Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Goodbye January, Hello February...

I admit it: January and February are the most difficult times of the year for me, for numerous reasons.

I survived the holidays without going ballistic. A great achievement, but difficult to consider praiseworthy or even worth celebrating, since the implication is a bit dark in nature.

Finances are driven home. A nice way of saying I have to gather my tax stuff together and prepare to see my accountant. Never a happy occasion, even though I do like my accountant, who's a very nice person.

The longest, most tortuous month is before me. February. As much as a struggle as the holidays are, Valentine's Day is the toughest day on the planet, especially for someone who is single. The choice isn't because I wouldn't like to be in a relationship but because I'm not healthy enough to sustain a relationship. I'm much better about making and maintaining boundaries, but the man/woman kind was the first one violated, and the most difficult for me understand still. And if that isn't enough to discourage me, when would I have time now?

So, here's to being half way through. Only 29 more days to go. Great. An extra day this year. March will see things start to improve. I don't know why. I only know January and February are my toughest months of the year. I've stopped fighting it, and try to prepare as best I'm able.

Breathe in. Breathe out. There is no going around. There is only through. Blessedly, I have a circle of awesome friends who will help me. Thank God.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Carpe diem... first things first...

Please, God, help me recover from this whatever it is, though I think it might be a cold. The weather did the bounce into the 70s and then down into the 50s, and I don't handle it well. Ever. If I'm going to end up with a cold, this is usually how it happens. Crumbs. Thank God for Gypsy Cold Care tea. It helps me, without the unpleasant side effect of a sinus infection, which is what happens to me when I use over-the-counter cold products, like Tylenol Cold.

The main thing to accomplish today: GET WELL. Though if it's a cold, I'll simply have to allow it to run its course, but I can keep it from becoming worse. So rest, fluids, and Gypsy Cold Care. Check.

I do have a project I need to work on. Deadline is coming.

I want to finish reading The Warrior Elite. Today will be a good day to do it.

Anything else I accomplish will be icing on the cake....

....mmmmmmmmm cake... I love cake... cake in milk... German Chocolate cake... in milk...


Update: Still have a cold. Didn't finish project, but did move forward. Didn't finish The Warrior Elite, but further along in the book. And that stupid squirrel is still racing around. Alas, no cake either.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #88

~Inspiration from other bloggers, who lift my spirit, and help me hold true to my faith. Nikon Sniper posted this last night, and it was another breadcrumb to remind me I'm headed in the right direction. Nikon Sniper: Are You Hiring A New Manager?

~Yummy breakfast and chat with my sister.

~Fun mail.

~Good health. How often does one take that for granted? Then you have a headache, stuffy head, sore throat, and a cough, and feeling better is miraculous. Not well, but being able to think is such a blessing.

~From The Warrior Elite by Dick Couch, page 168: [When asked why they quit BUD/S] Many said, "I lost my motivation," as if it were a pair of reading glasses they had simply misplaced for a moment.

How often have I treated my motivation like it was some object to be lost or found? Instead of blaming some ambiguous something for the loss, I need to ask myself what has changed. What decision did I make that took precedence over my self-motivation?

For example, I've been looking at the same chapter all day. I did this on Thursday, and never did work it out. I opened the chapter on Friday, and kept looking at the same chapter. I moved words around, cut and paste, edited, and rearranged. It was evening before the first paragraph became three, and everything fell into place, and I finished editing five chapters before going to bed. Now, I'm again staring at the same chapter I've been staring at all day. Something isn't right. I was feeling discouraged. What happened to my motivation? Nothing. My motivation is there, and it's strong, or I would have closed the document and done something else. I simply haven't worked through the problem, but I will.

I've gone from helpless victim of fickle fate (or muse if you prefer) to empowered creator, turning the phrases until they are exactly as they are meant to be.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Heroes... Penny Jordan...

Penny Jordan was a romance writer for Harlequin. She past away, December 31, 2011, from cancer. She was only 65 years old. This is the article at The Washington Post.

