Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Lake Conroe is As Beautiful As Ever!

The annual Lake Conroe Retreat is in the books. Yesterday was the last day/travel day, which is why I'm posting today instead of yesterday. We had a wonderful time as we usually do, and I got some issues sorted and made some progress on the book I've been struggling with for a couple of months. I should be **AM** good to go now. I should **WILL** be able to get this book done in time to publish it in time for my conference in October.

(I'm putting those positive vibes into the universe.) 😁

Here's to a great week of writing!! Catch you next week.

Monday, July 19, 2021

I'm Tired Just thinking About The Next Three / Four Months...

If I'm not on a trip, I'll be planning a trip...

Next up--Lake Conroe...

After that--a road trip home to see the fam...

And after that--a readers/writers conference...

And after that...it'll be time for the holidays. Oh joy.

This past weekend, my JAG ladies gathered in Dallas. We hadn't seen each other since May of 2019, so it was def nice to gather with everyone willing and able to make it. I skipped out of Sunday events in order to get ready for and rest up for my work week as I am wont to do.

In preparation for the conference I was working on my website and FUBARed it, so will have to ask an employee for help today. Ugh. I'm a menace to myself sometimes...

DH managed the tree-trimmers this weekend. The tree that grows along the fence in the neighbor's yard, covers the corner of our yard as well. But it'd finally reached the point again where it was weighing down the power and internet lines. So now I--or rather, the lawn guy--can actually walk upright on that side of the yard and we're no longer in danger of power our internet outages due to tree.

The also cut back all the stuff touching the roof. Not just that original tree, but the one hanging over my office. It's a bit odd, but nice, to go outside and have so much openness. The squirrels are now in a bit of a pickle since they can't get from the roof to the trees any longer.

Hope you're well and have a great week...

Monday, July 12, 2021

Hello Friends and Followers!



Hope you're all well. It's been a couple of weeks and a lot has happened.

The Tampa Bay Lightning became back-to-back Stanley Cup Champs. 😒

And that's all we're gonna say about that.

* * *

The Fourth of July was another record-breaking year. I don't know the details yet. DH was exhausted when he returned home and spent the week resting & sleeping as needed. We'll sort the numbers this week.

Remember at the beginning of June where I whined about upgrading my status at the October conference I attend from "regular" author to "featured" author? I did upgrade and I am now excited to report that I was able to put together a Storyteller Panel with three other authors, including one of the most prolific and popular authors at the conference. She'll definitely be a draw. Our topic: The Challenges and Joys of Writing MM Sports Romance.

Now... Since I don't do physical books, I now have to come up with some swag ideas to give away. I'll definitely give away e-books, but I need to have something the participating attendees (ask a question, pick a prize)  can walk away with. So I've been Googling ideas. Amazon has coughed up hockey stick pencils, hockey player rubber ducks, and stress-relief squishy pucks. Hmmm...

* * *

I finally have my rowing machine... There's a tv. There's nice squishy mat. There's an aerobic step. The home gym is now complete in terms of equipment. Just need to replace the ceiling fans.

* * *

Have a great week...


Monday, June 28, 2021

Technology is a Pain in the A$$

I broke down and bought a new laptop. The old one has been with me since...I can't really remember, but a long time. I'm not one to buy new for the sake of new, but I had a little issue while on my writers retreat and when DH ran a few diagnostics, he was of the opinion that the hard drive had some bad sectors and might be in danger of failing. The battery had lost all it's charge years ago and I always have to be plugged in, which isn't usually a problem. Couple that with its age, especially its technological age, and, well, time for a new one.

Sadly, new devices come with so much added bloatware--all those programs you really have no need of (until maybe you try them) put on there by the manufacturer itself or by third parties who pay for the real estate.

There's no such thing as a PC with just an operating system loaded on it, allowing you to load the things you want / need and only the things you want / need. *sigh* But I have an IT company in my back pocket, so anything that could and should be removed was.

New devices are such a pain in the patootie, not only for that reason, but when it's been that long since one has had a new device, the user interfaces have changed a bit too and take some getting used to.

But the new laptop and I are making friends and I should be ready for my next trip in plenty of time. That and I won't always have to be tethered to electricity. Yay!

* * * * *

Update to Friday's post: Sad to say, the Islanders lost to Tampa Bay and the Lightning are making a return trip to the Stanley Cup Final. Let's go Habs.

* * * * *

Hope you had a great weekend and here's to a great week...

Friday, June 25, 2021

Félicitations au Les Canadiens de Montréal

In an upset that no one in the hockey world expected--the Montreal Canadiens advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

Last night, the Habs, as they're sometimes called, beat the Vegas Golden Knights in seven games. The Knights were one of three odds-on favorites to go all the way and win.

The Canadiens, on the other hand, finished 18th in the NHL at the end of the regular season (behind my Dallas Stars) but 4th in their division and earning themselves a spot in the playoffs.

