Friday, May 24, 2019

Hot Fun in the Summertime


My annual writers retreat to Lake Conroe is coming up soon. This'll be third year this group of us (minus one, sadly) has done this.

The lake house belongs to one woman's sister and brother-in-law, and this woman graciously allows us (her writer friends) to spend her allotted visit there with her rather than taking her family. We are all of us grateful for the opportunity to get away from home and spend this time together not just writing, but strengthening and deepening our bond as women and friends.
 

The chance to write without life's general distractions is also much welcomed by us all.

The whole trip is a blessing.

But that's not really where all of this was meant to go. As I mentioned we go to Lake Conroe. The house itself, it right on the lake. Each afternoon, we don our swim gear and trek out for a couple hours of floating and chatting.

It's the swim gear I'm here to talk about. Finding a swimsuit that fits well and is flattering is a chore. One I hate and one I've not bothered much with because until three years ago, I didn't need one. The original one I bought was ill-fitting because I'd lost weight and the halter top was uncomfortable.

This year, I'm bound and determined to get something that fits and is comfortable and is cute. Another friend had a suit that was made specifically for mature women--with modest cut or *non* bikini cut leg openings. But do you know how hard those are to find?? Yeesh.

I spent some time the other day Google-searching and finally found some sites with bathing suits that appealed to me and had those modest-cut leg holes. Think (and search) Esther Williams style swimsuits.

I really like this one, but I realized the lack of straps wouldn't work well for the size of my bust.





(Image from ModCloth.com)

I'm leaning toward this one. It has straps and will hide what'll be left of my tummy, and of course the leg holes are also modest-cut. Also, it's green. Not Victory Green, exactly, but close and I love green in general.




(Image from ModCloth.com)

I'll let you what I end up with after a bit more searching and research...or I'll share a photo from my trip. :0)

Have a wonderful weekend.


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

We're going to revisit hockey just for a moment...


"Darn," you're thinking, right? Y'all finally got a break from my hockey obsession and here we are again.

I just want to express my disappointment in the San Jose Sharks--who I'm sure are way more disappointed in themselves than I truly am--but I digress.

The Sharks were supposed to win the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and send the St. Louis Blues home laden with disappointment. The Blues, you remember, won over my Dallas Stars in the second round of said playoffs and sent my boys home laden with that disappointment.

Instead, the Blues are moving on to the Stanley Cup Finals, playing the Boston Bruins. I hate the Bruins and I hate the Blues this year, so I don't know who'd I'd prefer to win. Not that it matters since it's not the Stars, the Golden Knights, or the Penguins.

 Now back to whatever I was originally going to ramble on about... Um... No, seriously, blog topics are a crap shoot. Did I think of something and forget because I didn't make a note somewhere? Did something happen in the world that I have an opinion on? Is there anything exciting going on in my life that rates coverage? No, no, and no.

Let me roll the metaphorical dice and see what occurs to me...

Okay, so...

I used to think life was busy with kids and that once they'd all grown up and moved away, life would be less busy, but that's not the case. It's not a bad thing, but anyone who has reached a certain age (it's different for everyone, I think) knows that time starts to pass faster. I do think you have to be at least 50 years old, though, yeah?

One of our speakers at writers group this past weekend talked about business plans. Now, several years ago, I put one together. It wasn't nearly as detailed as this person's but it served its purpose at the time.

Something she said struck a chord and is something I'd heard or considered before, but didn't really put into practice. Fast forward to two and a half months ago when an opportunity to participate in an anthology was passed along to me. I wanted to do it, but with all the hockey going on, could I pull it off?

I had to consider the deadlines, the scope of the project, if I could even come up with characters and a plot line, and how many days I'd be out of commission to write in the early morning because of a late night of hockey. I spent a weekend on characters and plot before I joined. If I didn't have that, there was no point. Then I figured up how many days were available to me and how many of them would be writing days. After that, I calculated how many words a day I had to write.

One of the woman's points when drawing up the business plan was how many books a year do you plan to write and or publish. You've obviously got to factor in your real life (day job, children, travel, etc) as well as how fast a writer are you.

It was a concept I'd considered previously but didn't do much with it, but I probably won't have the two books I wanted to publish out in the world this year. I will have the anthology I just mentioned and possibly another little volume of very short "coffee reads"--they're short enough to read while consuming a single cup of coffee--but not the two longer books I have despite both of them being half written.

The fact that they're both half-written and I can't seem to get them done maybe speaks to other issues. I'm trying to sort those...

Anyway. I need to try the approach of deciding on how many books to publish, how long they're going to be, plot and plan them, set deadlines maybe, sort daily word counts, and then--as Nike says--JUST DO IT.

Yeah, some of that ain't so easy. The plotting gets me every time.

Anyway, back to work. Have a great rest of your week.



Monday, May 20, 2019

I'm not sure how to feel...


Back in May 2005, the TV show series finale ended with a coin flip. The two main protagonists had finally declared their love for one another but had each been offered a promotion--to opposite end of the globe of course.

The coin toss would determine who would accept their promotion and who would pass so they could live happily ever after together.


A spinoff (NCIS: LA) of a spinoff (NCIS) that JAG launched way back in 2003 just aired their season finale featuring two special guest stars : David James Elliott and Catherine Bell reprising their roles as Harm and Mac fourteen years later.

The fans' question--who won the coin toss--was finally answered.

Unfortunately, the group of ladies I was with--my JAG ladies for the annual JAG meet--were not happy. Some were terribly disappointed, some were just plain angry.

If this episode's writer--who just so happened to be the biggest proponent of that Harm & Mac relationship back in the day and a writer on JAG who tended to write shippery episodes--couldn't give the fans what they wanted, then why bother bursting everyone's fantasies of how the coin flip ended. The winner of the coin flip didn't really matter.

What mattered was that Harm and Mac would be together and that they'd work out the logistics to make things work.

I'm not angry, but I am disappointed.

On the other hand, the current situation leaves the two characters in a position to find their way back to one another. There are rumblings and rumors (which may be just that by hopeful fans) that some sort of new show with our beloved hero and heroine is in the offing. We shall see.

As mentioned...it was JAG Meet weekend when a group of women who came together solely on the love of a TV show are still friends 20 years and long after the show has ended. I haven't been a part of the group for all 20 years, but I was on the fringes when that first group gathered at a local restaurant to meet. This year is the 20th anniversary. Amazing.

Here we are this year, with a handful of missing faces:


Now on a slightly different topic... It was this photo, nine years ago, that really spurred me hard into weight-loss/getting healthy mode:


See that big orange blob on the left? Yeah, that's me. I didn't want to look like that anymore, so in January of 2012 I finally knuckled down and made the commitment to do something about it.

In October of 2017, I reached my target weight--losing 63-ish pounds to get there. I knew it was going to be a long haul with various milestones and adjustments along the way.

While I do have to get back on the wagon of exercising and eating right again to lose the ten pounds I've gained over the last several months, I'm very pleased with myself for maintaining the weight loss over all and making the lifestyle changes necessary.

There are or shall I say *there will be* new physical-health related changes coming. But life is in flux and I have to figure out what the best path forward is going to be and what change I want to work on first.

