Friday, June 24, 2011

The one where we discuss my new story over dinner...

Last night Sean got to come home for dinner. It was family night at camp (you know, in our front yard). On family night, the families of the scouts come and have dinner in their campsites and there's a big campfire. But Lu and I weren't planning to go this week. We'll pop down next week when Sean's troop is in camp. So Sean had been home briefly earlier in the day, looking for something. And I mentioned that I was making Salmon Fettuccine for dinner and he decided he'd eat here. I did not invite Mike to eat at home because that is not a dinner he would like. So Sean comes home, Lu gets home from work and we sit down to eat.

Sean: Dad told everyone you didn't invite him to dinner.

Me: He wouldn't even like this!

Sean: I'm just telling you what he said.

Me: That man....grrr.

Me: So I wrote a story today for the friday flash on the vamplit blog. Remember that baboon leg lamp we saw on Oddities, Lu?

Lu: Yes. That thing was hideous! You wrote about that?

Me: The theme had to be "terrible taxidermy". Where do you even think you get a severed baboon leg?

Sean: You cut it off a baboon, duh.

Lu: Why would anyone even want that?

Me: Well in the story, the guy's obsessed with Africa...

Sean: Which is really stupid because Baboons are native to South America.

Lu: Mom! I thought you said you were going to research Baboons...

Me: I did Lu. Settle down. Why do you ever believe your brother? He's teasing. He already tried that on me...

Sean: And she was like, I researched it. Her trying to be accurate is really ruining my fun.

Me: I had to research it, I wanted to get the fight scene accurate. Did you know that Baboons are omnivorous? They will actually eat small animals, like small antelope.

Lu: small antelope?

Sean: That's like saying small whales. It's still a big animal. Well thank Bob they don't eat HUGE whales. See? Ridiculous.

Me: And they will sometimes steal babies out of huts because they sound like Baboon babies. They have similar cries.

Lu: That's awful!!

Me: What do you think they do with the babies when they realize they aren't all hairy? And that they aren't baboons?

Sean: They probably eat them.

Lu & Me: gross!

Lu: So they have that whale bath tub I want at Sears.

Sean: Wheel bathtub?

Lu: Whale!

Me: Its a little bathtub shaped like a whale for the baby. But you shouldn't get it Lu, because according to Sean whales attract baboons.

Sean: And then they'll steal your baby.

How do these conversations go so far awry??

Happy Friday,

PS- you can read the story over at The Author Spot. It's not for the squeamish though!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The one where I have random conversations...

This post will just be a jumble of some random conversations.

Me: I don't know how our bed keeps getting so messed up. Every morning the sheet is completely untucked and the comforter is balled up in the middle.

Mike: It's because they aren't flannel sheets.

Me: Duh. Because it's summer.

Mike: It doesn't matter what season it is, it's always arctic in this house.

Me: That's because I'm allergic to heat.

Mike: No one is allergic to heat.

Me: I am. Its probably very rare. I think I can get you a doctor's excuse if that will help.

Mike: How about we just put the flannel sheets back on the bed.

Me: No.

At the Doctor's yesterday~

Me: So obviously something is broken in my body. I need you to fix it. I don't have time to be feeling bad.

Dr: It doesn't work that way.

Me: Why not? I take the car to my mechanic and tell him it's broke and he fixes it. It should totally work the same way.

Dr: *rolls his eyes* I'm going to do these twenty bazillion tests...

Me: And then you better fix it. You went to school for this way longer than my mechanic.

Sean came home briefly yesterday looking for something in his room (which is also my office at the moment). He was talking to me for a few minutes and then~

Sean: You better pay attention. This is important.

Me: *turning from my desk* yes?

Sean: The blackberries are ripe.

Me: That was the important thing?! You've just told me about ten things and that was the important one I needed to pay attention for?

Sean: Blackberries don't pick themselves, you know. And cobblers don't bake themselves. My stomach thinks that makes it very important.

In the waiting room for Lu's dr visit~

Lu: What are you doing?

Me: Being bored

Lu: You're reading a magazine. How can you be bored at the same time?

Me: Because I can multitask.

Happy humpday folks,

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The one where we're not in Kansas anymore and we never really were...

Confused yet? Yeah, well welcome to my Saturday. Yesterday I had an Adventure. Yes, it really does deserve capitalization. It started off as a normal day...

I had planned to go to Springfield yesterday to visit at my parent's house because my sister & her girls were in from Ohio. Now, I drive back and forth to Springfield all the time. Its a simple two hour drive on a four lane highway. No big deal. Well, usually that's the case. But yesterday I think I ventured into the Twilight Zone. And the worst part? There was no flippin signpost up ahead.

