Thursday, August 16, 2007

All You Need Is Love.

Yesterday, Liz Bevarly posed an interesting question on her blog about whether or not romance novels are unrealistic because they always have a happy ending. The comments got quite philosophical and got me to thinking.

Do we, as human beings require love to live happy, fulfilled lives?

In my opinion, yes, we, as human beings absolutely require some sort of bond, some sort of connection with another living thing to be happy.

Now, I'm not talking about just romantic or sexual love, but any kind of love, whether it's filial, the love of friends, or even the love one has for a pet.

In my life I've known quite a few people who have, for one reason or another, remained single throughout their lives and been happy and fulfilled. But they have friends, family and often pets to fill the empty place in their hearts that a mate would normally fill.

I've also known single people who are miserable examples of the human species. Not surprisingly, they've either shunned the love offered them in the past or they've gone out of their way to avoid any close relationships with other human beings. Now, they're like an old, barnacle-encrusted shipwreck. You see the shell on the outside, but inside, they're nothing but an empty vessel.

Another question that popped up into my brain was; Can the memory of a great love in one's past sustain a person for the rest of their life?

Occasionally my friends and I will talk about what we would do if we found ourselves suddenly single, either thru divorce or the death of our spouses. My automatic response is to laugh and say that I'd remain single for the rest of my life--it's too much trouble to *house break* another man. But in my heart of hearts, I wonder if that would really be the case. Would I stay single for the rest of my life, preferring the memories of my life with Hubby? Or would I eventually feel the need to seek out another special someone to keep the other side of the bed warm on a cold night and someone whose razor I can steal because it works so much better than mine?

So, what do you think? Do we need love to be happy, fulfilled people? Or can we get along just fine without it?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

She's Got Books

As I sit here, typing, I can look in any given direction and make "eye contact" if you will, with a book.

Romance novels, how to train your dog, books on religion, travel books, memoirs--you name it, I have at least one example residing either in a stack, on a shelf, in a box, or just hanging out here in the horrid little space of what will shortly NOT be my office.

Now that Dear Daughter (the elder) has moved across the city with her Tizzle (I kid you not), and the-cat-without-a-tail, there's an empty room in my house, that is begging to be occupied.

Said room has an excellent view of the back yard, and is now a gorgeous shade of Aegean blue with bright white trim. In two weeks, it will have new carpet the color of sand, and Roman shades made of bamboo covering the windows.

In the meantime, I've been collecting boxes like a squirrel collects nuts, in the hopes that I can put some order to my "Library".

I have doubts there are enough bookshelves in Georgia to hold all the books I own. Therefore, some of my precious pets will have to go to new homes.

Some are going to a nifty little store called "Books For Less", where I can get store credit to buy other used books to replace the ones I turned in. Some, that I decided for whatever reason not to read, will be dusted off and given to Miss Mary for her to use in our monthly raffle baskets to raise money for literacy here in Georgia. And a lucky few will be given to a local nursing home to brighten the lives of the residents.

But mostly, the books will just get put in a box for a few weeks, then reshelved in my new digs once it's ready for occupancy.

To add insult to injury, Michelle Buonfiglio, of Romance: B(u)y The Blog, suggested the most intriguing book yesterday, and now, I know I must have it. Check her site out if you're curious.

So, are you addicted to books? Do you have so many they sit in stacks around your house and get dusted like a piece of furniture? What's the last book you read? Love it? Hate it? Why?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Girls

This is our Alpha Girl...Sunni. We "think" she's a Corgi/Spitz cross and is almost 10 years old. She rules the roost.
This is Roxy, aka "Rockhead". Part Rottweiler and part "sneaky-dog-next-door". She has a fiber fetish...she'll steal yarn and unspun wool from me at every opportunity and fling it about like confetti if given half a chance. She's decided she is MY dog.
Last, but certainly not least, is Pepper Ann. I got her at a flea market (I kid you not!) known as Dog Days in rural Tennessee. She's a rat terrier and probably the most timid dog on the planet. She does love her comfort. Despite the fact that I rescued her, she's most definitely hubby's girl.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Hug Your Kids

I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes right now.

A fellow Blogger and Bella, Rachd, will be saying goodbye today to her beautiful baby, Hannah, today. Hannah's life here on Earth was cut tragically short when she died in a swimming accident this past Thursday.

A devoted mom, Rachd blogged about her life with her two beautiful daughters, Hannah and Lily.

My two girls are now grown and I'm a little sad that I didn't have the opportunity to do the same thing, since the computer age was just beginning when they were born.

As a mom, though, I naturally fretted and worried over my girls. Every time they went to camp, on a field trip or I had to leave them for any extended period of time, I wouldn't be able to take an easy breath until they were once more under my protection.

