Sunday, October 23, 2005

Now I'm REALLY in Trouble...

Mommy, I love you.”

Four little words that now officially strike terror in my heart.

Thing Three (who is four years old) used to say it so sincerely, so wholeheartedly. I would look at his sweet angel face and gather him in my arms and tell him I loved him back, and I’d get a big hug in return, and the world was good.

NOW, “Mommy I Love You” is really CODE for: “Mommy, I accidentally got a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich caught in the DVD player,” or “Mommy I just fed your fish 50 pieces of fishie food and he ate every one of them," or "Mommy, I just caught the living room rug on fire.”

Variations of the above are “Mommy, I love you SO much!” (at which point I drop him immediately and go find the rubber gloves and the Lysol, readying myself for anything) and the ultimate dreaded phrase: “Mommy, did you know you are the BEST mom in the world?”

OK. I should not be reacting this way to a simple declaration of love! But when I walk into the kitchen and find the cookie jar on the floor, shattered into a zillion pieces and Thing Three (who has been hiding under the dining table until just then) comes out and says “Mommy, I love you!” HOW THE HECK AM I SUPPOSED TO REACT??!!

What’s sad is, I remember using the same offensive strategy on my own mother. I have a feeling she will think it is QUITE funny that Thing Three has discovered the “Mommy I Love You” tactic.
(In fact, most of the time it seems my mother is listening to my child woes with barely restrained glee. Or maybe it’s my imagination…hmmm…)

I have a feeling that someday, when my daughter is grown and calls me up and wails that her seven-year old is whining and telling her she will NOT wear her winter coat to school, etc. etc., I will have a big old grin on my face too.

What comes around, goes around. Apparently being a Grandparent is fun because you get to see your children’s children doing the same things to them that they did to you, and Revenge truly IS a dish best served cold.

Am I right or am I right?

My blog will be returning around the first week of November, after I’ve completed my move to Denver. Until then, be safe, be smart, have a Happy Halloween, and be good!


Friday, October 21, 2005

Drumroll Please...

I am SO there. I've set a goal for myself, and I'm going to start training as soon as I get unpacked. I have a whole year. You think I can do it? (Heh heh, FINISH, not win!)

In other news, I am sad to report that my Internet access will be unhooked early next week, for the move. I probably won't be up and running until the first week of November, so this blog obviously won't be updated either. I'm sure you'll all be crying in your pillows at night over it...

I am gettin excited, because November is around the corner and GUESS WHAT happens in November?

For one thing, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire comes out, as well as Pride and Prejudice, but I'm sorry, Kiera Knightley and Matthew McFayden will never hold a CANDLE to Ehle and Firth:

Nope. Not ever. They are absolutely perfect. Who else could make me watch six hours of a movie IN A ROW?

--Also in November, it's Thanksgiving, and I will have a house brimming full of family (15 people so far!) and that will be fun. Also Thing One gets baptized. Oh, and I will finally have a kitchen instead of a gutted hole between the living room and the breakfast room. Until then, I'll have a fridge and a microwave. I can do anything with a microwave. Should I be proud of that?

Gotta get cracking. I have five boxes of dishes to give to Goodwill and a load of stuff to take to the dump. I guess my big truck is good for something!

At the end of all this I am SO going to need a Spa Day...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Halloween is EVIL I Tell You...

...but not in the sense that its evil as in "Fruits of the Devil" evil, just in the sense that all that Halloween candy at hand is NOT helping my waistline. (Which is quickly becoming a waistcircle.)

I knew I shouldn't do it. I told myself I wasn't going to do it. But one visit to Target, and I folded. I bought Halloween candy, for a variety of reasons. Little did I know that I would find myself creeping back to the bowl again and again for more. So I developed a strategy:

Hide the candy high up or in a place hard to get to, thus reducing the frequency of sampling:
Due to inclement weather, hiding said candy on the roof just wouldn't work. I tried hiding it in the WAY TALL cabinet above my fridge, but nothing is as determined as a woman needing a chocolate fix.
Tried hiding it inside a box inside a box inside a sealed plastic container in the basement storage room (where Santa typically hides the presents) but I swear, during stressful moments those little mini-Snickers bars were calling my name.

