A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Friday, November 30, 2007

For the Thrifty Shopper

My sister sent me the mother lode of discounts and coupons for both online and in-store shopping. I thought some of you might be able to use these. So have fun...go shopping.

Alloy Coupon Code: ALYGIFT (20% off entire order til Dec. 3, 2007)
American Eagle Outfitters Coupon Code: 64152219 (15% off from Nov. 27 - Dec. 11, 2007)
Armani Exchange Coupon Code: STYLE20 ($20 off $100 from ? - ? )
Banana Republic Coupon Code: BRHOLIDAY (20% off from Nov 27 – Dec 24, 2007)
Bare Escentuals Coupon Code: BEFAMILY (20% off from Nov. 30 - Dec. 2, 2007)
Barnes & Noble Coupon Code: T4N3B6W (25% off Single Item on Nov 27 – Dec 10, 2007)
Bath and Bodyworks Coupon Code: VELVET10 ($10 off $30 from Nov. 27 - Dec. 2, 2007)
Bed Bath Store Coupon Code: holiday07 ($15 off $75 from Nov. 28 - Dec. 10, 2007)
BeBe Sport Coupon Code: FAMILY25 (25% off from Nov. 29 - Dec. 2, 2007)
CCO - Closeout Catalog Outlet Coupon Code: CC10040 (extra 30% off your most expensive item - ends midnight Thursday, 11/29/07)
CCO - Closeout Catalog Outlet Coupon Code: CC10042 (extra 30% off your most expensive item - ends midnight Tuesday, 12/04/07)
Children's Place Coupon Code: FFTAHPVAC7 (30% off from Dec. 2 & Dec. 3, 2007)
Cloud Veil Coupon Code: 7LJ400 (45% off from ? - ? )
Crazy8 Coupon Code: C8ONLINE (20% off from Nov. 29 - Dec. 2, 2007)
Designer Linens Outlet Coupon Code: FRIENDS77 (50% off from Nov 27 – Dec 3, 2007)
Disney Store Coupon Code: HOLIDAY25 (25% off from Nov 27 – Dec 2, 2007)
***Eastbay Coupon Code: EMEB72GC (20% off Giftcards from Nov 17 – Dec 20, 2007)
GameStop Coupon Code: AFF25 (25% off Used Games from ? – ? )
Golf Smith Coupon Code: FFD07 (UP TO 30% off from Nov. 28 - Dec. 4, 2007) Exclusions, here's the original post
Guess Factory Stores
Coupon Code: FNF30F (30% off from Nov. 29 - Dec. 2, 2007)
Hasbro Toy Shop Coupon Code: FRIENDS20 (20% off from Dec 2 - Dec. 9, 2007)
Illuminations Coupon Code: 999201329 (20% off from Nov. 27 - Nov. 30, 2007)
J. Jill Coupon Code: FFNV25 (25% off on Nov 27 – Dec 2, 2007)
JC Penny Coupon Code: CHAMPION (20% off from Dec. 9, 2007)
Joann.com Coupon Code: NOVA740 (40% off 1 Regularly-Priced Item from Nov. 28 - Nov. 30, 2007)
Levis Store Coupon Code: LOJVWYJ9 (20% off $75 from Nov 30 – Dec 2, 2007)
Limited Too Just click link for savings (25% off from Nov 27 – Dec 9, 2007)
Linen & Things Coupon Code: 223823997733 (20% off from Nov 30 – Dec 31, 2007)
Liz Claiborne Coupon Code: FRIEND40 (40% off from Nov. 30 - Dec. 3, 2007)
Macy's Coupon Code: MACYSFRIEND or MACYSFF or CFF117 (20% off from Nov 28 – Dec 03, 2007)
MetroStyle Coupon Code: MSTYLE50 (50% off Single Item from Nov. 28 - Dec. 31, 2007)
New York & Company Coupon Code: 9897 ($30 off $75 from Nov 27 – Dec 3, 2007)
Nike Coupon Code: 2PCTH7A (20% off $125 from Nov 27 – Dec 24, 2007)
***Overstock Coupon Code: 73989 (10% off $45 from ? - ? )
***Ralph Lauren Coupon Code: HOL2007 (30% off 11/10 - 12/10)
Red Envelope Coupon Code: AMX25WISH ($50 off $200 from ? – ? )
restaurant.com Coupon Code: THANKS (60% off from Nov. 28 - Nov. 30, 2007)
Sephora Coupon Code: FF2007 (20% off from Nov. 28 - Dec 31, 2007)
***Sharper Image Just cick link for savings ($10 off $100 from Nov 27 – Jan 31, 2008)
Snap Fish Coupon Code: FRIENDS07 (25% off on Nov 27 – Dec 25, 2007)
Speedo Coupon Code: FRIENDS4 (25% off on Nov 27 – Nov 30, 2007)
Sports Authority Coupon Code: TSASAVE25 (25% off on 11/29-12/2)
Timberland Coupon Code: 3421273 (40% off from Nov 30 – Dec 2, 2007)
Toys 'r' us Coupon Code: TRUFRIENDFAMILY (15% off $150 from Nov 27 – Dec 1, 2007)
Ulta Coupon Code: 84447 (20% off Single Item from Nov 27 – Dec 1, 2007)
Victoria's Secret Coupon Code: FA78113 or FA78449 ($15 off $100, $30 off $150, $75 off $250, & $150 off $500 from Nov. 28 - Dec. 20, 2007)
Victoria's Secret Coupon Code: WARM25 (25% off Single Sweater from Nov. 28 - Dec. 1, 2007)
Warner Bros Coupon Code: HGFFWB (20% off from Nov 27 – Nov 30, 2007 )
WinkFlash Coupon Code: G3F8E7W4 (40% off from Nov 28 – Dec 15, 2007 )
Yankee Candle Just cick link for savings ($10 off $25 from Nov 27 - Dec. 22, 2007)
Zales Coupon Code: SAVE50FRIEND ($50 off $200 [works on 199.99] from Nov 28 & Nov 29, 2007 )

