Sunday, October 31, 2010

Why Didn't I Keep Up My Computer Skills?

I used to be so good with computers.  It seems like ever since Jamey and I made the choice for me to stay home to raise our little munchkin (who, by the way, is so excited about trick or treating tonight.  And is also so disappointed that our pumpkin never got carved), I have lost all my computer skills. 

I used to never be afraid to try to fix or find a solution to a problem I was having.  But I guess I have figured out that, without a good IT department, I have lost a little bit of my boldness. . .

Today I sat down and it dawned on me that I could make my very own Facebook page that sort of "advertises" my blog.  And that if I did that, and I was lucky, I might be able to get some more followers.  So I set out to do this.  It took me - forever.  And I still am not sure I've done it right.  I tried to kind of copy someone else's page.  But it was super hard.  I also think I've added a "like" button on my real blog page.  So that if someone finds it and they like the blog, they are supposed to be able to click the like button and it shows up on their likes and all.  But I have no idea if it actually works or not. . .

My mom sometimes calls me with problems on her computer.  I used to be able to help her with almost anything.  But recently, I find myself saying more often than not, "Um, mom.  I have no idea how to fix that."  I mean, she really comes up with some doozies.  I wonder occasionally if she does it on purpose just to see how flustered she can get me.  (Is that true mom?  If it is, stop it.)

I know you are supposed to "use it or lose it" with computer skills.  And I let mine go too long.  Oopsie.  I might be hard to market when I re-enter the work force.  That's why this writing thing really just needs to work out.  Because I at least know how to turn on a computer, pull up a new or saved document, and type.  Even when Jman is talking to me.  That's called multitasking.  I'm really good at that.

I started more writing on my second book yesterday too.  I didn't have quite as clear an idea about how this one would look when I started writing it, but it is becoming more and more clear.  And I think I like it even better than the first one I wrote.  I hope one day you all will be able to really read them - like in real book form!  :)    I just couldn't take it anymore and needed to write some on it.  But I am still editing the first - at least the first 50 pages.  I have till December 15 to get it in tip top shape, so I am taking my time with it, for now at least. 

Well, I am going to publish this and see if that little "like" button is still there.  And then I'm going to look at my Facebook page (which is called Carolyn's Blog if you want to find it and "like" that page) and see if I can figure out what else to do with it to make it more appealing.  I need to mention vampires on it somewhere, I think. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Another Book Update!

I am still very excited about my second post from yesterday!  I have had several people say they think I should go for it and submit my book into the contest.  So I think I will.  I am going over and over and over the first 50 pages right now to make sure they are as good as they can be since that is step one in the contest process. 
I must also admit that I am a bit nervous, and I realized almost as soon as I posted about the contest that I just pretty much told everyone I was going to enter.  Then I had a moment of horror - what if I don't win?  I mean the chances are probably not extremely high that I would win.  Let's be realistic.  Then I've entered it, and everyone knows, and I didn't win, and what will people think of me?  Will they think I'm a horrible writer???

Then I thought, you know what?  They'll think, oh cool.  Carolyn entered a contest.  And she didn't win.  But big deal.  At least that is what I'm going to tell myself you all will think.  Because I think you all are supportive of the effort that I've made.  It's not really about how good the book is.  Right?

I thought about trying to finish my second book by the deadline too.  If I did, I could put another entry in.  I'd have to pay two entry fees.  So that would be a lot, but still.  I feel like this second book is more what I would like my overall writing style to feel like. 

I have had one or two friends say I should post an excerpt of my book here.  I am still unsure about this.  But I might.  It would be interesting to get your thoughts and comments.  But I am still mulling this over.

Tonight is another date night with Jamey.  I am very much looking forward to it.  In fact, I need to go make myself presentable now.  That way, when Joshua has his quiet time, I can sit down and edit a little more on my book. 

Sometimes I still can't believe I wrote a whole book.  Shoot, sometimes I can't believe I have enough to write about for a whole blog entry.  I wonder where this new, creative outlet of mine came from?  I mean, it really was quite out of the blue.  I liked English, and writing in school and all, but I never ever thought I'd actually come up with a whole story that was long enough to be considered a book and everything.  Jamey and I saw our friend, Richard, last night.  I told him about the contest.  And he said, "Are you finished with the book yet?"  And I told him I got it done in about six weeks.  That shocked him I think.  It still shocks me.  Once I started, I couldn't type it fast enough. 

I hope they all go like that.  I mean for however many I write.  I also have been told I should attend some writing workshops.  There's one next weekend, and I think I might actually go to it.  I would have never done that in my "prior" life.  The life where I was so mired down in mommyhood or wifehood that I sometimes don't think I ever had a thought for myself.  I am so glad I am expanding my horizons beyond these two places.  Don't get me wrong.  They are great places.  I love being a mom.  I love being a wife.  But now I am starting to love being Carolyn too. 

I hope you don't mind listening to these thoughts that rattle around in my brain.  I hope they are at least entertaining.  So all I am thinking about is book book book book book book book.  Can you tell?

At least I'll hopefully have a fun post about date night for you soon.  I hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


OK, so generally I don't do two posts in one day, but I am excited and nervous and all over feeling like I am going to explode.  Or throw up.  I can't decide.

My darling husband, Jamey, just sent me home information about a contest.  A WRITING CONTEST.  It's a local contest and you send them the first 50 pages of your unpublished novel, you know, in a very particular format and all, and then they read them and then if they like yours you become a finalist and you send them the whole thing.  There are two runner up prizes and a grand prize person. 

I am scared, but I think maybe I should enter it.  My hands are shaking and all sweaty right now at the thought of real people reading even part of my book.  I want to do this.  I went and formatted it to their format right away.  And when I looked at where my 50 pages end, it happens to be at a pretty cool spot.  I wonder if I should do this.  What do you think, my lovely, loyal followers?  What if they hate it?  What if they like it? 

It's not a reflection on me whether they like the book or not, right?  . . .And it would only encourage me either way to write more, right?  Oh dearie me, I feel sick.  C'mon, I need some words of encouragement!!!!  HELP!

Halloween Memories

I hate dealing with medical insurance claims. 

I just had to get that off my chest.  Sorry.

I also have to tell you all that I have had kind of a fun morning.  Joshua is off for a play date after school today.  So I have been reading this morning and relaxing a little.  It's sort of the first chance this week I have had to do this.  You know.  Because I play the Catch Up game rather than the Get Ahead game.  So I came home after I dropped the Jman off at preschool.  I sat with a cup of coffee and read, and then I got to be amused by our silly yellow lab, Quincy, who spent about five minutes playing "Let Me Chase My Own Tail and Yelp When I Catch it Because I Bit it too Hard".  Quite funny, really.  I mean how goofy is that?

I am going to go and clean up just a little after I finish this blog post, and then I am going to go to editing hell.  My new, not-so-favorite-but-oh-so-necessary place to be. 

Tomorrow, I am taking Joshua downtown after school.  We started a tradition on his first Halloween that he gets to go downtown in his costume to show Miss Linda, Jamey's assistant, what he is going to be.  She is usually the "costume debut person".  And then we eat lunch with Jamey, and sometimes Miss Linda, and just enjoy a little family time.  It is a nice tradition to have.  I will have to figure out how to change it a little, as next year he will be in school.  Wow, that's crept up quite quickly.

I think my favorite Halloween costume for Joshua's five choices so far has been the year he was a dragon.  That was for his second Halloween.  That costume was adorable.  It even had a tail.  I think all my pictures of him that year were taken from the back, because I just couldn't get enough of the little tail on him. 

Gee that's funny.  I guess my post name will be All About Tails today.  You know, Quincy's tail. . .Joshua's tail.  But only if I can figure out how to keep that theme going. . .thinking. . .thinking. . .nope.  Not gonna happen.  Oh well.

