia for AU covers ($60)
Watch SE7 Game of Thrones
Watch SE2 Stranger Things on NetFlix
Be helpful when Dad has his knee surgery on the 14th  Check:)
Spend an enjoyable day in Nashville, TN at Weekend with Authors  Check:)
Spend an enjoyable day at WanderLust Indy  Check:)
Convince family to pay for 2019 trip to Washington DC
Figure out what to do for Holy Week/Easter.

Reading Schedule:
Stealing Fate-Rachel Aukes  Wonderful story!
Beguiled On A Christmas Morning-Sandra Sookoo
The Night Circus-Erin Morgenstern
The Party-Robyn Harding
Fiction Sample-Alianne Donnelly
Change of Heart-Jodi Picoult

The Last July-Breanna Thaman  Took me a while to 'warm up' to this story...enjoyed it:)
Perfect Stranger-Morgan Kay
The Guardian Angel of FarFlung Station-Edward Hoonaert
Meet Me In Fantasyland-Mary Martinez  Awesome story!  Slightly cliche', but still excellent!
Naughty or Nice-Amber Skyze  According to GR, I've already read this!  Didn't remember it, but enjoyed it:)
Southern Roads-Robin Michaela
The Cradle Maker-Sandra Sookoo
Cowboy Dreamin'-Sandy Sullivan
Drive Me Crazy-Mysti Parker
Big Bad Wolf-Elle Doolittle
Wheeler-Sara Butler

Karaoke Songs:
Same Auld Lang Syne-Dan Fogelberg  Did well:)  Voice slightly scratchy.
Who Are You-The Who Did okay on sucks, since had to place camera to my back.
Who Can It Be Now-Men At Work Nailed it:)
Modern Day Delilah-Van Stephenson  DNH
My Favorite Things-Julie Andrews Nailed it:)
Who Knew-Pink  Did well, but the crowd drowned me out.  Will re-sing.
***Note:  Due to Dad's surgery, I'll only be able to sing twice this month.*****

Party All The Time-Eddie Murphy DNH
Party In The USA-Miley Cyrus  Warbled my way through it....not too awful, ha ha...
Patience-Guns-n-Roses (??)  Did well:)
Payphone-Maroon 5  DNH
Part of Your World-Jodi Benson/Disney  Did well:)
Paradise By The Dashboard Light (with Chewie)-Meat Loaf We had fun with it, but camera batteries died at the 2 1/2 minute mark.  Will redo when I return.
Peace of Mind-Boston  Nailed it:)
Who Knew-Pink Nailed it!  Now to re-sing at Willies.....
*****Note:  Due to Dad's surgery, I'll only be in town two weeks*******

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Flashback Friday: Making My Valentine Drool....

Feb 1998
I called T.

"Will you be my Valentine?"

"I'd like to be, but not this year."

"Too bad, because IF you were my Valentine, this is what would be waiting for you tonight:  Roasted pork loin, mashed potatoes, broccoli, fresh rolls, and a red velvet cake for dessert."

"WOW!  Is it too late to change my mind?  So......who's your Valentine this year?"

"Since it can't be you, then it's my kids."

Before you judge, remember, D was barely speaking to me and with the accident the previous month, was now making weekly trips to the chiropractor.  We were also getting ready to file our taxes.

Next Month:  Tax Refund Arrives!!!

Present Day:
I was supposed to head home today, since my dad's surgery isn't until March 14th, but woke up feeling wonky yesterday.  Hopefully having lunch with a friend, as well as attending a teleconference with Hydra.

Don't know if I'll go to Kimmieoke tonight at the Eagles, or stay home and watch the Olympics.

Yesterday was a crazy day:  Lindsey Vonn ended up in 5th place in the women's Super G when Austria took over 1st and pushed her to 4th.....then a Czech Republic skier edged out Austria for the gold by .001 of a second!

In men's Figure Skating, Nathan Chen skated a near-flawless long program to go from 17th to first, until Japan edged him out. Then Spain and the final Japanese skater pushed him off the podium.  It ended up being Japan 1st and 2nd, Spain 3rd, and USA 4th.

I'd speculated that since Chen was now in 17th, maybe the pressure would be off and he'd land all his quads.....he did, doing 6, and only bobbling on one of them:)  When Andrea Joyce interviewed him, he confirmed it:  He just wanted to enjoy the moment, with no pressure:)