Barnes & Noble (10% off on Nov 27 – Dec 3, 2007)
Bath and Bodyworks ($10 off $30 from Nov. 27 - Dec. 1, 2007)
BeBe Sport (25% off from Nov. 29 - Dec. 2, 2007)
BestBuy ($20 off $175 from Nov. 27 - Dec. 1, 2007)
Borders or Waldenbooks (20% off from Nov 27 – Dec 6, 2007)
Crazy8/Gymboree (20% off from Nov. 29 - Dec. 2, 2007)
Foot Locker (30% up to $100 or 30% + 10% over $100 from Nov. 29 - Dec. 2, 2007)
Champs (30% up to $100 or 30% + 10% over $100 from Nov. 29 - Dec. 2, 2007)
FootAction (30% up to $100 or 30% + 10% over $100 from Nov. 29 - Dec. 2, 2007)
Gordmans (20% off Single Item from Nov 27 – Dec 9, 2007)
Guess Factory Stores (30% off from Nov. 29 - Dec. 2, 2007)
H&M (25% off from Dec. 7 - Dec. 9, 2007)
J. Jill (25% off from Nov 27 – Dec 2, 2007)
JC Penny (20% off on Dec. 9, 2007)
Kirklands (25% off Single Item from Nov 27 – Dec 31, 2007)
The Limited ($30 off $100 from Nov 26 – Dec 2, 2007)
Limited Too (25% off from Nov 27 – Dec 9, 2007)
Linen & Things (20% off from Nov. 27 - Dec. 31, 2007)
Loehmanns (15% off Reduced Item & 20% off Clearance Item from Nov 27 – Dec 31, 2007)
Lord & Taylor (15% off from Nov. 9 - Dec. 24, 2007)
Macy's (pdf)(20% off from Nov 28 – Dec 03, 2007)
New York & Company ($30 off $75 from Nov 27 – Dec 3, 2007)
Niketown, Nike Women, Nike Outlet -
Front / Back 30% off 11/29 - 12/2 YMMV
oshKosh ($10 off $50 from Nov 26 – Dec 11, 2007)
Radio Shack (Various Deals Dec 1, 2007 from 7am - 9am)
Sharper Image ($10 off $100 from Nov 27 – Jan 31, 2008)
Staples (12% off from Dec. 2 - Dec. 8, 2007)
Ulta (20% off Single Item from Nov 27 – Dec 1, 2007)
Yankee Candle ($10 off $25 from Nov 27 - Dec. 22, 2007)

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Books...Remember those?

I will discuss the November reading debacle in a moment, but first I want to thank everyone for their well wishes and comments on our anniversary. We had a quiet evening with our boys. We ordered chicken marsala and ate at home. Then we did the ornaments on our Christmas tree.

We had already done all the other Christmas decorating, but we do the ornaments together each year. I love playing Christmas music and decorating the tree. The boys have ornaments from each year of their lives and many of them are from trips or places we visited so the decorating becomes a recounting of people, places and events over the years. I just love that. Of course as they get older they try to re-write history which is always cause for a laugh or two. So we are well on our way to being ready for Christmas even though I'm a bit behind with my shopping.

There you have it. Like sands through the hour glass... Man lately the sand is a torrent pouring through the hour glass and I can't find enough time in the day to read. It's just plain ridiculous. I haven't, I can't believe I'm actually writing this, even been to the store to get BLOOD BROTHERS by Nora Roberts. Can you believe that one? I sure can't!

