Thursday, January 26, 2012

Not much going today, just hanging around waiting for storms:

I've got "Steak tips" in the crockpot (stew meat I found on mark-down at Food Lion yesterday) for steak tips and rice for dinner. Smelling go-o-o-od.

Southern Plate
My sister sent me a picture of my new little neice or nephew; hard to believe it's still no bigger than a fig.

The last baby she had was like 13 or 14 years ago (I know, I'm terrible, I can't remember how old my neices and nephews are), back then we didn't get sonograms until like the 5th month or so.  She already had one prior to this one, back at Christmas, when it was about the size of a grain of rice I think they said.
It's not due until late July/early August. I think this is probably going to be the longest pregnancy in the history of the world.

J brought me home a stack of papers today called a "Confidential Information Packet". Nice name for "funeral plans".
Starts out benign enough, asking for Emergency Contacts. Pretty much every form asks that.
Then it asks which, if any, Department Members you would like to accompany the Notification Team. Then it goes on to ask what funeral home, cemetary, who do you want to deliver the eulogy, favorite songs, poems, scripture. etc.
Open or closed casket? Well, that kids of depends if he looks like a toasted marshmellow or not, doesn't it? (I know, I know, bad joke, sorry.)
I still don't know who to ask to be pallbearers.

But if we don't think about all this now, I might have to think about it in a much worse situation and that would be bad.

Today's Photo A Day Challenge is Colour.
There is no color, except on the weather radar.  It's dark in here. Snuggle under a blanket and read kind of day.

I'm reading Restless Heart by Emma Lang.  The cover sucked me in as I was thumbing through my Kindle looking for something to read.

It's a slightly erotic romance set back in the late 1800's after the Civil War. Sam is a half-breed, home from the War with injuries, trying to earn a living and take care of his father who is losing his faculties.

Angeline was raised a Mormon and ordered by her father to be the third wife of an old church elder, who abused her and his other wives. She and one of the other wives ran away and are trying to stay hid from the husband.

Sam and Angeline fall in love, but she believes she can't marry him because she's already married. He tells her the law doesn't allow a man to have more than one wives so she's not legally married. But her husband has already sent one bounty hunter to find her and Lettie, and she's afraid Sam will get caught in her troubles and get killed.

It's an okay book, not bad, but not that exciting, either.

There was a prior book called Ruthless Heart I might go back and read later to find out what happened to Angeline's sister.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Photo A Day

Day 25: Something you made: I made Haffa cake.

We never eat a whole cake before half of it goes bad, so I started just making half-of-a cake so none gets wasted.

I also get such a kick out of people asking me how I make half a cake.
Originally I just thought to mess with my boys, whatta they know about baking and such. But then one time I posted a picture of a Haffa cake to my Facebook and my cousin, who's like 10 times smarter than me, asked me how in the world I made half a cake!  I loved it.
I told her, ancient Chinese secret.

Wednesday Book Whoreding

I finished reading book #6 of the Rock Chick Series: Rock Chick Reckoning by Kristen Ashley. Turns out, I liked it!  The author changed it up some so this book wasn't like reading the same five books before it.

This one was a little more gritty than the others, I think not as syrupy sweet as I was kindof finding the others.
She also did something new, where the other books are written in first person perspective by the Heroine of the book, this one mostly is, too, but sometimes she changes and writes from one of the other character's perspective. I thought that added some depth to the story.

So Stella and Mace used to date, but she was more devoted to her Band than him.
Because of the way she was treated by her parents as a child, she considers her Band as her identity. Without them, she thinks she's nothing.  But Mace didn't know about her past.

He also has a very rough past that she didn't know about.

The weird thing about the book was there was a long epilogue at the end, giving details of the Rock Chicks and Hot Bunch guys futures, the babies they all have, and a couple more of the characters that got together later even though there were still two more books afterwards.

Then I went straight into book #7, Rock Chick Regret. I really liked this book, maybe best of all of them.
It was more serious than the previous books, more emotional, traumatic. But still with the author's trade humor.

Hector is an ex-DEA agent, responsible for bringing down Sadie's Drug King father's empire and sending him to prison.  Sadie didn't like her father, and tried to help Hector by planting evidence for him.
One night, when she'd had too much to drink, she made a play for Hector, but he made a comment she took wrong and she froze up on him.

