Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

Funny Pictures - Cute Kittens
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I love how kittens will pick some unusual places to sleep. Yesterday, I didn't realize Beauty was napping behind my Mac screen when I pushed my computer to get up. Poor baby got startled awake!

She loves the cat tree that Santa brought. We find her on it all the time. She's still hanging out at the Christmas tree, but hasn't had too many more climbing adventure.

What we have noticed is how much she's growing. She's 4 1/2 months now. Hard to believe.

Do you have any plans for this final day of 2011? I'll be writing (big surprise.) I also need to get my Happy New Year's cards ordered (never got around to Christmas ones.) I'd also like to check out some lamps if I have time. Those are the only things missing from our newly decorated Great Room! Not sure if I mentioned it, but our braided rug arrived a couple of days ago. Love it!

I have to admit, I'm not really sad to see 2011 go. Looking forward to 2012.

Have a great day! And a fun and safe New Year's Eve!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Almost over

funny pictures - Is There a Universal Remote for That?
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I want a remote to put life on pause for a minute. Where has 2011 gone? That may sound weird, but I feel like this year has just flown by. I hope the new year isn't like that because I keep thinking I've lost a couple of months somewhere! Anyone else feel that way?

I've been thinking about my goals for 2012. They are pretty generic so far, but my focus has been on the manuscript this week. Well, in between ER visits and vet appointments and family birthday's, etc! Today is hubby's birthday so we'll be celebrating that.

Have a nice Thursday!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Story Garden

Funny Pictures - Cute Kittens
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The Story Garden is a Facebook page put together by a group of authors who have been friends for years. It'll be a page to talk books. I've known many of these women since 1995 so it's fun to be a part of this!

To kick off our new page, we're holding a contest on Fresh Fiction with some great prizes including a Kindle Touch! For more info about our Winter Garden contest, go here. Here's the link to like the Facebook page.

Also, it seems blog readers like gift cards so my Decembers website contest prize will be a $10 gift card to either B&N or amazon (winner's choice.) To enter, just comment on the blog and check back on the 1st or 2nd of January to see if you won.

Hope you have a nice Thursday!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cats vs. Dog

funny pictures - I haz your chair hostage!  If you wantz it back, Kill the dog.
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The cats vs. the dog battle around here has settled down considerably since Smalls passed. She was the cat commander who would put aside her own differences with the other felines to plot against Chaos. They held a doorway and a staircase hostage, but never a chair. We're still a long way from this house being even close to a peaceable kingdom though. Spirit still hisses and swats whenever Chaos walks.

Not much happening around here today. The family is going to see We Bought a Zoo. I get to stay home and write. Pretty much sums up this week for me. If I want that to end, I'd better get writing. How is your week going so far?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Feline Couture

funny pictures - I'M PRAYING  FOR METEOROIDS
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Poor kitty! I'm guessing if someone dressed me up like that I'd be wanting meteoroidss to fall, too! Of course, it doesn't stop me from putting funny hats and outfits on my furbabies. Santa even brought me a book called Fashion Cats. It says "Feline Couture from Japan's #1 Cat Tailor." Didn't realize that was a job. The pics are very cute.

My brother-in-law sent the kidlets this game. It's called The Crazy Cat Lady Game. One of the kids said, "Hey, mom, this game is about you!" We haven't played yet, but will soon!

I'm dragging today. Had to take my oldest to the ER last night with breathing problems after swim practice. They got her breathing better after a treatment, but they aren't sure of the cause. She's never had asthma (and she wasn't wheezing.) This wasn't in her lungs, but upper resp. Yet the treatment worked. One possibility is a reaction to the chlorine in the pool. They swim under a bubble in the winter. I'm just hoping this never happens again. It was very scary!

Hope you have a nice day! I'm plan on writing and taking a nap with my cats at some point!

Monday, December 26, 2011

On the 2nd day of Christmas...

funny pictures - Dis iz taking longur than I thought. I shud hav brought dat new issue ov Cat Fancy
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I wish this were a picture of Spirit, my now-seems-to-be-sick-again-furbaby, using the litter box last night and this morning. Then I might not have spent my morning cleaning up after her. She left lots for me on this second day of Christmas. All of which I could have done without. Hubby cleaned her. I took the rest. I did what I could for almost an hour. Advanced Nature's Miracle is now soaking in for my next attempt. Then we'll be renting a carpet cleaner. I also see a call to the vet. I'm hoping she just ate something she shouldn't have and her IBD is not acting up.

Christmas was so nice! A nice leisurely morning since we'd gone to Mass the night before. Hubby smoked a Prime rib and later neighbors stopped by for dessert.

I guess Santa was right after all. The kidlets did make it back onto the nice list. Santa brought lots of Legos, Barbies and a dog grooming table. Some wii and DS games, too! Some pretty cool stocking stuffers, too! Santa also brought the cats a climbing tree and Chaos a new pillow.

I don't think I'll hear the kids asking for much for a few days. At least I hope not!

My parents got the two younger ones an Xbox with Kinect and the oldest the new iPod Touch. We did the usual pajamas, slippers and a Hallmark ornament for each of the kids, then I tried to get something I thought each would really like.

