Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rainy Day

Today is a very rainy day. It always brings to mind the Carpenter's song "Rainy Days and Mondays" (although today is a Wednesday).

In my mind today feels like a Monday. I just returned from a training trip (it went very well) and I am quite tired today. The grey skies and rain are adding to the tiredness making me feel that this is a good day to curl up with a book or a good movie. My son, seeing how tired I was, even let me lay down in bed and watch TV for awhile while he played on the PS3. What a kid!!!!!

I had a chance to read through the story I am working on while I was away. When I took it on vacation to read I hated it and wanted to start it all over again. So, I wrote 12 new pages for the story to create a new opening and change my characters a little. Not sure I wanted to go down this new road, I decided to re-read what I already had written. This time I found it not to be as horrible as I had originally thought (although the number of typos I found- after 2 other people had read it for me- was quite amusing.)

I marked up some changes I wanted to make- especially correcting the typos- and made it to the end of the first part of the quest. Hopefully I will get through the rest of it later today, then I can correct it on the computer and look into Lulu again.

I have a second story ready to flush out (and I've already been told that I need a sequel for it). So, keep checking back to see how the writing/publishing is going.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Have you ever gotten a piece of mail sent to you in an envelope from the Post Office with a generic "Sorry your mail got torn to pieces in our sorting machine. Here's what we could gather up of it" type message?

Or, you have a tracking number for a package and you go to their site to check on its estimated delivery and the site is down.

If this was FedEx or UPS you'd call them and complain, yet when the Post Office does it, you just accept it as "business as usual".

This past Christmas we purchased a jug of maple syrup for my husband's mother. It was sent USPS from two counties west of us. We waited and waited. Erik checked the tracking number and saw that the package was listed as "Lost". We contacted the shipper and they said they would see what they could track down for us. The next day a large box came from the Post Office. It was our missing syrup.

It had our address clearly written on the mailing label and bright orange fragile stickers on every side. But the most notable things was that the box was severely crushed. It looked as though someone had used it as a football or soccer ball.
(Fortunately for us, the syrup was undamaged.)

I keep thinking about this every time the price of stamps go up. We pay for the services the USPS gives, yet because they are a government agency we accept their mediocre service as standard, when UPS or FedEx would be put out of business for behavior like this.

Have we become so complacent that we expect our government to treat us poorly and when they do we just accept it as standard procedure? We pay for the services we receive. Don't you think it's time that we expect the same kind of service from government agencies as we do from private companies?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Best Alarm Clock

I have the best alarm clock in the world. It's name is Jackie (usually called Jack, or Jackers, or Jacks). She's a cat.

She had figured out our scheduled quite well. She knows that my husband is up by 5 during the week, so on the weekends when he hasn't gotten up, she hops up onto the bed and walks on me. Then she licks my face and hair. I will usually pet her, hoping she'll lay down. When that doesn't work (for either of us) she jumps onto the headboard and rubs her head on the lamp. Then she'll knock Erik's glasses of onto the bed. When that doesn't work, she dumps the magazines he has on the bed onto his head. Usually this enough for him to sit up and she jumps down and heads out of the room. (at which point, we both lay back down.)

She will usually wait about five to ten minutes before starting in again. Sometimes we tell her it's okay, we don't have to go to work and she'll lay down with us. Although, lately she has gotten very diabolical- she pushed the lamp off the bed, just missing my head.

She has also thrown the remote under the bed- anything to get you to get up. When all else fails, she bats at the chords for the light and our actual alarm clock. Our friends keeps telling us that's the reason bedrooms have doors. I just smile because I know she would sit outside the door and scratch at it until she's let in (she does that with the bathroom door.)

I wouldn't trade her for anything. At least this way I know if the power is out, she will make sure we know what time it is.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I have the girlie, girlie princess, so now I need the prince, right? But not just any prince. I mean, he shouldn't be like Prince Charming, or Prince Erik, or any of the other Disney princes. They are too perfect, like the princess. He can't be like Aladdin, 'cause let's face it, Aladdin is a reverse Cinderella story (with Aladdin being Cinderella).

The prince would need to be handsome, of course -this is a fairy tale of sorts after all. He would be skilled as a knight and the perfect gentleman. (Sounds like all the Disney guys, doesn't it). But what if his hair was longer than it should be? What if he preferred to dress more as a commoner than royalty? What if he thought a princess or queen should do more than look pretty? What if he was a little bit of a rebel?