Sadie was an Ice Princess in attempt to keep people distance and hide her feelings. Because of who her father was, people didn't like her, or used her, but never stuck by her.
She had been friends with Daisy at one time, until Daisy overheard some of Sadie's "friends" talking about her. Sadie didn't defend Daisy in Daisy's hearing, she got revenge in another way, but Daisy's husband never told her about that.

So when the story begins, and Sadie feels desperate enough to go Lee for help, no one likes her, and he turns her away.  Not long after that, she is badly beaten and raped, and flees to the Nightingale offices for help. (Don't worry, no rape scene.)
Lee blames himself, and Marcus tells Daisy he didn't tell her that Sadie got revenge on the hateful woman that had been talking bed about her.
So Lee and Hector make sure Daisy's heavily guarded and protected for a few weeks while she works through her trauma with her gay friends, Buddy and Ralphie.

Eventually the Rock Chicks come calling, and she doesn't understand what they want or what they're doing. When Hector makes his play she believes he's getting revenge for her being a "prick tease" that time.


Book 8 will be Ally Nightingale and Ren Vano's story. I'm looking forward to it, as in really looking forward to it, but there's not even a hint of when it'll be ready.

I haven't started another book yet because I don't exactly know where to go after Sadie and Hector's story.  I have all of Kristen Ashley's other books, but I'm not sure if I want to go back, when we just came so far.

I would almost just re-read a book or two I know I liked, so I don't accidently stumble into one I don't like, after having just read one I liked. (Don't worry, that all makes sense to me.)

Hmm, I maybe in the mood for some cowboy sex. Yippee-ki-yay, honeybuns!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Photo A Day Challenge

Where was I? Oh, right, Day 16: Morning

I can't seem to capture with my camera what I see with my eyes, but in the morning about 7am if you look out my kitchen windows you can see a small mountain to the left, and the sun rising to the right of it.
Just below the mountain is the new elementary school and I can see the headlights of the people leaving after dropping off their babies at school.

Day 17 was Water. I couldn't take any interesting water pictures, so here's a video of one of the downpours of rain we've been having a good bit of this month. 

(Check your Sound, Maybe loud)

Day 18: Something You Bought.
Only practically everything in this house. Or, I guess nothing, since it was actually J's money that bought it. But, you know, what's his is mine and all that.
I'll get back to you on this one.

Day 19: Sweet.
I dunno. Let me think on this one.

Day 20: Someone you love.
One? If I pick one, the others will think I don't love them.

Day 21: Reflection.
Maybe later.

Day 22: Your shoes.
How about my kick-ass cowgirl boots.

Day 23: Something old.
These ceramic praying hands were made by my Dad about 45 years ago.

Day 24: Guilty Pleasure
I have no guilty pleasure, because I don't feel guilty about my pleasure(s). If I want to eat ice cream for dinner, I do. If I want to look at Pr0n, I do. If I want to read a lot, I do! Life's hard enough without being able to enjoy some things, or feeling bad because of it.

How about just plain guilty.  Sometimes I feel guilty my desk is a mess. Cluttered. Like my house, but since I sit at my desk a lot and keep my back to the house, I can ignore it all but the desk.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Musical Monday

Well, darn it. Last week's Monday Musical post sort of turned into an Etta James tribute, and then she passed away a few days later. Obituary Etta James  R.I.P. Miss Peaches

(Not an Etta James video. It was made by some creative person on Youtube and I liked it, cuz, you know, I'm a closet romantic. Shhh, don't tell.)

She passed away on Friday, which was the day we were burying my Dad's 1st cousin who had passed away from cancer on Wednesday. R.I.P. Jeff.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday Book Whoreding

I've been reading this week, but apparently I've been reading slow, or something? Anyway, I didn't get very much read. (It's entirely possible I read a whole nother book or two and forgot I did. It took me awhile to even recall that I had finished reading Legally Hot.)

I finished the other two stories in the Legally Hot anthology, Cheyenne McCray's “Deadly Dance” and Red Garnier's “Caught”.

They weren't that great for the same reason most novellas aren't that great, not enough room for the story. On second thought, I don't think more room would have done these stories any better.

