Friday, June 30, 2017

Going Back to Alaska

When you finally pay off the mortgage, you can think about more elaborate vacations. And when the Hubby survives cancer—twice (we’re thinking positive here even though we don’t have test results yet)—you want to celebrate. We’ve always wanted to go back to Alaska. Now we are. On a cruise!

It won’t happen until next summer, and yes, we’ll be driving to Seattle. There are some states we haven’t visited yet. We both want to say we’ve been to them all and this trip will do it for Hubby (I still have Delaware, but we’ll take care of that on a different trip). So yeah, this will be an extended vacation. Pretty much have it all planned out already. I’m so excited.

Oh, and the states I haven’t been to and will hit on this trip: North Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, and Iowa. Hubby will finally see North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Minnesota.

So… How many states do you need to visit to say you’ve seen them all?

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wednesday Reads and a Costly Repair

Here’s what I read the past week:

Book #40

Dates read: June 19-23
Title: “A Shot With You”
Year of publication: 2017
Author: Teri Anne Stanley
Genre: Romantic comedy
Series: Bourbon Brothers #2
# of Pages: 165
Paper or plastic: E-book
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads: Bourbon is in Brandon Morgan’s blood. His family owns the best bourbon brand in the country—or it will be with his marketing genius. And after meeting the fiery daughter of a tequila distillery owner, he’s never been more sure.
    His barrels, her tequila. It’s a match made in heaven. But only if he can keep his hands off the owner’s daughter…and his secrets to himself.
    Lesa Ruiz will do anything to keep Little Possum afloat, but one look at Brandon’s gorgeous dimples and Lesa knows two things for sure: forever is not in the cards with this man and he’s way too sexy to resist for long.
    Well, three things… Brandon is hiding something, and she’ll need to get a lot closer to figure it out and save her family’s legacy. Shots, anyone?
My thoughts: Teri Anne is a friend, so I’ll say that up front. But that’s not why I read her books. I read them because they’re enjoyable, and this one is no different. I sometimes wish they were longer, though. If you’re looking for a funny, quick read (with some hot, sexy scenes) give this one a try.

Got the A/C fixed on Monday. Repairman suspects a leak. The thing is only 8 years old. We bought the top of the line unit and right now it’s worse than the cheapie thing we had that died at 12. Ugh. Anyway, he put dye in the line so the next time it starts not cooling again, he can determine where the leak is. Hopefully it will be fixable, because it could be leaking where it can’t be fixed. At least it’s working now. Not that we need it.

The weather has been super-duper the last couple of days. Cool and dry. I could get used to summers like this. Then I wouldn’t need the stupid A/C.

So… How long do you think an A/C should work?

Happy Reading!


Monday, June 26, 2017

Footy, Lovely Weather, and Eyesight

Hello, hello, hello! My trip to Raleigh, NC went well. Except for a bit of rain on Saturday evening (okay, more like monsoon!), the Footy tournament (this was the Eastern Regionals) went well, although a bit on the warm side (temps close to 90 and the humidity a bit high). Luckily we were able to sit in the shade for a good portion of the games.

As for my daughter’s team, they didn’t win, but it was close. The women played 20 minute quarters (normally they play 20 minute halves). I was very impressed with their play. I was even more impressed that 13 Jillaroos made it to the tournament. There had been a time when my daughter was the only Jillaroo. Good thing they can combine to make a team. In this case, the Jillaroos combined with the Baltimore Eagles. They played against the New York Magpies/Boston Lady Demons/Philadelphia Hawks (which was made up of mostly NY).

Want to know what the USAFL is all about. Well here’s a video for you to check out. Some of the shots go by fast, my daughter could be in it and I just don’t see her!

We came home yesterday to 70 degree weather. And dry. But the house was hot and stuffy! Good thing I have the A/C repairman coming by Tuesday. Although the temps are supposed to stay in the 70s for awhile (man, it feels soooooo good outside). I opened the windows to cool the house down. Now, if it can only stay this way, I won’t need the A/C at all!

Can eyesight get…better? I’ve been having issues with my eyeglasses lately. Especially my right eye. I thought something must be wrong with my eye, because I’ve only had this new prescription for less than a year. Then I noticed something even stranger. Seems my eyesight in my right eye is practically perfect without the glasses.

So I took off my glasses and watched TV. I was able to make out all the detail I couldn’t with my glasses on. Hmmm…

My left eye still prefers the glasses, but since my right eye appears to be the dominant one, I see better without my glasses than I do with. It’s bizarre.