The first year Joshua went trick or treating, he was almost five months old.  He looked quite fetching as a little orange pumpkin.  But my favorite memory of that first Halloween was the most appropriate treat he got.  He was just getting ready to try solid foods (other than rice cereal), and so when we came to my parents door, my mom put a jar of babyfood into his bag.  I think it was peaches.  That's a good MiMi, isn't it?

And then I think about the first costume that he really had input into picking out, which was the year after he was a dragon.  He wanted to be Elmo.  That costume was pretty cute as well.  The Elmo head looked so big on him that I thought it would topple him right over.

I guess I could make his costumes.  But I don't feel terribly creative.  My mom used to make ours.  But almost every year, we'd end up being hobos.  And as creative as my mom was, I still wonder why we always went as hobos.  Except the one year when I went as a dirty laundry basket.  My mom cut most of the bottom out of a laundry basket, and then made "suspenders" for me with a jump rope.  She looped it through the holes in the laundry basket.  Then she filled the bottom with a blanket so clothes wouldn't fall through and then piled in some towels and stuff around me.  She wrapped clothes around the jump rope to hide it.  And I wore a hat on my head.  I must admit, that one was pretty clever.

Maybe one day I'll come up with costumes for Joshua on my own.  But he seems to like the store bought ones just fine.  So who knows.  If I ever do, I think all I'll be able to come up with is a hobo or a dirty laundry basket.  It would be awfully cute though!  Oh and in case you were wondering, and although I think I put it in a previous post, in case you missed it, he is going to be a doctor this year.  I wonder if that might possibly be a look into the future?  Wouldn't that be something?

I don't care though.  Let's not rush into decisions about his career.  And let's not wish the time away.  I look back at the Halloweens all those years ago, and I wonder at how quickly the time went.  I do the same when I think back to Joshua's first Halloween.  Too fast the time goes by! 

I better hurry and go so I can get some things done.  Have a lovely day.  Reminisce over your favorite costumes, and your kids favorite costumes if you have kids.  I love those memories.  Even if I was a hobo for most of mine! 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Get Ahead Game


Did I mention I had a fabulous time over the weekend with my BFF?  Oh, I did?  Oopsie.  OK, well I'll just say it one more time.  I really had a great weekend.

So this week is another week of playing catch up for me.  I haven't touched the house since my buddy got here.  I haven't dared to look further into our closet than at what I might have left to wear.  I don't dare look in the direction of the hamper, because I know if I look, I will become instantly discouraged with how much laundry we have to do.  I did finally manage to go to the grocery store today. 

I was supposed to play catch up with housework today, but I got a call to substitute at Joshua's school today.  That was really fun, but I am looking at the house, and I know I have to get this place in shape.  Just so you know.  Because that is where my brain is right now.  Mostly.

And of course, my book looms over my head.  Editing your own work is really hard.  And no one that is any good at it seems to want to take it on without charging me a bazillion dollars.  SIGH.  So that is another thing I must catch up on tomorrow.

Playing catch up is stressful, don't you think?  I seem to play that game a lot.  I wish I played Get Ahead more often.  I mean, I know some people whose Christmas shopping is done.  For like the next three years.  Yikes.  Where do they put all that stuff?  Probably in their really well-organized cabinets and closets.  They are probably already wrapped too.  And the shelves are probably all labeled with one of those really cool label makers. 

I think I just depressed myself. 

But it would be so nice to play the Get Ahead game.  I could have all my Christmas shopping done (for the next three years).  I'd have already bought Joshua's Halloween costumes right after his first Halloween was over.  You know, when they are all $5.  And I'd have already bought him costumes from ages 2-12.  They'd be hanging in his closet all marked with the fancy label maker and hanging in order according to the years he'd wear them. 

I could also always have an empty photo album on hand all the time in the Get Ahead game.  This would be because I immediately put all my photos into an existing album till it's full.  Then I would immediately move on to the next album and wouldn't get behind on putting pictures into their proper place.  Then I'd promptly go out and buy another album so that it would be ready when I fill up the current one.

I'd also buy all of Joshua's clothes at the end of season sales for the years ahead.  Shoot, for that matter, I'd buy Jamey's and my clothes that way.  We'd save a ton of money, and then when Joshua outgrew a size, or Jamey or I had something wear out, we'd just go to the neatly organized and labeled storage closet and pull something out from our labeled shelf or section of hanging clothes.

I'd keep up on the laundry so well that I'd never have to wonder if something is dirty or not. 

I'd. . .oh who am I kidding.  It was nice to fantasize.  Back to reality.  Gotta go up and get a load of laundry so I can start playing catch up.  I think I'll take a small paper bag with me.  It will be either to help me when I start hyperventilating over how much laundry is up there, or it will be to stick over my head and just shut the door to the closet.

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Best Friend's Visit - Plus Our New Talk Show!!!!!

We had SO much fun this weekend!  I just can't say enough about how nice it is to have several days of girlie time with your best friend.  Ladies, if you haven't done a girlie weekend with your BFF in a while, schedule one! 

We did a lot of the normal - we went to the gym, we drank a lot of coffee, we ate a lot of coconut cake (oh boy was it good if I do say so myself!), we shopped and shopped.  Yvette was kind enough to spoil me with some new clothes and a cutie patootie pair of shoes, and hopefully I spoiled her with all the good food we ate.  We ate at The Boathouse - we got the crab cakes - and drank wine.  We also ate at Crab Louie's one night (I think we might both like seafood) and we drank wine there too.  The only bummer of the weekend for me was I did in fact, come down with a cold that has now taken up residence in my chest.  So I couldn't run with Yvette, who is training for a half marathon.  But I did ride my bike beside her.  Not my triathlon bike that wants to kill me.  I also have a hybrid bike that is fine for pleasure.  It is not trying to kill me.  So I didn't exert myself too much and get a nasty chest infection.  And I still got to spend time with her while she ran.  But it would have been nice to run instead.

Then yesterday my mom came over and the three of us headed back out to Charlottesville, because Yvette loves the mountains.  And we were going to go to Carter's Mountain to pick apples again, but then my mom had the brilliant idea to tour wineries instead.  We had such a good time!!!!  We got lots of pictures, including the three of us goofing it up and pretending to be tipsy (I swear we really weren't, but it was a hoot for others to watch us doing that I am sure) What a fun thing to do with your favorite women.  Then we went in to downtown Charlottesville and walked around and found a delicious place to eat.  Yvette and I got a chicken pot pie and mom got salmon wrapped in phyllo dough.  The food was awesome.  We split a dessert that was chocolate cake with chocolate mousse inside and had ice cream on top.  I just can't say enough about how fun yesterday was.

So now, just before we have to leave and I must return my BFF to the airport (BOO!  Come on.  Can't the radio tower's power get knocked out for a day or two or something?!?!?), we thought it would be fun to do kind of a joint post.  I'm going to interview her.  We will call this portion of today's post Coffee Talk.  Visualize, if you please, the two of us as though we are on a talk show.  We have a totally cute set and we are chatting with each other.  Kind of like Regis and Kelly.  But instead it's Carolyn and Yvette.  And we look totally cute and are completely famous and all of you tune in every day to watch, because, of course, we are very entertaining.  OK, here we go:

C - So Yvette, how was your time here in Richmond?

Y - Awesome!  It always goes too fast.  And I get jealous because I love Richmond and then I have to go back to crummy old Texas.  I  love your little family.  Even slobbery Quincy!

C- I hate Texas.  (Oopsie.  Probably shouldn't say that if I have any Texas readers.)   OK, I'll amend.  I love parts of Texas.  Specifically, your house, and all the donut shops, bakeries, and Starbucks.  And wineries too.

