Monday, May 10, 2021

It is done...



Despite two more games to play in their regular season, my Dallas Stars have been officially eliminated from the playoffs. While they won Friday, the team that needed to lose Saturday did not. Even if we won both remaining games, we'd only tie the team ahead of us, but the tie-breaker goes to them...as a result, we're out.

As I mentioned several posts ago, I am so sad for the players. A lot of things conspired against them--including themselves--and they just couldn't pull it off.

On the other hand, there are so many things to be grateful for and I won't bore you with all of them, but they'll have a nice long off-season to heal up physically and mentally. DD and I will be ready and rarin' to cheer them on to great heights again next season.

As for me, I'm a little disappointed, but mostly relieved, not only for myself, but for my pocketbook. :0)

I can now ramp up the writing projects and plan for my upcoming trips (three of them!), including the annual GRL conference. Without hockey playing such a prominent role in my schedule and my mind, I can focus and produce.

Hope you had a great weekend and a lovely Mother's Day if you are a mom, or you celebrated the mother of your children, or celebrated with your own mom.

I called both my moms, had lunch with one child and received phone calls from the other two, and otherwise enjoyed a quiet weekend just me, myself, and I... (DH went to visit his own momma.)

Here's to a great week...

Friday, May 7, 2021

Happy Mother's Day

My momma and me...


My baby and me...

My hockey  partner in crime and me...

And my dear first born and me...

* * * * *

I am also a dunce...I messed up the new subscribe process, but I spent Wednesday sorting it out, so...

My mom (YS), my friend NC, and my friend GN, have been manually added to the NEW subscribe list. Any blog post will show up in your inbox at noon of the day I publish it. (I hope.)

Everyone else will need to re-subscribe because, as promised, the Feedburner lists/databases were deleted.

* * * * *

Have a great weekend, y'all.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Happy Hump Day

It's a beautiful day here in North Texas...and I'm stuck in the office. But!

I was given the Core Values Embodiment Award for our company for the month of May. :0)


Along with the honor, I get a $25 gift card for food, and I get to choose the next recipient.

Hope you're having a good week. Catch you Friday!

Monday, May 3, 2021

Spring Has Sprung

 

Our sweet Karma enjoying the fresh air and sunshine yesterday. Spring has officially sprung here in North Texas and thank goodness for that. We'll have more rain and storms, but the cold temperatures are a thing of the past for at least six months.

Another thing of the past...hockey playoff hopes. My hockey boys lost on Saturday to the team they needed to win against. They haven't been mathematically eliminated, but the climb into that 4th place spot is now all uphill in the metaphorical snow. I'm not holding my breath.

But! I'm finally writing. These words may or may not be keepers. I'm just trying to get into my main characters' head spaces right now. Honestly, it's fine with me as long as I'm making progress some way some how.

Also this weekend, I hung out with my best girl friends for hours and hours, and it was wonderful to be with them in person rather than just across a computer screen, although being able to do that was a blessing over the last year. We're going back to gathering in person monthly despite our writers group not doing so yet.

Hope you had a lovely weekend and have a great week.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

What a Difference Two Weeks Makes...

Two weeks ago, I was feeling low, low, low...and pretty convinced my Dallas Stars were going to miss the playoffs. They're still not a lock, but as of Monday night, they're two (!!) points behind that 4th place team...with two games in hand...and one more huge game against said 4th place team on Saturday.

Two weeks ago, we were seven points back...

...and as of Monday we're the 5th place team!

Now, last night, they lost, but so did that 4th place team, so we didn't gain or lose ground.

But the boys now have a five game stretch against the teams ahead of us with their remaining two against the team we just passed in the standings. The Nashville Predators (the 4th place team for those keeping score at home) have an easier slate of games, but two fewer left to play. I'm not sure the scales balance proportionately in our favor.

But we're a scrappy bunch and we'll be getting one of our best players back from injury any time now. Will it be soon enough to make a difference? No telling.

While I'll be sooo sad for the team, I'd still be relieved if they didn't make it. I'm thankful last night was the last home game. I'm just tired right now.