As always, seeing these women was a wonderful time and a lovely weekend.

Hope you had a great weekend.



Friday, May 17, 2019

Fisher Price Little People


Remember these guys??


 (from Facebook)

I probably had most of these at some point in my young childhood along with the Fisher Price Little People House and furniture.

(images from Ebay)

 I have happy memories of me playing with these. I think I even have a picture somewhere.

Have a great weekend everyone.



Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Better late than never...


For today's post, I mean.

I've spent a good bit of the day trying to buy a plane ticket for my son to come home for a visit and to help at the fireworks store for a few days...

I checked flights the other day and thought prices were doable. I'd heard a few years ago that the ideal time frame to buy a plane ticket is something like 51 days. I've passed that by. But today, while searching for "best time of day" to buy a plane ticket, I saw it's two to three weeks and on a Sunday.

I checked this morning, mid-afternoon, and then again an hour later (as I'd botched the second attempt) and found the prices growing steadily higher each time I searched. Mid to late afternoon isn't an ideal time to buy flights it appears. I guess I'll be online Sunday morning (five weeks out), checking prices and hoping that they're lower than I've seen so far. Depending on what the fares are, I may just buy the ticket and be done with it. Keep your fingers crossed for me...

Hope your week is going well.


Monday, May 13, 2019

Wording is still hard...


I'm still trying to sort out the work-in-progress and made a bit of progress, but not nearly as much as I hoped. So today, I turned my attention to a smaller project just so I could say I made progress on something.

The weekend was lovely. I heard from all three of my children and called both of my mothers. I went out to eat with some friends on Sunday evening and hung out for a bit afterwards.

I keep trying to get life back to normal, but life is not helping. There are events and activities on the calendar for the foreseeable future and I'm going to have to put my willpower to the test...

Cooking-wise, I'm doing okay. Since I'm back to being home Tuesdays and Thursdays, I cook and I cook decently healthy meals.

My snacking isn't the best it could be, but it's better.

Gym visits begin tomorrow night because tonight I have a movie date with DH. :0)

I finished up a letter to my Grandma and put it in the mail. Finally.

My car has finally gotten its oil change.

One of the next important things on the docket: the next phase in addressing the issues with my teeth. Meaning a consultation with a different periodontist. My first consult was okay. The second one comes highly recommended by a friend, so hopefully she'll have some alternative options to the first lady.

Hope you're all well. Have a great week.









Friday, May 10, 2019

Time to get back on track...


As you know most of my life was on hiatus due to my hockey team's run in the post season. But that's over now and it's time to get life back on track. That includes eating better and cooking meals, as well as exercising at home or going to the gym again. The trick with the gym will be finding a good time to go.

My brain works so much better for the writing early in the morning. I can exercise without needing too much brain power, however, so it looks like I can exchange live hockey games or watching parties for trips to the gym. :0) Trips to the gym will also take less time.

Now that the short story is turned in, it's time to focus back on my other works-in-progress. I've chosen book seven of the original series. I've already opened the documents and read the thing through. Right now, I'm trying to get a handle on the character arcs using lessons from a couple of online classes whose lessons resonated for me.

Also, it's the weekend...

Another day or two to rest and recoop before I dive back into my regularly scheduled life.

Have a great weekend!!







Wednesday, May 8, 2019

I don't even know what to say...


I'm sad and disappointed.

The night started with good omens and ended with heartbreak.

After a quick rain shower around 7 pm, a rainbow could be seen south of Victory Plaza.


The handshake line is the worst thing ever when you're the losing team.

Stars lost in double overtime...

That is all.




Monday, May 6, 2019

It's done!!


The short story is, for all intents and purposes, done. It even has a new title that I'm pretty pleased with. I turned in my second draft, as per the submission requirements, Sunday morning although it wasn't due until today.

I tend to work better when my work is titled so I slapped a title that sorta fit when I started writing. As I plodded along and after a pretty hefty edit, the title fit even less, so after I turned the book in, I turned my creative energies to a new title and came up with one that fit much better now that book is done.

This morning I turned my efforts to an extra for the book. Basically, the epilogue that will feature an event mentioned in the book. I'll link to it at the end of this story if anyone wants to read it.

This group is doing another anthology for Valentine's Day, so I'm hoping to participate in that as well, but in the mean time, I need to work on one of the other million books I'm in the middle of.

Okay, just kidding, one of the two other books that really needs my attention.

But this anthology gave me a boost that I could conceive a plot and write a book start to finish, short as it was. Now to apply my enthusiasm to one of these other tales and get something else done in time for my conference in October.

Speaking of my conference in October...I'm trying to apply several lessons I've learned. One from last year's experience and a couple from a recent program of my writers group.

The first lesson is to get any ordering (books or swag) done early in case there are issues.

The second lesson is author branding is important. I had a notion of that last year and anytime I did something official like the book signing, I wore business casual in the colors of my publishing company. (Yes, I have one, with a name, a dba, a logo, a website, and everything.)

Unfortunately, there were issues with the table runner (graphics) I tried to order last summer (see lesson one) and I was trying to get a lot of ducks in rows, so that fell by the wayside.

The third lesson is that, in general, people at conferences feel more comfortable walking up to a stranger if they know their name. So I solved the graphics issue for the table runner and it has been ordered. I also ordered a small standup cardboard sign, and I'll be ordering some magnetic names tags.

The fourth lesson is that SWAG doesn't sell books, but it offers name recognition. People take your stuff and use it as applicable, so choose swag that people will use. Either get your name printed directly on the item as in the case of pens or slap a sticker on them in the case of many many other items. I still have pens and some paperboard coasters left from last year, but this new story doesn't fall under the series the coaster is specific to, so that means...do more *author* branding than book or series branding.


Anyway, hope you had as lovely a weekend as I did.


Friday, May 3, 2019

So, yeah, I completely forgot about posting Wednesday....


...until very late in the day. Apologies.

There is nothing in my head right now but work, writing as needed, and...

HOCKEY


As DD and I were driving home from the game Wednesday night (or maybe VERY EARLY Thursday morning), she commented that her BFF said she hates how hockey is ruling our lives right now.

And that's the truth.

When's the next game? Do we have tickets? Is there a watching party? Are you going?

Oh, it's Mother's Day...what are we doing? I don't know, it depends on if Dallas makes it to the third round and if they play that day.

Oh, are you going to >>friend's house<< for annual JAG meet? Well, yes...as long as >>friend<< allows me one TV to watch the Stars if they're playing. (She will. She has three TVs in her very large living space.)

Also...how did it get to be May??? It was just January.

Best of all...the short story is finished, for the most part--yes, I remember sharing that already--and is being read by BFF Jenn. It's got to be turned in Monday...I'll be working on it this weekend to get it finalized.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I am working from home again two days a week. It's nice for may reasons, one being I can have windows and doors open to enjoy the weather unlike at the office. Two being I can set the iPod to shuffle, plug into the speaker, and listen to the eclectic assortment of music I've collected over the years. Three being, my fur babies are generally close at hand. Four being, I can spread the weekly chores out and not have to do them all on Saturday and Sunday.


