Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Hallolween!

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Hope you get lots of trick or treaters. On Monday, I'll post a picture of Chaos and my ninja boy!

Take care and be sure to be safe out there with your kidlets!

Friday, October 30, 2009

"Morning."

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LMAO!

Tonight we'll be carving pumpkins. Tomorrow will be Irish dancing feis, two soccer games, an end of the year soccer party, a princess birthday party for twin girls and trick or treating. Sunday will be irish dancing again at the feis as well as a mock swim meet. A busy couple of days ahead. So busy I had to find a different church so we could be sure to attend Mass on Sunday. I have a feeling I'll be happy when Monday rolls around.

As for Halloween, I told the kids they could be anything they wanted as long as it didn't cost anything. So...

My son wanted to be a Ninja. My friend Tiffany provided the black turtle neck. He already had black baseball pants. My youngest provided a sword. The only thing we were missing was a mask. My critique partner, Virginia Kantra, told me you could make one from a T-shirt. I googled and found a YouTube clip to show me how!

My youngest is going to be Alex Russo. That's the character Selena Gomez plays on The Disney Channel's Wizard of Waverly Place. Her sister helped her with the clothing and jewelry selection. She's using her wand from Magic Quest. She looks really cute.

I have no idea what my oldest is going as. Some sort of crazy girl. Guess I'll find out what that means on Saturday night!

Chaos is going to be a fairy. She has pink and white fairy wings to wear. I'm not sure if she thinks that's better than being Superdog, her costume from last year. At least she's a good sport. She loves to go trick or treating, too!

Have a great Friday and weekend!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Less Love

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I woke up this morning with hubby laughing. Along my left side was a row of three cats sleeping. No wonder I couldn't move!

The big news around the house is the Toys R Us Toy book arrived in the mail. You would think it was Christmas already. The kidlets spent over an hour last night pouring through it. You could almost see the tree lights twinkling in their eyes. I reminded them it wasn't even Halloween yet. They didn't care and set to work on their letters to Santa. They had started these a couple of weeks ago.

The other big news is I'm only 5 pages behind my page count goal! (I took Monday off!) The Plan is working. Yay!

Better get writing so I can catch up!

Are you thinking about Christmas yet or is it just way too soon?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Random Wednesday

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Rocket wanted me to post the above LOLcat. He said time was drawing near and you'd understand.

Let's help out blog reader Anne-Catherine, who used to post comments as Rottie_mom. Go to Dori's Backyard and vote for her dog Patachou in the 2009 Smiley Fest. There are four polls and Patachou is in the first one. Thanks!

I finished all the Twilight series books. The last two books did not change my initial opinion at all. As I posted last week about the first two, I do see why they might appeal to readers, and many of my friends love them, but I cannot suspend disbelief to enter the author's world.

You see, when I was 18, the same age as Bella in the last three books, I was stalked. It was a horrible, scary time and some of Edward's behavior is so similar it's frightening. Imagine no matter where you go, day or night, the same person is always there watching you, sometimes close, sometimes far, but always there. You get your mail one day, and there's a letter. He knows way more about you than he should, and you realize even when you can't see him he's with you. He also talks about the future, your future with him. This person wants to be with you, only you, forever.

Though Twilight fans have rolled their eyes or sighed saying I just don't get it or that I'm taking the books way too seriously, I see nothing loving or protecting in Edward's behavior. Their relationship is not romantic, it's abusive. He's a sociapath and even the actor who plays him in the movie says Edward is creepy. Enough said.

It's another crazy, hectic Wednesday. I have a similar schedule to a couple of years ago, and I get tired just looking at the day ahead. I suppose it's better one day is like this, instead of say, five, but I've been dragging a bit this week. Better make sure I get my pages done before I have to head out and not wait until tonight!

Hope you have a great day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Broken

I have my second song for my Christmas book soundtrack. No Christmas songs yet. We're just past Thanksgiving in the story line. Sorry for the ad at the beginning, but it's the only copy I could find that allowed embedding.

The song is Broken by Lifehouse. Pretty much there has always been a Lifehouse song on my book soundtracks since Hanging by a Moment. I love these guys, and they're the one group where I will use songs over again for another story!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Smarter than you

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My mommy had started writing her blog by posting a picture of a kitty at a computer, but was so tired she fell back asleep. Once I saw the picture, I knew it was a sign for one of us to finish the blog for her. So here goes...

I'm Rocket.

I'm mommy's handsome cat. I'm big-boned, not fat, no matter what my Aunt Christa and cousin Connor think. I'm also Mommy's smart kitty. If you don't believe me just ask my her. Well, not now because she's asleep. You can ask her once she wakes up.

