Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Did It.

I'm tired, and I don't know my own name, but I did it! 50,942 words in 30 days! I am a NaNo Winner!

Now it will probably take me 30 years to edit this pile of rubbish...


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

You've GOT To Be Kidding...

First off, thank you for your kind comments and thoughts...things are going very well for us.

Imagine my surprise yesterday, when I woke up and looked outside:

NICE, huh? And yes, you can tell that's sarcasm, I'm sure. I knew it was coming, I just wasn't ready for it. You go to bed and think "It won't happen" and you wake up to that unnaturally bright light streaming in your windows and think Uh Oh, it DID happen!

Hubby is feeling MUCH better, and he's getting lots of plants from clients. But my favorite by far is this one:

Yes, that is FRUIT, people. Very cleverly arranged fruit, in my opinion. It's from a company called "Edible Arrangements." I was highly impressed. And it was HUGE. You can see my display plate in the background as a size comparison. It was very scrumptious. :-)

Relatives are descending for Thanksgiving festivities tomorrow, and I am tidying up the house and doing the big "shop" for the meal on Thursday. We are going to gradually get our Christmas decorations up, and we are playing Christmas music to liven up the mood. I soooo love this time of year!

As far as NaNo, I am plugging along. If I have to chug ten Diet Cherry Cokes the last few nights to get my 12K in, I will...I am going to do it! I just got a little..."sidlelined" the last few weeks, if you know what I mean...

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Reason to Celebrate...

I feel like it's been ages. I am so glad to be back to has departed, hubby is home from the hospital, and we have had nothing but good news.

I'll be honest, the last three weeks have been pretty yucky. Hubby went in for some lower back pain three weeks ago, and they took X-rays of his back. They said his spine was fine, but they noticed a dark mass near his appendix. They scheduled a CT scan, then a colonoscopy, and discovered a large tumor in his large intestine. The initial results came back benign, but the surgeon told us he was skeptical, given the size and look of the tumor. So, last Monday, Hubby had his appendix, the tumor, and six inches of his large intestine removed. We had to wait five whole days for pathology to come back, but everything was benign. THANK HEAVEN. So, a CT Scan, Colonoscopy, Octreotide scan and major surgery all in a row really was not fun. But Hubby is on the mend, it won't affect his quality of life, and thankfully they got to it before it became cancer.

What is really amazing to me, is he went in to the Dr. for something completely unrelated, and they found it. That night I ordered some really good expensive sushi, broke open a bottle of Martinelli's, and toasted "to lower back pain." Ironically, his lower back pain went away after the tumor was discovered. So we're feeling very blessed.

A major reason to celebrate, for sure! Thanks for all your well wishes, and your prayers. It has helped me more than you know.

And another reason to celebrate: Gas is $1.79 a gallon here in good old Wisconsin. Can you say HURRAH???

Now, I have seven days to do 15K words on my story. You bet I'm going to be busting my rear end!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Arrivederci...for a While...

The baby is OK--it's a sore throat virus, which all my kids have, now. Viruses suck. All you can do is give them medicine and let them run their course. At least they have it all at once, and not this "one kid a week" crud. :-) I'll take it!

Still lots to do today, and it's Hubby's last day of "eating freedom" for a while, so we're going out to stuff ourselves somewhere fun tonight.

The stores are so fun, now, especially Target--when they get all their Christmas stuff out (especially the gourmet and gift section) you just have to go and drool all over everything. Which is what I plan to do this weekend.

Hubby has his surgery on Monday, so unfortunately I will not be blogging next week. If I find time, I will update, but for now, I'm just going to shut things down so I can focus on my family. I'm sure you guys understand. Then, when this is all over, I'll be back to my sarcastic self, and hopefully I'll have some SERIOUS words to report! All those hours in the hospital with an Alphasmart will be VERY productive, let me tell you!

So, have a great weekend all, a great next week, and "I'll be baaack."