Finn received the third season of Clone Wars on Blu-ray, some Sports game for the Kinect and a very cool book called The Jedi Path. It comes in a vault like box. You press a box and the door open and the book is raised up.

Mackenna got a grooming bag with her name monogrammed (ordered this in August at a dog show), a hat, scarf and glove set and a set of books that includes the Uglies. It was out of print so I had to do some searching to find a new boxed set and Alibris came through for me.

We got Rose an iPod shuffle (an orange one since that's her fave color) and an American Girl novel about soccer and a Victorious Xbox Game. She left a note for Santa, reminding her that she really wanted an iPod! I had to smile when I read that!

Hubby and I don't exchange gifts. For a long time, we've taken the money we'd spend on each other to do giving trees, adopt a family gifts, etc. The kids gave me some really sweet things. Finn got me a pair of lined Crocs to wear around the house. Not exactly steel-toed slippers, but close enough to save me from breaking or bruising any more toes. My foot still isn't looking great after last Monday! Mackenna gave me a pair of tall, red glass candlestick holders with white tapers. They'll be perfect with our new living room decor! And Rose gave me a coupon book for foot rubs and a pair of Mary Jane-type Crocs.

How was your Christmas or Hanukkah, if you celebrate?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Christmas!

funny pictures - I  has   Catmas          sparkel
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I dreamed of a white Christmas, but it's not going to happen this year unless we want to drive up to the mountains. Not today. We're spending it at home and having a nice, quiet day. Dinner will be a rib roast. Later a family from out street will join us for a dessert buffet. Chocolate fondue, a Happy Birthday Jesus ice cream cake, a Noel log (had to get one of these after writing Firefighter Under the Mistletoe1), some cookies and candy.

I hear creatures stirring so that's my cue to get downstairs!

Beauty, my other furbabies along with me and my family hope you and yours have a wonderful day full of laughter, love and Christmas Magic.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Funny Pictures - Cat Gifs
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I hope Santa Paws uses the list above when it comes to getting my furbabies their Christmas presents! I know they can't wait to see what's inside their stockings on Christmas morning! Though the wrapping paper and any empty box will be more exciting for them.

Can you believe it's Christmas Eve? I sure can't. I feel like I've lost a few weeks. I can't blame it on missing time due to alien abduction. It's just everyday life with a traveling spouse. The weeks he's not home seem to go extra long while the ones when he's home sprint by!

One big item got checked off my To Do list yesterday and I'm so grateful. My youngest actually asked to see Santa Claus. She usually keeps her distance from him. Of course, even though we had all of December to go, we didn't. That left yesterday or today.

So after hubby picked them up from my parents' house, he drove to Bridgeport Village in Tualatin, Oregon. They were in line before Santa arrived at his house. The older two kids actually joined in so I have a pic with all three! Score!!!! I only have a few pictures with Santa because all three of the kidlets went through stages where they wouldn't get near the guy in the red suit!

To my utter surprise and amazement, Santa told them they were at the top of his nice list. Really? I wonder if that card Rose sent him after getting in trouble last week made a difference. Otherwise, Santa needs to check his magic ball or whatever he uses to see if kids have been naughty or nice.

Telling Santa what they wanted for Christmas really emphasized the difference between my eleven year old son and my eight year old daughter. Son wants an Xbox 360 with Kinect. On the lists they sent to Santa a few weeks ago, Rose added her name to that request in hopes two wanting that would warrant the gift, but yesterday she told Santa what she really wanted was a Barbie car.

Hmmm. A couple hundred dollars (no idea how much an XBOX costs, but a good grooming table vs. $20 or so. It'll be interesting to see what Santa brings them. Personally, I think they've still been naughty. But who am I to argue with Santa.

I also wanted to post this:

funny pictures - Goggies Alwayz Hab teh Worst Ideers
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It reminds me of my latest release Firefighter Under the Mistletoe. Have you been kissing anyone under the mistletoe? Unfortunately, I haven't. We don't have any in the house due to the animals.

Enjoy your Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Scary Elves

funny pictures - THIS IS WHAT PEEPERS LOOKED LIKE WHEN SOMEONE FINALLY SAID "NO"
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This is what I've been looking like lately. Not because of a NO! but because of a certain toy elf that my children have been terrorizing me with. I took a pic of it, but decided the last thing I wanted was a picture of it on my blog!

I've had a few days break of the scar tactics, which has been a welcome relief. The elf came from hubby's mom years ago. She sent us a box of ornaments and Christmas things from his childhood. A nice gesture, except there were several of these elves in various sizes. They are from the 60's or 70's with plastic faces and cloth bodies. Some elf ornaments are just heads with caps. I'm sure some might think they were cute or kitschy. Not me. A chill shivers down my spine just thinking about them!

I don't like putting the elves out before because they freak me out. I let this be known this year. Big mistake. The kids made sure every elf in the ornament boxes were found and put out. On the tree, in the midst of other decorations, on the back of the toilet, on my pillow.

So not funny! The kids, however, think it's hilarious.

