Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

As another year winds down, I have to once again remind myself of all I'm grateful for.  First off, my husband and family.  Secondly, our health.  While my parents are facing some issues, I'm going to try and be confident that everything will work out in those areas. 

2012.  Wow.  Sounds so strange.  Ah well, I'll get used to it, and it will be my first year working full time as a writer. 

I got revisions on The Cop's Missing Baby the other day and they are brilliant!  I love a good set of revisions, because revising always makes the story better.  I'm working on those right now.  When I get them done, I'll go back to The Wolf Prince. 

I'm still going to physical therapy for my ankle and hoping to avoid surgery, though I'm wondering....  If I do have to do the surgery, I hope it works out for the best. 

In case I don't post before New Years, I wish you and yours a Happy, Safe, and Prosperous New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

It's the day after Christmas.  It's all over - the shopping, the wrapping, the gift-giving, the cooking, the eating - all of it with family and friends.  I supposed I'm a bit melancholy; I usually am the day after the big holiday.  But this year, I'm so exhausted I'm not sure there's room for anything else. 

I wanted to get back to work on the book today and I've tried - sort of.  No real desire or drive and as a result I've barely written 200 words. 

What I have done is cook eggs and bacon for lunch (right?), play with my new Kindle Fire, play with my puppy, surf the internet, play a LOT of games of solitaire on the computer, and long for sleep.  Tonight I'm warming up leftover ham and that's about it.  My husband went to the gym (he's dedicated!) and lazy slug that I am, I declined.  Too.  Tired.  Seriously.  I'm worn out.

So by tomorrow, I've got to get back on track.  But for the rest of this day-after-Christmas, I'm going to sit around and let myself rest.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Saturday, Christmas Eve, 2011

To you and yours, I wish delight.  Warm fires, soft arms, and stars shining bright.  Good health and good food, an epicurian delight.  But most of all, I wish you love.  Merry Christmas, my friends.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This time of the year is usually hectic and crazy and exhausting and exhilarating.  But this year, it's just plain busy.   My father and his wife and their dog arrived on Saturday and today their moving truck got here (actually their new house about a mile away).  Yesterday he had to buy a new refrigerator and washer and dryer.  His wife is infirm and I've been taking care of her - she's wheelchair bound and can't stand on her own.  Today I'm here with her while Lonnie is at the new house with dad helping direct the movers. 

Meanwhile, it's four days until Christmas.  Hard to believe - I've been so crazy busy that the holiday has occasionally completely slipped my mind.  That never happesn.  Ever.  Until this year.

So hug your family close and enjoy the holiday.  Somehow, in the middle of all this, I will manage to do this too.

If I don't make it back until next week, I know you'll understand.  Merry Christmas. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2001

It's Friday and I've been up since 4-ish am.  Left at 5:15 to drive Lonnie to the airport for his flight to Denver.  Took out the trash, gave the puppy her B12 shot, and grabbed an Egg McMuffin at McDonald's.  Now, fortified with a large coffee and a fresh pot of more downstairs, I'm getting started early.  Because today I have to get groceries, go to physical therapy, and meet my daughter for dinner later.

However, the physical therapy yesterday really helped my ankle, I'm done Christmas shopping (yay!) and I only have a few things left to wrap.  The house deal I was working on for my father went through and he closes on Monday.  He and his wife and their dog are staying with us until they can stay in their new place, so I have to clean my house up.  It's been raining and I have three dogs and the backyard is now muddy, so you get the idea.

Off to do my writing so I can get to the rest!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm sorry I've been MIA, but these have been incredibly stressful times for me.  I've been dealing with negotiations regarding my father's house here and yesterday for the first time after a week of back and forth, Ithought it was over.  Done.  As in, we'd reached an agreement and could go to closing next week.

But at the last minute, the seller refused to sign the paperwork and asked for an extension until Friday.  WTF?  Luckily, I didn't read my email last night - I was busy celebrating by lazing in a recliner watching NCIS and NCIA Los Angeles and avoiding computers and email.  I got my first solid nights sleep in a week.

I found out this morning when I read my email.  So, I'm back to square one.  ARRRRRGH!!! 

