Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wisconsin weirdness

There was a gunman in one of the local schools yesterday. A 15 year old kid basically lost it, holding his classmates hostage with 2 guns before police came in and the boy shot himself. He died this morning. The school this happened at was in our conference when I was in high school and I can remember going there for sporting events as a teen. It's a small school, which is kind of creepy, all the kids knew him and at this time, no one has a clue what set him off. Then when they got home from school, WE was telling us about his principal investigating some gum that was thrown on the floor of the school. The school just had a multi-million dollar renovation and the principal is very proud of the building. WE said he could see him checking the angle of the gum and its location in the hall, then he went into his office to review the security tapes to find the culprit. I just pray that finding the gum tossing culprit is the biggest issue my kids principal will ever have to deal with.

Angel #2 killed a possum the other night with the car. I think that's her first roadkill. She claimed it wasn't murder, the possum was suicidal, since she was attempting to drive around it when it jumped in front of her. At least it wasn't a deer, now those suckers can do some damage.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ribs and gossip, can't ask for more than that, now can you?

Yesterday, the girls and I visited Rent-a-Grandma. It had been almost a month since we've seen her, so it was nice to play a little catch-up on events in our lives. Then, she took us all out to lunch and I had some awesomely delicious bar-b-q ribs.

Hubs and WE were supposed to be out deer hunting, but decided to stay home instead. So, when the girls and I got back, we came home to fine that WE had rearranged the living room furniture and one of Angel #4's stuffed animals was sitting on a high ledge in the entryway holding a suicide not. Don't worry, though, it was all okay, because two teddy bears were located on the floor below holding a pillow between them to break the jumper's fall. There was also a crowd of stuffed onlookers crowded below as well. Sometimes I think my son has too much time on his hands.

Angel #2 went shopping with a friend today. The friend's boyfriend broke up with her this week, so after the shopping trip, they plan to have a clich├ęd breakup party watching chick flicks and eating Chunky Monkey ice cream straight out of the tub. Oh, to be a teenager again.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving

My family had a great time yesterday celebrating Thanksgiving at my sister's house. She had my family and her husband's family over for the day. Her in-laws are a very nice, fun group of people and I loved meeting the infamous Uncle Kenny. I think every family has an Uncle Kenny, he was a hoot. We also did a bit of Wii Karaoke, even me, though I'm not exactly known for my golden throat. Angel #2 suggested that maybe I whistle instead - I'm a much better whistler than a singer.

We got a letter from Angel #1 the other day. He seems to be doing fine in basic training and said he's getting used to getting yelled at all the time from his drill Sargent. It doesn't sound like he's got a whole lot of free time on his hands. He said he misses relaxing and eating snacks - so I've got the feeling I know what he's going to be doing right after graduation.

It's pretty quiet in the house today. This morning, Hubs, WE & Angel #4 hit the woods to do a little deer hunting and Angel #2 headed out about half an hour ago for work, so here I am, enjoying the peace. Hopefully, WE gets a deer this weekend. Twice this week, he dreamed about shooting a buck, so he's hoping that they'll come true. Come sundown on Sunday, gun deer season is over again for another year and people's brains will finally turn to something else, but for the moment, all everyone seems to talk about is hunting. It's like the movie Escanaba in Da Moonlight, without the aliens (and yes, that's what people really talk like in this part of the world)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fun!

I had a nice time at the book signing yesterday. Before the signing, I had a little Q&A session with the library's book club, a very friendly group of people. I didn't have a ton of people show up, but enough to keep me busy. One of Angel #4's friend's mothers brought her, along with her friends to the library so they could see me in action. The friend also brought me roses - what a nice woman, eh? I met some interesting people who stopped by to chat and buy a book or two along with a group of three goofy teenagers who sat and chatted with me for about a half hour. I always get stressed out over events like that. I'm not very comfortable being in the spotlight, I even had nightmares the night before, dreaming that I showed up at the signing without any books. Yeah, I get way over-anxious over things like this, but it's all part of selling books.

