Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

funny pictures - To all you      ghouls out              there HAPPY HALLOWEEN
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I hope everyone has a happy and a safe Halloween! I'm looking forward to seeing all the candy the kidlets bring home tonight. Hope there's a Butterfinger or two in there. I know better than to buy any of my faves for us to pass out! The kidlets, however, asked hubby to buy their favorites!

Are you passing out candy? What kind?

I thought I'd post a few pics from two years ago. This is the time we adopted Yoda from the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society during their Black Cat Adoption event at Halloween time at PetSmart.

I just saw this next LOLcat on-line an had to add it to this post! They are just too cute! I love black kitties!

funny pictures - Do you think the witch will miss her broom?
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Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

RIP Pumpkin

On Friday afternoon, my sister found this stray kitten on a road down in Oregon where she lives. She moved the kitten off the road, but it went right back to the middle. My sister thought it was cold and perhaps the road was warm.

She sent me a text with a picture of the kitty and said if ever a cat needed rescuing it was this one. I spoke to the kids and hubby. We decided to offer it a home, so my sister took it home with her. She cleaned the kitty up. They thought the kitty was a girl and named her Pumpkin. At first they kept her in their Airstream trailer, but realized Pumpkin was a total love bug and snuggle bunny. They moved her into the house. She spent the evening being held, cuddled and most importantly loved. If you put her down, she would jump right back on top of you.

While this love fest was going on, I found an animal hospital down there and called them. I told them about the cat and asked if they could examine and test it before I brought it home. It was getting late so we decided to wait until Saturday. Pumpkin slept on top of my sister all night long. My sister said this was a very clingy, but a very special cat.

Yesterday, we were full of anticipation waiting to hear whether or not Pumpkin would get to come home. Because of my other cats, I needed to make sure she wasn't FIV+ or FeLV+. 

My sister and niece took Pumpkin to the animal hospital. She received a full exam and tests (not to mention a bath!). She turned out to be a he! They thought he was 7 or 8 weeks old, but didn't want to vaccinate him until he was feeling better. He had an eye infection and an URI (upper respiratory infection) both things I expected based on his pictures.  But the best news was both his tests came back negative. Other than his eyes and cold, he was healthy! He could come home to us. All I had to do was keep him isolated for two weeks. The doctor suggested having some sort of smock or robe for the kids to wear with him (or change their clothing) and said hand washing was a must before touching any of the other animals.

We were all so excited. I drove down and got Pumpkin from the animal hospital. The poor little guy was so sleepy. The vet staff told me he would be tired due to all the activity of the examination and his bath/blow dry. He slept most of the drive home. At one point he flipped over onto his back and stretched out in his box. It was so cute. We held and loved him, gave him his URI medicine, but he wanted to sleep so we fixed a nice little bed for him in the bathtub so he could take a nap.

Mackenna and I drove to PetSmart to buy kitty toys, little bowls since he was so tiny, a blue collar with a bell on it and some kitten can food. Hubby checked on Pumpkin while we were gone and he seemed fine, still tired, but moving around. But when I took him up his food in his new bowl something was definitely wrong.

Hubby and I immediately took Pumpkin to the emergency 24 hour vet, but it was too late. Pumpkin had stopped breathing and was dead. He'd been home only a couple of hours. We were in shock. There really are no words to express what coming home to the kids from the vet was like.

My sister told me that Pumpkin had the best last 24 hours or so that a stray kitten could hope to have. Our Norwegian Elkhound breeder said that in rescue there aren't always happy endings, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep trying. She said for Pumpkin his last day was a great one because he'd been loved and finally had a home, a warm place to snuggle and nap, which was much better than dying on a farm road, outside and cold.

I see their points, but it's hard, especially after Smalls dying in August. We had her for fourteen years. We had Pumpkin physically for only a couple of hours. But it still hurts so bad. And this loss is affecting the kids worse. I think much of that grief of losing our old cat is now wrapped up in losing this new little one.

It really sucks. We thought we were saving a life and adding a new member to our family. Now we are heartbroken. Again.