But if they do make the playoffs, I'll be cheering them on in person as often as possible.

* * * * *

Overall, I'm feeling a bit better. Mentally and physically; mostly mentally, but physically too.

I'm working on the book again. I'm exercising again. I'm trying eat better again.

I just need to keep making the decisions I need to make...

* * * * *

Hope you're doing well so far this week. Keep on keeping on...

Monday, April 26, 2021

National Pretzel Day

Huzzah! Today is National Pretzel Day… 


Pretzels have long been one of my favorite snacks. Hard or soft, sticks or twists, I love ‘em.

I don’t eat them often anymore as they are 100% carbohydrates, but every once in a while (like maybe twice a season), I’ll indulge in the big soft twists at a hockey game.

Did you know that pretzels came about as the result of the strict fasting rules of the Catholic Church during Lent, aaaaall the way back in the Middle Ages?

In the 16th century, it was the baking of pretzels that saved the city of Vienna from the invading Turks. Monks in the basement bakery of a monastery heard the invaders and were able to warn the rest of the city. As a reward, pretzel bakers received their own coat of arms.

History.com has it that the term “tying the knot” may have come from the practice of Swiss royalty using pretzels in their wedding ceremonies.

Pretzels probably arrived in America along with the first pilgrims, but the first wave of German immigrants in the early 1700s most certainly brought them as well.

One of the best inventions ever was a bagel dog made with pretzel dough…sorta like a corn dog, only wrapped in dough rather than dipped in batter… Mmmm.

Again, the ones you find at ball parks or sports arenas are best, but these'll do in a pinch.

Are you a pretzel fan like me?


Friday, April 23, 2021

Are You "Languishing"...?

That's the word for the middle ground many people are feeling as we enter year two of the world according to COVID: languishing.

You're not depressed and feeling hopeless, but you're not bouncing out of bed and being productive at the pace you once were, back in pre-pandemic / pre-lockdown times...

You're feeling unfocused and blah, and even though you mostly have the energy to get things done, you lack the motivation you once had.

Not much changed for me when COVID hit and the lockdowns happened.

Our business was considered essential and the doors remained opened. No one worked from home except for the lone employee who contracted COVID and that was only for two weeks. Before and since, it's been business as usual.

On a personal front, my writer's group meetings went online, and my closest girlfriends and I gathered in Zoom every Saturday morning to chat rather than the once a month post-writers group gathering we'd done before.

Of course sports seasons were suspended for a while. Once our beloved hockey was returned to us last August, DD and I attended socially distant and mask-required watch parties. A privilege and luxury not every hockey town allowed depending on their location. With the new season (January), we've been allowed to watch hockey live, but socially-distant seating remains and masks are still required. However, some arenas still remain empty of fans despite hockey being played.

Through it all, I've persevered and felt and been my usual self. Until the last couple of months.

I few weeks ago, I chalked it partly up to the series of events surrounding the cookie book. First to the usurpation of my time and my writing plan / schedule for hockey book #5. And then I thought maybe the editor, with all her comments and desired edits, had messed with my confidence in my writing.

And maybe both of those things were catalysts, but they don't explain the trouble I've had getting back on the horse, so to speak.

But a friend and fellow writer shared an article (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/well/mind/covid-mental-health-languishing.html?smid=em-share) and it really captured the spirit of how I've been feeling.

Take care of yourselves. Give yourselves and others grace. Do what brings you joy and creates energy within you. The mental health ramifications of COVID and lockdowns are going to be with us for years to come.

Take care and enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Follow Me Again...?

The application I was using for y'all to receive the blog directly is disabling that feature in July...

Soooo...if you're still so inclined to get my my blog in your email, then I've researched other options and implemented the most highly recommended one.

You can subscribe there to the right in the box with the green outline. What that means is that you'll get notified twice for maybe two weeks and then I'll delete the other one and remove all y'all's email addresses from the original. (May 4th--I'll delete)

And if you no longer want to hear from me, that's fine too. I get it. :0) I'm not terribly exciting and have a bit of a three-track mind.

