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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Scary Babies

Our church has an Advent Giving Tree in the foyer. The tree is decorated with paper ornaments listing the gift requests of those in need. I don't have any grandkids (this is a good thing since none of my daughters are married yet) and all the nieces and nephews are quite grown up--so I always look for a tag that lists an unwrapped toy. Buying a toy for a needy child gives me an excuse to cruise the aisles of Toy R Us--not that I'm looking for any other toy than a baby doll. I have fond memories of baby dolls and I want to spread the joy.

Today I headed straight to the doll section of Toy R Us and started to poke and prod the baby dolls. Hubby came, too, but he mostly looks at prices. It did not take me long to notice that baby dolls have changed. Some of them are really scary. I poked one in the tummy and as it made gurgling noises its lips moved and its eyes opened and closed--slowly. It reminded me of something from a horror film.

Then there were the baby dolls that looked overfed--sort of like Sumo wrestlers. On the other hand, there were other dolls that were supposed to be cuddly but when I prodded their bellies they were so squishy they seemed to have no substance.

I finally found one doll that I liked. It had eyes that opened when in a vertical position and closed when placed in a horizontal position. It had nice pajamas and a little cap. When I squeezed its hand it had a limited repetoire--mama, dada, and some giggles. It was soft in the middle but not too soft. It had a nice expression on its face. I think it is the sort of doll a little girl could love.

Happy Advent.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Pride and Prejudice

Hubby and I went to see Pride and Prejudice this evening. It was wonderful! Hubby appreciated the music. :^) I thought it was an excellent idea to show the Bennets looking rather shabby. It highlighted the class distinction far better than any previous version.

This movie was well worth the price of the ticket in my opinion.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Music of the Season

Hubby is practicing his Christmas carols. Every store I walk into has piped in Christmas music playing. I'm getting tired of it already. Tonight as I was driving on the Parkway I found one station--101.5--playing oldies. I love singing along with the radio--but it helps if I know the words. :^)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Our Thanksgiving

Here's the whole gang--Mom, Dad, sisters, brother-in-laws, niece, nephews, daughters, hubby and me. My sister's dog refused to cooperate and is not in the picture. Daughter #2's friend took the photo--so he's not in the picture either.

Anyone under 30 years of age was seated in the kitchen. The old folks ate in the dining room. We had plenty of food and there are lots of leftovers--including pies. After we posed for the photo, I lit a fire in the fireplace and we sang some old songs while some of the kids watched a DVD in the family room.

I hope everyone else had a great Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Reviewer's Copy


A few days ago, I discovered this advanced reading copy of my paranormal romance, Irons In The Fire, on sale at Amazon.com. I put the advanced reading copy together myself. It is unedited. At the time I put it together, the cover art for Irons In The Fire had not been completed--so since the herb yarrow played a part in the book, I plucked it out of my garden and used that on the cover.

The reviewers evidently liked the homemade edition of the book because it was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award. However, reviewers are not supposed to sell advanced reading copies, though they can pass them on to someone else. I'm wondering who Harriet is. Hmmm.

At any rate, the genuine edited version is still available as an e-book at New Concepts Publishing. You can even read some of the wonderful reviews the book received as well as an excerpt of the book itself.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Will Power

Last night we went out for pizza with some very dear friends--T & E. We had not seen them in a month or so, and in that time, E. had lost a lot of weight. I knew she was on a diet--the LA Weight Loss diet--but E. has been on other diets. However, this time she is really serious. E. did not have any pizza. She had a turkey sub. She told us that since she started the diet--which is more than a month ago--she has lost a total of 47 pounds, but she still has more to lose.

I am in awe. I can't lose the ten pounds I would like to lose because if someone waves a potato chip in front of my nose I will grab it.

After the pizza, the rest of us dove into the leftover Halloween candy--but not E. She had a cup of hot water with lemon in it. She brought her own lemon. I felt terrible for eating the candy.

My friend, E., has amazing will power.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Savings from the Local Newspaper

There are a lot of people who do not buy or read newspapers anymore. I have heard some people say they cannot afford it, but I know that the local newspaper pays for itself. Between yesterday and today, hubby and I saved about $7 eating out by using the coupons I clipped from the local newspaper. $7 buys a lot of newspapers. Of course, we were not dining out at the finest of restaurants. Yesterday it was a coupon for McDonald's--buy one quarter pounder, get one free. Tonight's supper was a similar deal at Quiznos subs. Yes, after defrosting the 'fridge, I was too tired to refill it. If my diet is a little unbalanced at the moment, I can always gnaw on a carrot.

Food is not the only free thing one can get from the newspapers. Our daily paper lists lots of free or inexpensive entertainment ideas. The concert given by our friend the harp player was listed in the local paper. Hubby's band will be playing at the library next month and the information about that free concert will be printed in the newspaper. (I'll be singing, too!)

Every week, the craft stores have 40% off or even 50% off coupons in the paper. The newspaper is one of the best deals around! Everyone should have it delivered every day so you can save money.