Hope you have a super weekend!!



Monday, April 29, 2019

TA DA ! ! !


My short story is told!!

I have a cohesive tale from the beginning to the end that hits all the beats. I'm pretty sure anyway.

Now, I'm not done, mind you. There are still edits and tweaks to be made, but the with the exception of the second-to-last scene, there will be no more major changes.

I'm excited and definitely relieved. I can even take a short break from the whole thing after I finish transferring all the first-pass, start-to-finish edits I made over the weekend.

I did end up about 300 words over the limit. I'm not sure what the window is, because the coordinator did allow a little leeway. But I may be able to reduce that with the tweak to that scene mentioned above. And I have a few other places noted where statements could be removed if absolutely necessary.

I have a couple of friends who might beta read this for me just to give me a heads up on any major issues I might be blinded to, so that's on the agenda for today. Asking if they would help me out.

The weekend was lovely, if a bit windy, but that's one aspect of spring in North Texas.

DD and I enjoyed a lovely Saturday afternoon in Victory Plaza--a courtyard off one end of the American Airlines Center where the Dallas Stars play--watching the Stars game (they were playing in St. Louis). The Stars pulled out the win to even the series at one win a piece. A great position for the Stars to be in heading home for games 3 and 4 of the series Monday and Wednesday nights, respectively. DD and I will be there, cheering our boys on.

This will be the last series DD and I see in person. I squeezed in tickets to game 4 with blessings from DH, but I just can't keep up with the pace of it, nor the expense, more to the point. So after this, it'll be watch parties either at our house or DD's BFF's house.

Hope your weekend was delightful or productive or both.

Take care!

And as always:


Friday, April 26, 2019

It's been a while since we talked about this...


But I'm collecting way more stuff right now than I'm getting rid of. Easy to do since I haven't gotten rid of anything recently and I keep getting free Stars swag at the watching parties.

I don't know that I'll reach the goal of 100 things like I imagined I would. I mean, individually, yes, I've removed several hundred items from the house, but because I bunched like items together (vases, DVDs, books) , I'm only at 32 things. >>sigh<<

I really thought I could do it, but I'm not as confident now. I might could reach 50 items, but 100 is going to be a stretch unless I decide to get really crazy. But that wasn't the goal. The goal was to get rid of stuff hiding in closets and cabinets that wasn't being used and hadn't been used in a long time, not to strip my house of the things I look at and enjoy having around me.

I definitely need to make another pass through the house, though. I'm sure I can find a few more things that I don't need to keep.

Anyway, it's Friday and I've a short story to whip into shape this weekend. I've done a very bad job this week of making progress. I'm sure you can guess why with one guess.

Hope you have lovely spring weather to enjoy wherever you are.

Regardless of the weather, have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

STARS ADVANCE


From this:


to this:

This was nowhere near the biggest upset of this year's playoffs, but it's a huge deal to Stars fans.

Next up:



The biggest travesty of this (and maybe every) playoffs is the lack of correct penalty calls against teams. Officials "say" they don't want to change the trajectory of the game, but aren't they doing that anyway when they don't call penalties or call icings? If one team has momentum but is committing penalties against the other team, shouldn't the other team get the benefit of relief with a penalty call?

Penalties should be called equally and fairly. The rules didn't change, just because the regular season ended. It's crazy ridiculous and I've heard just about every fan base complaining.

We have at least a three day breather while the last three series all go to game sevens. Two series will be decided today, one tomorrow.

I know y'all are probably getting tired of hockey. I'm probably boring you, but this is my life right now. Mostly...

There's the book, of course, and that's coming along. There's spring, which is wonderful. There's the fact that after four months of holding down the business fort while DH was out of town supporting family during medical issues and then two/three weeks of preparing for and filing taxes once he returned--I am finally able to work from home again two days a week. #iamblessed #technology

Hope you're having a great week.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Confession time...


As of the last time I stepped on the scale, a week or so ago, I've gained ten pounds.

Because of hockey, I have made bad food choices. I own that.

I have two more in-person games. Tonight and a day to be determined. There may be more official watching parties in my future, but that'll be it for live games. I looked up pricing for the final round--$1K minimum per seat. Yeah, I don't have that.

So it'll be watching parties one way or another for the rest of the playoffs...

I'll be making better food choices going forward, but I also need to get back to exercising even if it's just the old treadmill at home three times a day.

It shouldn't take me terribly long to lose the weight...the inches are another matter. The question becomes how important to me are those inches because it's going to take me going to the next level to make better progress than the last time. So something to ponder.

Hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend...

Catch you Wednesday. 
 


Friday, April 19, 2019

So many words...



I'm at 16K+ and counting. I still have a little more of my short story to figure out.  And then I have to pare it down to 15K words.

Yikes.

I've already thought many times, "Does the reader need to know this?" or "Does the reader need to see this play out?" I've said no several times and skipped over the scene, referenced it in subsequent narrative.

But I still have way too many words, even with a little leeway.

Nothing to do but keep at it.

Unfortunately, even though it's the weekend, I'll be busy all day Saturday, so I'll be up extra early on Sunday to focus and I'll work for as long as I can on Sunday to make some progress in sorting through scenes and paring them down or beefing them up.

Anyway, I hope you have a love weekend, and...






Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Lightning Bolts and Penguins and Stars, oh my...


The Penguins and Lightning Bolts were both swept from the Stanley Cup playoffs. Meaning, they lost four straight.

The Lightning Bolts with the season's best record were the first team to clinch their playoff spot. They were eliminated by the team that clinched their spot last--the very last day of the regular season. It's been labeled the biggest choke in sports history. Ouch.

The Penguins (one of my faves, if you recall) also lost in four strait in its series. Surprising/not surprising. While I'm sorta sad for the Pens and my sweet baby favorite player Sidney Crosby, I'm terribly thrilled for the New York Islanders and specifically their goalie Robin Lehner.

Lehner came clean about his substance abuse and sought help. He sought a new contract and was given a chance by the New York Islanders and had a banner year for them, helping to get them to the playoffs after a two season hiatus. That's a redemption story I can get behind. One that I hope encourages more athletes to seek help. One that encourages more people in power to give second chances. So Lehner making it to the second round, I'm happy for the guy. He'll more than likely be awarded the Masterton Trophy winner for overcoming his adversity. But I'm excited for every achievement this guy can collect for himself.

(Until of course the Islanders meet the Stars in the Stanley Cup Finals, then all bets are off.)

As for my first playoff hockey experience...it was awesome!!! (Except for the part where we lost, ugh.) Here are a few pictures.






We had a blast. Can't wait for tonight. And as I keep chanting:



Monday, April 15, 2019

Happy Hockey-versary to me and some Stanley Cup Playoff upsets...


Three years ago, at this time, I got into hockey and (mostly) watched the Pittsburgh Penguins march their way to the first of back-to-back championships. That year, the Dallas Stars, who I wasn't paying much attention to at the time, lost in the second round.


Three years later and I'm attending a freaking Dallas Stars playoff game!!!! Dallas vs. Nashville, playoff games 3, comes to the American Airlines Center tonight and I will be there!!!