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quick Post

Words Yesterday: 1623
Total NaNo Words: 26,885

Lots going on today, and yesterday I was running all day. I collapsed into bed at 11pm last night, and typed for about an hour on the alphasmart.

Next week, while hubby is in the hopital, I am going to get some SERIOUS words in. I just need to make sure I'm writing every day, or I'll lose the flow of the story.

The baby took a nasty fall into a table last night, he has a large goose egg on his forehead. I wasn't at the house when it happened, Hubby and the kids were, though. I came home and Hubby had the baby on his lap, attempting to put ice, while one kid was tempting him to hold still with his toy robot and the other kid was playing the recorder to get him to sing.

Hubby looked at me and said "He won't let me put ice on it." I looked at Thing Four, with a big old thing sticking out about an inch on his head, and told everyone I would take if from there. I had to restrain him and put ice on that knot. I HAD to do it. He screamed and tried to get away but I held the ice to his head for a good few minutes. Yeah, I was the bad guy. But I wanted to get the swelling down.
He was OK in the night, and he's animated and happy this morning, but he's off-balance, and acting woozy, so I made a dr. appointment. I SO do not need this right now. I just hope he's OK. I am going to let him play in his playpen and keep him close to me so he doesn't fall down again.

Time to get cracking.


The dr. said he's fine, but his throat is red, and if he has strep, he'd be a little "off balance." I was like, WHAT??? So they took a throat culture, and we'll know soon. But the dr. did say the "best" part of the head to hit is the forehead, so he's OK. Except he might have strep.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tag, I'm It!

First off, thanks all for the nice comments about my nasty day--I am much better now, and they were much appreciated.

Yesterday WAS a better day. Uneventful for the most part (except for the part where the garage door people quoted me $500 to repair the door I backed into--eek) and I got quite a bit done.

I cleaned out my office (and the office closet too, ha ha!) and it is so nice to sit and write in, now. Before it was cluttered, and although I tune it out when I write, it still bugged me. Now I can write and not worry about baby toys and papers everywhere.

Hubby is home today, he has to do some pre-surgery tests at the hospital, so it will be nice to have him home. He so rarely is.

I got roughly 1800 words in yesterday on my NaNo project, and I'm happy to say I've officially hit the halfway mark! 25,262 words. I'm churning it out, and the story is flowing well. While Hubby is in the hospital next week, I will be there with my alphasmart, typing away between feeding him jello and keeping him company. The writing keeps my mind more "agreeably occupied" and I'm really enjoying it.

So, I got tagged by my good friend, Aimee, but sadly I can't link to her blog as it is invitation-only. But here are seven random things about me:

1) I write with my left hand, but I eat/play tennis/use scissors/basically do everything else with my right hand.

2) I've never been to a foreign country. Unless Google counts. Which is ironic, because most of my stories are set in a place OTHER than the United States.

3) When I was working as a Visual person at Dillards in Sugarland, TX years ago, a tornado ripped through the store, tearing off one side of the building while I was huddled inside. (You should have seen the Cosmetics department afterwards--nightmare.)

4) I like cookie dough WAY better than the actual baked cookies.

5) I grew up performing in Theatre--the last role I had was the part of Countess Olivia in Shakespeare's TWELFTH NIGHT while in college. (Okay, that was WAY too long ago!)

6) I wrote to President Reagan when I was in third grade, and he wrote me back. I proudly took the letter to school for show and tell, and someone (I suspect Connie!) stole it out of the envelope and left the envelope empty. I was devastated

7) I have never broken any bones in my life.

Okay, RANDOM!!! But I guess that is the point. I wish I knew seven people to tag (what can I say, I have few friends!) so I'll just say that anyone who wishes to be tagged---is "tagged."

Time to get ready for the day! Hope it's a good one for everybody. :-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

You Know How You Have One Of Those Days When...

...nothing seems to go right?

That was me yesterday. Yesterday, in a word...sucked.

