Thursday, February 19, 2015

A New Year

I haven't posted in awhile.  It's more than halfway through the second month of 2015 and I haven't felt even the slightest desire to show up here and post anything.  I'm busy - with writing, with family, with rescue work.  I'm content.  Not a day goes by that I'm not thankful for the life I have.  My husband is my best friend, I work from home, and I'm debt-free.  No complaints there.

I wish I could motivate myself to exercise more.  Join that new gym, and actually go.  But I walk and occasionally work out with weights here at home, and I've lost 5 pounds by cutting my portion size down.  I always ate pretty healthy, I just ate more than I should.  I'd like to keep losing weight, and plan to, but basically I'm happy with myself and my life.

I just realized this is going to be one of those rambling posts.  Since hardly anyone reads this, it's ok.

I'm growing my hair out again.  It's blond, which is a color choice I haven't made in a long time. That's ok too.  I'll be 54 this year and one of the things I like about this age is the satisfaction I get from knowing myself and what I like and what I want.

Adding rescue work to my life has been wonderful.  Sure it's hard - rescue isn't easy.  Sometimes you see things you wish you could unsee.  Sometimes you learn more about human nature than you wanted to know.  Often it hurts.  But the dogs don't know any of that.  All they know is they've found kindness for the first time ever in their short life.  Sometimes they're not sure if they can trust it.  The foster dog I have now, Bridget, has been her 1.5 months and still isn't sure I'm not going to shove her out into the backyard and leave her there.  She must have been ignored as she's starved for attention. But then when she gets it, she's uncomfortable with it.  Like she is waiting for the hammer to fall, or the hand to strike.

But her forever dad is waiting for her - she has Heartworm treatment to go through - and he clearly loves her.  He seems patient and if anyone can show this little dog how to love and be loved, he can. This kind of thing makes it all worth it.  Reading my other rescue friends' stories and finding a tear in my eye, fills my heart.  This is work that matters.  I actually have made a difference.

And then there are my own personal dogs.  One nearing the end of his life, almost 14, deaf and nearly blind.  He's had a good life and been a great dog and I'll miss him when he goes.  Until then, I'll keep him warm and fed and loved.  The rest - two raised from puppy; they've never known a minute of hardship or cruelty, and that's how it should be.  Two more who were rescued and are what's known as "foster failures."  One who never left, one who was adopted and came back, and who will never leave again.  They fill my heart.  Frequently aggravate me, but always love me.

My job - my stories, my writing.  I love my agent and my editor and my publisher.  Though I'd love to win the lottery, I'm grateful I make enough to write full time.  I'm pretty content these days.

So there you have it.  2015 has begun and I hope the course will be steady and calm and peaceful.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Drive By Visit

I missed the entire month of November.  Yikes!  Let me recap, as succinctly as I can.

We went on a week long cruise November 9-16.  It was with other dog rescuers from Legacy Boxer Rescue.  We went from Galveston to Cozumel, to Grand Cayman, and Jamaica.  It was a lot of fun and I have tons of pictures posted on my FB page.

Still, here are a couple of them:

Came back from tropical weather to the first hard freeze of the season.  Light snow, low 20's.  Picked up two dogs from my daughters, came home, unpacked, started laundry, picked up three dogs (one foster) from the boarding place.  They stunk to high heavens so, despite the freezing temps, I put them in the tub one at a time and bathed them.  Lonnie dried.

And then my washer, which we'd been nursing along, died.

Exhausted, that Monday we had to go find a new washer, and I had so much catching up to do.  That entire week it seemed like all I did was run crazy and never catch up.  We chose a washer and Lowe's delivered it.  I washed and washed and washed.

And then the next week was Thanksgiving!  I grocery shopped, and got back to writing.  That Wednesday before T-day, I cooked all dang day.  And Thursday ate. Thursday was also our 27th wedding anniversary, which we decided to celebrate the next day.  Here are a few Thanksgiving pics.

 Friday we started putting up Christmas decor. I also had a Home Visit for Legacy (where I spend an hour with an applicant who wants to adopt).   Also, my foster dog hurt his leg and I had to rush him to the vet.  He was ordered to be confined to crate rest for the entire weekend and to take medication.  Finally, Friday night we went out to dinner to celebrate 27 years (we chose PF Changs!)

Saturday, more decorating, another home visit.  Sunday, finished the decorating and did laundry.  I sent Lonnie to pick up a few things at the grocery store.