So happy hockey-versary to me. Thanks Penguins, Golden Knights, and Stars for a fun-filled three years. Here's to many more.

So...

Prior to the start of the playoffs as a whole, one of the biggest predicted upsets was the Dallas Stars winning the series over Nashville. I mentioned that the other day. Hockey writers knew better, but general fans did not. We won game one in Nashville. That's a nice feather in our collective cap--er, helmet??

And while I'm not watching any hockey but Stars hockey right now despite two other favorite teams both playing in the playoffs because I've got other things on my plate, I am keeping tabs. Hard not to when you allow alerts from the NHL app. :0)

Anyway... there are two surprising upsets that no one would have predicted. Both the Tampa Bay Lightning, the best team of the regular season, and the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 Stanley Cup winners and the only team to make the playoffs for a record holding 13 seasons in a row, are both down 3 games in their respective series. To move to the next round you must win 4 of 7. Both of these teams would have to win four in a row. It's possible but not probable.

Everything else going on is within the realm of "playoff hockey" but those two things... Wow!!

I'll report in on Wednesday in regards to my first playoff experience.

Please send all your good wishes for the Stars to the AAC in downtown Dallas this evening. 

As always, please remember to BE LOUD. WEAR GREEN. and GO STARS.

Have a great week!!



Friday, April 12, 2019

Happy Spring!


Looks like spring is mostly here to say. We dipped below 50* this am, but that will probably not happen many more times, if at all.

My novella is coming along...I've started the editing process a little because first draft is due Monday and as I mentioned before, the story is a hot mess. Any time not focused on work or hockey or chores this weekend, as well as my lunch date with a friend, will be spent on this project. It's gonna be a long weekend.

Stars update: my Dallas Stars won their first game!! against their Central Division rivals, the Nashville Predators!! this past Wednesday evening!! It was a huge deal for the team to win there and take some wind out of the Preds' sails. As well as that of all the people who think Nashville's win of the series as a whole (best 4 of 7) is a foregone conclusion.

Anyone who's watched the teams play each other, especially, this year, knows that it's going to be a scrappy bout. The Preds are gonna come back hard in game two, scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

Send your winning wishes to Nashville tomorrow afternoon, and don't forget:

BE LOUD. WEAR GREEN. GO STARS!!!

Have a great weekend.




Monday, April 8, 2019

New Adventures!


Last night, I went to a movie at the Texas Theater in Oak Cliff, a Dallas neighborhood. The theater is one of those old charming relics, built in 1931, but still standing despite fire and bankruptcy and other issues.

DD and I saw "The Russian Five" a sports docu-drama about the journey of five Russian hockey players who came to the United States to play for the Detroit Red Wings. The story was sad and amazing and inspiring.

The Dallas Stars CEO Jim Lites was on hand for Q&A afterwards as he was a member of the Red Wings organization at the time.


Anyway, a fun evening with DD and hockey.

Here's to a great week.

Friday, April 5, 2019

This and That...


So a really cool thing happened the other day... I got notice from BookBub (a service that helps authors promote or readers find books) that someone had recommended my first book. What a pleasant surprise to find the notice in my email.

It's looking to be a terribly busy weekend for me, but as I've said before, I can sleep when I'm dead. Or at least when hockey season is over.

My writers group's biennial conference is all day Saturday with a Friday dinner with the speaker. Saturday night is the last hockey game of the season. Sunday night DD and I will be seeing a movie.

My short story is coming along too. A quick tally tells me I haven't crossed the maximum work count line yet, but it's bound to happen. The first draft, due 04.15, is going to be a hot mess. There is going to be a lot of down and dirty editing sessions in my near future.

As a Dallas Stars season ticket holder, I was offered my assigned seats for the possible 4 home games of the first round of playoffs. The cost? $3064. Yeah, no. DH and I discussed it and I could have attended the first game ($200 each seat=$400) and resold the rest. But then I got another email allowing me to buy extra tickets, so I went poking around and ended up with three pair of tickets to three separate games for less than that $400. A much better deal in my book. No, they're not my regular seats, but I can't really complain about any seat in the AAC. And I just want to be there and experience that atmosphere.

Not only am I attending three playoff games, but I am now the proud owner of tickets to the Winter Classic, one of a handful of games played outdoors during the season. The Winter Classic takes place on New Years Day in an unusual venue. Notably on football fields. This past New Years Day, a rink was created in the middle of Notre Dame Stadium. This year.... >>drum roll<<

Cotton Bowl Stadium here in Dallas!!! I've been waiting and waiting for my email and it finally arrived. So yeah. Life is pretty good right now.



Have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

My Dallas Stars are going to the playoffs!!!!!!!!!!!


Yeah, I missed Monday. :( I just didn't have anything meaningful or important to throw out in the universe. But today... Well.

Last night I watched an exciting game of hockey on tv where the Dallas Stars clinched their berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2016. Now DD and her BFF went to the American Airlines Center and I didn't get go. I was disappointed at first for how it played out that I didn't, but had I been there, the game wouldn't have played out the way it did. Three pebbles tossed in a pond create a different set of ripples than only two pebbles would, so I'd rather have the win in the fashion it came than be there and I'm glad the girls got to experience it.


As a season ticket holder, I have first dibs on playoffs tickets, so I am now the proud owner of three sets of tickets to the playoffs... DD and I will attend the fist two home games of the first round as well as a home game in the second round should the Stars make it that far.

One more home game on Saturday and then playoffs begin April 10th... Because we are a Wild Card team, we will not have home ice advantage for the first two games. Which I'm okay with.

So that's what's taking up a lot of gray matter right now, even though I have a couple other things than need my focus. After I post this...that's what I'm doing.

Have a great rest of your week. See you Friday.

And as always: BE LOUD!! WEAR GREEN!! GO STARS!!



Friday, March 29, 2019

TGIF




The team has a 99.8% chance of making the playoffs.

HOLY SMOKES!

Three points is the magic number for them to secure their berth. They have four games. The loss by a certain other team means they only have to win ONE game.

Now here's the thing. Once bitten, twice shy. They will probably win at least one of the last four.

But last year they went on random losing skids, and our #1A goalie was injured the other day, so there's that lingering fear that they're going to implode. Our #1B goalie is fantastic. We wouldn't where we are without the both of them equally...so we're not really worried about goaltending--very much not the case last year--but the team is one of the lowest scoring teams in the league. So...

So anyway, there is going to be equal parts hockey excitement and hockey fatigue...

Stay tuned  :0) and hope you have a lovely weekend!




Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The writing is going....well?


It is, actually.

I phrased it as a question because I'm churning out a lot of words. I'm ahead of where I planned to be in terms of number of writing days and words written per day. I'm closing in on the 10K mark. My limit is 15K. I have told maybe half the story!!!

There will eventually be lots of red pen and removing of words. I will have to jump time. I will have to make each word count. That's not a bad thing. It's a very good exercise for me, but gah!!

Now that I've gotten better acquainted with my two heroes, I'm working backwards from the end. I'm writing all the scenes no matter how choppy or crappy they come out, so that they're there. I can fix and tidy up or delete them as needed once I have the full picture.