Mommy loves me so much more than her other two kitties. I'm the one who guards her and naps with her and gives her love and greets her when she gets home. She always gives me the milk from her cereal bowl. Yes, I'm number one around here.

She definitely loves me as much as, if not more than, those three things that sort of look like her. We (her first children) all thought those other three would go away, but years later they're still here and keep getting bigger. I just don't understand what mommy sees in them. They aren't soft and furry at all. And talk about needy. They're almost as pathetic as that other four-legged creature who lives here. At least the boy doesn't eat my food anymore. That was annoying. He even had his own food bowl and a special chair to eat it in. Why take mine?

Don't even get me started on the doggie. Pathetic creature that it is. No way does mommy love it one bit. How could she? It won't leave her alone. It sleeps with her. It's always by her. It lays in front of the shower when she's in it. Okay, we do that too, but we were here first. It even sleeps by the door until she gets home.

It's pathetic the way it looks up at mommy as if she were the sun in its pathetic little universe. It doesn't realize that we're the sun. The house, the entire world revolves around us. The cats. Not that it matters. Soon the pathetic doggie will be history.

Yes. That thing aka Chaos will be going away soon. Far, far away. Our new plan is going to work.

I have no doubt it will work because I'm not only a smart cat I'm a cool cat. Yep, a smart, cool cat. How do I know this? Because I'm writing this blog on a Mac. Smart, cool cats would never use a PC.

But don't tell my daddy. He still uses a PC. He doesn't like Macs. But last night his PC wouldn't boot up.

Hmmm, I wonder if I should see if I can get his PC working before he wakes up. I wouldn't mind another bowl of milk this morning.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall Weekend

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My hubby never lost one of the kidlets though he did forget to pick one up a couple of times. Once from school and another time from ballet. He doesn't like to talk about it. The kids do, however.

I mentioned my friend Tiffany yesterday. Well, I got to see her for lunch yesterday. We went to Mother's Bistro in downtown Portland. She was in town from London. We'd gotten to spend time with her son on Sunday and Monday when he stayed over at our house. It was great to catch up with Tiffany! After talking to her, I am signing up for NaNoWriMo. I'll just work on whatever is left on my book. Right now I'm around 17 or 18k words so I'll still have a chunk to write. Plus this will give me an easy way to follow my buddies!

Another weekend of soccer games, writing and preparing crafts for the girls' groups' November meeting. I really hope there's a break in the rain so we can make a run to the pumpkin patch!

What are you up to?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Simon's Cat

These clips come courtesy of my friend Tiffany who sent me the link while I was sick last month. She thought they might cheer me up and they did. If you like these be sure to check out his other ones. Enjoy!



Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spy

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I wish for once my furbabies could sit this closely!

Not much to say. I was out most of yesterday. By the time I got home around 6:30 pm, I was wiped out. I managed a couple pages, but that was it. I was even too tired to read!

Today I don't have to be anywhere until 3. I plan to use the time to catch up on the things that didn't get done yesterday! Including pages.

Did anyone read the Twilight series? A friend of mine, Kelly, loaned me the first two, which I have now finished. I understand the appeal to any female under the age of oh, twenty-four, especially if high school was a difficult time for them, but even then I'm scratching my head at why people, make that women, think these books are so romantic.

An emotionally abusive 107 year old undead stalker and a 17 year old girl without an ounce of self-esteem or personality who happens to smell good?

Personally I'd stake the vampire and go for the werewolf. Who wants to cuddle with a freezing cold marble stone, when you could curl up next to some furry heat? But maybe that's just me!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cancelled!

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I wish I could cancel today! I just looked at my iCal and cringed. The entire day is packed with stuff. Meetings, classes to teach, music lessons, Kids Crossfit. I'd rather stay home and write. Oh, well... better get to it so I can get at least a couple of pages in.

Hope you have a great day!

P.S. I made two more Fix Freeze Feast meals. Sunday night we ate the 4Bs Pork Chops and last night we had the Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs. Both were tasty, but my kids loved the chicken thighs. I even got a couple hugs they liked them so much! Can't wait to try more!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cat Toys

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I lost count of the number of stuffed animals I bought that looked like my cats. I guess a part of me felt after we'd had them spayed and neutered that they still needed a baby of some sorts. Nope. They wanted nothing to do with their stuffed toys, but the kidlets have enjoyed them.

But the cats still managed to form special attachments to things, especially Rocket.