Speaking of tracks...one of them is hockey (well, DUH, Jen) and the boys have a four-game win streak going... They're not locked into a playoff spot just yet, but they're tied with the fifth place team and a point behind the fourth place team and we won't have anything in the bag until probably the very last game or two with two and a half weeks until then.

Good thing I no longer bite my nails. ;0)

Hope your week is going well...and, you know...

Monday, April 19, 2021

I'm a Great Auntie Again

The newest member of my family made his appearance last Friday...

I'll get to meet him in September when I go visit my family. Can't wait. :0) He'll be the youngest baby I've gotten to hold--the others have been several months older than this little guy will be by the time I get to visit.

Spring is in full swing here in North Texas and we had gorgeous weather Sunday.

Hope you had a great weekend too...

 



Friday, April 16, 2021

As My World Turns...

Happy Friday!

Hope you're well.

The new car continues to surprise and delight. Not only does Google Maps show up on the HUD, but the car will read my texts to include emojis. I got a laugh out of that the other day. I can also pick podcasts from my HUD if decide, in transit, I want to listen to one.

I also discovered that my driver's seat can move in several additional ways. The front edge, over which our knees hang, can be levered up and down! The seat itself can be moved up and down as well as forward and back. The seat back can also be  angled forward and back. All electronically!! No pumping the lever.

It's not a great picture, but I was in a moving car. (DD was driving, not me.) But you know what it means, right? After all this time...?

Yes, after my sad post on Wednesday, the heavenly stars aligned on Thursday night and my boys won in regulation. That means they got the two winner points and the other team got no loser points. And on top of that, the two teams ahead of us in the standings lost last night, meaning we had a four point leap toward the team in that 4th place position we're trying to acquire...

Of course, we have to keep the winning going... :0)

* * * * *

In other news, I opted against moving forward with that online publisher I'd submitted my cookie book too. She wanted more and more revisions before coughing up a contract and I just don't have the time to devote to that process at the moment. There were a couple other reasons, but that's the big one.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

When is Acceptance the Better Part of Valor

 This a post about my hockey team...feel free to tap out.

As of this afternoon, Wednesday, April 14, the Dallas Stars are three points from catching the team just ahead of them and seven points from catching the team in 4th place.

The teams in the first four positions get to go to the playoffs...

We have 15 games left to our season...3 to 4 more than most other teams since the start of our season was postponed due to COVID-related protocols and then four more games were rescheduled due to the snowpocolyse that hit our state.

The guys have playing four games in seven nights and back-to-back on Saturdays and Sundays to make up those eight games. It's not the worst schedule in the League, but it's tough. We're missing three of our top players. Another top player is a game-time decision every game day as he has an injury he's dealing with. There are eight or nine players rotating in and out of the lineup due to injuries and/or gameplay. There has been no time for any sort of organized practices.

Yes, I'll have some cheese with that whine...

They're streaky to begin with. Missing players, little rest, and no practices makes soooo inconsistent. 

While it's still statistically possible for them to make the playoffs; it's looking less and less like they're going to be able to make it happen

Am I sad?

I'm sad for the team. Not so much for myself.

Don't tell DD, but I'm ready for the season to be over. We have six more home games, four we'll be attending, two which we will not. I'm really not feeling the hecticity of playoffs. I have stuff to accomplish (hello, hockey book 5).

Yes, I know I could not go--but you never know when it's going to be the last time they make. Or you never know if they're gonna go on a tear like they did last season -- you want to be there for that too in case they win or in case they don't make it back for a while. It's history in the making...

But I just have this feeling based on how they're playing, they just won't be able to make up the points differences even with games in hand.

And I'm okay if they don't. It's been a crazy year and they had that wild ride to the Stanley Cup finals last year. They deserve the rest, even if every man to a one would say they'd do it all again to win the damn Cup.

Have a great week. Catch you Friday...

Monday, April 12, 2021

Today is the NHL Trade Deadline...

I know y'all don't care about the NHL trade deadline, but DH did a little trading of his own this weekend...

I have a new car!

