Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Half-off Christmas...half-off me...(I wish)

Christmas, (while fun) is a crazy time of year. We look at the week before Christmas with trepidation (only because everything is sold out and EVERYONE seems cranky) and the day after Christmas, when all things Christmas go the inevitable 50% off--well, let's just say that the prospect of getting up at 4am to stand in line for two hours and then, the whole "run-for-your-life-and-shove-people-out-of-the-way-to-get-to-that-Waterford-ornament-that-is-now-half-price" thing, well...it is daunting at best.
But it's officially over. Now, when I go to the local store, all I see is one cart with a few boxes of broken candy canes and that freakish ugly tinsel that no one wants. The Half-off Craze is over, and now, we brace ourselves for Winter. It's going to be a long, hard one. Especially in Wisconsin.
It's depressing when the holidays are over. The brightly-lit trees are packed away, the lights outside are taken down, the wreaths and bells and holiday knick-knacks and garland are put away, and everything seems so bare. I keep clear lights in my fake fica trees just to bring some cheer, but the prospect of six months of no sun and frozen bitter cold can get you really down.
What's even more depressing is that the two solid months of cookies and cakes and chocolate and candy have now taken their toll, and I suddenly find that I now closely resemble the size and appearance of the average baby water buffalo.
So, New Year's Resolutions it is, then.
New Years Resolutions. I have spent the last several days penning mine. I'm ashamed to report that the list is longer in length than my Christmas list was, and I've been wrestling with all my faults and things about me that I need to improve, which, frankly, depresses me even more and makes me want to eat more chocolate (which will result in me eventually resembling a LARGE full-sized Adult water buffalo and I'll get even more depressed and so on and so on).
So I am trying to keep them all to one page (single spaced) while remembering that excess is not necessarily good.
But I'll get there eventually. Just like I'll get back to pre-holiday weight.
...Sometime around July.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

I'm Done! I'm Done!

About time too! Christmas Eve is tomorow, and I have officially PURCHASED MY LAST GIFTS. I am finished! Hooray!
Now I'm entering a phase called "Holiday Guilt." It happens when someone you hardly know (or don't really know at all) either A) Mails you a Christmas Card or B) Pulls a mind scramble and actually gives you a gift or bakes something for you.
The latter happened to me twice yesterday. I had people I would never have thought of twice at Christmas, give my family baked goods and in another instance, a present. So of course that threw me into complete panic mode and I have decided on a pre-emptive maneuver for NEXT year:
Buy a bunch of gifts that would appeal to anyone; movie gift cards, board games, etc, and just have them wrapped and on hand (with a sticky note on the outside to identify what's inside) and a "To: (leave blank) From: (The Whatsits)" and have a pen lying nearby, so that when Mrs. Jenkins from down the street (who never smiles at us even when we drive by and wave and doesn't like kids) brings me an entire tray of fudge I can say "Oh, wait a minute, let me get YOURS!" and I can dash back to my stash of anonymous gifts, select one, hurriedly write her name and bring it out. Voila! Yes!!!
THIS IS A FOOLPROOF PLAN. I am amazed at my genius. (heh heh).
I do the same thing with Christmas cards too. I've sent all mine out, but a few come in the mail that I cringe at them and think "Dang, I should have sent THEM one!" And then I debate whether or not to actually run and send one because when they get it they'll see the postmark and know that I only sent it out of guilt as soon as I received theirs. (well, hey, I do that, so other people must!) Right?
I am just very wholly excited that all the presents are wrapped, Santa's presents are hidden away in the Scary Unfinished Basement Storeroom (where the heating system and water softener are: my kids are truly terrified of that place so its ideal to hide things there) and we are good to go.
WHEW. So now I am going to wish Everyone a very happy Holiday--and may Christmas Eve find you relaxing with your family and enjoying the atmosphere, and NOT in line at the local Kohl's store, or screaming at the big truck in front of you in the mall parking lot because he's been waiting seven minutes for the people to pull out of the parking space that is only FIVE FEET CLOSER than the empty space a little further down.
Breathe. Just Breathe...

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

It's Beginning to Look a lot like...

I've got that song running through my head, the one with the line: "And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again."
Today I am flying. Literally. Two school parties to help out at (and of course I'll have to have Thing Three in tow) and I am sleepy. I am sleepy because Toys R Us is open until Midnight (don't worry, I was there) and I was having a panic night because for some reason I thought I could just "walk in" to any store and purchase a Playstation2.
Apparently not.
Toys R Us was sold out. I ran next door to Best Buy. Sold out. I drove to the Other Best Buy across town (the scary part). Sold out. I drove back to the Walmart by my house, sold out. I finally stopped off at the Target next door. Sold out. I was ready to throw up my hands in frustration, because I had done this the day before, searching for a damn Strawberry Shortcake playhouse. (Don't even ask me about Whac-a-Mole. It's even sold out on the Internet.)

So, the Electronics guy at Target must have taken pity on me (I think he's seen me near tears a few times, heh heh) and asked me my kid's ages. I told him, and he said there was hope in sight. He said that the Nintento Gamecube was better suited for younger children, and of course, they had two left. If I wasn't a married woman I would have kissed him. I was that happy.
Now before you think I'm an awful mother, I want you to know that the winters here in Wisconsin are so (insert expletive here) cold, there isn't much to do but stay in the house. We want something for our kids to do, and we really love that video dance game where you dance, and the educational games. And then there's Super Mario Power Tennis, which my hubby will end up playing all day long and he'll be lost to me. Well, it's either that or a Football game, so there isn't much difference!
I've made some New Year's resolutions. I want to have TWO (not one, but two) novels completed by the middle of the year. I've already been working on and off on two of them for six months, it's time I stepped it into high gear. I figure the more novels I write the better my chances of getting at least one of them published!
I told my hubby to get me an ENORMOUS gift certificate to Barnes & Noble. Then I'd be the Happiest Woman On Earth.
Research can get expensive, ya know? *wink*

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Yesterday Through Hagan's Eyes

Hagan is a 5-month old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel we brought home four months ago. He's always looking at us as though we've gone slightly mad, so I decided to think about what it would be like to be in HIS shoes...

Monday, December 20th:
6:30 a.m. I have to go to the bathroom. Must go. I have been dutifully holding it until the small and big hands on the clock are both pointing to six. This is now my cue to whine and scratch at my crate, because I have to GO TO THE BATHROOM!!! Whine. Scratch scratch.
Nothing. If someone doesn't hear me soon, I'll have to bark. Whine. Scratch scratch.
Ah, I hear a sound, yes, YES! It's my MOMMY! She's coming down the stairs to let me out of prison! I get to go outside! Yay!! I am just so excited that I finally get to pee that my tail (geesh that thing has a mind of its own) is thumping the sides of the crate quite loudly: thwack thwack thwack thwack.
Mommy is putting on her coat and mumbling about something; I'm not able to make it out. I catch the words "too friggin early" and "you're lucky you're cute" but I have no idea what those mean. All I know is in about 15 seconds I get to PEE!!! YAY! (thwack thwack thwack). Now I am so excited my whole back half is wagging out of control. Most embarrassing, but I'm too overjoyed at the prospect of peeing to care.
The cage is opened, my leash is put on, and I am at the door! The door slides open and...wait....what is this? White stuff? How pretty! Mommy is standing in it, saying words like "damn cold" and "hurry up" and looking slightly annoyed so I guess I'd better get going.
WAIT. The white stuff is cold! BRRRR! Where's my sweater? No one told me about this stuff! Sniff sniff. Uh oh. This could be a problem...sniff sniff. Oh, no, the scent is gone! I can't smell anything! It's covered over by the white stuff! I guess I'll have to sniff the whole backyard until I catch a whiff of scent, since I have to find exactly the right spot to pee in. It should only take about ten minutes...
My family is strange. I've decided that they run around a lot. Especially after they all sit at the table in the morning. (I can't tell what they're doing, but they don't make much noise). They all get up from the table and run in different directions. And Mommy always yells. She yells at them to clean up the table. She yells at them that they wore that shirt yesterday and no way will they wear it again today. She yells up the stairs that they need to get their hair done. She yells that they need to wear the thick coat and not the thin one. Then they yell that they are NOT wearing the fluffy earmuffs and she yells at them that they WILL or they will catch Pneumonia and die, whatever that means.
Luckily she doesn't yell at me. She stopped doing that after I learned to not pee and poop in the house.
Mommy is upset. She's on the phone, (to Daddy I think) complaining about the roads. She's saying that there's so much salt on the roads, the car looks like it's had a run in with a Christmas-tree Flocking Machine and she's used up all her windshield wiper fluid in one afternoon. Now she's complaining that she needs more hours in the day. Poor Mommy. Maybe if I climb into her lap and poke her with my cold wet nose she'll want to play with me.
My Mommy is DEFINITELY strange. She's dancing in front of the computer now. Now she's picking up the phone and pushing buttons. That phone looks tasty...
She's talking very excitedly. Something about the "do not disturb sign being off the door at J.K. Rowling's site" and something about a release date of harry potter and the half blood prince. Wow. She's really excited about this one. She's distracted too. If I just slip out of my bed and sneak into the living room she doesn't like me to go into...
I am just SO excited that I found my chewing bone behind the sofa! I've been smelling it for weeks and I just knew it was somewhere back there. I took the opportunity to sneak back there and grab it while Mommy was glued to the screen with human words on it at her desk...she didn't even notice. She's been staring at that screen for an hour now, tapping on the buttons furiously with her fingers, pausing only to rub her hands together in fiendish glee.
Yep, People are strange. I am the only sane one around here.
And I lick my butt, for Pete's sake!

