Sunday, April 29, 2007

Day Two

So here is the conclusion of today's work in the bathroom. Note the lovely chair rail tile along the edges. I love chair rail!

You can also see that I've put in a single handle valve for the shower control and put it much higher than the original three knobs. That was an experience. It took the plumber 6 hours and he had to go under the house. Apparently the pipes weren't very sturdy. No big surprise there.

The blank spots are where the corner shelves will go, by the way.

Also, we raised the shower head. You can see that little spout is up high now. It used to hit right about at shoulder level. So fun! In fact everything in the house seems to be built for people about 6 inches shorter than we are.

Tomorrow should conclude the saga of tiling the shower!!

Work in Progress

And I don't mean my novel for once, but my bathroom!

When we moved in the one and only bathroom in our 102 year old house looked like this:

That's vinyl floor tile put up on the wall with wood strips. WHY? I ask you. If you look closely you can see the white mosaic tile that was pulled off to make way for this vinyl monstrosity. So sad.

Here's a picture of the wallpaper border on my cast iron tub, so that you can fully appreciate the decor of the bathroom. :)

And today it looks like this:

Almost done!!!

Also, I saw this behind the wall - you can't see it very well in this picture, but there are about 4 layers of wallpaper, confirming my belief that the house was built without an indoor bathroom and this room was a butler's pantry. Under the green ivy there's something that looks like a pink flamingo print, and below that is a floral print with a dentil border. It's been really fun for me to imagine who has lived here and what their lives were like as they wallpapered their pantry. ;)

Stay tuned for pics of the finished product!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Still in shock

Yesterday I was listening to one of my regular podcasts, a show that interviews writers, and I heard something that nearly made me swerve off the road... the interviewer, a writing teacher and published author, mentioned that she wasn't a fan of Jane Austen. She went on to say something to the effect of "not that I really have a problem with Austen" at which point I might have been choking at the suggestion that someone have a problem with Jane Austen.

I've sinced reminded myself that everyone has different tastes and that's alright. Diversity makes the world go 'round and all that. Though truth be told I still find it incredible.

It reminded me of college when The English Patient was a huge deal among us lit majors - both the book and the movie - and a friend of mine said to me in all seriousness that she'd just seen the movie with some friends and -'gasp'- they didn't like it! She said she really wasn't sure she could be friends with people who didn't like the English Patient. I think I was able to assure her that, although I certainly felt her pain, she surely had other things in common with her friends. ;)

So the point of this post is:

Are there any books, authors, tv shows, movies etc that you hold so dearly you really can't understand why the whole world doesn't feel the same way? Austen clearly ranks up there for me!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ode to "green" cleaners

So, picture me, standing at the stove stir frying dinner. Kira is in the living room with her new obsession: cleanser and a sponge. She's cleaning the entry way tile. And before any of you accuse me of breaking child labor laws, ther are literally only 16 tiles. ;)

Then I hear a scream, and in comes Gigi, running to me.

Me: Kira, what happened?
Kira: I don't know
Me: Why is she crying?
Kira: Um?

I look at Gigi who smells of cleaner and realize it's on her face.


I shout for Randy to come down. Leave the stove burning, and rush Gigi in the bathroom to flush her eyes out with water as I'm asking Kira, "Did she get cleaner in her face?"

Kira: I don't know. Maybe. I guess.

Kira is now hysterical saying "I am going to cry now!!!" And procedes to cry as loud as only a red head can. Randy is now holding Kira as she's shouting. Though we both notice that as Gigi tries to grab a sponge, Kira stops crying, then calmly says "I don't want you to have that sponge" and then promptly returns to screaming.

Gigi is now completely fine and I remember that this is a non-toxic, go-ahead-and-drink-it-if-you-must sort of cleanser. WHEW!

Dinner somehow managed to turn out fine.

And I wonder why I have a headache... ;)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The TB Award!

I've won the Thinking Blogger Award! Thank you Heather for passing it on to me!!

And now, it's my turn to pass it on to 5 worthy blogs.

