April 28, 2007


Spring is in the air and everyone is feathering their nest. It's not just the birds. Go to any hardware store or domestic department of any store and you'll see people buying things to improve or redo their home.

I thought it was just me, but anywhere you go there's talk of painting or updating homes. Spring must be to blame. I can't think of any other reason. It's the season for renewal and animals aren't the only ones caught up in it.

Several yard sales I've been to were selling old plumbing and fixtures because they were replacing the old. One sale had bronze fixtures because she was going to chrome and just down the street her neighbor was selling chrome because she was going to bronze.

I told the second lady that her and her neighbor should have gotten together and traded. They could have saved themselves a hunk of change. She looked at me like I had a boil sprouting on my nose. Not everyone understands my humor.

We're nearing the end of our demolish and rebuild project. I'm still cleaning mortar dust out of every crack and crevice. That stuff gets into everything. And that's with tarp taped up over the doorways.

We just have tiling to go and the kitchen will be finished. There's still the bathroom to go but we won't talk about that.

The birds have it easy. All they have to do is build a nest out of a few twigs. :o)

April 26, 2007

Keeping a Blog

Keeping a blog has been pretty easy for me because I have the gift of gab. :o)

When I was a child I was often shooshed for talking too much. Now that I'm an adult I still talk quite a bit, but I am better about it, I think.

Being a talker can be helpful if you are a writer. If there are a hundred words going through your head you should be able to get a hundred words down on paper. They may not always make since or be something someone else would want to read but you got it down on paper.

Once you have words on paper, you can rewrite and weed out the unnecessary parts. If you're lucky, you'll have a polished gem worth selling to a publisher.

Next month, some friends of mine from Writer's Village University and I are going to have a private NaNoWrimo. We call it PriNoWrimo.

For those of you who may not know what that is, it's a month in which you write a novel, or in this case any written work, that totals 50,000 words.

They did it last year and I was too busy and didn't take the time to join them. This year I will not only join them but get my 50,000 words done.

I'm using my positive thinking here. :o)

April 25, 2007

Killing or losing Cell Phones

Some people just have a knack for killing or losing their cell phones. Not on purpose, mind you.

Knock on wood, I've had the same cell phone for five years now, but others in my family don't seem to have the same luck I do.

The toilet seems to be a popular place, especially if you're talking on it at the time or carry it in one of those handy-dandy cell phone holders that goes on your waist band.

Another popular place to murder a cellular phone is concrete. It could be the drive way, the street or a ceramic tile floor (which isn't concrete but every bit as hard).

I've heard of a girl who dropped hers out of her car and then ran over it. Accidently, of course.

Years a go I drowned one at White Water Bay. I bought a plastic fanny pack and thought it would be waterproof. It wasn't.

Some people sit on them breaking the fold and in turn disabling the device.

Shutting them in a car door will also do the trick.

As far as losing them the possibilities are endless. You can leave them anywhere. Public places are a sure bet you'll probably never see them again.

Putting a label with your name and home phone number on them helps, but only for honest people.

I lost mine in the J.C. Penney's dressing room, after trying on clothes, several years a go. Luckily, a clerk found it and called me at home. At the time I was cranky about having to go all the way back to Oklahoma City to retrieve it, but it was much cheaper than having to buy a new phone.

My husband left his in a hardware store and when he went back for it the cell phone was gone.

When I was a kid no one had a cell phone except Maxwell Smart, on one of my favorite television shows, and his was in his shoe. :o)

April 24, 2007

Naming Your Computer

I know people name their pets, for obvious reasons and some people even name their car. I wasn't aware until recently, however, that some people are giving their computers names.

Hmm, I might have to come up with one for mine. First I need to decide if it's a male or female. It doesn't really seem like either one to me, in fact, I hadn't really thought of it as being alive.

Does something have to be alive to have a name? Maybe having some semblance of life, such as, movement or memory is enough to warrant naming.

I've known some humans who barely moved and others who had poor memories and yet they still had a name.

I guess if my computer had a name the next time it acted up I would have a name to refer to it by. Of course my family and friends would think I had, in fact, gone off the deep end if I were yelling at my laptop and calling it a name, a real name and not just swear words.

Let's see if I want to keep it non-gender specific, then maybe, Cork, Tip, Thinker or Pen.

Sheesh, I had enough trouble naming my kids and dog. This is too much like work. I better think about it. I don't want to start calling my computer a name and then decide I don't like it. What if it gets used to the name and then I want to change it? I wouldn't want to confuse my laptop.

What about Telly? I like Telly monster on Sesame Street. My computer tells me information and vise-a-versa.

I think I like that. Telly it is. :o)

April 23, 2007

The Secret

I've been reading The Secret.

