Friday, March 24, 2006
So the blog will resume on April 5th. Until then, have fun, be good, and shake your tailfeathers!
Thursday, March 23, 2006
To get myself in a better mood, I finished watching Jane Austen's "Persuasion" and absolutely fell in love with it. Ciaran Hinds was the PERFECT Captain Wentworth, and since I haven't read the story yet, I relished every scene of the movie, suspecting (but not sure) what was going to happen. Oh my HECK it was romantic! I'll have to see it again when I can.
I am a hopeless anglophile, so I love movies that are unabashedly British. This one is for sure. My Hubby, for instance, would find it boring and difficult to understand all the "britishisms."
I absolutely loved it. LOVED it! How have I not seen this movie before? It has been out for eleven years! Where have I been hiding? A rock? Wisconsin...er yeah. Same difference. (oh who said that!)
So I'm feeling much better. However I'm NOT excited about the warm weather spike. That means I have to clean out the garage.
Well there went that good mood...
It's funny, when I was in college, I was such a night owl. I could stay up until 3am studying and working on papers, and surive on two to four hours of sleep. Now, I seem to "turn into a pumpkin" after 10:30. I get so tired! Gone are the night owl days. I'm not a night person anymore. (I'm not really a morning person either, so I'm pathetic). I have to get up at 6am when hubby gets up, because his alarm wakes up all the kids and they're all in our bed by 6:20, ready to have breakfast. Except Thing 2, bless him. He's our sleeper-in lately.
So, this morning, I am exhausted. And irritable. I've snapped at just about everybody this morning, and I'm ESPECIALLY annoyed that the cabinet guy is coming at 9:30, because he works slower than molasses and I have to sit here while he works AND Thing One has a bad earache and I need to get her into the Dr., and I have to wait until he's done, because I don't trust him alone in the house. And I've procrastinated buying a birthday party present and the party is today immediately after school and I have to drive across town to get to it, and then all the way back home, and then all the way back again, because I can't stay at the party because I'll have my other kids with me and they'll be upset because they aren't part of the party and they can't play on the equipment. And I have a laundry list of things to do besides all that. UGH.
This already has the beginings of a very ANNOYING day. I wonder what would happen if I just got back into bed?
Hmmm...the Universe might stop working...
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
According to my friend Devon, Mercury is still retroactive or something--and shopping time is prime. So I'd better make the most of it! Am I bad???
---Caution--Nastiness--read at your own risk!
In other news, Thing Three has developed the embarrassing habit of being very LOUD while he goes number Two in the bathroom.We were at Carraba's the other night, and he "had to go" (right in the middle of dinner) and so we went into the women's bathroom and I stood outside his stall door, embarrassed while he grunted and groaned like there was no tomorrow.
I kept saying "don't be so loud!" but he said he had to.
And then of course once it's all out he has to make comments about it. My personal favorite was when he announced (very loudly) in the bathroom at California Pizza Kitchen that his poop "looked like the Number Eight."
Argh--kids. You gotta love 'em.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
The In-laws are descending next week, so I must clean. And I don't mean just clean, I mean CLEAN. Organize the closets, have all the laundry perfectly done, clean out under my kitchen sink (yes, mother-in-law actually got on her hands and knees and cleaned out under my kitchen sink once) and everything must be spotless and dust free. Beds made, bathrooms immaculate (I forgot to clean under the guest room bed once and they looked and informed me that there was a bunch of toys underneath it) and basically sterilize and sanitize.
I can't help it. They're clean freaks. Granted, I am not. I believe a house should look "lived in." I'm all for having the house look like it's out of "Better Homes & Gardens" but I also believe that closets don't have to be perfect, underneath beds can have dust (and sometimes, yes, clutter) and if my oven doesn't look brand new and my floors have a few spots on them, so be it. I have three young children and I don't force them to clean every minute of their lives. They are happy. I am happy. Our house gets messy. Life is messy. SO WHAT!!
Okay, I needed to get that out. But I am in the mood to Spring Clean anyway, so I guess it's good timing. Of course there are things I would rather be doing than cleaning. Like dropping a hot iron on my foot. Or getting a Root Canal.
But that makes me normal, right? :-)
Monday, March 20, 2006
So I'm making a "Saturday" breakfast and we're hanging out in our jammies for a while longer. Boy is the snow pretty! We got about six inches here, but in other parts they got a foot or more. Funny how it falls unevenly in Denver.