I've always told the kids that God brings these animals into our lives for a reason. But I have no idea what Pumpkins' way-too-brief visit was for or if we'll ever know why. Sherri, a friend who I met on a climbing forum and is an animal lover, posted this on my Facebook page in response to my status message "Kitty died"...
Not before he had someone fall in love with him. Perhaps that was all his little spirit needed before it left.
Perhaps that was why. And if love was what Pumpkin needed then he got it. He was very loved by everyone he came into contact with these past two days. I just wish it didn't have to hurt so bad for those who still love him.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


funny pictures - IZ PLUMPKIN
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This week was suppose to be when we went to the pumpkin patch. The kidlets had been looking forward to it all week! Unfortunately we never made it due to getting sick. Instead, we stopped by the local QFC store to pick out pumpkins last night. This weekend is soccer and dog show so no time to hit one today or on Sunday!

We all joked this was our pumpkin patch. They have all the pumpkins outside so at least that's better than being in the produce department. At least it's been that way for the second year in a row. You see, this is where hubby took them last year because... I'm not sure why. We must have run out of time (end of soccer season) or it was too rainy or deadline or something.

But next year we will be going to Bauman's Farm and Garden in Gervais, Oregon. I'm not going to put it off. I'll buy them the wrist band and they can do every corn maze and zip line and whatever else there is until they are pumpkin patched out!

Today is carving day so I'll have pics for you tomorrow! Have you gotten your pumpkins yet?

Friday, October 28, 2011


Funny Pictures - Cute Halloween Kittens
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I can't believe Halloween is almost upon us. I've spent much of this week in bed which means I'm behind with my Oct. 31st stuff. The kidlets finished the decorating so the house is ready for Trick or Treaters now. But the costumes...

The costumes still aren't finished.

I'm close only because earlier in the month I ran to a couple of thrift stores.

The oldest is being a gypsy/fortune teller. I have to sew an elastic waist band into the skirt I found at Value Village. I also need to find her some gold bangles to wear on her wrist.

The middle kid just needs a black turtleneck and some white for his hair. He's being Draco Malfroy from Harry Potter. I found him the perfect black suit jacket at Value Village for $3.50 (it was a half price ticket!)

The youngest is going to be the Cheshire Cat. I think she has everything she needs, but I will double check. I heard a rumor she'd lost her tail. I so hope that's not true!

Of course, I still need to get over this crud that has kept me in bed since Tuesday.

Is anyone dressing up at your house? What are they going to be?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Another day of rest...

funny pictures of cats with captions
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I don't feel quite as bad as yesterday, but am still taking it easy and spending another day in bed. My day will consist of sleeping and writing. Right now the dog is with me. Yesterday, I sounded so awful not even the cats would come close.

Hubby is taking my shift in our youngest's class this morning. I homeschool, but the kidlets attend classes two days a week at a school. I'll be curious to hear what he has to say since he's been so busy and traveling so much he hasn't been as involved this school year or spent much time at the new facility.

Okay, I'm getting tired. Hope everyone is healthy where you are!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jack the Cat is Back

Funny Pictures - Cute Halloween Kittens
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I hope to spend my day like the kitty above. Minus the funny hate, that is!

I'm late posting this morning because I'm so sick, even worse then yesterday. Rose, our youngest, who was the only healthy one in the house complained of a sore throat. Not good. That's how it starts.

But I had to tell you the good news I found out yesterday evening.

The missing since August 25th cat who I've blogged about was found last night in the Custom's room at JFK last night! American Airlines posted a note about it on their Facebook page.

Jack was taken to a vet where his microchip was scanned. It was confirmed to be Jack and his owner notified! So exciting for all of us "Friends of Jack" (FOJ) who have been following the story via his Facebook page!

Two women, Bonnie and Angela, who've been part of the group on the ground at JFK looking for him, went to the 24 hour vet last night to see Jack (and meet him for the first time.) They said he was dehydrated and dirty, but had beautiful eyes!  It's pretty amazing how a group of strangers brought together by a Facebook page has been looking for this cat. Jack's owner Karen lives in Los Angeles and her sister Mary Beth, who runs the Facebook page, lives in Florida. Yet all these people spent weeks helping on-site at JFK looking for Jack and trying to get the word out about him. For those FOJ's who lived far away, they emailed, called and faxed fliers to make sure local businesses knew about him. Very cool!

Here's an article from the NY Post about Jack! He fell through the ceiling into the Customs office and that's how he was found.