So, now, there's only one option. Throw the dang candy away. We're not even going to be here for Halloween, so why did I buy it in the first place? As Napoleon Dynamite would say: "FREAKIN' IDIOT!" (Ok, so I was bored and watched Napoleon Dynamite last night. I needed a laugh because I was depressed that I ate so much chocolate.)

So I've round-filed the candy in the garbage. Thankfully, when it's surrounded by old bacon and bits of toast and dinner plate scrapings, it's not as appealing.

Check out my blog today on the Scruffy Dog Review Blog--on it I talk about my all-time favorite author, Jane Austen. Apparently, she's still "got it." Read the blog to find out why!

Happy Thursday, everyone.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

How Cool is This...

One of the posters at Backspace (a writing forum I lurk at) found an amazing site with a webcam set up at a pond in Africa--and during peak hours you can see Elephants, Zebras, etc. in realtime! Go here for the site. Thing Three and I saw a VERY big elephant today. Just be sure to note that Botswana is SEVEN hours ahead of Central time (where I'm at) so you have to get on in the morning for the peak action. How fun!

And here's a little "Knitting Joke" I heard, and decided to post it just for Karen: (It was originally a Dumbe Blonde Joke so I'll try to be as Politically Correct as possible while I'm at it):

A highway patrolman pulled alongside a speeding car on the freeway. Glancing at the car, he was astounded to see that the (insert hair color of choice here) behind the wheel was knitting! Realizing that she was oblivious to his flashing lights and siren, the trooper cranked down his window, turned on his bullhorn and yelled, "PULL OVER!"

"NO!" the (insert hair color of choice here) yelled back, "IT'S A SCARF!"

Heh heh. Feeling better today. The ears are unplugged. But I am still freaking out over all the things I have to do before the movers land next week. And it's Thing One's birthday on Wednesday. She's turning eight. That is such a big deal.

And I feel like a schmuck because if I threw a party for her on top of all the stuff I'm doing I would seriously need a RUBBER ROOM. I just can't handle that stress right now. I hope she'll forgive me. She'll have a party next year. But hey, she'll get presents from the family! (Isn't that the whole fun of birthdays anyway?)

K, I have to get back to de-junking!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

As the Wheel Turns...

Thing Three now has the lovely sickness. We went to the Doctor today and they put him on Zithromax, and gave me medicine for his nebulizer, because he's wheezing. Lovely. I just hope it clears up before next Friday, because we're on a plane to Denver!

My ears are still plugged. They're better, but I can only hear out of the left one. I am nervous about the plane thing. I am going to call and DEMAND better antibiotics if I don't feel better soon. For some reason I'm holding onto this illness and it's really rotten timing. Not to mention the fact that I have about 452903471 things to do before the move next week. It's starting to freak me out.

I think this is an official record for me. I haven't written a word for my novel-in-progress in over three weeks. And I feel like I've completely lost my groove. It's not a fun feeling, the sensation of being lost and adrift in a large ocean and not knowing if you have the energy to sink or swim.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Crankypants Post...

I woke up unable to hear in my right ear today. Off my head with joy about that one. I wonder how long I'll be partially deaf. Yesterday it was partially unable to breathe. Tomorrow I figure I'll have partial loss of feeling in my butt. Bring it on, baby bring it on, cause' I'm takin' the HEAVY stuff! (Antibiotics.)

In other news, apparently I should be extremely proud of the fact that I'm now sporting a TURQUOISE star next to my Ebay ID. Heck, I even received a congratulatory email from the Ebay people. It seems that when you get 100 Positive Feedback comments (or maybe it's just 100 comments) you get the star color changed to a lovely shade of Turqoise.

...Okay, that is either a "STOP SPENDING MONEY ON EBAY LARA!!" sign or its a "WAY TO GO LARA!!" sign--I haven't decided which.

