Blog

Uncategorized

Christmas Overload in November

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m ready to decorate. It’s sort of like  Brussel sprouts…you love ’em or hate ’em. November is either reserved for Autumn, or a springboard for Christmas. I have so many decorations, I usually begin decorating the second week of November. And because I want it all down on December 27th, I try to milk it as long as I can. I have a group of mixed feelings from my kids. My daughter refuses to listen to my ‘Jingle Bells’ in the car, stuffing headphones in her ears. And when I watch a Christmas movie in the kitchen while cooking, she gives me a ‘what for’.

So with all that in mind, I’m clearly an early Christmas celebrator. Although while doing a week of fundraiser things and having on the Hallmark channel every minute of it, I’m sort of sick of seeing the snow and going along with the characters to pick out a tree. And I don’t want to be sick of it. I’m taking a slight break so I can smell the coffee beans and resume my ho-ho-ho in the few weeks to come.

And so a small rant before I turn the channel…why do all the guys have to have the name Nick and all the girls carry the name Holly. Really? Seriously, 4 out of 5 movies have this setup. And you can guess that any guy that shows up during the first 15 minutes of the movie isn’t the one who’ll be ending it. This guy is the one who turns out to be a schmuck by not being there for the girl, not understanding her, or choosing their career over love. It’s so obvious. Yet I still stay tuned. It’s mindless entertainment. It’s chicken noodle soup for the Christmas soul. One bowl in which I need to take a little break from!

Have a great week everyone!!

 

 

 

Advertisements
Uncategorized

November Already?

October is officially over. It was weird. Different than most others. I felt I was buried underneath a heap of fundraising tactics, running for this and that with the kids, and facing the fact my dad had a stroke. Busy, busy, busy. I thought tonight, what would I do if I didn’t have so many balls in the air? What do other people do when they come home from work? Do they eat, watch television, and mosey on to bed? I wish. Then again, I don’t. I like to be engaged, but I’d like a break every now and then.

My little boy stayed home sick from school today. I hope it had nothing to do with the fact he had to walk around in soaked underpants all day yesterday. You know, the cold weather and the wet undergarment combination? This is twice this year. He told his teacher he had to go and her response was he should’ve gone when she allowed them. Oy vey. He’s not a robot. He didn’t have to go after recess. Anyway…you know how they miraculously are well enough for trick or treating? Yep, he was. For all an hour of running in the cold from one house to the other. Which by the way, half of the houses didn’t have on their lights this year. I noticed some of the children banging on doors, shouting trick or treat. They weren’t going down quietly. The people never came. So now my little boy looks pale yet again. I hope this doesn’t set him back. I gave him ibuprofen and rubbed his back till he went to sleep. Morning will tell whether I did right by letting him go. I sort of didn’t have a choice. He wasn’t going to let the one night out of the year where he gets free candy go away without ringing a few bells.

I’m still working on little projects to sell at a vendor fair. My heart is in crafting and writing. It’s a shame I do it in the middle of the night. But we do what we have to do. Come and visit my shop!! I’ve got a few things listed and so many more to get advertised. Have a good first day of November, everyone!!BirdiesRoom

Uncategorized

It’s Becoming a Bit Chilly Out There!

Last week I had to scrape my windshield. Scrape…yes, you read that correctly. Frozen junk was all over it. I even blew smoke while I was wielding that zebra-printed scraper! Then over the weekend it became hot. As in too hot for October. Today….cold! Out of nowhere. And we wonder why everyone is sick. Hmmm

I cleaned out some flowerbeds today. Well, attempted to. And I put away my summer flag and hung a fall one. Next I’ll have to clear out the bird bath and take a crane to lift my gardenia plant and place it in the garage. It’s so heavy. But I can’t let it freeze. It did so well all summer. Like crazy blooms all the time. The fragrance was intoxicating.

I go through this phase where I get sick of watering my house plants all the time. Isn’t that terrible? I just want to give all them away and not worry about tending to them anymore. What does this mean about me? I’m fickle? Tired of carrying a watering can? Becoming less nurturing? Maybe something else in my life is lacking. Maybe I’m tired of something else and I’m taking it out on my plants. It’s something for me to think about. Later.

I’ve been avoiding writing. Wow, I’m avoiding that, too? Who knows what’s going on. My daughter has had a brush of bullying at school. She claims she can handle it, but should she have to? And who’s to trust she can. She’s very mature about it, but she’s human, right? Something I have to keep a pulse on and keep check everyone is behaving. You’ll always have your jealous little clicks. Always. No one escapes.

I’m trying not to go into Mother Bear mode. But if you poke the bear, it’ll manage to wake! Fair warning. 