So… Do you wear glasses? How often do you have to get your prescription changed? I haven’t really felt comfortable with these glasses since I got them. Now I’m beginning to understand why. Just never figured my eyesight would get better instead of worse.

Happy Monday!



Friday, June 23, 2017

Pictures from Albany Trip!!

Wow! I did it. I actually downloaded my pictures in a timely manner. Maybe there's hope for me yet.

Our first day in Albany was actually spent in Bennington, VT. We were told there was a great place to eat (there was) and while there we did a little site-seeing.

One thing that was basically hard to miss, was the Bennington Battle Monument. We got there too late to climb to the top, but it sure is impressive on the outside. If we had known they closed at 5, we probably would have eaten after seeing it (instead of before).

Bennington is home to three covered bridges. They basically all look the same, though. But they're labeled, so you can see there are three of them.

As I said Wednesday, it rained on Monday, so we didn't do much (but go out to eat). Tuesday Hubby got finished early, so we drove up the interstate to Cohoes to check out the falls. You'd think the park would be impressive with this sign. You'd think wrong. Haha!

This is the view from the Overland Park. Of course, I zoomed in a bit because I didn't know there was another (better) park.

This is the Overland Park. Yeah, not much there.

We then went to the Falls View Park. A much better park (although I failed to take pictures of that park--dumb me!

We were able to walk down closer to river level, so the view of the falls was much improved. The walkways were pretty nice, too.

Of course, once we walked down, we had to walk back up! Hubby counted 85 steps. Ah, we walked up more steps at Mammoth Caves. Still was a trek for me, though. **puff puff**

Couldn't resist taking a picture of the wild daisies (at least they looked liked daisies).

Anyway, that concludes my pictures. Hope you enjoyed them.

On Wednesday, I posted the link to a short story I started on the Alpha Heroes blog. If you missed that, you can find it HERE. The second installment has also been posted. If you're interested in how another author continued it, you can read it HERE. Took me by surprise, that's for sure.

I'm on my way to Raleigh, NC today. Daughter will play Footy on Saturday. Not exactly sure what teams are showing up. Guess I'll find out when we get there. Oh, and we decided to just take my car on this trip. Hubby wants to wait until he's put a few local miles on the RAV4 until we take it on a longer trip. We'll definitely be taking the RAV4 to Ft. Lauderdale when we drive down for our cruise, though. That's several months away.

So... Do you like babying new cars or is that just my husband? I think nowadays cars don't need babying, but hey, what do I know? Nothing when it comes to cars, apparently.

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wednesday Reads and I’m Headed Home

I didn’t get my three things done while in Albany, NY, but I did finish one: judging! The short story is further along and I figured out how to finish it, so there’s that. And I also walked on the treadmill for an hour each on Monday and Tuesday (while reading!), so I wasn’t a total slacker. It was nice to get my steps in.

We’re headed home today. Then we get a day at home (laundry!) before we leave for North Carolina on Friday (daughter is playing Footy in Raleigh on Saturday). And we’re taking the new car!! Gee… think we drive enough places? Good thing we don’t mind. Of course, if we did, we wouldn’t do it.

Here’s what I read the past week:

Book #39

Dates read: June 11-19
Title: “Hot Head”
Year of publication: 2011
Author: Damon Suede
Genre: Erotic romance (M/M)
Series: Heat #1
# of Pages: 310
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Borrowed from daughter
Blurb from Book: Since 9/11, Brooklyn firefighter Griff Muir has wrestled with impossible feeling for his best friend and partner at Ladder 181, Dante Anastagio Unfortunately, Dante is strictly a ladies’ man, and the FDNY isn’t exactly gay-friendly. For ten years, Griff has hidden his heart in a half-life of public heroics and private anguish.
    Griff’s caution and Dante’s cockiness make them an unbeatable team. To protect his buddy, there’s nothing Griff wouldn’t do...until a nearly bankrupt Dante proposes the worst possible solution:, a gay porn website where uniformed hunks get down and dirty. And Dante wants them to appear there—together Griff may have to guard his heart and live out his darkest fantasies on camera. Can he rescue the man he loves without wrecking their careers, their families, or their friendship?
My thoughts: I’ve seen Damon Suede at a couple of RTs and the guy is a hoot. When I found out my daughter owns many of his books, well, I just had to read one. While this wasn’t a comedy, it sure was hot. And good. It’s told only from Griff’s point of view (although in third person—yay!), and in a way it kind of had to be. It’s not a typical romance, but it can’t be, either. If you like M/M romance, then check this one out. You won’t be disappointed. But don’t go looking for the next book in the series. After 6 years, there still isn’t one.