Monday, December 20, 2004

Life's little Ironies...

I haven't blogged this weekend, and for that I apologize. Weekends are so jam-packed for me, sitting down in front of a computer is a futile desire.
Now for the conclusion of "Retail Woes..."
As I blogged previously, the entire store was on "CEO May Arrive Any Minute" alert, and I spent the next hour very tense and angry and frustrated.
To make a long story short, the CEO never arrived at our store. All our angst was for nothing. He was mostly likely doing last-minute christmas shopping at the store closest to his home, and then on to other things.
We had tricked our minds into thinking that on the all-important Saturday before Christmas, he was going to methodically visit each store and criticize, (since that's what he normally did, on business days).
The one thing we forgot, is that Corporate Management are People Too. They have families, they do wear clothes other than power suits, and they are generally REALISTIC about chaotic selling days before Christmas.
Case in point: and here's where Life gets a little ironic: My hubby is one of those Retail Corporate people. He spends his time traveling to New York and L.A. and other places, and he tours stores (with all his buyers in tow) and the whole shebang.
Just this Saturday; the Saturday before Christmas, we decided to go out shopping as a family. We were finishing up, and I suggested we go to the mall. My hubby's response was interesting:
"We won't find a parking space, and to be honest, I don't want to freak out the store people. If they see me there, they'll go into a tailspin and think they'll have to clean the store and we won't get any shopping done because everyone will be coming up to me and telling me about their departments, and problems and sales."
He was absolutely right. I remember that awful time when we had "rumors and whispers" of Corporate Management about to descend on us (the sky is falling! the sky is falling!) and Chicken Little was in full force.
Not this Saturday. Instead, we went and had a wonderful lunch with the kids at Panera, and topped it off with Hot Chocolates with whip cream and chocolate syrup.
In reflecting back, I suppose maybe on that awful Saturday, the CEO's wife whispered in her husband's ear: "Honey, maybe we should stay away from the stores--these people are panicking!" If she did, she is nothing less than an Angel of Mercy.

...This is why we should be nice to retail people over the holidays. They are working their butts off, and they have to endure so many parts of Hell that we would never understand. They have pressure from Within, and pressure from Without. They have no quality of Life around the holidays.
So next time you go shopping (if you are one of the crazy ones who actually does shop the week before Christmas) please, please be kind to the salespeople and even maybe wish them Happy Holidays.
It will make all the difference in the world. Otherwise they'll end up "people-haters" like I did, for several years. That's a fate I wouldn't wish on anyone.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Retail Woes Part VI

It's funny, as I write this I am thinking about tomorrow, because tomorrow is the last Saturday before Christmas, which is the topic of my writing as of late. You may want to have a moment of silence for those poor souls who work retail this time of year, because their day tomorrow is going to be exactly like the one I've been describing in my last several blogs. Granted, I haven't worked retail for four years, but things I'm sure don't really change.

So I left off with all the managers standing in the executive office, mortified and panicked because the CEO might be descending upon the store at any moment. Granted, we like to tease our store manager, even under normal circumstances--we've dubbed her "Chicken Little" you see, because to her, the sky is always falling in some form or another. Today is no exception.
A hand goes up in the air, and I'm surprised to find that it's mine.
"Yes Lara?" She asks quickly.
"Well, I'm thinking that if he's just shopping with his wife, he's not going to want to "walk the store" and talk business. Not to mention the fact that he has to understand that this is one of the craziest days of the year, next to the day after Thanksgiving, and he would expect our store to be messy and in turmoil, because it's a mark of good business."
"Nice try," she smirks, and snaps into action. Reality has left her. She is one of those people who would Sink With The Ship.
"I want all of you, ALL of you, to go to your individual departments, and pull any available associates and blitz the aisles," she instructs with a fanatical glare. "Folding tables, displays, anything he can see from the aisle. If he walks through and at least the aisles are clean, he won't have much to complain about."
She has a point, I concede. It's a little trick that we employ in a pinch. I call it the "Aisles-only Illusion." Even if the rest of the department looks like a pack of dogs was let loose through it, if the aisles are straightened, it won't matter. She tells us she'll call a "Code 100" as soon as he's sighted, so that even if we are working fast, that will be our cue to jump it up to superhuman speed.
I hightail it back to my department as fast as my waddling legs will allow. I'm starting to officially get tired. To make matters worse, the baby has finally gotten some of that Cinnabon and I'm getting jabbed in the ribs. "Oohh," I gasp, and stop, as a foot connects with my liver. But I can't stop. If I do, I'd be in danger of not accomplishing the Aisles-only Illusion. So I must press on. I flip open my phone and call my department as I continue to make my way through the store.
10 minutes later, I'm on my knees again, folding an enormous Polo Boys table of polos and pants, and dressing the naked boy mannequins, while some of my associates work furiously beside me. We're nearly 50% there. I'll be damned if I don't acheive the Ultimate Illusion. The CEO will pass through this department and think he's entered the "perfect store zone" and he'll marvel at our prowess and control. I'm lassooing the tornado and riding it like a mechanical bull. Yeee Haawww!
Then my pager goes off, and it's the Shoe department. Gaw, I hate the shoe department. All those shoes and the freaky commissioned people freaking out if they don't get their sales in. But I especially hate shoes because people try to return worn shoes all the time and I actually have to put my foot down. Then there's contention, and I hate contention. I just hate Shoes, period.
Reluctantly I leave my department and walk towards Ladies Shoes, and I see Kate, the Shoe Manager, beckoning furiously at me from the aisle. I walk up to her with a questioning look and she leans in towards me, all secretive. "I need an opinion really quick," she hisses desperately "Look at all these drags. If he sees these...I'm toast."
I look around, and there are semi-formidable mountains of loose shoes (which are called "drags") and tissue and empty boxes, and I count about 20 of them. I look back at Kate, who has a look of sheer panic on her face. "I'm thinking of getting a big dumpster," she whispers. "We can pile them all into the back and he'll never see."
"But then you won't be able to sell them," I counter, growing slightly impatient and surprised at her desperation.
"Who cares!" she snaps. "They're not buying them on the floor like that anyway! Besides, if HE'S coming through...as soon as he leaves I'll set someone to work on them."
"Do as you like," I reply, shaking my head. "But I'm telling you, he's realistic. He's going to EXPECT a mess on a day like this."
She looks at me with horror, as if I've uttered a major blasphemy. I guess in Retail Terms, I have. We must always acheive the Illusion, or die.

Retail People are Freaks of Nature, you see. I'm not talking about the gum-chewing, phone-talking teenagers who would rather be doing ANYTHING but standing behind a counter, but true-blue Retail People, (usually managers of some sort) who are devoted to overachievement and always come in on their days off and literally live at the store to make sure everything is perfect.
Kate is one of these people. Sadly, so am I. (I once re-opened a store at 1am so I could scan markdowns by myself in the dark for four hours just to get caught up.) I've done crazy, desperate things too. Retail People are Freaks of Nature. We really are.
And since we are, I nod my head at her and say "Do what you need to. Just remember you have to deal with it again tomorrow."
"Pshaw, tomorrow is Sunday, we don't open until 9am," she hmmphs. "I'll just bring in half my staff at 5am to clean everything up. It will be fine."
I head back to my department, shaking my head. "She's crazy. We're all crazy." But I stop myself there, because if I give it one more minute's thought, then I will really REALIZE that we're all crazy, hoop-jumping poodle slaves, who work 80-hour weeks and get paid for 40 hours.
I shake my head, and return to my department, continuing to frantically straighten, as I wait with baited breath to hear the dreaded page over the Store Intercom: Code 100, Code 100.

To be continued...

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Retail Woes Part V

There’s a little something you should know about the Retail “Hierarchy”: A retail company has its CEO, then President, then GMM’s and DMM’s. Then there are Buyers, Assistant buyers, Administrative staff, etc. This comprises the Corporate part of the Retail world.
Then there are “The Stores”. The peons of the industry work in “the stores”.
Occasionally, the CEO or President, with his entourage of GMM’s, DMM’s and buyers will descend upon a store for a “Walkthrough.” Most of the time stores are given ample notice of an imminent Walkthrough and can staff accordingly for these momentous occasions. I say momentous because whenever the Top Management is coming through-- the victim in question…er—I mean the Store that is getting walked through, goes through a period of what I like to call Preparation Insanity.
During this time (usually three days before a scheduled Walkthrough) all available resources are pulled into the store, to blitz, ticket, floof, puff, perfect, etc. Any illusion that can be achieved, will be. The store manager and her ASM’s bury themselves in figures and sales and stock reports so that they might be able to spew out Statistics and Sales/Stock/Whatever Your Fancy Facts, on command. They also pull open to close shifts to work side-by-side with their associates recovering, re-arranging floors, ticketing, double-checking signing, etc.
On the Day Of The Dreaded Visit, extra associates are called in, so as to give the illusion of being fully-staffed. Any empty Fire Exits and Disabled Fitting rooms are crammed (*gasp* yes, don’t look at me like that, nothing is sacred during a Walkthrough!) as I was saying, crammed with all sorts of crap that needs to be hidden, like stock boxes, hanging racks, empty fixtures, etc. Even the stockrooms get stuffed to capacity—it's all a common practice that is part of the “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell Genre.”
The atmosphere during a Walkthrough is tense, Managers work in their departments until they get “called up” to walk with the Big Wigs (sort of like taking the last walk before an execution—honest it really feels that way sometimes) and they suffer through anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour of walking every facet of their departments, at attention and ready for questions while the CEO, President, GMM or DMM walks about, gesturing and speaking in a booming voice, while the Entourage furiously scribbles notes with their pointy noses buried in their notebooks.
The day of a Walkthrough is usually very tense until the Corporate Party leaves, and every thing has to be perfectly straight and straightly perfect.
It's a sad thing to admit, but on days like this you actually get mad at customers for shopping and messing up your perfect displays and fixtures.
Now how twisted is that? We should welcome and love and rejoice in the customers who shop in our store, not hate and wish Death upon them for messing up our row of Neatly Folded Scarves!
Pathetic, yes. But it really happens.
I only tell you this to give you an idea of how horrid it is to have someone from Corporate come to a department store—WITH ample warning.