DH did the math and determined that leasing a car costs the approximately the same as owning a car for 10 years and you get a new car every three to four years. So--

I went from the 2018 RAV4 to the 2021 RAV4.


I was a little unsure at first because DH did all the legwork and all I had were pictures. BUT! Once I sat in the car and got a feel for some of the new features, I was super pleased. The center console arrangement is a little different, which is not a big deal. The screen however, where you can see your backup camera feed and radio stations, etc, *is* different and I like it much better.

The new models also have Apple Car Play which means my Google Maps will show up on this screen as well, which is fabulous.

I was hoping for the plum color again, but apparently a lot of other people also like the plum too. All the dealership had on hand were the basics--black, white, pearl red (looked like shiny pomegranate to me), silver, and dark gray. Ultimately, color isn't the most important feature and I ended up with the gray. I like it just fine.

Hope you had a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

National No Housework Day

Today, April 7, is National No Housework Day!


Now there's a holiday I can get behind. :0)

Of course, as I've lamented, I need to do better in that department by adding chores to the roster.

Since I work full time, most of my household chores happen on the weekend...so I wouldn't even be doing any housework today any. Maybe some dinner dishes, that's about it. But in the name of National No Housework Day, maybe I'll let them pile up in the sink.

Now that you know this--back away from the vacuum! Find a book and go outside with a cold beverage and enjoy the day.

Take care!

Monday, April 5, 2021

First Quarter Review

As I've mentioned a few times, the first quarter of 2021 was rough for me. Today, we're going to review the list, assess how I did, and prepare for Q2.

The list is just there to the right and down a smidge. 🠞

Here we go...

#1--learn about and harness the power of my personality strengths...

Didn't do anything with this.

Grade: F

#2--actively cook 1 meal per week...

I've done well with this one. I'm up to two meals. One of them I make on Sunday and the other usually happens as desired. But it happens. so YAY.

Grade: A

#3--lose the 3 pounds I gained over the holidays...

I've probably gained another pound or two considering all the crap I've been eating.

Grade: F

#4--publish 3 books

There will be one published for sure. I can probably get two out. The third will be a challenge unless I buckle down during the next two quarters. Can I do it? Of course I can. Will I do it? Another story entirely. I'll need to take some time to ponder my timelines and make the plans.

Grade: C

#5--get the home gym kitted out...

No work has been done on this project. Although, we did set some funds set aside for the TV and the rowing machine. I need to discuss with DH and bite the bullet, I guess.

Grade: C-

#6--get a handle on the housekeeping...

I had a few flashes of accomplishment, but nothing that became routine.

Grade: D

#7--brainstorm characters and plot arcs for new series...

I am on doing well with this endeavor. There were 13 Sundays in the first quarter. I have 13 worksheets done. However-- Eleven are for the planned series, the other two are for the 5th hockey book I plan to write this year.

Grade: B+

#8--send a post card to my grandmother in Denmark...

I managed to get one sent. I'm a bad grand-daughter.

Grade: D

* * * * *

Now let's look ahead to Q2 and how I'm going to do better...

#1--learn about and harness the power of my personality strengths...

Read the recommended books that go more into depth than the reports I received. Watch videos. Read articles. The plan is to research one a month.

#2--actively cook 1 meal per week...

I've been doing the 1 meal, but I to get myself up to a consistent cooking of 2 meals per week. To do that I need to plan better in terms of menu & grocery list. I worked on that this past weekend.

#3--lose the 3 5 pounds I gained over the holidays...over the last 5/6 months...

Get back on track with my eating and exercise habits. Along with the menu, I worked on an exercise plan this past weekend.

#4--publish 3 books

Take time to ponder what I feel can reasonably accomplish and plan for it. Then I think I need to create some sort of visual to keep in front of me as a reminder/motivational tool. (I.E. book covers)

#5--get the home gym kitted out...

Have that discussion with DH, make the purchases, and clean up the garage space a little more.

#6--get a handle on the housekeeping...

Take the time to decide what tasks I want to become more routine and how often I want them done and then pencil it/them into my planner.