--I'm happy to report that due to my excellent tutelage, my four-year old knows the difference between an Octagon and a Pentagon. HOWEVER, now, when we're driving and he sees a stop sign he points and yells (very excitedly) OCTAGON, MOM! I SEE AN OCTAGON!!! at which point I swerve to narrowly avoid the ditch, tree, mailbox, etc. that I nearly knock into from being scared spitless by his sudden outburst of the aforementioned.

Thankfully, not many road signs are in the shape of a Pentagon, these days. But there are plenty enough squares, rectangles, triangles and circles to keep me on my toes for now, and debate whether or not to sedate the little sweetie every time we get in the car.

Can I just rant about one more thing? MOVING. Rather, DE-JUNKING. That is the part that really sucks. I have half a mind to rent one of those construction-grade dumpsters (that you see by new construction houses) and throw all my s*** into it. I have furniture, matresses, old tables, trash, etc etc etc etc etc etc...and personally I'd rather not make ten trips to the local dump! I'll call my church to see if anyone wants it, but UGH on getting rid of it! I'm only one person! (With three munchkins, remember) and it's pretty hard to get this all done.

Okay, rant over. Man, I sure have lame posts when I'm sick. Maybe I'll be cheerful on Monday.

Unless I've lost partial feeling in my skull...

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Lara (a.k.a. the Sick Crankypants)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Sick Sick Sick

Woke up last night nearly dead, and scared myself silly, so I went to the doctor (just got back) and discovered I have a nasty sinus infection, ear infection and da da da daaaaaa...Bronchitis.

Whew. I'm glad I went in. I usually have to be bleeding out my eyeballs before I see a doctor, but waking up in the middle of the night not able to breathe really freaked me out. (I've never had Asthma, and I must say I feel for those people, it's an AWFUL feeling, when you can't get enough air!) Actually I'm kind of "high" right now because I just took my inhaler and apparently it's got stimulants in it because I'm feeling VERY odd at the moment. Sort of like those study sessions at BYU when I took no-doz and pulled an all-nighter. Yeah, it sort of feels like that.

And oh, joy, my fingers are shaking. Whoopee!!! Excuse me while I go collect my wits and have some chicken-noodle soup. I guess I'll feel more like blogging tomorrow. I hope the adrenaline/buzz-thingy wears off soon...

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I'm SUPPOSED to be Cleaning...

Movie Quote of the Day: "There is a Piper down, I repeat there is a Piper down"-- So I Married An Axe Murderer

Okay, so I hear from Hubby (who is working in Denver) that the two feet of snow they got yesterday has already melted, and it is nice and sunny. Whew. Strange weather. But I guess it doesn't matter, because he's in North Carolina the rest of the week and it's going to be mid-EIGHTIES. Poor Hubby. Too many climate changes, if you ask me.

I had another Accident-day yesterday. I closed my foot in the car door on the way out for a showing, I had a book fall on my head at Half-Price Books (gasp! Erm…well, yes, I went there for a fix, what can I say? I’m a weakling for books!) and I rolled my ankle on the last step on the basement stairs, and later at night sank down onto a VERY sharp toy truck hidden in the sofa cushions and spent 5 minutes dancing around in pain holding my derriere. (I SWEAR that bloody thing punctured me too!)

While digging through old boxes, I found one of Hubby’s old computer games, The Seventh Guest. So I put it in the computer, and played around with it after the kids were in bed. VERY creepy! Kinda stupid too, but REALLY fun. You can read about the game here. Apparently it was one of the pioneer games for CD Rom in the early 90’s. The music is WAY cool, too. Either that or I’m easily entertained.

I’m supposed to be working on the YA historical, but I don’t have the heart. (Shhhh! Don’t tell my agent!) After the rejection on the Anthology and butting heads with my agent on my latest novel, all I really wanted to do was sulk in front of the DVD player and work my way through a box of Godiva.
Since I'm not one to have Godiva on hand, I settled for a few trick-or-treat-sized boxes of Milk Duds and a DVD rental viewing of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" after the kids were in bed. Can I just say, I haven't laughed that hard in a LONG time? My stomach actually hurts this morning. Very, VERY clever movie!