It's a great book about the power of positive thinking. So far it's helped me redirect my thoughts. If a negative thought pops in I pop it back out.

According to the book if you are trying to lose weight you shouldn't dwell on the thought "I need to lose weight". Instead you think about yourself as a thin person and fitting into a certain size clothes.

The word "weight" is a negative word, but the word "thin" is positive.

Recently, with my kitchen being under construction, we've eaten more fast food and my stomach has developed this little pooch. My treadmill being down for two months didn't help either. So I'm thinking flat stomach thoughts. :o)

Last week I was thinking about a weekend without the neighbor's kids screaming or their parents having loud drinking parties. It worked! They went somewhere friday night and didn't get back until late Saturday night and Sunday night they didn't have a party.

Now I'm thinking positive thoughts about selling a children's book. I worked on a couple of my stories this weekend and now have a picture book I feel realy good about sending out. Of course, I didn't write it in just a weekend; I've been working on this one for a few months now.

I'm going to have my personal editor, Susan, look at it Wednesday and see what she thinks.

A little positive thinking never hurt anybody. :o)

April 21, 2007

Old Dogs

As my own pup ages I am drawn to other people's geriatric furbabies.

Just like humans, aging dogs can be very humerous. They get set in their ways and miss their companions as we do.

Yesterday, as I shopped for treasures at garage sales, there was a Jack Russel Terrier that came up to me. Now if you've ever met a JRT, you know how frisky and playful they can be.

This particular terrier was not at all hyper, in fact at first I didn't notice him walk up. He was very slow and quiet.

I reached down to let him sniff my hand. As any dog owner will tell you, that's the first thing you do when you meet a new dog. It's a dog's version of introducing ourselves.

A woman walked up and called to her husband, "Honey, Boomer got out again."

Her husband walked up and just grinned.

Boomer didn't seem to hear and just stood there letting me pet him.

"He's deaf as a post and can't see a thing." The lady told me. "He's 17 years old."

"Every year we think it's going to be Boomer's last with us and yet he just keeps hanging in there," she said.

She told me that when her and her husband married she had a pomeranian, named Missy and her husband had Boomer. Boomer would guard the food bowl to keep Missy from getting any food, sometimes until he fell asleep.

Missy died of old age three years a go. Boomer grieved for her as any human would for a friend or relative. The lady pointed to the side of the house. "We buried Missy over there. Boomer still goes over there and lays on her grave for hours."

I thought that was the sweetest story and had to share it with you. :o)

Not only do we collect treasures at garage sales, we also collect stories.

April 20, 2007

Trash or Treasure

They say one man's trash is another man's treasure.

With warm weather brings garage sales and I love garage sales. You never know what you'll find. Granted, there is a lot of worthless junk out there, but if you keep looking and digging you just might find that diamond in the rough.

I've found things I couldn't find at any store. For instance, we like the insulated mugs that are wide on bottom and narrow on top. I looked high and low and couldn't find one at any store. I even looked on the internet to no avail. I found one at a garage sale today for a dime. That's right one thin dime.

I looked on Ebay for a new bath powder container to match my remodeled bathroom. They wanted $37 before shipping cost. I found one today for $2. It's turquoise glass and matches the wall paint.

I lost weight a year a go and my red twin sweater set is now too big. I found a replacement for $4.

I found some old children's books and other miscelaneous items as well. Not bad for a days worth of digging. :o)

April 17, 2007

My Oldest Baby Turned 25

I was in labor 16 long hours delivering my first child.

Does he appreciate it? Who knows.

He's spoiled rotten, mostly my fault and a Peter Pan. He never grew up and I don't see any signs of it happening in the near future.

He came over, after work, to eat a big dinner I cooked for him, giant birthday cookie and then ran off with his fiancee and friends to Incredible Pizza. I didn't know what an Incredible Pizza was but am now enlightened. Apparently it's a kids paradise. Why a 25 year old man would want to go there is beyond me, but there he went.

They have indoor go-carts, bumper cars, and all kinds of games. It's real high tech, no tokens needed. They have a card you swipe to play games and it can be reloaded if it runs out.

He takes after my husband. I always said the only reason he wanted kids was so he would have someone to play with. I don't know who enjoyed Christmas more him or the kids.

I was born old. I quit playing with toys when I was nine or ten. I switched to books.

My son must not be too unusual though, he had no trouble rounding up eight other friends to join in the fun. None of his buddies thought it lame to hang out at a kids party establishment. They didn't have to think twice. You'd have thought they were nine years old again.

I can see them now running around acting silly. Thank God I'm not there to witness it.

Bless their little hearts. I hope they have a good time. :o)

April 16, 2007

Dry Skin/Oily Skin

It would be great if I could distribute moisture evenly throughout my body.

My hair and the sides of my nose are oily.

My hands, feet and legs are dry.