Why do I mention her, now?

As I was sorting through papers, I unearthed my magazine "Simply Books," put out by Harlequin. This was the most recent issue, Oct 2011-Jan 2012 issue.

A regular feature, which is always printed at the end, is a one-page question and answer article that spotlights a different author in every issue. It's appropriately called, "The Last Word." Poignantly, this one was "The Last Word with Penny Jordan."

When I saw it, my first thought was that it was incredible timing. Perhaps they knew, and planned accordingly. I don't know. It doesn't really matter. What was important to me was that this interview took place before Oct, in order to be ready for print in the magazine. It was fun to learn her favorite flower was lavender, since I love it, too. I especially like it's healing and calming properties. But that still wasn't what made me catch my breath.

"How many books have you written? I think it's about 185--I can't wait to reach number 200." If you read the article, you saw she reached her goal. Amazing.

What a priceless gift to inspire another to reach higher.

Friday, January 27, 2012


All I ever wanted was to marry and have children, a family of my own. It didn't happen. I was unhappy for a long time, until I was willing to let go of that dream and choose another, a dream that depended on me. This past year, I was finally able to realize that what I REALLY wanted, all along, was to be a blessing to others and to myself. It changed my world. I'm single, poor as a church mouse, screwed up in a lot of ways, but never happier, because every day, sometimes with a lot of effort, I am a blessing. Every day, I'm exactly what I want to be, if only for a moment.

From FaceBook came my new mantra: Follow your heart, but bring your brain along.

I find myself in a difficult position. Finances are tight. I've been told about job opportunities in my old career. It would mean I'd have an income immediately, but it also means I wouldn't spend as much time on my current career. I worry about money, especially with what I have dwindling. It's a practical concern. I think of the story about the drowning victim complaining God didn't save him, and God replying, "I sent you a log, a boat, and a helicopter. What more did you want?" Am I drowning and ignoring the log, the boat, and the helicopter? Or am I being asked, "Are you going to give up what you want most for what you can have right now?"

Why didn't I see this before? Maybe I should ask, "Why didn't I believe this before?"

Right now, it is not a good time for me to take on something new. I'm feeling swamped as it is. Why don't I trust that when I'm ready God will provide what I need?

My decision made, my desire to binge has stopped.

I feel like a huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders. Oh.

Matthew 11:28-30

"Come unto me, ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Week Thirty-One of REAL...

The 20th: weigh in: 235.6 lb. Knowing what I ate, yesterday, I'm not surprised. I stressed. Really stressed. Even though I'm still stressing, today will be better. I'm killing myself, and it has to stop.

The 21st: weigh in: 235.6 lb. One SEAL puppy rep. Three-mile walk, total 60 minutes. One more SEAL puppy rep.

The 22nd: weigh in: 235.4 lb. Once I reach 230 lb, I will clean out my closet of all my fattest clothes.

The 23rd: weigh in: 236 lb. One SEAL puppy rep. Half-mile walk, 15 minutes, total 75 minutes. I'll be lucky if I hit 150 minutest, this week. Really. There are days, and there are days, and this past week has been one of them. Not beating myself up. One more SEAL puppy rep. Physical therapy, with weights.

The 24th: weigh in 235.4 lb. Sorting through papers, I found one on which I'd written: Today starts a new REAL, based on building my self-esteem, to see how that affects my weight. My weight was 239.2 lb, on July 17, 2011. Really, I'm not doing too badly. I haven't seen 239 in quite a while. This is good. I am making progress. Not fast progress, but progress none the less. On the same sheet of paper, I wrote: I'm not afraid to live. I'm not afraid to fail. I'm afraid of being wrong. Yep. I'm still afraid of that. I'm eating, today, was terrible. I'm feeling really stressed. Not sure why. Oh, wait, had to deal with finances this week. Tomorrow will be better.