"Deadly Dance" was about a professional ballerina whose abusive boyfriend beat her up and smashed her knee, putting her out of professional dancing, so she opened a dance studio. (Did I not just read this almost exact same premise in another book?)
Anyway, he ends up getting releasing from prison on a technicality. A detective whose partner was killed by this boyfriend (but it was never proven) goes to tell the ballerina that the guy is out of jail, and she's probably in danger. He asks her out before he leaves. She refuses at first, but then changes her mind.  Then she gets shot, so he takes her home with him.  Then we have very few pages to deal with the falling love while the bad guy schemes and then the rescue and then The End.

"Caught" was about identical twin brothers except one was smart and outgoing and friendly, and the other was a scary sociopath. The sociopath ended up slaughtering their parents because the 'good' brother went out with a girl they both liked.  The 'bad' brother breaks out of prison and impersonates the 'good' brother, still trying to get the girl. She can't tell them apart and shoots and nearly kills the one she's supposed to be in love with.

I'm still plugging along with Kristen Ashley's Rock Chick series. I got started on Rock Chick Reckoning, though I'm still only in about the first or maybe second chapter.
I don't remember what number this book is, or how many there are to go. (Hopefully not many.)

This one is about another one of Nightingale Investigations' Hot Guys, Mace, and Stella, the lead singer and guitarist of a local band.  Mace and Stella had a history; Mace broke up with her a year ago saying she "needed him too much".  I haven't gotten far enough to find out what that's about yet.

The story is that a local bad guy, Sid (I think I recall him from the last, or a past book) has declared War on the Rock Chicks. For some reason this included one of the girl members of Stella's band, and Stella.
Stella had been a friend of Indy's before, but they hadn't been hanging out since Indy got together with Lee and associated so much with Nightingale Investigations and the Hot Guys. So I'm not sure why she was targeted, and especially not the girl band member.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Photo A Day, Day 15/16

Yesterday's Photo A Day challenge was "Happiness".

Given my long line of inherited melancholy (as my Mom puts it) and plain ol' shitty disposition (from my Dad's side), happiness is a fairly elusive thing for me.  On the rare occasions I feel happiness, I'm suspicious and wary of it.  The world never allows you to be happy for very long, so I know when things are going good and I'm happy, there's only one way to go from there - down.

But I'm okay finding happiness in little ways, and one of those things for me is Breyers Chocolate ice cream with cut up bananas.  Sooo goooood.

Today's Photo challenge was "Morning", but since it's a holiday, I didn't see morning today.

I pretty much kept my eyes closed while kicking J out of bed to go to work, then I slept in a few more hours, then I lounged in my nice warm bed reading for awhile. When I finally rolled out, it was no longer morning.

I spent the rest of the day stripping all the beds and washing all the covers: sheets, blankets, comforters, spreads, and Lysol'ing matttresses and pillows and the livingroom furniture and all the rooms, continuing the attempt to kill whatever this funk is we keep passing around between each other.

J ended up at his doctor last Friday getting prescriptions for a sinus infection, which seemed to have little effect on it. K came down with it again, like the third or fourth time since Thanksgiving, on Wednesday.
I'm not sick like they are/were but I've been having a lot of trouble with sneezing/snotty/runny nose. I don't dare attempt to work on my de-cluttering project while I'm halfway to sick. Usually it'll set my allergies off and I'll take an allergy pill and that'll fix me up.  But I'm afraid of what'll happen if I set my allergies off on top of these problems I'm already having.
Well, I know what'll happen, same thing that happened last time, I got really sick. I hate being sick.

Music for Monday

'Cuz who can't use some good tunes to get you going and feeling good on Monday, right.

I love this new song "Good Feeling" by Flo Rida. I can't dance worth a toot, but this song makes me shake my bootay.

*It may make you listen to some of the vids at You Tube, It'll open a new window*

Flo Rida's song is cool, but I was like, I know I've heard that chorus somewhere before. It irritated me until I went and searched for it.

Apparently Flo Rida sampled a song called "Levels" by Avicii, who I've never heard of. I also like his/her? song, but I freekin' love this video!
Check that dancin' dude out! WTH can't I dance?