Everywhere else seems to be normal.

If I shower everyday to get rid of the oils in my hair, then the rest of my body drys out.

I can't win for losing. I've tried just washing my hair and face everyday and the rest every other day. That seems to work better.

Too bad I can't run pipes from the over-moturized parts to the under-moisturized parts. You know, kind of like irrigating a dry field. You run pipes from a nearby river or creek to the crops that need watering.

Meanwhile, I shower too much and use large quantities of body lotion.

Incidentally, Burt's Bees is currently my favorite brand. I've tried several and this one seems to be the best.

Lotion in a tube that you squeeze out is watered down. The jar type lotions have a more concentrated amount of what you need and works best. Unless it's Burt's.

Burt's Shea Butter hand repair creme with cocoa butter & sesame oil is great. It's pricey but great. It comes in a lavendar tube. Most drug stores and gift shops carry it.

I also use Avon's Moisture Therapy Extra Strength Cream for extremely dry skin in the jar. It's pretty good too. Not as expensive especially if you catch it on sale. Any Avon lady sales it as well as the occasional Avon shop or website.

Don't even get me started on body hair. :o)

April 14, 2007

Tired of Cold Weather

I really am sick and tired of this cotton picking cold weather. BRRR Where's the warm already.

We had a nice couple of weeks of warm and then BAM, back into the deep freeze.

Oh well, in a few weeks I'll be griping about the heat. There's no pleasing me.

If you are as cold as I am I have a little secret to share with you. A few years a go I was visiting the doctor and his nurse came in wearing those thin pajama looking things all nurses wear. I was freezing and of course wearing one of those cute little backless gowns they like to make you wear.

I asked nurse Patty how she kept warm in her nurse's outfit. She said she wears Cuddle Duds. They are a silky long underwear. I bought some and let me tell you they really work. They are thin so they don't feel bulky under your other clothes.

There are a few different styles now, but the kind I like best are made of Cool Max polyester. I buy the long sleeve shirt. They have a camisole style; I guess for the summer when you need something lighter.

They sell them at Penneys and sometimes Sams.

Well, I guess you got a commercial after all. :o)

April 11, 2007

Tornado Season

Well kids, it's that time of year again. You know, when you get to crawl into fraidy holes with the spiders, snakes and creepy crawlers. And that's just your in-laws. lol. Just kidding.

Prior to the famous tornado of May 3, which struck fear into everyone, I didn't take tornadoes seriousley. If Gary England, our meterologist of choice, said to take cover we'd go into our bathroom. When the kids were little it was exciting and even kind of fun. Sometimes the lights would go out and we'd light a candle. Thanks to OG&E the power was never off for long. A battery powered radio kept us up on where the twister was and if it was coming our way.

But May 3 changed all that. We now panic and wonder if our bathroom will be safe enough. Everyone gets quiet and pays close attention when the weather man comes on and tells us there is bad weather on the horizon. A twister that can clean a field of every sprig of grass, carry off a homes cement pad and turn cows inside out gives people a new found respect for tornadoes.

Granted, tornadoes of that magnitude are a once in a lifetime experience, but still you wait and wonder. Will this year be as bad? Can another F6 tornado come through my state?

Some people think were crazy to live here. I've lived here most of my life and don't know any better. My family is here. My husband's job is here. My friends are here. When you think of it that way, you can't imagine living anywhere else.

Hurricanes are more frightening to me. At least we can get in a hole in the ground for a tornado. With a hurricane, you have to evacuate the area. That, to me, is pretty scary.

Maybe we should add a storm cellar to our list of home improvements. :o)

April 8, 2007

Happy Easter

This will be an Easter we will remember for several years to come.

I normally cook a big home cooked meal and invite the kids over, but with the kitchen under construction that just wasn't possible this year.

Friday the counter tops were supposed to be installed but Thursday evening they called and postponed it until Monday which meant no home cooked Easter dinner.

We went to Texas Roadhouse and ate baby back ribs so everything turned out alright in the end.

I'm one of those weird people you hear about who enjoys cooking and baking. I can literally make something from practically nothing. Most of what I fix is from scratch and I buy very little convenience foods. Because of this our grocery bill is much lower than the average consumer.

Another thing I do is keep the menu and guest list from all family get togethers and holidays that have been held here at our house. I can tell you what we ate and who attended every holiday since the 80's. I'm not sure why I keep them, I just do.

I hope you had a wonderful Easter and the bunny brought you some lovely treats. :o)

April 7, 2007

Silver, Iron and Other Finicky Metals

Many people don't buy or use iron skillets because they think they are too difficult to maintain.

Iron cookware is very durable and cooking in them will give your food an extra boost of iron.

