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Showing posts from 2015

Words Are Important

I am one of those annoying folks who will use move quotes in my daily conversation. Luckily I have a friend or two who also participates in such nonsense and so we run with it as often a we can. I will share some of my faves and how I have used them in a bit, but I just want to explain why words are important.

The obvious is they convey everything we need someone, even ourselves, to know. In some cases, our poor choice of words can get us into hot water or our excellent choice makes us shine. But sometimes we just don't know how to say what we need to say so we do what comes natural . We borrow or steal someone else's words. There is the infamous quote "Good artists copy, great artists steal." attributed to Picasso, but was actually written by T.S. Eliot in his book, The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism. (See paragraph 5 and replace 'artists' with 'poets') I don't steal in my own writing, though I admit certain phrases uttered by an Edi…

The Query Is Out

Yes. I have sent it off to Mr. Sambuchino for a thrashing. Am I nervous? I would be a big haired liar if I said I was not. To have an actual professional take a gander at what I have struggled with is scary and also giggle inducing. I chalk that up to nerves and my third large cup of tea. Now it is work on synopsis time as well as a the outline of the sequel to Deconstructing Angels. Oh I'm sorry, did I fail to mention there is a second part to this story? Yes there is my dears. Also a touch scary, but if all is a go with the first book, I will be ready to write out part deux.
In the meantime, the next story is all lined up and ready to begin. Problem is, I am not sure if it should be a book or a script? I think it will tell me while I take a few days to catch my breath and prepare myself for more query overhauls. Breathe in and out, in and out...


Dean Winchester makes everything all better. 

When people scoff at those who go into the Arts, they fail to realize just how much time, …

Social Media, Progress and Amen

When you are a writer, they say you need to have a web presence. Makes sense since your job is pretty much to make sure the entire world knows you are selling wonderful tales of (insert genre here) that they will want to read over and over. If you have fan they will want a way to connect with you and even possibly engage in banter if you allow them. Also, your agent and publisher need to make some bucks from investing in you. Promotions, tours, and maybe one day having you get on NPR or Charlie Rose is what they strive for and they are not wrong.
This means I keep toying with signing back up for Facebook. While I am no fan of what it perpetuates, it really is one of the easier ways to stay in touch with those we love that live near and far. It also allows you to cultivate a nice fan base which is crucial when you chose to embark upon a creative endeavor. Or just want to self promote. Shamelessly of course. :)
While I have this blog, I have been remiss about keeping it up. Part of the …

A Month Has Passed

And much has gone on my friends.

The day I finished my fantasy novel, "Deconstructing Angels", I whooped so loud I scared my dog. I currently have about four people reading the book to inform me of plot holes, loves and hates so I can revise and send out the best possible novel. Since I need to wait on the feedback, I have decided to forge ahead and get in the process, the serious nail biting process, of writing my query letter and synopsis for "After The Fall". When they are complete I will send them to a professional to be edited.
This means I now have a serious amount of panicky writer's block and low self esteem.

Cue Dickens, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

Even though I am struggling, I will get it done. The challenge is exciting, but man I hate the fact that this is making my brain twist itself into unintelligible knots! I can barely think straight at times and when I do I stumble over my own ideas. It is frustrating and…

A Lovely Experience and a Discovery

Yesterday I head off to the arts & crafts store Michael's. They sell glow sticks that can be converted to bracelets and were a real hit last year with the trick or treaters. So I decided to pick some up again for last night. A woman with her two daughters were in front of me making a decent sized purchase. I heard the mother say to the daughter, "You can find it on my phone." I assumed she meant the coupons Michael's sends out every week. Another minute passed then it was my turn at the register. When I was tallied up, I bought 4 things of glow sticks, the same woman leaned over with her phone and handed it to the cashier and said, "Here use this." She had kindly passed her coupon that I guess she did not use onto me. Fortunately I had my wits about me to say thank you and paid 40% less than what my order was. In my wallet was a Michael's coupon I did not pull out. For some inexplicable reason I did not think it would apply to the glow sticks. Brain…

Because It Is Friday

And the day before Halloween.  BOO!