So other than the dry cleaners and taking the kids to school, I don't think I'll be running around that much. I am itching to get back to that antique gallery--I didn't have a chance to go through it properly last time because I had an impatient five-year old with me (who absolutely HAD to try and touch EVERYTHING, Ugh!) but I know I won't have much of a chance to get back before we leave for Florida. It will be weird, going from snow and wind and cold to sun and humidity (I'd forgotten what humid feels like!) and 80 degree weather.
We already went and bought the kids shorts and shirts and swimsuits, (funny it's snowing outside and all the stores carry spring clothes) and I got some warm weather clothes for myself. I'm actually getting pretty excited about it. But alas, I don't tan, I'll just come back with lots of freckles.
On the agenda today: Getting out at least 500 words on my middle-grade story idea, and researching Dragons. Then I'm on to Pirates. What fun!
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Besides, I wasn't quite ready to put away the Postum yet!
Friday, March 17, 2006
So, I go to Michael's, and get the Xyron sticker maker (just the cheap one shaped like an "X") and Thing Three and I decided to get on the 470 and exit on Broadway, to see what we could see. (There's an "Antique Row" apparently with lots of bookstores and Antique shops)
Well, we're driving along, and I see this huge sign that says "Antiques" and so we pulled in and discovered the Colorado Antique Gallery. It's this huge warehouse where people set up shops with their antiques--and when I first got in there, can I just say I thought I'd died and gone to heaven?
I set out to look through the entire store (I was looking for an antique hockey stick to mount on the wall of Thing Three's bathroom) and I had him keep an eye out for the hockey stick, while I looked through AMAZING things. And the BOOKS!!! The first discovery was an elegant 1903 edition of Maupassant Short Stories, and the next discovery was a William Morris Binding edition of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. Then came the BEST find: a stationery set. Not just ANY stationery set...
When I was eight years old, my mom got me a stationery set, and through the years, I have used it and kept it. In fact, I still have the holder with just a few sheets of paper in it, but I've had it with me for 26 years.
Imagine my excitement when I was sifting through some stuff and I found ANOTHER set of the exact stationery!
Here it is, with all the cards and envelopes and paper, and it is in MINT condition. Talk about a rare find...for me, anyway! I snatched it right up, and took it home, and called my mom to tell her about it. Of course Thing Three was mad that he couldn't find a hockey stick, but I told him we'd have to go back. I could spend an entire DAY in this place--it's HUGE! And I think it has literally everything you could possibly want--sort of like Ebay without the shipping costs!
What a perfect day...and what a fun discovery! I have a feeling the "Antiquing Itch" is going to strike again soon...
I am SO in trouble!
I am completely worn out. I think I ran about ten places yesterday, picking up cakes, rolls, buying last-minute things--and I had to drag Thing Three everywhere with me, and he had a high fever. I feel bad, but I had to get it done. Luckily his fever broke last night and he's feeling better this morning.
I had to laugh--after the dinner, we were cleaning up and one of the ladies (not on the committee) went straight to the kitchen, loaded up a TON of the food and took it home for herself. After we were through being shocked, we had to laugh about it. But I was a bit miffed she took EVERY LAST ONE of the leftover Lion House rolls. Those things are to die for.
So this morning, I'm exhausted, but I feel like it went very well. I'm going to stay close to home and relax. But I want to use my 40% off coupon at Michael's to get that Xyron sticker maker--I promised Thing One I'd teach her how to scrap this weekend. So I guess I have to leave the house. :-)
Have a good weekend!
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Just won what will probably be my last Ebay auction for a while--
It's an 1100 page illustrated Jane Austen Library--it contains all the novels she wrote in her lifetime. Sure, it's more of a "collector's" piece (only 5000 were printed) but I've always wanted her works in one book. I got this one from the U.K. for 35 pounds. (I think it normally retails for 75 so a steal).
Jane Austen's books are timeless...and so perfect in their view of Human Nature. Although I will say that a lot of people are turned off (my hubby, for instance) by the language of the time. Someone the other day told me it's like reading the Bible--just too difficult to get through the language to enjoy it.
I am reading up on Dragons for my middle-grade novel idea--I thumbed through Dragonology and The Dragonology Handbook, but they're not as in-depth as I need. So right now it's Dragons: A Natural History, and Giants, Monsters & Dragons for starters. Then I get to research Mermaids. Then Pirates, then Fairies. This is going to be fun! The good part is, I'm such a bookaholic I have books on all these subjects in my own personal library. I don't have to go to the Public Library, and I don't have to drive to Barnes & Noble. Go me!