Y- That's right.

C- Any funny stories you would like to share specifically about our wine tours yesterday?

Y - Your mother is 73 going on 21.  Weezie rocks the house down!  Thank you for being DD yesterday.  We needed one.

C - To clarify.  I was the designated driver yesterday.  Weezie and Yvette had the good time. . .ha ha ha!  I liked the silly pictures we took but cannot share on the computer for fear it will damage your future career opportunities.  I swear that they were staged, but people could talk.  Booooo!  Oh and they had the most delicious, and artery clearing Olive Oil ever at Barboursville Vineyards.  I ate 27 of those crackers, and acted like I was just trying it the first time each time I went back for another.  Oh and I like my Barry White voice.  Totally hot.

Y - Yeah, you sounded pretty sexy this weekend.  We got a lot of free stuff cos of your voice.  Speaking of hot.  How was that dude who was serving us at the vineyard?

C - (speaking in her Barry White voice)  Ooooooh yeeeeahhhhh.

Y - I wonder if my spouse remembered that we have a dog?  And that he needed to be let out and fed occasionally while I was gone?  I hope that I don't come home and find a very skinny, dehydrated, or worse yet, a dead dog.  No he's not that bad.  He is an absent-minded professor, but really not that bad!!!

C - Ha ha!  Mark, you know we are just kidding you (Keep in mind folks, you are looking at us on TV here.  Isn't the set cool?  Aren't we so stylish and cute?  And our coffee is soooo good.)  Here, have a piece of chocolate.

Y - OK, now down to business, enough talk about us.  Let's talk entertainment news. . .  How about David and Courtney separating?

C - I know.  Totally sad.  But seriously.  She has one child.  Did she really need her husband to be another one?

Y - Yeah.  And her hit show Cougartown has enough hotties for her to pick from instead.  She is bringing home the bacon after all.

C - Plus he cheated on her, right?

Y - Yeah, what's up with that?  That Jasmine girl.

C - Is she young and super pretty?  I don't know how you can get much better than Courtney?

Y - Oh yeah, she's a young and upcoming waitress.  Who has slept with several celebrities - that's according to my number one source, In Touch magazine.

C - Oh.  Yes, let's see.  Courtney - super successful, hot, mother of his child.  Jasmine - pretty, waitress, hobag.  I don't see it.

Y - Exactly.  Does it ever make sense?

C - Certainly not in this case.

Y - I'm personally in it for Ben Affleck and my girl, Jennifer Garner to make the long haul.  She's a badass and gorgeous.  She and I are totally tight.  We hang out on the weekends. 

C - Yes, but I'm still your BFF.

Y - Always, girlfriend.

C - Speaking of hanging out.  Curtis Stone is coming to cook me and Jamey and Joshua dinner tomorrow.

Y - Can we crash?

C - Yes.  I need someone to carry a napkin under my chin to catch the drool. 

Y - Is that from the food or from Curtis?  And I'll be there to support you, baby girl.

C - Oh me.  She's channelling Ricky Bobby.

Y - Shake and Bake, baby.  SHAKE. AND. BAKE.

C - OK, so we need to move on.  The camera guy is now wildly gesturing it's time for commercial break.  On today's show, we will have our cool-ass buddy, Joel Burns and his husband, JD. 

Y - Also today, my totally favorite Hollywood hottie, George Clooney!!!!!

C - Pucker up, Georgie!!!

Y - Honey, I might be super late coming home today. . .

C - And although it's a little bit of a blast from a past movie. . .Ewan McGregor has agreed to come on and serenade me with "Your Song" from Moulin Rouge.  Honey.  I may never be home today.  Just kidding.  Sigh.

(Applause sign lights up.  C & Y are laughing hysterically and applying lots of lipgloss.)

This was fun.  I will totally miss my BFF.  I look forward to more joint blogging and feeding into our fantasy of having our own talk show.  If you all want, I'll start a petition that you all can sign and we'll send it to Hollywood to try and get our own show.  I can't wait to see her again.  Love you big, girl!!!!

Have a great day everybody!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Shortest Post Ever - BECAUSE IT'S BFF ARRIVAL DAY!!!!

I know I know I know!!!!!  I should be finishing up getting ready for Yvette's visit!  But I just wanted to pop on here real quick and say hi.

I have a cake in the oven.  Hopefully it will be a lovely coconut cake.  It won't be ready though, till at least tomorrow.  Maybe Saturday.  You have to let it chill in your fridge.  The longer you chill it, the better it tastes.  I know I have just disappointed a couple of people.  Sorry girls, but you WILL have some.  You must be patient. . .
The house is fairly clean.  Well clean enough.  My buddy's room is all bee-yoo-tee-mus.  I still would like to get some flowers for her room.

I had a friend drop me by a couple of magazines and the Sunday paper because of one of my earlier posts.  Thank you, Brenna!  That made my morning.  Now if only I can have you surreptitiously slip in a couple real estate books from time to time without Jamey finding out.

I don't know if I will post while my buddy is here.  I am sure you all understand.  But I promise to tell you all about our visit once she's gone.  And you never know, I may be able to find a moment to write a quick post. 

I hope everyone has wonderful weekends.

Sorry, but since you all know I totally procrastinated till about 10 minutes ago, I have to run.  Lots to do!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Need a Real Hostess Hat

Oh dear it is rainy again today.  But you know what is making my morning better?

Coffeeeeeeeeeee.  I love coffee.  It almost always makes me feel better.  And this coffee makes me feel even better because it's peppermint mocha coffee.  The only coffee that makes me feel even better comes in a lovely little paper cup with a top on it.  And even though it costs a million dollars a cup, I still like it and it is the best coffee because it is from Starbucks and it is all pretty and lovely and yummy.

Do you wonder if I have cleaned my house yet?  Well - not really.  I have cleaned parts of it.  I think I am putting it off yet again.  Why do I do this to myself?  The good news is, since it's my BFF, she won't care whether the house is clean or not.  Her room is clean though and also just got lovely fresh sheets put on the bed, because my mom stayed in there when we were at the Boar's Head Inn.  I will hopefully gets some flowers and a little treat to put in there too for her.

Her bathroom has an assortment of new bath soaps, shampoo and conditioner, and some sort of little facial soap in a little basket.  It's cute.  And the bathroom is pretty well clean.  But unfortunately, she has to share with my four year old. (Why couldn't we have a house that has bedrooms all with their own private bathrooms?  Oh yes, we aren't rich. . .how silly of me to have forgotten that one slightly important point.)

By tomorrow, I will have a bottle of nice red wine that we can share.  And I will have her favorite coffee in my house, plus all the little snacks and stuff I know she likes to have around.  I think I might make either a coconut creme pie or a coconut cake too.  She and I both like coconut, and Jamey and Joshua don't.  Such a shame for them. (NOT

Can you tell I like to pamper my BFF?  After all, she is coming here to get away from it all.  Well to get away from most everything.  She still has to have a kid around, but I wouldn't make Jman go away.  So yes, I do like to pamper her.  But really, I like to pamper any house guest we have.  I enjoy being hostess.  I always have.  I think I would make a great bed and breakfast owner.  Unfortunately, you have to have a really big house in a quaint little town.  We live in Richmond, which I wouldn't exactly call quaint, and our house, though I love it and think it is a great house, is not a great-big beautiful house.  Plus there is the whole bedrooms with private bathrooms thing I mentioned earlier. . .

I even like playing hostess when it comes to dinner guests.  I love cooking, so I guess that is part of it.  I love serving my guests  and chatting and making sure everyone has enough to eat and drink etc.  Same for parties.  I really should throw more parties. We had an anniversary party/Christmas party last year (we got married on December 14th), and it was so much fun.  Yes.  Definitely more parties.