Let me explain: We have LOTS of family descending upon us this Sunday to help out when hubby goes into surgery. It's a great thing, but it's also stressful. It's mostly my MIL. She pokes into closets and shakes her head, because yes, I'm a crammer. A stuffer. The queen of the "My House Really Is Clean Illusion." In other words, yes, my house looks fantastic, but don't look in my closets.

I love closets. They are the greatest invention known to man. Why? Because if you have no idea where to put something, and you don't want it just sitting out where people can see it, you put it in the closet. Old clothes you can't part with? Put them in a spare closet. Boxes you haven't unpacked from the last move? Closet.

You get the general idea.

Well, the enormous walk-in closet in the baby's room has basically acted as the major catch-all for everything, for the last two years. And yesterday, I thought I would tackle it. Only because my SIL and MIL will be in that room, and since SIL will be bringing HER 18-month old, she needs a crib.

So, I pulled everything out of that closet yesterday, starting at 8am. Don't worry, by the time 5pm rolled around, I was just finishing the vacuuming of the closet and room. It took me ALL DAY LONG to figure it all out.

Also, the baby's crib got recalled, and of course the replacement we wanted had to be ordered, and I had gotten a phone call that morning that the crib was in. The poor baby has been sleeping in a pack-n-play for two weeks. So, I thought, being the "Jane" that I am, I would run across town to the Babies R Us, pick up the crib and set it all up so the baby could have a real bed again.

I set out. I got to the store, and the girl brought out a box the size of Austin, Texas. There was NO way I could fit that in my car--and I have an Expedition, mind you--when all the seats are folded down, I can fit in two sofas, and about 18 circus clowns. But no, this box was HUGE. So she broke open the box and pulled the crib out (in pieces) and we put them in my car, while my nose froze off from the bitter cold.

THEN, I got home, and enlisted the help of my whiny children to help me lug the pieces upstairs. But most of them were just too bulky and heavy, and as I was pulling them upstairs I noticed something was amiss. I remembered the crib I ordered had sloping curves, like a sleigh, and these crib pieces didn't have ANY curves. Finally, after I got the last wrapped piece up the two flights of stairs from the garage to the baby's room (I was out of breath and tired) I unwrapped the springs and looked at the instructions and SCREAMED.

It wasn't the crib I ordered. This one was plain and frankly, looked like a prison cell. I got on the phone immediately and our conversation went something like this:

"Um, this is Lara, I was just there, were you the one who helped me?"

"Yes, I did."

"Well, I just pulled this thing upstairs and realized it isn't the crib I ordered!"

"Um, let me check...oh...uh oh...that's because we ordered the wrong crib for you."


"But wait, we might have the one you ordered in stock...let me check."

"Please let that be true."

"Yes, it looks like we do."

"Oh, thank you, I'll be right back!"

She was very apologetic and everything, so I wasn't that mad. I pulled everything back downstairs, piled it all back into the truck, opened the garage door, and backed out...AND HIT THE GARAGE DOOR.

It had only opened about two feet, and stopped. Yes, I plowed right into it. With my Big A** car. I screamed, and started freaking out. I got out, and sure enough, I had bent it outwards, and one of the wheel/sprocket thingies had popped out. I spent the next half hour in the cold dark, trying to get it back in somehow, but I couldn't do it. Luckily the door wasn't that bad from the outside, just the inside. So, after a few choice words, I closed it and ran back to Babies R. Us.

As I was driving, I called my MIL to tell her about the door, because I knew Hubby would NOT BE AMUSED, and as I was driving a doe ran in front of my car and I hit her. I didn't hit her body, but I clipped her rear legs, and I slammed on my brakes and freaked out. I didn't see her, so hopefully she got up and ran away, but at this point I was thinking WHAT IS NEXT??? SERIOUSLY???

To make this already long post short, I got the right crib, and by that time Hubby was home and we got it put together quickly and he was actually very nice about the garage door, after he got over the initial shock and said some not nice things, mostly about me "not paying attention," which were actually true, and after that I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open and I only got out 438 measly words on my NaNo project, before I fell asleep in the bed.


