Saturday, April 7, 2018

April 2018

March was a strange month; I was only around the first two weeks, then returned for the weekend!  
Update On Dad: 
Thought his lifting restriction was going to be the same as his driving restriction, 1 week.  Nope; he's not allowed to lift anything heavier than 10 lbs for a month!  So my time at home again this month will only be the last two weeks!

So How Did I Do On March's Goals?
Lose the 5 pounds I put on last month (241)  Nope; put on 1 lb.  Grrrrr......
Buy copies of Teacher's Pet and Winning Her Heart (need 5 more copies of each) Check:)
Write Ch. 6 of Heart Song  Nope
Finish paying Val $25 Check:)
Pay Cynthia for AU covers ($60) Check:)
Watch SE7 Game of Thrones Nope; too busy
Watch SE2 Stranger Things on NetFlix Nope; too busy
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 Maybe???
Figure out what to do for Holy Week/Easter. Check:)

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

Karaoke Songs Added:  10
                            Thurs:  5
                                 Sat:  5

Inventory Ordered?  Yes:)

April Goals:
Write Ch. 6 of Heart Song
Lose 5 pounds (242...I'm going the wrong way!)
Watch SE7 Game of Thrones
Watch SE2 Stranger Things on NetFlix
Convince family to pay for 2019 trip to Washington DC (need to sign up by end of month)
Buy inventory of Arbor U 1-6  Proof copies, check:)
Good sales at Kentucky Author's Fair  Sold 4:)
Good sales at Dale signing  Sold 1:)
Finish cleaning out magazines and back room of brown house
Finish cleaning out green house
Dispose of junked appliances
Contact Helping His Hands or Habitat Restore about doors/windows/carpet

Reading Schedule:
Beguiled On A Christmas Morning-Sandra Sookoo  Good story!
The Night Circus-Erin Morgenstern  Excellent story!!  Was hooked by page 2:)  DRR
The Party-Robyn Harding  Excellent!  DRR
Fiction Sample-Alianne Donnelly  DNF.....moved it down the stack to try again next month or so.
Change of Heart-Jodi Picoult Turns out I've already read this, but enjoyed the re-read:)
Starwalker-P. Jameson
Legally Bound-J.R. Gray
Satan's Press Secretary-Tobi Doyle/Rebecca Barray
Matt Jackson, Catcher-Jean Joachim
Jake Lawrence-Jean Joachim
Born Into Trouble-Maralisa DeMora
Drifting Sands-C.J. Baty
Rebirth-Amy Brock McNew
Loving Marie- L.A. Remenicky
Rebound Baby, Too-Tobi Doyle
Rebound Babies-Tobi Doyle/Rebecca Barray

The Guardian Angel of FarFlung Station-Edward Hoonaert  Very good:)
Perfect Stranger-Morgan Kay  Good!
Southern Roads-Robin Michaela  Excellent!  DRR
The Cradle Maker-Sandra Sookoo
Cowboy Dreamin'-Sandy Sullivan
Drive Me Crazy-Mysti Parker
Big Bad Wolf-Elle Doolittle
Wheeler-Sara Butler

Karaoke Songs:
Who Knew-Pink (re-sing)  Used wrong mic, but nailed it!
My Guy-Mary Wells Did well:)

Who Says You Can't Go Home-Bon Jovi
Blaze of Glory-Bon Jovi
Modern Girl-Sheena Easton
Whole Lotta Trouble-Stevie Nicks
Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On-Jerry Lee Lewis

Penny Lane-Beatles  Not too bad:)
Paradise By The Dashboard Light-Meat Loaf (re-sing)  Nailed it!
People Are People-Depeche Mode  Ugh...too low!
Perfect-Pink  DNH
Perfect World-Huey Lewis Need practice???
Perform This Way-Weird Al DNH
Personal Jesus-Depeche Mode  Surprisingly good!