I swear it has to get better. Tomorrow or the next day I'll post my November reading list. It's sort of sad and pathetic. Hopefully December will be better.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Magic Kingdom

We did go to Disneyland on Monday. The trip was worth it just to see all the Christmas decorations and sights like Sleeping Beauty's Castle at night. Pretty isn't it? There's just something about Disneyland especially now at Christmas.

Besides it makes me happy and today is ALL about being happy. Twenty-seven years ago today I married GG. My anniversary is filled with wonderful memories of our wedding day and the joy of all my family being there. My Mom was there. My brother Jonny was there. My grandparents were there. They are all gone now, but 27 years ago we laughed, we danced, we sang and we made memories. I'm so grateful for that.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

To Russia With Love...

I read this article on Sunday, November 25th. I don't know how many of you saw it or something similar. If you've ever read a historical accounting about the Russian Revolution then this might be of some interest to you. All the stories and claims from different women claiming to be Anastasia are over. Now we know. Now there is closure. Now the history books can finally put to rest the unhappy and tragic end to Czar Nicholas II's family.

Of course I knew they had been held prisoner. I also remembered from something I read that they were all shot. Now with the help of forensics we also know they were knifed repeatedly and then acid poured on them to obscure the identity of the bodies. Rather horrifying isn't it? It is uncertain how much of the horror the Romanovs experienced. Did the knifings take place first or the shooting for instance? They were killed along with the family physician and several servants.

The only good to come from this is that all the family members are accounted for and can be laid to rest. Finally.

We aren't the only country with 'ugly' in its history.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007


This started out as someone's meme. Sort of. Whose, I'm sorry to say I don't remember. Then I saw it pop up on several other blogs but shied away from doing it myself because I didn't feel like I could remember ten favorite heroes let alone ten who fit this original premise...

"Ten Literary Characters I Would Totally Make Out With If I Were Single and They Were Real But I’m Not, Single I Mean; I Am Real–But I'm Also Happily Married and Want to Stay That Way, So Maybe We Should Forget This…"

I smiled when I read that and while I find many of the heroes I read about sexy and attractive, I never see myself making out with them. They all belong to their individual heroines. So instead I just decided to list ten heroes I can't forget and who have left a lasting impression. Here's my who and why. No way I could rank one above the other, so these are in no particular order.

1. Wolf Mackenzie (Mackenzie's Mountain by Linda Howard). Wolf's main goal in life is to protect his son and this crazy teacher literally comes storming into their lives and changes everything. There's no waffling. He's sure Mary Elizabeth is a good thing for him and his son and has no intention of letting her get away.

2. Webb Tallant (Shades of Twilight by Linda Howard). It was tough sticking to two of my favorite Howard heroes, but these two I remember and think about most. Webb is a complicated guy. Family and tradition are important aspects of his life and he wears the coat as scion and heir with the confidence he was born with to carry them. The fact that he finally sees more in Roann and treasures her above everything else is just awesome. Being sure that Roann knows how important she is to him and her family was a worthy goal and his true reason for returning to the family. Love him. Love the book.

3. Creede Forrester (A Reason to Live by Maureen McKade). To find joy, hope and love after suffering deep loss is so moving and incredible. This book is just so great. Creede's quiet understanding and acceptance is so needed and so freely given. Damaged himself by the loss of his son he is able to dig deep and find love again. A truly worthy man who finds a very worthy woman in Laurel.

4. Cal Bonner (Nobody's Baby but Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips). Family is another theme. I love that here we have a handsome, popular and successful NFL quarterback who has a family. He understands that if there is going to be a baby he's not going to just 'man up' he's going to be a part of his child's life. I love that he likes Lucky Stars cereal. I mostly love that he is finally brave enough to change and allows himself be who he really is which is a whole lot more than a jock.

5. Ramiel Devington (My Lady's Tutor by Robin Schone). Loyal, kind, and emotionally tortured. Even with the loss and rejection he has known Ramiel is able to see, admire and understand a woman who digs deep for her own courage to try and change her life. A man who can put a woman before himself. Their arrangement begins as one of curiosity for him but ends with him taking a risk on her and on love. Not only does he admire Elizabeth, he also accepts her. More importantly, at least to her, he embraces and protects her children.

6. Duncan Swift (High Noon by Nora Roberts). He knows love. He not only welcomes this new woman into his life but all of her family too. Love me. Love my family. Duncan isn't satisfied to just accept her family without trying to be a part of them too. What woman could walk away from a man like that?

