Showing posts from December, 2007

Farewell and Good Riddance

Today is the last day of 2007. Thank God. Yesterday, I was watching CBS Sunday Morning as they did their annual memorial to those who passed on this year. (Didn’t they use to dedicate an entire show to this? Now it’s barely fifteen minutes!) This piece almost always makes me slightly teary, but I was doing okay until Charles Osgood mentioned the World War II vets who passed this year and I realized that included my dad. I lost it. At that point I stopped watching and veered off into my own personal list of losses for 2007: my dad , my cousin John , my kitty Samantha … It’s been a really crappy year. 2006 was crappy, too. I think I’m due for a good one. So I’m saying a big ADIOS to the year(s) just past and I’m opening my arms wide to embrace the New Year. That doesn’t mean I’m going out partying. I’m too old for that. I’d have to stay up way past my bedtime. No, I’m just preparing myself mentally for new projects. I hope to clear a few things from my desk today and then take in a

While I was Gone...

I am happy (thrilled, actually) to report that I am once again a member of cyberspace. I have a new LARGE satellite dish attached to the back of my house and a new service provider. I’ve concluded that the Internet is like so many of the things we take for granted these days. We never think about all that electricity does for us until a power outage hits. Same with the Internet. So here is a list of some of the things I missed while my connection was down: Television Listings. I no longer subscribe to TV Guide. While I may be addicted to the Internet, I have yet to succumb to cable or satellite television. I mean, I’m distracted from my writing enough already. I don’t need 200 more channels to lure me into a zombie state. But I do have my antenna and network and local TV. TV Guide just doesn’t provide listings for local programming any more. So I get my listings online. But not for the last two weeks. (OK, eleven days, but who’s counting?) Goodness only knows what stupid shows I’ve m

Holiday Lull

I continue to muddle along with no Internet service at home. I’m sure I’m becoming quite the pain to family and friends, asking “Do you mind if I use your computer to check my e-mail?” And today I once again sit at Panera Bread to post this. My home Internet may not be restored until after the first of the year now. In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying the holidays. We made the rounds of family and friends on Christmas Eve. And we spent Christmas afternoon with four generations of family members at my nephew and niece’s home. The big source of entertainment there was their new Wii system. Watching everyone try their hand at virtual bowling didn’t make me want one of these fancy computerized games, but it did make me long to dig my old bowling ball out of the basement and hit the lanes for real. It’s probably been a decade (at least) since I threw my last gutter ball. I was on a league YEARS ago and earned a trophy for most improved score. Which said more about how bad I was when I bega

In the Dark

I’ve been without Internet service since Sunday and I’m beginning to feel the strain. I wrote about being a slave to technology over at Working Stiffs Wednesday after posting it from Panera Bread. That’s where I’m posting this from, too. Maybe they’re meddling with my wireless signal at home just to get me to come in and order something while I use their free Wi-Fi. If so, it’s working. Once my ISP gets the problem fixed (AGAIN…it WAS fixed once, briefly), I will have several hundred e-mails to sift through. I fear many will fall victim to my delete button just out of necessity. In the meantime, life does go on. I had Mom in to see Dr. Ray who is pleased with her progress, but doesn’t feel she’s ready to give up the walker just yet. No sense rushing things when we’ve come so far. Besides, she’s pretty well mastered the contraption. I also took BooBoo kitty to the vet. The poor old guy is down to little more than six pounds, but his bloodwork isn’t all that bad. So we keep on keeping


As I write this I am listening to the Lynn Cullen Show on 1360 talk radio. I used to listen to Lynn on a regular basis, but lately, I don’t listen to radio or watch TV in the morning because I’m usually working and I choose to write in silence. However, today is special. My fellow Sister in Crime and Pittsburgh mystery writer, Kathleen George , is going to be a guest on the show promoting her new book, AFTERIMAGE. I won’t go into how my “boombox” blew up as I was setting it up in my office this morning so I could tune in. Instead, I have the volume cranked on the shelf system stereo out in the living room. Tuesday night, Mystery Lovers Bookshop hosted Kathleen’s publication party. The list of attendees read like a veritable Who’s Who of Pittsburgh Crime Writers. And it was a great party. Good food, good conversation, and good books. Can it get any better? I don’t think so. To be perfectly honest, I needed that party. I confess. I’ve been a little down where my writing is concern


Not really. You can locate me over at Working Stiffs where we're discussing losing things. Come on over and share your own story of missing stuff around the house.