So, yeah, fun times. I'm only being slightly sarcastic there because I'm actually having fun with the story and enjoying the flow of words and of creation.

* * * * *

As of the writing of this post (Wednesday morning), the Stars have a 96% chance of making the playoffs. All the games are now important and must-win. Depending on the opponent, some are more must-win than others. Tonight they'll play a team who has already earned their spot in the playoffs. They can afford the loss, we cannot. So please send all your good vibes to Calgary, Alberta, Canada tonight.

Be loud. Wear green. GO STARS!!

Have a great rest of your week.





Monday, March 25, 2019

Add one more item to my list of hockey adventures...


As mentioned last Wednesday, I took my sign first ever sign to a hockey game and stood on the glass during warmup hoping that Sidney Crosby would see me and my sign and toss me a puck. Did that happen? Well, no.

Here I am standing on the glass with my sign, waiting for warmup to begin. I entered the arena as soon as the let me and went straight to the glass. Good thing I did, because there ended up being A LOT of other Crosby / Penguins fans. Which I kinda figured there would be , so I planned ahead. :0)

Photo taken by DD.


Even though I didn't get a puck, I did get enshrined forever on the Penguins Twitter and possibly their Instagram accounts.

This is Twitter...


DD saw this and sent it to me...I couldn't find the original post on either account myself--such is the frustration of social media algorithms.


And what was I doing there? Filming this little tidbit of puck play!!



All in all, a fun evening even though I didn't get a puck from Sidney and the Stars lost.


Friday, March 22, 2019

Don't tell DD...


It's been a wonderful first year as a (partial) season ticket holder. Our plan included tickets to half the home games--21 games. I attended all but 3. So eighteen games spread out over the course of six months doesn't seem like much. But because the team also travels, when the home games happen, they tend to happen in bunches.

I'm feeling a little wore out.

Again, the ratio of games to months isn't bad if they were evenly spread out, but when they're bunched up and they coincide with other events and goings on... For someone who has been a homebody most of her life, it's a little tiring.

Now I get that this is a first world problem... There are people who juggle a lot more on a daily basis and whose lives are a lot more of a drudge. God bless them one and all. I hope the universe gives them a break. And yes, I'll take some cheese with my whine. But it's my blog and this is what's going on in my life, yeah?

Anyway...

I hope there's at least another month of hockey to come for the Stars. In general, there will be another couple of months of hockey because someone is going all the way to the Stanley Cup Final and I'll be following along.

On another note, it's Friday, and though there seem to be a lot of things on the calendar, I'm looking forward to it. There's got to be some time for rest for the wicked, eh?

Have a great weekend.






Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Careening around third and diving for home plate..


Yup...baseball terminology to describe the next two and half weeks for the Stars.



My Dallas Stars currently sit in the first wild card slot for the Western Conference. They are 2 points behind the team in front of them and 4 points ahead of the team right behind them. Not a bad place to be considering this time last year, our goalie got injured and we went on a ten-game losing streak.

Every game they play is important. Every game those other teams play is also important. It's going be nail-bite-city (if I did such a thing, which I don't) for the next couple of weeks.

Three teams have clinched their spots in the playoffs. That means if they lose every single game they have left, they will still be included in the playoffs. I think it's going to come down to the wire for the Stars because they just aren't consistent enough and are partially dependent on other teams losing.

But they are still in the hunt, so bear with me for the next couple of weeks...

Because of the tight race the Stars are in, DD has an interest in other teams' games now. She was never been very interested before, and is only interested in them now as to how their win or loss affects the Stars, but I'll take it as a step in the right direction. I've also encouraged her to find a secondary team to root for. I have two of them.

Speaking of which...my second favorite team is coming to town and, for the first time ever, I'm taking a poster to the arena. I will be standing at the glass during warmup, hoping against hope that Sidney Crosby sees my sign, gets a warm fuzzy, and tosses me a puck.



In writing news, the words for the anthology have been flowing pretty well. I'm ahead of the writing curve in terms of how many days and how many words per day I'm supposed to write, but the universe threw a monkey wrench in writers spoke when a whole chapter's worth of text disappeared.

I use Scrivener and it's been acting rather persnickety as it syncs the file between two PCs. I encounter error messages every day but up until this morning I haven't had any real trouble with words appearing or not appearing so far, but today was my unlucky day.

So I copy/pasted all chapter and other information out of Scrivener and into Word or Notepad files. I really love working in Scrivener and am waiting anxiously for the new Windows version. Hopefully, I can rewrite that chapter and have be just as good.

Anyway, have a great rest of your week.


Monday, March 18, 2019

Akinator


What is "Akinator" you might ask...

Well, it's an online game or mobile app game that asks you a series of questions in order to guess the character -- real person or fictional character -- you're thinking of. It's a twenty questions kind of game although sometimes it asks you more than twenty questions.

But it's freaky how often it can correctly guess. DD and I played Sunday evening several times and it correctly guessed Harry Truman and Benedict Cumberbatch. It also failed to identify Kent Parson and Greg Wyshynski, one a fictional character and one a real person. It might have guessed Greg had I answered two questions differently. I might attempt that one again just to see what happens.

It's fun and a little addicting to see if you can stump the game.

Have you heard of it, tried it?

So it's Monday again. I had a wonderful productive weekend. Saturday was writer's group and it was so good to be with writer peeps again. Sunday was just plain productive. I got all my chores done and watched a hockey game too.

On a really exciting note, the words are flowing and I'm on track to complete the short story/anthology submission I committed to. I love these two boys and I'm writing about a topic that is near and dear to my heart: hockey! (of course :0) I mentioned that one of my characters has to suffer from a disability, so I gave my hockey playing hero a concussion...

Why, you ask...?

Because, as the sports world has discovered, repeated concussions can cause severe, long term head trauma. Both the NFL and NHL have been involved in lawsuits in regards to CTE. The NHL settled their suit last fall, agreeing to pay players involved in the suit roughly $22K each without accepting responsibility. At least publicly and on the record. Probably because they have to continue to legally protect themselves.

As I have discovered during my journey through hockey fan girling, I have read article after article  about players suffering all kinds of conditions from repeated concussions. But back in the day, the hits to the head or huge hits to the body that potentially rattled the brain weren't treated seriously. A player was immediately sent back into the game. And now the consequences of repeated hits to and by what hockey calls enforcers or goons has come back to haunt these players. Luckily those types of players have been phased out of the game, but hockey is still a high speed, hard contact sport.

These days there are concussion protocols in place; as soon as player is hit in a fashion that could cause concussion, he is removed from the ice. Depending on the context and situation, the play is reviewed and consequences are doled out as necessary.

So my soapbox topic is that if you or you have children who play a contact sport, or any sport for that matter, or participate in any activities where there is the possibility of being hit in the head--treat a blow to the head seriously every time. Get treated by a doctor. Know the symptoms of concussions and be on the lookout for them.

I'm hoping that I can share the information via this anthology.

Anyway...here's to a great week.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Dallas Stars Watching Party!!!