7. Thomas Mitternich (The Crossroads Cafe by Deborah Smith). Acceptance, giving, family, love. These are all the recurring themes in my favorite heroes. Thomas also has suffered incredible loss and yet without thinking too much about it is able to reach out to a wounded Cathryn Deen. What courage it takes to risk after suffering excruciating loss!

8. Clint McKinley (Promises Prevail by Sarah McCarty) This was a toss up with Asa McIntyre in Promises Linger. Your average saddle tramp or gun for hire didn't really ever consider that he was going to have a home and family of his own. Sarah McCarty captures this western truth with both of these characters, but Clint's story has just a tad bit more to it and that's why I chose it. Clint loves from afar not believing he is worthy to be a part of Jenna's life. He wants a wife, family and a home he just doesn't believe he can have that with Jenna until she decides to adopt an abandoned half Indian baby. Then he knows he can offer her something more important than just himself. He can offer protection and security. Again, two wounded souls who find each other. A man who sees a chance for the brass ring and grabs it with both hands.

9. Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen). When you read the book I think you understand more clearly how much a product of his times Darcy is. That he recognizes and loves Elizabeth in spite of social strictures of the times is amazing. That he helps her family with no expectation that they will be together is so selfless, but then a gentleman can do no less Darcy would say.

10. Richard Tiernan (Nightfall by Anne Stuart). This is a complicated one. This man and story stick with me and yet for most of the book, while fascinating, Richard Tiernan is not very likable. For quite a while we don't know why Cassidy would or could love someone who supposedly murdered his children and his pregnant wife. It's a betrayal of the worst sort. I think one of the best things Anne Stuart does in this book is not change Richard from who he has become even at the end of the book. He will always be difficult and complicated, but what woman who understands his motives could walk away? Imagine all that love, intensity and devotion focused on you? Even though he chose Cassidy from a photograph, he chose a woman who could love him despite everything.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Praise be I finished a book!

I finally finished MOUTH TO MOUTH by Erin McCarthy. Cute. Sexy. Predictable. One different twist was the heroine was deaf. Made for some interesting moments in the book. I haven't liked Ms. McCarthy's Vegas Vampire series too much. Just not for me, but I've enjoyed a few of her romantic comedy contemporaries. This sort of falls in that category.

Now I have Lucy Monroe's new book DEAL WITH THIS staring me in the face, but I think I'm going to dig a couple of westerns out. Yes, I know I've mentioned this about six times
(more?) recently but I haven't gotten the books out yet. But I'm really in the mood. Anybody's guess why Christmas puts me in the mood for a western?

You know I feel like my reading has been paralleling my eating habits. I seem to be indulging in a lot of desserts and not anything I can really sink my teeth into. It's not for lack of choices. I think I just need to sit my butt down and honestly go through my tbr and choose.

Having said that I'm eagerly anticipating BLOOD BROTHERS by Nora Roberts which is due out on Tuesday. I so enjoyed HIGH NOON that I have high hopes for BLOOD BROTHERS to be something I can really dive into.

We are hoping to make a Christmas holiday trip to Disneyland this afternoon. Both GG and I are off and the boys each only have classes in the morning. I love seeing the seasonal decorations so that will be a highlight for me. Besides we all seem so busy lately that I've learned to really embrace and enjoy the moments we can all be together these days.

I think I finally have my top ten favorite heros list put together and hope to put it up tomorrow. I hope none of my favorite literary romance heroes feel slighted. Rather than have trouble picking ten like I originally thought I would I actually had to whittle the list down. I think I'll work on a top ten heroines list next. This was fun and gave me a chance to reminisce about some favorite heroes. Can you have a favorite hero and the book not necessarily be a favorite?

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Yeah, I know you didn't ask, but...

I'm officially sick of turkey for a while. In fact I think a hot cheesy slice of pizza sounds good. GG and the boys got our outside Christmas lights up yesterday and the lawn mowed. I, well, let's just say we will be finishing the inside decorating today.

What with all the people around, movie watching and Christmas stuff reading has slowed to a crawl. I've been reading the same book, Erin McCarthy's MOUTH TO MOUTH for a week and am only half way through it. Nath mentioned that she was reading but that the month of November was pretty 'meh' for her. I've found the same thing to be true.

While I love the holidays I have made a huge effort this past year to be healthy and exercise. We started last fall with yoga and are now swimming two or three times a week. Just changing these small things I've lost 12 lbs. Yeah it's been a whole year, but I'm trying to change the way I live my life for good and not lose weight only to watch it come back on. Anyway, there's been brownies, Thanksgiving, candy cane kisses and yesterday I had a hankering for chocolate chip cookies. Yeah, I made 'em. I finally figured out that it's better to indulge the craving right away and have small amounts of what I've got a yen for than letting the craving linger on. If I let it linger I usually end of eating all kinds of crap.