I’m waiting on immigration approval with our international adoption. After all this is done, I think I could qualify for bodyguard status to the president of the United States! Next up, fingerprinting. Again. Because the first set was just for practice, you know?

Sarah 3 is calling me. I’ll just stop by the fridge and clean it out first. Then I’ll be ready to sit down and write. Right? Hopefully. I’m still getting angry mail about how book 2 left off. And I thought I did better!

Uncategorized

Friday Night Movie Night

  We, at the “Dove” house, love our Friday night movies. It’s a given. No matter what falls into our week and rocks the boat Monday thru Thursday, Friday is reserved for movie night. It’s not the easiest picking out movies now a days that you don’t shudder when a scene comes on and you want to cover your child’s eyes. Movies that used to be rated ‘G’ don’t exist. PG-13 used to be ‘R’ in my days. But Pure Flix is reliable when it comes to entertainment and non-skiddish parents. Every holiday, we watch ‘Christmas with a Capital C’. It’s easy going, funny, and festive. My kids look forward to it. And I love a movie that’s setting is the snowy Alaska. I’ve watched more than this one from Pure Flix. I’m sort of a Hallmark girl, and “Finding Normal” is right up that alley. It’s kind of a take on “Doc Hollywood”. I really like Candace Cameron Bure. She always gives an even performance. And if you’re lucky enough to have an awesome internet provider, you’re able to get Pure Flix for a month’s free trial. I don’t know about you, but I love Heartland. I watched some behind the scenes of this show, and it’s like I know these people now. Not to mention I love the whole horse theme. Not that I’ve ridden one, got closer than a fence length between one, but I enjoy watching other people do this! The scenery is amazing. Following the story of the younger couple reminds me of following Laura Wilder and Almanzo Wilder in ‘Little House on the Prairie’. This show has come such a long way. There’s so much history, character development, and sub-plots. And if you’re lucky enough to have an awesome internet provider, you’re able to get Pure Flix for a month’s free trial.

Kind of makes me wish it was Friday night, Christmas, or I had better internet to take advantage of it myself! Who knows, maybe the wind will blow just right and I’ll be able to catch one of those new movies I see advertised. Feel free to let me know what you think!

Uncategorized

Return to Pooh Corner

Does anyone remember this song? I was driving my son to school yesterday and it came on. I have no idea why, as I was listening to a playlist of Eddie Money, John Cougar, etc. Anyway here came Kenny Loggins singing about counting all the bees in the hive and chasing clouds away. It made me very nostalgic. I looked in the rearview mirror at my son and pondered the thought that he doesn’t even know he’s young. Well yeah, he knows what youth stops you from doing. You can’t drive a car, you can’t stay at home and not go to school, you can’t not eat healthy. But he has little clue as to what it affords you…being chauffeured, only worrying what assignments are due the next day, chasing the clouds if he really wanted to. Youth is definitely wasted on the young! What I wouldn’t have given to stay home and be concerned over nothing. No bills, no need for money, no what to make for dinner. It’s fleeting, but he won’t get that until 20 years down the road and a silly song comes on the radio to remind him. 🙂

Along with EVERYTHING else I’ve got juggling in mid-air, I’m onto my next fundraising craft. I don’t think I posted the fabric keychains, but they’ve been a huge hit. I’m almost sold out. I have another shipment of metal fasteners arriving to get more made. But in the meanwhile, I’ve begun a new project. Tissue holders for your bag. They are SUPER easy and fast. And so many possibilities with color schemes. They are a great stash buster, especially when you chain sew them. I’m working on another quilt, too. Did I even post pics of the other one? This one is smaller, and it’s cowboy theme. So cute. I’ll for sure post a picture when I’m finished.

Book 3 of Sarah is getting so good! I hate to tease, but it’s going to end with a bang! I have no ideas for a cover yet. So many choices. Sometimes I wish I’d gone with a couple on the others, but who would the guy be? Hmm…. I can’t help myself sometimes. Who would you want to see Sarah ride into the sunset with?

Hey, did you know it’s breast cancer awareness month? Isn’t it crazy how each month is something different? It also happens to be Down Syndrome awareness month, too. Along with getting my education tackled for this one, I’m thinking about immersing myself in Mandarin. Why not? I’ve got so much time on my hands, right?

Uncategorized

Feeling Thankful

I go to bed each night after checking how my books are doing. You know, just to feel connected in a small way to my readers. Anyway, each night for the past almost 2 weeks, my books have been read and bought several times that particular day. My rating stats have improved on goodreads and I am feeling blessed! It’s such a nice way to go to sleep, knowing people are sharing in my stories. Wow! It’s amazing.

