Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I'm it!

The last time Susan tagged me, I had no idea what that meant. Now I get it, so here goes!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Eggnog. With rum and ice, please.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Santa wraps almost everything unless it's silly to bother. Most presents are from Mom and Dad.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Same answer as Susan: No lights on the house, but colored twinkly lights on the tree. I have fond memories of the big ones, but we use the little mini-bulbs. I miss those big bulbs.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Yes, in the office door at work, because it's fun to see the men blush when you threaten to kiss them. They're not supposed to be peeking in the office anyway.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Second week of December. We take them down after the first week of January.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? I love love bread stuffing with cranberries, apples and pecans, with gravy on it. Turkey, and cranberries.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: I got a pony for Christmas when I was eleven. I was both paralyzed and speechless - it's never happened since.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? It was so gradual, I don't even know when the truth finally settled in for good.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? When we were kids. My Auntie Marian always gave me a new nightie and a book, so I always opened hers. It was the only time I remember wearing something new that hadn't been washed yet.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Lights, some colored balls, some Hallmark ornaments, some homemade stuff. Gave up tinsel when the cats ate it - found it trailing out the bad end of Rudy and quit it right there. (shudder)

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it until it's dirty, or until the end of February.

12. Can you ice skate? Yes, at least I think I still can.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? That would be the pony. Hard to top that, really. Oh, um, I supposed I did get engaged on Christmas Eve. (G) I can't pick.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? The family, the lights, the whole atmosphere. The food, being cozy inside with Christmas carols when it's cold out. The magic.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Pecan pie, I think. But in our family we don't choose one dessert, my aunt makes five or six and we have some of everything. Then we lay on the floor and groan. Just kidding. We sit in chairs and groan.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Opening presents, and Christmas dinner.

17. What tops your tree? An angel, lit from within and holding two candles.

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? Giving.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Hmmm. I like silver bells the best, I think.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Meh. They're nothing to do with chocolate, after all.

Ok. passing this on to Renee, even though she's awol. And Jenny.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

And life goes on

DH came upstairs at around 11:30 last night, to find me wearing a few weary tears and a seven-month-old baby on my shoulder.

"It'd be nice if you could sleep during the day," he commented, taking the baby from me. It would be nice, but I've always found that idea to be just that - a nice idea. In practical terms it doesn't work.

"It's not about sleep," I told him, "it's about free time. That fifteen-minute bath is the only time I've had to myself all day."

So he's gone out to run some errands today - and get groceries! - and little boy is with him. Baby girl is asleep. And later, he's taking them both to Karate, so another hour alone for me. Yay!

I'm engrossed in Robert McKee just at present, so I'll I think I'll spend a precious half-hour on that. Then I'll write a bit. Why am I blogging? Greasing the joints, I think. Cheers!

Things I'm grateful for today:
  • It's sunny.
  • I have time alone. Wahoooo!
  • I chose well, and we made some beautiful kids.
  • Christmas is coming!
  • Last night, while Baby had her bath, little boy sat beside me on a heap of dirty laundry and looked at a book about the solar system. It was one of those moments that I know I'll remember, even though it wasn't important, exactly.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Baby seems to have added a new nap to her day, from 8 pm until 8:30 pm, at which time she awakes refreshed and ready to charm the pants off her tired mother until 11 pm. In the last three days I have spent zero time soaking in the tub, about one hour reading, and about half an hour writing. I feel a little tantrum coming on. (S)

Since she's asleep, I'm going to do something pointless and restful. Dunno what yet, but it's fer sure going to be useless, and I'll probably eat some of Little Boy's Halloween candy.

Hope y'all are doing well. I'll make the blog rounds later on. After the dentist and winter-boot shopping and...oh, nevermind.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Spent the morning nap so far futzing with my blog, and yes, I know it looks the same as it did. I'm going to make my own header, though, and I want to change the background, too. I'll figger it out, just you watch.

No writing. None. I've now got a contemporary paranormal and a historical paranormal in the works, and I'm feeling a little excited about the historical. That's the one I've been slogging for five years. And yes, I'm supposed to have given it up, but it won't go away. It keeps talking to me. I woke up the other day and realized that the MC is a trifle, well, dull. Too nice. So I'm going to give her red hair and a temper, change her backstory, her name, and her attitude. It ain't about the nice girl who learns to stand up for herself any more. Now it's about a spirited lass (named Copper, of all things, who names their kid Copper, anyway???) who flies in the face of peoples' expectations - and she won't say sorry, either. She still needs to learn to control the powers she was born with. She still has to make peace with her mother's rejection of her. Was her parents' death really an accident? She still thinks Kieran is hot. And hey, can't blame her. He is.

So, I'm feeling good. Will I fall on my face again? Probably. Do I think I'm an idiot going back to this WIP again? Yep. Just following my nose. See where it goes...

