Showing posts from February, 2008


The week is ending on a better note than it started. I confess, I spent several mornings this week muttering bad words under my breath. But I’ve survived, it’s Friday, and just about all the headaches of the last week have resolved. Yesterday was another day of running from one place to another and dealing with mini-crises in between. Spent the morning ironing out some issues with our upcoming Firearms 101 for Writers Workshop. Having hubby be one of the presenters offers unique problems. And benefits, too. But problems at least get a more immediate reaction. And solution. So all is well. Our Bridgeville Pennwriters group met for lunch with our former fearless leader in attendance. Lorraine Henderson created the group years ago. In recently times, she’s been dealing with some serious health issues. It was good to see her and especially to see her looking so healthy. I had to leave a little early so I could make Mom’s appointment to get her taxes done. Since she was unable to go, I

Citizen's Police Academy: Week One

I’ve calmed down a bit from my frazzled state of mind on Monday. I used the quiet time on my chiropractor’s spinalator to get a grip. Marvelous invention. They need to come up with a home version of it. With my mind relaxed and my bones back where they belong, I headed to Hazelwood, a neighborhood in Pittsburgh where I had never been before, for class one of the Citizen’s Police Academy. I love my GPS. Without it, I’d STILL be wandering the streets of Pittsburgh trying to find my way there (or home). Thanks to rush hour traffic, I came very close to being late. As it was, I slipped in right on time. My fellow Sister in Crime and Working Stiff, Gina, was already there, saving me a seat. Class one consisted of lots of talk. The Chief of Police, Nathan Harper, was there. So was the Chief of Detectives and a variety of public officials and politicians. Everyone welcomed us and promised us a fun experience. Then we had a lecture regarding the history of the police, going back to somewhere

Just Another Manic Monday

If I were a man, I’d be bald. And the fact that Male Pattern Baldness runs in my family has nothing to do with it. As it is, I’m simply sprouting a new crop of gray hairs. How is it that I always tend to say yes to projects in the future, assuming that I won’t be as busy by then? Duh. Mental note to self: STOP THAT. The Restorative Yoga program that I taught yesterday appears to have been a success. Everyone left looking relaxed and mellow. We’re going to do it again the end of next month. No problem there. I enjoy planning these workshops, if you can actually justify calling it a WORKshop. No, my current source of stress is the decision I made almost a year ago to take on the role of 2009 Conference Coordinator. Suddenly, I’m faced with demands to have the thing all planned out when it’s still over a year away. It didn’t take me that long to plan my wedding! Meanwhile, the Firearms 101 for Writers Workshop I’m helping plan for April is coming together. That sounds so nice and tidy

Friday Ramblings

This is the kind of day when I’d love to just stay indoors and read. Three inches of snow fell overnight only to be compacted into about an inch of snow with a coating of ice on it as the white flakes turned into freezing rain this morning. Of course, I CAN’T just stay indoors and read. I have errands to run. Nothing that couldn’t be delayed, but since the roads are clear, I might as well do it. Hubby shoveled half the driveway this morning before he left for work. I have since shoveled the rest of it and excavated my car, so I’m ready. Coffee break, first, however. The basement is way too quiet without BooBoo yapping at me down there. He and Skye always communicated by way of the furnace ductwork. I notice Skye sitting by the heat vent in the bathroom, staring at it, wondering why he isn’t returning her calls. He would have loved this weather. Boo was a snow leopard at heart and loved to roll around in it, making kitty snow angels. I take a deep breath and plow ahead. My applicat

Memories of BooBoo

Back in October, I wrote about my old BooBoo kitty and his deteriorating health. He continued to greet me at the basement door and help me with the laundry and devour his food…until Monday. He suddenly stopped eating and drinking. And he just looked…sad. I’ve been putting off the inevitable because he’s been eating, drinking, and using his litterbox AND because he’s seemed HAPPY. Not so Monday. He did not improve. He would sit and stare into his water dish, but not drink. It was time. So yesterday afternoon, we made that last trip to the vet and I helped set my old boy free. But not before tucking him in my coat and taking him for one last walk to inspect his old haunts and favorite spots. I even picked a tired-looking sprig of catnip and placed it on his bed for him to snuggle with during his last hours. This morning, I went downstairs to start the laundry and went into complete meltdown. No Boo pestering me to be picked up. No meow. No one checking out the dirty clothes for in

Back to Work

I’m home from my brief foray to Twinsburg, Ohio. It was a nice respite from all the stuff going on around here and the folks attending the writer’s retreat made me feel completely welcome. Kudos to Cari Dubiel for a job well done in pulling the retreat together. As concerned as I was about the weather, I couldn’t have asked for better driving conditions. The sun shone the entire way home. I loaded up on Starbucks coffee and a slice of Sbarro’s pizza at one of the plazas on the Ohio Turnpike, cranked up Oasis on the CD player and let my GPS guide me home in record time. Skye kitty was waiting for me and has been shadowing me ever since I walked in the door. She tolerates her “dad.” But she’s definitely mama’s girl. She gave me the “sad face” this morning when I left to visit my mom and pounced on me the second I returned home. I seem to be destined to live with cats who suffer from separation anxiety. With the retreat and all my preparations for it in the past, it’s time to get bac