Hope you have a nice Wednesday. I plan to spend mine in bed which is exactly where I spent my Tuesday, too.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2 Brothers with Lots of Cats

funny pictures-Well, if you'd move my kitty bed into the sunbeam,  I wouldn't have to sleep on the cold, hard carpet.
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Many of us spoil our animals. I've moved boxes and beds and toys because that's what the kitties or dog wanted. I've also ended up in some uncomfortable positions through the night because I didn't want to disturb their sleep.

I want to share an article I found on the Internet at a site called Care2. Here's the link. It's about two elderly brothers who took in three strays. They loved these cats the way I love mine, but there was one problem. The cats hadn't been neutered or spayed. Because of that those three cats turned into 40 adults and numerous kittens.

The gentlemen couldn't afford to feed or take care of themselves let alone all those felines, but they managed to purchase food for their cats, who they loved so much. When they realized they needed help, they couldn't turn any of their pets over to the authorities for fear the cats would be put to sleep.

Common sense may not have been at play here, but when rescuers heard about the situation, they didn't condemn or vilify. Instead, they tried to help both the men and the cats. I've just condensed a three page article with pictures, but take my word it's worth a read if you have a few minutes.

The article also shows why it's important to spay and neuter your pets. It can be expensive, but many rescue organizations have programs to help with this cost. You may have to ask around, but there are many programs throughout the U.S. I'm assuming this article happened in another country, assistance can be found worldwide. In the long run, as the brothers probably realized too late, it's worth doing! But it's much easier to spoil three cats, then forty plus kittens! And a whole lot cheaper to feed, too!

Hope you have a great Tuesday!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A quiet house

funny pictures - cat hair on everything  My job here is finished
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The cats are getting back to their old routines now that the puppies have gone home. But the house is so quiet. It's strange. I'm amazed how much two little furballs can liven things up around here. My 13 year old says it's so boring! We miss them already, but it looks like orange puppy (Nicki) will be coming back soon for a few days. She needs to be exposed to more things and the breeder thinks another visit with us will be good for her before she goes to her family.

On the writing front, I'm working on the Larkville continuity book and waiting to hear if my revisions were accepted on the soccer book.

I did finally take time out and watch a TV show. Once Upon a Time premiered last night on ABC. It was definitely intriguing and I'll be tuning in next week. Did any of you watch it?

Hope you have a nice Monday!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


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We are having so much fun puppysitting this weekend. The Norwegian Elkhound pups are so cute. Granted we've had our share of piddles and poop to pick up, but all in all its been a great time.

They have so much energy. Well, until they crash and sleep for awhile. Then they are right back at it! We set up an X-Pen in the Great Room so they have a place where they can sleep safely, but also be near us. Mackenna has been sleeping downstairs with them. We've worked our schedule so they've yet to be alone since arriving!

The cats have retreated upstairs. They want nothing to do with the puppies. Spirit sits up at the banister meowing. She wants me with her, but that's just not happening right now. She'll get me tonight while we sleep! Yoda is happy under the bed. Rocket is fine hanging out on the window sill by our bathtub. I'm sure we'll see all in their normal places once the puppies leave.

Chaos had her issues on Friday night, but Saturday she was a new dog. She got in trouble for growling and baring her teeth. We were very careful with the three of them, but one of the puppies got really scared and cried. The sad sound just broke our hearts. Chaos figured out fast if she did anything like that she wouldn't be with any of us! Needless to say, we've had no trouble with her and the pups since. It's cute to watch them all together.

I have to admit it's going to be hard to say goodbye to them later today. Pink puppy will be meeting her potential family next weekend. But orange puppy's family can't pick her up for a few more weeks so maybe we'll get another chance to spend some time with her. Here are some more pics of them.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Puppy Invasion

funny pictures - Happiness iz a warm puppy
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Two Norwegian Elkhound puppies arrived last night. We are puppy sitting for the weekend. They are so cute. I am sitting at a swim meet right now (and had to leave super early to get here) so no time to get the photos uploaded to the blog, but if you want to see a couple they are on my Facebook Book/Author page Wall. Just click here. (If it takes you to my landing/like page, just click Wall on the left!)