So here I am talking about more sweets, but I've had my chocolate chip cookies now and am feeling much better. Besides I know I can rely on Shmoo and Beanie to finish the rest of them off in short order so the temptation doesn't linger. Better go get a move on. Got Christmas decorations to put up.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

We had a full turkey dinner around 4 p.m. today. Yes, I know. Thanksgiving was yesterday. We had THAT full turkey dinner at my sister's house yesterday. Remember when I mentioned GG was home for the week? Remember the post saying I was cooking a turkey and then going to read? GG decided he didn't want turkey last Sunday and ordered from Roadhouse Grill. Side note: I'm shaking my head and rolling my eyes...again...into the back of my skull. End side note.

Then come Tuesday this week GG decided we needed to have left overs. I explained that you can't have left overs until you've had the meal to begin with and since he'd changed his mind about the turkey last Sunday the only way we would end up with left overs was if I cooked a turkey and if I was going to do that we might as well stay home and eat it.

Ever the problem solver, my man is, he concluded if you have turkey dinner the day after Thanksgiving it's still left overs since you didn't eat it on Thanksgiving Day. All of which translates into me preparing a turkey on Thanksgiving so we could have the smell in the house and have the full turkey dinner today and call it leftovers. It's a good thing he's such a sweetheart because sometimes he drives me nuts. A cuckoo and a nut. Now theres a couple for you.

Couldn't we just have saved the turkey and eaten it another time? Noooooo. Anyway, now we DO have leftovers and of course all the grunting, testosterone-laden types who live here are thrilled with turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and stuffing being at their fingertips to microwave at a moments whim. Look away while I roll my eyes again. Hey, I like turkey as much as the next person, but I wouldn't have argued with anyone who wanted me to skip cooking one this year.

All joking aside, I'm glad I cooked the dinner for my guys. It's good to have traditions like having your own turkey dinner no matter what and it's a small price to pay for their happiness. So much joy over mashed potatoes and gravy. It's mind boggling really.

GG and I went for our swim this morning. I got stopped in the middle by my kids' pediatrician and we chatted a moment because his youngest is a senior this year and goes to school with Shmoo. Naturally GG kept swimming without me. He hit his 50 lengths today. I ended with 46. The weather this morning was just awesome, crystal clear blue skies, about 50 degrees and the water was about 80 degrees. Really it was just sublime.

Then we had a few errands to run and ended up in Target. The new Super Target. Which can I say I expected to be brimming with people. The only truly crazy place was electronics which is where we wanted to go of course.

Check this ad out. See the 19" flat screen TV with DVD player for $199?

Well we bought it. Our anniversary is next week, our birthday is
in 3 weeks on the same day, and Christmas is in 4 weeks. So we gave ourselves the TV for anniversary, birthday and Christmas and put it in our bedroom. GG is setting it up as I type this. We're going to watch NORTH AND SOUTH. Again. What can I say? I have a Richard Armitage crush. Of course, I'm not in Kristie's league, but nonetheless, I've gotta crush.

The other truly awesome thing I've discovered this holiday season? These babies.

As a person who is neither a white chocolate nor candy cane fan, I'm crazy for these chocolatey minty candies. So much so that I count out 5 to eat because if I have the bag I'm gonna eat til I'm sick and since these candies are sweeter than regular Hershey kisses I think I would get sick...eventually. But what a way to go!

Instead of candy I'm going to brew myself a nice cup of tea and go watch NORTH AND SOUTH with GG. See why made the man a turkey? He's going to watch NORTH AND SOUTH with me. Beanie is working, Shmoo is out with friends, Emily is warming my feet and GG is getting the TV fired up. The only downer is no reading again tonight. But life is full of compensations...Richard Armitage will be in HD. It's hard to argue with that.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007


Such a long list to be thankful for. GG and my boys top the list. Hope you are having a great Thanksgiving. We are going to be spending ours with my sister and brother who live nearby. Should be lots of fun. Travel safe everybody and have a wonderful day!

BTW, I forgot to post yesterday that I have a guest blog up over at BOOK BINGE. I talk about some books I'm especially thankful for reading at significant times in my life. Check it out here.

Beanie and Girlfriend

Who Else? The Shmoo!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'll take "Life" for $100 Alex

Beanie is working madly on a couple of papers for school. I've got a couple of extra curricular activities for work. GG is off (again!). Not that he doesn't deserve 5 weeks of vacation after 20 years, but I just started a job so...well you get my drift. Shmoo just found out he has to work on Thanksgiving. Hey I know turkey dinner isn't for everybody, but McDonald's on Thanksgiving?