Oh, Deer!

As previously mentioned, the weather last week was crappy. At least it was crappy every other day. That means Friday fell on one such crappy day. But it wasn’t bad enough to keep me home. Or any other Christmas shopper either, for that matter. I wasn’t really Christmas shopping. I was just doing my regular weekly shopping. By the time I headed home from town with my trunk loaded with both my groceries and my mom’s grocery order, it was dusk. The morning’s snow had mingled with the road crew’s salt to create a mush that hazed over the windshield requiring frequent applications of washer fluid. I was in the midst of pondering how much of that stuff I had left in the reservoir and making mental notes to check it before venturing out again, when a huge buck, complete with an exceptionally nice rack, appeared in my peripheral vision. He was running straight at me. My brain kicked into high gear, but things still happened so fast that I don’t know if I’d have had time to react, should my br

Christmas Parties-Part 2

Someone is watching out for me so far this winter. We’ve had snow on Monday, Wednesday, and now today, but on Tuesday for Mom’s haircut—no snow. And yesterday, for the Pennwriters Christmas Lunch that I had planned—no snow. Well, all right, there was snow on the ground, but none falling from the sky. In fact, the sun came out yesterday and made for a beautiful, if brisk, day. This was our third year of having our Christmas party at Tambellini’s Restaurant in Bridgeville. Good service, good food, good company, good conversation. What more could you want? It was also the third year of doing a book exchange AND swap. Everyone brings a wrapped book and everyone draws a number from a bag. Number one goes first and opens their gift. Number two then opens their gift which they can keep or choose to trade for one that’s already been opened. And on down the line. After it’s all done, the person who had drawn number one gets to swap for ANY of the books. It’s all in good fun and sometimes g

Let it Snow

Winter has descended on southwestern Pennsylvania in the form of soft, silent snow. And this morning, my thoughts are “Let it snow!” It snowed on Monday, too, but the winds were worse than the flakes. I hear the roads were treacherous further north, but here, not so bad. I thought I was going to have to drag Mom out into it with her walker to see her PCP (as in REGULAR doctor) to get a prescription for one of the meds she was placed on during her ordeal. Thankfully, the doc simply called the script into the local pharmacy, so I didn’t have to deal with taking her out into the cold. No. We did that yesterday instead. But it was for a good cause. Mom got her hair cut for the first time since July. She’s been looking a little scruffy and was eagerly anticipating the trip to the beauty shop. Thankfully, the snow and wind let up for the afternoon. The sun even made a valiant, if only partially successful, effort at putting in an appearance. After the cut, Mom pronounced that she feels hu

Christmas Parties-Part 1

Tis the season, so they say. I think “they” mean the holiday season. For me, today begins the COLD season. (sniffle, sniffle) I’ve been dodging everyone’s germs pretty well until now. But life goes on. Yesterday, I attended my first of the season’s (holiday, not cold) Christmas parties. My local chapter of Sisters in Crime gathered at the Church Brew Works for a lovely lunch followed by a book exchange. I gave Lisa Scottoline’s Devil’s Corner . I received a two-fer: Tribeca Blues by Jim Fusilli and In the Cut by Susanna Moore. But I’d have been happy with any of the books changing hands at the party. Not a dud in the bunch. No, the dud was my car. It picked yesterday to die. Thankfully the death happened in my driveway, not on the streets of Pittsburgh. Hubby is currently attempting to revive it. I had to “borrow” his car (which used to be MY car) to meet up with my fellow Sister in Crime, Cathy Corn. I was most grateful that she had offered to drive, so I only had to take hubby’