So I am glad Yvette will be here tomorrow!!!!!!!  I can put on my hostess hat (I really need to find one.  Any ideas, anybody?) and have a great time with my BFF.  I will try to write a post tomorrow if I am not too crazed with last minute preparations (i.e. - cleaning because I finally look around and see how much dust and Quincy hair there really is.)  I think I'll go clean now since I know I will be panicked tomorrow.  

Nah.  I'm gonna go get another cup of coffee. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Catalogs, Newspapers and Real Estate Magazines. . .Oh MY!

I am supposed to be cleaning my house so that it looks halfway decent when my BEST BUDDY arrives on Thursday.  But what am I doing instead?  Sitting in front of the computer, writing another post.  I figure I still have tomorrow and Thursday. . .
So I hope you are all doing well.  I wanted to say that, before I get started, my friend Joel is really a popular fellow these days.  He has been on all the major news networks, including the TODAY show, and now I have found out he is going to be on Ellen DeGeneres tomorrow!!!  Tune in to watch.  I totally hope he gets to dance with her.  Oh and his mom is going to be on too.  How awesome is that?  Very proud of you, Joel Burns!

The mail was here when Joshua and I got home.  He asked if there was any mail for him.  I pulled out a toy catalog out of the stack and handed it to him.  He looked at it while he was eating his lunch.  Very cute.  We've gotten three of them in the past few weeks.  It brought me back to when I was a kid.  I know it is a little early for this memory, but I can't help it.  I can remember poring over the JC Penny Catalog, the Sears Catalog and the Best Catalog at all the toys when I was a kid.  I loved looking at all the different things in the catalogs.  And as I got a little older, I started looking at all the sections of the catalogs.  Not just the toys.  I'd look at the jewelry.  The pots and pans.  The appliances, the dishes, really just about everything in the catalog.  I think that's why I was so terribly excited when we got to do our bridal registry.  It was like looking through those catalogs all over again, except this time, it was in person, and better yet, when I picked what I wanted (notice Jamey is not included in this.  I wonder why. . .), I was going to be a lucky duck and get it as a present!  Sigh (reminiscing wistfully).

Thinking about those catalogs reminded me of two other things I always really liked to look at, even as a kid.  One was the newspaper.  I loved looking through certain sections as a kid.  I can tell you what they are, because they are still my favorites.  Of course there was the mini page - does anyone else remember that?  I don't think they do that anymore and it's a real shame.  It was just for kids.  It goes without saying that the comics were a must.  I also liked looking at the Flair section.  At the time, the brides were in that section.  As a little girl, I loved looking at how pretty all the brides looked.  I also liked the classifieds, believe it or not!  I liked looking at all the stuff for sale, especially the animals!  And on Sundays, I also loved looking at the ads and the Parade magazine. 

We don't get the newspaper.  Part of the reason for that is my affinity to keep paper in the house.  I would probably never throw any of them out, and then one day, one of you would wonder why you haven't seen a post from me in so long.  So you'd come over to my house, only to discover I'd gotten trapped under a pile of newspapers that fell on me.  Just like on Hoarders.  Oh dear.  But I do like to read the newspaper whenever I can get a hold of one.  I get excited when my next door neighbor tells me I can have theirs when they are out of town.  Sad, I know.

Anyway, the other thing I always used to like to look through, and still do, are the real estate magazines.  Oh man, when I was a kid, I'd pore through those just like my dad.  He'd look first, and I'd practically be in his lap trying to grab it away.  It's an addiction, I am sure.  Again, very sad.  I just can't help it.  I love looking at all the listings and look for "deals", etc.  In fact, it's how we found the house we are in now.  Have I mentioned we weren't actually in the market for a house?  I am not sure Jamey has ever really gotten over how we ended up in this house.  In fact, he won't let me bring those magazines home anymore.  So I have to satisfy my addiction when I go over to my parents house for mommy weekends.  My dad always makes sure to get two copies now.  One for him and one for me.  He's totally being an enabler.  Isn't that funny?  No?  You think it's weird?  I probably will think it's weird when I go back and read this post.  I wonder if I'll be embarrassed that I wrote it after I read it again later?  Oh well.  I'm totally posting it anyway.

So those are some fun things I used to look at (besides books) when I was a kid.  What kinds of stuff did you all like to look through?  (Um, excuse me.  People.  Men in particular. . .  Let's be clean here.  I'm not interested in which smut magazines were your favorites.  'Nuff said.)

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Lesson Learned from the Jman

My blog statistics show that readership is climbing.  So thanks, and keep telling people about my blog!  I appreciate it!

And another quick word - Yvette arrives on Thursday this week.  I am not worried about whether I get to write on my blog while she's here (duh!).  So please check, but if I am out of pocket, I know you all will understand why. . .

OK.  So now for today's post:

Joshua and I took a few minutes away from his quiet time today to watch a pothole being filled across the street from our house.  He was fascinated with all the equipment and the steps it took to repair the road.  However, he was also a little sad when he realized the road would be flat there.  There used to be a bump in the road, caused by a tree root.  How do I know it was a tree root?  Because we arrived just in time to watch them dig it out.  I had to explain to Joshua that they would not patch the road so it would have a bump in it.

He always liked to ride his bike over the bump.  But if you were a driver, you'd curse the bump.  Then when the bump got leveled by the snow plow last year, it became a pothole and as a driver, you'd curse the hole.  It's funny how kids can look at something with pure joy while adults look at them as annoying.

Another example.  I hate rain.  I am sure you could tell that from my post a couple of days ago, when I woke up to it raining, and I had to go to the grocery store in the rain.  Well Joshua doesn't mind the rain.  In the winter, he says it's getting all the flowers ready to bloom.  And in the summer, it's a natural sprinkler (as long as there isn't thunder and lightening accompanying said natural sprinkler). 

Joshua has a pile of scrap lumber that he is constantly making into houses, pirate ships, mazes and any other number of things.  Where does he do this stuff?  In our driveway.  As I drove over yet another pile of wood scraps this morning in my haste to get Jman to school and to my doctor's appointment after that, I secretly cursed the wood.  But Joshua looks at those scraps as an opportunity to create.  Who am I to get in the way of that?  So I leave the wood in the driveway.

We all know I dislike the grocery store, raining or not.  Joshua finds it the perfect time to drive a race car and tell me all kinds of things about his day that I might not have heard about otherwise.

Sometimes I look at Quincy as a big goofy hairball of a dog who makes me slip in my kitchen on the water he's let run out of his mouth after drinking a gallon of water.  Joshua looks at him as his best friend.

To make a long post short?  I need to take my kids viewpoint and make it my own.  I think I'll go in the driveway and make a scrap lumber creation this afternoon.  Thanks for reading. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Imperfect Parent

This past weekend has been tiring.  Friday night we took Joshua after dinner to get his Halloween costume.  After insisting all month he was going to be Spiderman, he changed his mind at the last minute and decided to be a doctor instead. 

Then yesterday, we went to the Pumpkin Patch and got a couple of pumpkins. 

Today, Joshua and I went over to my parents house.  Jamey is hiking some mountain with some buddies of his.  Ew.  So Joshua and I are still here.  We will go home in a little while so that I can cook dinner and have it ready when he comes home, because you know he'll be ready to eat.

Doesn't sound like all that much, does it?  But it has been.  You know why?  Someone has stolen my sweet little Joshua, and they have replaced him with a little boy who has been nothing but contrary, fussy, whiny and, I hate to admit this, nearly unbearable.