On another topic, my plans for today are to make my writing word count and head out to completely finish up Christmas shopping.  I also plan to stop by a liquor store, for obvious reasons .  (Ok, just kidding - we always go to the liquor store to get Amaretto at Christmas time.)

And I had my second physical therapy session for my ankle.  I'm sore, but it's similar to resistance training - we're training those muscles and tendons and strengthening them so my ankle can support itself.  Awesome, right?

So, if I can shut my mind down from thinking about the house, I will do exactly that.  Wish me luck.  Cuz next week, I want to do some baking in my spare time.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I've been doing a little internet Christmas shopping, but no baking yet.  I always bake at Christmas time - usually cookies, which I don't need, but that really helps me get into the holiday spirit.  These days there's so much going on - my mom's cancer, Chemo, and Radiation, my dad's hurried move to Texas and finding him a house, and my injured ankle with physical therapy and potential surgery, not to mention the requisite word count I must make every day on the book - that it's often difficult to get into the mood for a holiday.  The other day my husband put the radio on the Christmas station, you know the one, every single city has one radio station that plays non-stop Christmas music from Thanksgiving until Christmas Day.   That helped.  We were going shopping looking for a new Christmas inflatable.  Our old one died.  Here's the one we found (we actually got the display model at Wally World because everywhere was sold out).

 Kind of corny, yes?  But I love it.  (I also wanted to get a light up pink flamingo because it was full of the awesome and it would make my daughter have a fit, but I restrained myself.)

So our house is all decorated and there are a few gifts under the tree.  This year will be the first Christmas I've spent with my father in close to 30 years.  I am looking forward to it.  My brother has informed me that he is working on another celebration with my mom and we've already got a get together scheduled this weekend with my husband's family.  The Honey-baked Ham is ordered, as is the Tortuga Pineapple Rum cake (so good, we tried this while in the Cayman Islands this past summer - yummm!)

And so far my story people are cooperating.  I'm working out regularly.  My husband is really loving retirement and we're both healthy, and the puppy appears to finally have her digestive issues under control.

Blessings abound.  And holiday magic is sure to follow!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

I have the attention span of a fiour month old puppy.  In other words, short.  Every day, I sit down to write and I periodically have to break up the words with something else - checking Facebook or playing Solitaire.  Or writing this blog.  Sigh. 

Sometimes I get up and pace - thinking about what comes next, since I'm not much of a plotter.  This book (The Wolf Prince) I'm working on now is going to be my longest Nocturne ever and I'm having a bit of a problem figuring out the pacing.  I'm used to shorter books, I guess.  On the plus side, I'm going into much more characterization.  On the down side, I'm not sure if I'm doing too much!  So far I have not only the hero and the heroine's point of view, but a secondary set of characters - the heroine's sister and the villain.  I haven't done that since I wrote the Fae books for Leisure.  It's fun and scary at the same time.

We writers are a neurotic lot.  Never sure if the words are right or the story is moving along at the correct pace.  I'm no different, but I guess I'll see once I get halfway through.  I should hit 40,000 words by the end of December, which is the halfway point. 

In the meantime, I'll just keep writing!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's chilly here and we're supposed to get a wintry mix today, which thrills me.  I love winter, adore snow, and wouldn't mind an inch or two of the white fluffy stuff.  Kind of puts one in the mood for Christmas.

Anyway, I promised to show you more decorations.  The photo quality is not that good - I was too lazy to get my camera and used my phone and the lighting is really dim due to the weather.  But here they are.

This is my new Nativity set.  Believe it or not, I got it at Avon.  It's excellent quality and exactly what I was looking for.

And below is the final picture of my den.  Note the dog toys by the coffee table.  Since we have a puppy, there are toys everywhere.

 Oh wait, I forgot to show you the tree. 

Here you go

Festive, no?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wow, though I knew it was coming, it's so hard to believe it's December already. I promised to put up pics of more of my Christmas decorations, so here they are.  These are just in my kitchen.  I'll show other rooms later this month.