The 25th: weigh in: 235 lb. Wow. Didn't expect that. One SEAL puppy rep. One-mile walk, 25 minutes, yes, it's that kind of week, with a total of 100 minutes. Half. It's okay. I knew it would be a tough week.

The 26th: weigh in: 235 lb. Waist circumference: 40". Sigh. It's okay. It was a rough week. Actually, it was a pretty rough week, so I did really good. A lot was going on, and I felt out of control most of the past week. In fact, yesterday, was the first day in over a week when I was careful about what I ate. Yep, only made half the 200 minutes, but I did make half. Today, I start again. I will do this.

Note: Just woke up from a three hour nap, 11 am to 2pm. I may be sick. I hope not.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Odd bits of information...

These are a few little things I've wanted to share, but they didn't merit a post of their own.

Activa is horrendous. Every time I see the commercial for it, I want to scream, and sometimes do, at the television. I tried it, and I remember how ill it made me. I thought there was something wrong with me. I read up on it, and my side effects were a common complaint. Live and learn.

"Lemmings, nature's nachos." ~ Steve Kroschel Wildlife photographer

I tried another cocoa mix, and mine is still the best on the planet. Tablespoon of cocoa and tablespoon of sugar in milk, with marshmallows. Yummy.

Loved my sister's post, yesterday. http://weareone-ruth.blogspot.com/2012/01/teach-our-daughters.html

I told a friend I wasn't feeling well, but would be better in a few days, like I am once a month. She admitted that from time to time she missed the cycle. I considered her words and came to the realization that I will, too. After all, once it's over, what will I use as my excuse for crazy behavior, uncontrollable sobbing for no apparent reason, and bingeing?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

More SOPA/PIPA info...

This 11 minute video does a pretty good job of describing these power grabs.


Though it has been voted down in the House of Representatives, the Senate Chairman, Harry Reid, has kept this idiocy alive in the Senate. The concept of these bills is a "nice" idea: stop piracy. However, these bills are impractical and unenforceable and open the doors to far worse than piracy.

I emailed my Representative, and was proud to learn he'd voted "No." I also emailed one of my Senators. I couldn't email the other because he has removed his email contact information.

Write your Senators and State Representatives to vote "No."

Monday, January 23, 2012

Carpe diem... wow....

Since I've become a football fan, this has been the best playoffs, ever. Both games were close. None of the wins came easy, including a tie! I hope the Super Bowl is as good.

Now, it's Monday, and time to start the week with plans to accomplish more than rolling out of bed.

~Laundry. Has to be done.

~Edit 6 chapters. Doing close editing now, word by word. Six chapters a day, should see it finished at the end of the week.

~I want to make pancakes.

~Tax stuff is gathered, but I need to fill out the forms I'll give my tax accountant. I want everything ready when my documentation arrives.

~I want to start the habit of wearing makeup, even if it's only lip gloss, every day. How I treat myself and present myself to myself matters. It reflects whether or not I consider myself worth the trouble, worthwhile, because I am.

~This month, I'm going to stop pretending I'm going to return to projects I started and stopped because I lost interest. I'm going to be kind to myself and allow myself the right to grow and change and let go of interests that no longer capture my attention, so I'm able to throw myself more wholeheartedly into interests that matter to me now. I'm not going to feel guilty for changing.

~Every day, I'm going to take one piece of paper from my pile of accumulated papers and file it, either in a folder/notebook or the trash.

I'm becoming the person I want to be. I'm not waiting for someday.

Update: Mostly done, and happy with what was accomplished.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #87

~Tree63 Blessed Be Your Name

~Friends who believe in me. This has been really important this week.

~The opportunity to pick myself up and keep going, despite stumbling along the road.

~God's guiding hand, no matter how many times I turned aside, is stretched out still.

~Favorite writers, who make me laugh and help me escape, from time to time.

"There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing." ~ Burt Wolf's 5-year-old son

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Heroes... Survivors...