If you're interested, my start of a short story is now posted on Alpha Heroes blog Other authors are supposed to add to the tale, but I got lucky and got to start it. If you check it out, let me know what you think.

On Monday, it rained and rained and rained, so we didn’t get to go out and do too much. Yesterday was much nicer and we drove up to see the Cohoes Falls. According to their sign, they’re second in size to Niagara (east of the Rockies, which probably isn’t saying much). I took some pictures, so I may get them posted for Friday. Of course, you know how I am when it comes to downloading pictures. **ahem ahem** J

So… How’s your week going so far? Reading anything interesting?

Happy Reading!


Monday, June 19, 2017

I’ve Got 3 Things To Do...

Hubby is on a business trip in Albany and I tagged along for the ride. Figured I might actually get some WORK done for a change.

Therefore, I have three things I would like to get done. Okay, two things. I’m hoping to get started on the third thing. What are those things, you ask?

#1 – Finish my short story. I started it awhile ago for a blog. I gotta finish that sucker and now looks like a good time to do it.

#2 – Finish judging a contest entry (for my local chapter). I’ve only got one left (of the three I was sent). I just want that done with. And no, this isn’t something that is done quickly. Not only do I give it a score, but I’m critiquing the work, too. For me, that takes time. Thank goodness the submissions are only about 10-15 pages long!

#3 – Get back to editing Ghostly Interlude. I was doing some pre-edit check work and realized that wasn’t working (because if it was, I’d have been done by now!). I’ve got some other plans in mind, and I have Lori Foster to thank for that. She spoke at my chapter’s meeting Saturday and something she said kind of clicked. So, we’ll see how I do (or if I even get to work on it—#1 might take up all my time!!).

I’m sure I’ll also get some reading done while I’m here. J

So… What’s the fastest you ever sold a car? I think we broke our record. We put the Ranger up on Craig’s List on Wednesday and by Friday it was sold. At our ASKING price (which was above blue book)! Getting the car detailed really helped (it did look pretty sharp!).

Happy Monday!


Friday, June 16, 2017

Pictures From My Mammoth Cave Trip!!!

Would you believe it? I finally downloaded my pictures. It's a miracle! Now hopefully you won't be too disappointed when you see how few I took. Hahahaha!

This is one of the openings to the cave. It's probably the one used the most, too. Lots of steps to get down there.

The light was so poor, my camera couldn't do the cave justice. I was able to take pictures of the graffiti, though. These names were written with the smoke from the light sticks (torches?) the tour guides carried way back in the 1830s.

 This is more graffiti on the cave ceiling.

 The guides suspect that some of the names were written in mirror image because they were looking down to copy the names.

 See? Here's an actual date! 1837. Unreal, huh?

 This is one of the stalactites we came across. Not too many in this part of the cave, though.

Here's one of Hubby and me outside in the park.

We walked down to the river (which was quite a trek).

Of course, we then had to climb back up. At least the trail wasn't TOO steep. It just took awhile!

After visiting the park, we took a trip to the Corvette Museum. While the cars were interesting to look at, what I really wanted to see was the sink hole. Well, guess they filled it in. But the 7 cars that fell in (which was all caught on camera--pretty awesome to watch), are still on display. Only two were able to be restored.

They marked the floor where the sinkhole was located.

The 1993 model was pretty beat up, but not as bad as some others.

Can you even tell this was a car?

 I don't even know what year the next few were.

This was the 1.5 millionth Corvette made. It was unrepairable.

However, the 1 millionth car was salvageable. It was hanging by a tire and they were able to save it before it crashed into the hole.

So, those are some of the pictures I took. Are you impressed that I finally downloaded them?