My fear stems from a movie I saw when I was a kid. I think the title was something like Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. It terrified me. These little acorn head things came alive and terrorized the woman (maybe actress Karen Black, I can't remember) living in this house. For some reason the elves remind me of those acorn-head things. Needless to say, I worry I will find myself being dragged down the staircase by these scary little elves in the middle of the night!

Hope you have a great Friday! I'll be grocery shopping and writing. The kidlets stayed an extra night with my parents and will be coming home today. Let's hope they've forgotten all about the elves!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Hood Hamlet Christmas

funny pictures of cats with captions
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Not all of us have a hottie firefighter waiting under the mistletoe for us or a sexy mountain rescuer who knows just the perfect present to buy you. Either would be perfect to fix the Christmas tree in the LOLcat above.  But one reader of my Hood Hamlet/Christmas Magic series found a way to bring a little Hood Hamlet to her Christmas in England!




A few weeks ago, Stace asked about the popcorn and cranberry garland that I mention in one of the books. I think it's Christmas Magic on the Mountain since there's a tree trimming scene in that one. There's also one in Firefighter Under the Mistletoe, but this just makes me think of Sean and Zoe for some reason.

I have written about those garlands, but never made one myself. We have a cranberry colored wooden bead garland on our tree. Fortunately, Harlequin Romance author Shirley Jump had made one. Turns out it's very time consuming. Oops. But Stace wasn't deterred. And this was the result!

Very pretty and festive, don't you think?

Here's what Stace had to say about it:
About two hours which included teaching how to do it, making five garlands, taking photos and making the kids tea. Loving my Christmas magic in Guildford tree.
I love it! But I can imagine what our kitten, Beauty, and our dog, Chaos, might do with real food on the tree. It wouldn't be pretty. So I'll have to stick with my wooden cranberry bead garland! But here are directions if you want to make one.

Have you ever made a popcorn and cranberry garland?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Where is kitty?

Funny Pictures - The Location of Your Cat
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This LOLcat is so true. I remember when I had to go to Tacoma to attend a training class at St. Patrick's and I couldn't find Rocket. I searched everywhere. Hubby said he'd find him so I drove north only to get a call five hours later saying the cat was missing. I was getting ready to drive back home when my oldest daughter called to say he'd been hiding in the closet, a place I'd checked a few times. Hubby, too.

I had that same moment of panic yesterday when I arrived home from an indoor soccer tournament. Beauty wasn't in my daughter's room. She wears a little bell, but there was no jingling. She usually comes running when her name is called, but she didn't this time.

I searched everywhere. No kitten. Given what happened with Pumpkin, I was getting more worried by the minute.

I called hubby who was driving the three kidlets to my parents so they could spend a couple of nights. Turns out my daughter didn't leave Beauty in her room, but in our room. I finally found her with one leg on the wrong side of her cone of shame. I have a feeling there was a story behind that with Yoda involved. But I wasso relieved to see her. She'd had a bit of an exciting day.

We ended up having to take Beauty into the vet. The area around her stitches had swelled. Turns out it's just a reaction to the sutures. It'll take a few months to go away, but she's fine. Huge sigh of relief after all the cat stuff (okay, deaths) we've been through the last few months.

Not the best pic (from hubby's cellphone) but this is her napping on the new ottoman last night. She loves being with us. We've had her out when we could watch her (and keep Yoda away.) The vet said she could have more freedom since things are healing nicely.

She'll have to wear the cone of shame until the scabs on her scar go away. But this one seems a little better than those hard plastic ones.

With a kidlet free household, I'll be wrapping presents and writing. How does your day look?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cats and crying

funny pictures - Yeah, I didn't know I could knit, either.
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My cats love all kinds of strings. They have no concept of making a mess or what kind of trouble they could be causing when they play. They also act jealous if they aren't allowed in on the fun.

With Spirit's food change from dry to canned, she not only looks years younger, but she's become more playful. If a string or toy comes out, she wants in on the action. It's been a remarkable change in her after only a couple of weeks on the new diet.

Some people just don't get cats. They much prefer dogs, which is perfectly fine. I understand. I happen to like both. My dog Chaos gives love in a totally different way from my feline furbabies. Cats may be more independent, but they love their humans, too. They just give love on their own terms.

Which leads me to this video that I saw yesterday. It's from a few months ago, so you may have seen it already. It's a cat soothing a crying infant.



The comments by viewers are pretty interesting. Some think it's a disaster waiting to happen. Others hope the cat is declawed (did you know declawing a cat is illegal in some countries? Wish that were the case here in the U.S.) Others think the cat is agitated by the noise. I'm not sure what was going on in the background. It appears someone maybe holding the cat and another person is nearby, but I still think it's sweet. What do you think?

It reminds me of my cats. To this day, not one likes it when the kidlets cry. Rocket come running whenever he hears tears. He meows and rubs his head against whoever is crying. Maybe he just doesn't like the sound, but it's very sweet and usually his interaction with them helps the tears stop.

As for the pat of the baby's face, my cats, who all have their claws, do that to us. We call them love pats.