I was off to a late start due to the fact that it was one of those rare mornings that Mike didn't have to rush off outdoors (an extreme rarity in the summer). So I spent some time in discussion with him. Then I grabbed Lu's keys (I was taking her car because it gets way better gas mileage) and headed out. I went to the closest gas station (ten minutes drive) and filled up her car. After I paid, I walked back to her car and realized one of the tires was really low and possibly going flat. Damn! I took her car back to the house, alerted Mike to the sitch and grabbed my own keys. Back to the gas station (yes, the same one) to fill my tank. You're welcome Lu, for the $30 bucks in gas for your car. I decided to visit the restroom and also grab some Good-n-Plenty candies for the sugar rush in case I got sleepy. The attendant and I laughed about my return visit and she wished me luck on my trip. Little did I know, I'd need it.

At last on the road, I phoned my Dad to let him know I was running late and that I'd be there about noon. Then I popped in a CD and began to enjoy the drive. An hour and a half in I hit a stream of cars completely stopped in the right lane of the highway. Not knowing what was going on, I joined the line. Turns out, the State Police were forcing us all to exit the highway at Jacksonville. WTF? They'd closed down the Interstate. In 24 years of living here, they've only closed that Interstate when there's a bad snow. But this is summer. I got off at the exit and phoned my Dad. How do I get there without using the Interstate? He didn't know for sure. So I figured I'd follow the semi-drivers, surely they knew an alternate route. But as I drove through town, I remembered that I take highway 104. Its how you got there before the Interstate was finished. I moved ahead of the truckers and led the way. I was pretty proud of myself. That is, until two blocks after we turned on Highway 104 and ran into the barricades in the middle of town. Well, what used to be part of town and was now a lake!! Highway 104 was closed due to flooding.

WTH am I supposed to do now?? I pulled into a gas station. A gas station that was full of people just sitting in their cars. I mean this town was overflowing with traffic and people stopped in the middle of their travels. I called Mike while I searched my car for my Road Atlas (never leave home without one! and teach your children to use it.) He said he'd call his step dad because the man knows every back road in this state. He's never liked highways! Meanwhile, I found an alternate route. I'd take 78 to Virginia (a town, not the state) and hit 125. Mike called back and said his step dad said take 67 to Beardstown and then hit 125. As my way cut out about a half hour of time, I told him I'd try my way first. Mike promised to call later and make sure I wasn't lost somewhere in Kentucky.

Off I set, driving through town I wanted to roll down my windows and shout "Follow Me"! I set out on one road to hit 78 and I made the turn. But 78 led me back into town. That couldn't be right! So I got back on 67 and drove a little farther. By this time there are cars pulled over on the side of the road with people on cell phones and banging on GPS units. I mean, alot of people were lost. I came to a sign for "old 67" and I pulled off. Luckily there was a four way stop and I parked and pulled out my atlas again. "Old 67" looked deserted. I've seen Children of the Corn and Jeepers Creepers and no way was I heading down a lonely highway on my own!

While I'm sitting there, a pickup pulls up next to me. Inside are a young (pretty cute) guy and an older guy~

them: you need help hun?

Me: Yeah, how do I get to Beardstown?

Them: Get back on that other road and follow it.

Me: Okay and do you know if 125 to Springfield is closed?

Them: Do you want to go to Springfield or Beardstown?

Me: I want to go to Springfield, but the Interstate is closed and Hwy 104 is flooded.

Them: Yeah, the Interstate is closed because there's water over it too.

Me: Oh! Wow!

Them: I don't think you can get to Springfield today.

*Now, it's become a challenge. Don't ever tell me I can't do something. Our family motto is pretty much "I do what I want".*

Them: Why you gotta go to Springfield?

Me: to visit some family from out of town.

Them: Prolly have to wait for the water to go down over the Interstate.

*Seriously??? Is that what all those other people were doing? How long would that take??*

Them: We're having a BBQ, you want to come while you wait?

*Why yes, I've taken complete leave of my senses and I'm going to go to a BBQ with two strangers in a pick up truck. That's the plot of a Lifetime movie just waiting to happen. Are they crazy??*

Me: No thanks! I'm going to Springfield!

I turned around and got back on the road I was on which did indeed take me to Beardstown. I was driving into some heavy clouds though and whispered to myself "we aren't in Kansas anymore Toto". The water was only inches from the road in several places and there were downed branches and leaves from the previous storm. I had alerted my Dad of my alternate route so they knew I'd be rather late. I also warned them that if 125 was blocked, I'd turn around and head home. But luckily, it went smoothly, if slowly. And I made it to town just ahead of one of those same semis who had pulled off the road at the same time! All in all, it was a four hour trip. I had to pee so bad it hurt by the time I arrived and I was starving!! All I'd had in the car with me was a Gatorade and the Good-n-Plenties.

