Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thursday

The shower reno is still ongoing.  We had the shower made larger too.  Today they are *finally* putting up tile.  It's going to be beautiful!

Since I don't want to post pics until the shower is done, I'm going to talk about last Friday and the wonderful Sushi dinner we had with my friend Denice and her husband Ron.

At first, Lonnie didn't want to go.  He's never had Sushi and didn't want to try. But he finally agreed.  I've only had it a couple of times and wasn't that impressed.

But this place was Oh So Good!  Maybe it was the company and the experienced way they ordered the rolls.  Either way, it was all fresh, tasted wonderful, and the texture was good.  I'd definitely go back.

Here are a few pics.

Tower of (can't remember the name)


 Vegetarian Roll


Tuna roll and shrimp roll

We were stuffed!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday, Monday Monday.

Here I am again, about to get back to work on The Rancher's Return.  I read a quote somewhere - and didn't get who said it - but the quote was something like "Work gets done when your fear of not doing it exceeds your fear of sucking at it."  I feel like that sometimes, especially when working on revisions.   I'm always afraid I'm not going to do them right.

This weekend was busy for me - I volunteer for Legacy Boxer Rescue.  On Saturday, I went to one of our Approved Adopters and met a foster mama there with her puppy.  And my adopter is giving little Blizzard her forever home!  (Blizzard's name will probably change!)


My second visit on Saturday was a Home Visit to qualify or disqualify someone who wants to adopt a Boxer from Legacy.  Since the people didn't have a dog, another foster home met me there with their foster dog, Monroe.

Monroe is an older gentleman, and what a love bug.  The young couple we visited loved him.


And then after the last home visit, I came home and Lonnie and I went to both Home Depot and Lowe's to look at fixtures for our shower.  And then I got groceries.  We planned to swim but a sudden rainstorm came up and nixed that idea.

Sunday, I met my fellow rescuer Denice at 9am to do a Home Visit.  We brought a lovely dog named Dolce with us and the young family LOVED her too. (Fingers crossed)


And the last Home Visit of the day was for someone who wants to be a volunteer with Legacy.  We met him and his fiancee and their three dogs.

Whew.  Then I did laundry and collapsed.  We had more rain.

This morning the shower reno has started.  I am back to work. The weekend went buy in a flash.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Mitchell Thomas

As most of you realize by now, I'm a dog person.  I volunteer with Legacy Boxer Rescue and do what I can to help my favorite breed.

But before there were Boxers, I had Miniature Schnauzers.  Years ago, my first Schnauzer was named Skipper Doodle Dandy (poor guy).  He died from Hemolytic Anemia 13 years ago at the age of 8.  My second Schnauzer Daisy Mae, died 3 years ago from Cushings Disease at the age of 11.

My last remaining Schnauzer Mitchell Thomas aka Bitsy Buddy will turn 13 tomorrow.  He's been a healthy little guy until recently.  As he's aged, he's lost his hearing, and his eyesight is a bit weak, and he wobbles when he walks.  Oh, and he has a bit of dog dementia.  But we still adore him and carry him up and down the stairs so he won't miss anything.



He used to love to swim, but his hind legs no longer work right so the only time he can go in the pool anymore is if we carry him.  Which we do, holding him in the water which makes him happy.


In the thirteen years he's been with us, he's been a vital and important part of our lives.  He's slowed down a lot now and mostly spends his days sleeping, and we have to hand feed him a lot as he doesn't want to eat, but he still likes to do dog stuff and his quality of life is still good.



Happy Birthday, Bitsy Buddy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Almost There

It has been a hectic 6 days since I last posted.  My wonderful editor emailed me and asked me to send her whatever chapters I have completed on Shade of the Wolf.  Since my method is to finish the book and then go back and edit the chapters and I wasn't done, I panicked.  The first day I sent her the first four chapters, edited by me.  Each day I'd send her 3-4 chapters as I went through and edited them.  I had two left on Friday, one of which (Chapter 19) wasn't finished.  Yes, I still had to write The End.

This past weekend, I finished editing Chapter 18 and sent it to her on Monday.  Monday morning, I had to help my daughter move into her new classroom in her new school in her new district.  After all the boxes were in the room, I started unpacking.  Then I saw an email from my editor asking for the end of the book!