Cute, huh?  I love decking my house up at Christmas.  This year, since I have the boot cast on and couldn't climb up on the counters, my wonderful helpful husband put the Santas up for me.  That was really appreciated!
Today we don't have anything schedules, so I should be able to write, write, write.  New month and all that!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Well, it's the last day of November.  According to my mental schedule, I should be at 20,000 words right now in my WIP.  I'll end the month at 18,000 which is 2,000 short.  Not bad, considering I'm dealing with my mom's illness, trying to find my dad a house so he can move here (and daily phone calls from both of them as well as a realtor), a puppy with severe food intolerance issues, and my husband had eye surgery today.  So I'm frazzled and it's nearly two pm and I haven't written a single word.  To hit the 18k mark, I only need to write 600 words today.  So that's my goal.  I can make up the rest next month or one of the months after.  I have three more months - December, January, and February to go.  Since I have to be at 80,000 (or 85,000) by March 1st, that's how I came up with the 20k per month goal.   I still say not bad with all I've been dealing with and including the cleaning, cooking, serving, cleaning up, and then decorating for Christmas that I've done last week.

Onward, I say.  Onward.

On the exercise front, I've been nearly two weeks now without exercising.  That sucks.  I feel sluggish and fat and I've gained a pound or two over the Thanksgiving holidays.  So - no matter what - come Monday I am starting back to four days a week minimum at the gym. 

That's my tale of woe for today.  At least I have a goal to focus on.

Now, I've been promising a sneak peak at some decorations.  Here's one picture of my tree and my mantle.  I'll post more in another post.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sorry I have been MIA lately.  As I mentioned, I hosted Thanksgiving here at my house.  Last Tuesday I cleaned all day, Wednesday I cooked, and Thursday the family all came and we ate.

My table looked beautiful.

I had purchased these crock pot warmer things, plus had other warmers so all the food was hot.  Those things saves my sanity.  Since I'd premade everything, I cooked them Thursday morning and put them in the warmers.  No stress trying to get everything ready all at once and keep everything warm.

We all had a feast!  My youngest brother picked up my Mom and her oxygen tanks.  She was thrilled and so moved that she cried when she said grace.

Here is a typical plate.

I didn't put pics up of the family here because they wouldn't like it.  But everything was delicious and everyone at their fill.  After the cleaning, Lonnie and I drove my mom home. 

Friday and Saturday, as is our tradition, we decorated for Christmas.  I'll post pics later of that.  On Friday we also went and looked at a house for my dad, who is moving here in December.

Then Sunday was our wedding anniversary.  We've been married 24 years and together for 29.  We went to eat at Texas Land and Cattle (steak, as we were tired of turkey!).  I got smoked sirloin with grilled shrimp.  (I'd already eaten part of it - sorry!)

And for dessert, we had peach bread pudding.  Yumm!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Today is cleaning day.  I'm really stressing about not writing, though I'm sure I'll get over it.  Maybe I'll just write 500 words to tide me over

I've made cornbread so it can sit out for me to make the stuffing tomorrow.  Next up is ironing the tablecloth and then I start.... shudder.... dusting.  And polishing.  And cleaning stainless and granite and...  yuck.  The one thing I miss the most from my having a day job paycheck is having the cleaning service. 

Ah well.  We can't have everything.

In case I don't pop in tomorrow (that's cooking day!), have a Happy Thanksgiving folks!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving week!  One of my favorite times of the year.  And since it's at my house this year, I always do the same things in pretty much the same order.

Tuesday I clean.  All day.  And iron and starch the table cloth and napkins.  I pre-do some prep work for the cooking, such as boil the eggs for the deviled eggs. 

Wednesday I cook.  Again, all day.  And though my feet and back will be aching by the end of the day, I love it!   I am baking three pies from scratch (except the crust, which I bought frozen and pre-made).  Apple, pecan, and pumpkin.  I'm also making cornbread and sausage stuffing, my husband's pea salad that no one else likes , sweet potatoe souffle, corn casserole, green bean casserole, and butternut squash.   And of course, the turkey is at Red, Hot, and Blue, getting smoked, so all I have to do is warm it up.   My daughter, who no longer spends the night on Wednesday, is bringing over mashed potatoes and mac and cheese.  My sister in law is bringing a broccoli casserole and fruit salad, cranberry sauce, and pickle/olive tray. 

That's right, we are having a HUGE feast.  It's funny too, because the rest of the year I try to eat clean, but on this one day (ok, and Christmas), the hell with that! 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I'm writing today.  While I usually try not to work on Saturdays, the upcoming holiday has me feeling the need to get some extra words in.  I already knew I'd be taking off Wednesday to cook and Thursday to eat , but I will also need to take off Tuesday to clean my house.  And believe me, it needs it. 