Then I turn on the ol’boob-tube. Just for about 30 minutes. My husband hopes to be asleep by that time. You see, I have a new ritual of classic television. As I’ve been sewing for my fundraisers, I watch all the oldies. They’re like comfort food to my soul. Weird, I know. But they are so predictable, non-threatening, and I don’t have to lend but one ear.

 

And so on to news of the Indie Book Festival. Let’s see…where to begin? It was super hot. I got a burn on my right cheek, my right arm, and tops of both feet. There were almost no women’s fiction readers present. Although the guy next to my table was booming with his non-fiction account of the Vietnam war. Kudos to him! So all in all, it wasn’t a wonderful thing to behold. I did get tons of entries for a basket I was giving away of book booty!

Good news….a few books are swirling in my head. I enjoyed some Claire De Lune on my way to work this morning. It gave me a great backdrop for a plot I’m working on. And then of course came Dinah Washington. For some reason when I’m writing the Sarah Series, Dinah brings it out of me.

Well, I better go….time for some Hart to Hart!  Have a good day tomorrow, everyone.

Uncategorized

New Season…

Last weekend I decorated for the fall. It took me the better part of the day to do it. I have a large tote that someone lugs up from the basement, and I unwrap each collected item and display them in the dining, living, and kitchen rooms. My kids used to get a charge at all the pumpkins and goblins. Now, it’s like, ‘meh’. Whatever. I like it. My college boy likes it, and had he been there he’d have said something. Oh well. My husband complimented the transformation of our home. Everything now has an ‘autumn glow’. Fall used to be my favorite season, although now it might be spring. Fall just tells me winter is coming, and for that I have a bit of resentment. I get it. Everything has to die to become new again. I just don’t like the death winter feels sometimes. I’m cold during the summer, for crying out loud! And all the bleakness of the sky, no leaves on the trees…I’m getting sad just thinking about it. Better stop!

So I’m going to be at a book festival tomorrow. I won’t lie, it’s my first. I have no idea what to expect. I ordered my books, and I’ve got my pen ready to sign. Now I just hope and pray there are readers who want one! I ordered the cutest magnetic calendars. They had little foxes on them, and my logo was fashioned so cutely on them. And the bookmarks!! In true Julieann fashion, it took me a week to commit to the one I liked best. And so the order was placed. And I waited. And I checked delivery schedules. Yep, they were to arrive right in the nick of time. Then I called last night to check where my missing swag booty was. And then my heart hiccuped. “What? The order never processed? Umm…why not? I’ve been checking. It’s said they’re arriving on the 20th? I ordered 3 weeks ago.” And then the heartless representative from vistaprint said, “It wasn’t deliberate. Your order just wasn’t sent to printing. We’re sorry.” Sorry? Sorry? I have no swag, not cute little fox calendars, no bookmarks? I’ll be the only table with nothing on it! Sorry? “Yes, sorry. I’ll make sure to report this to my supervisor.” Hmm…   I”ll just leave this here with how much that report gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Onto the adoption front. I’ve taken 35 credit hours of courses dealing with adoption. It has been enlightening to say the least. I had no idea all the issues that these poor children go through being institutionalized. I mean, of course, who wouldn’t be scared for life being left in a crib, not ever getting rocked, or fed a bottle being propped on a blanket. My heart is so heavy for their plight.

Fundraising has been a scream. Wow. It’s taught me to be a better giver, that’s for sure. I put myself out there, which is NO easy task for me. I’m the type that wants to take care of things for myself. But this is so huge, so high a hill to climb, that I asked friends and family for help. And I get it. “You want the child, you pay the money.” But it’s more than I have. And she needs it. I’m not asking for myself, I’m asking for her. But whatever. Lesson learned. It’s okay. Some have come forward. Some have helped. Some that I had no idea that would. And I hope they felt the profuse appreciation I gave them in return.

I’m doing a new fundraiser, and thinking of another one for my kid’s school to participate in. As if I haven’t had enough humiliation in begging for money, right? Sadly I’ve learned that people will give if they get something in return. So I made a quilt. It took a month with all the other things I’ve got going on. I call it ‘Birdie’s Quilt’. And it’s $10/ticket for a chance to win it. I used all my favorite fabrics I’ve collected over the years, and it measures a queen size. It’s been getting good response.

This adoption experience is teaching me so much about myself, orphaned children, and the friends and family that surround me. I know I’ve grown, and that’s a good thing. I just can’t wait to get my little Birdie and bring her home!

Have a great weekend everyone. 🙂

Uncategorized

Time for a New Release!