Now we go to once again to my current situation, where we are all standing in our Store Manager’s office, hands on our mouths in a parody of the oft-stolen Scream Painting, on one of the busiest days of the year, where the entire store looks like a Level Five Tornado blew through, then turned around and decided to blow through again.
Customers are angry, the aisles are clogged, the lines at the checkouts are reminiscent of the lines for Opening Day of the Star Wars Movies during the eighties, and there is no hope in sight of making even a dent in the next few hours, let alone ten minutes. And the CEO is coming. THE CEO IS COMING!
And here I must leave you, because I’ve once again run out of room on this blog…
Until tomorrow

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Retail Woes Part IV

I’ve had some people ask me, "is this account for real?" I have to clarify, the answer would be YES. Anyone who has ever worked retail around the holidays knows how desperate and crazy things can get. So, onward we press

I’ve been paged to the Lingerie department. I glance at my watch and see that it is now 4pm. I avoid looking at the racks of bras as I pass by them, remembering with pain how this morning the racks were even and sorted, the bras hanging neatly, and the panty tables stocked with the panties in neat rows, by size.
Now the bra racks look more like colorful lumps in a sea of disarray, and the panty tables each have just one big pile of panties on them. There is almost as much merchandise on the floor as there is on the racks, and I wince as I see the absolutely enormous line of frazzled-looking customers standing at the wrapstand. One of my best employees (we’ll call her “Frances”) is in tears behind the counter because her cash register has literally blown up and eaten all the gift receipts for a man who has just bought about 12 pieces of lingerie. He is yelling at how ridiculous “this all is” and how he has a plane to catch and how she’d better fix this quick.
Her counterpart, Lilly, is trying to ring up customers as fast as she can on the other working register, but the line keeps growing. As I walk up Lilly is waiting on a lady making a large return; she can't seem to find her receipts for anything and as she rummages s-l-o-w-l-y in her purse I note that the looks on the faces of the customers behind her are becoming nothing short of murderous.
I attempt to fix the journal tape, then tell Bernice to take him to a register at the other end of the department and call the Ops Manager. As I’m hanging up with him I hear more sniffling coming from the fitting rooms. I go inside and there is my other trusted employee, (let’s call her Bernice) sitting atop a large pile of assorted bras, girdles, panties, camisoles and other unmentionables. All of them are inside out and off their hangers, and she is frantically trying to put them back on hangers (which by the way, needs to be done in a very specific, time-consuming way when you are hanging bras) and hang them on a double-hanging rack, that is starting to bulge precariously.
“We need to get these back out on the floor,” I comment nervously, looking at the rack with alarm.
“Oh, that’s just part of it,” she hiccups, and motions to the Fire Exit, which I reluctantly walk towards with my eyes half shut and discover SEVEN racks just like the one she’s working on, fairly bursting with hangbacks. I make a call and soon “CODE 99 TO THE LINGERIE DEPARTMENT” sounds over the store intercom.
An hour later I’ve accomplished quite a bit. I’ve put back two of the racks myself, made a side-trip to Housewares and dealt with a screwed-up Caphalon order the size of a small principality in France, asked eight associates to stay to closing (even though they’ve been there since 6am) and performed surgery on three display mannequins because they were wearing the only remaining size the customers absolutely had to have.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there have been a few good points to my day so far, one lady hugged me because I found the truly, truly last pair of the only slippers in the store that would fit her husband’s feet, and another lady told me that she was going to write the store manager a nice note about me because I climbed up onto a display ledge in housewares and whacked down the last dust-bunny-covered box of Exclusive Penguin-tipped Cheese Spreaders. The complements are few and far between...but dang it, I’ll take ‘em.

At 5pm I get a frantic call from the store manager, asking me to come directly to her office. I hurry there as fast as I can, and by the time I arrive all the other managers are crowded inside, and my manager, voice shaking, announces gravely to us that “Mr. So-and-so” (CEO of the company) has been sighted shopping with his wife at the sister store ten miles down the road, and that means he could be here any minute. We all clasp our mouths in horror and a collective gasp of cardiac arrest travels through the room.
To be continued

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Retail Woes Part III

One thing I will never understand about department store customers, is how, when there are large signs posted in EVERY fitting room, practically begging the customer to return their fitting room merchandise to the long hanging bar right outside their fitting room door, the clothes still end up inside the fitting room, on the floor, inside out, times about twenty.
Are they all really pigs like that at home? Or is it the sheer knowledge that someone in the store will ultimately come along and pick up their crap "empower" them to be slovenly and piggish?
Ok, rant over.
The majority of the next eight hours is spent out on the floor, being paged to put out numerous "fires" (like the dishonest Christmas Ornament Return Lady) and helping muck out fitting rooms, change cash tills when they get too much cash in them, listening to disgruntled customers yell at me over our policies (which I usually give in "one time only" for them) and floor recovery. "Floor recovery" is a retail euphemism for Cleaning Up The Tornado The Customers Left In Their Wake.
A page comes over the loudspeaker system "Code 99 to the Handbag department." That means all available managers must go "recover" in the Handbag department, which means that the store manager walked by and noticed that the whole department looks like a sewage dump and is currently freaking out over it. We all hurry to Handbags and lo and behold she's there, frantically heaving piles of handbags with tangled straps from the floor to the sale table they originally resided on.
I spend forty-five minutes in the handbag department on my knees, tucking in straps and replacing tissue into the bags (while answering my pager phone every minute or so) and silently cursing that after this I will never want to see another handbag again.
After the department is satisfactory I realize I never had time for lunch so I grab a diet coke and a Cinnabon just outside the store in the mall (besides, at my stage in pregnancy to walk all the way to the Food Court would kill me) and I eat hurriedly at my desk as my phone rings every 30 seconds because I have turned off my pager and they know it, so they try my office. I bark out instructions and advice on the phone with a mouth full of cinnamon roll, and finally drain my diet coke and heave myself out of my chair, turning my pager on. It immediately beeps and its a 911 from the Lingerie Department.
Whew, only eight hours to go!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Retail Woes Part II

So, after the big 5:55 am store meeting, the doors are opened and the crowds flock in. I give my associates their till bags and then get whisked off to the executive office because I had two associates call in "sick" that morning and I must find replacements. I call people at home and after ten tries of getting no answer, I finally resort to rearranging people from different departments, begging them to work from opening to closing because we need the coverage.
Then I get my first page of the day. It's in the Trim-a-tree department. It's a very angry lady who bought ten boxes of ornaments and she is livid because she's now trying to return them and they are ringing up for three cents each, and she doesn't understand why that is.
"I paid twelve dollars for each one of these boxes! They're right over there!" She points to a stack of boxed ornaments under one of the trees. I look closely at the ornaments that she's returning and scan them, and I see that the barcode is from LAST YEAR and to us, they are only worth three cents.
"M'am" I explain. "These ornaments were purchased last year."
Her eyes get really wide and she says "No. Really?" I swear that I purchased them this year!"
But there's a tone to her voice, and she's got the look, and I know she's lying.
It's the "I-bought-these-last-year-and-shoved-them-in-my-closet-and-forgot-about-them-until-I-saw-them-here-so-I-thought-I'd-try-and-pull-a-fast-one-on-you" look.
I explain to her that the barcodes on the ornaments she's returning are from last year, and they are old merchandise. The wind goes out of her sales quickly, and she packs up her ornaments and leaves, and I breathe a sigh of relief because if she had remained adamant, I would have had to refund them, because after all, they really ARE the exact same ornaments we're selling this year. But that doesn't matter because I get paged again.
It's an angry customer over in Dresses who put a dress on hold the day before, and didn't return to buy it, so we sold the dress to another customer and now she's back and Out For Blood.
Ah, my day is starting out well.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Retail Woes Part I