Things I'm grateful for today:
I'm alive, I get another chance.
Somewhere in this house there's a hot cup of tea, if I could just remember where I put it.
It's room temperature. Outside!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mediterranean Chicken and Sausage Stew

All right, fine. Here's my secret recipe for chicken and sausage stew. I think it might be even better left over.

4 big sausages (mild italian is nice, you could go spicier if you want)
2-3 chicken breasts, cut in 1" cubes
1/2 each red and green peppers, chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut in 1" cubes
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil - or 1/2 chopped fresh
1/2 cup ketchup - I like the broth thick and just a little sweet, omit ketchup if you don't
salt and pepper

Slice sausages and brown in biggish soup pot, set aside. Brown chicken, set aside. Stir-fry peppers, mushrooms, onion, garlic, celery until tender. Add meat, chicken broth, oregano, tomatoes and ketchup (and basil if you're using dried) and simmer 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add basil last if it's fresh, plus salt + pepper if you need it.

I often serve this with garlic bread and cold milk, but biscuits are good too.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I have a tendency to be a doormat. I’m a nice person, sometimes too much so. I love to be and do what the people around me need at any given time.

Thank heavens I come from a generation in which that quality is neither expected nor particularly admired – because if the giving and being and doing goes on too long, I begin to harbour secret resentments and frustrations. Then I go back and forth between feeling sorry for myself and wanting to stand up and holler. I eventually do the latter – usually over something petty and/or bizarrre – leaving the unlucky recipient of my sudden wrath both bewildered and hurt, and me feeling like a right proper ass.

Don’t get me wrong – I am loved. My needs are important to my family, and my husband will go any distance to meet them. Trick is, I don’t like to say what those needs are. I feel guilty asking for time to myself when I know the house is dirty and he’s tired and the kids are cranky and there’s laundry piling up in all the corners. As for any mother, there is always some little thing I could be doing, I’ll just do that and then I’ll sit down, but then Baby’s hungry, and I’m fine, it's okay, I’ll just put this laundry in…



So. Something for me to work on, and I suspect y’all are guilty of this too. So sometime this week, bat your eyelashes at the man who loves you, pass him the youngest child, and tell him you’re taking a bubblebath and then having a date with your keyboard. I’m going to.

Things I'm grateful for today:
The grocery stores are open Sundays now, so I can go buy a potroast for supper.
It's nice out, and Boy is getting some fresh air.
Baby's asleep, and I can have a quiet lunch - alone.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

I have a killer immune system. I’m never sick. The whole family can be hacking and wheezing and retching all around me and I stand healthy, the bearer of Puffs and the occasional bowl of chicken soup. Or an empty bowl, if that’s really necessary.

But oh, we’ll not be bragging about that today.

I have a sinus thing, and a runny nose and I’m cranky. The grocery store had no ginger, and I’m running very low, so soon I won’t be able to make my I’m-sick-and-I’m-going-to sulk-about-it-now-tea. Insert huge, pained sigh here and let’s move on.

Hearing test for Little Boy turned up with mild bilateral conductive hearing loss again. It should be treatable, it looks like it’s just fluid in the inner ear. Or too much fluid, I mean, I think there’s fluid there in any case…So, back to the family doctor and perhaps a specialist.

I’ve cleaned my desk and I’ve cleaned the hamster cage and the baby will be up soon. My poor, whithered mind, deprived of sleep and entertainment lo these past two weeks, is starting to stir and stretch. I miss my mc, and though I’ve only known her a short while, she wants me to get on with her story. Her mother needs me, too, and so it looks as though I’ll be having two protags this time around as well.

So, it’s back to the land of the writing. See you there.

Things I'm grateful for:
My slow cooker.
Baby's having a nice long nap.
I've got a little work done this morning.
I've still got a few minutes left for me.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dusting myself off...

I hope November is starting out well for you!

I know at least a few of you will share my pain when I say that the writing thing has just not been working this past week or so. With some sleep issues and stress from work, plus the usual stuff we have to get done, I haven't written at all in over a week.

So yesterday I decided to let Baby Girl have a little cry. The gentler ways to encouraage her to go to sleep on her own just seemed like tearing a band-aid off really sloooowly, for both of us. So sink or swim, little fishy! It took an hour the first time for her to fall asleep - and three minutes the second time. Whew. And this morning, about five minutes. I think we're going to be all right.

That said, it's a new month. A new start, and back on the horse for me. 500 words a day. Amazing how I've lost touch already.

I'm fighting the urge to rewrite as I go. I know the scenes I've started are so very sketchy that my plot leaps forward at a lightning pace with not nearly enough words to describe what's really there. I'm already geting stuck, even thought I know what happens next! So I'm forcing myself on to the next scene, just to keep going until I get to the end. I will rewrite once I've written! Maybe the whole thing will come out to 30K. C'est la vie. At least it will be whole, and I can fix that.