I’m kind of out of it. My cold has settled into my lungs and I might need antibiotics. At least Thing Two seems to be out of the woods. And Things One and Three never even got sick, go figure. It's raining today, and I have a laundry list of things to do that is longer than my daughter's face when she has to do her chores.

So up and at 'em, I say. Here I go...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Challenge

Shakespearean Insult of the Day: Thou dissembling rude-growing wagtail!

Okay, I normally don't do stuff like this (please, I need to be blogging about the joys/woes of juggling children and a writing career and the drudgery of my life in general and my uneasiness about the state of our country, etc. etc.) HOWEVER-- Karen challenged me to do this on her blog, so I'm doing it. Here goes:

Three Names You Go By:
1. Lara-lu
2. Larva (but not since grade school)
3. Laranus (pronounced "La-RANUS"--Hubby calls me this to annoy me—typically I don’t answer and ignore him completely)

Three Parts of Your Heritage:
1. Irish
2. Russian
3. English
(Watch out folks--scary temper combination!)

Three Things That Scare You:
1. Any bug that crunches
2. Dark Water/being in or around water in the dark (I peed my pants over “Jaws”)
3. the thought of my children getting kidnapped

Three of Your Everyday Essentials:
1. Blistex
2. Sugarfree Chewing Gum
3. Laptop

Three Things You Are Wearing Right Now:
1. Chocolate-brown Mossimo long-sleeved shirt from Target (I LOVE Target!)
2. Comfy tattered jeans
3. socks

Three of Your Favorite Bands or Musical Artists (at the moment):
1. Green Day
2. Gaelic Storm
3. Creedence Clearwater Revival

Three of Your Favorite Songs - at the moment:
1. Any song from the “Sahara” soundtrack
2. "Since you’ve been gone” (I know, how embarrassing)
3. Better Now (Collective Soul)

Three Things You Want in a Relationship (other than Real Love):
1. Laughter (gotta have that!)
2. Spooning
3. Intellectual discussion

Two Truths and a Lie (can you guess which is the lie???):
1. I can speak four languages fluently
2. I absolutely DETEST Jessica Simpson
3. I've been caught in a tornado that blew away half the department store I was in

Three PHYSICAL Things about the Opposite Sex that Appeal to You:
1. Eyes
2. Smile
3. Lips

Three of Your Favorite Hobbies:
1. Stamping
2. Baking
3. Watching Movies

Three Things You want to do really badly right now:
1. Get the “good” phone call from my agent.
2. Be done moving already
3. Have a Spa day

Three Places You Want to go on Vacation:
1. Turks & Caicos
2. Monaco
3. Bologna

Three Things You Want to Do Before You Die:
1. See my novels in print
2. Travel to England, Italy, Greece and Scotland
3. Run a marathon

Three Ways that you are stereotypically a Chick/Guy:
1. I like pretty, feminine things
2. I cry at the drop of a hat
3. I’m always the first to say “I’m sorry.”

Three things you do daily:
1. Deal with/play with/bark at my kids
2. Write in my journal (yes, really!)
3. Have a glass of orange juice. (I’m addicted to orange juice)

Three people I would like to see take this quiz:
1) Michelle
2) Devon (but only if she has time!)
3) Angela
4) Brenda
5) Ann
6) Georgie
7) Colin
8) Cassie
(Okay, so it’s more than three!!!)

And there you have it. Normal blogging will return tomorrow.

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Scruffy Dog Review!

I am happy, proud, exhilarated, etc. to announce that The Scruffy Dog Review is now up and running!
Started by my friend B.K. Birch, I am participating as an associate editor, along with Devon Ellington, Colin Galbraith, Michelle Miles, Angela Miller, Terri Dunham, E.L. Reedy, and Mark Vender, a talented group of individuals.
The SDR is now accepting submissions of poetry, short stories, articles, and book reviews. Visit the website for submission guidelines. The Scruffy Dog Review Blog can be found here, and the press release here. Go to the website and submit! And while you're at it, buy a hoodie!