I'll never forget when we got Yoda. He was so tiny. But he would annoy the older cats, especially Smalls, who would bop him on the top of the head with her paw. I remember the first time when he, our no longer so little copycat, did that back to her! She was so shocked!

I hope you have a great Tuesday!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Stocking stuffer

funny pictures - Best Stocking Stuffer Ever.
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I would love to find one of those in my stocking! How about you?

Our stockings are hung. Human stockings on the fireplace. Furbaby ones on the staircase. That way the animals can stick their paws through the railings and play with them! Plus there are just too many to all fit on the fireplace.

I came across an ornament from 1997. I'd had it made somewhere. I think a Christmas Bazaar at our church's school. There were four names on it: Tom, Melissa, Rocket and Spirit. How times have changed since then! Both family size as well as house size!

Today begins Christmas vacation. Hubby is home and off for the next two weeks. The kidlets still have to do lessons this week. (See Naughty post from yesterday if you want to know why.) Unfortunately my hope of a break isn't going to happen, but I'm hoping to get things done early and late so I can be with the family in between. Lots going on with cookie making, gingerbread house decorating, etc. I also realized I better start figuring out Christmas Cards. One year I sent New Year Cards. That may happen again. LOL!

Hope you have a nice Monday! Are you off or are you working?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Naughty

funny pictures - Can't heer yur rules  Earz too small
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No one in our house seems to hear the rules. Kidlet, cat, dog. It's as if I'm speaking to a brick wall. Yet no one, including lil' Beauty who actually has big ears for a kitten, can use the LOLcat's excuse.

I'm pretty tired of it. So tired I went to a website and emailed Santa about the naughtiness going on in the household. Of course, I'm sure Santa already knew this, but I felt better. I read my email to the kids before hitting send. Rose ended up writing Santa herself asking if she was now on the naughty list.

On the dog front, Chaos continued to be sick all day long. I'm waiting to see how she feels today. The vet said if she got blocked it wouldn't show up until today or tomorrow.

On the kitten front, Beauty is still wearing her cone of shame. Yesterday she got into the big cats' food and made a mess of herself and the cone. Food was everywhere!

On the hubby front, he's home!

Today is all about writing. I need to run to the store for some groceries to donate, too. Later the girls and I will be delivering presents and food to a family the 4-H club adopted. That will be nice!

What are you up to today?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I eated it

funny pictures - Yeah, it WAS a one-horse open sleigh...
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We had some eating going on last night, but it wasn't the cats.

This morning, I didn't wake up until 6:44 am. This is not normal. Usually our Norwegian Elkhound, Chaos, wants to eat by 6. I figured she was just sleeping in. It happens once or twice a year, and we had been up late last night.

The cats began stirring which meant soon they would be in my face wanting breakfast. I headed downstairs only to be met by Chaos who was already down there. That is very strange. She always stays upstairs with us at night.

I let her outside then went to get her food. The door to the Magic Box (that's what we tell Chaos it is since her food and treats are kept there) was wide open. (No doubt one of the kidlets got a midnight snack.) My heart dropped. Elkhounds will eat anything and everything. The last thing I needed is a sick dog and a trip to the vet or animal hospital.

Fortunately I didn't see a big mess. So I fed her breakfast.

Then I went to feed the cats.

That's when I noticed the bag of Bone-bones (that's what we call the dental sticks she gets each morning) over by the couch. It was an almost new bag, too. The bottom had been chewed out. Guess the ziplock top was too much for her. Only six Bone-bones remain. Someone had been busy last night.

I guess I should be grateful Chaos didn't eat everything in the bag or tear apart the pantry. But I have a feeling her tummy is not going to be feeling all that great today. Still she's right now trying to figure out how to eat the cats' breakfast. Darn dog!

A few people, including my kids, watched the animal version of Jingle Bells done by the same people who did the Deck the Halls clip I posted yesterday. So here it is since it fits in with the LOLcat above:



Hope you have a nice Saturday. Hubby arrives home after being in Taipei for a week. We all miss him so much!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Deck the Halls

funny pictures - Why do you hate me?
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LOL! So yeah, I dress my animals in funny costumes. And I'm sure they hate when I do that. When I opened the stocking box, once I got past the sadness of seeing Smalls' stocking, I realized the cat Santa/Elf/not-sure-which suit was in there. It was too big for Beauty, but fit Yoda. Unfortunately, pics were not possible. I'm actually lucky he didn't try to cut open an artery. The reindeer antlers have gone missing. I'm guessing I'll find them around Easter time.

For your holiday listening enjoyment. Here's a fun version of Deck the Halls by some fur-covered and scale covered friends:



That song has totally put a big smile on my face and given me a nice dose of Christmas cheers. Not that I wasn't feeling all Christmassy before watching it thanks to something I read this morning. This article appeared on Yahoo Finance. It came across my Facebook newsfeed this morning and is worth a read. It's about anonymous donors who are helping strangers in a wonderful, generous way. Christmas magic, indeed!

