Thursday, January 31, 2013


Hubby isn't feeling well! That means I was the one getting up at 5:30 am to deal with the animals and out the door at 6:30 am to shuttle kidlets. He normally handles the morning shift when he's home!

Needless to say, the ALA blog and book giveaway will have to wait.

I must write in case whatever he's got gets worse. I'm praying he can shake whatever this is fast! I love the man but he's a horrible patient. When I don't feel well, I want to be left alone. When he's sick he wants me at his beck and call. I usually get a good workout going up and down the stairs on those days!

Don't forget to post a comment. The winner of January's blog contest will be announced tomorrow.

Take care!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Jedi Kitten

I was so tired yesterday I didn't get much done. I managed to write a scene, critique a few pages, drive my son to the orthodontist to get a Herbst device and braces on his lower teeth, my daughter to piano, but other than that it was naptime! (I even slept through her piano lesson.) Not sure why I was wiped, but needless to say I never managed to upload the pics from the ALA! (I have two books to give away that I picked up there, too, so want to get the blog written!) That's going on today's To Do list.

In the meanwhile, I'll leave you with this:

Don't use the Force in the house. Words to live by, don't you think?

Have a great day!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Again

The kidlet's alternative school has a half day today. That means I'll be spending my morning up there instead of spending it driving back and forth! I'll blog about the ALA tomorrow! That'll give me time to upload some pics, too!

Hope you enjoy your Monday!

I plan on writing as much as I can today! I need to catch up on my word count.

What are you up to?

Friday, January 25, 2013

All Aboard!

I'm taking a train to Seattle this morning. I haven't traveled by train in years, but my friend Elizabeth Boyle suggested I do that instead of drive so I could have time to write. Given my upcoming deadline and need to make up some pages, this should work out perfectly.

I'm heading north to participate on a romance author panel at the ALA (American Library Association) conference on Saturday. There's also a book signing. The icing is getting to spend time with Elizabeth and her family!

What are you up to this weekend?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

No Pawticipate

My head cold is worse. I wish I could not participate today, but unfortunately I have a session at church to teach as well as pages to write. I managed 925 words this morning, then took a break on Facebook and with my furbabies. Now I need to get back to work.

I think the stress of last week then being at a dog show for four days caught up to me. A little rest and I should be good as new! At least I hope so!

Hope you are well!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rose City Classic Recap

After spending Thursday through Sunday at the Rose City Classic Dog Show, this LOLcat cracked me up. Why? Because it's so true!

Dogs, whether mutts or purebred champions, want to please. This could so easily happen in our house. Especially with the puppy Cato who wants nothing more than to be the cats' new best friend. He loves the kitties so much and they want nothing to do with them whatsoever.

So a good time at the dog show, even though Chaos had to stay home.

Thursday, Mackenna showed two Vizslas for a breeder my friend Amy connected us with. One of the dogs won Winners Bitch. It was the dogs first point!  We then headed home since the girls had no dog to show in Junior Showmanship.

That afternoon, a friend, Jennifer, offered to put the girls as co-owners on two of her dogs so they could show in Junior Showmanship. (Otherwise, I was going to lose all four days of entrance fees I'd paid. Instead of just a couple!)

So on Thursday night we went to her house. Jennifer and her daughter Nicki taught the girls how to show an Austrailian Shepherd and a Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

On Friday, Mackenna showed the Vizslas again. She walked out of the ring with a Reserve ribbon. She also showed an Elkhound. She skipped Juniors even though she had a dog to show due to wanting to get back to school. All her classes were reviewing for finals and she didn't want to miss it!

Rose took Piper, the Aussie, into the Juniors ring and walked out with a 4th place ribbon. Very good for the time she'd worked with the dog! They looked very cute together, too!

Saturday was Mackenna's day. She did a fantastic job handling a one year old Vizsla (it was the dog's birthday!) and pulled out another Winners Bitch ribbon! They nailed it when asked to run around the ring.  With Elkhounds, she showed a different dog than on Friday. They won Winners Bitch, Best Winner and Best of Breed. That qualified them for the Hound Group later in the day. In Juniors, she made the cut with the Corgi. Although she didn't place she was thrilled! And in the Hound Group , she was the only Junior handler. Lots of professional handlers with top dogs in there, too. This was her fourth time in Group and she looked way more confident. She did a nice job!

Rose didn't place in Juniors on Saturday but she learned some valuable lessons that would help her the next day!