You have to hand it to the retail people in the stores this time of year. Generally, they are under tremendous pressure anyway, to perform saleswise (it has to ALWAYS be better than Last Year or else) and for their merchandise to look good. Add the Holidays to the mix (which for retailers begins end of August through mid-January) and it's a one-way ticket to Insanity.
I love the Holidays. All the lights and trees and crisply wrapped presents. I even love shopping in the malls--that is until the week before Christmas, when everything gets chaotic and shoppers get nasty and all the selections are picked over to the point where all that remains are size Small and XXXLarge. So I stay far away, because the week before Christmas holds unpleasant memories for me.
I worked retail for twelve years in assorted positions, from selling associate to Manager to Visual, to assistant Buyer.
After a few years, I began to loathe the Holidays. I was a certifiable Ebeneezer Scrooge, because all the Holidays represented to me anymore was long lines of angry uppity customers and a mad scramble to constantly rearrange the store to make everything fit and shift when new merchandise came in.
And then there was the Day After Christmas Sale, which is too painful to talk about and frankly I've blocked most of them from my active memory as a self-preservation mechanism.
So, in my next couple of blogs I'm going to chronicle the typical day of a Retail Manager working for...hmm...let's just say a Major Department Store. But this particular day will be the Saturday before Christmas.
And by the way: this is a TRUE story.
It's the Saturday before the 25th, and I am the manager over the Accessories and Kids' departments. I get to work at 4am, because we were so busy with long lines of customers the day before, none of the new stock got put out. (I stayed at work the night before recovering the store until 1am, because we closed at Midnight.) I am not scheduled to come in until Noon, because I closed the night before, but I'm here anyway, out of sheer panic over "not getting stuff done," and as I walk in, I see all the other managers who closed with me. We're getting ready for another 18-20-hour day, just like the day before, and the day before that.)
The store will be opening at 6am (lines actually begin to form at the doors at 5:30) so we have roughly two hours to put out twelve hanging racks of merchandise and 19 large boxes of stuff like socks, and slippers and toys.
Some of my loyal associates stumble sleepily into the store shortly after me, I've brought doughnuts and coffee for them because I know the day ahead of us will be absolute hell.
By the time they arrive, I've already run the sales numbers from yesterday, printed the markdown sheets for today, ensured that I'm adequately staffed, and gotten out all the new sales signs because the ones we spent an hour putting up the day before need to be changed now: from 40% off to 50.
I give my associates a quick pep talk, we discuss sales and credit apps (all stores make their employees push credit applications on the customers--in fact the store I work for actually terminates employees if they don't get a certain number of credit apps during a specific time period!) and then I break them up into groups: one group to put stock out, one to put signs out, one group to re-ticket markdowns, and another group to tackle Mount Vesuvius outside of each fitting room--the clothes are piled several feet high on chairs, the cashwrap, thrown over racks, you name it. They all must be re-hung and folded, and THEN put back wherever they go in the vast department.
And yes, we only have an hour and 40 minutes to accomplish this.
I turn on a portable radio: I take requests and we work to the station of choice, blaring, because we must, absolutely must drown out the Elevator Christmas Music playing over the store speakers. (Not that we hate the music, but we've been subjected to it for the last two months, and even Elvis singing Blue Christmas can get old after you've heard it a couple hundred times.)
We work quickly, mostly in silence, and I busy myself with tearing open boxes and throwing merchandise out as fast as I can.
Then at ten minutes to Six we hear an announcement over the loud speakers announcing a Morning Store meeting, and would everyone proceed to the bedding department, so we can have a pow-wow before the store opens. My associates groan because they've only accomplished about 50% of what they needed to get done, and as soon as those doors open what is left will have to get shoved and hidden (yes, even in the Fire Exits and Spare Dressing rooms) until 4am the next morning.
My associates leave to go to the meeting, I tell them I'll be right there, but I have to go to the office and sit down and remove my shoes for 60 seconds, because after all, I am Eight months pregnant...

to be continued...

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Soapbox Time...

Okay. Celebrities. We love them, and hate them, but mostly hate them because they're self-absorbed, selfish, egomaniacal, over-medicated, spendaholic entouraged flakes who ruin their kids lives with the bestowal of ridiculous monikers at birth. HOWEVER, you have to feel bad for them for one reason:
So I'm standing in line at Target this morning, and one of the Celeb mags (not even a tabloid!) had a big picture of Jennifer Lopez on it and the caption read something like "JLo and Marc headed for a Breakup?" The crux of the entire story was based on a loud argument they had at a hotel. This is where I don't envy celebrities. And I can see why they're so cranky and mean. If a tabloid came out with an "Imminent Divorce" story every time I had an argument with my hubby, I'd be cranky and mean too. Granted, we argue seldomly, but we do argue and THAT'S NORMAL. Someone needs to get it through these magazine bloke's heads that when people argue, IT'S A NORMAL MARRIED THING TO DO AND IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THEY'RE HEADED FOR DIVORCE!!!
So please, Leave Brad and Jen alone! Leave Nick and Jessica alone! Can't they argue and get annoyed with each other like normal married couples should?
There, I'm putting away the soapbox.
I am not going to get any writing done today, I can tell. I have to shop for insurance. I am NOT excited to do that. I also have to plan out my husband's christmas gifts for his work. He has about 32 people working for him in his division, and that sure is a lot of cookies and fudge and gift certificates. Yikes. I'd better get planning--only two more Saturday's till Christmas!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Insomnia getting to me

I think all these nights of staying up late are getting to me...last night, after the kids were in bed, (around 9pm) I was clicking through the channels, and I stumbled on "Bend It Like Beckham," (I love this movie) and I started watching it.
Suddenly I was snapping awake and I was at the end of the movie! I don't even remember falling asleep--that's how tired I was! It was very strange. But then I wasn't tired because I'd had a little "nap" and I ended up staying up until 2am playing around with one of my chapters from my victorian novel.
So, once again, I'm tired. I just got Thing One off to school and I get to drag Things Two and Three with me to the dentist--now that should be an adventure.
My Christmas card list has grown at this point to where I'd better just get them all sent now before I remember more. Especially since I've already received a few from the people I like to call the On Top Of Things People. My friend Aimee is On Top Of Things. My sister-in-law Michelle is On Top Of Things.
Sadly, I fall into the category of: Underneath About Ten Tasks And Desperatly Attempting To Claw My Way Out So There's No Way In Hell I'll Ever Be On Top Of Things Until Maybe About Spring.
But hey, I'm still a good person!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Busy busy day

Whew! I JUST got home--it's been a crazy day. I've been in a sort of pissy mood today because it has now rained for three days straight, and every time I run from the car to the store, to the school, to the wherever, I get soaked.
And all I have is this ancient, HUGE embarrasing white and yellow striped umbrella that says ARAMIS across it in huge letters. (I still don't know how we ended up with it because my hubby doesn't even wear that cologne) But I can't go and actually buy a non-embarrassing umbrella because my current one is funtioning perfectly well and I shouldn't be so materialistic and dammit, I can fit eight people walking under it if we time our steps right! So the Aramis (aka Thorn-in-my-materialistic-side/Dinosaur) Umbrella continues to embarrass me. I've taken to just putting my hair in a clip and saying to heck with it.
Of course running from the car to wherever in high-heeled boots is a different story...

I am looking forward to tonight. After the kids are in bed, I'm going to have a bowl of Blue Bunny Toasted Almond Fudge icecream and watch a movie, just because I can! Even on a school night! Ha ha ha ha! I'm such a rebel!

Monday, December 06, 2004

Playing it Safe?

My three-year old turned four yesterday, and he said (as I placed his Spiderman icecream cake in front of him) "Mom, you're STUPENDOUS!"
Who knows where he learned that word--maybe it stems from the fact that he and his siblings have watched every episode of SpongeBob Squarepants known to Man...but it was really a *cute* moment.
It's pouring rain outside--has been for two days now. Our lawn is this supercharged deep-sea green color--not something you fnd much in December! All the snow melted a few days ago and now it's warm enough for capris--I don't get this weather. I definitely want to stay in and write as opposed to going out and running errands.
Hubby left for New York yesterday so I was an insomniac last night, but I got a bug and decided to organize my walk-in closet--I started at 9 and finished at 2am. Whew! I could have been writing, but hey, everything is hung and folded and coordinated by season. I am giving away 75% of all my old dresses (who really wears dresses anyway nowadays?) and I am a very nostalgic and sentimental person (Oh, I can't toss this dress, I had my first kiss with so-and-so in it, etc..) so it was an emotional night for me. The other 25% I couldn't bear to part with. I also got rid of roughly half my shoes. Now I can actually walk into my walk-in closet! :-)

I have a confession to make--I think I chose closet-cleaning over writing for a reason: this story I'm working on has taken some turns that have confused me. I usually write safe simple YA and children's fare, and I decided to try my hand at a light romance for a change. Well, it's turning into this heavy adult drama on me, and I'm surprising myself. My characters are adults, and they're living in the Promiscuous 1700's, and they're wanting to act accordingly.
My problem is--I don't know how well a story like this (written by me) would be received by my peers. And family. Everyone I know, friends, family, etc. are very conservative and religious, and frankly, this story would shock (and offend) them. So, I'm having second thoughts. I toyed with the idea of a pen name, but I decided that if I'm embarrassed for my own husband to read this, it would never see the light of day. (heh heh, I just remembered my mother reads this blog--sorry Mom!) I also just asked myself the "CTR question" (don't ask) and that settled it for me.
So I think I will quit writing this story for now. Maybe it's a phase--I am dissatisfied with writing "safe fiction" because it's all I've ever done. But that's not a bad thing. Who knows, someday when I'm 60 and don't give a rat's a** what people think of me I'll pick it out of the drawer and dust it off.
For now, I'm playing it safe...

Saturday, December 04, 2004

An Interesting Turn of events...

*Yawn* Stretch...I've been sleeping in the guest room (my choice mind you, I have strep and I don't want to get anyone sick) and it's very peaceful down here, away from the family. Not that I want to "get away" from Hubby and the kids, it's just more conducive to writing.
Everyone is still asleep right now, my little puppy woke me up to go to potty, and so I'm relishing the quiet time. But in about 15 minutes, they'll all be awake so I have to type fast...
Last night was Stay-in Movie night and so we finally watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I have to say, that Dan Radcliffe is becoming quite the hottie. (No, I'm NOT Mary Kay Le Tourneau, I'm a 32 year-old woman making an OBSERVATION). I just love how the HP world is brought to life--it really is the way I picture it when I read the books.