Hope you have a great day!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

For Hubby...

funny pictures - Hi
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The above LOLcat is for hubby. It's now been two days I've yet to speak with him. Oh, he's called, but every time I've been driving so the kids answer my cell phone. They've had lovely discussions with him, keeping him informed of what's going on here at home. There's just no time to talk given the sixteen hour time difference, his schedule there and mine here. Between 7:30 am and 8:30 pm I think I was home maybe 45 minutes.

I hope today will be a little better. I really want to finish up the Christmas decorating. The mantle and the staircase banister are what's left. I've definitely taken the spirit of Advent (i.e. the season of preparation) to heart this year. A good thing I have another week and a half to get completely ready. I'm Catholic so the celebrating doesn't really begin for us until the 25th then it continues on for three more weeks though we usually take decorations down after Epiphany. Given I have a book due on the 9th of January, things will most likely be up a while longer this year.

Are you ready for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Random Wednesday

funny pictures - someday...  my prints will come
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This LOLcat made me laugh and grimace. My printer has not worked since I bought my new MacBook Pro. It no longer works with my iBook, either. I have no idea what happened, but I hate being printer-less. Sometimes I just try it to see if I can print something. So far no such luck. Hubby has spent hours trying to troubleshoot it. No luck. I really don't like revising on the screen. I much prefer paper.

Last night I watched Thor on Blu-ray while I wrapped 60 presents for the children in the Atrium I teach. I had wanted to see the movie when it came out, but never got around to it. We enjoyed it. And a good thing I had four things left to wrap during the credits. I would have missed the scene at the end. Now to watch Captain America so I can be ready for when The Avengers comes out!

Our little kitten is off to the vet today to be spayed. I'm sure she'll come home with the cone of shame, too. Poor baby. She remains totally captivated by the Christmas tree, but no ornaments have fallen off or been damage. Fingers crossed we make it through the Christmas season with zero casualties! That would be a record if it happens.

I've spent the last week getting Spirit off dry cat food. They say it's not good for IBD cats so I've been wanting to do this for a couple months. After her getting sick over Thanksgiving, I decided to go for it. She, however, would always turn her nose up at canned food. I ended up meeting someone through the FOJs (Friends of Jack-the lost at JFK cat) who familiar with weaning cats off the dry stuff. Her tricks/suggestions worked.

I also stopped free freeding the cats. Now to get get down to two feedings a day. That would be so nice,I also would like all the cats to eat the same stuff. That would simplify things immensely. Of course I've heard a raw food diet would be the best thing for Spirit, but I'm not there yet!

How are things with you?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gotch ya

funny pictures - gotch ya nose gotch ya paw gotch ya face gotch u
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It never fails when hubby goes away, life says "Gotch Ya" to me. Stuff just seems to happen. Coincidence, I know, but sometimes the coincidences make you go, "Hmmm." This is nothing we won't get through, but I did not have the Monday I expected to have. I'm also hoping today is better.

One good thing that happened yesterday was I came across a new-to-me site called cuteoverload.com. You don't have to be a Crazy Cat Lady to enjoy it, but I did find this Maru video there which does appeal to CCLs. Some regular folks might like it, too. Enjoy!



Holes in boxes. I must try this with Yoda! I seriously love the super-hero-cape-box-look, how about you?

Have a nice Tuesday!

Monday, December 12, 2011

How could they?

funny pictures - Recharging teh ebil...please wait
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Last night on ABC's Once Upon a Time, Regina showed she didn't have to recharge her evil at all. She's one mean queen, make that mayor.

If you are planning on watching last night's episode, stop reading this blog now. There are spoilers. If you don't watch the show, this probably won't make sense so feel free to stop, too.

I only watch one show each year because I don't have a lot of spare time on my hands. I usually watch all the premieres and sometimes the second episode then decide which show I'll follow. Last year it was The Event. This season it's Once Upon a Time.

I've been enjoying the show so much, but last night's episode was so amazingly awesome (from the acting to the storytelling) until the last couple of minutes. Acting continued to be top-notch, but I was left stunned by the turn of events.

My new crush, my fave hottie of the moment, the gorgeous Sheriff Graham aka The Huntsman from my new fave show Once Upon a Time has bit the dust. Well, his heart did. In the land of Storybrooke that means he's dead. So sad!

The guy (played by Jamie Dornan) is gorgeous, an animal lover (the volunteering at an animal shelter comment now makes more sense plus there's something about a guy and a wolf!) and has an accent. Definitely a catch and the chemistry with Emma was great. Romance novel worthy. Or rather was. My only hope is that he's still alive in the Fairytale world. Please, oh, please let this be the case. Did I mention his accent?

Of course, the show is now on break until January. If you haven't seen it, you should. I'm sure it doesn't appeal to all tastes, but it's gathering quite a following thanks to the acting and if the writing keeps up like this episode watch out!

So what's your fave new show of the season?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

In My Closet

funny pictures - Oh, hi  we sorting recyclables
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My 13 year old daughter wasn't rummaging through the recycling bin this morning, but my closet. She wanted to my black boots. My new black boots that I've never worn except for trying them on in the store.

So it begins. Sigh...

I wonder if I'll ever see them again.

Hope you have a good day. Lots going on here. I got my AAs for the soccer book turned in. Now it's to get more words written on the continuity. I really wanted to take some time off over the holiday, but that's looking less likely. Two days off won't be same as the two weeks I was hoping for, but it's better than no time off at all!