Talk about books, I'm glad Jeanie C got her copy of Not Looking for Trouble. I tried to comment on your post, Jeanie, but Bravenet wouldn't let me. I hope you enjoy it and it helps keep your mind of the life issues you're dealing with. Plus, I think it's really cool that you bumped my book ahead of Stephen King's in your to be read pile. :)

We're supposed to get up to an inch of slush tonight. I'm not happy about this. Hubs and WE we're going to head out overnight so they could get an early start hunting tomorrow, but I think they may just stick closer to home. It would stink if the roads made it so they wouldn't be able to get back in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Even if the weather didn't make it obvious, I would know that I'm back in Wisconsin for Thanksgiving since I've once again volunteered to make the dinner rolls. Bread making is one of my rare skills and what better time than Thanksgiving to put that skill into action? Making rolls is a much different tradition than our Hawaii one, which was spending that long weekend on Oahu...though I can't say I'd object to having Hawaii weather at the moment. I'd forgotten how darn cold it gets up here!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Yay me!

I've got another Nanowrimo under my belt. I think I wrote my 50,000 words this month in record time. I don't know why I put myself under all that stress every November, but it sure does feel good when I've hit the goal and my life can return to what passes for normal.

Tomorrow afternoon I've got a book signing at one of the local libraries. I made a batch of my famous ginger snap cookies to take along, better to lure potential book buyers to my table. Since I don't know too many people in the area, I've been doing my best to tell everyone I've run into about the signing in hopes that they'll come to meet a 'real' author. I hope I get a decent turnout, it would really suck to sit there for 2 1/2 hours with no one stopping by.


Friday, November 19, 2010

This is the time of year when bullets are on my shopping list

WE and I went shopping today. It's the opening day of deer hunting season tomorrow and he needed warm clothes so he doesn't freeze his heiny off. We ended up getting him gloves, warm boots and, the Wisconsin outdoorsman staple, Carhart bibbed overalls. Buying the boots was an adventure, he tried them on, but didn't want to walk around to test them out. I started singing: These boots are made for walkin' and he continued it with and that's just what I'll do. Soon, we were both walking around the store singing the song together. What's the point of shopping if you can't enjoy yourself? We then had a shootout with some machine guns in the toy department. There are so many things to do and enjoy when you shop at Fleet Farm. I don't know where people buy things when they don't have an area Fleet Farm. I know we missed it a lot when we lived in Hawaii. Fleet Farm, for the uninformed, is a chain of stores in the upper Midwest - it's commonly said up here: if you can't find it at Fleet Farm, you don't really need it. If you need, say, new tires for your car, supplies for replumbing your bathroom, Christmas presents for your kids and a saddle for your horse, you can do it all in one stop at Fleet. And while you're there, you can buy a new outfit, get soap for your dishwasher and pick up a shotgun. Something for everyone. It's also known as The Man's Mall.

Also in preparation for deer hunting, along with the fact that he'd been complaining about not being able to see the board at school, hubs took WE to the eye doctor the other day and now my little boy has glasses. Fortunately, he only needs them for distance and doesn't have to wear them all the time. The day he got them, he was having a wonderful time reading off the license plate numbers of all the cars ahead of us on the road.

Talk about license plates, back in September, we bought a used truck. Within days after we bought it, I sent in the paperwork, title, fees and all that stuff, so we could get a license plate for it. The check I wrote out was dated September 14th. About a month after that, the DMV finally cashed the check and a week later, we got the title in our name. YESTERDAY, we finally got the actual plates to put on the truck. Over two months to get stinking license plates, then, to top it all off, they also sent us an August sticker to put on it instead of a September when we actually bought it. What would have been fair is us getting the sticker for the month we actually got the stupid plates. It's amazing the new and exciting ways the government comes up with to screw people over.

Hubs and WE headed out tonight to the place where they're going hunting so they can get an early start tomorrow. Angel #2 had to work and Angel #4 was going to a friend's house. I thought I was going to have a quiet night alone at home. Ha! Hubs and WE got a late start, so they left the house just as I was going to get #4 and her friend so they could have a sleepover at our house. About half an hour after that, #2's friends showed up, waiting for her to get done with work. All the kids are now in the basement playing Pop Pong, which is like Beer Pong, only nonalcoholic. At least when they're all here, I don't have to worry about #2 driving home alone at night.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Anyone want a cut and curl?

My husband, who tends to buy weird, random stuff on impulse has been resisting the urge since we moved back to Wisconsin. There's nothing like making a big move to make you realize h0w much junk you've accumulated. We had the oddest assortment of stuff. But, as I said, he's been really good the last six months or so and hasn't come home with weird stuff lately. He fell off the wagon the other day. We're now the proud owners of 3 of those old time hair drying chairs like they have in beauty parlors, complete with drying helmet. Then, to make matters worse, the kids all started fighting over who got a chair for their room - hubby reserved at least one for his office. So far, WE is the only one who's been ambitious enough to carry one up to his room. He was mumbling something about attaching wires to the helmet and turning it into a time machine, but at the moment he's using it for a reading chair.