I further learned that apparently Avicii sampled from the song "Finally Moving" by Pretty Lights, whom I also never heard of.

I don't how many more might have sampled before them, but ultimately it all apparently leads back to Etta James, "Something's Got A Hold On Me" from 1962 (the "Sometimes I get a good feeling" line anyway. She may have sampled her's from Rev. James Cleveland's "Somethings's Got A Hold On Me" song from 1959.)

But where I finally recalled where I knew that chorus/line from, was from the movie "Burlesque", with Cher and Christina Aguilera.
Christina Aguilera sang Etta James' version of "Something's Got A Hold On Me" in the movie.
I never really liked CA that much before, or musical type movies...mostly I started watching it just because it was on the tv, and ended up catching my attention.
Turned out I liked a lot, and even watched it again.  I ♥ Jack!

Coincidentally, CA is featured in another song I love that makes me shake my thang, "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5. (And his tats are hawt!)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Photo A Day, Day 14

Something You're Reading ---

My Kindle Fire, of course!  I love my Fire!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Photo A Day, Day 13

In Your Bag ----

I carry a smallish purse with just my necessities in it like my wallet, sunglasses, keys, calculator, kid scissors (for coupon clipping), calculator, pen and notebook. Pretty boring.

I also tote a bag, sort of like a Big Kids version of the old diaper bag. My bag is a cinch sack backpack I got during our last cruise while we were in beautiful Cozumel, Meh-hee-co.

I'm not happy with my pictures for this Photo challenge. My pictures are all too literal, not artistic-y at all.
I have no artistry in my soul.
But how can I say that, when I feel like I want to create things?
I guess it's kind of like wanting to be able to dance, be witty and funny, write stories, decorate, be able to add, blog for money, and everything else I feel like I should be able do but continually fail at one thing after another.
Happy Friday the 13th! I hope you don't suffer from Paraskevidekatriaphobia!

Hot Comments

Speaking of Zombies, coincidentally to my last post, the AMC series "The Walking Dead" was also filmed around here (not here, as in my town, but around the general Metro Atl area).

I remember the day they
closed down I-75 and put
all the wrecked cars out.
Not being big tv watchers, we were just introduced to the series when visiting my sister after Christmas. We watched a couple of episodes on Demand and got addicted and had to get the rest of them to watch when we got back home, lol.

Filming isn't really anything new around here. I can remember back to when Smokey and the Bandit was racing along the road (and in the Chattahoochee river) we used to take to get to my Grannie's house up in the mountains before they built Hwy 515.

And the In the Heat of the Night tv series was filmed in Covington, where J worked for an ambulance service for a time.

According to this Filmography, there's been filming in Georgia since 1972 (Deliverance! OMG!). But prior to just recently it seems like, even though the movies/tv shows were being filmed here, it was like a separate and distant thing. No one local knew much about the goings on, and for sure no one we knew was *in* them.

That's all changed now. They're filming a new movie/show (or more) just about constantly now, and I know (of) any number of people acting in them as extras.  The upcoming movie Jayne Mansfield's Car was filmed in our County Seat, Cedartown, with the likes of Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton and Kevin Bacon wandering around and eating at the local eatin' joints....a lot of people from right here in my county are in that one.

The thing is (in case it sounds like I'm bragging or something, I'm not, I'm working up to a complaint), is my oldest son's dream, for many years, has been to be an actor.

We discovered this by accident back in the summer of 2001.
My youngest son, Kevin, was about 7 years old, and a little ham. He used to put on his Daddy's hats and had a fake microphone and danced and  lip sync'd a funny Nascar song. (I can't remember the song now. Ugh, crap memory!)
However, my oldest son, Daniel, who was around 14 at the time and had (has) a lot of mental and social disorders, was so painfully shy, he didn't even like to be looked at.

So that particular summer, a local Arts group put on a Children's Theater thing, I forget the name of it now, but basically the kids rehearse for a week then put on a play that weekend. I signed Kevin up because I figured that was just his thing.
The play was "Little Red Riding Hood" and he played a Raccoon. It was adorable!

