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I’m sensing a pattern here…

Okay, so I didn’t wake up grumpy, but I seem to be going to bed a bit miffed. Do I know why? Not consciously, but I assure you that if I had some couch time I’d get to the bottom of it! Tonight it’s the little things that are rubbing me…you know, like I’m ticked with Special K Red Berries cereal because the first bowl is a bounty of berries, however by bowl four you’re searching the box for them. Why? Can’t they get the ratio and way it comes out more precise? LOL Yep, that even sounded crazy in my head. But let’s back up to this morning. Maybe I’ll find why I’m a bit out of sorts.

I woke up late. Why? Because my bed is incredibly warm. Because I go to bed past the time I can keep my eyelids open. Because I don’t like mornings. So I had to go to the dentist with boy 4 and girl 1. He had a cavity. The horror. The complete horror of having to go and wait 2 hours….2 hours to have that thing filled. Of course the majority of that time was letting him get sedated and then the gas and the waking from the gas. See what not brushing every night got you, I asked. This. He assures me he will brush, floss, fluoride, and soak teeth every night to avoid such future horror. Sidenote: Girl 1 had no cavities. Yay!

As for the rest of my day, it went okay. I did some errands, ate a crappy lunch, and wandered around for what to make for dinner. Ah, my favorite time to sit and wonder what I’ll feed my tribe. Nothing good, I assure you it was. Nothing. I couldn’t even bear to clean it up. Boy 2 surprised me by clearing it out while I was washing laundry. I finished up the evening by eating a bowl of my berry cereal and feeling as though I got nothing accomplished today. Maybe that’s my problem. All I did was ride in a car or ride that dentist waiting room chair. And then of course I’m on the kick of feeling fat again. Yet nothing stops me from eating. Go figure that!

Okay, now for the positive portion of this segment. Because being negative is beginning to make me look even worse. I will mention a few things that light up my world and give me reason to be the happiest person ever. Let’s see:1. I have the most wonderful 6 kids ever. Maybe not every second of the day. But when I’m around other bad children, I know my really aren’t all that naughty. LOL! No, they are good. Down in their core they are good. Now to just not have to police them every second. 2. My home is just what I need. It’s beautiful, provides most with their own room, gives us security, and has a serene setting. (I mention this because I get the itch to move every day). 3. My husband is one of the best. I’d go as far to say I think he puts my needs before his own. You just don’t get that lucky usually. 4. I’m getting the chance to adopt a very sweet little girl in just 2 short months. Although it has been some of the most stressful times of my life with deadlines, hoops to jump through, and finding the money…I will be her mother before her 5th birthday. Amazing!! 5. Speaking of moms, I have the best one ever. This woman could’ve bunked with Mother Theresa for all I know. Drank from her same cup. Brushed with her same comb. She is giving, empathetic, compassionate to a fault, and all mine! Yep, that made me feel better. Sometimes you have to check in to what’s important and check out of what you have no control over. Like Kellog’s or cavities. I know this. 😉

Till next time! Have a good rest of the week.

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The End

Sometimes….if you really like how something’s going…’The End’ can be some of the saddest words to see or hear. For me, it’s bittersweet to see Sarah’s story come to a close. Of course she will live on in the blank pages that are yet to be, if ever, written. However, for now it’s good-bye.

Release day, January 4, 2018. Sounds a little like Star Trek when I read it aloud! Anyway, what will happen? Will Sarah spark again with Sam? Will Liz ever settle down? Can Carter make it through another year without going back with Paige? And will Maggie and Michael’s marriage survive? What about that new neighbor….what’s his name? Oh right, you haven’t met him yet. Well grab yourself a copy of “Falling For Sarah” and let me know what you think of him. Is he a contender for Sarah’s happily ever after? Or, is he like all the other men in her life and comes with a boat load of baggage?

I’m tickled and waiting on pins and needles to hear what everyone thinks! Finally it has closure. What so many of you wanted and deserved. I apologize for making you wait this long. 🙂 I promise, no more of that in my upcoming releases. Cliff hangers stop with Sarah. Girl scout honor! (Yeah, I was never really one, but it always sounds so official and meaningful to include it in a declaration).

I assume everyone had a fabulous ringing in of the New Year. What does ringing in the New Year even mean? Are bells involved? I used to, many years ago, watch Dick Clark and wait for that ball to drop. Listen to the bands play and laugh as I sat in my warm home watching all the cold bodies in New York, freezing their butts off, blowing smoke when they talked. Where do they all go to the bathroom? Seriously? Have you ever pondered it before? They’re all drinking for Pete’s sake, and come on…no one can hold it that long. I’m pretty sure they don’t have potties on the street for this, and even if they did, how could you even maneuver to get to one? Someone said today when we were discussing it, (yes we were) that they were certainly going somewhere. Eww…

Okay, on to resolutions. Isn’t that the second question to “What gym did you join” that comes after the first of January? The only resolution I’ve made thus far is to delete emails. I hoard no where else in my life except for yahoo mail. I’ve got so many emails that the counter has stopped counting. I’m horrible with the delete button. I read and move on. Or not and still move on. So this year I plan to delete. So far I’ve done it one and a half days. We’re on day three I realize, so I’m not doing so bad.

Last year I, as many others do, found a word that threaded through my entire year and had profound meaning. It was preparedness. And wherever my life went it seemed as though preparedness was looming. I felt compelled to prepare for many things. And so I did. And so I needed to. This year my word was change. It’s a year of change. As you may know I’m adopting a little girl. If that’s not enough change right there, I don’t know what else is. But three days into the new year and I’ve been met with even more profound change in my family. And I’m okay with it. Change is change. Change can be good. At least if I’m looking for good I’ll find it, right? We’ve sort of torn up our basement changing things around. And eerily I’m okay with that, too. I’m upside down in my organization, but all right. (I’ll keep you posted of my attitude as things get lost).

So Happy New Year my dear friends. Ring in the change that we know will come with a happy heart. And remember, if we don’t have change, we have the same. And don’t you want a little change? Life isn’t meant to be a groundhog day. 🙂

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New Book, New Look

Were you tired of seeing Sarah on all the covers? Or rather her hands, her torso, or her covered head? Well this time it appears to be a cover of her happily ever after guy!! Yummy…who will it be? I’ve been so happy writing my final Sarah. It’s bittersweet, actually. Just like writing the final Amy. I was so sad to see her go. I’d gotten so accustomed to writing her I felt like I was losing a friend. Same with Sarah. But I find it okay because I send them out with the guy of their dreams…or do I? You know how fickle we are, right? I’ve been giving serious thought about Amy… What if….

Okay, okay… but anything could happen. Then this might happen!You know you wouldn’t mind! You never know…

So back to Sarah. She is ready to find love, for Pete’s sake! And she will in book 3. Finally. There’s a lot of possibilities, but there is one that sticks. And I can’t wait until you read which one! It’s on sale now on pre-order, and it releases January 4th. I’m super excited. I hope you are, too.

 

Warning: This book will have closure!

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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!!

 

 

 

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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?

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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.

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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. 🙂

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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. 🙂

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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! 😉