Yikes!  I rushed home, sat down, and started writing.  Luckily, I knew the ending.  I just had to put the words on paper (and chose the right words!)  In one afternoon, I wrote nearly 3000 words, emailing it to my editor right around 4pm my time (5 hers).

She edited it right then and there, put it in the system, and emailed me the line edits today.  I have 2 days to do them, but they're light.  Thank goodness.

So that's what I'm working on now.  On a side note, I really like this book!  It's different and my editor said the twist surprised even her - and she said she didn't surprise easily these day!  She also said it was a powerful and emotional story!  Yay!

Anyway, I must get back to it.  After the AA's are done, I have to get really busy on the next revisions.
No rest for the wicked, apparently!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tuesday

I'm always amazed at how quickly time goes by now that I'm working at home at a job I love.  School starts again in a three weeks and so far our summer has been mild, which makes me a happy girl.

I'm wrapping up Shade of the Wolf and sending 4 chapters at a time to my editor, because it needs to go into production.  I like the books.  It's been a fun story to write.

So I'm busy, but happy.

This year has been the year of expensive home repairs for us.  It started in January when we decided it was time to totally redo our pool.  The pool is 19 years old.  We had it gutted, new tile, coping and plaster put in. That was supposed to be our only home improvement project this year.  We like to do one a year.  We can afford one a year.

And then spring came and our lawn died.  We had dirt.  With rain and dogs, that equals mud.  Lonnie had the old lawn scraped off, new dirt brought in, and the yard entirely re-sodded.  Ka-ching. $$$

Ok, that's cool.  In May, once my long term foster dog Katniss got adopted, we decided to finally head out to our lake place and our camper.  It had been over a year since we'd been there.  If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know what happened next.  Yes, the camper had a leak and we had mold and mushrooms inside.  Said camper is now at at repair place for extensive - and expensive work.

And yes, I'd put a deposit down on a cruise in November with my Boxer rescue friends.

Then I needed two fillings and - gasp - a root canal.  I don't have dental insurance.  I was quite shocked to learn how much a root canal - and a crown - cost, never mind two fillings.  That little escapade left me $2500 poorer.

Then - yes, it continues - our master bath shower got invaded with ants.  Lonnie sprayed, and since we had some mold issues, decided to regrout the entire shower.  Tiles fell off, there's dry rot and mold (and ants) and we need a complete shower overhaul.  I am STUNNED at how much this is going to cost.  Estimates are still coming in.

The pool chlorinator went.  We have a salt water pool.  We ordered a new one (nearly $900) and NOW... NOW.... the damn POOL PUMP is spewing water.  Lonnie is working on it to see if he can fix it.

I cancelled the cruise.  Then decided not to.  We deserve a cruise after all this.

There are still 4.5 months left this year.  Pray for me that nothing else happens.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

San Antonio Part 2

Sorry I didn't finish up my post yesterday - it was crazy here at home.  Unfortunately, we learned we need to get our master bath shower completely redone.  Dry rot, mold, blah blah.  That will take the place of several things, first and foremost the cruise I'd put a deposit down on in November.  Sigh.

Anyway, Thursday night we finished up early and were back in the hotel room and in bed by 10 or 10:30.  I had a breakfast meeting set up with Anne Leslie Tuttle, Senior Editor of Harlequin Nocturne.  There were several other authors there and I wish I'd taken pictures.  I don't think I was awake enough.  And I'm horrible with names.  Some of the authors I knew, like Elle James.  But I met tons of new people.  Next to me was a woman who worked as a Hospice Nurse (aka Angel on Earth).  She had fascinating stories.  And I also met (going to Twitter to look up her name) Laura Kaye.  She had suffered a traumatic brain injury and when she recovered, she discovered she wanted to write (she'd never had the slightest interest before).  She became a bestselling author!  AND AND - it that's not enough - she decided she wanted to lose weight to help her migraines.  So she started eating clean and doing a workout video once a day.  Since April 1st, she's lost 31 pounds!  What an inspiration.  And she was so nice.  If she didn't live in Maryland, I'd hang out with her all the time!

And then I had a few hours to kill before a lunch meeting with Patience Smith, my editor and the Senior Editor for Harlequin Romantic Suspense.  I spent that time drinking coffee to given myself energy for the rest of what would be a very long day.


The lunch was at Boudro's (that's ok, have I mentioned I LOVE that place?).  Due to my overindulgence the night before, I opted for a healthy salmon and salad.