Speaking of books, I had an interesting thing happen last night while I was writing. My characters made some unexpected turns and twists. For instance, my main hero, (yeah, the one who was going to "get the girl" etc.) turned out to be a lecherous creep. He wants none of that Protagonist bullsh*t. He wants to be himself, and *himself* is not worthy of my pristine, righteous heroine.
So, I've added a pristine, righteous older brother, who seems to be wanting the Protagonist job. It kind of shocked me--frankly I didn't see it coming. But it works out better--more tension for the reader!
Oooh, I hear the pitter patter of pajama'ed feet--time to make one of my enormous "Saturday Breakfasts!"

Friday, December 03, 2004

Under the Weather...

Well, it's official. I have strep throat. I was at the Urgent Care clinic two days ago, my throat so painful I couldn't swallow or talk, and my culture came back positive. BLAG. I just hope and pray my kids don't get it, or my hubby, because he's leaving on a ten-day business trip to New York this Sunday.
But hey, I have Tylenol with Codeine, and life is good. I just can't drive anywhere. Which is bad. I had about six errands to run today. Maybe I'll have to forgo the lovely Codeine until nightfall, when I won't need to drive anywhere.

Okay, daunting item of the day: THE DREADED CHRISTMAS CARD LIST.
I have developed a system that every time we get a Christmas card (with the exception of businesses) I drop it in a folder so that when the next December rolls around, I can pull them out and use them to start my Dreaded Christmas Card List. So far I am up to 36 people, which isn't bad, but my hubby needs about 50 cards for his work people and contacts, and I pride myself on hand-making the Christmas cards every year. That brings the grand total to about around 100 hand-made cards I'll be needing by THIS weekend.

To HECK with that. I'm heading to the local Hallmark...

I got inspired last night to start another novel. This one will be much shorter, and it is unlike anything I've ever done. (I've always done fiction for youth and children). I have two WIP's already out there, I don't want to overload myself with a third, but when I get something buzzing in my brain, I can't ignore it. I'll work on it during Hubby's business trip (nights are long when he's gone) and we'll see what happens...

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I love my dog, I love my dog...

5 a.m.
Five Freaking a.m. That's the time this morning at which my puppy, Hagan, decided he absolutely had to go to the bathroom. There's nothing like a brisk trudge through frozen snow at that hour, to really wake you up and get your thoughts percolating. I'm not a coffee drinker (Postum is my morning drink of choice) but I was wishing I was this morning. Other lovelies I have discovered this morning are that we left the Christmas lights burning all night long (*gasp* the Energy bill!) and my youngest son, Thing Three, forgot to put on his pullups last night and wet the bed. (And this kid drinks enough water to equivalent the Snake River most nights.) Lovely.

Today is a quiet day--I only have to run to the dry cleaners after packing the kids off to school, then I'm on the Preschool Christmas Party decorating committee (we're setting up at 10:30) and after that I only have to bake and frost six dozen cookies, make fudge and Almond roca for yet another party, and then deliver it across town and then run like hell and actually ATTEND the first party I decorated for (after we gulp down a quick dinner) which I will be lugging all three children by myself to, unless my hubby gets home by 6:15, which would be nothing short of a Christmas Miracle.
But I believe in miracles. *grin*
Speaking of which, I have the desire to write again. I watched one of my favorite movies, The Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice (well, just the first few hours anyway, didn't have time for the whole bloody thing) and I feel renewed, motivated and ready.
Now if I could just find the time...

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

CSI Overload

My poor hubby. Our favorite TV shows are finally getting to him. On Mondays, it's CSI Miami. On Tuesdays it's Law and Order SVU. On Wednesdays, it's Cold Case and CSI New York. On Thursdays, it's CSI and Without A Trace. Talk about your crime shows! We're obsessed. They're too much fun.
Alas, my hubby told me this morning that he had a dream that lasted the entire night--that he was a CSI and he was working on a horrible case where a woman had been dismembered and he and his CSI buddies (armed with their little CSI flashlights in the dark) were methodically going through a very large house and collecting all her hidden body parts. A finger here, a toe there, a hand in the fridge, etc. (Ew, I know!) He said it was an awful dream.
I told him it would have been a worse dream if he had been stuck in the lab with all those little cotton swabbers and water droppers and microscopes---all night long.
So...tonight it's CSI New York. I'm hoping it's not about recovering body parts--for his sake!

On the Writing front, I'm still stagnating. I can't seem to get out of my funk. My story has been with the big publishing company for several weeks now, I would think that if the response was positive it would have been quicker. I am waiting for the polite and perfunctory rejection note ANY day now. I seem to have lost the heart to dive into anything for the time being. I need to find something to inspire me. I just don't know what...

Tuesday, November 30, 2004


Lately, I have been "making up" words, so you'll have to forgive me. I don't know if stagnancy is a word, but its the current state I'm in with my writing.
During my in-laws visit, I didn't do any writing (not even blogging) for six days straight. Now, I don't really have the "desire" to write. I hope that makes sense.
Writing for me, can be a fleeting thing. I am so busy with my kids and family and household things in regular life, I have few precious moments to live in my dream worlds and write what I see. If I don't do it on a regular basis, then the "urge" to do it fades for me, and I'll go months at a time without looking at my WIPs.
So far, it has been about two weeks. Hence my feeling of "Stagnancy." And with the current state of my household (transition between Halloween and Christmas decorations) and all the Christmas stuff I need to do this month, I just don't know when I'll visit my stories again. It's a depressing thought.
Stagnancy. I'll have to file that away in my folder of "icky" words...

Monday, November 29, 2004

December woes?

Ah, the dreaded month of December approaches...
I love December. I love the Holidays. I, however, DO NOT LOVE the perpetual feeling of overwhelmement (yes I know its not a word) that I feel during the entire month of December. I mean good grief, there are presents to buy, a house to decorate, parties to throw and attend, and the faster I run, the faster I need to run, it seems.
Of course living in the neigborhood I do, everyone is trying to "out-Griswald" each other when it comes to decorations and such. I am content to have lighted garland across my front door frame, lights on my bushes and trees, wreaths over all my coach lights on my house, and my lantern-pole wrapped in garland with a big red bow. I am happy to stop there. My neighbors, however, won't be satisfied until the street resembles a portion of the Las Vegas Strip.
Actually, I think it's pretty at night (which comes around 4pm now) and I am glad to be part of such a Holiday-enthusiastic Neighborhood. Now that the outside of the house is done--it's time for the inside.
Now that, friends, is the weeklong ordeal.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Rush for Azkaban...

As soon as I get Thing One off to school on the bus, I am piling Things Two and Three into the car to rush to Target, because if I wait until after noon when I take Thing Three to preschool, then the copies of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban will be sold out.
Of course, I don't allow my kids to watch movies during the daytime, and the Grandparents land tonight, so it will be a day or two before we can actually watch Harry Potter. My kids saw it only once in the movie theatre (they were a little scared of the dementors and werewolf) so it's not like I can just give them the movie and let them watch it themselves...
My house is as clean as it's going to get. I'm normally anal about how my towels must be perfectly folded and stacked (by color) into the linen closet upstairs, but I decided to hell with that this time. Too much other stuff to worry about. I bought the 20 pound turkey (whew, HUGE) and the stuffing, because if I wait any longer, all the turkey stuffing will be sold out and I'll be stuffing my turkey with Chicken Flavor, heh heh. One year we did the anti-cooking thing and went to Boston Market. We thought it was so much fun, we now do it every Christmas Eve. My mother-in-law is mortified that we do that, but it's a fun tradition.
Oooh, gotta get the boys dressed and the car ready...

Monday, November 22, 2004

Tasmanian Devil Day...

Okay, you know that little cartoon character from Looney Tunes--the one who makes all those crazy grunts and is constantly whirling around with a self-propelled cyclone?...
That's me today. In-laws are coming tomorrow, so I have to finish cleaning the house, do about 8 loads of laundry, and do a BIG grocery shop (which means driving 30 minutes two towns over because WE don't have a super Walmart) AND to top it off I still have to do my regular routine of dry cleaners, asst. stores and taking my preschooler to and from school and driving like a bat out of hell because once I drop him off at the preschool I have 7.9 minutes before my kindergartener's bus stops by our house. I'm sure people in my neighborhood think I'm the crazy lady who drives the Big, Red, Always-Speeding Expedition.
So, crazy/nutso day today. Luckily we are all over our colds and coughs. Because that would truly suck.
I decided to hell with getting up all the Christmas decorations in one day. Superwoman, I ain't.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

What to do, what to do...

I have a dilemma. As I mentioned in earlier posts, my in-laws are coming for Thanksgiving. So, while I am cleaning my house this weekend, do I just put up the Christmas decorations so they'll all be up when they get here? This solves the problem of me being territorial, but I'll kill myself in the process. Hmmm. What to do...
On the writing front, I am at a crossroads. I can't decide which novel to work on. I currently have three going, and I need to make a decision. I have the sequel to the one on submission (which needs a lot of work) and I have two started victorian novels.
Argh! I need my magic 8 ball to tell me what to do!

Friday, November 19, 2004

The Dreaded Female Doctor Appointment...