Yesterday's Word Count: 438
Total NaNo Count: 23507

And let us hope and pray today is NOTHING like yesterday. Please???

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hanging In There.

Sunday NaNo Word Count: 1927
Total NaNo Count: 23069

I fell short of my goal. I wanted to have 25000 words by today, but I just had a crazy weekend. Saturday was spent mostly running around and "battening down the hatches" for winter, and Sunday was busy as well. I didn't even sit down at the computer until well after 10pm at night. But at least I've surpassed my daily goal of 1700 words! For sure!

I have a busy week ahead of me. I honestly wish I could press the "fast forward" button on my life about two weeks, but alas, that is not a real option.

There really isn't much else to tell, other than I have a very busy week getting ready for family to come this Sunday, and for Hubby's surgery.

Better get to it. At least the writing is keeping me sane. Thank heaven for that.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


I don't normally blog on weekends, but with NaNo, I just can't help myself. Maybe because I'm having so much fun! I have a feeling this novel will be "interesting", but you know what? I am having fun!

Saturday's Word Count: 2039

Total NaNo Words: 21,142

Go Me.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Writing and Walking.

Word Count Yesterday: 2895
Total NaNo Count: 15546

Yeah, I'm pretty proud of that number right now. My goal was 2k words a day, so I would logically have 14000 words by the end of week one. Since I've already surpassed it, I'm patting myself on the back. The story just wants to tell itself. I guess it helps that I've had it boiling in my brain for the last six months, and haven't done anything about it. I'm glad I switched to this story at the last minute. One of my crucial research books was delayed by Amazon. You can't even find it on Ebay, but Amazon happened to have it, and I ordered it October 15th, and they emailed me and asked if I was okay with a delayed delivery date of December-ish. I of course said yes, but I was bummed. And without that book, I would have been up a creek trying to write my sequel.

And I'm still loving my Alphasmart Neo. I took it with me when I waited outside of the school to pick Thing One up from basketball practice, I take it to the dr's office, anytime I have waiting time, I whip it out. It rocks. I am one of those people who hate writing things out in longhand, anyway. Maybe because I'm a lefty, and the way I have to write (to not smudge) makes my hand tired. All I can say is, the Neo is a WONDERFUL tool.


Cleaned out the garage yesterday while Thing Four napped. I squished everything up together so I could put the grill and patio furniture away, and swept it out. I was COVERED in filth when I was done, so I had to just toss my clothes and take a shower afterwards. Then I went out and pounded stakes along the driveway, so when the snow plowers come, we will be ready. We were supposed to get some snow this weekend. Not enough to stick to the ground, but that usually means a good sound DUMPING is around the corner. I've already washed all the snowpants and snowcoats and scarves and hats. We are READY.

Thing Four is walking around everywhere, now. He's finally walking when we go outside the house, too. He loves to get his coat and hat on and just walk around on the grass and sidewalk outside. He goes into excited apoplexy whenever he sees someone walking a "doggie!"

When we go out, he will walk, holding my hand, from the car to the inside of the store now, or wherever we're going. I don't have to carry him. Or, rather, I made the conscious decision NOT to carry him. I like to go fast, and get where I'm going, but he won't learn to walk confidently if I don't give him some practice. So, we get out of the car, and it may take two minutes to get inside the store compared to the usual 20 seconds it would take for me to carry him, but he's getting much needed practice. It's actually kind of nice, and less back-breaking. He is a very BIG 18-month old. He's a late walker, but like I've said before, since he was born with dislocated hips and spent four months in a harness, I'm just glad he IS walking. He's so excited. He grins at me and says "Mommy, I walky-walking!!" He's so proud of himself. :-)

Gotta run to the cleaners!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Gearing Up for the Holidays.