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wednesday Reads and Getting Better…I Hope

When all you do is sleep, there isn’t much new to talk about. I did manage to finish a book before the cold (or whatever) hit me. Here’s what I read the past week:

Book #38

Dates read: May 31-June 11
Title: “Dragonborn”
Year of publication: 2008
Author: Jade Lee
Genre: Fantasy romance
Series: The Jade Lee Romantic Fantasies #1
# of Pages: 354
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Free at a convention
Blurb from Book: When dragon power flows through your veins, when dragon thoughts burn in your mind, you can accomplish anything. Natiya knows, for she carries one of the last eggs in the land disguised as a jewel in her navel. Day by day the Unhatched grows, and when at last it births they will be joined in a sacred and eternal bond. Gone will be the barmaid forced to dance for pennies, born will be Dag Natiya, revered Queen. Take her body or her soul, nothing will stop them.
   When dragon power flows through your veins when dragon emotions trample your soul, you become a monster. So knows Kiril, for one destroyed his cousin. No matter how kind or joyful, all beings must succumb to the power of the wyrm. That is why Kiril vowed to destroy dragonkind—and he has almost succeeded. Only one egg remains. But there is an obstacle he did not foresee: love.
My thoughts: Fantasy. It’s not a genre I’m fond of, yet I decided to give it a try (free books can do that for you). This one read like a historical romance, sort of. It’s in a world without technology. You have an Emperor over the land. It just has dragons in it (like Merlin, I guess). The book wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t my thing (mainly because Kiril and Natiya were apart for much of the book), which is probably why it took me so long to read it: I could easily put it down.

I think all that sleeping I did Monday helped. I felt a whole bunch better yesterday. Even my voice sounds a little better. Now if I can only stay on the “get-well” path. **fingers crossed**

So… I can’t seem to get the house cooler than 75 degrees (and the thermostat is set to lower than that). Think I should call the A/C repairman? I’m thinking I should. Bugger!

Happy Reading!


Monday, June 12, 2017


Happy, happy, joy, joy! The Penguins repeated! They won the Stanley Cup two years in a row! I’m sooooo happy!

I’m also sick. Figures, huh? My voice is about gone (made it really hard to cheer them on).

Surprisingly, I was pretty calm through most of Game 6. After Game 5, I felt more confident that the Pens were going to do it. And they did!!!!!!

In other news… We bought a car. Went with the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. Got a GREAT price on it, too (this, from Consumer Reports). Just couldn’t pass that 0% financing for 60 months.

Here’s a picture. Yep, another grey car. Oh well… doesn’t really matter. Hubby preferred that color anyway, and it is his car.

Today I take the Ranger in to get it detailed. Once it’s all cleaned up, we’re pretty sure we can get high Blue Book on it ($4700). That would be awesome.

Even though I’m ecstatic, I’m so glad hockey is over for now. I need a break. And now it seems like I need to just get better. Ugh. I hate getting sick.

Happy Monday!


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

No Wednesday Reads But I Saw Wonder Woman

Gosh, with the way I’ve been reading lately, I didn’t think this day would happen. But it has. I haven’t finished a book in the past week. I am reading one, but I just haven’t had the time. Too much other crap is going on and, sadly, it’s not writing. Oh well…

I did get to the theatre yesterday (Tuesday Discount Day) and saw “Wonder Woman.” I liked that movie a lot. Lots of kick-ass women. Some humor. Lots of action. Very entertaining. Can’t ask for more than that, really. I was disappointed that there wasn’t any kind of little ending after the credits. Hasn’t DC learned ANYTHING from Marvel? Haha!

I still haven’t downloaded the pictures I took at Mammoth Cave & the Corvette Museum from my phone and camera yet. Maybe by Friday? Oh wait. Game 5 is Thursday night. Maybe not. I’ll be lucky if I even remember to post something. This Stanley Cup Final is getting me awfully nervous.

The Penguins just haven’t been playing that good and it’s sooooo frustrating to watch! And why Sullivan didn’t take Murray out and put Fleury in for the 3rd period in that last game is unbelievable. He wouldn’t have hesitated (wait, he didn’t hesitate) to pull Fleury. I just don’t get it!

I’m almost afraid to watch the game on Thursday.

I said almost.

So… Have you seen or plan to see “Wonder Woman”? I’m thinking I need to watch “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” now. That’s right. I haven’t seen that movie yet. Got the DVD added to my wish list, though.

Happy Reading!


Monday, June 5, 2017

Car Shopping

Spent Saturday test driving cars. It’s been almost seven years since our last car purchase (my 2010 Nissan Xterra), and the car we’re replacing was bought 12 years ago, used (2003 Ford Ranger). Hubby loves his convertible (2008 Toyota Solara), but considers it our “fun” car. He wants it to last so he tries to only drive it during nice weather (like when he can put the top down). The Ranger is horrible in the snow, though, which forces Hubby to drive the Solara when he doesn’t want to (since it has front-wheel drive). Plus, Hubby hates (HATES) my Xterra on long trips (you know, when we drive to ports for our cruises and such, which is usually during the winter, so—possible 4WD), because you can feel every bump in the road (plus he hates the seats). Which means he wants a car that can drive in the snow, gets good mileage, holds our luggage, AND is comfortable.