Here are my five:

Anissa's Blog on writing et al

Melissa Marsh's blog - on writing, history, and other things

Brian Neely's Photography blog - it's thinking in a different medium than I usually use and so much fun for me to check out every day

Erica Ridley's writing blog (yes, there's a theme here, I mainly read about ONE thing!)

and finally Therese Fowler's writing blog.

Enjoy the award, folks!!

And here it is:

Here is what you do now:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.

3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.

Monday, April 16, 2007


Yesterday, we woke up intending to go to church. We love church. But both girls looked really, really awfully sick. I think they didn't actually feel that bad, but I've worked in enough nurseries that I can't drop off a sick kid with a nursery worker with a clear conscience, so we didn't make it.

Around 3 we got really stir crazy and the Benadryl was working so we headed up to Home Depot because Randy needed herb plants. Of course, I was thrilled to go to a store selling both plants for the garden and bathroom tile! (More on the tile later). And, what to my wondering eyes did appear but a CARNIVAL right next to Home Depot!!!

I looooover carnival rides. They are up there with concerts and jet skis as some of my all time favorite experiences. So of course we went and had a blast. It turns out that both my girls share my love of roller coasters. Kira went on all the "crazy" rides except the moon raker (neither one of us really wanted to hang upside down). But there was no stopping her on the Tornado, the Sizzler, or the Goliath Slide!

Randy on the other hand rode the Ferris Wheel with her and said it took way too long to load and he had too much time to think about all of the many things that could go wrong. You should see him on an airplane. He's even more fun! (which is usually when I reminisce about the first season of Lost, out loud...)

Gigi really wanted to ride too, but she was too small for everything but the merry go round - which we road 3 times. Every time it would start to slow to a stop she'd furrow her little eyebrows and shout "MORE!" (which is really more like "mow")

So that was my fun Sunday! Clearly we've got a couple of years till Disneyland will be fun, to be fair to Gigi, but I can't wait!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saturday Night - thoughts on characters

Well, I got some good editing time in today (Gigi napped - YAY!) and am now on Chapter 7. Sadly, the nap seemed to have an adverse affect on bedtime and she's still up. ARGH!

I've been thinking a lot about characterization today and about characters that leap off the page or screen and become real in my mind. I thought I'd ask what characters have done that for you?

My top ten list is: Jay Gatsby, Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, Heathcliff, C.K. Dexter Haven (from The Philadelphia Story), Tracy Lord (ditto), Lorelai Gilmore, Luke Danes, Sawyer (Lost), and Mr. Rochester

Your turn! I've left out a ton of good ones, but had to cap it somewhere. :)

Friday, April 13, 2007

A not so happy anniversary

It was one year ago today that my Grandpa passed away. My mom's having a dinner tonight to celebrate his life.

I remember getting the call on the morning of Good Friday from my husband. He had found out first and told me to call my mom. You just never expect that kind of call, even when your loved ones turn 80. I know that most people would hear that he'd died and think, well, he had a long happy life. But it just doesn't seem any more right to lose someone at 80 than it does at 18. It still feels like something's missing. And when I look at his picture, I still expect that he's still here, somewhere - that I'll stop by my Grandma's house and he'll be there with his conspiratorial wink, waiting for her to go to the kitchen so he can tell me a story. I miss you, Grandpa!!

The Secrets are Back!

Yes, there is a new episode of The Secrets at long last!

If you haven't listened to them (and you're a writer or want to learn about writing)... I'm envious, because you have before you the joy of starting at the very beginning and listening to them all! It's a podcast by Michael A. Stackpole, a fantasy writer, that gives really very helpful advice on how to stick with and complete a novel. Honestly, it's this podcast that got me out of the wannabe phase and helped me actually finish my book and believe that I can be a published writer.

Plus, he has a fantastic voice. I'd listen to him read the phonebook.

The feed is here:
Or you can look them up in iTunes.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Lost, among other things...

First of all, I have the flu and a flat tire.

Fortunately, Lost was on last night. :) I haven't really chatted about Lost in a long time and this is quite possibly my favorite episode of the last two seasons. So I must talk about it!!!

Why was it so good??