So I'm writing and it's oddly warm outside and my hubby is doing outside "stuff".  Once I hit my word count, I plan to iron the tablecloth - at least I can do the table - though I might do that tomorrow. 

I am very happy that my family is all going to be together. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Once again, sweet Friday rolls around.  Today - after I write my words for the day - I'm hitting the grocery store to buy my Thanksgiving meal.  That's always a long, convoluted ordeal, but strangely pleasurable too.

And this week, I learned someone got a hold of one of my credit cards and ordered themselves a laptop from Best Buy!  On Tuesday, I went into that CC account online to check my balance and saw a pending purchase from Monday for $503.74 at Best Buy.  Since I didn't make that purchase - hadn't even been near a Best Buy even online - I immediately called Discover and alerted them.  We cancelled my account and they issued me a new card. 

Last night, UPS rang my doorbell with - you guessed it - the new laptop.  It appears the dumbasses who ordered it didn't have it shipped to them.  I called Discover who told me to call Best Buy.  Best Buy is sending me a prepaid label to ship it back to them.  They did give me a phone number for the person who ordered it.  It's in El Paso, TX, but I did a reverse phone lookup and it appears it's not a valid number. 

Either way, in the middle of all this with my mom, and my dad moving here, and my foot, and my husband having eye surgery, and my puppy having food intolerance issues, some idiot tries to steal my credit card.  I'm pissed.  I hope the fraud unit at Discover catches them and they're charged with theft. 

Rant over.  Now I need more coffee and to get writing. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

One week from today is Thanksgiving!  Tomorrow or Saturday, I'll shop for the groceries.  Since my mom still doesn't know whether she'll be well enough to come, I'm just going to go buy stuff and cook anyway.  If no one comes, then I guess I'll just have a lot of leftover food, right?

Here are the cute decorations I put on my mantle every year.

I got those several years ago and have used them every year. 

On the writing front, I'm back to writing today (couldn't yesterday, had to go to Dallas and my mom's doctor visit at the hospital there).

Also, I'm reading an absolutely fascinating book called Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Amazon named it one of their top books of the year, though I'd purchased it before that.  I bought it because of a Romantic Times review.  It's amazing - fresh and original and keeps me guessing.  Give it a try!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

So, in my quest to stop gaining weight (and hopefully begin losing weight), I've been writing down all my calories.  It's always surprising how things add up. 

In the interest of healty, low-calorie eating, here's what I made for lunch yesterday.  With the fat-free dressing (measured out in tablespoons), it was as follows:  Lettuce - 0, tomato, carrots, mushrooms - 40, half a can of salmon - 60, sprinkle of feta cheese - 40, dressing - 30.  Total calories - 130.  Plus, it's packed with protein and Omega 3!

For breakfast, I cut my portion size in half.  I cooked a quarter of a cup of oatmeal with one mashed banana and added cinnamon and half a cup of soy milk.  Total calories - 215.  Very filling. 

And I had Greek Oatmeal for a snack.  At 120 calories, it has 11 grams of protein. 

For my afternoon snack, I'll have protein powder with water after I work out.  140 calories.

So my pre dinner calorie count is at a nice 605. 

I'm trying to keep my intake at around 1200-1300 calories.  We'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday, November 14, 2011

It was 67 degrees F when I woke up at 6am this morning.  Yesterday we got into the mid-eighties.  What happened to fall?  I want the chill back, the crisp air, the sweaters and jeans and boot wearing weather. 

Today the Firefighters came and put up our Christmas lights.  We've been using the same people for over ten years.  They call us and tell us when they're coming and my husband gets out the lights and has them ready.  Thanksgiving is next week and I don't know if my mother is going to be well enough to come.  I haven't bought the turkey yet or the other food - kind of difficult to do until you now how many people are eating.  If my mom comes, we will have ten.  If not, it's all up in the air. 

Ah well, we're moving into the holiday season so fast, despite me digging in my heels.  And with this boot cast hampering my working out - especially the cardio part - I've had to start watching my calories again.  Joy. 

But the book is going well and the characters are interesting.  I'm still having fun writing it, which is good.