The reading over the weekend was only 'meh'. Really not bad, but not great either. Of course I didn't read what I thought I would. Part of an anthology, an Erin McCarthy and an HH by Charlene Sands.

Unrelated other stuff:

I made Rice Krispie treats for the first time in probably years. Don't know why, just had a hankerin' for them. As an added bonus I melted chocolate chips with a dab of peanut butter and spread it over the top. I used to do that when I made them for my sibs once upon a forever ago. Were they ever yummy. Nice for a different treat. Beanie and Shmoo were so impressed with my improvisation.

GG's reading has been going like gang busters. He finished the Christine Feehan ghost walker book (book 1). He wanted a change of pace so I have him MATCH ME IF YOU CAN by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. He's getting a kick out of it. Go figure with him and the romance novels the past few months.

GF#1 is gone, gone, gone out of Shmoo's life. GF #2 still makes an occasional appearance, but now we have girls...probably about a half dozen...that call day and night and night and day. Did I mention they call ALL THE TIME? Oy! It's always something.

Gotta run. Big doings at work today and it takes me a few minutes to spackle and paint and make myself presentable. See you around the neighborhood. If I don't get back on the computer before Thanksgiving, everyone who is traveling, travel safe. Everyone who is cooking and having a houseful, have fun and don't get too fried or tired. And to all of you, have a wonderful, happy, and blessed Thanksgiving.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007


I'm cooking a turkey. GG is out for a run and Beanie and Shmoo are sleeping. The house is quiet. Don't tell anyone, but I'm going to read in sunshine-y bliss for an hour or so.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

This Makes Me Happy

I went to the mall to pick up my layaway of Christmas ornaments at the Hallmark store last night. Every year Shmoo and Beanie pick out an ornament. It's not always Hallmark, but as it happens this year that's what they chose. Anyway, when I was in the store to pick up the ornaments I saw this clever little bit of business. A snowman, a penguin and a puppy. C'mon who could resist all that cuteness. Certainly not me.

Click on the picture and you can see why this makes me so happy. Trust me. You'll be glad you did. I love this time of year!

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Editorial Reply

It's been one of those kind of weeks.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thinking, TV, brownies, but no reading...

Life is busy. Are you sick of my saying that? Well I'm sick of me saying that. Things just seem to be on fast forward all of a sudden. I haven't read since I posted on Monday. But I want to thank you all for your great suggestions, it got my curiosity sparked and I'm interested in a couple of things.

The possibilities are varied. My next possible reads:

BLOODFEVER by Karen Marie Moning


THE HORSEMAN by Jillian Hart

MAD DASH by Patricia Gaffney

One of the books in my TBR by Karen Rose

I had a grand time making the rounds today. I laughed quite a bit. Here are some posts worth checking out if you haven't already:

Zeek's post had a cute Christmas message. Loved it. I only wish I could actually send it in a card. Lisabea's post answering Sarah McCarty's ice breaker questions from eHarlequin was great, witty, clever and funny. Sarah had some really, really great questions. I'd love to use them at a SoCal Blogger meet up.

I also really enjoyed and got a hoot out of Jennifer Crusie's post. When you get to the part about the commune...well just be prepared. And finally, I'm tooting my own horn a little bit here, because she refers to a conversation we had at lunch on Monday, but check out SL Wendy's post about how an oldie might not be a goodie any more.

While I haven't done any more reading since last I posted, I did catch HEROES on Monday night. Isn't it always the way? Right after I complain how the series has pretty much sucked this season the last two episodes have rocked. I always know the series is cooking when my family is discussing and debating theories two days later. Shmoo is completely disgusted with my thoughts (Adam is a bad guy and tricking Peter) and has quite a theory of his own. It's loaded with lots of conjecture and subplots. I can't believe how much time and conversation we've devoted to the topic.

I'm thinking some of my malaise might be due to only going swimming once last week. Once your body gets used to a regular workout and you stop I think the muscles are talking to the bones and the bones to the heart and the heart to the brain and they all want to know why the hell they aren't getting any exercise. GG and I are back on the bandwagon this week. Who knew one week off would make such a difference?

Final note. We watched BIGGEST LOSER last night. Before I continue, I want to point out this is NOT a TV show I would ordinarily seek out and watch. However, once you tune-in it is morbidly fascinating and compelling. Go figure. Which is really curious for me because for the most part I can't stand any of the reality shows. Anyway, show of hands...was anyone else as thrilled as we were to see Amy go last night? Halleluia!! Although kudos to her for her end of show 'how they are doing now' segment where it showed she lost 100 pounds. I give credit where it's due even to lying, scheming witches.