Later that same year the Arts group put on the every-other-year children's Christmas Play "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever".  I signed Kevin up, and asked Ryan if he would want to be in a play and he said, "Okay."
Ryan is a shepherd in green; Kevin is a King or Wise Man in red.
I was pretty surprised when the Children's theater thing came up the next summer and Daniel said he wanted to be in it, too! On a stage, in front of all those people, looking at him. Really?

The play was the "Pied Piper of Hamelin". Daniel was a Town Councilman, Ryan a Baker, and Kevin a Towns Kid that got led away by the Piper.

The acting thing was okay, fun, when nothing else was going on, but as Mom to boys, I was all about the sports. I grew up with a sister, no brothers, but my boy cousins liked to play football and baseball, so I thought all boys liked to play sports. I couldn't care less about sports, but was trying to do my job as a Mom to Boys.

Then Daniel told me he didn't want to play football or wrestle, he wanted to join the Thespian club at school.
He was in a couple of plays at school, and inducted into the International Thespian Society within just a couple of months. He acted in many more plays over the course of his high school years and he fully intended to become a real movie actor when he grew up.

At the time, although there was movies and tv shows being filmed here, we didn't know much of anything about it. We still thought you had to move to NYC or LA and get an agent and do thousands of auditions and hope to break into The Biz.

But then we started hearing about Open Calls for Extras in all these movies/tv shows, and I'm like, there you go, that's a way to get your foot in the door.
I tell him or send him links anytime I see or hear about any calls for Extras, but he just mumble-mumble's around, with all these excuses about why he couldn't go.

In 2010 I heard about a local theater group looking for actors for a Dinner/Murder Mystery thing. He went and auditioned and got a part, and had a good time. He made some new friends, and hung out at the theater as much as he could, even when he wasn't rehearsing, if others were there. He just loves it, everything about it.

It was through this theater group that he got the opportunity to be an extra in the movie coming out today, "Joyful Noise". Some parts of the movie were filmed inside that same restored, vintage theater.

He enjoyed being able to be part of filming, and getting to see all the famous actors and actresses. I thought that now that he'd experienced it once and knew what it was about, what would go on and what to do and all, he'd be more apt to going to some of these other extras casting calls.

I said, "You know they're filming that Three Stooges movie"..."I heard they're looking for extras for the Footloose remake"...."They're calling for extras for that movie they're filming up here in Cedartown"... He would have been great in the Zombie movies/series. He loves sick, gross, and gory.

Finally he told me, "Momma, I just can't do that for nothing."

Oh reeaallly? I say. Why is that, because the acting would interfere with your job?
Oh wait,  you don't have a job.
Maybe it would interfere with your schooling?
Um no, because you don't go to school either.

So, apparently he can do nothing for nothing, but he can't do something he loves doing for nothing.

It was never about money before, him wanting to be an actor. It was the acting itself. His Art. Being able to perform, entertain.
I may be wrong, but I can really only think of one thing that it could be holding him back. (And I will stop this rant right here.)

(But I really just don't understand dragging someone down, not supporting them in their endeavors, not encouraging them to progress.)

I could totally understand if this was just a hobby, just something to do for shits and giggles, because yes he does need to get a job, but at this point he can only get a burger-flippin' job at Mickey D's, and actually he can't even get that because he got fired from his last two fast food jobs because of his temper.
He's tried going to vo-tech college twice and couldn't hack it either time.
But like I said about my friend I went to school with, she went and was extras in all these movies and shows, and now she's getting paid parts.

A few years ago I never imagined he'd ever in a million years be able to get into Acting like he wanted to. (No way he could move across the country and support himself and find auditions and all that stuff you hear these actors talking about they had to do.)
But now he has that opportunity and it's freekin' amazing and he's just standing back and watching it pass him right on by.

It's so freekin' frustrating!
But I'm not giving up on him. Hopefully he'll soon open his eyes and see the light.

Joyful Noise

"Joyful Noise", in theaters today, is just one of the many movies/series that has been (or is being) filmed here in "New Hollywood" lately.

My oldest son is in this one, as an extra in one of the crowds of audiences.

So is one of my old school chums, and a bunch of other people I'm aquainted with here and there. My old school friend has been an extra is a lot of movies and tv shows over the past year or so, and has finally scored some Paid Extra parts. She was invited to a Cast Party before Christmas. Exciting stuff!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Photo A Day, Day 12

Close up

Here's a Close up of my hot chocolate w/ marshmallows I was drinking tonight because it's freekin' cold:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Photo A Day, Day 11

Where you sleep...