We don't have many days like these.  So when we go through them, it is very hard.  Tiring.  Exhausting.  I hate these days.  It seems almost like he has been testing us the past couple of days to see how far he can push us.  What else can I get away with?  How long can I do this before they blow?  And I admit that yesterday, we let him push and get away with his behavior even when we shouldn't have.  We were at the Pumpkin Patch, and we had told him if he continued to act ugly that we would go home.  And he tested it again.  Guess what?  We still stayed.  I bet if you are a parent, you know why.  It was because we had paid $25 to get in, and had just picked another $10 in pumpkins.  Thirty-five dollars and we weren't going to stay?  I don't think so.  So we toughed it out. 

We probably shouldn't have.  I have thought about it a lot and feel a little like a failure today.  It makes me hope the rest of you parents who read my blog aren't perfect either.  Because we really should have gone home yesterday, regardless of the money we would have wasted.

I have started talking to Joshua about how things like Pumpkin Patches, going to MiMi and PaPa's, treats after dinner, etc etc are privileges.  They are not things you get to do just because.  You have to behave well in order to get them.  He has, thank goodness, been much better after an initial outburst this morning.  I threatened him with not coming to MiMi and PaPa's today.  I told him if he thought I was kidding to try me.  And I really wouldn't have brought him over.  You know that made him straighten up really quickly.  He loves coming here.  I will continue to talk to him about it over the next few days.  Or the next 14 years or so.  You know, whichever it takes. . .

I am feeling a little ashamed about how I handled yesterday in particular.  I am feeling like a less-than parent.  We all have those days.  Just gotta try again tomorrow. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

My BFF. . .

Happy Friday everyone!

Just so you know, I have edited more on my book.  And accidentally wrote a little more of my new book.  I swear it's not more than a couple of pages. . .

My best friend, Yvette, is coming to visit me next week.  On Thursday.  I'm terribly excited.  She lives in Texas.  We used to only see each other once a year.  But then we decided a couple of years ago that we should up that to twice a year.  So that's what we are doing now.  I mean, when you are best girlfriends, and you live very far away from each other, it's practically illegal.  At least it should be.

When she comes up here, I get to do a bunch of my favorite things.  Our typical day goes like this:  we get up.  We start the coffee.  We deal with the kiddies if necessary.  We drink our coffee.  We take the kids to school.  We go exercise.  We drink more coffee.  We eat snacks and chat in our stinky gym clothes forever.  We deal with the kiddies again if necessary.  We finally shower and either make a meal or go out to dinner.  Of course, at dinner, wine is involved.  And then we eat dessert.  We come home and chat some more.  Then we go to bed.  Repeat the following day.

This time will be a little different when she comes to visit, because Jamey isn't going to take off work.  Plus he is running the marathon.  So it will be a little more time with Jman in the mix.  But we will still have the evenings and all.  I am just glad she is able to come and visit.

Jamey always says that we are two peas in a pod.  I believe that is true.  Best friends usually are two peas in a pod.  She and I have just always "gotten" each other.  We have similar likes and dislikes.  We are extremely goofy together.  She is one person that I always feel comfortable around.  Like I can completely let my hair down all the time around her.  It is a nice feeling.  I hope everybody has at least one person like that in their lives.

I have a funny story on the way we ended up being best friends.  We lived in the same apartment complex for a while.  We were pretty good friends then.  But then, Yvette and her husband, Mark, moved to Texas for her job.  We helped them pack up their truck and they left town.  Literally, the next day while they were on the road and we couldn't reach them, we found out we were getting transferred to the same part of Texas where they were headed!  I called them when they finally got into town, and we told them.  They helped us get an apartment down there.  That's really when we became super best friends of all time.  Then when they bought their house, we bought one just down the street from them.  I still wonder if they think we were stalking them. . .

I think that story can just show you how God can look at people and say, "Now those two need to be friends.  What?  One's moving to Texas?  Well, let me just fix that up for the other person. . .there we go.  Now they'll be best friends forever."  I am sure God put Yvette in my life.  And I'm so glad!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Take Care of Yourselves!

I thought today was going to be a crap day.  The rain I woke to did not help matters.  And it really didn't help when I let Quincy outside.  He went around the side of the house and he was around there for a long time.  I walked around to see what he was doing and sure enough, he had something.  I finally got him to drop it near our front steps.  It was a dead mouse or something.  Totally disgusting.  Sigh.  Then Joshua and I were getting ready for him to go to school.  He was being a bit of a challenge this morning.  I had to go to the grocery store, which is already not one of my favorite things, but I also had to do that in the rain, which makes it even worse.  Then I came home and had to deal with the dead thing in the yard so Quincy could go back outside.  FOUL.

But then I came back inside.  I brewed some coffee.  I put my ipod on and I started rocking out to Evanescense yet again.  And you know what?  It got much better.  I had anxiety all morning.  I don't know why.  Well maybe I do, but it's nothing I need to bore you all with. 

I sat down at the computer with the intention of writing here, but then I checked my Facebook first to see what happened while I was either sleeping or busy.  A friend had posted asking folks to give her 10 positive things in their lives.  Could be stuff, things you are thankful for, etc.  Here's my list:

‎1. God is with me.

2. My goofy little boy who is a joy to be around in the mornings.

3. But also, my now quiet house.

4. The coffee I am about to drink with peppermint mocha creamer.

5. My new book idea.

6. My wonderful husband who is a good man.

7. My ipod (I love music).

8. My friends (and that includes you).

9. The fact that it is only supposed to rain today (last I checked anyway).

10. The discovery over the past year that I am an OK person.

That's not a bad list, huh?  I think my friend was having a down day, and so I hope my list, along with the others that are starting to pop up are starting to cheer her up.  My own list cheered me up as well.  That's good.  This same friend really believes that you have to treat yourself well.  You need to get enough sleep, you need to move/get exercise.  You need to eat well.  You have to do things that are just for yourself.  You have to spend time with God.  I totally agree with her.  It seems so simple and at the same time kind of selfish.  But if you can't love yourself well, then how can you love others well? 

Things I like to do for myself are: writing, listening to music, drinking coffee, reading and chatting with my BFF, Yvette.  I didn't do a lot of this for a very long time.  It's nice to be doing this type of thing again.  I know that I should be at the gym this morning.  That is an important piece of loving yourself.  But I think I will do some yoga from my on demand channel.  That will have to suffice for today.  I also am going to edit more of my book. 

My anxiety is almost gone.  I took a few minutes to take care of myself. I hope you all find something to do today that is strictly for you, even if it is for just a few minutes. Take care of yourselves folks. . .

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Spreading a Message for My Friend Joel

I did my first day of substituting at Jman's preschool.  May I just say it was really fun?  I enjoyed it very much. 

And oh nooooooo.  I couldn't help myself.  I swear it just kind of happened. . . I wrote a little bit on my next book this morning.

I know I know.  I know what you are thinking.  I just said I wasn't going to.  I would like to be able to say that someone was holding a gun to my head and told me they would kill me if I didn't start on my next one.  But that didn't happen.  Ooooopsie.  I also know what else you are thinking, and I promise, I still will continue to edit the first book.  OK?  I promise. 

But can I also just say that I am super really really excited about the one I just started?  I am itching to write more.  Calm down, Carolyn.  Breathe.  Seriously. 

OK.  So now that I got that little admission out of the way, I am going to write about two really extraordinary things.  They are very different from each other.  One of them may offend you if you don't have the same views as I do, but I hope you read about it, look at the link, and maybe change your thinking just a little.

The first thing is this whole Chile miner rescue operation.  Can I just say:  wow!  I stayed up and watched the first one being brought out last night.  It was utterly amazing to watch.  I bawled when they showed the capsule come out of the ground.  Then they showed that first miner's little boy, and I really lost it.  I am praying for all the remaining miners to get out safely.  I also pray that the effects, both physically and mentally, are as short-lived as possible and that they lead healthy long lives.  Thank you to alllllll the people responsible for bringing these guys to the surface. 