On Sunday, Mackenna was back in the ring with the Vizslas. She and another handler were pulled out to run around the ring. The other dog won and Mackenna walked out with another Reserve ribbon. It was between those two dogs all weekend! Elkhounds were happening at the same time so she skipped them. She didn't have a dog to show in Juniors since Jennifer's other daughter had been planning to show on Sunday.

Rose, however, did show Piper. They won their class! It was so exciting to see. This was Rose's third Novice Junior win so she now moves up to Open Junior. Jennifer said she could keep showing Piper, too, which is so nice of her. The two really do make a good team.

So that was our Rose City Classic! What did you do this weekend?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Rose City Classic

It's that time of year again. The Rose City Classic, the largest dog show on the west coast, has begun.

Mackenna showed to Vizslas yesterday at the Rose City Classic. One won Winner's Bitch and scored her first point toward her championship. It was her first time showing a breed other than Norwegian Elkhounds. A very fun morning for her!

We received good news about Chaos. Her spinal tap results were normal. She'll remain on her current meds for a year. If she has no more seizures then they'll wean her off them. The neurologist says she could have gotten into something toxic that resulted in the cluster of seizures. Not sure what that might have been, but just giving her pills morning and night is something easy!

What are you up to today?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Chaos and Spirit

I was worried enough about Chaos' visit to the neurologist, but things got more complicated when Spirit wouldn't leave me alone yesterday morning. This was different than her normal I-want-rubs attention seeking. It took me about to a minute or so to realize something was wrong and she needed to go to the vet. Fortunately the place where Chaos was going also has a 24 hour emergency animal care section so Spirit went with us.

Two four-footed-kids seeing different animals at the same time.

Chaos ended up having an MRI and a spinal tap. Each test was to rule out scary, icky things for her having seizures. The results were good. It's looking more and more like epilepsy but we have to wait for more results. She won't be showing at the Rose City Classic, but that's okay. We just want her to feel better. The medicine she's on is keeping the seizures at bay! We just have to figure out if her dosage is right over the next week or so.

Spirit is very sick. She has chronic renal failure and her blood test shows her numbers have gotten worse. She also has a bladder infection and high blood pressure. On top of that there's something weird going on with her spine. She gets to go to our vet today (and tomorrow and maybe a few days after that) for IV fluid treatment. Poor baby. I feel so bad for her. But I'm hopeful we'll get this all figured out so she feels better soon.
Not how I expected things to go yesterday, but oh, well...what are you going to do? It's part of what happens when you have furbabies. Especially ones who are getting older.

How was your day?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


I agree completely with Stealth Kitty! It's so cold outside. The temperature is in the twenties around her. Lots of snow fell yesterday, but none stuck. Now we've got ice in the area! I much prefer the white stuff to the slick stuff.

None of the schools are running late around here, but many over the area in the west and north are starting two hours late. The temperature seems to be heading upward which will be a good thing. We have to take Chaos to a neurologist today.

Hope you have a great day!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Double Digits

 We (three kidlets and me) have been away at a swim meet in Newberg, Oregon. Hubby stayed home with the animals.

Today was extra special because our youngest, Rose, turned ten! I can't believe she's hit double-digits. Not my youngest, the baby of the family!

But as she kept reminding me today, she's 10! And proud of it.

She wasn't sure about swimming on her birthday, but it turned out to be a very fun time for her. A couple of her teammates brought her presents which she opened before the meet began.

One of these was a fish swim cap. She wore this during warm-ups. (See pic on right!) It's very cute and she loves it!

After warm-ups, we passed out mini-blueberry muffins to her teammates. Then the announcer told the crowd it was Rose's tenth birthday. An electric guitarist serenaded her with the Happy Birthday song. Then it was race time!

She did well in her events, but the best part for her was when she won her heat in the 50 breast. She received a little toy as a prize.

After her age group was finished, we gave out mini cupcakes to her teammates. Of course, she would have loved to leave then to go home (me, too!) but the two older kids still had to swim.

When we finally arrived home after six tonight, hubby had wrapped all her presents (many he went out to buy since I ran out of time on Friday), cooked her favorite dinner (enchiladas) and had picked up a Dairy Queen ice cream cake for her.

Needless to say, a very nice 10th birthday!

I just wish she was still nine. Ten sounds so much older!!!!!

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, January 11, 2013


Yesterday did not turn out as I expected. Not unusual around here, but this time our dog, Chaos, lived up to her name.

She had a seizure in the morning. According to the vet, a Grand Mal seizure.