It seems to have been a difficult week for several of my blogging friends. I love the internet. It connects me to people all over the globe in ways I never imagined possible growing up. The problem with this is we're all so far apart! When one of us is having a particularly difficult time of it, the rest of us find ourselves unable to run over and give them a hug or take them to lunch or meet them at Starbucks or even help with the children or bring them a meal or do their dishes for them. We are limited to offering prayers on their behalf and posting encouragement and our concern for them. The amazing part? It helps. How awesome is that? Something so small and simple is able to bring about a smile and a sense of belonging. The incredibly amazing part? Survivors are taught they are alone and no one cares what happens to them. Despite the fact they are taught they are worthless and no one will believe them, they share their story anyway. It takes an astonishing amount of courage to fly in the face of all you've been told. Because survivors hope against all odds, they become blessings to other survivors. Awesome. My humble thanks to all the survivors who bless my life every single day.

"Dear God, Please bless my computer. All my friends live there."

Friday, January 20, 2012

Article on Yahoo...


I already do a lot of these. Whoohoo!!

Now, the truth of it all. Like many people, I read and read and read and then celebrate and bob my head up and down when FINALLY someone agrees WITH ME!! See, I was right all along.

A sense of humor is mandatory for survival.

Reality check: Some of the things on the list are great, for me. Some of the things would be horrible for some of my friends. Some of the things are horrible for me, but would be great for some of my friends.

People do not come in one-size-fits all, ever.

Listen to your self. Believe in yourself. Accept yourself. Then follow your heart, but bring your brain along. (Thank you to my FaceBook friends!) Yes, that last bit of advice came from a picture posted by one of my FaceBook friends, and I wish I'd learned it a long time ago, but better late than never.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Week Thirty of REAL...

The 13th: weigh in: 237.2 lb. Thirty-minute walk, 30 minutes total. Good start.

The 14th: weigh in: 237.6 lb. One SEAL puppy rep. Two and a half mile walk, in an hour, 90 minutes total. Another SEAL puppy rep. One and a half hours of yard work, trimming roses and the apple tree.

The 15th: weigh in: 238 lb. Bah! Enjoyed a delightful one-mile walk with my nieces, 20 minutes, 110 minutes total.

The 16th: weigh in: 237.2 lb. One SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk in 40 minutes, total 150 minutes. One more SEAL puppy rep.

The 17th: weigh in 236 lb. Physical therapy.

The 18th: weigh in: 235.2 lb. Well, would you look at that. I'm back on my preferred schedule, and I'm losing weight. One SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk in 40 minutes, total 190 minutes. One more SEAL puppy rep. I tried a cocoa mix. Mistake. My cocoa mix is better. Much better.

The 19th: weigh in: 234.8 lb. Waist circumference: 39.5". I like the look of this trend. I'll fit in 10 minutes of walking, and even meet the 200 minutes of walking goal, this week. Whoohoo! I can do this.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stop Censorship!! Stop the SOPA/PIPA bills!

These bills supposedly will stop piracy of movies and music.

What they will really do:

Give the government more power, without solving the problem.

There will always be people who choose to break the law.

From Wikipedia:

"Proponents of the bill say it protects the intellectual property market and corresponding industry, jobs and revenue, and is necessary to bolster enforcement of copyright laws, especially against foreign websites.[5] They cite examples such as Google's $500 million settlement with the Department of Justice for its role in a scheme to target U.S. consumers with ads to illegally import prescription drugs from Canadian pharmacies.[6]

"Opponents say that it violates the First Amendment,[7] is Internet censorship,[8] will cripple the Internet,[9] and will threaten whistle-blowing and other free speech actions.[7][10] Opponents have initiated a number of protest actions, including petition drives, boycotts of companies that support the legislation, and planned service blackouts by English Wikipedia and major Internet companies scheduled to coincide with the next Congressional hearing on the matter."

This is what concerns me, as being dangerous:

"The bill would make unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content a crime, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison for ten such infringements within six months."