Rocket loves rat-rats. These are those little mice you buy in packs of six. We nicknamed them rat-rats. They are fur-covered with little tails. Rocket will play with these things for hours. He'll carry his favorite one in his mouth around the house and sleep with it. In our old house, I would find him sitting in front of the stove. This was my sign to get the fly swatter and dig out the rat-rats that had gotten stuck underneath.

He also has an affinity for things that play music. I was watching QVC when a singing Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was being sold. The cat sat in front of the TV and watched, captivated. He even went so far as to rub his neck against the screen. I, of course, ordered one for him right away. And yes, he loved it. The kidlets think it's theirs, but even though Rudolph stopped singing a few years ago I still tell them nope, Rudolph belongs to Rocket.

Spirit prefers anything she can chase whether it be a laser pointer, feathers on string, mouse on string, tape measure. Her favorite plaything is me. She will sit on the stairs and meow if I'm away from her for too long. Right now, there's a kidlet-sized bistro chair sitting next to my chair where I write. Spirit sits there so she can be close to me. She's not happy I'm no longer living at my computer!

Smalls likes anything that gives her interaction with us. She lived outside on her own for so long, I don't think she really understands the concept of toys. But she does like to chase things like Spirit.

Three different cats, three different personalities. Just like my kids!

Hope you have a great Tuesday!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Almost!

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Only the great room and kitchen remain on my weekend cleaning quest. (I'm not counting the dining room, which was spotless until I started using the table to sort through my office and craft supplies.) I had big plans to finish up yesterday, but I had to get some pages written and work on some prelim pages (the pages at the front of the book before the title page) for the Vegas continuity. It's really bugging me the downstairs isn't all clean!

But I'm going to try to get at least half of my required pages written first. Such dedication! LOL! I wish. I'm just trying to stay ahead of my schedule.

You might remember me mentioning my good friend Elizabeth Boyle's The Plan before. Well, the truth is, I never could make it to the end of one of my plans. I'd last a couple of weeks, but that was all. I never could figure out why, because the idea behind The Plan is really sound. It makes so much sense to my engineering brain. But something in the execution of it just wasn't working.

So I modified The Plan to work for me.

Actually I simplified it. A lot. And made it completely low tech. Non-tech really. Think goodbye fancy spreadsheet, hello pencil and paper.

My plan is hand written into the little 5 1/2 in x 8 1/2 in spiral notebook I'm never without. It consists of three columns (October, November, December) with the days of the month written on each line. Next to that is my page goal in parenthesis. Before each of the days that correspond to Mondays, I have where I should be with my total word count if I meet my daily goal. Each night before I go to bed, I write down # pages written/# words written (total words in ms.)

I don't know why the Excel spreadsheet didn't work, but I'm not complaining about my hand scrawled version of The Plan at all. It's working. I'm four days ahead of where I should be in spite of my cleaning frenzy the past couple of days! Now all I have to do is keep it up. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Attack!

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I'm in full attack mode. I'm attacking the house. I need to find things in order to check them off my To Do list and a full on frontal assault is the only way. I'm cleaning every cabinet, draw and closet.

I started yesterday in my office. Our study that's never really been used as anything other than a large closet since we moved into the house nearly four years ago. Next I moved on to the foyer. Our ski gear from last season was still there along with tons of other things. Then the hallway and closet. I found two packages I thought I'd mailed underneath boxes. That wasn't the scariest thing.

I cleaned the buffet in our dining room and cleared all the craft stuff from the girls group I was trying to organize. Now I'm using my dining room table to sort things from the great room.

I only managed four pages yesterday (seven is my daily goal) and I've yet to write a word today, but I'm on a roll so am going to keep going. I'm ahead a few days with pages so as long as I get a couple pages at some point tonight I'll be fine.

I also watched two soccer games in the pouring rain. It was so wet and the kidlets were drenched. Life in the Pacific NW. The only time they cancel games if it's lightening.

That pretty much sums up my weekend. How is yours going?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Random Friday

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The running cat looks a lot like my Rocket. Though he doesn't move quite so fast anymore!

Smalls, our oldest cat, doesn't like Chaos, but she's willing to get closer now to get rubs! I also found her and Spirit napping only six inches apart on the bed. They've never been that close to each other without hissing!

NWCT's Winnie the Pooh was fun. My six year old really enjoyed it. She was laughing so hard when Pooh tried to learn to growl.

The MRI for my daughter's knee came back okay, but it's still hurting her. It's just going to take time before she can dance again.

The Vegas continuity has been officially named, "Girls' Weekend in Vegas!" We've been asked to come up with some "prelims" for the books. These are the fun things you read at the beginning of the book that sets the story, like the dating profiles and on-line chats in the front of the Blinddate Brides continuity books. They are due next week so that's what I'll be working on this weekend.

