Archive | December 2013

Happy New Year…

What a lovely week I’ve had…busy beyond belief, but simply wonderful. The end of November all the way through most of December up to Christmas day, I existed. I breathed, I ate, didn’t sleep much, operated on auto pilot. Then my son announced he’d changed his mind about the ARMY. He’s got other plans and while he may jump off buildings, flip over cars, learn to race cars, I think I’ll survive those. We’ve worked on pre-spring semester cleaning and the house shines. I’ve finished the first draft of my book.

Now it’s New Year’s Eve. I have my husband home. He brought home dinner so I didn’t have to cook. You’ve got to love a man like that. My daughter is home, relaxed and watching her favorite old show. My son and his beautiful girlfriend are here. We’re all well, and actually looking forward to the new year.

2014…So what will be different? We’ll still have bills. We’ll still have work and things we don’t much like doing. Things in this world will continue to get better and worse. But right now, tonight, the coming year looks and feels new. Sparkly. Clean.

We make resolutions we’ll never keep. I resolve to eat less potato chips, and for about a month maybe, I’ll keep the resolution, then I’ll remember I like potato chips and get a little bag… and the resolution dies a fiery death.

It seems, though, that I have task masters. I have Neva and Junie who cheer me on. I have Charly and Pam to make sure I don’t stop writing until I reach the end. And I have Courtney, my daughter, who informed me today, that now that I’ve started blogging, I’m not to stop. In fact, I have to write a blog once a week. Excuse me? Has she met me? The fact that I’ve managed 4, count them, 4 blogs in the  month of December, notwithstanding, my blogs are usually a year apart. But she has informed me she’s not going to give me a chance to fail. She will be creating 52 individual slips of folded paper, each with a word or phrase that will inspire me to blog. I dont’ have to blog solely about that topic, but must incorporate the topic into the blog. Now, I must warn you, these topics could be odd…she does like to challenge her mother, and I do like to rise to those challenges.

So, I have my husband who makes sure I am prepared and have everything I need, in working order, to succeed, my daughter who challenges me, my son who keeps me breathing, my cheerleaders, my urgers…my task masters, how can I fail? So my 2014 resolution? Not to let any of them down.

I wish each and every one of you enough of everything you need in the coming bleached white new year, most of all, safety, love, happiness and good health.

Happy New Year!





Seasons of Miracles

It’s the day after Christmas, and I’ve not accomplished much. I’ve done the banking. I’ve straightened up some of the house…not much..still looks like a twister hit a murder scene. I’ll clean it from top to bottom tomorrow, but today, I still don’t care one whit. Today, I am still basking in the joy from yesterday.

The day before yesterday, I blogged about how wonderful our day would be despite all the setbacks we’d had over the last year. Well, it was even better. The thought that went into each gift was extraordinary. My nephew gave my baby sister (the coffee fiend) gourmet coffees and a cup with her childrens’ photo on it and the caption, “keep your hands off my coffee!” Another nephew gave my husband a case of drawing pencils, blenders, snudgers and erasers, simply because he overheard that Mark had started drawing again…something he’s not made time for in almost twenty years. My daughter gets her artistic talent from him and his grandfather. My niece gave me the perfect tote bag large enough to carry my laptop, my notebooks, and whatever else I might need, and an area for my regular “purse stuff” as my great nephew calls it. My sister gave my mother a frame large enough for photos of all the great grandchildren. Like I said, everything was thoughtful, appreciated and, well, perfect. And my nephew announced that next year, there would be TWO new babies to join the family.

But our biggest surprise and greatest gift was the last gift opened at our house Christmas morning. It was preempted by a small, sweetly wrapped box, with a note inside from our son. Dusty wrote about how much he loved us, how much he’d appreciated all we’d done for him, how much his sister’s love meant to him. How much our support had meant to him over the years, and made him into the man he is today. And that he had one more gift for us.