Road Trip

I am sitting alone in a motel room in Twinsburg, Ohio and grateful for wi-fi service on my laptop. Once again, I have no Internet service at home. No, I didn’t drive over a hundred miles just to find Internet. I’m here for the Twinsburg Library Writers Retreat where tomorrow I will conduct a workshop on finding an agent. What is truly amazing is that I’m ready. I hope. With everything that’s happened the last two weeks, I wondered how I’d ever get my notes pulled together. But I did it. A strange phenomenon happens to me every time I hit the road. I get homesick. The strange part is that I get it BEFORE I leave. I weep over leaving my kitties. I weep over leaving Hubby, even though he’s probably doing the Snoopy dance, having the house to himself. Poor Skye is stuck with her “dad” for the night. I weep over leaving my mom, even though she’s settled at the Health Center and my brother officially has Mom Duty for two days. My shoulders ached as I pulled out of my driveway. The gray

Wednesday Stuff

Yesterday, in the midst of snow and ice storm, Mom was transferred from Allegheny General to the Washington County Health Center. Again. Everyone there knows us and couldn't believe she was back. We're finding it a little hard to believe ourselves. It's been a fairly quiet winter weatherwise up until now. Cold at times, but not a lot of snow. NOW that I have to go to visit Mom every day in Washington instead of across the yard, we're getting a ton of snow. I'm just hoping the weather clears by the weekend, as I'm heading to Twinsburg, Ohio for that Writer's Retreat. In spite of it all, I am doing research for the next novel. Monday I went to the monthly meeting of the Smith Township Supervisors. I've blogged about it today over at Working Stiffs. Click here to check it out.

Wacky Weekend

Yesterday was one of those days fraught with material for a future work of fiction. It was also one of those days which are perfect for staying home, snuggled under an afghan with a good book and Skye kitty on my lap. Blustery and wickedly cold. Instead of hibernating, though, I had to drive into the city to visit Mom. When I left the house, the wind was brutal, but otherwise, the weather seemed tolerable for driving. However, a few miles down the road, snow began to fall. Soon, the road was coated with ice and blowing snow. Driving in snow doesn’t usually bother me. Ice is a different matter. But my trusty Saturn plugged along without missing a step. Of course, I slowed down and kept plenty of distance between me and car in front. Others had less patience and cruised past in the passing lane. Or attempted to. Near the Imperial exit, the remains of two separate crashes sat along the road. The first one in the opposite lanes involved several cars. Everyone seemed fined. They stood i

Square Two

Mom came through yesterday’s five hour long surgery like a trooper. She’s getting all too used to these things. Dr. Ray replaced the entire hip socket again. The plastic liner he placed in it last time pulled out, causing the dislocation. So he’s trying something new. While he isn’t guaranteeing anything, he seems more confident that this might give Mom a viable hip…for more than three months. We’re back to square one in the recovery process. Or maybe square two. The part of the prosthesis that goes into the thigh bone didn’t have to be altered. But the new socket means she’s back to keeping all of her weight off that leg. Looks like she’ll be headed to the Health Center again for a few weeks once she’s discharged from the hospital, too. What she does NOT have to go through again is physical therapy. Dr. Ray says no more PT. Just walking.

Life Comes at You Fast

I was merrily going along, enjoying my life, juggling a number of writing projects, when WHAM! Okay, it wasn’t a “wham.” It was the ringing of my phone. And my mom on the other end announcing that she thought she’d dislocated her hip. Mom was right. She didn’t fall, wasn’t doing anything she shouldn’t have. She was doing her exercises. Dr. Ray said he could try to get it back in and see what happens. But we all agreed. We’ve SEEN what happens. So, tomorrow, Mom goes back under the knife for her third hip revision surgery in six months. We’re hoping that third time’s a charm. Of course, we were hoping the first and second times were the charm, too. Apparently the powers that be did not share my plan of staying out of hospitals in 2008. On a lighter note, today is my day to blog over at Working Stiffs and we’re looking for signs of spring.

Sleepless in Pennsylvania

Yes, I was wrong. There. I said it. I’ve been telling everyone for the last month that the Patriots were going to win the Super Bowl. Not that I WANTED them to. Frankly, I had no preference which team won. The Steelers were home licking their wounds, so I had no one to cheer for. But I did watch the game. Hey, with the writer’s strike going on, I’m desperate for anything that isn’t a rerun or a reality show. Somewhere in the midst of the first half, I pondered just how crappy it would be for the Patriots to win every single game all season and then LOSE the Super Bowl . I also wondered if they had hired some of our Steelers’ offensive linemen. Their pass rush stunk and Tom Brady wasn’t dodging the onslaught as well as Benny does. And in the end, Peyton’s baby brother followed in his brother’s footsteps to lead his team to victory in the big game. THAT was kind of cool. When do you think we’re likely to see that happen again? I know. Who really cares? Truthfully, right now, not me.


Happy Groundhogs Day. The stupid rodent saw his shadow. Six more weeks of winter. Of course, last year he DIDN’T see it and we had one of the nastiest early springs on record. Basically, if he sees his shadow, we get six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, about a month and a half. I’ve completed four weeks of the Buzz Your Book workshop . Two to go. I would highly recommend this course to anyone with a book coming out, but be prepared to spend the time to do the assignments and to WORK. Otherwise, you’re wasting your money. I’m getting my money’s worth, but I’ve sacrificed my writing in order to do the assignments. You’ve been warned. On Tuesday, I took my mom to see her surgeon for another post-op and he graduated her from her walker to a cane. It was an exciting day. The even bigger occasion for her was Thursday when she ran the vacuum for the first time since before her surgery. I’ve never seen anyone so giddy over cleaning house. But that’s my mom. The tidy gene skipped my gene