But seeing my family and dinner at Olive Garden were worth it. Luckily, the Interstate was open on my return trip and it was uneventful. I did find out through the IDOT website that 78 was flooded. So it was fortuitous that I hadn't gotten to use my shortcut after all!

The moral of the story is this:

1. Be prepared. Make sure you have an atlas with you whenever you travel. And something to drink. And Candy.

2. Don't let people tell you what you can't do. Where there's a will, there's a way.

May all your Adventures have good endings,

Friday, June 17, 2011

The one where we examine Sean's motivation...

So we celebrated Father's Day with Mike last night. Because, of course, camp is in session and he is always working on Father's Day. Plus Sean had to leave for the other camp this morning. So the four of us managed to sit down to dinner together and give Mike his cards and present. We got him a new phone. He desperately needed one and this one is "indestructible". Yeah, I went ahead and put insurance on it because at our house "indestructible" just means "try harder". But this is the phone all the cool kids have. And by cool kids, I totally mean other guys who drop, chainsaw, hammer, run over, and generally mistreat their cellular devices. I have it on good testimony from one such cool kid that you can drop it from a ladder and it's still okay. The saleslady asked if I'd like to buy him the handy belt clip for it. I replied "No, he'd much rather drop it out of his truck as he climbs out." She looked at me oddly. Duh, lady. Why do you think I need the indestructible phone? Certainly not because he's careful with it.

This morning I made breakfast for the kids before they headed off to their respective jobs. Lu scarfed hers down because she was running late so basically Sean and I ate breakfast together. We had this conversation~

Sean: I remember going to Cub Scout Camp. Dad didn't love me enough to go with us.

Me: Don't be ridiculous. Of course your Dad loved you enough, he just had to work here at Boy Scout Camp. I came up part of the time.

Sean: Yeah, all the boys thought you were the cool mom.

Me: Duh. Because I was.

Sean: They still think that.

Me: It's because I'm awesome.

Sean: Trevor's Dad sang us some songs each night before we went to bed.

Me: Dave has a great voice. He's a nice guy.

Sean: And once Trevor walked back from the shower house to our tent naked.

Me: *giggling* That must have been quite the sight! Why would he do that?

Sean: He said it was no big deal, his clothes were in the tent. I tried to tell him it was no big deal to bring your clothes with you either. Matt went with us to camp too.

Me: Yeah, he was your Den Chief. He must've been like 14 or so.

Sean: Yeah. I actually hated Cub Camp. And they made us do these swimming tests, and I was a horrible swimmer back then and the water was so cold my lips turned blue. And nobody noticed except Matt. He made me get out of the water and warm up.

Me: So is that why you work Cub Scout Camp Staff? So you can be a great counselor and make sure the kids have fun?

Sean: No. I work there because they pay me. *rolls his eyes at me*

Well, I guess that's as good of a reason as any. And for the record- I don't remember him hating Cub Scout Camp.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The one where I whine a little...

You've been forewarned. I'm feeling slightly whiny so no doubt that's how this post will come off. If you don't feel like listening to it, you are cordially invited to skip this one. And I won't be mad. Pinky swear.

We had a lovely weekend. Really, the wedding went off well. The reception was a lot of fun and ended far too quickly. The whole thing was great. I did not get drunk as I had planned. I did drink quite a bit of some really excellent wine but it was spread throughout the day and at the reception I kept running into people who wanted to talk and when I talk, I get so animated that I forget to keep drinking. So I was on the sober side when we left for home. Lu went ahead and drove since obviously she hadn't been drinking. We got home around midnight thirty and crawled into bed.

Enter Sunday morning. My legs refuse to work properly. I've mentioned before that I have Fibromyalgia and my leg muscles are a lot of where the problem is focused. All the walking, standing and some stairs Saturday pretty much insured they'd be screaming at me Sunday. So it really was no surprise. I rested a lot of Sunday. Watched some movies that no one else would've watched with me. One was a 1945 black & white horror film I'd never seen before. It had an awesome plot. I didn't mind my down time.

Unfortunately, my body wasn't satisfied with just one day. I've been having this problem lately. When I sit at my computer my feet swell up and then it hurts to walk on them. It’s been a couple of months and I probably should have called the doctor sooner, but I was busy. (Yes, that is my excuse. That and I get sick of doctors.) And now it’s to the point where after a while they go numb. If I sit elsewhere and keep them elevated they do better. So I've been trying to work in breaks. Although breaks make me crazy- they feel so unproductive.

