Welcome Reader:

Whether you've just now tuned in to my life, or have been keeping up with my inner thoughts for quite some time now,
I welcome you.

Though you may or may not be entertained by my thoughts, it is for MYSELF that I pen a blog.

As a writer, I enjoy expressing myself.
When I write long romance novels, I am inside my head so much, I forget to focus on reality.

By writing once and a while on my blog, when the mood hits me, I have the freedom to come and go.
To pull up a chair and order lemonade or an ice cream sundae.
To either gobble it down, or eat it ever so slowly...

...until it melts into a concoction that resembles mushy milk.

Pull up a chair! Have a read. I hope you enjoy it.
I do...and that's what really matters.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Happy New New Year Year

As you can see by the title, I am determined to have a doubly happy new year in 2008.

In 2007, I had more than my share of doctor visits and shots in my back...what a pain in the neck! I lost a total of 30 pounds and gained back 12. Now I must double my efforts. It might take double the time to lose them, but I am driven to drop those holiday pounds (#1 resolution) and fit back into those slinky clothes I fit into for five great months.

I blame part of my 'weight loss gain' on the holidays and a cookie swap, and some on the fact that when I exercise...walk...it hurts my back! Since I have a hard time eating less, exercise is doubly important. In the end, one can only blame themselves for NOT losing weight. If you have no willpower, you are in double trouble.

In 2008, I will be having more shots in my back, but I'm hoping in time to spring back with renewed bounce in my step. I enjoy walking with my husband (usually 3 miles at least twice per week. When I was in Weight Watchers, I walked 3 miles per day!) Sometimes I get withdrawals from walking so much, so I will jump on my treadmill and do my 20 minute mile, and get off feeling doubly good! Then I go ice my back and pop a few Excedrin.

My husband and I also have our cellar set up like a playground for when my young niece comes over after kindergarten on Thursdays. We ride bikes in the cellar, play hide the ball, basketball, 'monkey in the middle', hopscotch, jump rope, tennis, and sometimes I roller blade with ski poles. 'Course with my hurt back, we can only play for five minutes at a time, then must take a break, or play dolls or McDonald's.

Another resolution (#2) is to write more...hence my new blog effort. I hope you will all get something out of each blog entry, however, this blog I mostly write for me. This effort is geared toward doubling my efforts to once again see my name in print. If I'm lucky, some publisher will happen along my blog and want to make me the next Jane Austen! I love Jane! Do you?

Resolution #3 is odd, considering I want to lose weight. I want to cook more. Actually, I should say "I want to cook." I don't cook much. God bless my husband for preferring 'meat and potatoes' over five course meals. I have a crock pot. I've had it for ten years. It has sat collecting dust most of those years. However, several of my sisters are very successful at cooking and have told me how easy crock pot cooking can be. One of my sisters gave me a crock pot cookbook for Christmas. (My stomach thanks you!)

Two days ago I threw a bunch of leftovers and home-grown rosemary in said crock pot and came up with turkey, rice, onion, and green bean stew. Tomorrow I am making wheat tortellini, Italian sausage, and spinach stew. I have tons of meat in the freezer and a hundred different canned food items to choose from. I could come up with some new concoction every few days in 2008! Yummy, yummy. But my husband will probably miss his meat and potatoes.

What resolutions have you made for 2008? Do you consider yourself a good cook? What are your specialties? Any suggestions for mustering up willpower while dieting?
Please reply!

Wishing you all a happy happy new new year year!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Music - Is it Soothing or Does it Clutter?

Personally, I enjoy most music. The only music that clutters my thinking is hard rock and probably rap. Hard rock is a lot of little boys banging on their mama's pots and pans and yelling while having temper tantrums. Rap...I did get an MC Hammer tape once, but I stopped it there. I cannot absorb all the words fast enough to put it all together and have it make sense. I want music to which I can sing along.

I mostly enjoy soft rock and pop music from the 70s and 80s. Country music has some winners, too. My husband turned me on to classical music. I find it very relaxing and romantic. We also enjoy Celtic music and Sea Shantys that tell great historical stories.

Some songs I find myself learning the words to while I sit at work, or on the drive to and fro. Sometimes I think I know the words, but clearly don't. I'll be belting one out while driving and realize, hey, that just doesn't make sense. So I sing the made-up words I've been singing all along. Otherwise, I will have to just hum until I get to a part I think I know. Good thing all the traffic around me can't hear me. They just see me talking to myself and probably think I'm crazy!