1) Sayid- I love that Sayid is like the viewer's guy on the island, meaning he reacts like we, the audience reacts and he never forgets that his goal is to get off the island. His words to Juliet were basically, we haven't forgotten what you've done now spill it or I'll make you spill it. Then, when Jack says she's "under his protection" I love Sayid's look which basically says "that is humorous. I could take you both, no problem." Love Sayid!!! One of the reason's I was so sad when Shannon died was that we don't see his tender side as often, but I like his lethal side, too.

2) Sawyer and Kate... ahhh!!!! A) Sawyer's look of relief when he see's Kate alive. B) Kate running up to him and throwing her arms around him (yay, Kate!) C) Kate calling him 'James' to get his attention... so sweet.

3) The whole Juliet twist at the end - BRILLIANT! And how smart was Sawyer a few episodes back when he said she was lethal. Loved them zooming in on her tying the knots at the end too - hearkening back to Ethan and what he did to Charlie. Yikes. I say she's eeeeveeel

I'd just like to say that I have about enough energy to prop myself up at the keyboard, and my sweet daughter is entertaining herself by scrubbing the floor. ;) Ahhh.... the other one is of course tormenting her to the best of her ability.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

And a question

Is it "strived" or "strove" people? says either way, but one has to be better...

Spring Break Day Three (night three, really)

Hm, well some people seem to have preferred the coffee, some the tigerlillies - oh well. I've had this theme on my hard drive for a while waiting for a chance to use it and today is the day! I'm sure I'll change it again in the near future. I'm working on a blog design for the "professional writer blog" to come. It's very cool!

Guess where I am right now? In my cozy brown chair in my clean(ish) living room (thanks Mom!) next to my cozy tweed curtains that are drawn so the people outside (yes I can hear them) can't see me working on my editing. Ok, I'm actually blogging, but just for a sec. I've got a scene that must be rewritten tonight. I'm imposing a deadline!

Also, it seems to be spider season here. I've seen a couple of those big black house spiders lately... the first actually RAN (they're fast) right at me while the four of us were camped out on the floor playing Mario Party and eating ice cream. It clearly wanted to join in the fun! I jumped. Randy told me to get him a cup (we're a no kill household) and Kira then examined it inside the cup and proclaimed "I prefer Suzie... you remember, the spider in our old house?" Yeah, she named the spider that lived under the bathroom cupboard that I could never manage to relocate. I could never look at a spider long enough to name one.

And with that... I'm back to editing...

And again...

Ok, the brown just wasn't working for me. This is much cheerier and I have dragonfly things all over my house so it feels homey. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Today has been a good day - although it started out with some serious issues (didn't get coffee in time to prevent headache - Kira coughing like a TB victim), it ended well.

First, my wonderful mother came over and helped me make serious progress in the living room. I can actually sit here at my computer without twitching because of the mess everywhere. YAY!

Second, I seem to have solved the mystery of the drapes. Yes, it's true, I've finally purchased window coverings so that I can't be seen by passers by on the street while typing. It's a wonderful feeling. I went with a brown tweed that's really warm and happy.

I feel like all of this will yield more and better writing, since I'll be able to sit happily at my computer, instead of looking around at all I need to do and wondering who is peering in from the street.

So happiness abounds!

(And if you need a dose of happiness and already have blinds, go check out last week's Lost!)


Not the house, just the blog. ;) Got a little bored and wanted to change things up. I'm not sure this is sticking around, but it is appropriate to my coffee addiction. It's a sad day when you have a headache and think it's probably a caffeine headache since you've *only* had one grande latte and three cups of coffee so far. Not NEARLY enough!!!

OK, back to house organizing, editing in my head, and nursing the sick child...

Day Two

Kira is still sick. She has a horrible cough and is lying on the sofa watching Digging for the Truth. She wants to be an archeologist (among other things) when she grows up, so we're both learning a lot. But, she keeps piping up about which areas she would, and would not enter (nothing she doesn't think she could get back out of!)

I can tell you I go a little nutty whe I only see two people all day long. Must find more humans....