Now on to what I really want to talk about today.

This is for my friend, Joel Burns.  Joel and I met in Fort Worth, TX.  I lived there with my husband for a couple of years.  Joel and I worked together for a while.  Now Joel is a City Councilman.  He had to be elected and everything.  I wish I could have been there when he was, because he really is just a superb human being.  He also happens to be gay.  He has a wonderful partner, JD.  JD is as awesome as Joel is.  They are a loving couple who are totally devoted to each other.  

Joel recently spoke at a City Council meeting in regards to the bullying episodes that have resulted in the suicides of several young gay people in our country over the past few weeks and months.  These have been because of people who were bullying these young people.  I want to share Joel's message with everyone here.  He says it so much better than I ever could.  Joel, I am proud to know you and JD.  I am proud to call you my friends.  I love you both.

I hope you all have a great day.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Another Post About my Book. But Not Really.

So we "auditioned" last night to see if we could find a place in our church's musical program.  It went OK.  The guy we auditioned for said I had a nice voice.  Now he wants to hear what we sound like when we are running through the sound system at church.  Just thought I'd let you all know that before I get started for the day.

And now for today's post. . .

I once again find myself starting and stopping my post for the day.  Apparantly, I really want to write about my book again, but I am afraid I will bore you all with the details.  so maybe I will write about it for a minute and move on to something else. 

I finally really dug in today and started editing it.  It is slow, but I got through not quite the first one hundred pages.  I still would love to have someone go behind me and see if I've left anything out.  I also know that some of my sentence structure needs some work.  I have two feelers out there for people that I know and trust who may be able to help me, and I hope that one of them takes me up on it.  If my book ends up getting published, and it is successful (as I daydream it will be) then I will buy them a really super nice present. 

I can't hlep but wonder why it took me so long to get started on it. Is it because I was lazy?  Or maybe afraid?  I find that I do that sometimes.  I'll start on something and then I won't ever finish it.  In fact, I have a sweater that I started crocheting last year that is still sitting in my bag, waiting for one more sleeve to be completed (or is it a sleeve and a half?), and then I have to stitch it all together.  Why won't I finish it?  Am I just bored of it?

I think that is why I won't allow myself to start on my new book.  If I edit it, then I have to send it out, and I am afraid to do that.  If I do start on the next book, I will probably never edit the first one.  And if I do that every single time I write something new, then I'll never actually attempt to get anything published.  It's almost like I am self-sabotaging myself.  I shouldn't do that.  I am worth trying to see this through to the end.  Right?

I need to be better to myself in this way.  If I treat myself as though I am not worth the time or the risk, then how will I ever think I am worth - anything?  It's taken me a long time to realize that I am worth something as a person.  That I do add value to the lives of at least the immediate people in my life.  And more importantly, if I don't think I am worth anything to myself, how will I teach my little boy that he is worth something to himself and others around him?  That he matters?  So hey me!  I matter!  Take the risk, you dork!  (I realize I shouldn't use those terms with myself.  But in this case, it applies!)

So I will plug away at it. I know I also need to work on the query that I will send out to literary agents. But I can justifiably put that on hold. I want to be close to being finished editing before I send those out. I want to be prepared.  And if it comes back that I never hear anything or I get nothing but rejection letters, I shouldn't be afraid to try again.  Because I am worth the risk.

Go after what you want folks.  You are worth the risk too.  We all are!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Just a Few Bits and Pieces

One thing real quick.  If you are wondering how I am doing on my book, I wrote a post over the weekend about it, so go check it out.

OK.  So I hope everyone had good weekends.  Ours was busy.  I don't particularly like busy weekends.  Jamey's Dad and Stepmom were in town.  They always stay with Jamey's sister, Lisa, and her family.  And there's just a lot of cramming activities into a couple of days.  Don't get me wrong.  It's fun and we have a good time with them.  Joshua gets to play with his cousin Logan, and those two are as thick as theives whenever they are together.  But it's just so much activity that it can be a little overwhelming.  Joshua was exhausted by yesterday evening.  That was a plus though because he slept great last night.

I am starting a new job this week!  Well sort of.  I am going to substitute at Joshua's preschool.  I think it will be fun.  I never thought I would want to teach in a preschool, but once that mommy gene was born in me, I now find it fascinating to watch just about any little kid.  Particularly when they are learning something new.  Making discoveries and all.  I loved watching Joshua with all of those big learning moments.  So it will be a nice way to see some more of those moments, just with other kids and not my own.

I was always a worker bee when I was in the "real" workforce (you know the one that actually gets paid for their work.  Like, gets paid money instead of another load of laundry and a dishwasher to unload).  I never really liked to be in charge.  I think that was partially because I never really bonded with any of my jobs.  I never loved them.  I loved a lot of the people at work, but the actual job stuff?  Gross.  I sometimes wonder if a lot of people feel that way. . .Gosh, I hope it wasn't just me.

I wish I could get paid money to be a mom, because it's a lot more rewarding.  When Joshua goes to kindergarten, I'll need to find something to do with my time while he is in school.  So I hope whatever it is, it is something I love at least almost as much as raising my kid.  That's why it would be so nice to have this book thing work out.  I have so very much enjoyed writing, whether it's here on the blog, or my book or whatnot.  It's very rewarding to me as well.  That would be a super cool dream job, and I sometimes think about what it would be like to actually make money doing that stuff.  I could see Jman off on the school bus, then I could go workout.  Then I could come home and sit in front of the computer for hours writing and all, and it would be just lovely.  I'd eat and write some more.  And then rush around for the last hour before Joshua comes home to clean up a little.  Or maybe if I were super successful, we'd have a maid and then I could not worry about cleaning up.  Yeah, that's it.  Oopsie.  I seem to have gone off thinking about my fantasy job right here in my blog.  Sorry about that. . .

Oh and I got my Road ID bracelet.  I like it very much.  I feel much better having it on now.  I don't know why it took me so long to do this.  You know, it's only life threatening not to have one. 

I know I ask a lot of you all, but I do have another favor to ask.  If you all are enjoying my blog, could you tell some friends about it?  I figure if I get a bunch of people to start reading it, I can tell publishers that I have lots of hits on my blog and it might help my case in getting them to at least look at my book.  But don't tell them to look at today's post, because it's just to catch you all up on what went on this weekend and all.  It's not my best work.  Oh dear. But still.  Thanks. 

I am off now to go collect my little one.  I hope you all have a good day today.  I promise I will have a great shiny spangly new post for you all tomorrow.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Book Update: I Love Writing. I Hate Editing.

I have snuck in here to write to you really quick about my book.    In case you were wondering what is going on with it.  And yes, the title of my post says it all.  But after my update I have to go because we have family coming over later and I have to once again vacuum all the dog hair up.

I loved writing the book.   And I have started editing it.  About a hundred times I have started the process.  It is very tedious.  I also am not the best anymore with grammar.  Spelling isn't as hard because of spell check, but it still doesn't catch everything.  I need to look at the dialog and make it better. I want to get my book in the best possible shape for trying to get it published, but it is hard.  I keep trying to just read it, instead of looking at it with a critical eye.  And when I read for pleasure, I sometimes skim, and I catch myself doing that while trying to edit it.  Plus I would like to start the new book that is rattling around in my brain.  It keeps calling to me. . .C'mon.  Just one or two pages.  Just the first chapter. 

But how can I start a whole new book when the first one I have is in desperate need of a good edit?  So I trudge along. 