I am contemplating writing to the CEO of Half Price Books and telling him that they MUST bring a store to Denver. I am having major withdrawals, and I think a Half Price Books would do very well here. It can't hurt. I'll draft the letter this weekend. Not that one person's voice will matter, but if I have to get others, I will. We need more bookstores!
Time to pack lunches. Today all three kids are in school, and I did all the stuff yesterday that I was supposed to do this morning, so I think a trip to Barnes & Noble with my Alphasmart for a couple of hours is in order...
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Okay, this was embarrassing. I picked up the kids from school yesterday, and suddenly realized that I had my daughter's parent/teacher conference in FIVE minutes. And of course I had worn my slippers in the car because I thought I was only going to pick them up and go straight home...
So, I swallowed my pride, parked the car, and trouped inside in my lovely shirpa and suede slippers, with my hair coming out of the ponytail it was in (I THOUGHT I WAS STAYING IN THE CAR, BEHIND THE TINTED WINDOWS!) with no makeup on and looking quite lovely, I'm sure, and we got to my daughter's classroom only to find out that I was a week early.
I think a hole opening up in the Universe and swallowing me whole would have been welcome at that point.
So we trouped back outside into the car and the kids kept asking me on the way home why I was mad. I had to explain to them that I had made a mistake, and I was embarrassed.
Such was my day yesterday. I won't bore you with the rest of it...
Monday, March 13, 2006
If I don't blog a lot this week, it's because my week is CRAZY. I had a lovely, calm, relaxing weekend, and I'm paying for it now. The big church dinner is Thursday, and I have people coming over tonight and someone else's kids to watch, Tuesday night I have to buy everything for the dinner, Wednesday night we're going to the temple, and Thursday is the dinner. And I have lots of scheduled things going on during the day. CRAZY CRAZY.
I woke up at 2am this morning, because I was so stressed out about everything I have to do this week. UGH. On top of it all, I have a cold that settled into my chest, and I'm a coughing, hacking mess. I don't have time to go to the doctor--hopefully he'll just call in some antibiotics for me because I'm going to be unable to stop in to be seen.
Unfortunately writing is going to be pushed to the back burner this week, but I have absolutely NOTHING planned next week that will interfere with writing, and I plan to crank out at least 5000 words on What Was Lost...
I am sitting here, looking at all the pretty snow out my window, and savoring a moment of calm before the storm. All the kids have just finished their cereal and are obediently making their beds and getting dressed for school, and everything is peaceful. But in about an hour all hell will break loose and my crazy day will begin.
I read in the news that a "haunted" Elizabethan era castle is going up for auction in England, for only 5000 pounds. I saw a picture of it (totally gutted, but really cool looking) and for a moment I thought it would be cool to buy it. Ha! But I definitely got the beginnings of a story, about the woman who does buy it...but I'll have to scribble down the idea and let it marinate. I have other priorities.
Well, I am going to get dressed, and then it's off to the races! Wish me luck...
Friday, March 10, 2006
But I'm a sucker for commercial fiction, so I'll read it. I eeny-meenied my stack of unread novels last night, and for now, this one won out. The runners-up:
#2: Birthright by Nora Roberts (I've never read any of her stuff, and I'm not into romance novels, but we'll see--I'm attracted to the historical/archaeology element of her story)
#3: Catherine the Great by Henri Troyat
#4 Persuasion, by Jane Austen. The only novel of hers that I haven't read. I'm excited. It came with the dvd copy of the movie, which blurbed "If you liked "A Room with a View" you'll LOVE "Persuasion!"
I have to admit "A Room with a View" is my all-time favorite movie in the entire Universe. Has been since high school. So I guess that means I'll like Persuasion! :-)
Hubby and I are watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire tonight. I saw it once in the theatres last year, but I'm glad to see it again after so long.
Hmmmph, it's Garbage Day and my kids are doing their usual routine of yelling/tattletaling/piddlyfarting around, while emptying all the trashcans. UGH. Why can't they do it without being at each other's throats?
Quite a bit of snow melted yesterday, and it was in the high forties. But supposedly we're getting more snow soon. Weird. Denver weather is wonky. It can't seem to make up its mind between Spring and The Dead of Winter. I still think it's funny my kids were wearing shorts and capris to school last week, and now it's down winter coats. Ha!
Well, time to go pack some lunches. I'm getting AT LEAST 2500 words in today! Watch me!
Have a good weekend, all,
Thursday, March 09, 2006
This is why I love research. It broadens my (somewhat sheltered) world just a little more, and my perspective changes. Which can be a good thing.