Do you buy the newspaper?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Melt Down

Since we do not have a frost-free refrigerator, every few months our 'fridge starts looking like Antartica. With Thanksgiving upon us, I figured I might need a little extra room for the huge turkey I have to buy to feed the hungry horde. Before I defrosted the 'fridge we ate whatever good stuff was still in it. We wound up eating leftover pizza slices and fries last night. I thought it made a perfectly wonderful supper. We'll have to try that combination again.

After supper, I put the milk, eggs, and etc. into the cooler. Then I turned off the 'fridge. When I woke up this morning, I found that not all of the ice had melted. However, by the time I returned home from work there was only a small amount of ice left. I hacked away at it and then cleaned the interior and put back the milk and so forth. I told hubby I would have to put some more food in the 'fridge if he wanted supper. Hubby decided we would use up a hamburger coupon and eat out. I loved that idea. :^)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Leaves

Today, hubby and I began the chore of clearing the leaves from the yard. I have an impressive pile of leaves. This mountain of leaves will undoubtedly get bigger since today was only the first pass. Hubby mulched up all the leaves on the lawn with the mulching mower. I got out the leaf blower and the rake. I cleared out some flower beds, the patio, and the driveway. Unfortunately, the leaves will not be picked up by the township for a few more weeks. That gives the wind time to blow the leaves around some more.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Another Contract!

I received a contract for my novella, Kiss of Blarney, from my editor at New Concepts Publishing. I do not know when it will be released yet. I have to fill out the art questionnaire for the cover as well as write up the blurbs. I have decided that my heroine should look like Keira Knightley--except with lots and lots of curly red hair and very pale blue eyes. After seeing "Prime" last week, I decided my hero should look like Brian Greenberg--except with deep blue eyes. He is so cute. :^)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Wheaton Village


Yesterday we went to Wheaton Village with daughter #1. She had visited there and thought we should see it, too. Located in Millville, NJ, it has a spectacular glass museum, but we found the glassmaking demonstration to be the most interesting part of the tour. The pottery demonstation was also nice--but I took pottery in college so I already know quite a bit about that. (Why don't I use that in a book?) There are shops where the glass and pottery are sold, but only the marbles were in my price range. :^)


There is a real one room schoolhouse on the grounds. I always thought it would be fun to teach in a one room school. However, when I read one of the former teacher's plans which was posted on the wall, I changed my mind. The poor teacher had so much to do with so many different levels in that one room.



Here's a photo of daughter #1 on the bridge. Hubby refused to hold still for any photos and ran off whenever I lifted up the camera.
She also showed us a really wonderful used bookstore in downtown Millville. I bought three books. I wish I had more time to read!

On the way home we stopped in to visit daughter #3. So it was a long, busy day.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Meryl Streep, My Mother, and McDonough's Pub


Today was my mother's birthday. Isn't she sweet? I took her and Dad to see Meryl Streep in "Prime." Dad said the last time they went to see a movie in a theater there was a piano player for the music. :^) There was nothing scary in "Prime" which is one reason we saw that movie--Ma cannot take suspense. Ma and I both like Meryl Streep, too. I suspect that when daughter #2 was born, Meryl Streep was my roommate in the hospital--under another name, of course.

Afterwards, we went to McDonough's Pub--a new pub in Keyport which Ma has been wanting to go to since it opened. The food was excellent. I highly recommend it.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

As Good As It Gets

Today turned out to be an almost perfect writing day. We went to Mass last night so we did not have to go today. Hubby had an accordion festival to attend. Daughter #1 wanted to sleep late (she spent three days out on the boat last week) and then go to lunch with friends before she headed home. I stayed in my nightgown until noon writing--something I never get to do and which to me is the ultimate in luxury. Then I ate lunch, got dressed, and continued to write some more.

Nobody called me. It was such a gorgeous day outside that I had an urge to go out and rake some leaves, but I stayed away from the windows so I could not see the sunshine. Yes, at some point I will still have to rake leaves, but it will be more fun if hubby does it with me.

I took a break to buy some food for the week, but then I went back to writing. When hubby came home we went out to eat pizza. I folded some laundry, threw more clothes in the washing machine, got things together for work tomorrow--and here I am--ready to type a bit more before I get too tired.

It's been great.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Mary and Her Harp


Mary LeBus played her harp at one of the local libraries today. Mary also plays at weddings and other events. We saw her last at the Clearwater Festival. However, today I got to play the harp, too--not that I know anything about playing a harp, but I plucked some strings. Hubby tried it as well, but he seems to be able to pick up just about any instrument and pick out a song on it--but it would take a long time before he was as good as Mary is on the harp.

There was one instrument that hubby never got the hang of--the bagpipe. I was ever so grateful when he finally decided to stop attempting to play it.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Halloween Costume


I decided to make my life easy and borrowed this outfit from hubby's closet. It's one of the string band costumes. I dazzled everyone with all the sequins. The only problem with the costume was that it was too hot. String band costumes are designed for winter in Philadelphia. Yesterday, the weather here was extremely mild. I could not wait to take the costume off.

Being an author, I get to pretend to be a lot of different characters anyway. I don't really need any costumes for that. :^)