So, a person listens to 10 songs within 6 months, and ends up in prison with murderers. On what planet does this make any sense? You know some idiot judge and/or jury will do it. Think of the thieves who have been awarded settlements because they sued their victims for shooting them or doing some other bodily harm. When I lived in Thailand, the only music available was black market. Really. You could not buy original movies or music. So are all those people going to be put in jail? The insanity of this legislation is mind boggling.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Looking back...

...over the previous posts of late, and there are a lot of short ones, with pictures. Am I uninspired to write? Are you kidding me?

A day in the life:

6:00 AM Awake, SEAL puppy reps and walking.
7:00 AM Brainless stuff, going through emails, FaceBook, and blogs like Cake Wrecks. Document is open and reviewed, to give my brain time to think about it while I start laundry, make bed, hang out laundry, and start load two, cook up and eat breakfast/lunch, hang out load two, wash hair, make a few edits, bring in laundry, and lay down for a one hour nap, hopefully.
2:00 PM Make and eat lunch/dinner. More stuff online, while I begin working through edits.
5:30 PM Hot cocoa to start the rest of the evening. Work on edits, with short breaks online or reading.
1:00 AM Bed.

And start it all over again at 6:00 AM, with a slight variation in the morning routine.

People who don't know me well will suggest I become more involved with this, that or the other thing. When would I have time?

In years past, I've been a Golden Quill judge and been able to read through ten books in less than a month. This year, I'm volunteering for five books, and hoping I'll make it through in the allotted two months. All that being said, I'm not complaining. Really. I'm excited and happy about what I'm doing. I'm living my dream job. Whoohoo!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Carpe diem... easy, but not....

I have projects I will work on, and they won't be finished, today, but they will be further along.

Laundry, of course, ought to be done.

Reading always needs a little time during the day, though I've had to cut way back on it.

Online stuff will be given attention, as well. I'm learning to schedule it so it doesn't take over my life.

Exercise and eating healthy are on the docket.

I was sent this picture in an email, years ago. It still makes me laugh:


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #86

~David Crowder Band How He Loves Us

~Friends, old and new.




This is from my Inspirational Posters widget.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Heroes... a different POV...

POV ~ Point of view

I've been sharing heroes, every week since this past summer. It's been a learning experience. It has also been heartwarming, wrenching, and inspiring.

My friend, Diane Gaston, blogged about heroes, this week. She made some great points, and I had fun replying.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Love this kind of humor....

Only on FB would I find this stuff. :-)

This quote was posted at a chat: "If you're gonna die next week and you have to change things... you're doing it wrong NOW." – Jeff Fisher

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Week Twenty-Nine of REAL...

The 6th: weigh in: 236.6 lb. Bah!

The 7th: weigh in: 236.6 lb. One SEAL puppy rep. Two-plus mile walk, about an hour, so total is 60 minutes. I then spent two hours working in the yard, i.e., cutting back blackberry bushes, until the wasps woke up. Then it was time to go back inside. Almost done. Note to self, trim bushes early in the morning in January, when it's cold. As the air warms, the wasps wake up and start moving. You want to be done for the day before that happens. Really. Just sayin.

The 8th: weigh in: 237 lb. Eep! Today, it changes. If I want to be healthy, I have to make the effort to eat healthy, sleep healthy, and exercise healthy. I decide. Me. This was posted at FB. http://plus-model-mag.com/2012/01/plus-size-bodies-what-is-wrong-with-them-anyway/ This is not to give myself permission to be heavy, but to encourage me to be healthy.

The 9th: weigh in: 237.2 lb. Sigh... I did eat better yesterday. Picking myself up; dusting myself off. One SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk, for 40 minutes, with total of 100 minutes. One more hour of yard work. The blackberry bushes are trimmed, and I've started on the apple tree. Anymore can wait until Saturday. Whew.

The 10th: weigh in 236.6 lb. Yesterday was my first day back on my writing schedule, with the nap in the middle of the day. It seems to make a difference. We'll see.

