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Ready to Start the Weekend!

Aren’t weekends the very best? It’s as if it’s the chocolate covered whatever on the end of the stick, taunting you Monday thru Friday to make it! And make it, I did. We had a busy week, but as I watched the sun rise this fine, Friday morning, I knew it was almost quitting time for the five day struggle. Quitting time in regards to formalities at work. Don’t get me wrong–when Friday approaches, the bon bons don’t magically appear, the robe doesn’t part for me to stand in the middle of it, and the there isn’t a bed found to have me lounging on top of it. Nope, but it does mean I don’t have to punch my daily buttons. I can meander more, think longer, and drop off into daydreams more frequently as I wash clothes and pick up junk that’s gathered on the stairs all week. Speaking of daydreams, I started a new book. Did I mention this? I like it. It’s something I wrote a few years ago, can’t find it for the life of me, so now I’m recreating it. A standalone. I know, shocking, right? Who knows, before it’s all over, I might sequel it. But I promise, no cliffhangers! Learned my lesson there. (Thanks Sarah!)

My son got his tonsils removed. It was quite the ordeal. As a parent you grapple with the questions of should I, or shouldn’t I? When the doctor leaves the question up to you, it’s a bit heavy. He’d gotten 4 strep infections this year. I know what you’re thinking, and that was all before May. It was bam, bam, bam…antibiotic after another. Then they stopped. I’d had the appointment with the specialist and took him anyway. Then it was like, “you can if you want. or you can wait to see if he gets any more.” So I waited. No need in rushing to the operating room I always say. Then they became larger. And I could hear it muffle his voice. Yep, I’m ready. When the surgeon came out after it was all over and done with, he assured me it was a dire situation. His tonsils were almost touching and they’d grown into the walls of his throat. He had to cut them out of the inside walls. I was relieved to have made the right choice. Now he sits, sipping on anything cold. Having not eaten a solid morsel in over 30 hours. I better get ready for the chicken noodle soup and mashed potatoes!

On a brighter note, I’m going to see a screening of my oldest son’s latest film. He directed this one. It’s so exciting to be able to go to a theater as a family to view this. He was in a competition for best picture based on what genre the groups were given to write and produce in a 48 hour window. Yikes. I can’t wait to see them.

I hope whatever plans you have this weekend are finely executed with lots and lots of fun! Till next time.

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It’s that time again!

Yes, that’s right! It’s Christmas in July. I can’t explain it…maybe it’s the Hallmark movie marathon withdrawal finally catching up to me, but this month I strangely watch Christmas movies. My kids think I’m crazy. We just watched Elf, and Hitched for the Holidays during dinner! LOL And the weather was a pleasant 97 degrees. Hehe.

I made baked cornflake chicken for dinner. It’s a fav around here. I let the chicken tenders soak in buttermilk, salt, pepper, and paprika for a few hours. Then I press crunched up cornflakes, onion powder, and garlic powder on them, bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, and viola! Happy campers. And they’re healthier than fried. Which is what we usually do. They don’t call my husband fry-daddy for nothing. Last night we ate fried green beans. They were yuuuummmmmy. He makes a beer batter and lathers them up in sesame seeds. Gracious, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

I somehow irritated my back last night while typing in bed. Today has been a challenge bending over for things. Am I that unable to sit crooked for an hour without downing Advil the next day and walking with a limp? Yikes. Call AARP for me, someone! No offense, Mom if you’re reading this. However, I feel about 18 years old in my head. Okay, maybe 30. I’ve had some kids escape these loins. That accounts for a couple years. Speaking of kids…I’m thinking of adopting. I’ve always wanted to. Why not now? If anyone has anything to weigh in on this, please let me know. I never shy away from hearing and learning from someone else’s experiences. My first reaction to really finding out more in depth what’s involved is the price. Holy schnikes! If those poor children only knew how many people couldn’t adopt based on that fact alone, it would depress the whole lot. Why should we make a profit for locating a forever home for children? I say yes, there has to be a home study, and yes, there has to be a fee for paperwork, but really? Thousands? These people need to consider how much money goes into raising a child.

Okay, slight turn in conversation. I wasn’t finished with my meal talk. I made a coconut cream cake for dessert tonight. Super duper easy. It was a poke cake. So I made a white cake, baked it for 30 minutes, got it out and poked it to death. Then I mixed coconut milk and sweet condensed milk and poured it on top. Oh, did I mention, I added coconut extract to white cake before baking–you know, to give it that taste. 🙂 Then I refrigerated said poked cake, with concoction soaking into it, and whipped some fresh cream. I only let the cake cool for a couple hours. You’re supposed to overnight…as if. Don’t they know I don’t read instructions until I get the cake batter poured in the pan, with this being the only thing for dessert…TONIGHT! Then I spread the whipped cream and sprinkled a little of the flakes on top. I must say, it was tasty. My youngest, handing me his empty plate, said “you know I don’t like coconut.” Funny boy. His empty plate. Okay.