I've also discovered that Thing One is a sixteen-year old masquerading in an 8-year old's body. GEESH. That girl is a piece of work. And we've been clashing a lot lately. I can't STAND it when she's "shirty" with me, and talks back. And I've been told it will only get worse.
What is it? A Ticking Timebomb Talkback gene? As soon as she turns eight, she becomes Miss Snark? Well, I won't stand for that. She's EIGHT for Cripes sake.
Of course she's too old to swat on the backside, so I've employed other methods. Time outs, denial of privileges, soap on the tongue for snotty speech (I will say I was talking with another mom the other day and she makes her daughter drink a tablespoon of vinegar--because she wants her to realize the "ick" she's dishing out. Wow, can we all just say UGH?)
Although after the lip Thing One gave me yesterday about how she was NOT going to wear the fuzzy earmuffs to school, made me actually consider the whole dosing-with-vinegar thing.
She does have her moments of sweetness. But they're like bad smells--they up and vanish on the wind VERY quickly...and her alter ego (who I like to call "Grumpy Gertie" or "Petunia Piddlefart") comes out in full force.
My mom says I was like this when I was younger. Go figure. What goes around, comes around, right?
Hope everone has a good (and snark free!) Thursday!
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Yes, they're absolute crap, but when I was fourteen, they were the coolest series. I devoured them like I did my food--I had to know what Jessica Wakefield would be up to next, and if Todd and Elizabeth would stay together forever...you know, really dumb stuff like that.
Well, I started looking through them (and cracked more than a few smiles at how simplistic they are) and I realized that these books might be considered really lame, compared to the edginess of today's YA fiction. I mean, these teenagers said stuff like "gosh" and "gee whiz" and spoke in grammatically correct sentences, with absolutely no fillers such as "Like" and "You Know."
It's amazing. Did kids really talk like this in the eighties? Hmmm, I think I've blocked most of Middle and High School from my memory, so maybe we did. It's kind of sad how our language has degenerated into mostly filler. But now I'm talking like an old Fogey, so I'd better stop. :-)
I dropped Thing Three off for his playdate at 10 yesterday, and stayed to chat with the mother, and we had a blast, talking about this and that, and then we looked up at the clock and realized it was 1:00. We had been talking for three hours. It was just too much fun talking with her. She's really anal like my hubby, and her hubby is really mellow like me, and so we had lots to laugh about. I think I'll have to do more stuff with her. It's nice when you "click" with people.
Well, must dash. Kids need to get to school and then I have to go buy decorations for a big birthday dinner I'm putting on for our church. Party City, here I come...
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
I decided to be resourceful yesterday. Our interior designer quoted us an outlandish sum to get built-ins for our first-floor study--so I went to Target yesterday, bought a bunch of nice looking tall bookshelves, built them, and lined one wall with them. I got lucky, they match the desk that's already in there.
Then I added "stuff" to frou-frou it up (my hubby calls me Queen of the Candlesticks) like greenery and candles, and I unboxed all the nice leather books and got everything put where it needed to go. The other end is my "craft" area where I have about six chests of drawers with craft stuff, and my craft desk, and I cleaned it up.
So now it looks very elegant, and nice. It's a pleasure to be typing in here now! And it matches the rest of the house--no longer a pit! I had so much crud in here--it was kind of my "catch all" office for a while. Much more conducive to writing and inviting the Muse now. I even moved one of the nice leather chairs in and put some nice paintings on the walls. It looks great.
And now I'm VERY tired. It took up my whole day yesterday. Today is laundry day, and since I didn't do it last week, I have about twelve loads of laundry to do. FUN.
But at least I can get some writing done while I'm washing!
This is weird--we've been having GORGEOUS springlike weather--70's and sunny and everything, and we're supposed to have a snow storm tomorrow. Strange. My kids are wearing capris and shorts to school, and tomorrow, it will be dead of winter again. Hmmm. I guess I'd better go dig out the boots again!
Thing Three has a play date today at a friend's house--so I get a few hours to myself. I'll probably end up cleaning toilets, but the urge to go and use my 15% off B&N coupon is a little stronger than the desire to have a clean bathroom. :-)
Besides, now that I have all these bookcases, I need to fill them up! (heh heh heh, Lara rubs her hands with fiendish glee and cackles)
But I'll practice self control. Two books. That's my limit. Hubby will be so proud...