Remember my post on the fabulous brownies? Well, I've made them several more times and they are still fabulous and yummy. Why mention them now? I'm chewing chocolatey goodness as I type this.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What are you reading?

November is not shaping up to be a very productive reading month. Sure I've read a few books, but I'm in the mood for something to REALLY engross me. Something that takes a lot of concentration and focus that engages me completely. I've been sort of hoping that the ARC I won of Megan Hart's next book TEMPTED would get here.

I recently agreed to take delivery of two books by Georgette Heyer COTILLION and AN INFAMOUS ARMY from Sourcebooks. All they asked is that I mention that Ms. Heyer's books were being re-released and maybe do a review when I read one (or both) of them. Since I do like to read English historicals and I've also been wanting to try Ms. Heyer I was happy to get the books for free and mention the re-release of the books. Of course, I noted that the two books I got are not the ones that made the new AAR 100, but what the heck. Like I said, I've been wanting to try out Ms. Heyer and this is my chance. So I guess it's official. I got free books, I pimp their publication and now I'm a full fledged book whore. Anybody feel free to step in and refute my logic. Seriously. Anybody. Really.

All of which has nothing to do with why I'm having a slow reading month. Want to read but don't know what to read. You know like having a food craving but not knowing what you want to eat exactly? Sometimes you get lucky and try something way off the radar and get *ahhhhh* satisfied. That's sort of what I'm hoping will happen with my reading. I'm going to browse through my stash and find something off my current radar and get my craving taken care of. Western? Contemporary? Suspense? Erotic? Sweet? Inspirational?

I had lunch with Super Librarian Wendy yesterday. She whet my appetite for westerns by giving me a great synopsis for THE HORSEMAN by Jillian Hart. I also picked up the new Charlene Sands HH BODINE'S BOUNTY. God knows what will end up in my hot little hands.

Currently I'm struggling through HOLY SMOKES by Katie MacAlister. I've enjoyed this particular series about the adventures of Guardian (not angel) Aisling Grey in the supernatural, paranormal realm. The first couple of books were great. Unfortunately, the last couple have strayed far from the central romance and are involved in the politics and power plays of dragon septs, demons, heaven and hell and well...I've lost interest. The book's not bad, it's *big yawn* boring. I'm sooo disappointed too because I sure liked the first few books. They were funny and entertaining and I'm not one who's particularly enamored of comedy in my romance. I like dark and angsty. But I did enjoy these.

So, I'm muddling along. Distracted by life, work and the upcoming holidays and looking for something to read. What about you. C'mon take a second and comment. What are you reading right now? You might suggest something that will satisfy my craving. You never know... Help a friend out.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Veterans Day

My Dad is a vet he was a fighter pilot in the Vietnam War. I have two uncles who served in WW II. I have a brother, nephew, and a brother-in-law who served. My brother-in-law is still an active duty Captain in the USAF. So Veterans Day is not just any holiday in our family. We remember. We are proud. We are grateful.

When I was young and my family moved every three years because Dad had a new assignment I never gave it a thought. I was not a child who suffered particularly from moving, but then every kid I knew and came in contact with was in the same boat. I just didn't know any different.

Then my Dad got his assignment in Southern California. I was 13 and we were stationed in Japan at the time. California? The place where movies were made? It sounded so fabulous, exotic and well...Disneyland was there! So we moved. We didn't know that there was desert in California. We didn't know that a small town mostly supported by the air force base was going to become a place we called 'HOME'. But it did.

I had eight siblings. We all were melancholy when my Dad sold the only house we'd all lived in after Mom died. I say 'all' because there's 17 years difference between my baby sister and I and we were only all at home together for about a year and a half. Some have moved away and come back, like me. I was gone for about 8 years and then moved back after I was married. Some like my sister in Georgia will never live in Southern California again and have made 'home' some where else.

So it doesn't really matter where your travels take you, or how you got to the place you call home. What matters is the people you love who make the place you live home.

Thanks to the men and women who serve in the military who stand and believe and keep us all safe at home with our families.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007


We watched this the other night. How could I forget how good this is? The scenery is spectacular. Since I've been to Montana, have family there and love it, the movie sort of made me home sick. Gotta love the epic splendor of it all. GG and I enjoyed it snuggled together. Mmmmmmm...

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Could you do this?

We heard about this incident at work within days of it happening. We saw pictures and heard the story by the LA Times photographer who witnessed it. However, seeing the video makes it so damn real. If you're intersted, I know I was, I also put a link to the LA Times audio and pictures of the radio chatter between the fire crews from the same incident.

The YouTube video is of a burn over which is when a fire completely surrounds an unburned area and then by mother nature's wind or the wind of the fire storm itself blows the fire across the area. Take a look.