I’m off now to continue writing my Sarah series. This is the last book, you know. Something pretty spectacular better come out of my brain tonight. After much deliberation, I’ve decided on my next male character….Drumroll please…

 

 

This guy shouldn’t be too difficult to write. It was either him or Richard Gere. I wanted a bit of flavor in the third book, so I chose Javier. He’s just moved to the small town of Calvert, where Sarah lives. Little does he know, life in a fish bowl is much more interesting than New York City!

Off to my imaginary world, folks! Have a great one. 🙂

 

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Limbo sounds about right

I joined a month long writing gig last week. You begin by stating your goal. Mine was 40,000 words. That means I’m to write half my book, first draft of course, by the 31st. How am I doing, you ask? Not. One. Word. Yep. I’m in limbo. It’s supposed to be my third Sarah book, but I’m feeling a bit in a funk over Sarah. I do this. I was like this with Amy. The first book was out and the reviews were coming in…”Amy is naive”, “Amy drives me crazy”, or “Someone buy Amy a clue.” Okay, okay. But she turned out great. If I must say myself, “Finding Amy” is probably my favorite book. It came together so well for me. Maybe that’s what will happen with Sarah. Everyone seems to like Sarah well enough, they just want to poke me with stick pins for the ending. I get it, and I apologize. My husband likes to compare it to taking the reader to the cliff and then pressing the gas pedal as hard as I could. I assure you, I didn’t intend to. I just got carried away with the continuation…where to do it, how to do it. You know…

This fourth of July we did very little. As we always ever do. Actually I didn’t feel wonderful. I think it was a sandwich I had for lunch. My stomach is the worst for acting up over any little morsel. Butter, oil, you name it, it always sees these things entering it as the enemy. Then I get sick and it isn’t pretty. Anyway, I managed to go down to my local grocery parking lot and score what last boxes of explosives they had for sale. They were noisy, pretty, and shot almost 7 feet in the air. My kids loved all ten minutes of it. That included sparkler time, when half of them were freaked out for holding fire in their hand. I assured them they would not explode if a sparkler strayed and pinged off their arm. Then we watched a movie. It was a cool day all in all.

We’re making our hallway closet into a pantry. We took my husband’s closet and halved it to sacrifice for our food items. (His part is on the other side of the wall in back). The kitchen is getting a new look as well. This is the pantry. I picked a sort of putty color for the shelves. Sometimes it has a pink hue, sometimes a peach. It’s very beguiling, especially when you’re painting it and staring at it for long periods of time. There are shelves on all sides, but alas, my camera does not perform miracles in showing them off. It’s also missing some doors and drawers, but you get the picture. I’m going to actually nail those tins and frame some quilt squares I sewed of canned veggies. I’ll post later if they turn out! 🙂


 Then I made a cherry pie. Okay, so not the crust, but I pitted the cherries, added the other stuff and baked it for about an hour. It was all right. I’m not a big pie lover, as we all know. I much more enjoy a good slice of cake. But my peeps like the pie. And it’s all gone, so that’s good. I’m going to try my hand at some homemade ice cream this weekend. I’ve made it before and was rather pleased, so we’ll see!

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New Recipe Weekend

Half the battle is going to the store, buying the food, and carrying it inside once you get home. The other half…cleaning up. Baking and cooking, however, I have no problem with. As long as I’m in the mood. And I’m pretty sure I was in the mood this weekend. If I had planned to do a lot of cooking, I’d have dreaded it like a trip to the “lady” doctor, but I woke up wanting to experiment with something new. Not everything went as planned.

Saturday I did the deed and went to the store. Actually it gets hairy before the store. I actually have to have a plan, look for recipes, and commit. So I did all that, came home and began. I didn’t sit down until Sunday night, about now! At least that’s how it seemed. I digress…Saturday morning I made chocolate chip muffins. Nothing big, nothing new. It was there before I went to the store, so I popped them in the oven. For lunch I made tacos. But not like that. Not like the box kit. Nope, I was adventurous. I did up the spices, added some chili beans, and viola..it was a keeper. Of course my daughter does not eat these, so a hamburger is what she ate. Also the tacos had 1/2 beef, 1/2 turkey. I kept this to myself…my kids don’t do well with too many changes. The beans alone were enough to traumatize them.