I was emailed some fun news from Myrna Mackenzie who was in The Wedding Planners continuity with me. Memo: The Billionaire's Proposal was the 1000th Sweet romance published by Mills & Boon Australia! There's a really cool flash with gold stars at the top of the cover. You can see it at here.

Anything random you care to share?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bad boys

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This caption and pic made me think of Drake Llewelyn, my hero from Memo: The Billionaire's Proposal. He was a bad boy who loved cats, too!

I'm rushing around this morning. I've got to get to NW Portland for a field trip to see the NWCT's version Winnie the Pooh. Rose is really looking forward to it since that's the book we've been reading.

Hope you have a nice Thursday!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fix, Freeze, Feast

I heard about this cookbook on a blog. I was looking for ways to get more organized and help me with time and household management. Hubby does most of the cooking around here, and I've been wanting to help him out. There's only so many slow cooker meals I can eat in one week though and those are usually what I have time for with my writing and the kids.

The book sounded interesting enough that I ordered it from Amazon. I wasn't disappointed.

The recipes make use of food purchased at warehouse stores like Costco. Each recipe calls for trays of meat which makes more than one entree. That's where the "freeze" portion of the title comes into play.

I made a Costco run and came home with a tray of 2 flank steaks, a bag with 2 whole chickens and a package of chicken thighs. I choose recipes that looked easy, trying to set myself up for success.

Last night I made two recipes.

The first was 4B's Flank Steak. It took very little time. The main ingredient in the marinade is a bottle of Deshutes Brewery's Black Butte Porter. We ate one, and I froze the other in a gallon-sized freezer bag. It was so yummy. All five of us enjoyed it, and it got the thumbs up to add to our food menu. I added grilled asparagus, mashed potatoes and a loaf of French bread. A super easy meal. I had salad, but forgot to put it out. Oops.

The second recipe was the Very Berry Chicken. I froze both of those. It took me less than ten minutes to make. Super simple. I just cleaned and washed the chicken, dried it, stuck it in a freezer bag then added in the other ingredients! I can't wait to try it.

Tonight I will make the Honey-glazed Chicken thighs. This recipe makes three entrees!

I'll keep you posted on how I do with the cookbook, but so far so good. We really enjoyed our "feast" last night!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Caged!

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I felt a lot like Squeaker with this last deadline. If it wasn't the cats and dog watching me intently, it was the kidlets. But all of them knew when I was in my cage aka computer desk they could look, but not disturb me.

What happened when I left the cage? I wasn't alone for long. Either a kidlet was attached to me or one of my fur babies. If I happened to sit in bed to work on paper, I would have a 50 pound dog or kid on my lap depending on who could move the fastest.

I took a quick nap this past weekend. When I woke up, Chaos was on the right side of my head, Smalls was on the left side of my head, Spirit was on the right side of my feet and Rocket was on the left side of my feet. The kidlets were upset they hadn't known and could join in!

But deadline time is over for another month or so. Thanks for all your congrats and well wishes! I wish I had time to rest and relax, but not yet. I couldn't even take yesterday off! I have another book due December 1st. I have set a daily page goal to try and keep out of the deadline dementia and panic that usually occurs. Fingers crossed I stick to it! I really don't want to have to get back in the cage!

I'm back to Facebook and Twitter and blog hopping though! It's nice to see what's been going on with people. I felt so out of touch, but really had no choice after getting sick then hubby going out of town. There was too much to do and only me to do it. Something had to give and that's always going to be on-line time! I'll be better about responding to comments, too!

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

No more mocking!

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Hubby is home. The revisions are off. Life is good.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Make it deader!

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This picture made me laugh. Considering my hubby has been out of town all week and I've had not only the kidlets by myself, but revisions to finish up, laughter has been rare the past few days.

Just change the lolcat to me and the dead dear to my manuscript and you'll know exactly where I am at the moment. Around midnight, I realized what was wrong with my black moment. Now to make everything else fit that so I can send the carcass off to Mills & Boon.

I haven't been blog hopping or twittering or facebooking or anything fun. I really want my life back!

Any plans for the weekend?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Get this off of me!

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I wish someone would get the monkey off my back!

Thanks for your prayers and good thoughts for my daughter. The doctor thinks it's a knee sprain, but there's a chance it could be her meniscus so they're scheduling an MRI. Whichever it is, she can still walk (no limp!), but she's not allowed any other physical activity. That includes dance. She's going to class tonight to walk through a performance troupe dance and learn where she's supposed to be and the hand movements, but other than that she'll sit and rest her knee.