The 11th: weigh in: 237.2 lb. One SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk, in 40 minutes, for a total of 140 minutes. I'm not going to make 200 minutes this week. I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I did three hours of yard work. Moving is the goal, and I am. One more SEAL puppy rep.

The 12th: weigh in: 238.2 lb. Wait... What? Waist circumference: 39.5". Oh. Note to self: Measurements are more important than weight. I looked at my arms in the mirror. They aren't as flabby as they used to be. Cool. Muscle burns fat. Muscle takes up less space than fat. I'm kind of excited about today's numbers. Physical therapy, without weights.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

No more...

Yesterday's post lead into today's lightning revelation.

Yesterday, I stood in the self-check out at the grocery store. A young woman walked by in a classy business suit, skirt and jacket, and black heels. I glanced up and saw myself in the video feed, and all I could think was "Dumpy." I looked dumpy. I was wearing a cute denim jumper and sweater. Worse to me was that I'd thought of wearing something nicer and talked myself out of it. Why do I do this to myself? And yet, I have to celebrate as well. I had a coupon for the bakery. I thought about buying myself a donut or two or a bagel. I looked at them, breathed deep, and bought bread for my lunch. I am still proud of myself for making a healthier choice that will also last longer. On the way home, in the car, this came on K-Love, and I knew it was for me. I've posted the song before, but God gave this gift to me, when I needed it most. May God bless MikesChair and all those who share their faith to inspire and lift others. They inspired and lifted me.

MikesChair Someone Worth Dying For http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oF5CjtrIl_c&NR=1&feature=endscreen


You might be the wife,
Waiting up at night
You might be the man,
Struggling to provide
Feeling like it's hopeless

Maybe you're the son,
Who chose a broken road
Maybe you're the girl,
Thinking you'll end up alone
Praying God can you hear me?
Oh God are you listening?

Am I more than flesh and bone?
Am I really something beautiful?
Yeah, I wanna believe, I wanna believe that
I'm not just some wandering soul
That you don't see and you don't know
Yeah I wanna believe, Jesus help me believe that I
Am someone worth dying for

I know you've heard the truth that God has set you free
But you think you're the one that grace could never reach
So you just keep asking, what everybody's asking


You're worth it, you can't earn it
Yeah the Cross has proven
That you're sacred and blameless
Your life has purpose

And you are more than flesh and bone
Can't you see you're something beautiful
Yeah you gotta believe, you gotta believe
He wants you to see, He wants you to see
That you're not just some wandering soul
That can't be seen and can't be known
Yeah you gotta believe, you gotta believe that you
Are someone worth dying for

You're someone worth dying for
You're someone worth dying for

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cute and heartwarming....

FB is a love/hate relationship. Some things are horrid, and some things are fantastic. I found this posted there, and wanted it someplace more permanent than FB.

My thanks to all those incredibly creative people, who take something ordinary and make it extraordinary.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Carpe diem... finally...

With any luck, I will finish trimming back the blackberry bushes. What a tangle they'd become. Those vicious thorns don't make it an easy task, not by any stretch of the imagination. The worst is done. Now it's a matter of neatening up what's left. It will help everything be healthier.

Laundry, as always, needs to be done... maybe... that will be my flexible job. If it's done, great; if not, that's okay, too. It can always be done another day.

I'd like to make bread, but it depends on the trimming. That being said, fresh bread would be really yummy...

There are projects that need completing, and I have every intention of following through on those.

Hopefully, I also find some time to read. My TBR pile is growing again, because I haven't had time to read!

PBS has changed its lineup. I could complain that the new schedule doesn't suit me. Or I'll rejoice because it means I'll watch less television, and I simply don't have time for it now, anyway.

Follow up: Done but for the bread. The buttermilk was still frozen, so I'll try again tomorrow. LOL!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #85

~Thanks, Molly, for sharing Wherever You Are http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hR6O7VxKaQ

~New opportunities and those wonderful, amazing people that are so supportive in the midst of it all.