I hope that one day, if I am lucky enough to get it published, and then if I'm even luckier and it sells well, that I will maybe one day also be lucky enough to have someone edit future books for me.  If anyone wants to edit my book now for me, I'd almost be willing to hand it over with some relief.  Almost anyway.

Maybe "hate" is a strong choice of words for how I feel about editing.  But I have found the editing process to be almost as hard as the publishing process.  However, I did find out some interesting information and I thought I'd share it with you here.

So I was bumbling around on the computer yesterday thanks to my pastor, who suggested I look at a few of my favorite authors in the chick lit/romance genre and see who their agents are, how they may have gotten started etc.  I checked out one, and was surprised that she had a whole section on how she came up with her book idea and how she went about getting it published.  And wouldn't you know, her story was very similar to mine.  She has young children.  She got the idea and was obsessed with getting it on paper.  She let one person read it and started sending them chapters and the person would ask her for more, etc.  I did those same things.  And you may have even heard of this author.  She happened to write a little series called "Twilight".  Lucky girl! 

Her story of how she came up with the book and what she did while writing it is interesting and some of it sounds like my own.  If you'd like to read how she came up with the idea, as well as how she got her book published, here is the link:

After reading it, I even thought about putting a sentence at the beginning of my book that just says, "Oh and by the way, David is a vampire too."  And not mentioning it anymore.  Because apparently, vampire stuff really sells right now.  But he isn't really a vampire.  I just have normal, ordinary people in my book.  I hope that I one day come up with a really great idea like she did.  But not everybody does.  So I'll try to get my ordinary book published in the meantime.  She had some really great information on her website, and I hope to try the Writer's Market website she refers to. 

So that is where I am.  Currently in editing hell.  But I will persevere.  I want my book to be as well-written as possible.  Then I have to send out queries to literary agents.  Wish me luck. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Things I Think While I am Writing My Blog Posts (Wow that's a long title. . .)

I promised to let you all know what I did yesterday during my living blog time.  As I was blogging there was a movie on.  I don't remember what it was, but I watched it.  It had Heath Ledger in it.  And I drank coffee.  Then I got up and took my time getting ready to go.  That is a luxury, may I just say?  I had no interruptions at all.  Ahhhh.  I went to the hotel gift shop, which must cater to senior citizens for the most part.  And then I went to the apple orchard and picked a bunch of apples.  I also got one more donut.  After that I picked up a bit to eat and went back to the hotel where I ate and sat and read my book.  That was around 1pm.  I read from 1pm to almost 4pm.  Uninterrupted.  Except for the part where they served tea and sweets and I got up long enough to have a delicious cup of tea and a scrummy piece of cheesecake and a mini chocolate tart (I love the word scrummy.  OK, It's not really a word, but it should be).  I guess I technically wasn't supposed to have that since we had checked out by then, but I missed tea time the day before.  I was just making up for my lost opportunity.  So there.  It was a lovely, lovely day.

I laughed yesterday when I looked at my labels and how many posts are under the "me" label.  Since this blog is kind of all about me and what I want to say,  I guess I should probably take that one off.  And I know that sounds so snotty and like I am all wrapped up in myself, but I hope my friends can vouch for me that I am not normally so self-centered. 

OK, now that I've gotten all that out of the way, on to today's post. . .

Do you ever wonder how I decide on what to write every day?  Well I'll tell you.  Some days I know exactly what I want to write about.  And some days (like today) I sit at the computer just staring at it.  I'll sit hoping for something decent to write about and then it will hit me (that was yesterday, and I hope it's safe to say that yesterday's post was decent).  I even have a little list of "topics" to write about on my blackberry.  They are my back-up plans in case I can't think of anything else to write about.  Sounds silly, but I am always worried I won't find anything to say.  (You can stop laughing now.)

I always want my posts to be really super good.  But I guess anyone who is writing a blog wants all their posts to be really super good.  Some days are better than others though.  I can sometimes tell if a post is going to be really good or not when I first start writing it.  Do you wonder what I am thinking of this one so far?  Um, it's not good.  Oh dear.  I can't believe I just admitted that to you.  Wait - keep reading - hopefully it will get better.  If nothing else, I hope my side comments will keep you entertained. . .

I have very rarely ditched a post I started writing.  I guess I like to see whatever I'm writing about through to the end.  I think that's why I actually finished writing the book I started.  Once I started it, I knew I wouldn't be able to stop writing till it had a conclusion to it.  I feel the same way about reading books.  It is a rare occasion when I will not finish a book, even if it's a lousy one.  I still have to see how it ends (zzzzzzz, oh dear me, you all are falling asleep now aren't you?  Think of something cute and clever - quick!)

I bet you are all thinking I should have ditched this post.  But I can't.  I don't know why I am compelled to sit here and blather on about something that really is not going anywhere, but I just can't stop.  It's like a brain dump.  Sorry I am dumping it on you!  (Seriously, my four official followers, don't leave me.  I'll do a better post tomorrow, I promise!) 

So today I sit and know I didn't write an excellent post.  I sit and wonder if I should have gone to my "topics" note in my blackberry.  I have gone back and read over what I have written here several times this morning.  And then I stress out because I really want people to continue reading my blog.  I think about going through and deleting the whole thing and starting over.  But I can't do that either.   You know why?  You don't?  Shoot, I was hoping you would have the answer to that question.  Cos I don't know either.  I guess it has something to do with the time it takes to create the posts.  It's not that long, but it is still a chunk of time I have taken to create something.  And if I ditch it, then it's like admitting I wasted time there.  (Yes.  Very unhealthy of me that I can't let it go.  But don't worry, I have a very good therapist.)

I will do better tomorrow.  I have to go run now.  I don't want to, but I have to work off that cheesecake from yesterday.  Plus, since this was not a good post, you know tonight I'm totally going to have an extra scoop of ice cream.  I leave you today with this - and sorry, it's all I've got.  Ready?  Here goes - The sun will come out. . .tomorrow. . .bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow. . .there'll be sun  ;)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Living My Blog

I am sitting in one of the nicest hotel rooms I've ever stayed in.  I'm at the Boar's Head Inn in Charlottesville.  It's not that the room is particularly plush (OK, it is pretty plush), but it is just so quaint.  The bathroom is small, but the towels are thick and white and gorgeous.  The bath soaps all smell absolutely lovely.  The robes are also white and thick and just as gorgeous.  The bed is high and has a goose down comfortor on it with a very pretty creamy duvet on it.  I am sitting on the bed as I type this.  But one of my favorite parts about the room is it has a really nice balcony with a little table and two chairs that overlooks a very nice patio and a pond.  AND it has a screened door so if I want the inside door open I can still have the breeze blowing in from outside.  Of course right now it's like forty some degrees outside, but the possibility is still there. 

We are here because Jamey has a conference.  He went to a fancy dinner last night and wives were not included.  So I was left all by myself.  From 6pm to about 10pm.  And now today he is at the conference and it doesn't end till somewhere between 3pm and 4pm.  What am I going to do you may wonder?

Whatever.  I.  want.

This is going to be my day of living my blog.  I started writing this to get a little part of me back.  A part of me that wasn't attached to the name mommy or wife or daughter or friend etc etc.  It's all about me.  I get to write on my blog whatever I want.  If I want to write about my family I can.  If I want to write about my haircut I can.  If I want to write about food?  You guessed it.  I can.  So for today, I get to concentrate totally on me.  I am absolutely free to do what I want.  I found myself in the days leading up to today trying to cram in a lot of plans.  I was going to run.  I was going to read.  I was going to edit my book.  I was going to the apple orchard and pick more apples. I was going to watch TV and drink coffee and eat good dessert.