Back to it, I think. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

I've decorated my house for Thanksgiving.

Despite the possibility that my Mother might not be well enough to join us.

 Though I'm hoping she will be.  My entire family is supposed to come eat.  I'm cooking a feast. 

 And either way, I'm enjoying the decorations.  They look pretty and bring me happiness.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's Saturday, around eight a.m.  I got up at six with the dogs, like I always do, but instead of going back to bed after I let them out and fed them, I showered and ate breakfast like I do during the week.  My husband left to winterize the camper down at our lake lot and I have the entire house to myself (and dogs) for the rest of the day.  My daughter is meeting me for lunch and I need to buy groceries, but other than that... just me.

I love early morning Saturdays.  Yes, I love sleep, but there's something about the entire day stretching out in front of you that brings me joy.  Especially when there's nothing I absolutely HAVE to do, unlike a work day when I must make a daily word count.  Of course, I'm going to write, but because I want to. 

One thing I am liking about this new longer word count for the Harlequin Nocturnes (80,000-85,000 words) is the way I can really develop the characters.  Go into backstory much more deeply.  Plus there is room for a subplot or two, which I haven't got to do since I wrote the larger books for Dorchester.  It will be interesting to flex my writing muscles a little bit.

Speaking of muscles, this walking cast and limited cardio is messing with my weight.  I've gained 2 lbs in 2 weeks which isn't good, especially around the holidays.  So I'm guessing - no, I KNOW - the only alternative is to cut calories.  Back to writing everything down again.  I may even resubscribe to my BodyBugg.  Still thinking about that one.  Sigh.

Well, with this beautiful Saturday stretching tantalizingly before me, I'm going to sign off for now. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Music is as integral to my life as books.  I have a huge CD collection and an even larger I-Tunes collection.  I tend to make playlists for each book I write, playing the same songs or artists over and over while I write.  I'm working on a Nocturne called The Wolf Prince, companion to a book I've already turned in called The Wolf Princess which is scheduled to come out in 2012. 

I'm listening to the music of my adolescence.  Journey, Bob Seger, James Taylor, Bob Dylan.  I'd forgotten how much I loved this music.  While the rest of my life is in sheer and utter turmoil and it's very difficult to find the words to put on the page, this music helps take me away.  A thought struck me as I typed that - occasionally I get a letter from a reader saying one of my books did that for her. 

Something else to be grateful for.

Random picture of the day - my puppy Liberty Belle, who is nearly 4 months old, asleep on my recliner.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

So I went to see the podiatrist yesterday after wearing my walking boot cast for three weeks.  Here is what it looks like. (Bear in mind it's over six years old and kind of beat up, though it still works.  A new one costs $150, so I'll be using this for awhile.)

End result of the MRI, I'm going to have to have surgery.  Day surgery, but unless I want to wear some sort of metal brace the rest of my life, I have to do it.  Since I miss walking.... yeah, I'm gonna do it. 

I've been talking about the tree in my front yard and I finally uploaded pictures.

Here's the view from my writing office window.

 And here is the tree from the street in front of my house


And lastly, just because I like it, here's the cute Fall wreath I put on my front door

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Today is going to be a random thought Monday. 

On Facebook, someone is doing a "thirty days of thankfullness" thing, where every day they post one thing they are thankful for.  I'm guessing they'll do this right up to and through Thanksgiving.  Not a single day goes by that I don't reflect on how thankful I am for my life.  For love, for family, for health, for pets, for material things, for blessings, for music, for that first steaming cup of coffee in the morning, a particular sunrise, the talented sound of a mockingbird.  From this amazing chance I have been given to be a full time writer, to the publisher that publishes me, to the readers who buy my stories.  I am well aware of how fortunate I am and believe me, I don't take this for granted. 

Food.  I love to cook, adore it in fact, and if I had time and the inclination, I'd take a gourmet cooking class or two.  Thus Thanksgiving is one of my absolute favorite holidays - because it's unfettered cooking from scratch - no being lazy on this feast day! 

My mom is home now and slowly recuperating.  She will need all her strength for the battle ahead - chemo and radiation.  I ordered her some Pure Protein Powder and two books on how to eat with cancer.  I pray she will read them and somehow overcome the seven and a half decades of unhealthy eating. 