Check off another great experience in this journey of being a hockey fan. Last night DD and I went to our first ever official watching party. While the team is on a road trip, fans are still gathering to watch and cheer.

Last night the watching party was at closer-to-home than usual venue, Texas Live. With a 100' screen and a wicked sound system, it was almost like being there.

It's hard to really get the scope of that screen, but it's BIG!


The Dallas Stars in arena announcer was there as well, providing many of the same announcements as if at a game--like announcing Dallas's goals when scored. There were also give-aways of tickets to an upcoming game as well as signed stuff. Sadly, neither DD or I won anything, but the experience was so fun.

So much so that we're attending the next one on Thursday. Which is mostly only possible because DD is enjoying spring break, so we're taking advantage.

Hope you're having a great week...as you can tell, I am!!




Monday, March 11, 2019

Monday, Monday...


Yep it's Monday, Monday yet again... It's cloudy and drippy out, and while I titled today's post the same as last Monday's post, it fits my mood...

It was an exciting and busy weekend, what with it being the Dallas Stars Season Ticket Holder Event--meaning come select your seats for the upcoming season. So we did. After some discussion with DH, we bumped up to a full season. And got some cool goodies because of it.

Just FYI, the half season's worth of games I attended this year was plenty, I am not ramping up my attendance at hockey games. We'll probably put the other half back into the secondary market, but at least we can go to all the games we want--like the giveaway nights without having to go buy tickets. We can also give some to employees and use others for clients.

It's been awhile since I talked about my 100 Things project, but I did finally weed out a few more items. It's getting to be a challenge now because mostly I've cleared out the stuff not given to me by friends and family. Now I have to overcome the guilt of giving away things that were purchased specifically for me or worse--hand made for me. The hand made stuff is harder.

My happy tracking is also going well. The little sticker rewards are, surprisingly, enough motivation to keep me going. The one thing I have not missed on doing every day, three times a day, is my dental hygiene, which is by far the most important thing. I still haven't come up with a reward, but I'm leaning heavily toward a pint of my favorite ice cream. But then again, that skews my exercise efforts, so I'm still pondering a option that's as satisfying as the ice cream, but not as calorie-laden.

Sunday was finally a "normal" day. DH was home, DD was home. I did chores and prepped for the week.

I also worked some on that anthology project I mentioned last week. If I'm going to participate I have to let the coordinator know today. I'm really nervous about it, but what's the worst that could happen? I don't finish and I'm not included. If I do get in, then I potentially reach new readers and the my sales to my other books gets a boost. So there's nothing really to lose....

Anyway, I hope y'all had a good weekend too. Catch you Wednesday.








Friday, March 8, 2019

The trouble with HOCKEY and EXCITEMENT for writing...


Let's start with the writing first. A friend of mine shared an opportunity to participate in an anthology. At first I dismissed it out of hand because the deadline for the 1st draft is just over a month out. There's no way I could write 10-15K in that time frame--is there? Well, yes there is. I can actually produce that many words in that time frame if I'm super focused.

But to get super focused and know where this story is going requires some pre-planning and that has been a struggle for me.

Another hurdle is the synopsis requirement. I have never written a synopsis in my life. I probably could if I knew the trajectory of the story because that's all a synopsis is--a quick and dirty road map of the story along with a few extra details.

That circles back to the pre-planning.

Like I said, at first I just told myself I couldn't do it. But as I worked on a proofreading job, ideas started niggling at me. I didn't allow those ideas free reign because I really needed to finish that proofreading job and send it back to the author.

But once I completed my responsibilities...I opened the floodgate. I thought about the characters, as well as about the main requirement of this submission--that one character be dealing with a disability. That was the easy part.

Could I spew out 10K in a month's time?

Can I come up with well-rounded characters and a plausible plot that I could pull off in those 10K to 15K words and the 1 month I've been given?


I really want to do it because it's sparked an excitement in me about writing that's been lacking.

I have until Monday to decide. No pressure.

One of the reasons that writing has taken a back seat and been hard to focus on lately is hockey. (This is the trouble part of the post's title.)

Now that I'm a partial season ticket holder, I pay way more attention to the team. I mean obviously, right? I have these tickets that I pre-paid for, I'm going to the games. Going to that many games means I'm even more invested in the team and their progress through the season, their place in the standings.

Last year by this time, the team had gone on a ten game losing streak and had lost any hope of making it to the playoffs. I was only attending a game here and there. Not much investment on my part. The rest of the season was for individual players to better their stats as much as they could.




This year, though! Partial season tickets! New coach, new system, new hope!! We've been in a playoff position all year, despite a revolving door of injuries to key players.

Now we're staring down the last fifteen games of the season and in a dog fight every day for our place in the standings. There are four teams vying for those two wild card slots I talked about a couple of weeks ago. There are five points separating those four teams. We beat one of those teams last night. A team we hadn't yet beaten this year. It was a huge win on more than one level.

So, yeah, my head is full of hockey hockey Stars hockey and not very full of writing writing writing.

I need to learn to balance, manage, and compartmentalize....

Today and this weekend...working on characters and plot for this anthology. If I can get a good enough head start, I might just throw my hat in. Also, though, this weekend >>> HOCKEY!!

Be loud. Wear green. GO STARS!!

Have a great weekend.



Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Someone paid good money for that??


I'm talking about commercials. For any of us who watch television, commercials are inevitable. Most of them are fine. I have no problem with the pitch. I use that time to do chores or run to the restroom or brush my teeth or whatever.

There are two commercials in my locale, one that I can't believe someone agreed to pay money for and one that makes me laugh every time because of the exaggerated truth of it.

The hated commercial is, I think, a tax-filing product of service. I can't remember and sure don't care. :0) It has various iterations; a game show and a courtroom, that I can recall off the top of my head, but all the people in commercial say is FREE in various inflections and tones.

SO STINKIN' STUPID.

But...

The one I love is a commercial for TXU Energy, a local electricity provider. This is a very abbreviated version, but you get the gist.

It cracks me up every time.

Do you have a favorite or a hated commercial?? Please share. :0)

Monday, March 4, 2019

Monday, Monday...


Yeah, Friday was a busy, busy day for me and I just couldn't make it over here. Writing up these blog posts can take longer than you might imagine. Not always, no, but sometimes.

Friday when I arrived home, I saw a box on my porch. I hadn't ordered anything, but it could have been for DD. Lo and behold though, it was a package from my Grandma in Denmark.She sent me lovely assortment of goodies, both nostalgic and edible.

Danish licorices--of which I'm very fond--and a little wooden Danish flag.

A picture of 3- or 4-year-old me and a little dress I wore at that age.

Also included was a small little roses-are-red poem I had written for my grandma, as well as some lovely little actual tea service spoons. I had apparently told her at some point that I love teaspoons and now I have some, lol. I did pass those on to DD as she is the spoon lover these days and not me.

I hope you had a lovely weekend. Catch you Wednesday.


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Let's start tracking...


Yesterday I had another dental cleaning. My fourth in the span of a year. Yeah, because I'm extra, I get to see my dental hygienist four times a year. Really it's because I have very bad periodontal disease and my body chemistry in my mouth is not my friend. I do have an appointment with a periodontist, finally, to start addressing those issues, but in the mean time, I need to do better with my dental hygiene at home.