And everyone in mi casa are getting over having wretched colds. Yuck.

Okay, it is serious time here. As a mature woman I understand that there are people who take the Bible word for word. I still think they cherry pick, but let's not get too specific shall we? I am usually pretty okay if while speaking with you I find your views differ than mine, but I do not approve of them if they are akin to sharia law. Allow me to intro you to a hardcore right wing pastor, named Kevin Swanson, who pretty much touts a Christian ideal not dissimilar to some of the intense parts of sharia. Not a big deal  you think? Oh yeah, here are some things he has said:

Kevin Swanson repeated his criticisms of the Girl Scouts, which he previously said to be a "wicked" organization that is "turning young girls into lesbian communists."
Me: The only wicked thing the Girl Scouts has done is made their cookies smaller.

He also stated that Hurricanes Sandy a…

When You Grow Out of Things

Not your actual clothes, but the style, books, music movies and other facets of culture.

Some years back a friend of mine decided she wanted to re-read some classics. She had always been a fan of The Great Gatsby. From what I recall, she was not as much of a fan when she returned to all things Nick Carraway. There is something disappointing about something you once loved falling short on the second go around. For me it was "Catcher in the Rye". There seemed something trite about Holden Caufield when I was no longer a rebellious teen/young adult. I am not saying Salinger sucks before someone gets all upset, I am just saying, that book was good for me at a prior point in my life, but not now.

Sex and The City. I hear shrieks across the Universe. On a whim I decided to rewatch it and while I am almost done with Season 2, I have to say, Carrie Bradshaw is one of the more annoying, least empowering women characters ever presented. This is nothing about SJP personally, just the ch…

Annoyed

When anyone has a child you accumulate clothing like a squirrel accumulates food for the winter. Okay, stupid analogy, but the truth is our son has been fortunate enough to get a lot of nice clothes during his three and a half years here on earth. While we have donated quite a bit and passed stuff onto friends, I admit I wanted to get a little bank back for some of the things we have purchased. A friend had recommended consignment, but around our area if it is not high end labels like Jacadi or even Janie and Jack, they will not even look at the items. One place even had Ferragamo shoes for a four year old. No, I am not kidding. So for those of us who chose to dress our kids in Gymboree and not Ralph Lauren cashmere, there is a place called Once Upon A Child. You bring in bags or bins and they go through and see what they will purchase and give you cash on the spot. The two times I used the location in Fairfield, NJ I got $13 and $25 bucks. Not much to write home about, but it is some…

Yes, Hello, It's Me

My goodness. I had no idea how long I had been gone from the air waves. Seems September was the last time I had something to say and since then, well, I sort of felt I had nothing. Not that it needed to be all fabulously curated and Pinteresty bullshit, but I wanted to have something of interest. Instead of the usual, cleaning up the gardening still trying to write line.

Anyway, down to business.

Our son is a bug fiend. Not just a normal, "Hey look, a spider" type of kid. He wants to cuddle with a praying mantis and hold black widows. He digs watching Monster Bug Wars and any entomology videos on You Tube. Somehow this year I found that Cornell University does an annual Insectapalooza. Since we have both been to Ithaca before, my hubby attended Cornell, Go Big Red!, we knew we had to take our son to this show. We began to look into places to stay.

Now, we have our handicapped pup so that presents a problem at times when it comes to hotels. Some let you bring your pet, but yo…

A Little Recap

While the dark side of life continues, I figured I would go light today because we all need to take a step back sometimes.


Want a delicious dinner, lunch or breakfast? I recommend the Fingerling Potato-Leek Hash with Swiss Chard and Eggs. It was very, very good. In the comments someone suggested dicing the potatoes so it cooks quicker and I did and you should. I also used cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top.

Great article on how to use vintage sewing tables and cabinets on Houzz.com. I love the ones turned into an island.

On ZeroWasteHome a student just heading off to college asks how to maintain a Zero Waste life. The answer and comments are pretty interesting and helpful.

