Sunday, August 23, 2009

Summer's End

Not sure how everyone else's Summer has been but ours has consisted of 90% rain filled days. Does that predict a Snowy Winter in store for us? The old farmers in our area proclaim that it does. Yeah for my skiing and snowboarding teenagers. But for means possible delays in getting to work or better yet, I get to build even better Snowmen...maybe even a whole snow family.
Being originally from the south, we didn't get much snow as a kid so I do enjoy it from time to time.
But back to the end of Summer...
It's been extreme hot weather spiking between 90 and 100 the past week with horrific storms popping up all over. So to get over this odd change in climate, I've decided to ask all of you to share your favorite SUMMER RECIPE.
To start things off here's mine.
10 ounces Brandy
10 ounces Triple Sec
30 ounces Orange Juice
30 ounces Ginger Ale
7 1/2 cups of wine (red or white whichever you like)

This recipe equals one gallon of Gotcha Sangria
We call it that because it goes down easy and sneaks up on you quickly.
Looking forward to checking our your recipes and trying them!!!
Tara Nina
Hot Romance with a Sexy Attitude

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Does Office Max offer a 12 step program???

I admit it, I’m totally addicted to office supplies. I had to go into Staples to buy my children’s school supplies, and I found myself wandering the aisles going, “I’m sure if I buy the $50. desk organizer I will be much more efficient and more able to manage my life!”

I just love all the colorful sticky notes and folders and notebooks. I could spend hours coordinating pens and folders and colored pencils.

Of course, then I’d actually have to DO something with those office supplies, you know, like WRITE!

In all honesty, I have notes for stories written on the backs of receipts, the backs of announcements sent home from my children’s schools, in old college notebooks, and on folded up wads of paper stuffed into my desk drawers. For me, the ideas come when they come, and I don’t always have a handy-dandy notebook and matching colored pen to jot them down in.

Some of my best ideas for stories have been plotted out while doodling during meetings. I’ll get a song in my head and to combat boredom, I’ll try to make a story out of it. I’ve been fiddling around with a story that goes with SON OF A PREACHER MAN by Dusty Springfield. Don’t tell my husband, but that idea came while we were on a road trip and I was supposed to be listening to him vent about work. . .

I guess the moral of this blog is, just because you like all the accessories that go along with writing, doesn’t mean you NEED them to be a writer. All you really need is a writing utensil and a piece of paper—of some sort.

But don’t tell my accountant that, because I’m claiming those colored pens and nifty notebooks I bought today!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

How tweet it is...

It used to be "Do you yahoo?" then it was "Do you have a Blog?" closely followed by "Are you on Facebook?" but the newest craze to sweep the net is Twitter. Ok, maybe not so very new. It's been around for a while but I only discovered it a few months ago. For me, as wtih many people it's become a big part of my daily routine. It took me a while to find my way and to discover what the point of it all was. So, if Twitter is still a big mystery to you, here is what I've discovered.

Twitter is what you make of it.
It can be somewhere you visit several times a day, or once a month. Somewhere you post advertisements, new book releases, reviews or hold chats. It can be where you go to find out about all of those. It's a place to go to keep track of how your favorite author is progressing with their work in progress. Find out behind the scenes information about your favorite tv shows from the people who work on them. Touch base with your favorite actors or comedians. Find out what's happening in the world, sometimes before it hits the news. Or just make new friends and chat about your lives. In the few months I've been a member of the community I've done all those things and more.
So tell me, do you tweet?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Vacation anyone?

As my husband and I get ready to take our first vacation sans children, I find myself in a bittersweet place. In our years together BK (Before Kids), we didn’t take many vacations as we couldn’t really afford them, so we went only to places we could get to and come home from on the same day.

Once we had children (2 of them) we did the “staycation” thing long before it was popular. But all a kid really needs is a hose, a sprinkler and a hot day. An ice cream cone from the little white truck doesn’t hurt, either. Who needs to go anywhere?

Then my parents gave us their old pop-up trailer – the same one I’d camped in when I was a kid growing up. My husband’s family had camped as well and we found our feet itching to take the kids somewhere. Anywhere. It didn’t matter…just away for a weekend.

And so it began. Every year was someplace different. At first, we would only go for three-day visits, knowing their ability to handle long car rides had to be honed and refined before trying anything longer. So Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA and the North Pole on Whiteface Mountain with a stop at Frontier Town became our first forays. Zoos and “hands-on” museums were the order of the day and we had a lot of fun seeing who could build the fastest gizmo or make the tallest tower with the huge building blocks.

They kids grew and so did the length of time we stayed away from home. The Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut and whale watching, Plimoth Plantation and the Mayflower one year, Colonial Williamsburg in Virgina the next (and if you’re looking for a great deal, get the year-long pass, even if you’re going to be there only a few days. We figured the kids would be able to handle two days max – and they kept begging to go back. We ended up spending five days wandering the town and participating in lots of activities, including raising a barn! Of course, it didn’t hurt that we slipped in a day to Busch Gardens as well).

And then came Disney. With friends and family scattered throughout the Sunshine State, we combine our trips to Florida with family reunions and stays at Disney World’s Fort Wilderness. Gotta love a trip where one can walk out of the campsite, take a boat and be in the Magic Kingdom - all in half an hour! We’ve now been there a total of four times and will probably go back again in 2010.

So what’s different this year? When my husband’s sister died suddenly last year, her insurance policy listed her mom as the beneficiary. She and my husband’s mother had always planned a trip to Alaska – which they never got to take before Chele’s passing. So my M-I-L decided to use that money to fund a trip for her remaining children and their spouses, plus a niece to help her with her wheelchair.

A bittersweet trip to be sure. First one without children in nearly twenty years, first one on a guided tour rather than us doing our own thing. It wouldn’t even be happening but for my sister-in-law’s accidental death.

And yet….it’s freaking ALASKA!!! We’re going to see glaciers and Denali (Mount McKinley to those of us in the “lower 48”)!!! I’m going to cross two things off my list of Ten Things to do Before I Die list (I’m going to get to see mountains with permanent snow on them and I’m going to see the sun not set. Well, almost not set. It gets to twilight and then it comes back up again, but I’m counting it!). I’m going on a CRUISE, for crying out loud! All the food I can eat and then some. Swimming pool and nightly music. Cue Doc and the Captain, Julie, Issac and Gopher! (and if you know who those people are – um, our ages are showing!).

It’ll be hardest leaving the kids behind. They, on the other hand, can’t wait for Mom and Dad to leave. My son tonight realized he’s going to get seven full days in the house all by himself after his sister leaves for college. I could see the wheels start turning in his head the moment he said, “Sweet!” in response to my affirmation that his math was correct. No, they’re not going to have any trouble at all with Mom and Dad leaving them alone.

And the two of us? My husband and I are looking at this as the honeymoon we wanted but couldn’t afford. We’re soon to be empty-nesters and I can’t think of a better way to reconnect with the man I married. Sappy? Probably. But I am SO looking forward to it!

The one part of this trip that might not come off is a hoped-for booksigning. Because we're on a tour, our free time is limited and scheduling one will be difficult. But I'm still hoping to see fellow scribe Tielle St. Clare at least (waves furiously and hopes to meet for lunch!).

If you live in Alaska, drop me a line or leave a note here. I'd love tips on what to see and do in Fairbanks, Denali, Anchorage, Seward, Ketchikan, Haines and Juneau. And who knows? Maybe I can steal away from the group for a lunch with you! Although I might just have my wonderful husband in tow and you might have to put up with us making goo-goo eyes at each other .

Play safe everyone! See you in a few weeks!