~Unexpected opportunities.

~Figuring out what confuses me.

~Learning to ask for what I need, and discovering it isn't as hard as I thought... it isn't as hard as it used to be, because I'm discovering my worth.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Heroes... Miss Rees...

Jessica Joy Rees was 12 years old, with cancer. For the whole story, this is the link at Yahoo:


God help me to have such courage, and bless those who battle on.

This was in my Success Poster widget:

Sometimes the opportunity is not what we think it will be. It takes incredible bravery to see beyond the obvious.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Contests at other blogs....

Many of the writing blogs I frequent sponsor contests. If you comment, you're entered to win a prize, usually a book, sometimes a gift card or bookmarks or character cards. Yes, it requires a bit of trust to turn over your address to someone you don't know. That being said, It can be fun.

SOS Aloha gives away books every day, announcing the winners at the end of the week.

Lucy Monroe has regular contests.

Happily Ever After Thoughts, like many of the blogs recently had a contest related to the new year.

Risky Regencies usually has a book to give away every Sunday.

Several authors I know have monthly contests or out of the blue free books, like Diane Gaston and Kris Tualla.

My sister reminded me of the Nikon Sniper drawing, for those who love photography.

Sharron mentioned a pitching opportunity (pitch your story) here.

If you have a favorite author, check their website, they may have something fun going on there. If you like autographed books or simply enjoy playing in contests, author and book review sites use contests to bring in more readers. If you want to try a new author but aren't sure if you want to pay for them, see if there's contest out there offering one of their books. No guarantees of winning, of course, but you might find a blog you enjoy following for fun.

Yes, I'm realizing that I will find myself doing this, somewhere down the road. So this blog was for me, to help accustom me to some of the changes coming in my life. What an adventure.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Week Twenty-Eight of REAL...

The 30th: weigh in: 237.4 lb. Not really surprised by that number. I tossed some of my non-healthy foods, yesterday, so today has no choice but to be healthier. I'm stepping back into my old routines for the day. Headache. Squirrel! Stuffy head, probably allergies. Wait, what? Keeping my mind on one thing for more than a minute... ooooo shiny. Yea. It feels like that.

The 31st: weigh in: 237 lb. Going down. One SEAL puppy rep. One-mile walk with my sister. It was slow, so about 45 minutes. One hour of yard work, trimming wild chilis out of the blackberries. One more SEAL puppy rep.

January 2012

The 1st: weigh in: 237.4 lb. No surprise after all the Pirate Booty I ate last night in a fit of nervousness. What I did toward meeting my new Christmas Gifts: I read the opening of Natural Beauty at Home by Janice Cox. I learned that those with oily skin need more water, whole those with dry skin need more oil. I'm using up my Burt's Bees products while I learn about products I could make at home. This is fun. Walked a half mile with the nieces. They walk fast. It's good for me. Ten minutes. Total 55 minutes.

The 2nd: weigh in: 236.2 lb. One SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk, 45 minutes, total 100 minutes. One more SEAL puppy rep. One hour of trimming blackberry bushes. Has to count for something. Took a half-mile walk in the evening. I used to love walking my dog in the evening. 15 minute for a total of 115 min.

The 3rd: weigh in 236 lb. One SEAL puppy rep. Half-mile walk, 15 minutes, total 130 min. And another half-mile walk in the evening, 15 minutes, total 145 minutes.

The 4th: weigh in: 236 lb. One SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk, 40 minutes, total 170 min. One more SEAL puppy rep.