I am so looking forward to cooler temps and this Black bean and zucchini chili from Dishing Up the Dirt will be on my list of recipes to make.

Not sure what to have in a stocked pantry? Angie's Frugal House has a pretty solid list of what is needed just in case.

And The Kitchn has this yummy looking recipe for Ro…

When Do We Say Enough?

I am pretty much at a loss for words.

Drowned Toddler

This story and its main image should be viral and it should mess with our heads. Yes, we want to take out ISIS and blow them sky high, but there are innocent people caught in the crossfire and I just don't know how the hell we get them out without them becoming collateral damage.
There has to be a way for all of us to handle migrants better. There has to be a way to do it legally without them paying smugglers outrageous fees to make dangerous and usually life ending voyages. I don't understand how we cannot get these people whose lives are truly at risk to a safer country and help them get assimilated and set up in a community. I imagine it is not easy, but dammit it all to hell, the alternative is clearly horrifying. I think that is why I cringe at the US politicians and those running for President who bitch about immigrants. Not everyone is here to sell drugs Donald Trump, some want to make an honest living and raise their…

Lord of War

Recently I was involved in a sort of discussion on a favorite blog in regards to gun violence here in America. It seems, like a lot of people, some in the UK and Oz believe us to be gun toting fiends, frothing at the mouth about our Second Amendment rights. To me, owning a firearm is not a bad thing if you practice safety and had training, but one cannot regulate stupid and there is a lot of that going on around here. State by state the laws change in regards to concealed weapons, open carry and crossing state lines with ones gun. Truth is it's a convoluted mess and even difficult for some of us to get a full handle on law wise. Plus the NRA is like a backseat driver. Always directing you even though you know what direction you need to go in but they get louder and eventually you default to their demands to stop their incessant blathering and nagging. Keep in mind they also have a lot of power in DC with many a politician in their pockets so that prevents stuff from getting change…

Salem, MA

A friend and I spent the past weekend in Salem, MA. A getaway that was long overdue and necessary. I came home feeling recharged and relaxed as well as in awe, still, that the Salem Witch Trials ever happened. Seriously, it boggles the mind, but it is not like we have not seen that history repeat itself in many ways grand and small.
I had gone to college for two years in Massachusetts and had only been to Salem once so this was quite a treat. All I recall from my trip long ago was driving past the museum and going into one store. 
After a very long drive to get there, there was a horrific accident on NY State Thruway so we were diverted to back roads. Then the Merritt Parkway and the Mass Pike had traffic. Believe me when I say we cheered when we got off the Salem exit. Technically the trip should take all of 5 hours from New Jersey, but this time it did not. Made us think we should have flown to Boston. Haha!
We stayed at the lovely Coach House Inn B&B where the owner Pat was an …

A Quick Yummy Dinner

Our CSA has given us A LOT of zucchini. Instead of substituting it out, I take it because let's face it, it is a very versatile veggie. The other night I made a Creamy Zucchini with Linguine. One of the ingredients it called for was Parmesan cheese which I did not have. On a whim I did a search and came across various vegan cheese recipes. The one I chose and that was fantastic was a Vegan Parmesan Cheese that used just four simple ingredients. Cashews (Or any other nut you choose), nutritional yeast, sea salt and garlic powder. No, it is not cheese, but it has the same bite and flavor required of Parmesan. Hubby liked it, kiddo liked it and so did I. You can store leftovers in the fridge for a month so that is also a nice plus. The meal as a whole was inexpensive and even more delicious the next day. I highly recommend making this recipe.

We have been going through a hear wave here in New Jersey which is no fun. I love summer, but 85F+ with humidity is not my bag. Right now I wou…

Delicious Dinner

Ran around today. The little man had a dentist appointment, but lo and behold, we arrived to a dark and locked office. When I called and asked what happened, they stated they were in the Warren office today. I said I was booked for Chester so they asked for my son's name, they began to apologize profusely as we should have never been booked for Warren as we never go there. The woman also remarked the "new person" who started six months ago had made quite a few of these mistakes. Not sure that person is still there, but we rescheduled for next week. I wasn't that upset about it as it was a nice day and had already planned to take our son to the park once we were done. Since we had no appointment we headed right to the playground and he ran around and exhausted himself. As we drove home he fell asleep and I was able to stop at our CSA and pick up the goodies for this week.