And here's a photo of me and Patience.  (I wish I'd thought to get one of me and AnneLeslie)


So, after that lunch I went back to the hotel.  Despite the coffee, I really needed a nap.  Really should have taken one.  But I didn't.  I changed and Lonnie and I walked around in the heat some more and had a beer.
We decided to go to the Rivercenter Mall (airconditioning!) and stopped at Hooters (I know, I know).  The pigeons were bold and obnoxious there. 




You could shoo them off, but they'd keep coming right back.  I started to think they'd been extras in a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Birds.

Once back in the room, I got dressed for the big event - the Harlequin Party.



That night I met my friend and Harlequin Superromance Author Stephanie Doyle for dinner.  I haven't seen her (she lives in NJ) since the conference in 2009 and we had LOTS of catching up to do.


We went to Luciano's and had wonderful Italian food.  I had my favorite - Mussels Marinara.


And then it was on to the party.  Walking, in heels.  

But all was good.  The party was in full swing when we arrived.  There were desserts, a chocolate fountain, and of course the open bar.  People were dancing.  I had to have a couple of drinks to dance, but I did.

It was fun and amazing. Harlequin had jars of new footy socks for us to wear to dance so we didn't have to dance in heels or bare feet, even though some people went with the bare feet (not me, socks all the way!) Sorry for the dim photos, but the light was muted.

The dessert buffet.


Dancing.


The jars of footy socks.

More dancing.


It's Raining Men (always always played every year!)



I had SO much fun (and too much to drink).  This year, I didn't go to the hotel bar like I used to do in years past.  I went back to the hotel and got in around 1 am.  My Jawbone Up showed I'd walked over 22,000 steps that day!  (more actually, but after midnight the next 3300 rolled over to the next day).

Whew.  I slept in until nine a.m and reluctantly got up as I had one last meeting - an early lunch with my agent of 12 years, Lucienne Diver.  She chose Luciano's (the really good restaurants keep popping up!)

Here are the two of us posing in Luciano's.  


After that, we checked out early and headed home.  The hotel was lovely and was able to rent our room, so they credited me back for the night.  I was thrilled.  And exhausted.  Did I mention exhausted?  

It took me two full days to recover from all that.  

And then I learned about the shower.  2014 is the year of the home renovations, sadly.  We redid our pool early on, then our yard, and then our camper (remember those nasty mushrooms?  It's still in the shop).  And now our shower.  Sigh.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

San Antonio RWA Conference - A Recap

The National Romance Writers of America Conference was held in San Antonio this year.  I didn't actually register for the conference (I rarely go to workshops anymore.)  I went to meet with my editor and agent and see my friends.  Oh, and go to the Harlequin party.  I haven't been to RWA in 5 years (frowny face) and I seriously used to go every single year.   Ah well.

Lonnie and I drove down Thursday morning.  We didn't stay at the conference hotel - we chose to say at the historic Riverwalk Vista, a boutique hotel built in 1883 and beautifully restored.  They have a continental breakfast from 8-10 every morning,  a snack (lemonaide and cookies or scones) at 3, and then wine at 5.

Here's the hotel listed in Historic Hotels of America


Inside our room




 The interior was beautiful



And here's the exterior of the hotel.


It was a short walk from the conference and across the street from the riverwalk.  I had a view of a beautiful orange sculpture outside my window.


We got down there Thursday and our room wasn't ready yet (check in time is 3 and it was 1:30) so we headed to the river to have a bite to eat and a beer.  We stopped at an old favorite of mine - Mad Dog - an tried the Scotch Eggs.  Wonderful.  Amazing.  I will definitely try them again.



Since I didn't have any meetings until Friday, after lunch when our room got ready, we unpacked and then decided to explore the Riverwalk.  Since we've been there so many times, we know what we like.  We had reservations at Boudro's for Saturday night, but decided to cancel them and just go Thursday.

I'm glad we did.  There was no wait.  And it was absolutely wonderful.

My traditional Prickly Pear Margarita.



My appetizer - crab cakes.

Lonnie's appetizer - shrimp cocktail


Lonnie always gets this at Boudro's - blackened Prime Rib


I usually get coconut shrimp, but tonight I got the filet and lobster.  (We are celebrating my latest contract after all!)


And for dessert, we shared Louisiana Bread Pudding.

This is part one of my San Antonio post.  I'll do part two tomorrow.