Hooray for the Scruffy Dog Review!

In other news, my weekend started out roses, and turned out to be a big dirt sandwich. Hubby and I (and Thing Two) were sick with fevers and sore throats all weekend (we're still sick but life goes on) and we couldn't really enjoy anything. In fact, I'd just love to curl up in bed right now, but LIFE calls! We just had a house showing an hour ago and I piled my sick self and Thing Three into the soon-to-be-traded-down Expedition and disappeared for a while. I hope they LOVED the house! Waiting to hear from the realtor...(good news I hope!)

Bad weekend too because of all the devastation with the Earthquake. 30,000 people dead? Millions without homes? This is catastrophic, people. Signs of the times, I've heard people say. VERY scary. My thoughts are with those victims and their families.

Tomorrow's blog will be interesting...stay tuned for why!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Family Reunion

Hubby comes home today! Hubby comes home today!

(Now before you go and retch up your morning Wheaties, let me explain that Hubby has been gone for two weeks now, and aside from the sheer niceness factor of having him around, I am going to get a chance to escape and get some "me" time this weekend--ha ha!)
Granted, he's only here until Sunday afternoon, but the kids really need their dad. And so do I.

Okay, WHAT IS UP with the freezing temperatures? It's the low forties, and NO sun. Thing Two kept me up all night with vomiting and a hacking cough, I am praying he doesn't have the Flu. He doesn't have a fever so maybe he coughed hard enough to trigger the gag thing. He's sleeping now, I am keeping him home from school.

Of course I accidentally forgot to put the heat on "hold" so it was 68 degrees in the house when I woke up, shivering. Brrrrrrrrrr.
Thing One and I got into a major scuffle over her wearing her winter coat, as opposed to the light windbreaker she wanted to wear because big coats aren't "cool."
Well, I told her (in front of the neighbor friend who came over to wait for the bus with her) that if she didn't wear her winter coat I would strip her naked and make her wait for the bus in ONLY her Mary Janes and her backpack.

She wore the coat.
I swear, I don't know what her problem is! She is seven going on EIGHTEEN, apparently. Hmmph. I'm sorry, but I'm not taking crap like that from a seven year old. It's way too cold to wear some flimsy thing--and the wind makes it worse.

Okay I'm in a pissy mood now so I'd better go--I have to get the house clean before 10am! I hope we get some showings this weekend!

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Kids are funny little things. Especially mine. I think they are really beginning to miss their dad. (He's been working in Denver for two weeks, this is the longest they have gone without seeing him.)
Thing One had a meltdown last night. I was going to chalk it up to being tired, but I realized, she is dealing with a lot lately. We're moving, she realizes she'll most likely never see her friends again, we temporarily placed our dog with another family (for my own sanity--in my defense they have a cavalier puppy just like Hagan and he's happy as a clam with them) and she hasn't seen her dad for a long time.
Little girls are strange creatures. I swear sometimes Thing One seems manic depressive, but my pediatrician said that is just typical child behavior. She's very sensitive and emotional, but like her father, she holds it all in, so when she finally does crack, she CRACKS in grandois fashion.
I was full-on consoling her last night after her bath, and she soaked my shoulder with tears. I honestly have never seen her so upset. It all came out, and I think the move and everything is a lot to process for her.
Boys are easier. Her brothers stood around awkwardly, not understanding. Maybe they're just young enough to not be affected, but my nearly-eight year-old certainly was. She was a mess.

Today she seems fine, and last night was the first night she didn't have any bad dreams. I think she needed to let all her feelings out.

It's amazing to me, how kids deal with things. Another thing about kids, they are resilient, flexible and tolerant, much more so than we give them credit for.
Hubby is coming home this weekend, so that should help. We sure have missed him.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Links Schmlinks

Shakespearean Insult of the Day: Thou loggerheaded flap-mouthed pumpion!