For dinner came Penne pasta with creamy vodka sauce. Luckily I had a trial sized bottle of Absolute in my fridge. I used sweet Italian sausage for this, with sides of cheddar biscuits, salad, and fresh roasted asparagus. Beware of stinky pee! My youngest and I are the only one who will eat this. He stands at the oven and pulls them out by the handfuls and stuffs his face!

Sunday morning was pumpkin spice pancakes and oven-made bacon. Can I just stop the presses for a moment and proclaim that if you’ve never had bacon made in the oven, do it. Just do it. Trust me when I say, my eyes, along with my family’s eyes, rolled back in their heads. YUMMMMMMMY. And the pancakes were pretty spectacular, too. (I only take credit for following the recipe…meaning the recipe was a keeper). Very filling, and my 2nd son put a dollop of whipped cream on his. I didn’t see his eyes come back around after this trick was performed. 🙂 Lunch was Italian subs, stacked high with all the fixings.

For dinner…and this was the not-so-great moment of the weekend. Italian pot roast. It missed. Not that I did anything to destroy it. It baked for 9 hours, had fresh rosemary spread on top, and slits of fresh garlic wedged on both sides. It melted in your mouth, but the taste? Meh. Not a keeper. Luckily I served it with buttery mashed potatoes and the taste was masked if you mixed the both together. And of course, I forgot to mention, I made a fresh blueberry pound cake on Saturday. So this was a munched on treat for the weekend.

I’m stuffed just writing about this weekend’s plan of attack on our bellies. It’s over, and they’ll be doing good if they get frozen pizza and chicken nuggets for dinner this week. Just kidding, I’ll try my best. It’s not that easy to think of new things.

Peace out, and have a great week! 😉

 

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Bedtime Ritual

Okay, so I looked up a picture of something cute about bedtime and this is what popped up. I kind of laughed because it’s so true. Not what I wanted initially, but I’ll keep it.

Tonight I finished my second Sarah book. It’s funny…I remember writing the first paragraph of each of my books, wondering how the heck is this going to turn into 300 pages? Then it does. And I’m always amazed.

Arthur is on television. I like this movie. Dudley Moore is hilarious. If only I couldn’t care about things like he didn’t in this movie. Minus the problems he had which made him not care. Life would be more enjoyable. I’m too uptight sometimes. Life is short. I need to channel Dudley more. Get it? It’s a pun. 😉

There are seasons to everything. And so is my point to this post. There was a time when I’d watch M*A*S*H each night before going to bed. It was a complete ritual. Then I went through a period where I watched the British comedy, “Are You Being Served”. Very dry, but I enjoyed the ritual of watching it. Then I had a spell of “The Golden Girls”. It had funny one-liners, and was easy to fall asleep to, because I didn’t become invested. There was also the “Frasier” time. I liked it until Niles and Daphne hooked up. Who likes a show once the angst is gone?

Now I write every night, barely watching television. This is a season, too. I can’t wait to see what the next one brings.

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Girl Talk

I’m going to the doctor tomorrow…I go about three times a year, and you would think that would be enough to shame me into getting into shape. He’s decent enough. Not that I would date him, but I don’t want him to look on me with pity. “Poor girl, she’s really given up.” I mean I know I’m going–I’ve known it for months in advance, for Pete’s sake. And I remember full well the last time I was there, trying to hide my naked body underneath that piece of paper dress, that I would not, not,not, be that fat, that flabby-armed, that toned-challenged the next time I hopped up on the table. I could see it now…his expression when he looked at me and back at the screen on his little iPad. “Wow, you look so different!” Yeah, not tomorrow, buddy. He has no worry to be shocked. He’ll recognize me without problem. I’m packing up my flab and bringing it on down to the shop. But I’m shooting for next time to be ravishing, though.  🙂

Boobs…really? My back is killing me lately. I walk by storefronts, see my reflection, and I look as if my neck is being dragged by a fifty pound chain. My spine has given up the fight of ever being able to stand up straight for any length of time. After you’ve dated, owned a push-up bra, snagged your guy, fed a child or two, what are they good for? I’m not a Debbie Downer, but really. The only purpose they have after your forties is avoiding catching cancer in them and finding a bra that doesn’t bite down to your shoulder bone. They’re heavy. And in the way. Really. Who can jog normally with this type of vibration and carrying on? (not that I jog and would know this, anyway) The other day a wire worked its way out of the fabric and I felt I’d gone undercover with a microphone snaking its way out of my shirt. (*tap, tap* “is this mic on?”) That was after I jumped at seeing something raise out of my shirt. Of course what if boobs naturally fell off after you were secure with a relationship, fed a child, and whatever. Then something went crazy and you needed them again? You can’t just grow another set.