Prior to our test drives, we narrowed it down to three: Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Subaru Forrester. All in AWD. According to Consumer Reports, these were the best small SUVs and they got the best gas mileage.

After our test drives, we narrowed it down to two: Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Honda CR-V. The Forrester just didn’t meet our comfort needs. Those seats were kind of hard! We were comfortable in both the RAV4 and CR-V. Even in the back seat.

Now, the plan was to figure out what we want and buy next year. But now I’m not so sure I want to wait that long. We’re driving to Florida in December for a cruise and I wouldn’t mind having that new car. I told Hubby it was his decision, though (since this will basically be his car) and that I didn’t want to hear him complain if we have to drive the Xterra to Florida. For 18 hours. Only getting 18mpg (The RAV4 Hybrid and CR-V both get about 30mpg on the highway).

Right now (in June) Toyota is offering 0% financing for 60 months on the RAV4. Will they offer that again next year? Who knows? Honda isn’t offering any such deal (and probably never will), but the CR-V is about $5,000 less than the RAV4. Finance charges would have to be over 5% (which I don’t believe they are) to make the RAV4 a better deal.

Still, I’m leaning toward the RAV4 Hybrid. Man, that car was QUIET! Even while running. The CR-V has a totally digital dash, which I’m not fond of (I like my speedometer to have a needle, since I’m visual that way). I could get used to it, though, if Hubby decides he wants to go cheaper.

As for the Ranger… our mechanic at Goodyear doesn’t think we’ll have any problems selling it (even though it’s manual everything (stick shift, windows, door locks), it’s got low mileage (80,000) and we’ve kept it in good shape). I wouldn’t mind getting rid of it now (I hate driving that thing). Of course, when we do get the new car, my Xterra has to give up the garage spot (we don’t want to park the convertible outside and the new car gets dibs). I could live with that, though.

Tonight is Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Penguins and the Predators. I don’t know if you watched Saturday’s ugly game, but man, are the Predators fans rude or what? I just don’t ever remember hearing that kind of crap from other teams’ fans. Not even from Columbus, and they’re pretty bad. I certainly hope our fans don’t stoop to that level when the game goes back to Pittsburgh for Game 5 (and hopefully a final winner, since we’re up 2-1 now). Let’s go Pens!!

So… Do you like car shopping? Hubby hates it. I like test driving cars, but don’t necessarily like negotiating the price at the end (which you have to do or else you’re paying too much, right?). Do you think there will ever come a day when the price on the car is non-negotiable? I mean, you don’t negotiate the price on your groceries. If you find it cheaper elsewhere, you just go elsewhere. Right?

Happy Monday!


Friday, June 2, 2017

Procrastinating at its Finest

I was going to download the few pictures I have on my iPhone and camera so I could post them here. I might have done just that on Thursday if I hadn’t gotten busy doing chapter work. I’ll be glad when I’m no longer treasurer, just saying…

See? Procrastinating at its finest. If I hadn’t procrastinated all week, I might just have those photos to share today. And something to blog about.

I really need to work on being less of a procrastinator. How do you do that, though?

I do have a bit of news to share. I met M Jane Colette at RT (during the Charlaine Harris/Karin Slaughter panel), and she actually mentioned me in her blog. I find it pretty spectacular that she even remembered me. It’s not like I was talkative, because I wasn’t. Anyway, if you’d like to see a bit of what RT is all about, she’s got quite a bit of information and pictures. Tons of pictures (even one with ME in it!). You can find it all here:

If I didn’t think it was so much work, I’d like to be like her. Bet she doesn’t procrastinate.

I was able to watch the last two minutes of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday. I had gotten score updates while I was at the Dragons game, which had, unfortunately, started an hour late. Seems someone opened the breaker to the field and they didn’t have any power. If the game had started on time, I would have stayed for the whole thing, but by 10:30, they were only in the 7th inning and I didn’t want to stay any longer. They did win, though, 9-8, so there’s that.

But the Penguins win gave me much more joy. I look forward to another win on Saturday, but know it will be a hard-fought battle to do so. There’s a reason these two teams are in the finals, right? Still wouldn’t mind a sweep, but know it’s pretty impossible. Oh well…

So… What is it you do that you wish you didn’t, but know you will never change? Procrastination is it for me. I really don’t think there’s any hope for me. And I guess in the scheme of things, it could be worse. Right?

Happy Friday!