Once making the playoffs, they took down the Toronto Maple Leafs, the League's 6th best team (by points) and then swept the Winnipeg Jets (only 14th best).

 This is their first trip to the Final since 1993--that's twenty-eight years!

After tonight, we'll know who they'll be playing--last year's Stanley Cup champs (the Tampa Bay Lightning) or the New York Islanders, who themselves haven't made the Finals since 1984. They've made the playoffs plenty of times, as have the Habs, but neither team has gotten to the Final in decades.

Despite losing $15 on my Stanley Cup Final wagers--$5 when the Stars didn't make it to the post-season, $5 when the Colorado Avalanche lost to the Golden Knights, and then last night when the Golden Knights lost to the Canadiens--I'm tickled red, white, and blue for the Habs.


As always, have a great weekend. :0)

Monday, June 21, 2021


Mental Health is a thing...not one I suffer from except on a very generic basis like the doldrums. But I'm aware of my mental health and I try to do things that keep me up and avoid the things that bring me down.

Stephen Johns logging miles at Notre Dame where he attended school and played hockey.

Photo credit to Jeff Toates.

It's not so easy for millions of people. Partly because of the nature of their particular circumstance and partly because of the stigma associated with mental health issues. Mental health care should be as much a part of society's routine and lifestyle as standard medical, dental, and vision care.

Mental health issues come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. They happen for all kinds of reasons.

Once such reason is injury, especially prevalent in sports. Which gets us to the reason for my post...

A former Dallas Star, Stephen Johns, has been forced to retire from hockey after a hit in March of 2018 that was fatal to his career. As a result of that hit, he's suffered post-traumatic headaches ever since. He was off fans' radars for a good year and half while he tried to recover and tried to find answers. He's recovered enough in that he doesn't need to stay cocooned in darkened rooms any longer to keep the pain bearable. But there have been no answers as to how a normal hockey hit triggered something that Stephen will have to live with forever.

As a result of the pain and anguish for multiple reasons, including having to give up one the things he most loved--his hockey career--he fell into a deep depression. In a few interviews, he's confessed that suicidal thoughts were not uncommon in the darkest days. What's a guy to do when it hurts in myriad ways just to be alive? When the one thing you worked for your whole life is taken away by a fluke of nature?

But Stephen has found a new purpose (at least temporarily)--he's currently inline skating across America from his hometown in Pennsylvania to the Oregon coast in an effort to bring awareness to the importance of mental health.

If you care to follow his journey and/or to signal boost his endeavors, follow him on social media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/stjohns28

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/s_johns28/

His trip is being documented by Jeff Toates, good friend of Stephen's as well as former Dallas Stars media guy (photographer and videographer).

As Robin Williams sadly prophetically said, "Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always,"


Friday, June 18, 2021

Juneteenth--the new Federal Holiday

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia.

In case you missed it, President Biden signed the bill yesterday to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. I'm all about another mandated day off work. But we're not implementing it until next year. Maybe...

It appears as though we're not required by law to honor every single federal holiday with paid time off. As an employer, we honor six of ten and add in Black Friday. We also usually only work half or two-thirds of a day on Christmas and New Years eves. So maybe we're not adding it to the list of paid holidays...

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 14, 2021

Hello There and Happy Birthday to Me

It's been longer than intended since I posted last, but my life really is unexciting right now. Even I was bored with myself.

But I celebrated my birthday this past Saturday while on a writers retreat with some lovely ladies and fellow writers.

We stayed at a lovely house in Granbury located on one of the small canals off the lake. Here are some pics of the lovely yard.

From the back porch...


Taken from a seating area just off the back porch... There's a small dock just below where that squirrel is.

Another seating area under the shade of three large oak trees. Even mid-afternoon it was pleasant as long as there was a breeze...

And Saturday...in the neighbors yard, as seen from the seating area above...

I also saw a goose family floating down the canal. A parent on each end and three goslings in the middle. :0)

It was a lovely weekend and I got a huge writing/editing task taken care of along with a little brainstorming help from the other ladies.

Hope you're well. Take care.

Friday, June 4, 2021

To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade...

Back when I first registered for last year's GRL (2020), which became this year's GRL (2021), I did so as an "author" because the "featured author" tier sold out, as it usually does, in a matter of minutes. I'm not kidding. So I put myself on the waiting list for a featured author slot should one become available. That was a year and a half ago and I don't remember doing so.

However, I got an email from the organizers on Wednesday saying there was a slot available. I had forty-eight hours to let them know if I wanted to upgrade.

Did I?

I had to weigh the cons--the additional $100--against the pros: additional exposure by way of added opportunities. I talked to a few fellow authors, one in my genre and also attending and two online friends, not in the genre, as well as to DD. Three of the four were of the opinion I should go for it.

So I'm going for it. I let the organizers know I wanted the slot and am awaiting instructions for upgrade.