The 5th: weigh in: 236.6 lb. Waist circumference: 40". Sigh. I stressed, last night, over formatting. It isn't my favorite thing to do, but necessary, I know. The frustration lay in the fact that I misread the directions and "corrected" punctuation that was already correct, and couldn't undo it. The new "correction" couldn't be found, until I figured out what I'd changed in my Find and Replace feature, and change it back... Okay, I'm also avoiding the truth: I have a dentist appointment this morning. I had horrible experiences with the dentist, as a child. It's a pity, really. My current dentist and hygienist are great, and do a good job. We've made the experience bearable, but the stress still inches up there. One-mile walk, at an easy pace, coupled with feeding bread to the ducks. Good times! 30 minutes for a total of 200 minutes. I survived another dentist visit. In truth, it isn't bad anymore. Crest Pro-Health has made my visits so much easier. What a blessing. Thanks to my hygienist for suggesting it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Couple of posts....

Yesterday, I found a couple of posts I enjoyed and thought I'd share them here.

Upsi (no surprise) had a great post yesterday discussing the concept of forgiveness. She made some great points, and had some great comments.

Anne Gracie, one of my favorite writers, posted at the Lower North Shore blog about writing, titled "Just Start." She has some great suggestions for those who say that they want to write, addressing the excuses that tend to pop to mind.

Better yet, one of my birthday presents showed up, today. Anne Gracie's latest book, Bride By Mistake. Next on my To-Do list, READ!

I'm keeping a pretty good schedule, for now. So far so good.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sharing an email...

This was posted at Lucy Monroe's blog. (I hope she doesn't mind me stealing it and passing it a long.)

Do you get lots of emails telling you not to eat this or spend your money on that? I received the following in an email from a friend...I thought it was hysterical! Hope you can relate.....

Thank you for the educational emails.

I no longer use Cling Wrap in the microwave because it causes seven different types of cancer.

AND THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW I can’t boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face.. Disfiguring me for life.

I no longer go to the movies because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS when I sit down

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or Fed Ex since they are actually Al Qaeda agents in disguise.

And I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica , Uganda , Singapore , and Uzbekistan

I no longer buy cookies from Neiman-Marcus since I now have their recipe.

THANKS TO YOU I can’t use anyone’s toilet but mine because a big black snake could be lurking under the seat and cause me instant death when it bites my butt.

AND THANKS TO YOUR GREAT ADVICE I can’t ever pick up $2.00 coin dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting to grab me as I bend over.

I no longer drive my car because buying gas from some companies supports Al Qaeda, and buying gas from all the others supports South American dictators.

I can’t do any gardening because I’m afraid I’ll get bitten by the Violin Spider and my hand will fall off.

If you don’t send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, and the fleas from 120 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor’s ex-mother-in-law’s second husband’s cousin’s best friend’s beautician . . .

Oh, by the way.....
A German scientist from Argentina , after a lengthy study, has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read their e-mail with their hand on the mouse. Don’t bother taking it off now, it’s too late.

PS: I now keep my toothbrush in the living room, because I was told by e-mail that water splashes over 6 ft. out of the toilet.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Carpe diem... no more waiting...

Today's activities will include working on my author material, like my bio, including reading through the author bios at Desert Breeze Publishing.

I'll also be taking myself for a walk.

I want to watch the Rose Bowl Parade because my sister is there watching in person! So exciting.

There's some trimming that still needs doing in the yard.

Editing needs to start, and today is as good a day as any to start. I'm giving myself two weeks, but hope I'm done in less time than that. This is the first time, so I'll need to see how it works.

Yesterday was a day for reflecting and planning. Today, the plans go into effect. As my favorite romances say, "One must start as one means to go on." I mean to be healthy, and today is going to be healthy.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #84

~MercyMe Bring The Rain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8HgAVenbUU&NR=1

~A New Year, with new possibilities.

~Seal of My Dreams, an anthology of short romance stories with SEALs at the heroes. "All proceeds pledged to the Veterans Research Corporation, a non-profit foundation supporting veterans medical research." Seal of My Dreams website.

~Mistletoe Kisses, a Regency Christmas romance anthology by Elizabeth Rolls, Deborah Hale, and Diane Gaston.

~Friends who lift me up, when I'm too weary and too addled to see my way.