And leg hair. Really? In what society is leg hair on women considered attractive? Tell me. I can’t tell you how many times I go to wear a skirt and realize I didn’t prune my lower half the night before. Don’t get me started on arm pits. I’ve seen the opposing thought to clean-shaven. It’s not pretty. But boy is it convenient, I bet. How do you like it when you don’t have enough soap lathered and your razor bumps down it like a four wheeler on rough terrain? Then you do it again because you’re certain nothing got cut off?

Enough of that. I’ve got a busy day tomorrow to get rested up for. So much flab…so many ways to reassure myself the next time it will be gone!! Peace out, everyone.  🙂

 

 

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This right here

Add a few more plates, and that’s how I feel! Why yes, I did just get back from vacation. But now I need a vacation to get over the vacation. I feel like since May I’ve been going at warp speed. And it’s only picking up. I’ll recap since I’ve been too lazy to put finger to keypad and keep everyone involved minute by minute.

Boy comes home from college. Hmmm… haven’t had him in awhile. Dynamics change a bit. “Oh, yes we do need to make a couple extra helpings. Silly me, six is no longer the norm.”

Graduation times two for a 5th grader turned middle school, and an 8th grader turned high school. No problem, they’re still locked into public education. No one’s leaving the house. No need to shed tears…they’re locked in my site and in their rooms for a good four plus years. (The guy who turned senior will remain in denial).

Vacation. Or as I like to call it, a different place to hear some different crap. Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling 9 hours non-stop behind a steering wheel, only to get out and hear, “Do we have to go to the beach?”         Really?   “Nah, we can just sit around for 7 days and let what little rays entering the windows warm us with delight.” What kid doesn’t like to go to the beach? I used to live on it when I was younger. Then again, I didn’t travel with Nintendos, Xboxes, phones, and smart tablets. Nope, it was just me and my walkman. Which tickles my children to no end to look at my old one. It’s as though I’ve just pulled out a telegraph machine and will perform the morris code as I load a disc.

 

Then there’s the social life of everyone in the house but me. “Sure, you need to be at 3 parties in one week? Not a problem. I can get off early, stay up late, and drive those extra 30 miles completely off track of our home. My pleasure.” Now I see why I got off so easy with no one ever joining sports. Just as I was laughing at other moms, running here and there for practices and games, I’m getting it ten fold in one week with ‘hanging out’ here and there.

Last rant, but certainly not least. My job, which I thought would become more streamline with the use of technology, has actually become more challenging. I’m not speaking of the writing gig I do for complete pleasure…the other one. The one I’m bound to do in exchange for monetary support to engage in purchasing gas to haul said popular children around. Yep, the first couple weeks of getting everything that was beautifully stored in a filing cabinet and onto a network, I managed to get an enlarged lymph node. Right on my neck. Not so fun. Then there’s the shoulder aches. Pretty sure it isn’t coming from swinging a golf club. Completely stress. I can’t wait till things on the network become easier!

And so that’s all to tell at the moment. Next post I’m including pictures–real pictures. Of the outside of my house. I’ve been piddling outside quite a bit. Attending a few Trees Anonymous sessions due to all the trees that seem to be jumping inside my car and traveling home with me. It’s a disease. I’m sure of it. I’m even growing smaller ones inside. Help me now!  

Till next time, have a lovely day. Or night. Depending on when you peruse the internet. Have a great one!

 

 

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“Lion”

A movie I got to sit down and watch with Harrison. I enjoyed it very much. It’s a power to behold to change the life of just one person!

Juicy Reviews

MOVIE REVIEW: “Lion” stars Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, Chappie), Sunny Pawar (Love Sonia, Drive [2018]), Rooney Mara (The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [2011]), Abhishek Bharate (Love Sonia), Nicole Kidman (The Others [2000], Eyes Wide Shut), David Wenham (300, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers), Priyanka Bose (Johnny Gaddaar, Gulaab Gang), and Divian Ladwa (Detectorists [TV series], 8 Minutes Idle). It is directed by Garth Davis (A House in the Sky, Lady Magdalene), while Luke Davies (Candy, Life) wrote the screenplay. Based on a true story, this film follows Saroo (Patel, Pawar), an Indian who is separated from his brother at an early age when he mistakenly gets on a train. Spending many days alone and lost, Saroo soon finds a home when he is adopted, but his past comes back to haunt him when memories of his old life begin to resurface.