Lastly, to the Creator, the ONE, I Am who answers prayers.  Thank you.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

I'm starting a new book - yay!  Titled The Wolf Prince, this will be a Harlequin Nocturne and will be out in March 2013.  Don't worry - I have two more Pack books coming in 2012, one in January and one in October. 

Also, I'm still wearing the boot cast which severely impedes my exercising.  I can't walk or do elliptical or even exercise bikes - I tried the recumbant and my ankle ached that entire night.  I see the doctor on Tuesday, so I'm going to ask him what I can do.  I did work out my upper body - back and arms and chest, and got in some ab work, but I need to keep my legs and glutes toned as well.  I'm thinking I need to severely cut my calories too, because less exercise usually means a weight gain for me.

From weight gain, I'll transition to what has been obsessing me lately.  Thanksgiving.  It's 3 weeks from yesterday and I've already started planning the menu.  I've also realized that apparently I don't take a lot of holiday FOOD pictures, so I'll need to remedy that this year.  This pic is from last Thanksgiving, which was at my mom's house.  Yum.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ok, so it's not as spectacular as what I used to see when I lived in the Catskill Mountains in New York.

But for The DFW area of Texas, it's not bad. 

Fall makes me happy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Ahhh, we are finally in November!  The beginning of my favorite time of the year.  The leaves are finally changing and will begin falling.  Often in the early morning, there is a hint of a bite to the air.   I sleep better when it's cool, coffee tastes better, and I can make soups and stews in the crockpot to my heart's content.

My mother finally got to go home from the hospital.  Because it was so late in the day and the hospital is an hour away from me with no traffic, my youngest brother kindly volunteered to go get her.  He delivered her safely to the house and she is still on oxygen, but finally home.  Also, I finished my book, did some last minute tweaks to the ending, and emailed it off to my lovely editor Keyren Gerlach. 

Finally, last night was Halloween!  We love Halloween here.  We decorate and often dress up (though we just wore Halloween t-shirts this year).  We sat outside in plastic chairs before moving in around 7:30.  I bought way too much candy and saw some adorable costumes.  I gave out candy until 8:30 or 9:00 and still have far too many bags left.  I'm going to see if there is somewhere I can donate those, since I sure as heck don't need to be eating them!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday October 27, 2011

Sorry I've been MIA but two weeks of hospital visits plus trying to finish a book before deadline, plus being diagnosed with Posterior Tibial Tendonitis and having to wear a heavy walking boot/cast, plus the new puppy has mean a complete shortage of time.  Once my mom gets out of the hospital and I turn the book in, I can return and dazzle you with my mediocre wit, but for now I can barely breathe.

Good news though - the tree in front of the house is actually finally changing colors.  When I get time, I'll take a new picture and post it.

Take care and I'll talk to you later.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

With all the hospital/mom issues, plus having a book due November 1st (nearly there!), I'm sorry I haven't been here much.  Things will soon improve (hopefully).

Meanwhile, weather-wise, we've been having a bit of a fall.  The tomato plants that wilted in the heat are full of tomatoes which are growing larger by the day.  If they ripen before we have a freeze, I'll actually get some tomatoes this year! 

My mum is flowering too.

It's really nice to have this bit of nature.  This is my favorite time of the year, not counting the occasional random 90 degree day here and there (we're supposed to have one today or tomorrow).   This morning I woke to a wet fog and at 9:30 am it still lingers.  Later I will have to make a trip to visit my mother - she's having another surgery this morning, but for now I'm allowing myself to wallow in the chilly, damp air.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Every now and then, you meet someone who is such an extraordinary person that they leave you in awe.
My mother's surgeon, Dr. D. Rohan Jeyarajah Director of Surgical Oncology, Methodist Dallas Medical Center is such a person.

First off, the man is a whirlwind.  He seriously vibrates with energy and passion.  After seeing him for the the past three days, he reminds me of a rock star.  He breezes into the room surrounded by his entourage - he always has an entourage consisting of another doctor, a resident, a medical student, and last night an oncology nurse.  He is warm and personable rather than arrogant.  One gets a sense that he actually cares.  Last night after he visited with my mother and gave us all the results of the pathology report, he glanced at me and then hurried over and took my hand and asked me if I was all right.  I almost cried, but managed to tell him yes, thank you. 