Okay, yesterday I went to...well, you can see the title of my post. So, answer me this question, please:

What posseses a man, who is 6’7, and very large, with hands the size of banana bunches (and fingers the size of polish sausages no less) to become, of all things…a gynecologist?
I now feel that there should be a professional hand size limit for gynecology candidates. They should line them all up at the entrance to the medical school and measure them.
Oh. Sorry. You can't be a gynecologist. Your hands are bigger than the allotted limit. You must choose a different field of study...

'Nuff Said on that subject.

We are very big Harry Potter Fans here at our house. I think my children have every Harry Potter toy ever made, they are currently zooming around the basement with their scarlet Quidditch robes and broomsticks (a gift from Grandma) to the Harry Potter soundtrack at full volume. Even my husband, Mr. Dignified Professional Corporate Vice President, has read the HP Series in its entirety...twice. He would never tell anyone that of course, but it's kinda cute, I think.
So, we are excited that AZKABAN is coming out on DVD on Tuesday. I'll have to be at Target bright and early to get a copy--it's a funny phenomenon here: the HP movies seem to disappear VERY fast from the stores. The stores here literally run out. When CHAMBER OF SECRETS came out I literally drove to five stores before paying a ridiculous price for a copy from the local Jewel--and I got the last copy at that. This time around I'll be smarter.
As a writer, I can understand that the pressure on Jo Rowling must be immense right now. I'm sure she's taking it in stride...but I also know that people are literally chomping at the bit for her next novel--there are entire websites dedicated to speculation on when she'll actually be finished with it--especially since she's pregnant again. I can't concentrate on squat when I'm pregnant. I have hope that she can...

Thursday, November 18, 2004

My Alias/Christmas Rant

My voice is "sort of" back today--but I still feel under the weather. If only the sun would shine here! We're going on seven days without sun. Fairly depressing.
Another depressing bit of news, my favorite TV show, Alias, isn't starting up again until January. I mean, what is the deal with that? I love that show, and have been waiting (very patiently, mind you) since September (when all the OTHER shows started up again) and now I have to wait essentially two more months?
CRUELTY I say! All because silly Jennifer Garner and Michael Vartan "couldn't work together well" after their breakup so they've had to kill Vaughn off and rewrite the storyline. I have to say it, after all the history and angst and sexual tension these two have gone through ONSCREEN, it will be a major letdown to the viewers, if the writers axe Vaughn and destroy one of the Greatest Love Stories Since Ross and Rachel.
Whew. Okay. I need to breathe!
I am officially going into panic mode now, since the In-laws are arriving in now only FIVE days. Gotta clean clean clean or I'll be mud mud mud. And so it goes. To top everything off, my hubby casually suggested that "wouldn't it be fun" to put up all the Christmas decorations" while his parents are here for Thanksgiving. (I'll pause here, and count to ten, before typing...)
FIRST of all, putting up my Christmas decorations is a weeklong ordeal, that he seems to think can be packed into one day.
SECONDLY, the putting-up-of-the-decorations, is MY job and MY job alone. I am very anal about how things have to look, they have to be "just so" and I am very much against tackiness. It makes me break out in hives, tackiness does.
THIRDLY, he's smoking something, if he thinks us "all pitching in and doing it in one day" thing is going to work. I'll freak out if things get set up wrong (aka different from how I'd do it) and some of the decorations are getting old and are very fragile. And then there are the trees. I have several themed trees. There's the burgundy and gold tree for the sitting room window, then there's the enormous gold-ornament and bow tree I hoist onto my way high up display shelf to be visible from the big window above my front door. THEN there's the eight foot tree (the one Santa puts the presents under) that goes in the formal family room. Then there's the smaller trees for the formal dining, family room, basement, office, kitchen/breakfast area, you name it. We're talking LOTS of trees. Not to mention the wall hangings, and the stockings, and the garlands and bows on the stair bannisters, hearth, etc. etc. etc. (We haven't even addressed the OUTSIDE yet).
I just discovered that I'm ranting now. But my point to all this, Christmas decorating is MINE, and it takes a week (I start immediately after Thanksgiving) and I don't need or want help.
Am I crazy? Control freak, yes, but crazy?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

So today I've decided to be...

a mute. Actually, it's not a conscious decision, I just woke up this morning and discovered that my voice was gone. Seriously. I can't even squawk--I can only whisper, and that's it. And I have at least half a dozen phone calls to make today, and a birthday party to chaperone (in a notoriously loud and chaotic MacDonaldland playplace) and I think the day will prove to be very...interesting.
I wasn't able to write yesterday, and my character's demands are pretty much festering in my mind. I am reading the ms of one of my writer buddies, and I'd rather read than write at this point. I should set aside some time though, or my character will lose interest in me and stop talking...and that would be very bad.
It's funny how it works--when my characters want to talk to me, they're all I can think about. But if I ignore their suggestions, and put them off long enough, the golden aura disappears and they fade away back into the dormant places of my mind, and start collecting dust once more.
I can't let that happen to this current character. Besides, she's very determined it seems. She's even crept into my dreams, of all places!
I'll pay her proper attention tonight, I promise.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Rainy Day

Feeling SO much better today. Of course, I currently sound like Lucille Ball in her latter years, but I'll kick this head cold soon!
We are having a mitigation system put in today. It's the weirdest thing. I guess our subdivision is teeming with Radon (our test came in quite high) and so this guy is coming in to install a mechanism that will suck the Radon out of our basement and blow it out of our roof. He explained it all to me, but it is still strange. (Then again, we lived the majority of our married lives in Texas, so basements are still strange to us!)
Okay, the depressing part--the sun seems to completely disappear in Wisconsin from November 1st to May 1st--and we literally get one day of sun out of ten, if we're lucky. Winter is a very depressing time here. It's been overcast and drizzling for several days now. It's great snuggle-up-with-your-loved-ones-with-a-steaming-mug-of-hot-chocolate weather, but it also makes one very, very sleepy.
I dreamed about one of my characters last night. She found herself in a very interesting situation. It has given me a wonderful opportunity to take her story in a new direction. She's telling me that she's not diabolical after all, but a good person at the core, fighting her destiny. We'll see where she takes me today--I have to babysit the Mitigation Installation Man, so I'll have a couple of hours to write! (Even though I should be cleaning out my closets with a toothbrush--in-laws are coming in EXACTLY SEVEN DAYS!)
Whheewww. I just got a shiver...

Monday, November 15, 2004

Warning: Stressful week ahead...

I couldn't sleep this morning (mostly because I couldn't breathe) and so I've been up since five. Damn head cold. My puppy was loving all the attention, but now I am very stressed, planning the week ahead. I think I mentioned the dreaded "dinner party" that I am in no shape to attend. Not to mention the fact that before I can even consider going I need to get my hair, nails and feet done, and buy a fabulous (which usually means pricey) outfit. NOT EXCITING PEOPLE. I dread this. I dread this like I dread things like...LUNG CANCER and my CHILDREN GETTING KIDNAPPED. I like to be in a state of general non-stress, which just isn't going to happen for me this week.
I wish I could fast forward until Sunday, then I'd be happy. But alas, the Fast Forwarding Your Life A Few Days Fairy is nowhere to be found. Bad for me...
To top everything off, my in-laws are visiting next week, for the holiday. I am fine with them coming, it's just the cleaning part beforehand (my mother-in-law lives in an immaculate house, and I do NOT.) There's something about the expectation level on the part of my in-laws. They're very clean people. Almost abnormally so. It seriously affects all their children. I remember many times my sister-in-law would stay up waaayyyy into the wee hours of the morning, just cleaning her house the night before they visited, so they would never suspect that she actually did live in a house of chaos most of the time. After a few tiring years of that, she got over it, and didn't clean. (or at least, she SAID she didn't!)
I, on the other hand, am still in the "I Must Clean Everything Immaculately Before They Visit" frame of mind. It's been nine years, and I still torture myself. Guess I still yearn to be accepted as a non-messy person! (heh heh.) I guess it all started when in the earlier years of our marriage, my husbands mother, during one visit, crawled under my kitchen sink and cleaned it out. Needless to say, that mortified me for good for a few years...
Guess I'd better start cleaning...

Sunday, November 14, 2004

I really, really really HATE being sick...

I guess it was inevitable--all three kids have had colds and coughs for two weeks now, and since I am the primary comforter/kiss-giver, well, now I've got a doozy of a head cold. You know, the sore icky throat, and the head made of cement--yeah, baby. Bring it on.
I am going to have an interesting week because I have a stressful dinner party to go to on Friday--lots of bigwigs and such from my hubby's work, and I am not exactly "party-worthy" at this moment (heh heh, I wish you could see me, lounging in sweats, unshowered, stringy hair, hunched over the computer with assorted used tissues everwhere) Yep. I'm ready to go party right now!
I have taken a break from writing to get my house organized and take care of the sick children--I have my in-laws coming next week, and although I love them dearly, they can be a bit of a stress to have around. I guess that makes me normal. This is going to be an interesting week, to be sure. Mostly, I'll have to run around, getting ready for the imminent visit and the dreaded party--I am going to erupt in large boils before this is all over.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Okay, Okay

I'm a bad blogger. Life just seems to get in the way sometimes! Then again, I'm the worst-organized person I know. I have started another blog with another person, and that's been taking time too. So many excuses! I'll be better.
To update me:
I am currently working on a new novel, and I am very excited about it. I've had to stop and do some research as of late, but it's coming along swimmingly otherwise.
My other novel is in the hands of a senior editor at another big publisher, I am nervous, but frankly, I am over it. I have too much going on to stress over an "imminent rejection" to top everything off. I will just wait to hear from my agent, whether it's good news or bad.
I've been busy chauffeuring my kids everywhere--thank heaven soccer is over at this point. Now it's just swimming and Brownies and Pom Pons.
We're supposed to get snow on Thursday. I've gone into Winter Preparation Mode. I've cleaned out the garage, moved all the toys, balls, etc into their storage containers, removed the coiled hoses from the side of the house (before they can freeze), chopped down all the dying perennials, and moved the grill and patio furniture into storage. *sniff*
Now I just need to buy three pairs of snowboots, since my kids have outgrown their last-year ones and officially have KANGAROO FEET. Oh well, they can't help it. They're all going to be tall. I'm tall. Their father is tall. There you go.
I have to go run about five errands now--I'll blog more tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Get out and VOTE!!!!