#7--brainstorm characters and plot arcs for new series...

As I'm mostly on track, just keep on keeping on and try to catch up those other two worksheets for the planned series.

#8--send a post card to my grandmother in Denmark...

Nothing to say here but: JUST DO IT.

Have a great week.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Happy Easter

 

Happy Good Friday and Happy Easter Friends!!

* * * * *

Hope you're all well. The new month has started, the new quarter has started, and the new week for me tracking various and sundry habits starts tomorrow.

March was rough for me. I've been in a funk for the better part of the first quarter and tomorrow seems like a good day to begin my climb out of it.

I've created my new habit chart. Stickers are at the ready. I'll be percolating the exercise plan of attack as well as the meal plan and menu items. I've ordered KETO test strips. They come with a guide book and an app, so we'll see how helpful that ends up being.

* * * * *

As I mentioned Wednesday, I'll be spending some time in that dang cookie book this weekend trying to figure out how to explain the revisions I plan to make--if I plan on moving forward with this online publisher.

An online friend was kind and generous enough to beta read the first three chapters and help me understand what the editor meant by a few of her comments. The whole process isn't working the way I expected, which has contributed to my frustrations and the desire to drop kick the whole process into outer space.

But...

The purpose of submitting & publishing with this publisher is still a valid one--to get my work in front of a new set of eyeballs.

The question is: am I willing to do the work necessary to make that happen or do I take my story back, hire an editor, contract out a cover, and publish it myself...

I'll let you know on Monday, once I figure it out. :0)

* * * * *

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Dilemma...

Remember the "cookie book"? I wrote a book for submission to an online publisher and submitted it back in January. I was told by the editor who received it that it could be 12 weeks before she got to it. That would have put us at the end of April.


The book is titled "To Linzer & to Cherish."

Instead, the editor got back with me within a couple of weeks, requesting/suggesting some changes to the submitted text (the first 1250 words of the book), which I made and resubmitted. She was satisfied with that change and wanted to see the whole thing after I read a book she recommended and applied the concepts as needed.

So...I reviewed and revised all 23K and sent it to her. Now that she's read the whole book, she's made another observation and requested an outline of how I'd make changes IF I were to proceed. If I tell her I want to make the changes and how I plan to do so, she'll request/send a contract...

Which sounds exciting, but I've spent way more time on this book this quarter than I anticipated and it's thrown me for a loop. I'm not working on the book I was supposed to be working on and I'm feeling a bit discombobulated in general. And this new directive which is somewhat time sensitive is yet another knot in the yarn of my life at the moment.

The offering of a contract sounds like I'll get in the Christmas anthology this year, which was the hope.

So what's the problem...? I'm not sure exactly. Part of it is that--I write the way I write and I have decent ranking numbers on Amazon. Readers don't care as much as editors do about a lot of things... And it's not like my writing won't be all the better for it, but just ugh...

Anyway...enough whining. :0) I told her I'd let her know by Monday, so my weekend will be busy...

Have a great week.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Stars Win for the Birthday Girl

What better way for a hockey fan to spend their birthday than watching their team play one of their best games of the season and win against the best team in the league--who was, coincidentally, the team that beat your team out of the Stanley Cup seven months ago...

The Stars have been inconsistent at best, crap at worst and have been unable to throw this particular monkey off their backs--until last night. Last night it all came together for them. Hopefully, they can carry the high of the win into Saturday and Sunday's games and beat another team they've had some troubles with this season.

In addition to the win, which I couldn't have planned, I did plan for a birthday announcement at the game...

Along with her name on the board, she's supposed to receive a goody bad with Stars swag. Well, due to COVID, they started mailing bag out instead of allowing them to be picked up at the game...

 But, let's see...there's a woman sitting outside of one of the fan shops handing out online orders. How is a birthday bag of goodies any different?? (They're not.) Oh and maybe if they'd mentioned it when I placed the order three weeks ago, maybe we could have had it in time for DD's birthday. *sigh*

But a good time was had by all and I even got to see the Reunion Tower Arena ball lit up for the first time in more than a month. Yee haw!

