Holiday Love

For the first time in years, I am truly excited for the holidays. There’s no particular rhyme or reason as to why this is, simply that it is.

I have finished buying all the gifts and even wrapped them too. That is a pretty major feat. I just decided a few days ago that I wanted this last weekend before Christmas to be light, chill and enjoyable, not frantic and staying up late to wrap. So yay for me.

I am also excited about the gifts for everyone. I really enjoy the anticipation of someone opening their gift and loving it. In my family, you are batting almost 100% due to my secret method of making sure everyone gets what they want for Christmas. It seriously takes out the hard decisions, the guesses, and the failed gifts.

I’ll share it with you. If you’re not much of a computer person, you will cringe, but if you can get around a computer pretty well, and excel isn’t just a word meaning you’re really good at something, then this will work for you.

Here’s how we handle gift giving at our place.

A week before Thanksgiving I start emailing the family.

GIVE ME A CHRISTMAS WISH LIST ON THANKSGIVING OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES (losing your sister / mother / aunt from being stabbed by Gma).

Once I receive the lists, I prepare an excel document with all the info. I also include a special bonus of what each person likes to get/wants in the stocking. (I know this from past years, that can always be requested in the email mentioned earlier.)

At Thanksgiving, when we’re all stuffing our faces with turkey (or in my case, ham) we throw everyone’s name into a hat and pull out the name of the person whose stocking we’re going to handle. ($50 limit, parents handle their own kidlets.)

Then after reviewing and tweaking the gift wish list, I send it out to everyone. Then if “Dad” wants a new computer, we don’t all fall on the ground laughing, we figure out together how to get that person what they want or as close to it as possible. We also agree in advance what is an acceptable amount to spend. You don’t want Bob to throw in a $20 when you’re forking out $80. It has to be fair. If you’re lucky and have a wealthy family member, they can fill in the price gap on spendy stuff.

So, everyone gets what they want.

It helps to have a “coordinator”. Yep, that would be me. I enjoy it for the most part and Christmas day is always so nice because there are no upsets to deal with, everyone gets something they wanted, we all share in the food activities, and then we play games for the day and spend good quality time together.



This is here for no other reason than it is really cute.


I send my happy wishes to you all to have a wonderful holiday season, that you get what you want, spend it however you want and hopefully with someone special.

I am looking forward to 2018 and everything I’m going to get done. Expect some fun new things from me this coming year. I can’t wait to finish them.

Cheers and hugs!


Time for Reflection

I’ve had an interesting few months — not so much in the way of getting things done but more in the art of not doing anything. I’ve been working so hard this past year that I dug myself into the ground and forgot what exactly I was working toward. And when that happened, I just stopped.

I needed to pull back and look.

What am I doing that is taking away from what I want? What am I doing for others that is their goals and purposes rather than mine?

That may seem odd to you, but for me, I will truck along nicely until I take on too many things that are not really my goals but those of others. Sometimes I do it just to help, sometimes because I feel obligated and sometimes because at that moment, they seem like the right thing to do.

What I found was that there were a few things that I did want to see happen but I felt they were things that really were further into the future. Things that will be done but after…later when other things that need to be done first actually get done.

Unfortunately, my realization affected some other people. I had to announce what it was that I needed to do and let them know that some projects were hitting the back burner. No one seemed to be concerned about it too much so that was nice.

That was a little over two weeks ago. Now, I am finally getting my happy rhythm back. A little more is done each day toward what I want, but I’m not forgetting that there is more to life and I am working on enjoying the day to day challenges while also stopping and taking in the beautiful view around me.

My children are amazing and creative and lovely.

Better than the finest rose, my husband has a scent that can stop me in my tracks and snuggling with him gives me the calms. I must do that more.


Working full time, running a household, a publishing company, a writer’s group and trying to get novels written can really take you over if you don’t stop to take in the view of what you’re doing, where you’re going and what’s important.

I’m back on track and looking forward to sending out some royalty checks to some very deserving novelists, finishing up the edits to my Book 2 and getting them back to the editor and many other things that need to get done and I want to get done.

And of course, I will continue to watch my current ridiculous addiction of Teen Wolf, the epic Shannara Chronicles and Lucifer. Plus read whatever my book choice of the day is. And keep learning to ride a motorcycle.

And I will continue to look around and see the beauty in whatever I can.


P.S. On a completely non-related note, the soundtrack for the Assassin’s Creed is absolutely fantastic for whatever ails ye.

Suffocating and I hadn’t even gotten them on one leg yet

So I’m out with my hubbie and daughter. We’ve just left one store and have stopped at Tijuana Flats (because I’m starving) on the way to the next store. The daughter desperately needs pants. We live in Florida and her one pair of jeans suddenly is not enough with our 58 degree weather. (Stop laughing.)

So I’m shoveling some high fat content cheese enchiladas with verde sauce (yum!) into my face and grumbling about hating shopping right now and how nothing fits right (can you say quit smoking and have been eating instead?)

The hubbie makes motions toward his jeans and nods vigorously.

Hubbie: Thank Gawd I found these in the closet. I was going to complain that some young man friend of yours hung his pants in my closet. I was suffocating and I hadn’t even gotten them on one leg yet.

Me: Bwah hahahahhahaha

Daughter: *Blinks rapidly at mother, then father, then mother again.*

Me: Bwah hahahahahahahhahahahahahahaha *crying*

Yeah, we laugh a lot. Even if it doesn’t make sense.

Enjoy your time. ❤

Dave Matthews and my love

I was hanging out, looking through my iTunes and having the loveliest time reminiscing about all kinds of crazy things. My daughter even came to join me at one point and we had several good laughs at some of the music she used to love when she was younger (like “I wanna be a Cowboy” which I still think is awesome but apparently I shouldn’t share this information.)

And I ran across the Dave Matthews Band…the only band that I have more albums (yes – I said that word) is The Cure. Um, dark teen from the eighties. Guilty. See?:


Now Dave got me through a LOT. He’s so versatile that you can listen to him when you’re happy, when you want to beat the holy hell out of someone or when you think you’re in love.

In this case, I was wondering if maybe, possibly I had found that someone to complete me. I was with this really hot guy named Kimbo (not that wrestler guy mind you) and we had finished an awesome dinner where every five minutes or so I would envision myself lunging over the candle lit table and raping the man. (I found out later that had we not been in the restaurant, that would have been a very acceptable thing to do. Truthfully, I don’t think he would have cared that we were in a restaurant either but he’s not fond of the idea of being arrested for indecent exposure or otherwise.)

So after we left, he stopped at the corner shop to grab smokes (yeah, the old smoker days. I only miss it sometimes now). I was sitting in the car and Dave Matthews was playing (yes, on CD). It was the Red Rocks Live album. The song was Lover Lay Down.  And it just happened to be right at 2:45. Dave sang to me:

“Could I love you, could you love me?”

I sat in the car, head cocked, watching Kimbo through the window and wondering. Could I love you, could you love me?”

Well, three years later this happened.




Yeah, I told you he was hot.

And that was almost 17 years ago. And he’s still hot. So, yep. I scored. And I know a thing or two about keeping a marriage not just alive, but fun. Kimbo still makes me laugh like a sixteen year old. And I still get happy when he comes home.

**Holds up drink**

To love!