I feel very strongly about this. It is every American's God-given right, to vote for the candidate of their choice, and use their voice for good. What a marvelous thing democracy is.

My hubby and I got out about 6:30 this morning to go to our polling place, and by the time it opened, we had about 40-50 people in front of us, and about 500 behind us! (whew!) That is an awesome thing. So many people are so passionate this time around, and we're all making a difference.
I know some people who aren't voting, because they are either lazy or just not "interested in politics." This saddens me greatly. If every american had the same ignorant, apathetic attitude, democracy wouldn't work. People think "I'm only one person, it doesn't matter whether I vote or not." Well, elections have been won and lost by very small margins before, and especially in this election, where the candidates seem to be in a dead heat, literally EVERY VOTE COUNTS.
I'll step off my soapbox for now, but at least you know where I stand.

As for my candidate: I'll only say this: GO (SO-AND-SO!)!!!!!! Hopefully he'll win tonight.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

I've been on hiatus...

I won't lie and say that my last rejection didn't take the wind out of my sails. So I took a break and regrouped and focused solely on family and the tasks I need to accomplish. I haven't even had time to write lately. Especially with all the trauma this last week has held! We found a water leak in our house (disaster--I won't go into it or I'll have to start throwing things at indefensible objects) and our Radon test came out absurdly high--which means that we get to spend an absurd amount of $$ and get a mitigation system put into our basement. Well, it's better than the alternative--Lung Cancer. Ick.
I had the darnedest thing happen this morning--it was 6am and I was lying on my bed, listening to my daughter downstairs, playing with the puppy. She was teasing him with a chew toy and he was growling playfully at her. Suddenly, a story idea "popped" into my head with an almost audible "WHOOSH", and I had to leap from the bed and grab a fresh composition notebook, to write my thoughts down. Now I have a new story idea, and it's a fun one, and I am very excited to get started on it. My muse is back!!! Woo hoo! The sting of rejection has faded, and now, I am BACK IN BUSINESS. I will start writing it immediately.
But first I have to run to the post office, the dry cleaners and the store, pay bills, clean my 1st floor of my house, walk the dog, take my kids to school and learn how to sew a halloween costume...

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Rejection Sucks

I didn't post yesterday because I was too beside myself--my novel got rejected by the editor at the big publishing company. I got the email from my agent in the morning, and frankly, I was stunned throughout most of the day, until I got on the phone with my mom (she always brings out the waterworks--and I revert to being a teenager it seems) so I got it all out.
I sort of spent the day in a perilous stupor, thinking dangerous thoughts like "why do I even write--I obviously stink" and "I'll never do this again, I'm throwing in the proverbial towel," etc..

I had a conversation with my agent today and he seems very optimistic that we'll place the novel, I mean after all, the editor LOVED it and raved about it, until she did an about-face and decided it was really "not for her." (maybe she works with John Kerry?)
Ok that was a cheap shot but it was strange that she did such an about-face, with little or no explanation. Life goes on. I will go on. Hopefully this will make me a better person, and I'll want to go out and save the world, be kind to stray animals, recycle, etc..
For now I'm concentrating on something new, and not letting it get me down. The weather is so beautiful here, with the fall colors, and the crisp air, and I LOVE the fact that I have a corner desk in my office with two big windows on either side, so I can enjoy the view while I write.
Life is good. I just need to be patient.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Happy Fall Y'all!

I am so glad it's October! I bought my cornstalks and hay bales and fake pumpkins (I'm not into real ones, they rot and turn very gross) and I've decked out my lightpole and front porch. The inside of my house is officially done too.
My maple in my front yard is now a beautiful red color, and all the trees around here are turning.
It's been pretty dang windy too--my puppy loves to chase the leaves--it's hilarious.
I'd type more but CSI Miami is on in one minute...

Friday, October 01, 2004

I must be a Luddite...

I am BEHIND the times. I must be. All my writer pals have AlphaSmarts and Thumb Drives, and lots of little accessories for their computers. I have a basic laptop with DIAL-UP (I know, *gasp*! The horror!) and other than a printer and mouse, I don't have anything else.
(I did, however graduate to a digital camera a few years ago, but other than that, I must be resistant to technological change.)
My recent experience with dowloading Microsoft's Windows XP Service Pack 2 set me back a few decades in thought as well. I now have formulated a theory, though unproven:

Microsoft DELIBERATELY (yes, deliberately) puts "bugs" in their programs, so that when all us average-joe lemmings download their programs without question (I mean, hell, it's Microsoft for pete's sake, you have to trust them!) our computers mysteriously "lock up". Then, as anticipated, we all run like the wind to the phone so we can call to "save our babies" (aka computers).
This is unfortunate, because the phone call always seems to end with Average-Joe Lemming speaking with a NON-Computer-Savvy Person reading from a troubleshooting manual in New Dehli, (that's INDIA for you geographically challenged) who is probably earning about $2 an hour, and charging us $19.95 to he can read verbatim from the manual we received with our computers, which by the way we already have, but in our panic have forgotten to read.

Am I bitter? No. I finally got everything back, but that little annoying "updates ready to download" icon at the bottom right of my screen keeps flashing at me, and when I check to see what the download is, my blood runs cold. Windows XP Service Pack 2.
I even went so far as to call my husband at work and tell him if he downloads any updates on my computer I will KILL him. (He said he already knows not to mess with my computer, so not to worry).
So, I'll just have to keep clicking "cancel" for now. If my theory is correct, I would be in a heap of trouble if I didn't.
As for the Luddite thing, at least there's hope for me. I am looking into buying a modest webcam, so my parents can see their grandkids more than once a year...

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

It's Alive!!!

FINALLY! My laptop has been revived. It's only been a week and a half. The longest ten days of my life. I've been reinstalling everything the ENTIRE day, neglecting kids, dog, house, and just about everything else.
I am just glad I saved my writing files and I will be able to resume work on my sequel. I've decided I'm going to throw myself into it until I either get rejected, or get an offer, it can't hurt at this point. Besides, I wrote it pretty hastily--it needs some major EDITING.
It is getting COLD lately! It's only been in the low 60's here today, and I can't wait to start putting the Halloween/Harvest decorations up. I might actually get them up tomorrow! I love the holidays!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Good News does a body good...

Yesterday had the perfect ending! It was a whirwind day of running around here and there--and I didn't have time to check my email. I finally checked it at 6pm, and there was an email from my agent! Long story short, the editor at the Big Publisher liked my story revision, and will be passing it to the Senior Editor in a few weeks! I was VERY excited! Now I need to get my @#$%&*!! laptop fixed so I can work on the sequel again! I was really making some progress on it before the Windows XP Service Pack 2 Incident.
Of course on my kids computer this morning, it's prompting me to download service pack 2 onto THIS computer.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Ahh, Mondays

What is it about weekends? I seem to get nothing done during Saturday and Sunday, except run around and let my house clutter up. I guess it's because I am cleaning during the week, so Saturday and Sunday are my "rest" days. But I pay for it on Monday. Today I have about eight things to contend with, but at least I have all three kids in school for 2.5 hours and I'll be able to get a chunk of it done.
Hagan (our pup) has a vet appt. this morning. We are going to find out why he pees so much. The poor dog pees every 10 minutes, and has several accidents a day. I am hoping it's an infection that can be cleared up with pills or medicine, because otherwise we'd have to give him back. I can't be mopping up pee for 10-14 years...

But I have a suspiscion that it's something else. He's done this since we got him, a few weeks ago. Maybe it's Puppy Incontinence or some such defect. Hopefully he's ok. I'll write more tomorrow.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Shotgun Day

Interesting title, I know, but that's how my day has gone. Since my laptop is setting dormant for now until I get a much needed cd, (which by the way a lovely woman from my writer's site is sending to me, thanks Purl!) I decided to attack my house today, and de-junk it. (Little did I know what a Behemoth task that would be...) When we lived in Texas, there were no basements. When we moved here, our new house had a HUGE basement in it, and I promptly began to fill the storage room up with boxes, decorations, etc. In fact, over time, the basement storage room has become a catch-all for everything but the kitchen sink.
So, out of guilt, I started the odious task of dejunking it. I knew I was in trouble when the stack of half-filled boxes began to resemble the Leaning Tower of Pisa, (and was about as tall) and my "sorted piles" of junk became nondescript blobs of "ugh I can't remember what that pile is supposed to be!"
So, I gave up and went to another room, determined to fish all the old clothes out of a closet for the Goodwill. I promptly became overwhelmed by all the clothes I had to sort and went to the kids rooms to organize their toys. Then I gave up on that and went on to the laundry. Or rather, I peeked in the laundry room at Mount Vesuvius, which has been steadily growing since Monday, half-heartedly put in one load and left.