This is my side of the bed, always by the wall. Is a man thing for a guy to think he has to sleep closer to the door?

I just got those pretty blue-grey 1200 count Egyptian Cotton sheets for Christmas. I have a white comforter I bought a few years ago to put on the bed, but never have yet because I don't want it to get ruined. Dumb, huh.

On my little bedside table I have (2) telephones: a cordless one with dead batteries, and an older - I forget what these were called - phone with the ringer turned off.  Only people that calls me on the home phone is Telemarketers. I just keep basic service for internet and in case I have to call 911. I can call 911 from my cell, but if I call from this phone my address will pop up on their screen, in case I can't tell them. And anyway, I don't think I've met anyone yet that knows how to spell "Sycamore".

Then there's (3) remotes: tv, satellite, and VCR/DVD-R combo. My radio-alarm-clock, touch-lamp, box of kleenex with my Kindle Fire on top of it.

Underneath is where the good stuff is: a mason jar filled with Hershey kisses and my "dirty" books and magazines.
And then there's my Pistol, laying on top of some boxes of Thermacare menstrual heating pads.

I spend a lot of time in my comfy little corner even when I'm not sleeping.

Wednesday Book Whoreding

Could someone remind me why I'm still reading Lora Leigh?

I couldn't wait for Legally Hot to come out, for Lora's story, which is the next story after "Cooper's Fall" in the Real Men Last All Night anthology.

"Sheila's Passion" started out with some weird prologue talking about a King who married for love instead of tradition, and betrayed his town, except it wasn't him, it was his son, and...I don't know what in the world. Jist of it was, the son fled and took on a new identity and someone is looking for him for revenge.

The who-ever-is-looking for this son, thinks Nick Casey is him. So the who-ever starts terrorizing his girlfriend.

His girlfriend is Sheila. Or rather at this point she's his bed buddy. It's really confusing. She wants him to commit without her having to tell him what she wants. Thing is, he is committed, but he wants her to know that without him having to tell her. WTH?

I'm only about halfway through the story, struggling to keep going. About the only good thing I can really say about it is, the Sex is hot! Whew!

Aw, man, I waited for Whispers in the Dark, and then I didn't like it.

It started out pretty good, I guess. Nathan was trapped in some enemy camp, being tortured for information. He was just about to give up and wish for death when Shea, who is telepathic, heard him. She is also able to take someone's pain away, so she took Nathan's pain and helped him feel better so he could try to tell her where he was at. She emailed his brothers to let them know where to find him.

Turns out Shea, and her sister Grace, were lab-created experiments, and whatever secret Government agency wanted them back after two of the scientists ran away with them years before. They were always on the run, and after Shea got Nathan rescued she left his mind to be able to concentrate on saving herself. But then she was captured and escaped and "called" for Nathan to help her.

He rescues her and his brothers come to help and they all return to the KGI compound.
After I don't know how many pages of Nathan and his family swearing Shea will be safe and protected, she is taken practically right out of Nathan's arms, right off the family's compound.  Come on, seriously?

The sex scenes dragged on foooorrrrreeevvverrrrr and weren't all that hot. Or maybe they were but I couldn't keep my attention focused long enough to stick with it to find the hot part.
And then - Bam! - the story ended, abruptly and suddenly. After Shea was rescued again, she was in some sort living-trance. Then one day Sam's baby girl nearly falls down the deck steps. Shea snaps out out of it and rescues her and then she wants to go see Nathan's house again (the same one she had just been kidnapped from, leading her to be traumatized to the point of trance-hood, btw.) The End.

I think I'm just tired of this series.

Rock Chick Revenge is book 5 of the series, and had a good premise, but fell short on the follow through.

Ava used be fat and four-eyed and had a crush on Luke since she was 8 years old.
Luke didn't get a long with his father, and left home and joined some secret organization, we might guess as an assassin.
The next time she sees Luke it's years later at his father's funeral. He hugs her and says he'll call her. Later she hears her hateful sisters making fun of gorgeous Luke hugging fatty-four-eyed Ava. So Ava doesn't answer his calls, and works to lose weight and gets contacts and fixes herself up.