I realize now how silly that was. Things happen, and you can't protect them from everything.

Now, my girls are adult young women on their own. One is married and living in California and the other is living across town.

How I wish I could take them both in my arms and squeeze them tight.

I'm going to call them both today and remind them to be careful out there--because I love them and want to have them around for a long, long time.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Romance World Loses an Icon

Quite often, when asked “What was the first romance novel you ever read?” women (and a few men) will reply “Kathleen Woodiwiss’s The Flame and the Flower.”

I can’t make that claim. The first romance novel I ever read was Kathleen’s Shanna, first published in 1977. A few years later, Ashes In The Wind was released and I was so impressed with the gutsy heroine, Alaina MacGaren, that I named my second daughter Alaina. She’s every bit as gutsy and courageous as the fictional young woman she was named for, too.

As much as her fans would have loved her to be more prolific, Kathleen often took years to write a book, and even stopped writing all together for several years.

A few years ago, she began writing again, and, according to her son, Heath, she’d completed a manuscript before her untimely death yesterday, July 6th, 2007. If all goes well, it will be published in November of this year.

Sadly, Kathleen didn’t see herself as “a great orator”, so she rarely spoke in public or held workshops. I, for one, wish, this hadn’t been so, for I’d dearly have loved to learn the secrets behind her wonderful characterization and well-developed plots.

Kathleen, we’ll miss you and your stories. May your family be comforted by the knowledge that you hold a deep affection and admiration in the hearts of your fans around the world.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Fourteen

There's this "thing" going round lately called the Thursday Thirteen, where bloggers list thirteen things that have gone on in their life during the past week.

Well, since I was working yesterday and couldn't post anything even if I'd been inclined, I decided to do something a bit here's my contribution to the world of listmaking:

1. Saturday the whole family crammed into dd (the younger's) rental car and we all headed for the cousin's place in Tennessee for a visit. Stopped at a dairy outside Anniston, AL, bought yummy cheese and chocolate milk.
2. Saturday afternoon, a feast fit for royalty! Homemade hummus, salad from the garden, baked macaroni and cheese...awesome...and great company! We ate and talked...then ate and talked some more until it was time to go to sleep. I really enjoy my visits with family.
3. Sunday we hung out at the cousin's place. Took cousin Bill's VW up the mountain to the cabin, where he got drilled in the eye by an angry wasp. DD (the elder) spent a good deal of time de-ticking the farm dogs.
4. Sunday afternoon. After a lunch of grilled burgers and chocolate cake, we packed up the car, where we made room for lots of plants courtesy of Cousin Jon, and trekked back to Atlanta. Much whinging on the part of DD (the elder) as she was squished between hubby and I. To placate her, we stopped so she could buy fireworks.
5. Monday, saw dd (the younger) and her hubby off for their trip back home to LaLa Land. Miss them terribly. Won't see them again until December when DD graduates from college and gets her RN degree.
6. Monday, drove home from a blood drive in Madison, right into the clutches of a major storm. Got pelted with hail the size of boulder marbles and thought my windshield was going to shatter. I took shelter beside a semi-truck and crawled at 30 mph home. Sleep required the use of drugs to quiet my shattered nerves.
7.Tuesday worked a blood drive at a church in Loganville. They put on a wonderful "refreshment" table. Best banana pudding you ever ate!!
8. Wednesday, got up in the wee smalls to work up in Gainesville. Spoke with Julianne, future Godess of Regency Romance...she kept me company on my drive to Athens.
9. Tuesday, after blood drive in Gainesville, drove to Athens to take a test on Personal Protective Equipment. ~~sigh~~ pretty pathetic when you have to be told how to put on a lab coat!
10. Tuesday evening, went to Costco and the Farmer's Market to get some provisions. I have a full fridge and nothing to eat! We Americans are so wasteful!!
11. Thursday, got up again in the wee smalls...this time for a blood drive at the local police department. I had the early shift. Not bad, and I enjoy this blood drive. It's nice and relaxed and the people are great. We got 10% over our goal, which was nice.
12. Thursday. Got home around 1:30 in the afternoon, tried to work on my writing and fell asleep at my laptop. Must have slept a couple of hours.
13. Made dinner for the first time this week. Stuffed chicken breast with Sesame glaze and green beans. Yum. After dinner, I went out to the garden and put together a birdbath out of terra cotta pots and saucers. I hope the birds like it!
14. Friday...I'm off today. I was on float and didn't get called, so as of 8 mins ago, I'm free. It's been raining this morning, so if it clears, I'll go out and plant my banana trees and the plants Jon gave me.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Musings of a Perpetually Exhausted Brain

Not sure what the deal is lately, but I seem to be chronically exhausted.