How would my perfect princess react to him? (She would certainly be seeking a Disney type prince) Could the girlie girl fall for a prince like this? Could a prince like this fall for a girlie girl?

Hmm- I guess I'll have to get typing so you can see.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Leverage Season 2

Leverage started it's second season Wednesday night (I am soooo happy it is on again.)

I actually stumbled upon the show by accident this past spring. You see, my friend gave me the first two seasons of Angel to watch while I recuperated from surgery. (She really was only trying to be helpful). Another friend loaned me all of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the rest of Angel so I could get the background of Angel (as it was a spin-off) and see how the shows were meant to play off of each other. (They were great. I loved them, much to the chagrin of my husband).

Because I had time on my hands, I started watching NCIS (I liked Mark Harmon in previous shows, and was curious about this one) and Bones (because of David Boreanas, aka Angel). Well, Michael Weatherly is in NCIS, and I was curious what else he was in (besides Dark Angel), so I did a search on him on the Tivo, and found the movie "Her Minor Thing", which I recorded and watched. The other male lead in the movie is Christian Kane- I immediately recognized him as the lawyer from Angel. (Very talented guy- acts, does his own stunts, and sings, too).

I did an IMDB search on Christian and saw he was in a series on TNT called Leverage. Well, of course I found this out after the season had ended, but had become very familiar with watching shows on the internet (how else could I catch up on 2 seasons of Bones?)

TNT had the entire season on-line, so I watched it in the order listed at IMDB. It was great, but a couple episodes seemed out of order, so I did a little digging and found that TNT had played them out of order (there is a great answer to why on Kung Fu Monkey- see blogs I'm following). So, I re-watched them in the correct order- much better.

The series is about of group of con-men (and women) led by a former insurance agent (who caught all of the thieves at one time) and how they work outside the law to help people the law doesn't help. The characters are well written, and the actors work very well together.

So, Wednesday night I eagerly awaited the season premier (my husband, son, a friend and I played Rock Band to pass the time). And all I can say is, "Yeah!!!!"

I had a problem with the car crash (a little too unrealistic, but the cgi and explosion were awesome ). But the rest was great. Can't wait to see it next week.

For those of you interested in watching it, it airs at 9:00 PM on TNT. Enjoy!!!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Trickle Down Economics

I remember growing up in the eighties and hearing President Regan speak about trickle down economics. I also remember the media impressing on all of us that he was just giving favors to those greedy rich people and forgetting about the middle class. Yet, if you look back, the eighties was a time of economic fortune for many (including the middle class).

But, trickle down economics doesn't work. What effects the wealthy in our country has no bearing on the middle class or beyond. Yet, have you ever noticed that when the wealthy among us cut back on their spending, it doesn't take long for it to effect everyone else?

Fast forward to today. In Tioga County, the county next to me, Lockheed Martin laid off 600 workers yesterday. These were mostly people who had been working on the new Presidential helicopter fleet. According to local news reports the federal government had already spent $6 billion dollars on this new fleet. Tioga and Broome County benefited from the jobs that were created in the Owego facility. New buildings were built, and families moved into the area.

Here is where the trickle down economics comes in. See, to me, trickle down doesn't just mean that when the wealthy spend money it trickles down through the economic cycle creating jobs, which create wealth, and creates more jobs and so on. It also has a reverse effect when the rich don't spend.

With these 600 jobs gone from our economy, the trickle down reach spirals out, like the ripples from the pebble in the pond. These 600 people will not bring in the same income (there really is no where in this area they can find a comparable job and salary), therefore, they will pay less in State and Federal income taxes (which is another issue for another day). They may have to move from the area. If they have children, this will reduce the student population in schools which, in turn, may reduce the amount of teachers needed. Not to mention the companies that supplied them parts for the helicopters will lose a market that could cause them to lay off more people. With all of these people unemployed spending will be cut back. This will effect retail sales and result in jobs lost there, as well, creating what could be a never ending cycle.

But, as the media tried to teach us years ago, trickle down does not work. Right.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Great Weekend

Is there anything better than just sitting around and relaxing at your campsite? (Once you've gotten your pop-up all set-up and said "Hi!" to all your old friends, and some new ones too, of course.)