One of the additional opportunities is to participate in an author Q&A or in a storyteller panel (topic TBD by me or by someone else). Both of these make me nervous. Not because I'm nervous about talking in front of people. As long as I know what I'm talking about, I'm fine.

But because the Q&A is "on the fly" and my brain doesn't always process immediately or well until I've had time to think about things. Now I'd be talking about myself mostly, so that shouldn't be terrible. I know myself pretty well, right? But I attended some of these when I went to Albuquerque and Portsmouth to see what they were like and sometimes the questions do require more processing. Maybe I take a notepad and write down the questions to circle back to...

I'd prefer a storyteller panel because I could research and be prepared, but what could I possibly offer except a primer on hockey and the interest in that would probably be pretty small. And panel means more than one person and that means me soliciting others or others soliciting me to participate. The challenge there is that I'm new. No one knows me, I don't know anyone. Most of the attendees have been going since the conference started and they all know one another. This crowd can be a bit intimidating.

DD suggested I just not participate. Which is definitely an option. But I'd hate to let it go to waste...

So if I can come up a really cool idea for a panel topic, I'll go that route. If I chicken out, I'll default to the Q&A...

Topic suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Happy Birthday, Mom!!



Hope you have a super day tomorrow.


Unfortunately this is the only "recent" picture I have of my mom and me--and it's a good five years old now. We've lived so far apart for so long and traveling to her neck of the woods isn't a day's drive. And airfare is usually beyond the limits of my pocketbook.

But I suppose I should try to make something happen....neither of us are getting any younger.

Monday, May 31, 2021

All Gave Some, but Some Gave All...

 I hope you've enjoyed the long weekend, but never forget those who died to keep us free....

Monday, May 24, 2021

I hate to see a grown man cry...

St. Louis Blues captain, Ryan O'Reilly.

The St. Louis Blues were swept from the first round of playoffs by the Colorado Avalanche. Now, I don't really care about the St. Louis Blues; they've been a general thorn in the side of my Dallas Stars, and their goalie is a bitch.

However--seeing any hockey player cry when their hopes for a(nother) Stanley Cup have been quashed, really gets to me. They're such fierce competitors and seeing them this vulnerable and willing to show their heartbreak really gets to me. I feel it in my chest. Even now, thinking about it, makes my heart clench a bit.

Remember that personality strengths test I took?

The strength of empathy ranked quite high, which surprised me when I first got the results. But I guess this is one way that empathy manifests itself.

On the flip side of the Blues' loss is the Avalanche win. They're also a favorite of mine and I'm over the moon they've advanced to the second round. One of my other favorite player, Nathan MacKinnon, plays for them, so I'm excited for him.

* * * * *

Trying to get back on the KETO wagon today and will be doing a detox / cleanse for the next 10 days. It'll be interesting so see how it works.

Surprisingly however, when I weighed myself I hadn't gained as much weight as I imagined considering all the unhealthy things I've been eating for the last six months. In fact, I weighed in this morning at the upper level of my usual four pound swing. Now, I imagine the current high is actually higher, but overall, that's good news.

My main goal is not primarily the weight loss, nor the loss of fat, but getting back into ketosis and subsequently autophagy.

If you're not familiar, it means at its base level: self-eating.

When your body gets to this point it is removing debris and toxins from cells. The cells can then regenerate back to optimal functioning, whatever that may be. Autophagy has the ability to heal or really eat bacteria that is causing issues. For example--gum disease. A friend of mine had periodontal disease and after some time spent in autophagy, the disease had been eradicated from her mouth. I'm not sure how long that took, but I've known her for a while, and I'm going to bet less than a year.

That was of particular interest to me because I too suffer from periodontal disease. I've had boneloss in my jaw as a result. As a result of the severity of that boneloss, I had three teeth pulled and a bone graft applied. I'm on my way to getting posts and a bridge put in.

But I'd like for the periodontal disease be a thing of the past so that I keep the rest of my teeth. I'm only 53...

Now not only would that process heal my mouth, but I'm sure other parts of my body will also reap the benefits. Google-search "benefits of autophagy" if your curious as to all the other benefits...

* * * * *

I hope you've had a good week since last I posted.

Take care...

Monday, May 17, 2021

A New Addition...


The latest addition to the collection! :0) Aren't they cute?? I'd seen them when I was out and about with DD a few weeks ago, but didn't buy them as I didn't want to or need to spend the money even they weren't terribly expensive.

But DD ended buying them for me as a belated Mother's Day Gift (she did take me to lunch already), so that was a pleasant surprise.

 * * * * *

Yep, I missed two days last week, but life has been terribly boring. I've done little but work, read, and write.

So I hope you're well.

No guarantees of blog posts for the rest of this week. I've actually been considering dropping to once or twice a week anyway, so this may be a good time to transition. If I have something exciting to share, I'll let you know.

Have a great week.

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.


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


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.