Needless to say, the cuteness level is overflowing at our house. The cats aren't too happy at the moment. Chaos, either. But they're dealing with it. And Mackenna is doing a great job taking care of them. She slept downstairs by their X-pen last night in case they needed anything. She'll be with them this morning while I'm at the swim meet! Hubby isn't sure what to think about them!

Full puppy report tomorrow with pics!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Revisions are outta here!

funny pictures - Nao ai lay me daon to rest A pyle of buuks up on mah deskkk If ai shud dye bfore ai wakes dats won less test i habs to takes
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This is me right now. It would just be one less manuscript to write rather than a test to take.

I just emailed my revisions to my editor. I'm happy how the book turned out, but I'm too tired to cheer. Plus, no matter how I feel about a manuscript the final verdict rests with my editor so I'll be waiting to hear what she thinks!

I wish I could say I got a break, but I have a proposal due on Halloween so I'll sleep for a few hours then start back to work on that.

Also, I have to get ready for two visitors who are coming to our house later. Pink puppy and orange puppy from the litter of Norwegian Elkhounds I've been posting about all summer will be out our house for a couple of days. Yes, we are puppy sitting! Doesn't that sound like a lot of fun? Of course, I know nothing about taking care of puppies so who knows how I'll feel come Sunday. But be ready for a lot of cute puppy pics!

Have a great Friday! I'm only 35 minutes into mine and I have to admit, I'm tired, but feel pretty darn good getting the soccer book revisions sent off.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Baby Dolphin

Humorous Pictures
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If you haven't seen the pics of a baby La Plata river dolphin rescued in Uruguay, here's a link to the Real Coastal Warriors Facebook page that has them. She's absolutely adorable! She was so young when she was found she still had her umbilical cord attached. If you can't get to the Facebook page, here are the same pics on Global Animal.

If you haven't heard about her, here's an article from Isn't she cute?

I really want to finish up the revisions today so better get working on it. I've been fighting something, too, so trying to lay low and just write. I can't afford to get sick. Too much going on right now.

Hope you have a nice Thursday!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This Cat Haz Swagger

funny pictures of cats with captions
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A bunch of my friends are besides themselves holding onto their tickets with great anticipation for whatever new Twilight movie that's coming out. Me? Not so much. Even though I was invited to join them for dinner and the opening showing, sparkly stalker vampires don't do it for me. But I can't wait for this movie:

Here's another trailer for it:

Are there any movies you're looking forward to seeing?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Funny Pictures - Not Talking to You Anymore
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This LOLcat is a great illustration for what having three kidlets is like. "I'm not talking to you!" It never fails one is made at the other two. "You're never allowed in my room again!" Sometimes it's justified, other times not so much. But fortunately the "never" or "not" don't last long.

With Smalls' passing we're down to three cats. I'm not sure which is worse kidlets arguing or cats fighting. Twice in the last twelve hours, Yoda and Spirit have gotten into it, too. Hissing, paws flying, growling. The problem is Yoda and Smalls used to play. He wants to play with Spirit now, but she wants no part of it.

Any threes in your life?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween Prep

funny pictures - And While You're At It Where the Hell is My Lightsaber?
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When I saw this LOLcat, all I could think was Yoda, my black cat, would look so cute in a Darth Vader Costume!

Halloween is getting closer1 Yesterday as I revised the soccer book (serious cutting and writing a new chapter), the family decorated the house for Halloween. The lights are hung outside and stuck into the ground along the edge of the lawn. The tombstones are also up and a few other things.

We've already been "booed" in the neighborhood. That means someone rings your doorbell, but when you open it all you find is a bag of Halloween candy with a Boo note. Of course, the candy hubby bought is almost gone already. I need to buy the candy we'll pass out on Halloween night. We have over a hundred or so trick or treaters each year.

I heard about a pumpkin patch that sounds really cool. I'm just hoping for a break in the weather. Would rather be tromping around when it was dry.

Have you started getting ready for Halloween?

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Funny Pictures - Cute Kittens
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Such an adorable kitty! I was surrounded by cuteness yesterday. My daughter and I drove with up to the Puget Sound Norwegian Elkhound Association's yearly meeting with three others and three puppies! I've got pics, but don't have time to get them off my cellphone right now.

Mackenna and I got to hold pink puppy and orange puppy for hours! We also got to play with Grand Finale, who is getting so big! We also met up with blue puppy, now known as Louie after a character in Casablanca, once we arrived in Lacey, Washington. They are the definition of cuteness. Definitely experiencing puppy envy at the moment.