First off, I'd like to link to my friend Devon, who has launched a new website, called Circadian Poems. Great stuff, definitely worth the visit!

Next I've found a a blog close to my heart: belonging to the Tudor History Website.

And that's it for links today--life has been a little crazy! We were supposed to move THIS week, but it turns out that the school in Denver will be on a track break for two weeks when we get there, so it made no sense to haul the kids there only to have them twiddle their thumbs for two weeks. So, we're staying here until the 28th of October. Then the kids can start school on the 31st with the rest of their classes.
So, I get to be a single mom for three more weeks. Hey, I've handled two already, what's three more?
Good news: I am VERY excited because a writer friend of mine has invited me to be on the staff of her next project, which I will announce on October 10th. All I can say for now is its going to be a blast! I am very excited to be a part of it. More will be forthcoming on this subject you'll have to wait until the 10th!

I am patting myself on the back, no gratuitous trips to Half-Price Books in a whole WEEK and a HALF! (This is huge, people.) Why? Because I have decided to exercise some self-control. (Ahem, well, the real reason is I have to buy a bigger bookcase before I can buy more books!)

ANYWAY, so I am trying to be good, and staying away from that temptation. Which is good. Once I get obsessed with something, I go and go until I've got everything I can possibly get. (Just ask my hubby about all the stamp sets, quilting supplies, scrapbooking materials, transferware and calligraphy sets that I have, and haven't touched or used in over a year...)

I need to have a garage sale.

On the writing front, I told my agent that I would focus solely on the YA historical. I might be able to get some in on it before the move, but hopefully I'll have a completed manuscript before the new year. At least I know he's excited about the idea. And I'm going to start submitting my mystery novel to editors on my own, but I'll be honest, I combed through about 200 publishers and found NINE (yes, NINE) who accept un-agented submissions. That really gives me terrible odds.

I think my odds would be better if I just threw it in the drawer...but that's another subject entirely.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Tuesday, Part II

Yup, here is a pic of me as Countess Olivia in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night." (See previous blog)I had the coolest hairstyle, piled high with ringlets spiraling down, and this dress is my "wedding dress" for the last scene. I had this way huge hat too, but took it off after the show.
Our director felt that our costumes should be from the Regency Era, instead of Shakespeare's time. It really came off well. It was the first play in which I felt like a pampered star! I even had my own makeup/hair person, and they made my costumes just for me!

OK, Memory Lane Trip #5634359 over...

My Obsession with Tudor England

Shakespearean Insult of the Day: Thou paunchy bat-fowling clotpole!

I had a lot of fun with this one. Lately I have been cleaning out nine years of accumulated boxes in the cavernous storage room in my basement. I mean, we're talking HUGE. Like, you know how in that Indiana Jones movie, where, at the end, they tuck the Ark of the Covenant away in that storehouse that has about ten million other boxes in it?

That's the scope and size of my basement storage room, it seems.

During my un-boxing and de-junking, I came across this photo. It's me, in college (I think I was 20 at the time) and I was in a play at the college, Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night." I was the Countess Olivia.
I grew up in Theatre and had tons of plays and musicals under my belt, but I have to say, THIS particular play was the hardest I've ever done. Shakespeare doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, unless you're British. And there is very little intrinsic in the script, so you have to "make up" all the actions. It was the most challenging, but the most fun, once it came together. In fact, I adopted a British accent for the production. Everyone else did. It was way cool.

So, after my cruise down memory lane, I had to stop and think: I have always loved Tudor England, and everything about it. Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth, Henry the Eighth (I didn't love him but he's definitely an interesting character) Henry's wives, Francis Drake, all the things I love about England encompass Tudor times.

So, I'm wondering, how in the heck did I get into all that? Where did it start? When? It's strange, but I honestly can't remember. So, for now, I'll settle for being a hopeless Anglophile. AND plan my trip to London, etc..because I am SO going there one day...