If that wasn't enough for you, try this link.


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Friday, November 09, 2007

A GENTLE RAIN by Deborah Smith

Before this quickie review, I must apologize about its brevity. I have a thundering bad headache and I wanted to get something about the book posted, so mea culpa.

Deborah Smith does not write the same book twice. What she does very well is get her hooks into you and then just doesn't let go. You find yourself invested, interested and sometimes riveted by her stories. I'm struck with the industriousness of her characters. She rarely has time or room for a lazy slacker in her stories. Her characters may not lead big lives but they certainly have full ones. There is always so much heart and life to her characters. A GENTLE RAIN is no exception. As I read it I was immersed in her characters pain and joys deeply. They felt real and knowable.

In A GENTLE RAIN we have Ben, the tough Florida cowboy with an unusual and motley group of people who help him run his cattle ranch, and Kara, who feels lost and orphaned at 32 when her parents die. Grief stricken Kara is stunned to find out her parents were not her parents after all. Rather than make the story about a search this is a tale about discovery. Finding her biological parents is not the journey Kara is on. Their location as part of the quasi-family Ben has formed on his ranch is never the mystery. Why and how it happened that she was adopted by the richy-rich Whittenburg family, raised in a rain forest and left extremely wealthy after their deaths is what this book is about.

While I loved this story and the characters...and I did...alternating between Kara and Ben's POV was at times distracting. When the individual narrations got lengthy I would sometimes forget who the "I" was. But this is a small quibble when balanced with the rest of the story.

While the plot is a familiar story Ms. Smith imbues it with a few quirks, twists, and lots of heart. A very enjoyable read for an autumn evening. I hope you'll try it.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007


I'm doing something new and fun. I've signed on to do a column once a month for Access Romance - Readers Gab. Today my first column, Kid Proof, is up. It was inspired by a conversation I had with Lori at our So Cal bloggers lunch. I hope you'll check it out.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My October Reading List and What the Cat Dragged In

Ummmm...yeah, we don't have a cat. Shmoo is allergic and GG doesn't like 'em so that title is just a tease and I'm a dork.

Later than usual I know, but here's my October reading list.

An Enchanted Season - An anthology with Maggie Shayne, Nalini Singh, Erin McCarthy, and Jean Johnson
- Shayla Black
Caine’s Reckoning - Sarah McCarty
Secrets Volume 9 Anthology - Kimberly Dean, Kathryn Dubois, Bonnie Hamre, and Lisa Marie Rice
Trouble - Sasha White
Return to Me - Julia Templeton
Evermore - Lynn Viehl
Dark Hunter - Christine Feehan (Manga Version)
Mine Til Midnight - Lisa Kleypas
Beauty and the Black Sheep - Jessica Bird
His Comfort and Joy - Jessica Bird
All About Men - Shannon McKenna Anthology
Forbidden - Suzanne Brockmann
Demon’s Captive - Stephanie Snow
Demons on Horseback:Nate - Beth Williamson
Bring It - Louisa Trent
Lord of the Fading Lands - CL Wilson
Ice Storm - Anne Stuart
Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night - Kresley Cole

Nineteen books read. Three of the books are e-books. For the first time in over a year I had several new-to-me authors. The new ones were Wilson, Williamson, Snow, Templeton, White and Black. I got one ARC and won a couple of other books. Overall October was a pretty darn good month. Favorite read of the month would have to be EVERMORE by Lynn Viehl. I can't wait for it to come out so we can all talk about it.

Now for the stuff the cat dragged in...I suppose since I'm writing this I'M the cat. Hmmm....food for thought that.

Work is crazy busy. Home is crazy busy. New tires yesterday on one car...new brakes today on another. Thank God we don't have car payments. Cars have been a real trial in 2007. Speaking of which, there is some good news relating to cars. We think we've finally gotten the settlement finalized with the insurance company handling Shmoo's car accident which was over 8 months ago. It's going to be a relief to not have to deal with it every month. Halleluia!

On the TV front: Finally! We had a half way decent HEROES episode last night. Praise be. Hopefully we will get a couple more good eppys in before they go on holiday hiatus.

Reading update: I just finished Suzanne Brockmann's ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT and am looking forward to starting A GENTLE RAIN by Deborah Smith. It came in the mail while we were out of town. I also picked up a couple of Jillian Hart westerns at the UBS after reading this review by SL Wendy a couple of weeks ago.

My sister emailed me her pictures from our trip to Las Vegas. The picture of the birthday people and the nieces and nephews have been replaced. Hers were much better. I'm leaving you with this photo. For some reason our family likes to take photos where we are either making weird faces, tickling one another, or in this case pinching each others arses. Check it out.

(click to see larger)

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