But then I realized,  I can't cram all that in.  There's no way.  So what am I going to do?  Whatever I feel like at the moment.  I don't want to cram it all in.  I want to pamper myself a little.  Writing my blog is a way of pampering myself.  Might sound weird but it's true.  Plus writing in my blog is free.  Pedicures are not.  (But I do love pedicures.  I've only ever had two in my whole life, but I practically dream about them they were so nice.  And my feet looked so pretty.)

So I'll let you guys know what I did on my next post.  It may be as simple as "So I sat in the hotel room and watched TV all day."  Or "I went and picked 20 pounds of apples and I have no where to put them all."  But the point will be that I am free to just be me today.  That's a lovely feeling.  Wheeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

On a Serious Note

I meant to do this yesterday, but I forgot.  So I am going to do it now before I forget.

Jamey and his partner at work, Hal, had a client die on Monday.  She went to the hospital and had to have a CT Scan.  She had a reaction to the CT dye and they couldn't save her.  It's awful. 

I have the same allergy.  It's a severe one.  Some people know because they have an allergy to shellfish, but not everyone (including myself ) does.  The only way they find out is when the dye is injected.  And then you can be in very serious trouble very quickly.  I found out about my allergy when I had a CT scan back when I was about 16 or 17.  So why am I telling you all this?

Because I have been a fool.  I should have a medical alert ID on me at all times.  But I've never gotten one.  And so if any of you have allergies that you know about and you don't wear one of those tags, please get one.  I will include links to three places.  I just ordered mine from Road ID.  Thanks folks.

Screened Porches

One of the major draws our house had when we were looking to buy it was the fact that it had a screened porch.  That might sound silly to some, but for someone who grew up with a house that had one, they probably understand what I mean when I say that. 

Growing up, we practically lived on that porch.  My dad built it.  He did an awesome job.  Of course, Daddy does everything awesome.  Because don't forget, he is practically perfect.  But anyway. . .he built it and then we used the heck out of that porch.  We had that lovely 1970's era redwood furniture that had the big puffy cushions with the vinyl fronts.  They had orange and yellow flowers all over them.  They were ugly (at the time, I suppose they were totally "in"), but they were sooooo comfy!  We would sleep out there lots of summer nights.  I think that was my favorite part.  We'd get our sleeping bags and pillows and go out and sleep on the lounge chairs and it was heavenly.  I can remember waking up and feeling the dampness on my pillowcase from the moisture in the air (or maybe it was my drool.  Sigh.)  Then some mornings, my mom would have gone to Dunkin' Donuts for eclairs and we would skip swim team and eat donuts on the porch. 

When tanning was still in, I can remember climbing out of my parent's bedroom window to lay out on the roof of the porch.  And of course, my suntan lotion was baby oil.  Oh dear me, I know skin cancer will come after me one day.  I shudder to think how awful I was to myself in doing that.  However, at the time, it was an awesome place to lay out and try to get a tan before prom. 

We literally ate, lived and slept on the porch all summer long.  I just loved that porch. 

Now we have a porch of our own.  When we bought the house, the porch was smaller.  You walked out from the porch  onto a deck and then walked down to a lower deck.  When we got ready to re-roof the house, someone had the grand idea to extend the roof out and by doing that, the porch increased by almost half.  We have enough room to put in lounge seating as well as a table and chairs so we can eat without bugs bothering us (a major benefit, in my opinion).  It's a fabulous porch.

Sometimes now, when Joshua is in school (such as this morning), I will make myself a cup of coffee and go out and just sit on one of the chairs and enjoy the peace and quiet.  I sip at my coffee to make it last longer and maybe take a book out there and read it.  Many days when it is nice enough, Joshua and I will eat our lunch out there.  And when it is nice, I think we eat dinner as a family on our porch more often than we eat inside the house.  I hope we don't bother our neighbors too much.  They often walk out for a few minutes while we are eating and of course, Joshua will yell over to them.  Every.  Time.  He's so cute.

So I suppose the reason I am writing this is because I enjoy reminiscing about those memories.  But I also hope that Joshua is gathering his own set of memories on his porch.  I hope he enjoys those days as much as I do.  One day it was raining pretty hard, but it felt nice outside, so we took his garage and a bunch of cars and played cars on the porch while it rained all around us.  I don't think I'll ever forget that day.  I hope he doesn't either.  I hope he thinks back to his porch and remembers how nice it was.  Just like I do.

I have so much to do today.  Jamey and I are going to the Boar's Head Inn in Charlottesville for a night tonight (oh boy!).  I need to shower, pack and leave my mom instructions for Joshua and Quincy.  And I also need to clean up a little bit.  But even with all that stuff to do, where do you think  I am heading as soon as I click the "publish post" button?  You guessed it.  So if you drop by in the next hour or so, don't bother ringing the doorbell.  Come on around back and join me on the porch instead. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Things My Kid Says

Before I get into my post for the day, I am excited to report that I wore my new running shoes outside to run six miles and my foot doesn't hurt.  Right now.  OK, I am only partially excited.  I'll let you know tomorrow how it did the rest of the day.

OK, so I have a fun, fun post to write today.  Sunday night as our little Jman was getting ready to go upstairs to bed, he said the funniest thing.  You'll find out what in a minute.  It was so cute that I went to write it down.  And then I ended up going back and looking at other things he's said.  Some of them I forgot about.  Some of them, I'll never forget!  But as I sat there chuckling, I thought some of you might like to hear some of these funny little conversations.  So here we go:

Halloween 2008 - I carved our pumpkin and had it ready for Joshua to see when he got home from preschool.  He put his hands on his hips and studied it for a minute.  Then he looked at me and said, matter of factly, "Mommy.  Needs more work."

3/5/09 - We were leaving MiMi & PaPa's house.  Joshua walked out of the family room into the foyer.  Then he came back into the room and said, "I forgot my mommy."

3/15/09 - Hunky Dunky = Humpty Dumpty  and PopTop = PopTart

4/27/09 - PBS Man = UPS Man

5/1/09 - We were visiting Jamey's grandmother in the hospital.  After we heard about 900 times from Joshua that he was ready to go home, he changed his tactic.  "They said we have to leave."  Jamey and I looked at Joshua and said, "Who said we have to leave?"  He got a sneaky smile on his face and said, "The doctors."

5/14/09 - There is a tree in our neighbor's yard across the street that has a small hole in it.  Joshua noticed it one morning after Jamey left for work and he commented on it.  I said, "Joshua, I bet some animals live in that hole."  He looked at it and then said, "Like cows?"

5/15/09 - I congratulated Joshua on staying dry all night.  "Way to go buddy, that's awesome!" I said.  Joshua then said, "Awesome mom, you stayed dry all night too!"

7/22/09 - Joshua asked Jamey if he could watch a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  I asked him, "What's the magic word?"  Joshua said, "Meeksa, Mooska, Mickey Mouse!" which happen to be the exact words Mickey says to make the clubhouse appear at the beginning of each show.

And a few more recent ones that I don't have exact dates for:

innerpoob = innertube

kajamas = pajamas

mash matatoes = mashed potatoes

This summer he wanted to wear his goggles every time we were at the pool so the "muhkenicals" didn't get in his eyes.

And Sunday night Jamey told him he couldn't wait till Joshua was a little older so that they could go on camping adventures together.  Joshua said, "You can come too mommy."  Jamey said, "Mommy likes to camp in hotels, buddy."  Joshua said, "I know what we can do.  We can take a tent and set it up innnnnnnn the hotel." 

I love hearing all the wonderful, silly things my little boy comes up with.  It's probably one of the best things about being a parent.  A friend of mine encouraged me to write them down, and so I have been.  It is great fun to go back and read some of the things he has come up with.  I hope you enjoyed them too!  Have a great day everybody!