Alo, I FINALLY saw last weeks Lost and I'd like to announce that I've officially left the Jack and Kate camp and am now rooting for Sawyer in all things. He's just adorable, and I think it's really interesting how characters can evolve and win your heart. ;)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Spring Break Day One

I hope everyone had a happy Easter! We went to church, ate lots of sugar, and played Happy Family with my very large family. Much fun was had by all! (And I'm happy to explain the rules of Happy Family for anyone looking for a fun, free party game!)

Kira is on Spring Break today... and sick, so we are pretty much grounded right now. Perhaps a bit too much sugar yesterday? I did find a few spare moments to get some editing done. Whew! It feels good to be back at it. I'll update my meter over there soon, I promise!

In other news, I got some new flowers planted this weekend. I LOVE having my own garden! I've clearly created a monster because Kira looked at the house today and said "With all those colorful flowers, I think the color of the house doesn't suit the garden. We should paint it." Um, yes, we probably should, but let's finish UNPACKING first. ;) Yes, I'm still unpacking. Oh the joy.

Also, I'm reading Susan Grant's SF Romance (that I WON) - My Planet or Yours - and it's fantastic. It's my first SFR and I'm really happy to have discovered a fun new genre. ;)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Take Two

I managed to make it till about 11 last night. WOO! (Waited up for Randy who was working his last night shift - another WOO!). There were some parenting... challenges... toward the end of the evening, but everyone got to bed in more or less one piece. I got up at 6:06 this morning and things were going well - everyone was ready to take Kira to school not just on time but a little bit early (this is key - if I get there early, I can walk her in which she loves)... then I tried to muscle the Benadryl down Greta so she wouldn't throw up in the car and what does she do but preemptively throw up all over both of us. This included the Benadryl I'd just slipped into her mouth. Of course I'd put her in her last clean outfit.

One dress and pair of tights later and a change of clothes for me and we get outside to see the car encased in ice. Of course the ice scraper was in Randy's car. So I turned on the heat and the wipers and waited... finally we made it to school with enough time for me to drop her off, then run in and wave so she felt like her Mommy cared. Mission accomplished, sort of.

I was all set for a great morning nap from Greta - it lasted all of 10 minutes. Just long enough for me to make a late breakfast/early lunch. (Nachos probably shouldn't be a breakfast food).

Let's hope this gets a little smoother in days to come!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Schedule Take One!

So, I made a schedule. the whole thing hinges on my ability to get up and FUNCTION at 5:30 in the morning. I'm really and truly a night person, so this is a big if.

Therefore, I have risen today in the pre-dawn hours to see how I do! So far, so good. I had coffee with DH in front of the fire, had a little computer time and a shower before any little kidlets are awake. WOO HOO!

Stay tuned to see if I crash and burn around 3, when DH heads to his (last day of) his second job. ;)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Recap Post

It's been a busy week... mostly revolving around one little toddler and the flu. Really not fun for anyone. She seems to be mostly back to her riotous self, though, if a little thinner, so all is good.

So I have a few things to catch up on!

1) Lost - yes, this gets top billing because it was CREEPY! Also, it didn't really advance the plot, but it was fun to revist old scenes with my favorite survivors. I really didn't like Nikki and Paolo but didn't need to see them go like THAT. It's been my worst nightmare since reading Poe in 5th grade.

2) Novel - STILL editing. Can I just say for a second that pacing is HARD. I feel like I've ripped it all apart and now I'm trying to put it back together with special new and improved "pacing glue". I'm up to about chapter 9 in this process. There are many more chapters to go. Clearly I didn't make my March 31st goal, but the book keeps getting better, so that's good. I think I've done a lot of good work on the two protagonists to make them stronger and deeper. Also good. But the little sidebar tracker isn't really relevant at this point. I'm leaving it there, though, to remind me to keep moving. Once again... pacing is hard!

3) My big goal as a SAHM is to add structure and routine to our days. No more being at the end of a litle Greta whip. Or such is my goal. No luck yet. I'm blaming it on still moving in and DH's crazy schedule (which gets a little more normal as of Tuesday). I am in awe of bloggers like Kimber who seem to have this all together. Once again, if anyone has "schedule" advice send it my way. (and I've read all the books. Really.)

Hopefully I'll assume regularly scheduled blogging now!