Tonight she'll open a couple small presents and enjoy a steak dinner.

Hope you have a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Happy (early) Birthday DD!

Happy Birthday to my Darling Daughter and Hockey Partner in Crime...


Tomorrow we will be cheering our boys in Victory Green to victory--hopefully. Then Friday will be birthday dinner night. We've been enjoying pup-cakes all week at her request...

Have a great rest of your week.
 


Monday, March 22, 2021

Recipe of the Week

Meatloaf made with pork rinds For The Win!!

We love meatloaf, but it's usually made with some sort of bread crumbs, so we haven't eaten it much since Dan's been trying to eat more keto.

It looks like meatloaf, it tastes like meatloaf. I could taste no discernible difference in the flavor although some with more sensitive palates likely could. But we have a new keto-friendly recipe to add to the collection. Now if we could find an alternative to mashed potatoes...

I've tried the mashed cauliflower and it's okay, but it needs some tweaking. It's not my fave and a friend told me that cauliflower tastes different during different times of the year. Perhaps I had a more bitter batch the time I tried it. Also I didn't makes it from scratch, so that might have had something to do with it.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend....

Friday, March 19, 2021

USS Alabama & USS Drum

While in Alabama, DD and I spent a couple of hours tromping around two decommissioned naval vessels from World War II -- the battleship USS Alabama and the submarine USS Drum.

Here are some cool pictures for a quick view, but if you're interested in perusing all 180+ images, follow this link!






Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Whirlwind Road Trip

Well, we did it...

DD and me went on our whirlwind road trip to Alabama to visit the two Buc-cee's locations there.

On the way home, we also stopped at a Buc-cee's on the very outskirts of the Metroplex that we just hadn't had a chance to get to.

Pictures or it didn't happen right??

Beach Express location just east of Mobile.

Leeds location just east of Birmingham.

The Terrell location didn't have the city name on the sign, but here's a pic of the store... You're just going to have to trust me. :0)

While we were in Mobile, we did visit the USS Alabama and the USS Drum. Pictures will be along on Friday.

Hope you're having a great week. Catch you Friday.




Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Activate Reading Mode

Since the whole cookie book incident--I'm calling it that because the whole thing has really rankled me--I haven't felt much like writing or editing. The Dallas Stars schedule is not helping matters.

Regardless of my excuses, I really need to get to work. Instead...

I'm reading. A lot. Also--sleeping. See the aforementioned hockey schedule... I know, I know. I don't have to watch or go to hockey games. But I paid for the tickets, so I sorta do have to go, unless they get sold.

I probably won't get much work done between now and Tuesday since DD and I are going on a road trip this weekend. Once I'm back, it's back to work.

Back to a lot of things.

While I have been cooking healthy meals for dinner for DH, I'm otherwise eating a lot of stuff I shouldn't a not exercising much.

So...better eating habits, better exercise habits, better writerly habits.

Sometimes, though, you need a mental health break.

Hope you're having a great week.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Happy International Women's Day

to all the women who are pioneers in the movement for gender equality.

My mom was one of those women, in a sense. She was a single mom from the time I was two. I don't know all the challenges she had to face in being a woman on her own with a small child, but she stood on her own two feet, did what she needed to do,

Thanks, Mom! I love you. Hope you're having a super day.



Wednesday, March 3, 2021


It's barely mid-day as I write this, but it's already been a day, and I'm ready for it to be Friday at 5pm right now.

I could use a bubble bath and a drink and I don't say either of those things often. :0)

We've probably had in combination two dozen phone calls or emails for service calls this morning. Usually we're sitting at six to ten by this point in the day... Yeesh.

On top of that, my writers group is having some issues, so as "leadership" and for other reasons, I'm on call to help sort through that.

So that's my day.

And last night the Stars lost yet again. So it appears that this season is just going to be a wash due to injuries to key players and the very condensed schedule. They actually played well last night, but the other team's goalie and his goalposts kept us off the scoresheet. 😕

Hope your week is going better than mine! Take care and catch you on Friday.