To say it was scary doesn't really explain how helpless and terrified we felt when this was happening. Fortunately hubby was home. He was with Chaos when it started and yelled for me.

As soon as she stopped seizing, I phoned our vet and off to the animal hospital we went. Tests, x-rays—all normal. They didn't feel medication was needed at this point, but we were encouraged to make an appointment with a neurologist. She has one on Tuesday.

At the Animal Hospital
A second big seizure happened last night. This one was worse than this mornings, lasted longer and had a longer recovery period. And this time the two youngest kids were with her when it happened. They were terrified. Rose especially. Hubby wasn't home, either.

Fortunately, the same vet we'd seen earlier in the day was still at the animal hospital. A change of treatment was ordered. They were going to be putting her on two medications now. So as soon as hubby arrived home, it was back to the animal hospital to pick up a bottle of pills, then off to a 24 hr Walgreens to feel another prescription. It was almost midnight when we got home.

Life for Chaos has now changed. She can't be left alone in the house if no one can watch her. That meant sleeping in her crate last night not on our bed because the vet is worried if she has a seizure she could fall off. She was not happy about that, either. But once the medicine is in her system, she can go back to her old ways.

Many dogs have epilepsy. It can be controlled by medication. But the vet is concerned because she said most dogs show symptoms between the ages of 2 and 6. Chaos is seven-and-a-half. We'll see what the neurologist says. We'd appreciate any prayers and good thoughts for our beloved Chaos. She is such a sweetheart of a dog. We want her to feel better!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

LEGO Awesomeness

Want to know why LEGO is not only a really cool toy for kids (and adults!), but also why the company rocks? Read this article from itv about a seven-year-old who wrote the company after losing a mini-figure. Well played, LEGO. You can't buy this kind of publicity. Or maybe you can with a plastic figure that didn't cost much to manufacture!

Santa brought my son the LEGO Death Star set so guess what's all over my dining room table right now? We're using cookie sheets and Rubbermaid containers to keep pieces together so the cats don't wreak havoc on the four big boxes full of parts!

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Rose Bowl Recap

Photo by C. Goldstein
My trip to the Rose Bowl lasted around 50 hours, a jam-packed. Here's the recap and some pics from what has to be my fave New Year's Day!

I caught the first flight out of PDX to San Jose, CA. It was the only way to keep the plane fare reasonable. My best friend from college's husband and her 14 year old son picked me up. I've known D's hubby for, gosh, twenty-five years, longer than I've known my own hubby! We've done roadtrips (skiing in Tahoe) as well as a few weekends in Vegas over the years. Needless to say the drive to LA went quick while we caught up on stuff we don't post on Facebook! We arrived around two o'clock.

After a quick hello to my best friend Deb, her oldest son, a friend of his from Denver (who happens to be the son of a writing friend of mine that Deb and I didn't realize we shared for the longest time), my friend's aunt who we were staying with, we set off for the beach. It's walking distance. This gave Deb, her aunt and I a chance to catch up sans boys. This was the first time I'd seen my friend since 2008. It had been even longer since I'd seen her aunt who we used to visit so we could hang at the beach in our twenties. The sun was shining with blue skies overhead, a lovely day for a stroll.

Back at the house, Deb's younger brother, who graduated from Stanford, was there with his wife and two kids. All the way from Atlanta! We caught up for a bit, had some snacks, then it was time for me to go to Mass. New Years Day is also the Solemnity of Mary, a Holy Day of Obligation. Fortunately I found a church approx. 20 minutes away that had a vigil Mass on New Year's Day since I knew the 1st was going to be an early and busy day in Pasadena. Deb dropped me off. I told Mass would be about an hour.

The church was nice. It wasn't very crowded, and the Mass went quickly. So fast I wondered if it would count! As soon as the priest walked out, I texted Deb. No reply. I figured that meant she was still showering so I sent a text to her husband. He said someone would leave shortly.

I moved from where I was sitting to near the side door so I could see when they pulled into the parking lot. People were filing out of the church pretty quickly. Soon there were only a couple left. A man came up to me. I told him I was waiting for a ride. He told me he needed to turn out the lights and wanted to warn me it would be pitch black in the church. No worries, I told him. He asked me to make sure the doors were shut and locked when I left. I assured him they would be.

A minute later the church went pitch black. It was...weird. And I must admit, a little disconcerting. I couldn't see the Sanctuary Lamp. I'd arrived only a few minutes before Mass began so really hadn't had time to check out the church. There was a fountain with the baptismal font so I could hear running water. I also heard every creak and sound the building made. My writer brain (aka overactive imagination) took over. Let's just say if I ever want to write a murder mystery set in a Catholic church I have a plot. I will admit I was happy to see a pair of headlights pull into the parking lot!