I'm trying to get the revisions finished. My black moment isn't quite right. It wasn't the first time through so I'll be spending time on that today.

What are you doing?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Oh, no!

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We'll be heading off to the doctor's this morning. The oldest kidlet hurt her knee dancing in an Irish dance competition on Saturday. It seemed to be just a strained muscle. She's been staying off it, elevating and using ice, but last night she told me she heard something pop when she hurt it.

Western Regionals are less than a month and a half away.

I'm praying it's nothing serious.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

On Fire

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There comes a time in the writing process when a deadline feels like a two ton weight pressing down on me. My writing time is limited so when I find time to sit at the computer I want to work. My sleep time is even more precious so when I'm in bed with my eyes closed I do not want to be disturbed by human or animal.

Interruptions don't usually bother me. That's part of being a wife and mom, but when I'm under pressure and feeling a tad panicked, they are just too disrupting.

On Sunday, Hubby had set his alarm for the wee hours of night/morning because he had to be at church. When he got up, he forgot to turn off the alarm, so I woke to the radio blaring at 3 am. I'm the antithesis of a morning person, but I never could fall back asleep though I tried. I ended up losing writing time on Sunday afternoon because I needed a nap in order for my brain to function so I could work on the book.

Needless to say, I've had to set a few rules for the family to follow during this deadline week when I'm writing or sleeping.

Fire and blood gets you immediate attention. Hunger, if it's meal or snack time gets you fed. Everything else must wait.

The two oldest are doing pretty well with it. The youngest, not so much. She couldn't understand why I wanted to keep typing yesterday instead of discussing her birthday...not until January.

Only a few more days left to go.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Drums

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My son's snare and bell set arrived on Friday. He is so excited! I'm happy he's happy, but my ear drums are a bit worried. Luckily the set comes with a practice pad. The sound is muted!

I've been writing. Revising and writing. I must finish the revisions this week so I can get back to the Christmas book. The last part of the book no longer fits so it's more work than I expected. I also want to add an epilogue. I got a few comments from readers that they were disappointed with Dream Date with the Millionaire because I didn't have an epilogue with the three friends together. Even though the four friends in the Vegas continuity are together in my book, I thought I'd still do an epilogue a few months down the road.

Speaking of my Christmas story, the proposal was approved on Friday! Huge sigh of relief!

I'm still coughing, but feeling better. I just want to get back to 100% ASAP.

That's pretty much my life at the moment. How is yours?

Friday, October 02, 2009

Image

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I love this! It reminds me of the picture I posted here with the kitty looking in the mirror and seeing a lion! I can just see my fat cat Rocket imagining himself leaping across the Serengeti in pursuit of a gazelle.

Before I hurt my hand and could climb, the image I had in my mind was of Steph Davis, Zoe Hart, Lynn Hill or Beth Rodden. For those who know who they are and have seen me climb, please stop laughing now. Image, pipe dream. Pretty much the same thing in this case! If you don't know who those four are, them, click on the links. They are amazing women who climb!

Right now, the image I have of myself is being a prolific best selling author who can write a chapter before breakfast and finish revisions before bedtime. So far it hasn't helped me, but I'm not giving up hope. Or my cough medicine!

Do you ever get an image of yourself like the LOLcat above? Care to share it?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Bail Out

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My poor hubby is having to bail me out. He's been measuring and cutting and going way beyond the call of spousal help. Friday is the first day of the girls group my two daughters belong, too. I happen to be in charge of the crafts for four of the age groups. I don't know what I was thinking when I volunteered, but it's only until May. Hubby already said I am not allowed to do this again.

I don't blame him.

You see I just didn't pick simple crafts for the girls to do. I picked very cool, complicated ones. Oh, they'll be fun and look great, but the prep work!!!! Insanity.

My kitchen is full of fleece, my cutting board and my sewing machine. We haven't been able to eat at the table for over two weeks. Our dining room is just as bad with paint, wood plaques, you get the picture. I'm so sick and tired of it I already told the person in charge I wouldn't be back next year, and they really should have two people doing this. That was hubby's suggestion.

I suppose it wouldn't have been so bad if I'd done a lot of the stuff during the summer, except I didn't have a left hand. And I really had no idea I'd be sick for the past week and a half and still trying to recover. Or on deadline August and September. But I've almost got everything together. Thanks to hubby! He really is my hero. Just wonder what he's going to say when I tell him he has to run to JoAnn's yet again for something I forgot to have him buy when he was there last Friday!

Hope you have a great day.