Everything kinda goes awry from there. But there's funny parts, and sexy parts, and overall I guess I liked it. (Probably made a lot better by the two I read afterwards.)

I opened The Heart of Christmas to see if it had downloaded correctly, and ended up reading Mary Balogh's novella, "Handful of Gold".

It's a Historical Romance, which is generally my favorite genre (Not that you could tell it lately.)

I can't recall the heroine of the story's name now, but she's working as a dancer in a theater to earn money for her sick sister's medical bills.  Back then, of course, theater people were considered loose and many Lords wanted to set her up as their Mistress.

Julian was one of them. She refused him until her sister needed more medical care, then she accepted his proposal of one week in the country over Christmas for 500 pounds.

They had a nice week, fell in love, parted ways, found each other again, happily ever after.

Is it the books, or my attitude this week?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Photo A Day, Day 8

Day 8, Your Sky
Well I fell off the Photo A Day wagon. I started Saturday (again, early?) and didn't feel good so I spent the day in bed reading. Then J came in from work Sunday morning talking about wanting to go work outside. Thing was, last Thursday the weather was nice and we worked out in the yard and he ended up relapsing with the crud again and ended up in the doctor's office with a bad sinus infection on Friday. Anyway the forecast said it was supposed to rain Sunday so I talked him into spending the day in bed. It was grey and dreary outside, and did start raining, so I didn't bother getting out of bed either. We just lounged and watched tv and napped. I still wanted him to spend another day in bed resting and sleeping yesterday, so I pretty much had to stay in it with him.

So, nothing has gotten done the past few days, but hopefully J's meds were able to work to fight the germs this time while he was laying down and resting and not using a bunch of energy doing other stuff.

I took this picture on the 5th of the moon in my sky while it was still daylight out.

Today I made blackberry jam...or a disaster.

Our big freezer was going out and I was trying to relocate everything to our other refrigerator/freezers, but had left some stuff behind hoping either I'd get it moved before it went on out or else it would stay cool enough, being frozen, inside with the door shut.
Well, it didn't.  I had to throw some stuff out, but decided to try to save the blackberries. I don't know what kind of disease you can get from too-long thawed fruit, and anyway I boiled it so hopefully killed any germs there might have been.

I've never made jam or jelly in my life, and had no real idea of what I was doing. I called my Mom and she told me she uses the instructions inside the Sure-jell box, so that's what I did, too.
Sort of.
Apparently you shouldn't read only like the first five words of a sentence of instructions. Apparently all the words they write there are important.

I want to say Oh well, if I screwed it up, I was going to lose the berries anyway, but it's hard to be nonchalant about it knowing the obscene amount of sugar I had to use in the stuff.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Makes You Smile

A lot of things make me smile, but what specifically made me smile today was being able to hang my laundry out on the line to dry.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Photo A Day Day 5

Well after posting my Day 4 photo, I realized today was actually Day 5.

Day 5 is Something You Wore.
This could be any number of things: clothes, shoes, earrings, a temp tattoo, a wig, a tiara, a costume, a wedding dress, flowers in your hair, perfume, and so on.

I picked my Nick and Norah Roaming Gnome pajama top, because it's my favorite thing to wear.
I always liked the Roaming Gnome. We had a little Gnome once we took traveling with us and tried to take his picture in different places and stuff, but I obviously didn't know how to do it right, so they didn't turn out well, and then the Gnome roamed off or something before our next trip, because we don't know where he went.

I also love the colors of the shirt, and it's comfortable, and best yet, I only paid 50¢ for it at a thrift store.

(Still not a very creative or artistic kind of photo.)

Photo A Day

I am wanna-be photographer. I looovvve pictures, but am not that great at taking them. (I'm not that great at anything, come to think of it.) But oh well, I don't let that stop me.

I found this Photo-A-Day challenge while skimming Pinterest and it looked like fun. I'm a few days behind, but I'll work on getting caught up in the next couple of days.

Day 4 is Letterbox.
There are actually a few different types of Letterbox that you could pick from to put an artistic spin on your photo:

LETTERBOXING is an intriguing pastime combining navigational skills and rubber stamp artistry in a charming "treasure hunt" style outdoor quest.