And now there are these bright red dots all over my calves and shins and a few above my knee. No, it’s not a rash. They are flush with my skin and don't itch or hurt. They're just there. They look like larger versions of the petechia that Lu gets when her platelets are low. So I called the doctor. And he wants to look for zebras instead of horses. (That’s what I call it when they do elaborate tests and it turns out to be something simple). So tomorrow they'll take an ultrasound of my heart to make sure its functioning properly. I'm no doctor, but I'm betting it’s something simpler like autoimmune vasculitis and all I need is a course of steroids. But we'll see. Meantime I'm laying low and grumbling because I'm not feeling productive. Of course, there's no one here to grumble to because it’s the busy time of year.

Fibromyalgia is like that. I go for weeks feeling fine and respecting my limitations and then it flares and I have to sit a few rounds out. I'm not much for sitting on the sidelines.

On the work front though, I still managed to finish the edits on the first manuscript for Angelic Knight Press. I posted a book review at See Spot Read yesterday. And an author/publisher interview at The Author Spot. I have a new manuscript to edit for a client not involved with Angelic Knight, and one client due to send me one mid-July. I have a new book to read for review next week. And a book to beta read for a friend. Plus my own two works-in-progress to work on. So legs be damned...I'm busy!

Thanks for listening those of you who stayed. I feel better for the venting. And if you know of anyone who's had a similar problem, do tell. I'll take my suggestions to the doctor next week.


Friday, June 10, 2011

The one where I get some blog bling...

Haha! Say that three times fast- blog bling- I dare ya! So my author friend Scott Niven (who you should all be following) was nice enough to pass on not one, but two blog awards to me last week and I'm just now getting around to accepting them. Not because I don't appreciate them (I do!), but because its been one of those crazy busy weeks again.

Lu had another Dr. appt. Everything is still going super awesome. She's at 34 weeks- six more to go before baby Dylan makes his arrival. She's still super adorable, but she will cut you for a cupcake. True story. Do not get between her and what ever food she's currently craving. I would post a picture but I can't find the camera I took them with. So um, maybe Sunday.

Sean finished the field work for his Eagle Project and I helped him make his spreadsheet. Now there's just a lot of data entry to be done. But its getting closer to finished. He's off to work at Cub Resident Camp on weekends and Boy Scout Camp during the week. I'll be seeing him very sporadically. Bummer. I miss that kid when he's gone. He plays the "what if" game best when I'm working out story details. He also catches mistakes in my manuscripts. And he makes me laugh when I'm in a pissy mood. So watch out for that. And if I call one of you saying "what if this guy planned on killing his wife, but she turned the tables and killed the killer and then they both decided they liked killing so much that they became a serial killer team?" do not hang up on me.

I also had a bachelorette party to throw Wednesday night, thanks to my friend K and her incredible husband C, who baked homemade strawberry champagne cupcakes for the party, it went really well. Even if C did get slightly upset that we defiled his delicious cupcakes with penis sprinkles. Hey, it was a bachelorette party! Tonight is the rehearsal dinner for the wedding and tomorrow is the big event. Sunday I will probably have to hold the couch down. Don't want that couch getting up and walking away on us. I mean, its a crappy job, but someone has to do it. Might as well be me!! I'm sure I'll need the recovery period!

So here is my beautiful blog bling:

I don't think that there was any hoops to jump through to get either of these. But of course I want to pass them along! So the Sweet blog bling goes to: Peg of Square Peg in a Round Hole
Heather of Welch Happenings Blog
Suzicate of The Water Witch's Daughter
Angelia of Living, Loving, Laughing
And also to Danica at Plattitude Paradise because she's having a rough time right now and I want her to know I care.

And the stylish bling I am handing out to some of my author blogs I follow. Their blogs are decked out in scary stuff so beware the faint of heart. Personally, I think scary is stylish! So here you go:

Rebecca Treadway of RL. Treadway's Ink (she gave me a delightfully scary screensaver!)
Blaze of Blaze McRob's Tales of Horror (because who else's boss writes a horror story just for them?)
Lisa of Jezri's Nightmares because her blog is scary good.
Claudia Lefeve over at Blog- Claudia Lefeve because she's got style!
and to Carson Buckingham at Carson Buckingham because she's not only stylish, her blogs are funny as hell! Seriously, I always end up giggle-snorting.

And that is that for today. Hopefully Monday I will have an interview for you. Not an author this time, but a lady working to get her business off the ground. And she does fantastic work!


Monday, June 6, 2011

The one where I pay homage to Oil of Olay

Seriously, if you're not using it- you probably should be. That shit really works!