NYE-1936It’s that time again! Book 2 of my Sarah series is hitting the internet waves. I couldn’t be more happy. All the readers who searched for the next page (at the end of the book 1) is finally vindicated. This one takes place five years later and Sarah is finally reaching some normalcy in her life. Time to take time for herself. After all her daughter is getting older, having more play dates than Sarah, and beginning to worry about her mother’s happiness. And just like that! Guys begin coming out of the woodwork…guys that make no sense, guys she shouldn’t have feelings for, and Sam!     I hope everyone who continues Sarah’s journey, likes it!

I’ve been doubling down on wearing my whites this week….it being Labor day very soon, and all. But isn’t that rule sort of changing? I’ve seen white being worn after September. What are they thinking?! 🙂

For those following my adoption journey, it’s going well. Slow and full of paperwork, but well. One thing for sure, everyone in my family has had a physical! I can’t tell you the last time I had a hearing test. Elementary school? And child proof locks? Yeah, after years of not worrying about that, we’ve got ’em. I’ve caught my hand on them a couple hundred times so far. I feel like Homer Simpson everyone time I pull on it and it catches. “Doh!”

My kids are back in school. I don’t love the early mornings, but I love the fact they’re being productive. How many hours can one play Minecraft and not get a paralyzed tush?

Well I’m off to piddle. I’ve got so much to do, but sometimes when you’ve got too much on your plate, all you can do is piddle in it all. If I piddle enough, maybe I’ll achieve something big!

Have a great one! And thanks for your support. 🙂

Uncategorized

I smell school in the air

Don’t get me wrong, I love summer. I love the warm weather, the fact I don’t have an alarm clock attached to a tardy bell, no packing lunches, and no homework. That’s right, just because you don’t have to turn it in, you have to make sure your child does it, does it right, and it’s in the backpack the night before. Shew, and I thought those days were behind me. Anyway, there are some things the summer brings that I could do without, though. The “I’m bored” every ten minutes, “what can I eat now?” (even though they ate fifteen minutes ago), “are we going anywhere today? maybe a movie, the mall, anywhere?” Ah yes, the idle hands of time. This I don’t like so much. I’ve been extremely fortunate in the past with a mother-in-law whom we fondly refer to as camp. She is awesome–orchestrates scavenger hunts, themed menus for the week, outdoor games, milkshake days, and trips to the stores. This year, however, she’s become the caregiver for her mother. My children are limited with their time at her house. Heck, she’s limited at the time at her house. She lives with her mom throughout the week and returns to her own on the weekends. So it’s been somewhat of a bummer summer. And I get it, kids don’t have the same things that need to be done as a parent. We’ve taught another one how to cut the grass (a five hour chore on a riding contraption), I’ve assigned another one dish duty every morning, and the two smaller ones hang out, making sure their dirty clothes get in the basket and out from under their beds. But how long can this entertain? Approximately eight minutes. Then there’s the rest of the day to consider. And flopping schedules with your husband so one of you can remain gainfully employed.

Alas, summer is coming to a screeching halt. I smell the paper and wooden pencils as I walk into Target, see the back-to-school advertisements when the television is switched on, and pass all the parked buses, begging for newbies to join the ranks in transporting the crazies to the school back and forth. It’s time to get hunkered down to waking up early, praying we have bread, and wondering what I can make for dinner. (for those weeks I don’t have it magically planned out ahead of time). It’s better this way. The kids are all in places that’s making them think, they’re finally out of the house, and I can get into a schedule. It’s both liberating and frightening to think about. I’m not fond of schedules, but it’s necessary.

I took my two littlest to see Despicable Me 3 yesterday. Yeah, it was as good as you can imagine a rental to be, sitting in a theater that just charged us over $20 for the tickets, $30 for snacks, and a kid kicking my chair and talking the entire show. But I do it out of love. Although I must say, my kiddos didn’t seem particularly thrilled with it. Kind of like they were thinking it was a DVD rental at the Redbox, too. Once you go into the second and third editions of movies, it’s a rental for sure.

But it was nice to get everyone to pitch in and clean the house with me in order to go to the movies! My daughter and husband got to see Spiderman. They raved over it. Ironically I’ll see that in the Redbox. Times are changing, as my second in birth order son skulked to the back of the theater with his girlfriend, and my oldest met up with someone and watched Dunkirk.

Well, that’s all for now. It’s Sunday and the weather is a perfect 70 degrees. I’m going to soak up the last day before Monday begins. We have a dentist appointment and our first home study scheduled for this week. And, I might be doing a little bit of school supply shopping. Open house for my smallest is in 10 days. I can only imagine the teacher is going to demand 20 sticks of glue, 10 notebooks, and 15 boxes of tissues!

Have a great one, everyone!

Uncategorized

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.