When I have an idea for a story I keep my ears open for a theme song. I find music is a positive muse for me. It puts me in productive writing mode. Sometimes I used lyrics as suggested narration for my characters. Especially the love songs..."oh, my darling!" I have half a dozen first draft novels and they each have a theme song. For one of my novels, anything sung by Roy Orbison is also sung by the hero of the story. He's a rich house-flipper in Portsmouth, NH and moonlights as a singer in a band for relaxation. The heroine is his opinionated childhood friend who waitresses at the Rusty Hammer, and then becomes a real estate agent. They have a tumultuous relationship.

How do you feel about music? Is it soothing or does it clutter? What are some of your favorite songs, and why?
Please reply!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Military Friends I Used to Know

While I was still in high school I signed up to join the United States Air Force. I was from a small town and needed to make a life for myself. My sister's old boyfriend had joined the Air Force. When he came home on leave he searched me out and encouraged me to join. With few options, I did.

When I arrived at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas in June 1980, while our T.I. was yelling at me and 49 other women, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. We had arrived at the base in the wee hours of morning. They marched us into the Mess Hall to eat cafeteria style. In the months that followed, I was taught to march, about the chain of command, how to fire a rifle/machine gun, about the inner workings of the human mouth and the names of teeth, and numerous dental procedures. All I could do was embrace/endure my new life. I was governmental property for four years whether I liked it or not.

After Basic Training and Tech School, I was shipped out to Edward's Air Force Base on the Mojave Desert in California, from 1980 to 1982. I then swapped with someone and was stationed once again at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas from 1982 to 1984.

Four years turned out to drag on forever! It was my good fortune that during those four years it was in peace-time. There were some good times, many challenging times, and I met and made friends with quite a few people from all across the country. My duty was being a dental assistant. I did very little 'drilling and filling.' I assisted in dental sick call, oral surgery, and Prosthodontics. I worked closely with officers and was pretty professional! On weekends, off duty, I danced and partied at the Airman's Club with the clique I was part of. My personality emerged as time dragged on.

Of the many friends I made, I have lost touch with all of them. The military is like that, at least it was in the early 1980s. Service people moved around a lot. You lost contact. You had to move on with your life, but no one could take away your memories. I do have a photo album with some of my service people and places captured in time. When looking at them I close my eyes and imagine those long ago places and faces...distant memories in my past that no one can share with me, because I have no one left with whom to share it.

It is my hope that one or more of my old service mates (or civilian friends) will plug my name in under a search engine and find me! If so, please contact me...if we parted friends. (I didn't have many enemies, at least one I can think of that I wouldn't want contact from...don't ask!) Friends I most remember: Jeanne McCoombs, Richard Goggin, Richard Sparks, Donna Skawski Saia, Cathy Adams Vermuelin, Jakata Ramos Lewis, Hector Garza, Miguel Cacho, Dwaylon Calhoun, and Michael Mosley, to name a few.

I have come to wish I was more self-assured in my service days. I think I would've taken advantage of the opportunities offered to me, of which I was ignorant. Instead of being a dental assistant, I wish I had gone into journalism and written for the base newspaper! I may have also wanted to become a news reporter.

Were you (or are you currently) in the service?
If so, do you have a comment on my experience in losing old friends?
If you haven't been in the service, but have a past life in which you have lost friends forever, do you have something you wish to share?
Please reply!

Getting Ready for a New Beginning

Yesterday was the end of an era for me. It was Christmas, true, but the day held more in store for me than merely celebrating Jesus' birth. That, in and of itself, is of great joy for believers. I am not too vain to admit that I am a believer. However, of great importance to me was the fact that I admitted to being needy.

I need many things. I am not rich nor poor, just vaugly inbetween. It is the riches of good health, motivation, excitement, purpose, and being needed for my talents, for which I hunger. Yes, my husband loves and needs me. When in my care, my niece loves and needs me. My sister who is my employer loves and needs me. Plus, several family members and friends love and need me.

Still, I find a hole within me that needs filling. But I am picky: I don't want just anything to fill me. I want to dabble in outside interests - I want to create important entities. However, I still want to feel free to slip back into my shell at any given point, without upsetting whatever wheels I may have put into motion. I fear it is not that easy.

You see, I realized a few years ago that I get all excited about an idea, go full force to implement it, and then my excitement wanes. I lose interest and walk away. I start projects, like knitting, that I never finish. I wish to reverse my past behavior and continue on with some of the worthwhile ideas I have.

Do you know how I feel? Can you help me? Do you have any suggestions? Please reply!