I think it started a little over a week ago when Her Royal Highness, Princess PITA, the old lady dog, got sick and kept us awake two nights running.

I had my first Saturday off and ALONE at home in what felt like YEARS (probably was years!) and was looking forward to spending it in my bower, sipping coffee and getting a writing contest entry polished up.

Instead, I spent the entire morning and well into the afternoon at the vet's office. HRH had a roaring urinary tract infection, pancretitis (thanks hubby for feeding her junk food! ) and some sort of weird ataxia thing going on with her balance. So, two hundred dollars poorer and 6 hours later, we went home.

Since then, I've felt like I just can't catch up on my sleep, even when I get a full night's rest.

Then, just for fun, last night, I had the mother of all nightmares, involving birds, the SWAT team, a lawn that threatened to swallow me, a GRW chapter president who flung plastic dog turds at me,(is that some sort of metaphore or what???) and a synopsis that refused to come together.

For the first time in my life, I was actually happy when the alarm clock went off-- for about half a second...then I realized I still hadn't figured out that #$#$#%$ synopsis!!!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Lady Cinthia's Bower

Once upon a time there was a beautiful, but sad lady. She was sad because there wasn't a single room in the castle she could call her own. She dearly wanted a place to dream, to escape from the cares of work-a-day life and to write down the wonderful stories that lived in her imagination.

The Lord of the castle, being a somewhat enlightened man, noticed his lady wife's sadness and asked what he could do to cheer her up. "I want a place of my own," she said.

While he went about his lordly duties he thought of what might please his lady and one day he found the perfect solution. He would build her a lovely bower.

And build it he did, with his own two hands and all the tools at his disposal.

Upon seeing it, his lady wife showered him with kisses and proclaimed it the most beautiful bower in all the land. She thanked her lord husband with great enthusiasm and from that day forth, whenever weather permitted, she spent time every day inside her beautiful bower, listening to the birds sing, dreaming her dreams and writing the wonderful stories of her imagination.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

All Decked Out and Ready for Summer

As I write this, I'm sitting outside with my feet up, a sunhat on, and my laptop where it should be--in my lap. And I'm watching my dear sweetie build my Mother's Day present. (I get up occasionally and hold the tape measure, hand him nails as needed, and provide cold beverages and food, so I'm not a complete sloth.)

"What could he be building?" you wonder.

He's building a deck for the pavillion we bought a few weeks ago.

Here in Georgia, as soon as the freezing weather abates, the mosquitoes, gnats and other perils of southern living emerge from hibernation and proceed to make outdoor life hell for anyone who dares venture past the confines of their domicile.

The pavillion will provide a haven from these fearsome beasties, as well as shelter from the sun. The plan is to run electricity for lighting as well as power for my laptop and the blender, which will render delightful frozen concoctions with which to cool the tongue and inspire the imagination.

Are you an outdoor type person, or do you prefer distancing yourself as far away from nature as you can? Do you have a favorite spot where you feel perfectly at ease? Tell us about it?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Parlour Tricks

All my life I've had "hot" hands. That is, they're warmer than the average person's. I've used this to my advantage since working as a vampire--warmth makes blood flow very nicely in cold fingers.

Well, yesterday I had a donor who thought this little phenomenon was rather interesting, so I showed him how I can make him feel the warmth, even if I don't physically touch his skin. I "sandwiched" his hand between my two hands with about an inch of space between. Within seconds his hand began to get VERY warm.

It was at this point he confessed that he's into paranormal research and asked if he could perform a little experiment on me. So, when I had a break, he pulled out some sort of meter and a laser thermometer. First he pointed the meter at a control didn't really do anything. Then he pointed it at me...the meter went nutso.

Second, he used the laser to measure the control's skin temp. Then he had me do my thing with the hands...the guy's skin temp had gone up 4*F in 10 seconds!! LOL!

I always knew I was a little odd...

Sunni, the old lady dog, showed us a trick of her own at 11:45 last night, while hubby and I were fast asleep. (Warning, if you have a sensitive stomach, you might want to stop here.)

I've told hubby time and time again about giving the dogs junk food...maybe now he'll listen. He gave them each a couple bites of salami last night and it apparently disagreed with Sunni's digestion.

Just as we were falling asleep she jumped up on the bed and snuggled up between hubby and me--she NEVER does this, so I knew something was afoot. She positioned herself with her head right near hubby's. I fell asleep and an hour or so later--it happened.

I was dead asleep, and when hubby jumped up out of bed, shouting like the house was on fire. It took me a moment to figure out that he was telling me that Sunni had yarked all over his head. I turned on the light and sure enough....