Back at the house, more people arrived. Deb's aunt made dinner for fifteen of us! A fun way to bring in 2013!

We were up early and parked at the Rose Bowl a little after nine the next morning. People were already tailgating. Deb wanted to see if we could catch some of the parade (Seeing one float was her goal!) so we headed off toward the parade route. It was a long walk in shoes not really made for walking at a fast pace, but we found a spot where we caught several floats, bands and people on horses.  The best part was a total surprise—the B2 bomber flew overhead. It was incredible and so quiet!

We headed back to the Rose Bowl.

In the LA area you never know who you're going to run into!

Look who I met!

The stormtrooper even let me hold his blaster! Very cool moment for this Star Wars fangirl. 

Photo by C. Goldstein
Then we were off to attend the Stanford Alumni Tailgate Party with 15,000 others. Not exactly an intimate affair.

You'd think with all those people you'd bump into folks you know. Not us. Fortunately we'd exchanged numbers with those we'd hope to hang out with and managed to find each other.

Two friends who I knew all four years at Stanford and are still good friends didn't have tix to the football game, but came to the tailgate to hang out with me. Isn't that the sweetest thing?

A couple hours later we made the walk to the Rose Bowl. We wanted to catch the pre-game activities!

I loved the crackling with excitement and anticipation inside the stadium. People were so psyched! All of us included. We were in the cheap seats, but they turned out to be pretty good, especially with all the scoring happening in our end zone.

This is the shot I took from my seat while the teams were warming up.

The bands performed, then the LSJUMB played the Star Spangled Banner. It was the same rendition we used when I was a member. (That's how I became friends with Deb. We were both in the band.) The best part was when the B2 bomber flew overhead again, while fireworks shot up! So cool!

Here's a video I found on YouTube of the flyover part...

The game was even more fun, cheering on our Cardinal, high-fiving each other, winning!

Photo by C. Goldstein
Yeah, we won which made the experience even better.

We, like most other Stanford fans, hung around to watch the trophy presentation and cheer more for our team.

The team ran over to our endzone. Helmets and arms in the air! A really fun moment!

Our Stanford crew at the game!
The only con, if you want to call it that, was the traffic getting out of the parking area and away from the Rose Bowl. But that's to be expected with something like 97K fans in attendance. We went back to Deb's aunt place. She'd cooked us a delicious dinner. Just what we needed!

I think we all tumbled into bed that night. I had an eight o'clock flight the next morning and was not happy when the alarm went off. But it was worth it. And I'm hoping next year Stanford makes another bowl game. Because I want to go!

Monday, January 07, 2013


I have my Rose Bowl Trip Report ready to go except for the pics that I need to upload. But that must wait for now.

My editor sent me an email this morning and blogging will have to wait. There was some sort of production snafu in regards to page proofs for an upcoming book. They need to be done ASAP. So I'm dropping everything to read and return them.

Not how I wanted to start my week, but it's Monday. What did I expect?

Hope you have a nice day!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Happy Epiphany!

At least this is what happens in our house. Remember this...

And now we have puppy Cato getting into the mix. Nightly rescue missions to save wise men, sheep, angel and baby Jesus from puppy jaws!

At least the decorations will soon be put away!  But first we must open presents. Then it's time to bless and chalk the house!

Happy Epiphany!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

December Contest Winner!

This was me this morning. I wasn't on an epic journey, just starting my day, but I was so tired I went back to sleep for a few minutes. I woke up three and a half hours later!

Needless to say, I must get writing. I'll post my Rose Bowl Recap tomorrow. In the meanwhile, the winner of the December blog contest is Brandy who commented on my post WEEKEND RECAP. Brandy, please use the contact button on the menu bar above to send me your email address and whether you want a $10 eGift Certificate from Amazon or You have seven days to contact me.

Thanks to everyone who posted comments this month and entered the contest! A new contest is underway starting on January 1. The winner will be announced on February 1st unless I post otherwise. To enter just comment on a blog post!

Hope you have a good day!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013


I'm home from the Rose Bowl! Had a blast, but am exhausted. I will post the winner of my December contest tomorrow along with a recap of my trip. Until then, enjoy this New Year's Resolution video featuring cats.

Are any of those on your list? A couple are on mine!!!!!