Anything cute you want to tell me about?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Haunted House Redux

funny pictures of cats with captions
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A couple of days ago, I posted a link to a blog that had pics of people going through a haunted house. The expressions and the captions were humorous. I've never been through a haunted house like that so I was wondering what they might have seen to scare them so much.

Here's a clip from the Ellen show showing someone going through a haunted house. It doesn't look that bad, but I'm guessing she's in the dark and we can only see what's happening because of the camera. Her reactions are very funny. Take a peek...

Enjoy your Saturday! I plan on enjoying mine!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Star Wars Dogs

Humorous Pictures
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It's no secret that I'm a huge Star Wars fan so it'll come as no surprise to anyone who is a regular reader of this blog to understand why I think this link is the height of awesomeness.

What will you find if you click on the link? 50 dogs dressed in Star Wars costumes.

Even if you're not a big fan of Star Wars and/or dogs you should check it out. The Ewok doggies are the cutest things! And I think a couple are wearing the same Yoda costume Rose wore when she was two.

And just so you think I wouldn't dress up the kidlets the same way I might my cats and dog, think again. These thumbnails are from 2005 when we had Darth Vader/Anakin, Padme and Yoda as trick or treaters. And yes, the animals have worn the Yoda costume in subsequent years. Well, at least until they shook off the head piece.

Hope you have a fun-force-filled Friday!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Faces of Fear

funny pictures - that's how babies are made?!
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This cat's expression fits right in with these people. A camera was hidden inside a haunted house in Niagra Falls, Canada. The pictures are funny and so are the captions on this blog post at I wonder what they were looking at that was so scary!

I'll be spending my day revising. Hope you have a nice Thursday!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fashion Fun with Scarves

funny pictures of cats with captions
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My friend Tiffany posted this YouTube video on her Facebook Wall. It caught my eye when I saw it on my newsfeed. Fashion is something I research for books, not for myself. But this was cool. I have a couple scarves and will definitely try wearing them differently after watching this. The video is a quick (approx. 4 minutes) showing 25 different ways to wear a scarf.

If you're like me and need more instruction than what's above, you can check out the companion videos that go with each of the 25 ways of wearing a scarf. She tells you the best kind of scarf to use and then tells you how to tie them.

Here's Companion Video #1:

Here's Companion Video #2:

Here's Companion Video #3:

Here's Companion Video #4:

Have fun scarf tying! And possibly buying!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Not a Fire Hydrant

funny pictures - Yes I know you spent $40 on a new cat bed for me, I just do this to piss you off.
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When my cats want to piss me off, watch out! All bets are off as to whether they'll use the litter box or destroy something. But it's easy to find the motivation behind their actions. Reasons can range from no food in their bowl, dirty litterbox, lack of attention, jealousy, etc.

A cat, however, would never pee on someone's leg. But a dog, pissed or not, would.

I know this because it happened to me last night.

My Norwegian Elkhound Chaos is too smart and good mannered to do something like that. But I can't say the same thing about a male dog named Milo.

A little backstory first. Rose joined 4-H this year. We won't be doing hell week aka dog days at the county fair. (That was my one caveat to allowing them to continue with the Clark County program rather than switching to a nearby county where the fair commitment is a reasonable amount of time.) But they'll go to meetings, attend fun matches and enter fair events that require only a couple of hours of herdmenship duty. (I get only a couple weeks off from writing a year and seven days at the dog barn at fair is not where I want to spend my vacation days. I've learned the last two years trying to write during fair does not really work.)

Last night was the first 4-H working meeting of the year (i.e. kids and dogs doing obedience training.) Rose will be borrowing a dog to use, (Mackenna uses our Chaos) but last night she practiced with Chaos to gain some confidence and figure out the routine before she tries it with a new-to-4H dog. When it was just Mackenna in 4-H, I usually sat in the car and wrote during practice, but Rose is too young to be left alone with a dog who is over half her size so I stayed.

One of the 4-H teen leaders brought two dogs to the meeting. As I was standing there, she asked if I'd hold the leash of one of them. I did. A few minutes later, she switched animals. As I chatted with another mom, Milo, the dog who's leash I held, lifted his leg and peed on my leg.