Just lazing around in the sun watching your son play with friends and chatting with your friends while enjoying a cold, frosty "root beer".

We had a wonderful time with our friends this weekend hanging out at Little Buffalo State Park in Pennsylvania. We did some geocaching, toured a working grist mill (complete with water wheel- it was WAY cool!)

We also had a great pot luck and after went running from walls of rain. We knew the storm was coming, and were frantically packing up the stuff from outside the camper and putting up the awning (had been told there were high winds expected) when the rain moved in. You could see the line of rain move as if it were a wall of water (you could hear the roar it made too).

The extra day we added allowed us to spend time with friends at the pool (complete with spray ground and water slides). The kids had a great time in the spray ground and pool, while the adults enjoyed whipping around the turns of the water slide. It was a blast.

I got to see a Kindle (wow are they cool!!!) and finished reading the first part of Rogue Warrior. It is a very interesting book about the man who founded Navy SEAL team 6. (I just renewed it today so I can finish it- I haven't taken a lot of time to read lately.)

I talked about my blog, and my princess story (yes, I am still working on that- maybe I'll post some new parts this week) and found a possible proof reader (Yeah!!!- It's always nice to get another view point that says "Hey you missed something" for example, "maybe you should add some more mauve instead of all pink."- It's been taken under advisement.)

What a great relaxing weekend it was.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Great Day

Amazing!!! We've had two days in a row with sunshine and no rain. Today the temperature is even what one would expect for July.

I think the Global Warming people had it wrong (in so many ways). There is, and always has been, climate change. But think about it, did man really effect them weather? I mean, look at the dinosaurs. They died to overheating of the earth, right? So, how was man responsible for that?

I have been loving the cooler temperatures we've been having this year (not big on the hot, humid, days), but could do with a bit more sunshine.

Well, here's to a few more sunny days (without rain- even though that's what the forecasters are calling for).

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Taking the Time

It always takes me back when people ask me how I have time to do all the things I do. Take this blog for instance, I had a friend ask me where do I find the time.

It got me thinking about where I do find the time. I mean, I keep a fairly clean house. You might not be able to eat off the floor, but who'd want to anyway. I keep the dishes clean -they might pile in the sink waiting to be put away, but they're clean. I keep the laundry done- I even have a "laundry day". (This week it's today.) I work a few days a week and spend time with my husband and son, and also with friends.

Somewhere in all of this, I also manage to eek out a few minutes to write, read, watch TV, or whatever else I find interesting at the time.

Before I was married my mother-in-law gave me some advice. She said the dishes, the vaccuuming, and all the cleaning will always be there, but your children will not. Take the time and enjoy it. You can always clean later.

So, I guess I adopted that into this. There are always going to be chores to do (and most of the little ones get done quickly). Do what you need to do, but always give yourself some time in the day to do something you want to do. That, my friends, is how I have time to do all the things I want to in a day. I take the time to do it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Too much pink???

I am working on the opening for my story. Do you think this room has too much pink or not enough? I am going for overly girlie here on purpose.

Princess Kaylee held up her hand and carefully examined each nail as she reclined on the velvet rose lounge. Satisfied they were perfectly manicured, she lowered her hand and sighed. Waiting was so tedious.

Rising slowly, she drew the satin belt of her pale pink organza robe tight around her narrow waist, covering the pale pink satin nightgown she still wore. She never should have changed her mind about her gown. Now, it would be hours before she was ready for breakfast, a fact her stomach was all too happy to inform her of.

She walked around her room, past the dressing table, to her canopied bed. She brushed her hand over the rumpled pink satin sheets, contemplating crawling back in while she waited for the maid.

Instead, she curled her toes into the deep rose carpeting and looked around the room for something to occupy her while she waited. She smiled at the soft glow the oyster shell pink walls gave as they reflected the rays of sunlight that slipped past the gap in the deep rose curtains hanging over the windows.

Hmmm. I think that's enough pink. But really, what do you think?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Paint Therapy

Wow- I can't believe it! We've had three days in a row without rain and there is this bright yellow orb hovering above with a blue background behind it. I had almost forgotten what sun and blue sky looks like.