I had a Board Meeting at my son's preschool at 6:30 and I wanted to make dinner so using broc…

It's Friday Night!

And the only excitement I have to share is that the sitter worked out beautifully on Wednesday. At one point our son told me to go away so he can be with his new crush. The big plus is that I got quite a bit done on my book. That was a huge relief and helped to get the creative juices flowing. Of course I am stagnant now since I don;t have a sitter everyday, but that is okay, I am taking it in stride knowing I will have opportunities to expand my hours working on the book again soon.

Most of my week has been taken up with playground visits and paper work that needs to be done for the preschool. Unfortunately not everything is digitized and this frustrates me. I am used to dealing with larger companies and more resources and my last "corporate" job was at an internet company so I expect everyone else to be savvy. Which is incredibly unfair and I know that, but I still get bratty. There are copied that need to be made and mailed out. Sure some documents should still be in pape…

Busy Bee

The summer has been a serious whirlwind. Lots of yard work, outside time, day trips, ice cream...the usual.

I agreed to be the Administration Chair for my son's school and all the work that comes with that has begun. Basically, I am an Executive Assistant with voting power. Pretty nice. I get to use and hone skills that are rusty and learn more about what it takes and cost to run a small preschool. Google Docs and I have become friendlier than ever as I create memos and calendars to be distributed. I am hoping to get more stuff up online so I don't have to constantly email. We are also looking into notification systems so again, I am not emailing 28 families about inclement weather or school events.

My three year old does not necessarily enjoy it when Mommy has work to do, it is like having a mini CEO in the house. His demands must be met before I attempt the next task. Again, it pays to be an Executive Assistant as one understand the changing moods and needs of CEO's of a…

Links and Things

Howdy Ho! Here are some things for you to gander at over the weekend. I have been doing a lot of yard work. Removed the brick border around the rock garden and added river rocks which look much nicer. For the last three years I have been trying to get rid of those damn yucca plants on the mound near the pear tree without much success. Wretched things belong in Arizona not New Jersey.

Here is what the area looked like the day I went on a ripping out spree. Our son was giddy as I cleared away all the weeds and removed rocks and opened up a world of insects to him. My heart goes out to the families of some pill bugs, millipedes, beetles of various kinds and ants.

That is our son on the bottom right, probably playing with a worm. He did put them back in the dirt at my request.

Sticking with the bug theme. Here is a nice tutorial to make beetle pancakes on The Kid Should See This.
We are slightly obsessed with Wolf Alice and the song "Moaning Lisa Smile".


The Guardian has a series…

Bugs

We live in a 1920's bungalow. When I first saw it I saw tons of potential. I realize now that I should have been tased by someone because the myriad of problems that have come up with this little house have been staggering. Yes we had an inspection, but things still go wrong. The prior owners of 40+ years did not take care of this house one bit and did all sorts of shoddy repairs which while they looked fine, they eventually revealed themselves to be fire hazards and stupid.
Our recent issue has been those little house ants. They annoy me, but they are not making me squirm.

These sort of are: Psocids

Last night my husband tells me he sees these little spider mites crawling all over the wooden shelves he had made for our hideous pink bathroom. We both thought this was odd because we know they like plants, etc, so we looked it up and found out if there is an abundance, they can crawl through windowsills and hang out on the exterior of homes. Makes sense, but the hanging out on the w…

Back From Vacation

Hello everyone! We just got back yesterday from visiting family and friends in North Caroline and Georgia. Family was in North Carolina and that was great because we got to swim, hang out and went to visit the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. We also did take out from Patrick Jane's Gourmet Pizza Bar. Thinnest crust ever and it was fabulous! After three days we headed to Cumming, Georgia to see good friends and we had a blast. We swam there as well, ate well, drank, chatted, laughed and went to the Georgia Aquarium. All in all a very necessary vacation and a good one. It takes 9 hours to drive to Raleigh and Delaware and Maryland had a bunch of traffic on the way down. Partner that with monsoon rains and well, it was fun. Atlanta was 5 1/2- 6 hours from Raleigh and we made good time. The three year old boy and 12 year old dog traveled beautifully and never once complained. Now that was a gift.