Here are instructions for maintaining your iron cookware:

Before using a brand new pan, it will need to be seasoned. This can be done by greasing the entire pan inside and out with a light coating of shortening. Place the pan in a baking pan and heat in the oven on low for about 30 minutes.

Do not wash in the dishwasher. After using simply scrape out any food particles and clean with warm water and a steel wool pad.

After your pan is clean set it on the stove top burner with it turned on until the pan is completely dry. Occasionally, you will need to regrease your pan with a little shortening. I use a piece of paper towel to do this.

That's it. Not hard or impossible.

I just got through cleaning my silver serving tray. It's been stored in a cupboard and was badly tarnished.

Silver rings, when worn, do not tarnish. The oils in our skin keep them from turning.

I came up with the clever idea (it remains to be seen if this is a good idea) to coat my tray with a light coating of shortening. If oils from our skin keeps silver from turning and shortening keeps iron skillets from turning, I thought maybe this might work. I wash my tray before using it anyway so what could it hurt.

I'll keep you posted on whether this works or not. I usually spend hours cleaning this tray everytime I want to use it. If this works it will be a great time saver.

Well, gotta go. I've got to figure out how to get tarnish out of a t-shirt. :o)

April 5, 2007

Blogger Block

Well, I officially have blogger's block. I've ran out of things to write about.

I've bored everyone with my home remodel woes, my neighbor delimma, doggie misbehaviour and my writing. What else is there to tell you that will keep you interested enough to read about my boring little life?

I could tell you about my son getting engaged to his fiance, or about polyurethaning my kitchen cupboard shelves, or about my decision for bathroom curtains, or talk some more about my writing ideas. I could talk about my car trouble, the ants in my yard, or the beautiful blooms on the redbud trees.

Hmmm, well, I guess I could talk about the fifteen british hostages being released from Iran and how relieved I am. I prayed really hard they would be.

I could tell you to sprinkle your brownie recipes with chocolate chips to have chewier brownies, or top your apple muffins with cinnamon and sugar before baking to give them a yummy crust on top.

I could tell you to brush your teeth with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to whiten and brighten them or to wipe down your glass shower doors with lemon oil to clean the soap scum off.

I could tell you that I heard from my editor yesterday and he's still plugging away at my manuscript. (It's only because I emailed bugging him to see if he was done yet)

I could tell you that I read in the newspaper that we are supposed to have a very bad hurricane weather year. I know, not good news for our neighbors down south.

Well, I rambled along telling you a lot of nothing and managed to get a pitiful post in anyway.

Maybe something interesting will happen and I'll have something to tell. :o)

April 4, 2007

Textured Walls

Well, I'm now officially an expert wall texturer person. My husband and future daughter-n-law want me to give them lessons. I might even hang out a shingle. Not.

We have a few rent houses and I have done a little hole patching in the past, so I felt I could probably do the walls in my master bathroom without too much trouble.

I must say, it turned out pretty good. Whenever we hired this work done I would watch their technique. My method is somewhat different than theirs but I get a similiar result.

The sheetrock man who did our kitchen and dining room was going to charge us $250 to do our small 3/4 bath.

It's hard work and I certainly wouldn't want to do it for hire but it's great to be able to do a project yourself and save a little cash.

Basically, it's like frosting the sides of a very tall cake and putting a pattern on it. The tricky part was not swiping another area you just textured with your sleeve and having to redo it. This happened a couple of times. The hazard of working in a small space. We have a little cubbie where our toilet sits and working in there was tough. It would have been hard for the big sheetrock guy.

We had wallpaper in there before and I was tired of it and wanted a change. I picked out a robin's egg blue paint.

Now I can afford that fancy, shmancy micro-hood I've been wanting. :o)

April 2, 2007

Write That Book

Well, I went to the SCBWI conference Saturday and as usual it was great.

I always learn something. Sometimes it's from a speaker who seems to be talking just to me and sometimes it's from a total stranger I happened to sit next to at lunch. This was the case Saturday.

I've had an idea for a picture book dealing with loss of a loved one and have had misgivings as to whether it would be appropriate or not.

I sat beside a woman at lunch who had written a book for children regarding the loss of a sibling. Her grandchildren and herself suffered a loss and there weren't any books covering this subject, in a real way, for her grand kids to read. She not only got her book published but has set up a blog on Amazon that has turned into a support group for families. I thought this was great. She gave me inspiration to continue my idea and made me feel better about the need for such a story.

There are books out there with make believe characters such as leaves or badgers but not about real people.

Children sometimes need real people to relate to when faced with real life situations themselves. I hadn't thought of it in that way before and this one lady helped me to better understand how kids are people too and face the same losses and emotions adults do and sometimes they need help dealing with these feelings and coping just like we do.

So write that book you've been holding back and don't let political correctness keep you from it. You just might be filling a need you don't yet realize. :o)