What are you up to today?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Caturday

funny pictures - Still a better love story than Twilight
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The above pic could be Yoda and Beauty. The two have bonded, soul mates most definitely. When Beauty is in another room with the door closed, they stick their paws underneath the door to touch each other. Sweet. Of course, when they are together their love is expressed like the LOLcat above playing and fighting.

We hung unbreakable ornaments on the tree. So far so good. We have a few more items to put on, including the angel, but it's a work/test in progress. Beauty has stayed out of it without us doing anything. Not sure if it'll last, but we're hopeful!

I wanted to share a cat link with you. It's from catswhothrowupgrass.com. Some of the stuff is familiar, but this is worth a quick look. It's called How To Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You. The format is different than the cat journal that made the rounds a couple of years ago. And yes, it looks like mine are plotting against me as I type!

Hope you have a nice Saturday. I'll be spending some of mine at a swim meet. Hubby is off this weekend since he did the bulk of swim stuff last week!

Friday, December 09, 2011

It's beginning to look a little like Christmas

funny pictures - *WHERE THE HELL DID THAT COME FROM?*
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The above LOLcat is exactly how a couple of my cats were last night as I cleaned. The stuff I found, no doubt the result of little paws and teeth, as well as bigger kidlet sized hands, had me shaking my head.

I also couldn't believe how long it had been since I dusted. I think the dust bunnies were on their third or fourth generation of off-spring. This is what happens when deadlines get stacked upon deadlines. The basic stuff gets done around the house, but all the extra stuff like corners and window ledges and what not kind of slip through the cracks.

It didn't help that my cleaning efforts, though needed, were being done in a complete and utter mad dash aka panicked frenzy. My parents called yesterday afternoon to say they were coming up tomorrow. I had my new furniture, but all the old stuff was still there, too. As well as all the boxes and containers of Christmas stuff.

So I decided to clean and decorate. At the same time. That way I could be finished by the time my parents arrived.

Yeah, right.

In my defense, common sense wasn't a class I took when at Stanford. But the thought of parental comments about the state of my household can make even a reasonably intelligent person go crazy. (i.e. motivated by past experience.)

So hubby took the kidlets to swimming. I started the cleaning/decorating. I would clean an area then decorate. This worked well with the built-in shelf unit in the Great Room since my daughter had already packed everything up for me. All I had to do was dust. Then put up the water globes, shelf sitters and other decorations. Easy-peasy.

I switched out all the DVDs, putting away the regular ones and replacing them with holiday fare. I also organized two basket with Christmas books to go on the hearth. And fought the dust bunnies (dusting wouldn't do, disinfectant wipes were required) and clutter the entire time.

Unfortunately, I had the bright idea to sort through the decorations to find all the unbreakable ones (see yesterday's post as to the reason why I needed to do this.) Suddenly both the new and old ottomans were covered in ornaments. When the kidlets got homed they hung on a couple ornaments then were hungry for dinner. After that they were too tired. I have yet to go downstairs because I'm almost afraid to see if the cats got to them last night.

Of course in the midst of my cleaning efforts, the phone rang. It was my mom telling me that they'd decided not to come up today after all. I had to laugh.

At least the house is almost finished. I ended up stopping to have dinner. Hubby outdid himself last night with Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, rolls and a chocolate cake. After realizing no more decorating was going to happen, I headed upstairs to work. (There's only so much cleaning I can do at once. A domestic goddess I am not!)

So today, I'll get back to it after I get a little writing done this morning. And then the house will be all nice and Christmassy and I can post pics of my new furniture!

Hope you have a great day!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Going, going, going...

funny pictures - No time to explain   Just get in
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The day started early due to Mass at 7 am and I feel like I've been scrambling ever since. Lots going on. Holy day of Obligation. School day for the kidlets. Words that need to be written. A house that desperately needs to be cleaned.

The furniture arrived last nigh. Hubby had no trouble putting it together except for one nut that needs to be replaced. It'll work for now though. I love it. I came home from taking the kids to school this morning and it was all set-up! I will take pics once we can get the old stuff out of there. It's a bit crowded at the moment. But I love it. The colors are gray, red, black and off-white. So very pretty with the Christmas tree, too.

 Speaking of the tree...

Beauty, our kitten, loves it. All the other cats are content to lie underneath it. Not her. She wants to be in it. As high as possible.

I thought it might be a one-off kind of thing yesterday, but this morning she was back in there with no intention of coming down. I managed to get a few pictures then took her out. She jumped right back in as soon as I let go of her.

She's so darn cute though it's hard to get to upset at her.

Right now there aren't any decorations on the tree. Just lights. I've gotten some advice from cat people on what to do since none of my other cats have done this. This website is funny. It shows how this family's cats help them decorate their tree. Definitely worth a visit!
We haven't put any irreplaceable ornaments on the tree the last two years due to Yoda. We were never sure if he'd climb the tree or not, but he did like to bat at the branches. I bought a set of unbreakable colored balls last year at the after Christmas sale. I think they might come in handy this year!