Word Count Yesterday: 1279
Total NaNo Count: 12651

So, it's been 70 + degrees here, and my kids have been asking to wear shorts to school, because "all the other kids are." I reluctantly let Thing One wear denim capris to school, only because she wore me down. Kids are funny that way. You tell them no, and they ask again. You say no. They whine and ask again, and plead their case/make excuses/rationalize/all-out LIE just to get their way.

I love my kids, but they can be tedious.

So, Hubby is having his appendix out on the 17th. He will be in the hospital for a week, and then home from work for about a week more. I have my MIL and SIL coming to watch the kids for me so I can be with him at the hospital, and everything will be taken care of. I've decided that we're going to "deck the house" in Christmas stuff while he's gone, so when he gets back, it will be VERY festive. I want to put up all the trees (I have five) garland, lights, you name it. It will be cheerful. Hey, the week of the 17th isn't too early to have a little Christmas cheer.

One of our local radio stations has been playing Christmas music since November first. Hubby and I have been listening to it, because it really does put one in a good mood. It's cheery. It's fun. It's sentimental. I am really glad this station does it.


I am embarrassed to admit, I didn't even know how to work my own Alphasmart. I emailed a friend yesterday all excited because I didn't know that you can hook it up to a computer and it downloads the work directly into your existing Word document. WHOO! Of course she knew that, because she isn't "special" like me, but I was excited to discover it. Laptops are so cumbersome. I can take my little 2-pound Alphasmart anywhere. So, I sat at the kitchen table while the kids did their homework yesterday and got 1200 words in. Downloaded it, and it was great! And I don't have the temptation to surf the Web, like I do when I'm on the laptop.

Time to get cracking. Lots to do!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I got a big ole goose-egg for writing yesterday. It was...a bad day. But today is more optimistic. And I did get 2100 words in the day before. So I had enough of a cush to take yesterday off. But today it's back to the page.

I guess I "technically" wrote yesterday. In the morning I went to Tires Plus to get new tires for Hubby's car, and I sat and typed on my alphasmart, so I GUESS that counts, but until I download it I won't know how much I typed. It was just rubbish anyway. I need to start over today and just write it the RIGHT way.

Nothing much else to report, except can I go outside and turn carthweels, now that my taxes will go up next year? Yeah, that is SUPER exciting. Can't wait. Can't wait for abortion to be legalized, either. THAT will be a highlight.

It looks like I got 832 words in on my Alphasmart, while I was at the tire place. So, I guess I didn't get the big old zero, after all. I updated my progress bar, on the right.

Small victories.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Word Count Yesterday: 2813
Total NaNo Count: 8459

Okay, so, apparently my cell phone needed to be "turned off and on" to fall back. Because I set my alarm this morning, and when it woke me up at 6:30, I got up, went and woke up the kids. The baby was still asleep, which was unusual, so I got him up, and carried him around while I told the kids to get up...again. Then I went downstairs and saw the time on the microwave:


Ooops. I ran upstairs, told them all to go back to bed (my sons were happy to acquiesce) and put the baby back down. Then *I* went downstairs and went right back to bed.

On a normal day, I'd be up at 5am, writing, but not this morning. Today Hubby has his test at the hospital, and he'll be home all day afterwards, so I'll get some writing time in then.

Sheesh. My poor kids. I felt so bad! But they're on the bus now and we're getting ready to vote early. We can vote today, so we're going to. It's just more convenient for us, since Hubby is off today, and NOT tomorrow.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

November 2nd...

For your viewing enjoyment...our Halloween Cookies!!! Mmmmm....

Well, I am pretty proud of my "first day" word count: 5646 words. I need a significant cush before my family descends for Thanksgiving.

Let's hope the words keep flowing! Happy Sunday!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy November 1st!

The NaNo website is down, so I can't post my progress, but look at what I did in the wee hours this morning! 4203 words! You can see my progress bar to the right. It's at the right, right? Not the left? Sorry, I don't know my left from my right, right now. ;-)

Yeah, I'm dead. But elated.