He is the doctor who repaired the tear and he is the doctor who will perform the Whipple Surgery once the radiation shrinks the tumor.  He says that God will guide his hand.  I like that.  I have never met a doctor like him before.  I would trust him with my life and I am trusting him with my mother's.

Here's a link to an article from D Magazine where they asked him about one of his toughest cases.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday October 20, 2011

Sorry I've been MIA.  I was supposed to go to St. Petersburg, Florida for a writer's conference, but on Monday my mother went in for a routine procedure (an ERP where they put a scope down her throat and look at the pancreas and also take a biopsy).  Something went wrong and a tear occurred in her bowels.  She was transported by ambulance to another hospital and had emergency surgery to repair the tear.  The surgeon - an amazing doctor - had hoped to remove the tumor while he was repairing the tear, but it had grown and was attached to a blood vessel.  He said normally he would have constructed another blood vessel and tied that one off and removed it anyway, but the tear was too bad and life-threatening.  She had a second surgery on Tuesday to insert a drain that goes into her intestine and her liver.  She is totally jaundiced as the tumor is blocking her liver duct and part of her stomach/intestine.

Yesterday, my mom was moved out of the ICU and into a regular room. Her jaundice is fading thanks to the drain.  She is on a feeding tube and the plan is, once she's recovered from this surgery she will start radiation and chemo.  Once the tumor shrinks enough, the surgeon plans to go back in and remove it.

So, I have been at the hospital every single day, often for all day.  Monday I got home after midnight and Tuesday night I didn't get home until 9 pm.   Last night was better - six pm and I made my husband take me out to Chili's.  Obviously, I haven't been writing.  I'm exhausted and foggy and working on half a brain. 
On top of that, I think I've sprained my ankle. 

Anyway, just wanted to let you know why I vanished off the face of the earth.  If you are a praying person, your prayers would be greatly appreciated. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I'm nearly finished writing the first draft of my new Harlequin Romantic Suspense "The Cop's Missing Baby."  I should hit 50,000 words today and I have to end up somewhere between 55,000 and 60,000.  I'm on the next to last chapter, alternating between writing the black moment and some of the resolution.  I often do this when I'm writing, switch scenes, switch point of view characters, just to keep things interesting.  And sometimes random scenes occur to me and I've got to get them down before they vanish. 

Often it takes a moment of great personal crisis to make us appreciate our life.  Of late, I've been happy and content and full of thankfulness, but now I've actually fully realized how much take for granted.  You see, on Tuesday afternoon, my mother was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. 

Our entire family is reeling.   She is having more tests done on Friday and we will know more then.  Until then - and even after then - please include her in your prayers.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Yesterday I took a break and went to the  State Fair of Texas.  Hubby and I haven't been in YEARS and my daughter had the day off from work (plus teachers get free tickets), so we went.

It was crowded, but there were ample lots for parking.    Like all fairs everywhere, there was food.  I ate weird food that I would never in a million years eat anywhere else.

Chicken on a stick and sausage on a stick.  I had chicken, my husband had sausage.
My daughter had a frito pie.

We saw a HUGE turkey in a cage.

Lots of treats (I meant to go back and buy a loaf of that awesome blueberry bread!)  We ate some more.  (Giant Corny dogs!)


Flying flags (Did you know that Texas is the only state in the US that is legally allowed to fly the state flag at the same height as the American flag?

I got to sit in an awesome Camaro convertible.  I'd so buy this car in a heartbeat if I had a massive garage and could afford to own like six different cars! Love the orange color.

There were sculptures and exhibits and it was a huge fair.

Here's Big Tex!
(The light was bad from the front, so I took one from the back too.  A kid came up to me and wanted to know why I was taking a picture of Big Tex's butt!)

We didn't ride any rides because of the long lines and the fact that I have a puppy at home who can't be left alone too long.  (With the drive and just walking around we were gone 5 hours!)  Here's our huge ferris wheel.

Though we all really wanted to ride the swings! 

We also saw a trick dogs show.  It was called Jump and it had dogs catching frisbees and dock diving dogs.  This is their set up (the dog pictures didn't turn out too well, sadly).

All in all, it was a fun day.  We will have to try and go more often - maybe once every few years instead of  letting fifteen or so go by.