A funny cartoon was posted on my Facebook page by my friend Emilie about this very thing if you want to see it. I would put it here, but I'm not sure about the copyright of cartoons and use on blogs so I'm just pasting this link instead!

Okay, that's all I've got for now. Gotta run!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Awl Mine...

funny pictures - mine
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...or it will be sometime between 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm today!

After 16 1/2 years of living with a couch that I've never liked (it came with hubby when we got married, and I've been buying slipcovers for it ever since), I'm getting a new one. I'm also getting some chairs and an ottoman. Tables and a new area rug will follow once I figure out what I need!

I am so excited!

I have been looking at furniture for years. I had an interior designer put together a master plan for our current house when we moved in six years ago. Our plan was to buy one piece at a time paying cash. We managed to get a few of the pieces (dining room set, built in bookcases in office, built in buffet in dining room, desk, dinette set and matching bar stools) but then the economy tanked and all non-essential buying was put on-hold. And has been on hold for years.

But an unexpected check arrived from Harlequin. Last year's free on-line read Snow-Kissed Reunion was published as a bonus novella in a book. I'd never received a check out of the blue before. Hubby said to put the money toward the Great Room furniture.

When another check arrived, this one was expected (acceptance payment for the soccer book) hubby said wit was time to redo the Great Room so start figuring out what I wanted.

I'd already decided that the Great Room furniture in the master plan binder was too nice for our current lifestyle. With three active kids (13, 11, 8), a dog, cats and puppies that come and go as needed, I had to be realistic about what we needed furniture wise and how much I wanted to spend. I looked at several furniture places as well as on-line vut decided to go with what seemed most practical and reasonable—slipcover sofa and chairs from IKEA.

I ordered them yesterday. (Got 15% of my purchase back as a gift card, too, which easily covered the additional costs of gathering the items and home delivery!) As I was talking to the home delivery guy, he said I sounded really excited. I told him I was and explained about my hubby's couch. He said they could dispose of it for me, but hubby said no. He wants to move it to the bonus room instead.

Sigh... But really, I can't complain!

The furniture will be delivered this afternoon. My hope is that when I finish teaching at church hubby will have at least one piece put together and the old sofa will be upstairs!

Once we get the sofa and chairs arranged (could be interesting with our Christmas tree in the way!), I'll decide on what area rug and tables I want. I have a few ideas, but I need to see how everything looks first. And I'm beside myself imagining having a set of slipcovers for each season! Though I'll need to add that to the budget first!

Of course, hubby may want to throttle me once he has to put all the things together. But hey, he's got an engineering degree. He might as well use it. (And even though my degree is in Mechanical Engineering, I'm sure he won't let me anywhere near the furniture. That's his territory.)

Fingers crossed it all works out and looks as nice as I think it well!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Funny Pictures - Christmas Cats
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The kidlets set out their shoes last night in hopes St. Nicholas would come. He did, leaving gold covered chocolate coins and little presents in their shoes.

I love the story of St. Nicholas and how his saint day is celebrated in the Catholic faith. A few families exchange their Christmas gifts today, rather than on the 25th. Others hang stocking instead of shoes. It all depends on one's traditions.

If you want to know more about St. Nicholas Day, check out the St. Nicholas Center that has loads of info, including how the day is celebrated, recipes and crafts.

Hope you have a great day!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Wenty

funny pictures - WANTWANTWANT
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I wanted something badly last night. I wanted Wenty, a cat who had gotten lost while flying on Alaska Airlines, to be found. I belong to a group on Facebook of people who met on Jack the Cat's FB book. Needless to say there was lots of activity going on once word of this came out. Calls for help, humane traps, you name it. No one wants another outcome like what happened to Jack at JFK.

In this case, thanks to Alaska Airlines doing the right thing amd getting word about about Wenty being lost, Wenty was found at 1 am by a United Airlines employee who saw two white paws sticking out from under a conveyer belt (could have been a baggage carousel since both have been mentioned.) Great news for Wenty and his family!

If you want the full story from the people who were involved in the search, click here. Lots more details!

Wenty is currently with is mom at the vet's. Praying we hear good news about his condition!

A little Christmas Magic? Or perhaps a little help from above by a cat named Jack? Either way, a great way to start my week!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Christmas Movie Disappointment

funny pictures - Actions speak  louder than words
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If actions speak louder than words, my cats don't think much of me. None have left little hearts for me ever.

Today we decided to tag team it to the swim meet. Yesterday we all went, including the dog. That made for a long day. This morning hubby and the two younger ones set off at 6:15 am. Hubby will then bring the youngers home so they aren't stuck at the pool all afternoon when Mackenna swims. I will miss seeing Finn and Rose swim, but I think this will work better. Plus Chaos can stay home. She won't be alone for long, either, due to the break they take between the two sessions! A win-win situation for all involved.

I was very disappointed with last night's Hallmark movie, A Princess for Christmas. I'm a Christmas movie junkie. I watch only one TV show a week, but I tune into as many Christmas movies as I can in December. I usually love Hallmark Christmas movies. I know I'll have that same warm and fuzzy feeling I get when I finish a romance novel. I can't wait to watch them over and over again.