He’s not going into the Army…or any other branch of the service…trust me, I asked.  LOL He’s decided his life isn’t bleak or hopeless. He’s got dreams he isn’t ready to turn loose of, people in his life he’s not ready to let go of, and germs of plans he wants to cultivate. I admit, I did the silly mama thing and burst into tears. I know he might get a job someday five thousand miles from home, but while I’ll miss him if he does, I’m okay with that. I know my daredevil son. His feet haven’t been on the ground for an entire day since he learned to jump. He jumps off buildings. He will likely take up bungee jumping, base jumping, sky diving, race car driving. He’s young and as long as I don’t have to know until after he’s safely back on stable ground, I’m good.

So, it’s been almost thirty-three hours since his announcement, and except for a scant seven hours when I was asleep, I’ve had a really hard time being able to pull my lips over my teeth. I am a happy mama. Tonight, I write, try to finish my last chapter in this draft of my novel. Tomorrow, my kids and I will put on some very loud, Kick-ass-clean-up-the-house music and scrub down the house so we’re ready for the next eight months when I won’t be home much. Tomorrow night, I will make a big dinner…holy cow! Everyone will actually be home for dinner. After I will work on the last half of another novel to keep myself from starting on the last edits due to the publisher in March. For the first time in weeks, I FEEL like writing. Imagine, miracles do happen. LOL

Heck, this is the third blog in a month!!! I’m ready to face the new year!

Merry Christmas to all….

7:30 pm Christmas Eve…

It’s so quiet around here. My son is at his girlfriend’s house. My daughter is working on a drawing and listening to some audio book for her Literature class for next semester. Sweet hubby decided I didn’t need to cook tonight, so he got all the ingredients this morning for grilling burgers…in 38*. Gotta love a man like that. Baking is done. Wrapping is done. I “cleaned” out my closet today, the rest of the house looks like a murder scene, and I don’t really care one whit.

Tomorrow is Christmas.

Our babies are grown. Courtney is working on her second college degree…one wasn’t enough for my overachiever. Dusty is about to go into the ARMY…(I’ve already pitched my useless fit, now I am trying to simply smile and nod like a good mother). Christmas isn’t like it was when they were little when we went all out. Everyone has schedules and deadlines and constantly rushing and working themselves to death.

But tomorrow is Christmas.

My husband’s family is miles away, and due to health problems, some can’t travel. He can never get any time off, so going to Florida for a holiday is all but impossible. My brothers can’t be here, nor can my niece. But we’ll talk to most, and miss them all. There’s been a lot of illness, job uncertainty and general lack-of-funds-ness with us this year. But there have been new babies and upcoming babies, new careers, successes in old careers, and all the time a feeling of being blessed…even in the most frightening of moments.

And tomorrow is Christmas.

We will get up, put on coffee and rolls for breakfast, open gifts, shower, load up the cars and head 45 minutes southeast to my mother’s. She’s a tiny thing with a huge spirit. She will have her usual gargantu-tree decked out to perfection. She’ll greet us all…4 daughters and husbands, 11 grandchildren and 5 of the 20 something great grandchildren who can come, and the soon-to-be-here grandchild…with a hug and a kiss, and take the chaos in stride with her ever-present smile. Dad will be there beside her, happily take the birthday cookies Courtney bakes him every year and squirrel them away to his office where no one can get to them. We girls will take over the preparations for dinner…sandwich fixings of all sorts, salads and dips. My baby sister will arrive bringing in her specialties…countless desserts that she keeps secret, and surely as good as any pastry chef can whip up. We’ll eat around her banquet-length table that she’s dressed as if we were dining on the finest fare, while the littles eat around her table in the living room watching Cars or Planes or something else equaly as mesmerizing. And we’ll be thankful for the food and being together.

Then we’ll do gifts. With all the uncertainty and money problems everyone has suffered this year, in our family and those families around us, you’d think gift giving would have been concentrated on the great grandchildren. They’re the ones who expect it, who SHOULD expect it. And I confess, aware of all the stresses everyone has gone through, and since I have no grandchildren as yet, I suggested the idea of only gifting the little kids to keep the stress level down. But my sisters and nieces and nephews wouldn’t hear of it, so we drew names at Thanksgiving and we’ll exchange gifts tomorrow.