This morning I was thrilled to see all my flowers blooming like crazy. I also …

No More Meds For You

So I have to stop the Clindamycin. Why you ask? Well be prepared for TMI kids. I have had persistent diarrhea for 24 hours. There is something odd about waking up at 2am to evacuate your bowels, but that is not even the best part. There was blood in my last few stools/loose poop. I don't mess around with blood being wear it should not so a call went in and I was told to stop the drug immediately.
Thank friggin' God.
There were other less annoying, but still annoying side effects like feeling a little foggy, noisy tummy and a metallic taste in my mouth. Ugh.
Anyway, because of GI issues, I will not be given another antibiotic. I am to start a bland diet and if after two days these issues do not resolve the NP wants me to see my GP and have stool samples done to make sure I did not end up with a secondary intestinal infection. C. Diff and Colitis can happen with this particular drug. Unpleasant isn't it? Oh and I also got my period so my system is just a raging hormonal, unb…

The Doctor Is In

The Nurse Practitioner I saw today was lovely. She listened to my complaints, asked about my health history, sprayed my nostrils with some gross tasting numbing stuff and stuck a scope through my nose and down my throat.

Best.Friday.Ever.

She pulled the scope and once again inquired about my tonsils. I had them removed when I was 6 years old and also had tubes in my ears. Her response to that was as follows, "Well, I am not sure if they did a partial back then, but you have your adenoids and it looks like one of your tonsils has grown back and they are all swollen. You also have acid reflux because your throat is all irritated."  She may have even explained things further and I answered, but I was so stuck on the fact that my stupid tonsil(s) grew back that I think I forgot stuff. I was prescribed Prilosec one a day and a lovely with crazy side effects antibiotic called Clindamycin.
I am going to start the regimen tomorrow and hope all goes well. Truth be told I have never h…

Just A Moment

Summer always seem to be a whirlwind, no? My son keeps me on my toes, more than I like to be honest, but I enjoy it because let's face it, when he is ten he will not even want people to know I am his mom and how we embarrass him. Yeah, I am so looking forward to the teen years. LOL

Our dog had to go to the vet because she began to drink water like we owned a lake and was peeing so much that she was urinating in her sleep. At first we thought it might have to do with her Lyme disease and that she was having a relapse of symptoms. After all the blood work as done and things like diabetes was ruled out we were told she may have a deficiency of diuretic hormone, say that five times fast. or the beginnings of Cushing's Disease.

Fuck.That.Noise.

Sorry to be so crass, but this blows. When humans get Cushing's, it sucks, but it can be cured if caught early enough. In dogs, it can only be managed. There is no cure for a canine's adrenal glands going haywire.

Aces.

She can live …

Willowwood Arboretum

Let's face it. My home state of New Jersey does not have the best reputation. While I do not deny it's faults, the stereotypes are correct at times, the beauty of the state has never been featured.

Ever.

Which sort of gets my goat because every state has areas that are deserted, flourishing, struggling and all that hovers in-between. In New Jersey's case, only the crappy areas get highlighted. Constantly.

This needs to stop and no, Housewives of New Jersey does not count as showing a "pretty" side of New Jersey.

My state has a pretty choice parks system throughout the counties. So with a lot of pride, I would like to welcome you to a place in bucolic Far Hills, NJ that is free and beautiful.

Willowwood Arboretum

The history, two brothers who wanted a country place to indulge their horticultural passions, is fascinating. The preservation is no small feat so kudos to all involved there.
My pictures will not do it justice, remember, I have a three year old. While he …