But this one left me shaking my head and thinking, huh? Needless to say I won't be watching it again that's for sure. Which is a bummer because it had all the elements I would have normally loved in a holiday movie. But I just can't get into a movie with such weak characters. Not the actors. I enjoyed their performances, but the plot structure and the character conflicts/arcs didn't work for me.

(There are spoilers in the next couple of paragraphs!)

The Duke (played by Roger Moore) was the only one with any kind of character arc and conflict. The heroine (Aunt Jules) starts off as the kind of heroine I love. She's trying hard to do her best, but not really succeeding, still she's spunky and not about to back down against the duke. She's willing to do what it takes to give her orphaned nephew and niece a good Christmas. Anyone can see why the prince would fall for her over the aristocratic shrew who he's dating. It was a very enjoyable movie up to this point.

Then Jules overhears a conversation between the prince and his father, the Duke, and thinks it's about her when it isn't. Rather than be her spunky self and prove them wrong, she turns into a weepy wimp and runs away, leaving her niece and nephew at a castle with a bunch of people they just met to spend Christmas without her. I can imagine what my editor would say if I tried doing that.

Maybe there were other scenes that explained her motivation that got left on the editing room floor, but this just didn't work for me or the rest of movie. Even hubby, who isn't a writer, mentioned how badly Jules was acting out of character.

If you're an inspiring romance writer, this is a perfect movie to watch to show you what editors mean when they say not to use misunderstanding as the conflict and/or plot device. A couple sentences of dialogue resolved this at the ball. It was a total non-issue that Jules was willing to run off for. Watching this movie is also a good lesson in keeping characters consistent. That is don't make them act out of character without good (strong is probably a better word) motivation.

I realize movies aren't books. You can't get into the heads of movie characters and know what they're thinking regarding conflict the way you can in a novel, but just watch Borrowed Hearts if you want to see a made-for-TV Christmas movie that does it right. There are others, too, but this was the one that popped into my head when I started thinking about Christmas movies of the past.

Okay, it's time to get writing. It's easy to read page proofs at the pool so I'll do those this afternoon. It's a little harder to write so I'm going to do that now. I want to get my words in so I can watch Once Upon a Time tonight.

What are you up to?

Saturday, December 03, 2011

A very long day!

funny pictures - ROCKUM  SOCKUM
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I'm late posting a blog today. I feel like I've gone nine rounds of Rockum Sockum when all I really did was sit at a swim meet. But when you get up at 5ish and are out the door at 6ish and at the pool until 4ish. It makes for a long day. We swung by a different church so we could attend Mass because why not make the day longer while we're at it!

But I'm home now. Huge sigh of relief.

It was a fun day watching the kidlets swim. They dropped some time on a few events. I managed to proof four chapters of my AA's (page proofs) of the soccer/crush book in between their races.

Tonight I'm taking a couple of hours off and watching a Christmas movie about a princess. I can't remember the title, but it looks right up my alley. Not sure a princess would ever visit Hood Hamlet, but who knows where my imagination will take me when it comes time to write the next Christmas Magic story!

Hope you had a nice day! I'm hungry and need to eat dinner!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Christmas Guest Blogging

funny pictures - Betcha ai can reech da top in one jump.  Wanna see?
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I'm guest blogging at Rachael Johns' blog. I'm talking about the things I like to see when I'm reading a Christmas romance!

Rachael is having romance authors blogging all month about Christmas. Rachael's first book, One Perfect Night, has just been released by Carina Press! I'm so excited for her.

I was scheduled to guest blog next week, but an author needed to change so I took her place. Of course, with everything going on this week, I messed up the dates and it appears as if my post went up yesterday. Those who know me are probably not surprised this happened! LOL! I hope you'll still stop by and say hi today!

As for the new contest here this month, I'll let you guys decide on the prize. Is a e-gift card an okay prize or would you rather I pick something else since it's Christmas?

Have a great Friday! I have to take Finale back home today. We're going to miss her so much!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Random Thursday Redux

funny pictures - 200 pages into it and not a single killing or bird sighting
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My oldest daughter is reading To Kill a Mockingbird. She, however, doesn't think it's boring like the LOLcat above!

My soccer book which was titled Return of Her Secret Crush has been retitled It Started with a Crush. It'll be out in May in the US and June in the UK!

It's time to announce the winner of my monthly giveaway. The random generator picked #37. That's Brandy, who commented on my post Return of the Puppy. Brandy, please send me your email address using the comment button above and I'll send you a $10 Amazon gift card. You have a week to contact me or I'll pick another winner.

Thanks to everyone who entered. I'll post a new contest tomorrow, but comments made today will count!

We all love Grand Finale, but it's time to return the puppy. Not sure if I have time today, but I know I'll have time tomorrow. We'll miss her a lot. She's fit in so well. But we'll get to see her again. She's our Norwegian Elkhound breeder's puppy!

This is my morning to volunteer at school so I need to get going. A shower is a must and I'd like to eat since I was so busy I forgot to have dinner last night.

Anything random you want to share?