My mom got us started on moisturizing our skin at a young age. It was so ingrained that by the time I was a teenager, I didn't even think about it. Shower, moisturize. For me, it goes together like peanut butter & chocolate, Beer & pizza or swimming & summertime. It just fits. First we used Noxema, then as my mom got older she switched to Oil of Olay. As did I. And while I often write about how silly I think it is for women to go to extremes to stop the signs of aging (plastic surgery, botox, expensive dermatological treatments), I don't think its the same thing as using a product here and there. Or dying your hair (because seriously- I'm in massive need. These grays are getting ridiculous). So I dye my hair, I moisturize with Oil of Olay and recently I started using the Covergirl Oil of Olay foundation. Its a little pricey, but worth it. Case in point~

Sean and I took CJ back to school in Springfield on Thursday last week. We had also planned a shopping trip to get some of Sean's gear for his travels this summer. Springfield has a store called Gander Mountain and that's where we headed. Well besides camping gear, Sean has been wanting to buy a new hunting rifle. So we mosied on over to the gun department. The manager, a guy probably my age, came over to help us.

Manager dude: What kind of hunting rifle are you looking for?

Sean: Small game. I was thinking maybe I'd try Coyote hunting.

Manager: How much were you looking to spend?

Sean: About $750. *insert me choking here. $750?! WTH?*

Manager: I'd recommend this blah blah *that was when I tuned out- although I noticed that the tags on the guns said "varmint"-that made me giggle some*

Me: Do you have a card or something? Do you get commission? Because we aren't buying today.

Manager: No, but I'm the manager so it all helps me. I'll write down the gun info. If you guys are going to comparison shop don't let anyone talk you into the blah blah, its just not a good gun.

Me: Oh we'll probably come back here, its just that he's not 18 and I don't have a FOID card.

Manager: That is a problem!

Me: Its okay, we have plenty of friends who are over 21 and FOID carriers. We'll bring one of them.

Manager: Well just be sure they have the money. We can't do sales where one person is buying and the other is paying. It just looks funny. Like if you were buying the gun and your brother was handing you the cash. *he must have noticed the startled looks on me & Sean's faces*

Manager: I mean, well, uh, I just assumed he was your brother.

Me: He's my son.

Sean: Her youngest son. *thanks for that Sean*

Manager: Oh. I'm so sorry!

Me: Are you kidding me? You just made my day. Possibly my week.

Seriously guys, its the Oil of Olay. Or the blood sacrifices to the full moon. Nah, its the Oil of Olay.

Happy Monday,

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The one where I catch you guys up...

Catch you up on what's been going on around here lately. Its not really much but of course there are a few ridiculous conversations to throw out there. We've had a lot going on in the last couple of weeks- CJ's graduation (which was awesome). I cried when they showed the slide show. I can't believe they grow up so fast. Of course my Mom and Lu were crying in the row behind me as well. We took CJ out to eat after. We also had him home this week for a while and got to do some swimming and other things he loves.

My Graduate

We also had the first of Lu's baby showers. This one was a Sleepover/Shower for the younger crowd. Luke's mom brought his sister from Iowa so she stayed too (and us old ladies slept in beds not on the living room floor!). It was a huge success. She got some nice things, we had too much food and everyone made her a customized onesie using fabric paints. There were some talented artists among this group!

Lu and her future in-laws

Plus I'm trying to squeeze work in there! This week we have Lu's dr. appt, a bachlorette party, rehearsal dinner & wedding of friends. There are still two more baby showers for Lu and the rest of the house to paint. I think things might settle down come September. At least I'm hoping!

Now for ridiculousness~

Me: I'm submitting a couple of poems to this press. Want to hear my favorite"

Sean: *huge sigh* I suppose...

Me: *reading the poem to him*

Sean: Wait just a minute! That poem doesn't rhyme!

Me: Real poetry doesn't have to rhyme Sean. I taught you that in English.

Sean: I don't like poems that don't rhyme. Look at "One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish". That's a classic! Know why? Because it rhymes!

Me: Um. Again. Poems don't have to rhyme.

Sean: That's where you're wrong. Its a state law in Illinois that poems have to rhyme. Violation of that law is a federal offense.

Me: If its a state law, how can it be a federal offense?!

Sean: It just is! And the punishment is beheading. *whips out his sword he bought on Ebay and begins chasing me through the house* (no worries, the blade is not sharp)

Me: *running* That's it!! No more "Law & Order" marathons for you! Or "Tudors"! No one gets beheaded anymore!

I haven't heard back about the poems. I hope they didn't want them to rhyme...

Have a great weekend,