Saturday, December 29, 2007

Happy New Year from the Rocky Mountains

I'm itchy with anticipation about what lies ahead in 2008, more so than I've been in years, but I'm also grateful for all I have at this moment: a healthy family, happy kids, a novel out in 90 days, another underway. Life is good. From my family to yours, we wish you nothing but the best in the year ahead.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

December Contest Reminder...

This month's contest to win your own silver compass and an autographed copy of the book (due out April 1, 2008) closes December 31st. If you haven't already entered, you have five days left to do so. Good luck everyone!

Enter by sending an email to including your name and an email address where you can be contacted. One entry per person per month.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A blogging milestone & Merry Christmas

Wow! As of last week, I've been blogging for one year. Thanks to everyone who's stopped by to read, quietly lurk, or comment. Having you around makes me feel as though I'm sharing my office with a group of incredibly well behaved co-workers!

At the moment, though, work must wait. I have company and I'm reverting from "author" to "hostess" although I did spike the punch bowl in an effort to stir up my guests and stimulate some dialogue I can borrow for a future novel. Oh, and I also cornered my 85 year old father-in-law this afternoon to grill him about life in the 50s so I have the most authentic POV possible for my next protagonist. Hmmm... Maybe work doesn't have to wait. Maybe it can be incorporated right into the holidays.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Going bug-eyed from writing withdrawal

I love Christmas. The tree, the gifts, the guests. Usually, this is when all my restlessness disappears for a few weeks, but not this year. This year, I'm distracted.

I'm jotting notes on everything in sight. I'm huddled under the blankets well after midnight with a reading light (so I don't wake my husband) writing dialogue I'm worried I'll forget. There's nothing I'd rather do than hunker down at my computer and write, but I can't...

You'd think I'd be frustrated, but I'm not. Instead, I'm smiling all goofy like I've got this huge scecret or something, because I feel so fortunate to have a job I love this much, and doubly so that my creative muse is tap-tap-tapping on my brain, impatiently wanting to get back to work on a novel I'm excited about.

If you're a writer, you know what I mean. There's no feeling like it, is there? That tug and pull that makes you want to slink away from your own dinner party, not to sip wine by yourself in the kitchen, but to write!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cucumber slices to the rescue

I have two kids home sick today (cough, fever, sore throat). It started yesterday & after a long night where I doled out cough syrup, Tylenol, and smeared Vick's Vapo-rub on their feet, they were even worse this morning.

After listening to them moan and groan for an hour (where I got no work done) I set them up on the couch with blankets and pillows and asked them to stretch out and close their eyes. Then I put on a Spongebob DVD and grabbed a jar of cucumber eye-pads someone had given me. I placed the pads on their eyes and asked them to breathe deeply as they listened to Spongebob, that the eye-pads would extract impurities, clear their sinuses and soak through their pores to help kill their headaches.

For almost two hours now they've been silent as mice, other than asking for a fresh set of eye-pads before lunch, followed by these whispered comments from one kid to the other as I stood listening in the doorway.

"What are impurities?"

Pause. "I think they're some kinda germ."

"You know what? I think maybe Mom shoulda been a nurse."

Insert chuckle here from my eleven-year-old. "Nah. She'd miss making up her stories!"

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Remember your trash man at Christmas!

Every year at Christmas I buy something for the trash guys who pick up our garbage. Then, on the last garbage day before the holidays, my boys run a brightly wrapped package out to the road in the morning and set it on top the garbage can with a card that says, Merry Christmas!

When the truck pulls up, we peek outside to watch their reaction. Because different companies win the contract each year it's never the same crew, although there are some things that never change.

For instance, the look on my kids' faces as they recognize (without being told) that they are showing respect where respect is due. And then there's the trash man when he grabs the parcel and turns it this way and that, frowning a little before a smile slowly begins to creep across his face.

Yesterday, I left a list on my desk of gifts I had yet to buy and when my kids got home from school one of them must have read it, because last night I noticed someone had scribbled, Mom, don't forget the trash man! at the bottom of the list.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Christmas solution for grandma

My boys never know what to buy their grandma for Christmas, but this year I found a fun gift to solve the problem. They're called "racing grannies", they're only $12.99 Canadian per set, and can be ordered online through Grand River Toys.

Since my mom never goes online (as far as I know she's never even been to my blog)
I think I'm pretty safe sharing this post with everyone.

I wonder how fast they'd go
if we pumped 'em full of Red Bull?! Go grannies!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Pondering the 'uncatchable' mouse

One of my neighbors phoned yesterday. He's having mouse trouble and he wanted to know if he could borrow one of my cats for a few days. He'd already tried trapping the mouse, with no luck. I said no, I couldn't help, even though, yes, I do have two cats. Let me explain...

Years ago, I had four cats.
At the time, my daughter was in univeristy, living with her mom, and they were having mouse trouble. (I hate calling her my step-daughter, by the way. I have been in her life since she was seven so the word step-daughter always catches in my throat and sounds wrong).

Anyhow, she phoned and asked if they could borrow a few of the cats. Thinking this would give the cats some adrenaline racing excitement in their otherwise sadly sedentary lives, I packed two up and drove them over.

I checked in often to see how it was going.

Apparently, not well.

Both cats seemed drop-dead exhausted at the end of each day, but the mouse was still alive and well, scurrying all over. As each day passed, I became increasingly disgusted with my "citified" cats. Maybe I should switch them around and test out the other two. How hard could it be to catch a mouse!?

Then, on the 4th night, I sat up in bed and burst out laughing, having a forehead slapping blond moment. I had had all my cats declawed years ago (a necessity given the repetitive attacks on our furniture) which explained why they were failing so miserably at their assignment!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Telling off the tooth fairy

Last week, my youngest lost yet another tooth and because he still believes, he slipped it under his pillow and went to sleep, but the tooth fairy forgot to leave him anything so the next morning we
had a grouchy kid at breakfast, mumbling and grumbling under his breath about how "she sure isn't
very good at her job."

My oldest reassured him, telling him when she forgets, she pays double the second night. This seemed to appease him, but then the tooth fairy forget YET AGAIN that night (she was tired, okay?!) and he was even less impressed the next day.

On the third night, when the tooth fairy finally got her act together and reached under his pillow with a five dollar bill,
she found this pleasant little note...