We just got back from hubby's uncle's funeral. He suffered from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease aka mad cow disease. I guess it came on rather fast. Uncle Chuck was a really great guy and one of my more favorite members of hubs family - he'll be greatly missed.

I've been plugging my way through National Novel Writing Month once again this year. I'm closing in on my 50,000 word goal for the month and crossed over the 42,000 mark today. Things have been going relatively easy so far this year, which is a relief. There have been some years where I struggled the entire month. But, I have been missing my Hawaiian writing buddies - especially the fact that we could meet on the outside lanai at Borders to do our writing. There'll be no outside writing for me for months and months here in Wisconsin. Oh well, that's life.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

what are the odds?

Someone said hi to me today while I was at the store. Turns out it was my mom's cousins daughter (would that be my 2nd cousin?) Anyway, it turns out that around the same time we were moving from Hawaii back to Wisconsin, she was moving back to Wisconsin from Phoenix. Then, to top it off, we both moved to the same little microscopic town about fifty miles from where we grew up. Weird, huh?

Yesterday, I made some killer bean soup. I thought it was good, but I always like bean soup. The big kicker was that WE, who looks at eating bean soup as a chore, liked it so much he went back for seconds. It seems like every time I make a pot of bean soup, it turns out better than the time before. I've got some mad bean soup skilz

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yay Jeanie C!

Hey Jeanie, check it out You won a copy of my latest book, Not Looking For Trouble at Unusual Historicals. Thanks for commenting.

Apparently, the sickness wasn't done yet in our family as I was down for the count Friday night. Now the only one who hasn't gotten sick yet is Hubs, here's hoping he beats the odds. I felt real crappy Friday night and took some medicine. It was after I took it that I remembered that the last time I took that particular pill, it made me really nauseous and I ended up barfing it back up, it was not pleasant. But by then, it was too late to do anything about it other than eating something to help settle my stomach. I grabbed a piece of cold ham out of the fridge and chowed it down. It tasted so good, I wanted more. I ended up taking the entire container of leftover ham and taking it into my bedroom with me where I curled up in bed, read a book and ate ham. I finished the entire container and felt MUCH better. Ham is good for what ails ya.

We got a letter from Angel #1 on Saturday. It wasn't really a personalized letter, just more of a fill in the blank letter giving us general instructions on how to contact him and what we're allowed to send him. On the not allowed list is cookies, cake, socks, underwear (do people really feel the need to send their kids underwear?), alcoholic beverages (here son, I sent you a beer to make basic training a little more pleasant) and pornographic material (here's a Hustler to go with your beer). I think I'll just stick to writing him letters.

Saturday, we also went to my nephew's 6th birthday party. We got there just at the perfect time. He was having a Star Wars party and just as we were walking in, my brother in law walked in the room in full Darth Vader costume. It was hilarious to see eight 6 year olds standing there with their mouths hanging open watching Darth wave a light saber in their direction. Then they all started pelting him with sofa pillows. Once Darth left the building, WE became the next celebrity. Those little boys used him as a jungle gym, my poor little boy was way outnumbered, but had a great time roughhousing with the boys and the little boys thought he was the greatest. It seems so long ago that my boys were that age. I found a picture of Angel #1 last night from when he was eight. It's hard to believe that that cute little boy is now a Marine.

Friday, November 12, 2010

1-2-3 they're all down for the count!

It's been one of those weeks. Saturday night, Angel #2 was complaining about her eye hurting. I checked it out and saw she had a weird spot on her eyeball. I suspected that it was caused by her wearing her contacts 24/7 and gave her strict orders that no contacts were allowed and we'd see what happened. By Sunday night it was already starting to feel better, so I figured I was right about the contacts and made the entire week a no contacts zone. Her eye's much better now, but she came down with a nasty cold and was home sick from school on Wed and Thurs.

On Sunday, WE was complaining about a sore ear. We tried all kinds of home remedies and something must have finally kicked in since it's feeling fine now. I'm not sure if it was the over the counter ear stuff we bought or the clove of garlic I had him stick in his ear (earthclinic.com rocks my world!). Either way, he's much better now too.