ERGO, shotgun day. I can't stick to one task, but I have to go here and there and leave a bunch of bigger messes in my wake. I think it's Adult ADD. I feel all out of sorts, and I want my laptop back, so I can write. I really WAS on a roll with my story! *sniff*
To heck with this. I'm taking the kids to McDonalds...

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I need a 48 hour day!!!

I have no time. My laptop is still in a state of coma, I spent ALL DAY (grrr) on the phone with Microsoft, they are very nice technicians but they keep asking me to do the same thing, that doesn't work every time I do it. But I can't sit and talk for hours to them because I have SO much I have to run around for. Here was my schedule yesterday:
Get hubby and one child off to work/school, (still had two more at home, they have afternoon school) call about computer, talk to technician for two hours while simultaneously dishing out snacks, bandaids, fending off screaming fits, and balancing a VERY sleepy puppy on my lap. Kids started to whine so badly from lack of attention I had to get off the phone (had errands to do anyway) so then it was pile the kids and dog into the car, go to the dry cleaners, Target (to buy floppies to download boot disks to save my computer) then back home for lunch and then back out to take Thing Three to preschool and DRIVE LIKE THE WIND to make it back in time to get Thing Two on the Kindergarten bus, then scarf down a sandwich and walk the dog, then call Microsoft AGAIN and spend two uninterrupted (but very frustrating) hours on the phone (mostly "on hold") until I have to dash out the door again to pick UP Thing Three. Once we get home I have to take the dog potty, and look at all of Thing Three's art projects for 20 minutes, listen to him talk about school, etc, give him a snack and shoo him to the basement as the other two kids arrive home on the schoobus. Then I get to give them snacks and talk about school, protect the puppy from too much manhandling, since two neighbor kids have decided to "come home" with Thing One (I am thinking if I was their mother I would KILL them for not coming home and checking in first) feed the neigbor kids and shoo them outside to the backyard, then I spend 45 minutes DOWNLOADING the #$@!!*&!! floppies, then had to send all the kids home, pile MY kids and dog into the car, take Thing One to Pom Pons, and run around with Things Two and Three at the park next to the school with the dog for an hour , then take Thing One and a neighbor friend home, fix dinner, walk the dog, and of course, OF COURSE...
my husband walked through the door, (at seven thirty) surveyed the messy kitchen and assorted school and pom pon paraphernalia littering the floor from the kitchen to the stairs and asked:

Hi Honey, what did you do today?

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

*CRASH* Tinkle Tinkle...

So my laptop crashed. Not randomly of course, I (like a fool) installed the Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2, and lo and behold, after it prompted me to restart the computer, it is now refusing to even LOAD windows. I spent the better part of last night holding for about 2 hours collectively, only to get some call center guy in India, who read from a manual and after trying 2 things, suggested I do system recovery and wipe out my hard drive. (Oh sure, like THAT'S an option--it will be fixed, but I'll lose everything. No sir!)
I am typing on my kids' computer in the basement. It's a wonder to me this thing works as well as it does with all the Jumpstart and Disney computer games we've loaded onto it.
Another gripe--puppy potty training. I am convinced at this point that Hagan has bladder control problems--he pees every 20 minutes. And he has WAY too many accidents. I am thinking I need to invest in a market share of Bounty Paper Towels--since I will single-handedly be keeping them in business until Hagan either A) grows out of his Puppy Incontinence or B) I give up and make him wear a diaper. (Yes, I am actually considering it at this point).
It looks like today I will spend a better part of the morning trying to fix my laptop--UGH, when I had been on such a roll yesterday with my novel!
All I can say is, THANK HEAVEN I backed up all my files on CD yesterday morning--I do it every Monday morning religiously, and this time, I think it's literally saved me!

Monday, September 20, 2004

I guess this post should have been the first...

I really am jumping into the middle of things, aren't' I? I guess before I post any more, I should tell you a little more about myself than my generic "profile"does--which truly could belong to any stay-at-home mom in Anytown, U.S.A.
I am 32, and my husband and I have been married going on nine years. We have three children (which of course due to this being the Internet for Pete's sake, shall remain nameless--however I will refer to them as my husband and I do: Thing One (my six year old daughter) Thing Two (my five year old son) and Thing Three (my three year old son). Yes, they are exactly 19 months apart each, and NO, we certainly did not plan it that way. But we're glad it turned out that way, because they are very close.
I've been staying home since the birth of Thing Three (my husband and I finally figured that I would merely be working to support daycare anyway) and it's been an Odyssey, so say the least.
The stay-at-home mother is extremely underrated and under-appreciated, except of course, by other stay-at-home moms. My heroes are the women whose children number three or more, who do all the things I do, PLUS hold a job outside of the home. I couldn't do it. Not unless it was VERY part time. My hat is off to those women.
Speaking of hats, I wear several: Mommy, Wife, Chauffeur, Soccer Mom, Crazy Cheerleader Pom-pon Mom, Housekeeper, Laundry Guru (yes I can get ANY stain out!) Head Nurse, Fridge stocker, Boo-boo kisser, Brownie Mom, Neighborhood Children Snack Feeder, Stamper, Quilter, and of course...Writer.
I believe in a lot of things. I believe in God. I believe in Family. I believe in America. I believe in Superman, because I'm married to him. (Except when he's sick, then the cape and the tights and boots come off and he's reduced to a superhero I like to call Whining Man).
I believe that everyone is different, and my words might seem just plain dumb to some, while inspiring and funny to others.
I myself an nobody in Society, but I am "Everything" to my family, and that's just fine with me.
I am very opinionated, and stubborn, but I don't like contention. I think politics are fine entertainment, and I am hopelessly addicted to the Fox News Channel.
I think I'll stop there, because this post's length would put most people to sleep (heck, it's putting me to sleep) and I really, really have a long week ahead of me. Right now all I want is a good eight hours sleep and for my brand new Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy, Hagan, to not have peed and pooped by his crate when I've woken up. The doggy potty training thing is "getting better", but let's say I curse him (under my breath, as I clean up puppy poop) more than I praise him at this point.
Off to bed!!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Ahh, Weekends...

Weekends are interesting for me, because I seem to run around a lot, and get virtually nothing done. I still haven't quite figured out how that works.
I am "foaming at the mouth" a little, because I was hit in the head this weekend by two "new story idea" lightning bolts, and I really, really want to at least outline them before I forget all the juicy details that have been churning in my head.
Unfortunately, between my three kid's demands, shopping, my injured husband (sore neck and back, all he's good for is lying around) soccer games, church stuff and my new puppy (not to mention my house that has slowly become more and more cluttered) I just haven't found the time!
It's very frustrating to say the least. I need to super-glue (well, okay, VELCRO) a notepad to my arm or something so I can jot down ideas when inspiration strikes.
Thank HEAVEN for naptime. I have a good solid hour to two hours a day, where I can whoosh out my breath and pound away in front of the computer.
Can't wait!

Friday, September 17, 2004

Nervous Knots...

It really hit me today--as I was working on my sequel to IN THE GARDEN. This is SO major for me, to get this story out there...it's been my livelihood for years now! I wrote it so long ago, and I've been alternating between massive editing and completely ignoring it off and on for ten years. Now I finally have an editor interested in it, and my agent says we need to just wait and see what happens.
I think this editor truly "gets" my story, so I'm thankful for that. We're supposed to hear from her sometime in October, so I'll be a nail-chewing, toe-tapping, finger-drumming, thumb-twiddling bunch of nervous knots until then.
Yes, it's pathetic that so much is riding on a simple "yes" or "no" from a virtual stranger, but isn't that the life of a writer?

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Yucky Day

Today was well...lame to say the least! I am fortunate enough to have a cleaning lady come once a month, and on that day I have to "disappear" for the three hours it takes her to do my kitchen and bathrooms.
Well, I piled my boys and my puppy into the car, and ran errands, and upon returning, we found that someone (none of my kids will admit to it) left the freezer door open in the garage, and we lost all the food in it. (not to mention the hundreds of popsicles that are now JUICE.)
So, I had to clean that all up, and the cleaning lady wasn't gone yet, so I took the boys and puppy out into the yard to play-we rolled around in the grass and laughed at Hagen (the puppy) while he tried to eat all the clover he could.
Come to find out, while we were gone, our yard people came and sprayed WEED KILLER and fertilizer on the lawn, and the cleaning lady informed us AFTER we trooped in, ready for lunch.
I of course gave EVERYONE a bath, and freaked out and called the vet for advice, etc...fearing the worst.
Long story short, we're all okay, no one died and it's been a Loooooong day. Blech!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

My first post to a "Blog!"

Some of my writer buddies blog on this website, and I thought it was pretty neat! So, some info about me...I'm 32, a stay-home mom of three, and I LOVE to write.
One of my college professors said that a characteristic of a great writer is that he or she finds time to write, every day, in some shape or form. Not that I'm a great writer, but I do have about 25 compositon notebooks, chronicling my life from about age 15. I literally wrote every day, until I got married. (Guess after marriage there wasn't enough "angst" in my new domestically blissful life to chronicle!)
Right now, my life is in a bit of turmoil. We just brought home a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy named Hagan, and he's a MAJOR handful. Add that to three rowdy, active kids (who have lots of after-school commitments) and our household is fairly tumultuous! But I welcome it. I welcome it because it keeps my mind off of being nervous about my novel, IN THE GARDEN that is currently on submission with an editor at a major publishing house.
And now, I have to whoosh my daughter off to soccer practice...