I have finally been able to catch up on painting the foundation of the house. For weeks I've had the paint, but when I had the time it was either raining or threatening to rain. I figure there's no sense in painting in the rain or if it is going to rain, so I've been waiting. Well, today it was wait no more. But, I ran out of paint before I finished the wall. Oh well, I'll get more paint and hope for another nice day soon.

I love painting. It gives me time to let my mind wander and work out problems (real or imaginary). I can hold conversations with myself or work out my character issues while my hand automatically dips the brush into the paint can, swipes off the excess paint, then applies it to the wall. Of course, I do end up getting paint on me (that's the way people know you painted, right?) It's free therapy.

Today I was able to think about my princess story some- I think I know how I want to start that now. In fact, I plan on working on that when I'm done here. We'll see how it goes. Maybe I'll need more paint therapy tomorrow after work.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Awesome Day

Yesterday was the best Fourth of July ever!!! How could you go wrong spending time with family and friends at an airshow followed by an awesome fireworks display?

I am still in awe of the amazing talent that we witnessed at the Binghamton Airshow yesterday. From acrobatic planes, to wing walkers, to our military's finest, the show had it all. My personal favorites were the Harrier Jet (what cool technology we have in our planes), the C-130 JATO (Jet Assisted Take Off) demonstration, and of course, the Blue Angels. They flew so close together, there were times it looked like their wings were resting on the canopy of the next plane. That's trust of your fellow pilot. They were so in tune with each other, their turns made it seem as if they were all sitting on a piece of glass and someone was tipping and turning it- they moved as one unit- it was AWESOME.

Talking with some of the pilots after the show, it was amazing to hear them (who are currently serving our Country) thank those before them who had served in the past. Our men and women in uniform are truly the best.

The Town of Union, as usual, put on a great fireworks display to cap off the night. We had a great walk up to and back from the park. (We still find it easier and faster to walk than drive). Overall it was a great day to reflect on how fortunate I am to live in this great Country.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Over the last several weeks I've been reminded how blessed I am to live in this great counrty. I know it has changed A LOT since I was a child (my husband and some friends were discussing this recently), but I'd rather be here than anywhere else in the world.

Where else can you gather to tell the government that you don't like what they're doing without fear of reprisal? Where else can you work at a job you want to have, or go to a college of your choice to study the field of your choice?

I've also been thinking a lot about our military. My nephew will be joining the Army this fall. I am so proud of his decision and of others like him who are willing to give of their time and effort to help keep this county safe. To all of our men and women in uniform (home and abroad) I thank you for your service and dedication to our country.

As the Lee Greenwood song says "I'm proud to be an American" on her birthday, and everyday of the year!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Awaiting Airshow

I am looking forward to the airshow at the Binghamton Airport tomorrow. Yesterday I was able to watch the Blue Angels as they practiced. It was so cool, driving home, to have them fly over in formation and see how close they get to each other.

This morning, two of the pilots were talking on the radio said they fly within 18 inches of each other while going 350-400 mph. Wow!!!!

I am in awe of the talent of our pilots and all of our men and women in uniform. Thank you all for all you do to keep America the best it can be!!!!!

Hope you can get a chance to see the show- it should be great!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Perfect Princess gets revised.....again

So, I've been working on writing a story. I thought I had it done and was ready to think about publishing it, but over the weekend I read through it and decided it still needs work.

Actually, I read three or four pages and decided I didn't like the way I started it (description of scene rather than action and dialogue) and I had made my main character too nice (as opposed to too witchy as she had been in a previous version.)

I've had a hard time capturing her- she is supposed to be the perfect pampered princess (but I still want her to be a nice girl, not a snob!) It's such a fine line. See, in this story, the perfect, pampered princess (who is really girly) has to rescue the prince. Along the way she learns what she really can do and who she really is and, of course, she learns about friendship and love.

I think I know where I am going with it now (after spending several days thinking about her in my mind) and will start working on my revisions. I'll let you know how it goes- I'm always looking for people to proof read for me.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Assateague Island

We had an amazing time this past weekend camping at Assateague Island State Park with some of our internet camping friends (real people friends, not the horses).

The horses walk (and run) through the campground as if the people aren't even there.

We even had some crash our potluck dinner- but we convinced them they'd rather not stay.

It was a great time away with friends and family. Looking forward to more outings this summer!!!