Don't get me wrong, it's come a long way since a year ago, but it's time to go from twice a day to three times a day flossing, brushing, and swishing...

And that's where the happy tracker idea comes into play.

I was hemming an hawing about how to implement it when my daughter handed off a teachers weekly lesson plan book she was recently given. The school year is 3/4 of the way over so it's pretty useless to her at this point. I paged through it and discovered I could use it as my tracking method, at least for the time being. I bought some stickers as a reward to track that I did what I was supposed to.



So along with several other things I want to get back to doing on a regular basis, like walking to the post office or small housekeeping tasks or going to the gym or doing yoga...

I haven't quite decided how often I should get a larger reward for completing these daily tasks and how often--monthly? semi-monthly? every other Friday? And if I do, what's that larger reward?

I do know that skipping a single thing negates the reward no matter what. I guess it oughtta be good enough to keep me motivated, huh?



Monday, February 25, 2019

Well...


As of the writing of this blog, there are approximately four more hours until the deadline at 3pm EST.

The Stars general manager (GM) got them a very nice player from New York. In his first game as a Star, he garnered an assist (on someone else's goal), a goal, and a blocked shot that broke his arm and landed him on the injured reserve list for four weeks.


The GM had said he was done after that acquisition, but now... I heard via one of the sports reporters who specifically follows and writes about the Stars that the GM has taken to the phones once again to bring in more help. Which we need/ed. We were not a "Mats Zuccarello" (the player we got) away from going all the way to the Stanley Cup. As awful as Zucc getting injured in his first game with the Stars was--was this the hockey gods' way of telling the GM he really wasn't supposed to be done?

I hope that's the case and not that the hockey gods just hate the Dallas Stars. :0)

I've been sucked into watching trade deadline programming... Well, at least listening to them while I make my way through my day.

Anyway, hope you had a great weekend and here's to a great week.

Friday, February 22, 2019

NHL Trade Deadline...


 

Not a topic most of you care about, but the deadline is Monday. It's a stressful time for players who don't have no-move or no-trade clauses in their contracts. It's an interesting time for fans because should your favorite player not have one of those two clauses in their contract, they could be shipped off to some other team.

The timing of the deadline is interesting. Maybe it's scheduled this way on purpose. I'm sure it probably is; I don't know the history of the NHL well enough. But we're about 2/3 of the way through the season. We're on the home stretch for the playoffs. Is a given team in or is a given team out of contention? Is the team "on the bubble"? In other words, the team is hovering around the wild card slot--maybe in one of the two slots, maybe just outside of a wild card spot. With a little luck on your part and some bad luck for other teams, you can slide in.

This  time of year is when those bubble teams can hopefully trade their way into a playoff run.

My Dallas Stars need some offensive help and badly. Meaning our general manager needs to make a good move by Monday to get us a goal scorer or two.

That also means we lose assets--whether those are future draft picks, prospects, guys playing in our AHL affiliate, or up and coming young guns who play now and who we anticipate to be great in the future. We have guys the fans would love to see go. Unfortunately, they aren't worth much in and of themselves. Conceivably they could be better in another team's system and I hope that happens for them. But we have to get them to those other teams somehow.

Luckily, our big names have those clauses in place. Other guys just aren't really on the table because no one needs their skills and they're doing a good job for us.

We have a handful of middle six forwards who are worth something. I'd hate to see them go. But I'd love for the Stars to make the playoffs this year...

As of last night, with a big win against a division rival (St. Louis Blues), the Dallas Stars remained in the top wild card slot.



Now to bite my nails (metaphorically speaking) through the weekend and see how the lineup changes from day to day and for the two games we play between now and Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The homework is kicking my butt...


I've toyed with the idea of going back to college, but if the homework from a single month-long online class about writing is kicking my butt, I can't imagine actual course work.

>>picture me grimacing<<

So this homework / instructor is frustrating me. I'm not doubting it's a good thing to be challenged. I'm trying to work through it, to ask for clarification as needed, but youch. It's still tough. And while I'm competitive, I'm also lazy and part of me just wants to quit.

It's hard...

There are some parts that really are a challenge for me, not just because I'm lazy, but because that's just now how my brain works. I don't think I'll be able to find the nuances on my own if I use this method to work on another book down the road. But I do have critique partners and fellow writers who could maybe help. But argh. Still. And I'll still have all the lessons and my worksheets. But argh.

Part of the initial struggle was that this method takes some standard plotting methods and tweaks them just slightly, starting with a different take on the meaning of certain terminology. That wasn't so bad. But then I'm doing my homework and going along with the knowledge I've had all these years and bam!

Now, she doesn't include this slightly tweaked way of looking at things in her lesson posts... Then you get your homework back with her responses and suggestions and corrections--don't get me wrong, she's very nice and respectful--but boom, you're like WHUT?? Well, I am, anyway. And I'm scratching my head. And I'm thinking, "That's not the way GMC and every other plotting method tells you to do it." Not exactly. She's slightly left of center.

**sigh**

She did encourage us to read everyone's work/lessons, but that's a lot of data for me to parse on top of the lessons themselves, so I haven't. Just been following along with the movie example she's using and asked us to watch prior to class, which I did.

It all makes perfect sense until I try to do it and then, I'm taking a left turn in Albuquerque and she's in Omaha or something. :0)

But I'm really trying this time. I haven't given up even though I'm having to redo lessons. And all her explanations make sense. I understand the shift in thinking and the why of it. Now if I can just figure out how to do this without training wheels, I might could make some progress on more books.

Anyway...back to my homework.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Happy Monday...Happy Tracker


Hey there! Yeah, I missed Friday. Life happens sometimes. :0)

But Saturday was writers group day and I had a wonderful day with my writer peeps as I usually do. I have been friends with these women for close to ten years now and I can't imagine my life without them.

One friend--I'm going to call her Grace--has what she calls a Happy Tracker. Grace is no where her real name but she's so smart and beautiful and wise that it fits her.

Now Grace has this tracker and this tracker has six (I think) sections where she tracks stuff. This includes things like going to the gym and tracking data for a medical condition she has. This also includes writing.

She's been reporting in to us for many many months now and I'm always so impressed by her diligence in the tracking and the progress she's made that I'm thinking of instituting my own. Not only would it keep me accountable to myself, but if I have to show my progress or lack thereof to these gals, I might make better progress in certain areas. Surprisingly, I have a somewhat competitive nature. :0)

So I'm going to ponder this idea a bit more, decide on the things I want to track and be accountable for. I can think of three off the top of my head: exercise, house keeping, and writing.

Anyway, I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Monday, February 11, 2019

It's a Misty Moisty Morning and Cloudy is the Weather


It's been drippy and dreary all weekend, but on an UP note, the temperatures are warmer. Not complaining.