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Twenty-Seven Things I Wish For

1. I wish I had thicker eyelashes.

2. I wish my BIL would move out of my house.

3. I wish I had some “alone” time each week.

4. I wish I could get more writing done each day.

5. I wish our finances were better organized.

6. I wish I had more time for friends.

7. I wish I could write for a living.

8. I wish my sister and I lived closer to each other.

9. I wish I were a tidier person.

10. I wish I had better eating habits.

11. I wish I didn’t have to take so many meds.

12. I wish my back and knees would stop hurting.

13. I wish my potbelly would go away.

14. I wish I were more physically active.

15. I wish I could grow attractive fingernails.

16. I wish my husband weren’t so needy and in demand of my time and energy.

17. I wish I were more of a risk-taker.

18. I wish I had acreage so I could have sheep and goats.

19. I wish I lived in California again.

20. I wish I had more confidence in myself and my abilities.

21. I wish I could learn to keep my mouth shut sometimes.

22. I wish I was better at standing up for myself.

23. I wish my teeth were whiter.

24. I wish I weren’t so forgetful.

25. I wish I’d stop procrastinating about sending out my work.

26. I wish I’d get published and hit the NYT Bestseller list.

27. I wish my mom and dad were still alive.

This started out as a simple writing exercise from the book The Right to Write, by Julia Cameron. At first, I had a really hard time thinking of things to put down, but then I just relaxed and let the thoughts come to me and surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) I learned a few things about myself.

There are a few things in there that are pure vanity…like the eyelashes, the potbelly and the whiter teeth. But who doesn’t desire to be their most attractive self, even in “middle age”?

There’s definitely a self-confidence issue at work here. (See items 17, 20,22,24 & 25). These are things that I absolutely have the power to change in an instant, but for whatever reason I haven’t yet.

I’m also very jealous of my time. I resent it when my time is spent on things that aren’t personally satisfying to me. I find myself getting angry when I’ve set aside a certain amount of time for something and had the rug snatched out from under me and I’m stuck doing what someone else wants me to do. And I think it’s mostly because unless I’m sitting in the car, driving to or from work, I’m NEVER TRULY ALONE. There’s always someone at my house (see item # 2) and the job I have now is so time-consuming that I have very little, if any free time besides weekends, and sometimes not even those.

This is a nice segue into the whole “needy husband” thing. I believe I married the most dependent man on the face of the planet. I love him and it thrills me that he wants to spend time with me, but at the same time, it drives me bonkers that he doesn’t have any male friends to hang out with occasionally. On top of that, when I do assert myself and demand time to do things by myself, he does his level best (consciously or unconsciously, I have no idea) to make me feel guilty about it—which in turn, feeds back into the self-confidence issue.

I also have a VERY bad habit of letting thoughts that pop up in my brain flow out of my mouth without thinking of the damaging effects it could have on me—or others. Sometimes it’s gossip, sometimes it’s an opinion (and you know what they say about those!) and sometimes it’s just plain old yakking.

For example, last week, I got a “counseling” form written up on me because I failed to follow protocol at work. I signed it without really thinking about it, and went right back to my duties. As I worked, I thought more and more about that form, and my ire grew. It was so unfair! Terry, a new TMS, happened to be close by and I mentioned it to her. The next thing I know, I’m being pulled aside by the acting TMS (not Terry) who told me that if I have a problem with something, I’m not to go around discussing it with staff. As much as I love Dora, I’m still a little annoyed, as I felt I’d been falsely accused in that I didn’t discuss it with “several staff members” as she said—only one and she was a TMS also and I’d asked her advice on how to handle my irritation.

But I digress…the point is, I don’t know how to keep my big mouth shut. It’s almost as though if I DON’T say something, I’ll explode. I’m at a loss as to how change this.

There is also a sense of longing for what most likely cannot be in my wishlist. I know perfectly well that unless hubby wins the lottery or I hit the NYT bestseller list (in hardback no less!) I’ll never move back to California and have enough land to keep sheep and goats while I write for a living.

And nothing is going to bring back my parents…no matter how much I miss them.

“So what do you do?” to quote Shirley Valentine.

What you do is you keep on keeping on. You do your best each day. You pray for patience, for persistence, for guidance, and you live each day to the fullest with the knowledge that there might not be a tomorrow.

Relatives and co-workers may irritate the life out of me, but at least I HAVE relatives and I have a job. I have the ability to write and if I persist, someday, who knows…maybe I will hit that NYT bestseller list. But if I don’t write, I’ve completely omitted that option forever.

So, what do you wish for? Leave a comment and let's talk about wishes.