Friday, March 03, 2006
Okay, call me silly, I went to my first Hockey game last night, ever. Hubby got some sweet tickets, and we went with another couple--it was a blast! We saw the Avalanche--the game was intense, and the score was 1-0 at the end. The Avs won! And I got to eat a beer brat--YUM. I never have those, because they look so scary. But mm mmm mmm it was so good. I've probably had my fat gram allotment for the next three months, but who cares.
Kids are home today, and I've had to give them two time-outs already. WHY do they have to fight like cats and dogs whenever they take out the garbage? UGH. Maybe they're on a sugar high from the waffles we had for breakfast. I'm going to get them out of the house, pronto, so they can get their energy out.
For some reason, as I was cleaning and running around yesterday, I had an ongoing conversation between two characters in my head, ALL DAY. I guess they're telling me I need to get the scene out before I lose the comic timing of it. It really has potential. I haven't decided if these two characters "get together" or not yet--but there's definitely some tension. I'll write the scene out and see which direction it takes. For now, I better get the playful banter down--before I lose it!
I broke down and went to B&N yesterday (my home base--along with Hobby Lobby, my other home base) and got some really great books. My favorite is the book I got for Thing Two: The Big Book of What, How and Why, which has over 1,000 questions, and the answers to them.
Thing Two is six, and he's VERY inquisitive. More so than my other kids. He's always asking me stuff like "What causes Tornados?" and "why is our blood red?" and "Why do we have planets?" etc.. Well, this book provides the answers to all the questions like that. It's WAY cool.
I wish the paint and floor and electric people would hurry up and get here--so we can get going! There's nothing more frustrating than having the whole day ahead of you and having to sit at home, waiting for repair/construction people. Especially with three high-energy kids!
Hope everyone has a good weekend!
Thursday, March 02, 2006
My second-grader is apparently "Queen" of the Second Grade in Tetherball. She even beat a fourth-grader yesterday, which she announced very proudly.
I immediately was plunged into memories of my own Tetherball-playing days, from about fourth to sixth grade. I too, was the best on the playground. I remember Shelley Tucker, who taught me how to play, and I remember the crowning moment, at the end of the school year, when I finally beat her. She didn't want to be my friend anymore. Oh well. At least I beat her.
I remember begging my parents for a Tetherball pole in our backyard. BEGGING them. Of course they said no, they didn't have the money. So I tried to get creative. I took a jump rope and a milk jug and and tied it to a porch support, I even tried a tree. Nothing worked. I daydreamed about having a Tetherball pole in my backyard. If I got one, I thought, I would spend hours out there, practicing and perfecting my talent.
But alas, I never got one. I think it's haunted me my whole life, because now, I just looked up at Gart's and they have an entire Tetherball set, pole, ball and rope for only $44. I decided I was SO going to get it for Thing One, and put it in the back yard.
Enter Hubby. He is against the idea. I asked him why, and do you know what he said? He's worried that our boys will want to play Tetherball, a la Napoleon Dynamite --and boys don't usually do that.
Of course I laughed and laughed at this ridiculousness, but then I realized he has a point. So I told him we could put a basketball hoop in the backyard, but he isn't bending on the Tetherball pole. He thinks if its there, they'll want to play with it.
I think he's seen Napoleon Dynamite one too many times.
So, it looks like my daughter will have to suffer as I suffered. Ah, the injustice of it all!
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Granted, I am a highly impatient person to begin with. That's why I'm highly unsuited to be a Mother and Writer--two careers which require generous doses of patience, and long-suffering, etc. etc. I want it done, and I want it done NOW. I cringe whenever I have to let my kids lace up their shoes themselves, or when they take about 17 minutes just to get into the car, or when they can make a sandwich and a juice box last 45 minutes...AAACCKK!! Be DONE ALREADY!!!
(This is the Me screaming inside Myself, I never actually scream out loud) although I have been known to tell them to "hurry up."
So, this is me, with my writing. I absolutely HATE that it takes months to write a novel. (Research and crits can bog you down like no one's business.) The most fun I had in the world, was when I wrote an entire novel in a month because I didn't have to research any of it--I had an alternate universe that I had made up and so I didn't have to pause and check for historical accuracy or anything. It was very liberating.
But with this historical middle-grade mystery (and the other historical I'm working on) I'm slower than frozen molasses. I think if I got in my car and drove to the Grand Canyon and stood on the edge and screamed my guts out I'd feel better,. But alas, the Grand Canyon is nowhere near my house, so I just have to be content with letting the nervous energy come out in my writing.