Yesterday, I did something I've been wanting to do for awhile--ice skating. DD and I went yesterday. We only lasted about 15 minutes though as DD's feet were hurting bad. Not sure if it was the skates or what, but also it was her very first time on ice skates. We made it around the rink maybe five or six times--her with a stack of buckets for balance--before calling it quits. I tried with some buckets once around, but managed better on my own. Despite the fall I took on the first lap. Oops. There was also an under-10 birthday party going on so there were a lot of other unsteady skaters milling about and it's harder to manage your own unsteadiness when you have to navigate others. We're planning to keep going as schedules allow.

There's a donut shop along the main drag in my neighborhood. Rest assured I haven't stopped in there in quite a few years, but I can't now, even if I wanted to. It's apparently closed for good. This makes me kinda sad, although I definitely get it. The guy who owned and ran it--just the one guy--had been there for probably 50 years. One time or another, when I bought donuts occasionally, we'd been chatting and he mentioned he'd been there about 40 years. Ten years ago for a donut purchase sounds about right, so I'm sticking with the theory that he owned and operated that place for 50 years. I hope he's enjoying his time off now that he's not up and working in the wee small hours anymore. And I know that because he was already in there (plate glass windows all around) when I'd pass by on the way to the gym at 0345...

Hope you had a good weekend no matter what kind of weather you had and here's to a productive week. Take care...

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Oh say can you see...


I've selected a new template. For now. Though I loved the other one, it was time for a facelift, so those of you who visit the blog directly will see some changes as I try out various templates and see what feels right. Bear with me...

What I really wanted to talk about today is hockey. Sort of. DD and I have gone to about fifteen games at this point.

One of the things I enjoy about hockey as a sport and attending games is that the fans actually sing the National Anthem. Across the county. I don't know pro about football or basketball games, but hockey games--yes.


As you can see, a digital rendition of the flag is shown on the jumbo-tron as well as on the digital screens on either end of the arena. A real live American and Canadian flag hang on either side of those "end-cap" digital screens in the American Airlines Center. If the Stars play a team from Canada, both anthems are sung. I do try to sing along to the Canadian anthem too, where I know the words. I think I've mentioned that in Buffalo, both anthems are always sung because they are so close to the border that a significant number of people in attendance are Canadian.

Back when Sonshine was in marching band and we attended Friday night football games--NO ONE sang. I thought it was a shame.

This past Monday, DD and I attended a game we bought tickets for. The game wasn't part of our partial season tickets package, but it was bobble head night and so we bought some cheap tickets and went. Two things that have never happened to us happened at this game.


The first was that our section was chosen for the "Dr. Pepper Minute" -- where if Stars scored a goal in the designated minute, everyone in that section would win free Dr. Pepper. The Stars didn't, in fact, score a goal during that minute, but they pulled out a win. I'll take a W over free Dr. Pepper, thank you very much.

The second thing that happened was that DD ended up on the jumbo-tron. Mostly the cameramen move around the lower bowl and our usual seats are in the upper bowl. But tonight we got found. We just smiled and waved and the guy moved on. It was kind of exciting for as much as I had been dreading it.

While my 100 Things Give Away has sputtered a bit in the execution, my binge-watch of Maria Kondo and her take on keeping things has spawned a shift in thinking for me in regards to the things I think about buying. Many times in the past few weeks, I've opted to not buy something. Mostly it's been Stars related merch, because you really only need so much. And I went a little crazy at Christmas. But the thought process is not limited just to over-priced fangirl purchases.

Last night, I needed to get out of the house and DD needed to go to Dollar Tree. So I tagged along. We ended up on a jaunt through Target as well. While I didn't leave empty handed, the things I bought were a birthday present, a new shower curtain liner, another pair of magnifying readers (because, like Chapstick, you need a pair in all crucial locations), and a treat I promised a friend. I did come across things I could have used or wanted, but had that second and third thought of "Do I really need this?" or "Do I need to spend money on this right now?"

So while, I'm not getting rid of stuff, I'm not accumulating much either. I will get back to purging soon.

Have a great rest of your week.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Thank goodness I live in Texas...


If you know me, you know that I vehemently hate the cold. Anything below, say, fifty degrees displeases me. I can tolerate anything lower better on some days over others, but seeing such negative temperatures in other places around the country or the globe--well, it makes one think and be thankful even if North Texas still hovers around the freezing point.

Have a great weekend and stay warm, where ever you are.





Wednesday, January 30, 2019

A Time for Learning, Part II...


A few posts ago, I mentioned the writing-related books I already had in my ownership. While I haven't giving up reading for pleasure completely, because NO WAY JOSE!, I have stuck with reading for pleasure just before bed as a way to relax and settle down.

I hadn't planned on making this topic a two-parter, but here we are. :0)

So...I re-opened the Save the Cat book and started reading from the beginning. It's been quite helpful and I'm just about done with it. In the meantime, an online friend of mine who offers online writing courses and edits and writes blogs about writing shared with me a recording of one of her classes that covered the same basic concepts as the Save the Cat book. (It was as a thank you for keeping time so often during our daily sprints in the chat room.)

I watched the video and she did indeed parallel a lot of points Blake Snyder made in the Cat Book. The gal in the video fleshed things out a bit more than the text of the book, so that was helpful.

In two days, I start an online class that I know is also going to complement and overlap what I've learned so far. I'm hoping repetition is the key to my success. The class is going to require me to plot a new book from an idea (which I have) rather than work on something in progress. But that could be useful too--starting the process from scratch and building from the ground up.

One of my goals for the year is two publish at least two new books. That means I really have to up my game in certain areas of my writing. Plotting is one of those areas.

Fingers crossed!!

Hope you're having a great week.

See you Friday.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Time is Precious...


Due to some really random circumstances, DD has been living at home with us for the last almost-four-years. She'd moved out, but then stuff happened and she needed a quick place to relocate. The only requirement we had was her paying rent this time around. She was amenable and one of my babies was back in the nest.

She's very low maintenance and I don't have to feed her unless I want to. She's basically a boarder and as an adult in her late 20s, comes and goes as she pleases.

I've loved having her home again. We are very similar creatures and can share space with little conflict. Being able to spend time with her when she deigns to do so, is precious time well spent. Eventually, though, she's going to move out again, and when choosing people to do things with, I'm not going to be on the top of the list. As it mostly should be. I hope as I get older, I become first choice every now and again.

Yesterday, we ended up at Stars open practice again. She'd originally planned to go with her BFF and her BFF's kids, but one kid fell ill and they couldn't go. I was the backup plan. It's fine. I'm happy for any time offered, even as a second choice. And I'm grateful for the overlap of hockey as interests in our lives.

I had other tentative plans for yesterday afternoon. But time with any of my kids is precious, and I opted to spend yesterday afternoon with my darling younger daughter.

We didn't end up getting any new autographs, but most of the healthy roster was on hand and it was interesting to see the various sessions of things they practiced.

Some pictures, because why not?

 Here's my bruiser, Roman Polak...you might remember him from last week's celebrity dinner party post.

Coach Monty...third coach in three years. One of the few coaches in NHL history to come up from the college coach ranks.

This is Anton Khudobin, also from the dinner party post, all geared up and awaiting some action.

One of our young defensemen, Esa Lindell, bouncing the puck on his stick blade.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and got to spend some time with the special people in your lives.