I jumped back as soon as I realized what he was doing, but not quite in time to miss both my pant leg and shoe from getting wet. None of the parents could believe it. Neither could I.

Maybe he sensed I'm a crazy cat lady and not the canine equivalent. Maybe he thought my khaki pant leg was a fire hydrant or tree. Maybe this is what male dogs do. Maybe he's just a rude dog.

Practice hadn't even begun yet, and I didn't want Rose to have to leave, so I cleaned up as best with a paper towel. There wasn't much I could do about the shoe, however. Needless to say, over an hour later, I was so happy when I arrived home and could change!

That was my evening. How was yours?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Best Part

funny pictures - Wait! Wait! You haven't heard the best part!
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I'm waiting to hear the best parts. Read them, that is. I'm in the middle of revisions on my soccer book. The part where I'm having to dissect everything that's on the page. It's a lot of work, but I'm hoping it'll pay off at the end. That's why reader feedback is so nice. It lets authors know that all this writing and rewriting is worth it!

Hope you have a nice day! I've got to run one errand, attend a 4-H meeting tonight and the rest of the time will be spent revising. I'm looking forward to it. I usually can't say that on Mondays!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Sunday Soccer

funny pictures - shut the door please.
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The above picture reminded me of Yoda last night. He wasn't making a mess, but both of his toys made a lot of noise. It sounded like he played all night long. And yes, I'm tried this morning.

We had to be at the soccer field a little after eight. It was wet and cold, but Finn had a fun time. The team won!

Now it's time for more soccer. My soccer book that is. I'm working on revisions. It's coming slowly, but that's okay. I want to get it right and that takes time.

Hope you have a nice day!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Soccer Day

funny pictures - Military Kitteh on campaign of shock and awwwww
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It's a soccer Saturday. Two games today. In between I have revisions to do on the soccer book. In the book, my heroine's brother and sister-in-law are reservists deployed overseas. The LOLcat above made me think of them this morning. There is a cat in the book, too, inspired by my Rocket!

For your viewing pleasure...even non-cat lovers might get a smile from the latest Simon's Cat!

Friday, October 07, 2011

One of those weeks...

Funny Pictures - Cute Kittens
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I wish I was calm like the little tiger, but unfortunately I feel exactly like this kitten. I want Hubby! He's on his way home from another business trip, and it's been another long week.

How long?

On Wednesday, I told hubby if the travel (his third trip in as many weeks) wasn't going to let up then to ask his boss if they would move us closer. It was one of those weeks where I wondered if I should have stuck to having furbabies, not kidlets. But even the cats and the dog were misbehaving. Not fun. Especially when I started the week refreshed, not on deadline and ready to have fun.

Now I'm getting rid of the cable TV, back on deadline with revisions that arrived a few days ago and wondering how many more books I'd have to write a year to afford boarding school.

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to the weekend. Are you?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

funny pictures - *I'Z GITTIN DERE.*
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I'm still half-asleep. But the dog and cats wanted to be fed so I'm up. Also needed to make sure the trash got put out. My son didn't want to do it in the dark last night so he's doing it in the dark this morning. Who knows what goes through an eleven year old boy's mind?

When I finished the classes at church last night, I had a text from hubby saying that Steve Jobs had died. I wasn't surprised but it's sad. I've used Macs since they were introduced in 1984. Stanford put them in the Engineering Library where I worked. One of my dormmates, Tod, purchased one. I've been using Macs ever since with only a few thankfully brief periods on PCs during my engineering career.

I still have every Mac I've ever owned and they all work. The Cube is set-up in the play room and makes for a fun-non-internet computer for the kids to use. I think the Power Mac might still be there too. Hubby doesn't get my love of the machine and operating system (he's PC to the core), but he's indulged my all things Apple mentality.

I lived in Palo Alto and around the surroundings for many years. After I left my engineering job to write full-time, I also helped a friend and his partner start a venture capital firm. Silicon Valley hi-tech was my world for many months which is where my first book, Fiance For the Night, came from.

I never met Steve Jobs, (a good thing since I would have been a total fangirl) but knew others who did. A few friends attended business school with his wife at Stanford and told me, an aspiring romance writer back then, about their meeting for the first time. The story inspired a "cute meet" between a hero and heroine in one of my unsold books.