Because tomorrow is Christmas.

Have you ever noticed that when you know people have been having problems, whether  health wise, or moneywise or just general stress, that’s when your mind turns on and you  can find the best gifts? The gifts that you KNOW they’ll love, the gifts that are perfect. The lines don’t bother you. The sales people don’t get on your nerves as badly, and all backorder means is drop back and punt? My mother’s favorite saying comes to mind and you “get a little something to tide you over until your real present arrives.” And then you think…wow, it’s going to be so great to be able to give them Christmas all over again in a month or so.

Tonight we’ll eat our grilled burgers, and watch something inane on TV, cuddle up under our throw blankets and drink hot chocolate, and look forward to tomorrow.

Because tomorrow is Christmas.

So, from our house tonight, and Mama’s tomorrow, we wish you peace instead of the stress, plenty instead of money worries, health instead of illness, happy memories to fill the void of those missing from your table. I do not wish you everything, but instead, I wish you enough of everything.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night…

Blogging…can you say, “Sher is so bad at this!”?

It’s December. 2013. My last post…you know the one where I was lamenting how awful I was at this, but that I was going to try harder?…was ten months ago. Now, we can look at this in one of several ways:

1. I warned you.

2. This is my fourth post this year. That’s a record.

3. I’m consistent in that most of my posts come between December and February.

4. No. I’m not a liar!

So, I have no excuse, other than I have actually been writing this year. I know…thud! I’ll give you a minute to get back into your chair. Grab some hot chocolate, soda, coffee, or whatever else you fancy and get comfy because I have a lot to say today.

In the last ten months, I’ve done the rewrites and edits of a book I wrote last year, SECRET INGREDIENT. I’ve made changes to a previously and briefly released book, ILLUSIONS. On a dare from three dear friends who told me I couldn’t just write and sit on the manuscripts forever–come on now, we all know that’s exactly what I could do…I submitted SECRET INGREDIENT to Blush , and even sent them a synopsis for ILLUSIONS as a kick. Well, much to my surprise, they offered,  and I just signed a three-book deal!! I’m very excited! I am two chapters from being finished with the rough draft of the third book. Not bad for a Christmas present.

Now, also in the last 10 months, I’ve read like the written word was in danger. I’ve read Lisa Kleypas, Nora Roberts, Karen Robards, Sarah Addison Allen, and a gorgeous YA series…yes, the entire series…by Cassandra Clare, Mortal Instruments. Remember back in February,  when I I was so excited to see the movie version of  the YA series, Beautiful Creatures, then was horribly disappointed. BEYOND disapointed…downright disgusted? Well, a few months ago, just days after I finished the last book in the MI series, my daughter and I went to see the movie of the first book, City of Bones. I swear if only the same people who did this movie had handled Beautiful Creatures, it might have had a chance. Though a few things were manipulated for the screen, the changes were wonderful and logical. Unfortunately, and I believe because of the Beautiful Creatures debacle, Mortal Instruments:  City of Bones didn’t fare as well as the Twilight Saga or even The Hunger Games which I felt was a poor man’s children’s version of The Running Man. Remember that wretched short story they tortured us with in literature class, The Lottery? Shoot me now. Mortal Instruments: City of Bones has recently been released on DVD. I wholeheartedly recommend it, as well as every single book of the Mortal Instrument series.

One last, but no less important or exciting, tidbit–Amazon has a FABULOUS book  on sale just in time for Christmas! Jeannine Garsee‘s amazing YA book BEFORE, AFTER, and SOMEBODY IN BETWEEN is Amazon’s Holiday Big Deal. Available on Kindle for 2.99 thru 12/22. If you haven’t read this book, you’re in for a treat. Jen delves into the world of bullying, violence and finding your place in a world that sometimes feels like nothing fits. And while you’re at it, take a look at Jen’s other wonderful books, in particular, The Unquiet. You will be amazed.

Now, I bid you a good night. I hope you are warm and dry and happily fed. I promise to blog again soon.  No, I am not a liar….