It’s nice to…

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Oh my….

What have I done? This is either the expression on my face when I read my reviews, or the expression of my reader’s faces when they arrive at the last page of my book. I apologize if I droned on about it last post, but it’s fresh in my brain, having read another review just now. And I quote…”because it left me feeling like, “wait, what?”        I know, I know, I know. I’ve got a problem. No one should ever read the last page of their book…the one they’ve given good time to, and utter that sentiment.  “Hello, my name is Julieann, and I can’t seem to sneak up on an ending. I just pounce it with all my might, then run away.”  NOT GOOD. NOT GOOD at all. So I read the ending again. Surely the entire population who’ve read and reviewed my book can’t be wrong. (not that a review is ever wrong. it’s subjective, for Pete’s sake) But let’s shed some light…light a candle….throw up a flare. What happened to that ending that has everyone boo hissing it? Well, not really, but in my brain I can hear all the sound effects, therefore the ending must be complete and utter junk. Like I’ve driven everyone to a nice, serene cliff, thrown up pictures of my sweet little heroine, fixed her hair in bows, given her a little cup of splendor to sip upon, then BAM. Thrown her over and yelled out, “To be continued”.

Back to my personal review of the ending… subjective as everything is, I found it to be all right. I’ve could’ve driven slower, talked about the colors in the sky, the broken zipper on her boot and how it grated her nerves, or even talked about last minute memories she was having about a certain someone. But I’m not like that. Well, I’m like that, but maybe not during the final scene. I apologize. With sincerity, wearing my heart on my sleeve. Because everyone wants to read like that, approaching the last page. So I told myself. I’ll change it. I’ll send out a reprint, talk about how fast the car was going, what fresh rain smelled like, how it puddled on the windshield, like memories settling in her mind. But try as I am trying, I sort of like the ending. There’s no bones about it. This is what happened. And for it, I’m stuck. Stuck wanting to please readers…because let’s face it, without the kind souls of these wonderful people, what is my passion worth? But I can’t. For some reason, there is a hard drive issue in my brain. There is no where that I find I can insert such words. So to better the situation…to rectify my grave injustice to the ending of my precious book baby…I’m finishing the second installment with the speed-of-light quickness. Well, not too fast. I don’t want another ending like I had in book one!!!

Help me…I end things without warning!!!!!

 

 

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Reason to Celebrate!!

My sixth book releases today! Who knew? I actually had six of them stored up in this head of mine. Actually a few more, but six spilled out to an editor, where she worked her magic, then it got translated into a picture by another professional, formatted, bound, and viola…there you have book 6, “Searching For Sarah”. I’m quite excited. And a bit nervous…as usual. Good thing I’ve got a tough skin. No telling what the kind people of the world is going to think of it…and then there’s the not-so-kind. And I suppose they have a say, too. (I’ll just discreetly, and with all my might, try to put their opinions out of mind) 🙂

So, what about Sarah? She’s a pretty girl, right? Then why is she a dud magnet for men? I mean really…the last guy she dated stole her U-Haul filled with all her stuff. Right there on the street in Charleston. While she went into that cute coffee shop after driving 8 hours straight, to go to the bathroom. That’s the first push into the path that takes her to this guy:

Sam. So what about Sam? He’s cute, right? He just works a little too much. Therefore, unable to do the all the things a single dad has to do–pick up daughter from preschool, cook a well-balanced meal, (not spaghetti o’, scrambled eggs, and a cup of milk, because that’s all he knows how to cook), and attend an occasional tea party with a few stuffed friends…Mind you, he does get home to read the goodnight book and tuck a sleepy-eyed girl in, but as for the rest, he needs some help. And since Sarah is seeking some temporary housing until an apartment comes through, why not get her to do some of the nanny stuff? Win-win for both of them!

Then the story begins to unfold.So, maybe not that intriguing! But I had one reviewer to say she stayed up till after midnight to finish it. That’s good, huh? Well, I sort of smiled when I read it. 🙂

Either way…it’s my genuine hope…wish…desire…beg (LOL) that readers take a chance to get to know Sarah and Sam. Reminder: this is a 3 part book. At the end, there will be sort of the thing that happens on Friday soap operas…Monday will be the second book–where Friday’s shock gets settled after a weekend wait. Don’t throw tomatoes when you get there. But I promise, Monday is coming very quickly. I’m saving that hype until the release of Friday’s book installment–Searching For Sarah, part 1! Please spread the word, my dearest followers. Cake for everyone!!!! Celebrate. 🙂