My condolences to his wife, children and friends. Steve Jobs was a visionary. "That vision thing" of his changed the world. RIP, Steve.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Here Kitty, Kitty...

funny pictures - The idiot in the jeep...he didn't really say  "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty"...did he?
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I'm sure my cats think I'm an idiot. But yesterday, we visited some cats who may have thought the same thing, but were so happy we stopped. Where were we? The humane society where Yoda came from.

Yoda was too young to physically live there. He'd come from a foster home when we saw him at the Black Cat Adoption day at a local PetSmart. But yesterday when I mentioned we'd adopted him from them, the manager of the cat shelter remembered him. She pulled up his record on the computer.

We couldn't believe how little and scrawny he'd been. I showed her a picture of him now. She was amazed how big and healthy he was now.

This no-kill shelter keeps healthy cats loose. They are free to roam in their assigned rooms. No cages, just lots of cat trees, boxes, open kennels with blankets, etc. There are low places for them as well as high ones. There are big windows to let in natural light, but also darker places for them to go if needed.

The first room we visited contained full-grown cats. Some stayed where they were and let us come to them. Others wanted attention and made sure we knew it. Finn had a blast playing with a black cat. Two jumped onto Mackenna's lap when she sat down. Rose kept going from one to another. I made sure those staying in place got love, too.

Then we went to a smaller room for younger cats. There were a couple of mature ones to teach them manners. One little guy wanted attention so badly. He was not going to be ignored. He pretty much forced me to hold him. He closed his eyes and just purred loudly. It was so sweet. A different one pushed another cat away so he could get attention from Mackenna. He settled in to her arms and was quite comfy.

It was so hard to leave, but we're looking into volunteering there so will be back!

Hope you have a nice Wednesday! My day will even crazier than usual because my co-teacher is sick. In approximately thirteen hours I'm looking forward to getting in my jammies and relaxing. Just have to make it until then!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Tuesday love

Funny Pictures - Cute Kittens
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This kitty mommy carries her kitten around in her mouth. This human mom carts her kidlets around in a minivan. Though not until later this afternoon. Yes, I have almost an entire "day" at home.

I love Tuesdays. I don't have to be anywhere until the afternoon. Some parts of my scheduling actual worked out the way I planned! Is there a day of the week that you love?

My revisions on the soccer book arrived in my inbox yesterday. I've printed things out to look at then figure out. In the meanwhile, I'm finishing up a chapter on the continuity so I'm at a logical stopping point.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Contest Time!

funny pictures - Now tis is wut i call a litter box!
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I meant to post the September contest winner last night when I got home from the coast, but I had family who wanted my undivided attention. The furbabies were not happy when an hour after I walked through the door we headed out again to Mass. Sometimes this means we come home to a mess, but thankfully not last night!

The winner (#43 selected by of the $10 gift card is Sarita who commented on my post Big Cats and Laser Pointers. Sarita, please use the contact link on the menu bar above to send me your email address and whether you want an Amazon or B&N gift card. You have seven days to contact me, or I'll pick another winner.

Thanks to everyone who entered. I'll be giving another $10 gift card away this month. Same deal: comment on blog gets you an entry. I'll post the winner on November 1 (or as close to that date as I can.) The winner has seven days to contact me.

As for our writing retreat, we wrote in the morning, took a walk on the beach, had lunch at McMenamins, then drove home. I really needed the weekend away and can't wait to do it again!

Where do you like to getaway to?

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Beach House

funny pictures - Beach-in-a-Box
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Instead of a beach in a box like this cat, my friends and I have a real beach complete with sand and waves. We're a couple blocks from the water. What more could we want? Well, except more chocolate. And more pages. And more time here...

If you want to know more about what we've been up to, Jenna wrote a great recap of your first day of the writing retreat here. And here is her recap of day two. She has more pics than I do!

So yesterday afternoon we took a little excursion from our writing. A break, so to speak. We drove to the Chinook Winds Casino and attended the tryout for Wheel of Fortune. This was not my idea. I'm sure if you read this blog you know I only watch about an hour of TV or less a week, but Jenna wanted to do it.

I'm so glad we did!

Imagine a casino bingo parlor filled with Wheel of Fortune fans (minus the few like me who went along just because.) It was freaking hilarious. I'm not kidding. Much better than any of the shows I've ever seen.