Letterbox is a plugin for Apple's Mail app that takes advantage of your widescreen monitor.

Letterboxing is the practice of transferring film shot in a widescreen aspect ratioto standard-width formats while preserving the film's original aspect ratio.

I'm not extremely artistic, so I went with the obvious- my mailbox:

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Wednesday Book Whoreding

I was on vacation last week, and it seemed like I read a lot, but apparently I only read two books. (Or at least that's all I can remember reading.)

Had to take a break from the Rock Chicks, so I read Jaci Burton's The Heart of a Killer. (The cover sucked me in.)

The story starts out with 16 year old Anna and 18 year old Dante as young lovers. Anna nearly gets raped one night, and Dante and his three foster brothers beat the guy to death. Anna doesn't want the boys to get into trouble, so she sends them away from the scene. Except Dante (and one of the other boys) leaves town completely.

He comes back 12 years later for his foster parents' anniversary party. On the night he arrives back in town, his foster father is killed in the same alley, in the same way, as Dante and his foster brothers had killed the rapist.

Anna is now a Detective, and Dante is her number one suspect. The real killer surprised me; I'm not good at figuring out mysteries anyway, but this one didn't make sense to me even after we find out who it was.

Then, I was curious about what was going on in Rock Chick land, so read book #3 Rock Chick Redemption.

In a love-is-blind story, Roxie had fallen in love with a real bad boy named Billy. Her family and friends tried to tell her, and eventually she realized they were right and tried to dump him. She made a long-term plan to get away from him, and went to her Uncle Tex in Denver, where she met Hank Nightingale.

Hank is a cop and a really good guy and Roxie doesn't feel good enough for him.

Most of the story was pretty good, but the ending was pretty lame, I thought.

After that I moved on to book #4, Rock Chick Renegade.

Juliet Lawler is a Social Worker who is too caring for her charges. When one of her boys dies from drugs, she makes it her personal crusade to try to shut down the town's drug dealers.

Vance Crowe makes it his personal mission to try to make sure Jules isn't killed while attempting to carry out her vendetta.

I'm only about halfway through this story, but I'm liking it pretty well at the moment.

Next up, Maya Banks' KGI #4, Whispers in the Dark was released yesterday.  I read the first three books of this series a couple of months ago and enjoyed them, so can't wait to get to this one.

From Amazon:
She came to him when he needed her the most.

She came to him at his lowest point. The voice of an angel, a whisper in the dark. She's the only thing that gets Nathan Kelly through his captivity, the endless days of torture and the fear that he'll never return to his family. With her help, he's able to escape. But he isn't truly free, because now she's disappeared and he's left with an all-consuming emptiness as he struggles to pick up the pieces of his life. Did he imagine his angel? Or is she out there, needing his help as he'd once needed her?

Now he rushes to save her before it's too late.

Shea has been on the run from people who will stop at nothing to exploit her unique abilities. She never wanted to drag Nathan, who'd already suffered so much, into danger, but she doesn't have a choice so she reaches out to him for help. Finally face-to-face after having already formed a soul-deep bond in hell, their emotional connection is even more powerful than their telepathic one. Nathan refuses to consider ever letting her go again, but she worries they can never have a life free of the dangers that dog her every step. He'll protect her with his every breath, but can he convince her that they are meant to face these threats together?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Circle B Bar Reserve

My sister lives in a city in Florida called Lakeland....and they do have plenty of lakes. Many of the lakes are within Parks with assorted recreational offerings.  This trip, we visited a place called Circle B Bar Reserve and walked the nature trails, checking out all the wildlife.

Brief Site History:

The property was jointly purchased in 2000 be the Southwest Florida Water Management District and Polk County's Environmental Lands Program. This parcel will play a key role in the preservation efforts of the Upper Peace River restoration.

Oak hammock, freshwater marsh, hardwood swamp and lake shore. Tremendous bird population, including a variety of wading birds, waterfowl, ospreys and bald eagles. Alligators inhabit Lake Hancock and may observed from a distance.

We, of course, were on the hunt for Gators.
Maybe they're this way 
See any?
See any now?
Baby gator catchin' some rays. 
Turtle and gator having a conversation.
Camo turtles
Lake Hancock