Philidelphia Freedom-Elton John 1st time:  Flubbed a few lines and camera batteries died.
Physical-Olivia Newton-John
Piano Man-Billy Joel
Picture-Kid Rock/Sheryl Crowe

Huge congrats to the 2018 NCAA Champs, Villanova!  Defeated Michigan 79-62!!!!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Flashback Friday: 1st 'Recital'

April 1978:
I'm not sure if it was after a PTA meeting, practice for Girl Scout Fly Ups, or what, but our music teacher, Ms Gramza, overheard me picking out It's A Small World on the piano.  Since several of us were taking lessons, she decided to have an inpromptu 'recital' during class one day.

I agonized over what to play.  I hadn't yet mastered IASW, and could only play Amazing Grace on the black keys, so I decided to play my favorite song out of the back of my 1st piano book.  Since it was short, I improvised, and played it twice.  But I was still jealous of the fact my friend K was playing a classical piece.  It helped that others on guitar, trumpet, and flute were also playing pieces from a Beginning Book!

Friend Pam F had her appendix out.

During scouts, we needed two flag bearers for the opening ceremony for the Fly Ups.  I'd previously been part of the color guard, the one who screwed the pole into the base.  All the 6th grade girls' names were put into a hat, and Tracy and I were chosen, both the leaders' daughters!  Eight of us were also chosen to sing On My Honor.

Our Spring Frolic arrived; our two sixth grade rooms were turned into a disco.  My parents operated the Book Nook, and I loved sorting the donated books and setting aside the ones I wanted.  My sister and I wore jumpsuits; hers was red and mine was green, both worn with white turtlenecks.  We thought we looked awesome, and even worked up the nerve to dance to a few Saturday Night Fever songs!

Next Month:  6th Grade Graduation

Present Day:
4th week of 'vacation'!  Weather is still cold, and even had snow flurries.  Mom and I have been shopping, and I've taken her to two appointments this week.

Going to stay in town this weekend, since karaoke is tomorrow night at the Outpost.  Planning to sing a few songs to commemorate the events of April 7, 1985.

In other news, this awesome lady turned 99 years young yesterday!!!

Mrs. Kazuko Sato, the Japanese lady whom my father chauffeurs around town.

Have a great weekend!!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Flashback Friday

Need to catch up a little here; I've been a bad blogger.

Feb 2008:
Swapped hair color with my daughter:)  She wanted her hair dyed black; we compromised with brown.  I got highlights, and was thrilled to be back to blonde again!

I also started the tradition of 'Totally Tasteless Limricks', anytime an online author friend had a new release.  Did anyone reciprocate?  No.  Sigh.....

I was sick on Valentine's Day, so was happy to eat soup at the Dogwood Restaurant, owned by Amish, who have wonderful potato soup, salad bar, bread and butter, and desserts:)  Occasionally, there will even be chicken and noodles on the buffet:)

My daughter also got into an altercation with her supposed BFF, and nearly got herself suspended.  Thankfully, the truth came to light, and she ended up with only a detention.

I decided to promote my 2nd book, and set up three signings in April:)

March 2008:
Had my 1st official book signing at B&N in Evansville, and was introduced to Ms BB Walters (now BC Brown), who, as it turned out, grew up in my adopted town.  We clicked instantly, and I got to meet several members of her family.  We promised to keep in touch, and now, ten years later, she's still one of my best friends:)

Next Month:  Easter, and two more book signings!

Present Day:
Week #3 with the parents!  Spent last weekend at home, since we had an appointment for the Teen, but Dad declared himself able to drive on Thursday.  He's still restricted from lifting greater than 10 lbs until after April 11th.

I'm heading home tomorrow, since Easter falls on Sunday, April 1st.  This has been a weird Lent season, with Ash Wednesday falling on Valentine's Day, and Easter and April Fools' Day being the same.

Friday:  Christ has died....
Three days later.....April Fool!
Yeah, that's a little irreverent, but come's also funny!

After the ice and snow Lafayetter/Indianapolis got last weekend, temps have been back in the 50s.  Ariel (and Phoenix, if boy) and Jaevon return home Sunday.  Alex has really enjoyed having Ariel around for two weeks:)

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 1988:
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.