The host, Marty, and the Vanna White wannabe whose name escapes me were very funny. But the best part were the people from the audience who were selected to "try out." As soon as their names were called they ran to the stage ala "Price is Right." They were taken backstage then led to the front where they sat in chairs. Then, in groups of five, they stood and individually interviewed by Marty.

Not funny, right? Except something happened to these people. It was as if the disembodied personality of a game show contestant was floating above the stage. As soon as the person stood next to Marty with a microphone in front of their face, this "game show persona" erupted. All but a handful had the exact same personality. I wondered if they'd practiced this at home.

I don't watch game shows so maybe they all do and just knew this was what it takes to be selected to be a contestant. But it was both bizarre and fascinating and utterly hilarious. I had to wonder what Marty, the host, thought of all this. He was very quick with the comebacks. In fact they were zinging back and forth at lightning speed.

We also got to see a belly dancer, an air guitarist and two men who danced. Not exactly pee-your-pants funny, but definitely laugh-out-loud-this-would-have-been-worth-paying-a-couple-of-bucks-for funny.

Alas, Terri, Jenna and I were not called to tryout. We weren't alone. But unlike the hundreds who left after the last five contestants were called to get in line again for the next tryout, we opted for a late lunch at the casino. We sat in the seafood restaurant in a window seat, enjoying the view and eating. Jenna called it "lunner" since it was to be our lunch and dinner.

Back home we wrote for a few more hours before pulling out another set of DVDs to watch about writing craft. I fell alseep during part of one. It was just too dry and a bit out there for me. I wanted something more concrete and readily adaptable to romances without much fiddling or tweaking, but that's just the engineer in me.

Unfortunately that meant my external journey (i.e. the Outer Conflict) of my story remained a mess. So even though it was late, I put on one of the workshops from RWA NYC and we listened to that. That helped, but I still wasn't there. (Remember, I'm working on a continuity so this isn't my story or characters.) Jenna and Terri, being the great friends and writers they are, helped me figure out a few things. Yay team!

This morning I'm going to see how it all fits together as I jump back into writing the new proposal.

Not that we'll have that much time. Our weekend writers retreat is almost over. (Insert tears and sniffles here.) We have to check out of the beach house at noon today.

I will be happy to see hubby, kidlets, cats and dog. Mackenna sent me a text saying the cats really missed me, especially Yoda. I miss the family, but I've gotten so much out of this time away. I feel recharged and refresh. The well is no longer empty! I just hope I can get away like this again!

What are you up to today?

Saturday, October 01, 2011

No Kitty

funny pictures - No Kitty Comic
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I'm not sure who this No Kitty is more like—my cat Spirit or my dog Yoda—but it fits both to a T! Except it would become a No Doggy instead.

I'm on my writing retreat on the Oregon Coast with two romance writer friends.We met yesterday in Oregon where we piled all of the stuff into my minivan. It amazed me how much stuff three writers need for a couple of days of writing! We arrived in on the coast around lunch time. We ate a Thai restaurant, then headed to the outlet mall to walk around until we could check into our house. Of course, we all ended up buying something!

The beach house is bigger than we thought it would be. 4 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths. Lots of places to write as well as an ocean view from both levels. We're already planning to come back!

We wrote for a while (I started the continuity!) then headed to Mo's (famous on the coast) for dinner. Afterward, we returned to the house where we watched the Michael Hauge DVD on writing Romantic Comedies and Love Stories.

We all had our laptops and would stop the DVD to fill in our characters' internal conflict charts and discuss what we were typing. It was great to brainstorm and figure out the various parts of our characters' internal make-up! By the end of the DVD we had both the hero and heroines of our new projects figured out! Yay!

Today will be writing, a walk on the beach and perhaps a little fun if we can squeeze it in. (More about that if we go through with our plan!) Tonight we plan on plotting our stories using a Michael Hauge/Christopher Vogler DVD! I can't wait.

Update: I just realized it's October 1st. I will announce the winner of my September contest on Sunday night, October 2nd, when I get home. So sorry about that, but I totally forgot with the writing retreat. And a new contest for October starts today so enter by commenting. More on that one Monday!

Hope you are having a great Saturday! What are you up to?