Thursday morning, Angel #4 spent barfing, so I made her stay home from school, much against her wishes. She's got way too much going on in her life to be able to afford to miss school apparently. By noon, she seemed to be feeling better, though she was still a bit squicky this morning, but wouldn't even consider staying home another day.

Last night was Angel #4's parent teacher conferences. I think it would be more efficient for me to just listen to the same recording once a year, it would provide the same effect. Every conference I've had for her has been exactly the same. She's a wonderful student, a happy, friendly girl with lots of friends, but she talks too much during class. Yep, every year, same old same old. It could be worse though, so I'll just give thanks that my daughter's only school issues is that she's a chatty cathy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

twice in one day?

Yesterday morning, I was shocked to look at my checking account online and discover that it was overdrawn. I knew the balance was getting down there, but I also knew that I shouldn't have been in the hole. After checking the recent transactions, I saw that the thing that put me into overdraft was a $100+ cell phone bill payment. Problem was, it wasn't for our cell phone company. I called hubs to see if he knew anything about it, and he didn't. After making a few phone calls to the bank, they agreed that the charge looked suspicious and stopped payment (and refunded my overdraft fee). But, now they have to block my debit card, since that's where the mystery payment was charged from. Then, yesterday afternoon, hubs called me and had me deal with a banking issue with our bank in Hawaii. He'd bought something from a company, who then started taking unauthorized monthly payments out. He'd talked to them last month and they said they'd refund and discontinue, but yesterday, not only had they not refunded, but they'd taken another payment out. So, sure 'nuff, the bank had to block HIS debit card. So, the current chain of events means that I don't have a working debit card for MY bank account and hubs doesn't have one for HIS. We did a card switch and now he's using my card for his account and I'm using his card for my account. Got that? We should both be getting new cards in the next two weeks, but for now, gender confusion reigns. Stupid crooks.

Last night, I met some friends for dinner. We met at Red Robin, part of a restaurant chain we didn't have in Hawaii, but I've since become an addict since moving to Wisconsin. To the best of my knowledge, it's the only place up here where I can get me a teriyaki beef burger with a big ol' slab of pineapple on it (I acquired a few new food cravings while living in HI). Anyway, we had a great time sitting and gabbing about everything from bad romance novels to the ethics of the death penalty. It's amazing the ground three gabby women can cover inside the space of 2 1/2 hours.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I think I'd find a more interesting place to bomb

Today, Angel #4 and I had to go to the nearby 'bigger' town (pop approx 3000) to do some shopping. The Dollar General where we were, suddenly became extraordinarily busy for a Thursday night, then we found out why. Someone had called in a bomb threat at the nearby Econofood store. Since that's the only grocery store in town, everyone who was planning on stopping by there to pick up supper for the evening had to make alternative plans - most of which consisted of hitting the small grocery department at Dollar General. If was was going to risk getting my butt in major trouble for calling in a bomb threat, I think I'd pick a more exciting place to threaten than Econofoods, but to each their own, I guess. I haven't seen any mushroom clouds to the west, nor have I heard any explosions, so I'm guessing the Econofoods will still be around to supply everyone with milk and eggs for years to come.

Last night, we got a phone call at around 10:15pm. Hubs went to answer it, said hello, then not another word til he hung up. Then he kept saying wow over and over again. Once he was done wowing, he informed me of what had just taken place. The call went as follows:

Hubs: Hello?
Angel #1 (in a scary, soldier kind of voice): Hello Mr. ####, this is Marine Private ### #### calling to inform you that I've reached my destination. You will be receiving a letter from me in the next three weeks. I love you and goodbye. *click*

Gulp, I guess that means my little boy is well and truly in the military.

For those of you interested, I did a short question and answer post at Unusual Historicals blog. Come check it out and get the chance to win an e-copy of my latest book, Not Looking For Trouble

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I voted - did you?

It seems like I make a point of voting AGAINST candidates rather than for them. Maybe we need better candidates.

In happier news, once again this year I'm doing National Novel Writing Month. That's 50,000 words to write in the month of November. This will be my 5th year doing Nano and I've hit the 50K word goal in my previous 4 years, so I'm optimistic that I can do it again this year. I got a good start in and I've already got 6000 words under my hat. Last night I met with the local Nano group for a kick off party. Nothing says a good time like sitting at a table with 7 random strangers, typing away at their keyboards. Actually, for the most part, they were a really nice group and we're hoping to meet again a couple more times this month. Meeting with a group seems to force you to write more and faster, which is the whole point of nano in the first place.