Here's my beautiful tree!

Monday, back to work.   Here it is Wednesday, and I still don't feel like I've caught up or settled back into my routine.  Hopefully soon.

Because I have to get together stuff to make a basket for the local animal shelter.  And wrap Christmas gifts (I've done all on-line shopping so far.)  And write.  And write. And write.

Before I know it, Christmas will be here.

So now we're all caught up.  I apologize (again) for my absence, but will eventually get back on the ball.  Right?  Right?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mea Culpa

Sorry, I have been absent for awhile - AGAIN.  Life has been busy, I've been feeling my way around a new story as well as everything else.

A Secret Colton Baby is doing well.  It has hit Bookscan's List of top 100 Romances for 3 weeks in a row.  It was #31 for its debut, climbed up to #23, and this week is at #66.  Pretty strong showing! That makes me happy.

I'm working on another Colton Book - this time the Colton's of Oklahoma.  I'm book 3.  It's called the Surgeon's Salvation.  It's giving me FITS.  I'm over a third done, but having to go back and rearrange stuff.  FITS, I tell you.  Today was one of those days where I feel like I can't write my way out of a paper bag.  From experience, I know it will get better.

Right now I'm going to shut it down and go have a glass of wine.  Tomorrow is another day.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Milestones and Covers

Right now I have a new book out, as you know.  A Secret Colton Baby just came out.  I love the Colton's and right now I'm working on another Colton book called The Surgeon's Salvation.  It will be out in August of next year.

I started thinking about it, and my 30th Harlequin book will be out in January 2015.  My 40th overall (I published 5 with Kensington and 5 with Dorchester previously.)  That's a pretty cool milestone.  I'm actually stunned and pretty proud of myself.  

Here's the cover of my 30th Book, Shades of the Wolf.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


I'm blogging today over at Harlequin!  Take a minute to check it out!

Monday, September 22, 2014

First Day of Autumn

I've been feeling really happy lately.  And busy.  Really busy.  I finished a book, finished revisions on a book, and started a third.  I have a new foster dog, and the temperature is winding down (Thank goodness!!)  Autumn is my absolute favorite time of the year.

I've been thinking a lot about what makes me happy.  Once upon a time, I would have included "things" in my list.  These days, I've realized things are not as important as I once thought.

A year ago, on a Monday like today, I saw my mother alive for the last time.  It's hard to believe a year has passed.  It's really hard to believe I had to go through her "things", her "stuff" and realize all the possessions she thought were so important, so valuable, actually weren't.  I think of my mom at odd moments, and will visit the cemetery on the 27th, the anniversary of her passing.  But I remember the black crane that attended her service and flew off at the end of it.  Knowing that some cultures consider cranes symbolic of a soul rising to the next level of existence, gives me great peace.
Volunteering and rescuing dogs makes me happy.  Drinking coffee on the back porch in the morning with my husband also gives me joy.  Being with my dogs, starting a new book, listening to a new album by one of my favorite artists, all make me content.  Even exercising makes me feel good. I'm looking forward to cooler weather, to fires in the fireplace, soups and stews and homemade bread. Snow.  I love snow.

At 53, I think this is the best part of my life in many aspects.  Sure, I don't have as much money as I once did.  I don't get a new car every couple of years, or expensive boots and shoes.  But none of those things matter.  My family, my friends, dog rescue, music, and my writing matter.

As I struggle to come to terms with mortality - brought into sharp focus with my mother's passing, taking care of my elderly father, keeping an eye on my husband's health - I realize more and more how everyone is responsible for finding their own happiness within.  And right now, I am at peace with that.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Shower Reno - Finally Done

I promised I'd post pictures once the shower renovation got finished.  It took awhile and last night the glass guy finally installed the glass.  Starting tomorrow, we can use that shower!  Yay!!

So here are the pics.  Here in the beginning, you can see the dry rot / water damage went all the way through the insulation.  They had to remove it and replace that too.

The entire shower was gutted and rebuilt.

A new cement bottom was made

And here are the boxes of tiles we chose.

Tile going in.

I had them do around the tub too.

 Tile in, but not yet grouted.

And here's the grout.  Looking really good!

Finally, the glass!   We went with frameless.  I think it looks beautiful!

And done!  Finally!  The actual work on the shower took one week.  Then it took about two weeks to get the glass in (not sure why it took so long, but it did.)  But we're very pleased!