February 14th, 2010

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive”

~Dalai Lama

…and we were invited to a concert by our good friends, M & L. We traveled not far to a small town that, as many small towns have, a quaint downtown square. I just ‘heart’ those. Before the concert, we had dinner at a fabulous Italian restaurant right on the square. GW and I waited at the bar for our friends to arrive and I had my favorite Berenger’s White Zinfindel. The bartender was friendly and fun and had our mouths watering as he described the brunches they offer there on Sundays. Definitely on our list of things to do now.

For dinner, I opted for penne pasta and meatballs and Yum! Great food! The service was excellent. Our waitress also was fun and seemed to enjoy talking and teasing with us. She could definitely give as well as take on the jokes going back and forth.

After the concert, we stopped in a small coffee shop for coffee and dessert. GW and I split a blueberry and peach crumb cake that was warm and melted in your mouth. Delish!

I just loved walking around downtown. It was so quaint with the cobblestone walks and olde tyme lamp posts you see in those paintings of old. Patches of snow still covered some of the bushes and the trees were lit with tiny white lights giving it an atmosphere of being in a different era.

Unfortunately, we were all too soon jerked back to the present when we got to the parking lot and our friend’s battery was dead in their car. Thank God for jumper cables!

How was your weekend?

~Sandy

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February 12th, 2010

“Sound the note that calls your soul to you .”

~Sanaya Roman

 

Isn’t it beautiful????

We woke up to it snowing and it NEVER stopped! About 8-10 inches of never stopping! That is a rarity in our North Texas area.

Was fortunate enough to stay home most of the day. I worked on my new website, cleaned up this website, emailed some friends that I haven’t spoken to in ages and did some writing. It felt so good to be catching up on the little bitty things that need to be done but can never find the time for.

It is almost Valentine’s Day! I’ve never researched to see how this holiday started, but, being the romantic type that always wears her rose colored glasses (okay, most of the time), I don’t necessarily love the commercialism of it, but love the way it makes people think about and concentrate on this thing called love.

Some refuse to even acknowledge the holiday stating it is all a ploy to make them get out and spend their hard earned money. Some get depressed because they don’t have a significant other to bask them with the flowers, the chocolates, and the Hallmark cards with pretty pictures and even prettier words.

I believe it is not about YOU, it’s about others. I believe we should concentrate on showing others they are special and loved, no matter if it’s parents, husbands, wifes, sons, daughters, siblings, or significant others. It doesn’t have to be about spending money, it’s about spending just as much time as you can allow giving a tiny, bitty bit of yourself. A letter, an email, a hug, doing or helping them do something that cannot do for themselves.

My grandmother loved to cook and bake. And always struggling to make the paycheck meet the month, she found ways to cut back and save money. One year, after a particularly rough time, my grandfather gave her the one present that she continued to talk about until the day she died. He did a favor for the friend and when the friend tried to pay him, he wouldn’t take the money, he asked if he could just come and pick pecans that had fallen in his backyard. My grandfather smuggled the pecans into the house and, a few days later, on Valentine’s day, he presented my grandmother with a coffee can full of perfectly shelled halved pecans. The joy on her face was enough to convince me it is not always about the trappings, its the giving from the heart.

But I am still a sucker for pretty cards, LOL! And trust me, I know if it was picked and given from the heart.

Have a warm, safe Friday!

 

~Sandy

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February 10th, 2010

“The greatets gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses .”

~Hanna Rion

…well maybe not by the Northeast’s standard but for us Texans it is COLD! The weatherman has predicted snow tomorrow for our area accompanied by sleet and rain so it is going to be miserable. I am going to hate to leave the house.

But tonight we are toasty and warm and I have a meatloaf cooked and roasted asparagus with parmesan. Delish! I could eat the whole pan of asparagus myself, but will be a good girl and share with GW.

Just revised Chapters 1 & 2 of my new WIP and moving on to Chapter 3. It’s hard getting back into the swing of the writing thing, but, since the story faeries haven’t bothered to leave any completed chapters under my computer, I’m going to have to do it myself. {{sigh}}

Keep warm!

~Sandy

February 7th, 2010

“Action is the foundational key to all success .”

~Pablo Picasso

…so much has happened since I last blogged!

No, I am not a slacker! Truly, I’m not.

There has just been so much I have had to get out of the way before I could blog again.

I feel pretty rusty at this right now, but will get back into the swing of things soon.

Since posting last, we have moved to a new city, built a new home, married, and had a fabulous celebration party.

Also, I have continued working diligently (albeit slowwwlllly) on my new Young Adult story and had a new Young Adult website professionally built. It’s truly AWESOME!

I have so many plans for now:
So many decorating ideas for the house and the yard that we have.
Complete two novels this year.
Sell above said novels.
Attend RWA Nationals this year.
Blog at least weekly.
Blog on my Young Adult website frequently.

Today is super bowl Sunday and it is cold and dreary outside so we opted to stay in just get some things done. I spent the day getting the financial report completed for my RWA local chapter. GW has a pot of bean soup cooking on the stove and it smells delicious. It is chalked full with ham and onions and carrots and I am not sure what else, but can’t wait for dinner. Why is it in the winter a person craves comfort food?

Last night went to the movies with some friends of ours to see Edge of Darkness (they stole the name of my next faerie Young Adult story!) and then visited an Irish Pub and had a really fun time. The movie was awesome and I tried the fish and chips for dinner. I opted out of any of the Irish drinks and only had my usual White Zinfindel but tried some of GW’s dark Irish beer.

Have a great Super Bowl day and stay warm!

~Sandy

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July 22nd, 2009

“A man who wastes one hour of time has not discovered the value of life .”

~Charles Darwin

…stay so busy????

Rewind to two Fridays ago. Our good friends M & L invited us to a Double A baseball game a little ways from here. We started the fun by having dinner at the Cheesecake Factory where I split a pizza with L and GW had ribs and M an interesting sandwich. This was the first time to eat at the Cheesecake Factory and I opted for the Vanilla Bean cheescake for dessert which totally rocked. My mouth still waters thinking about it.

It had been forever since I attended a live baseball game and it was so much fun. Through L & M’s conections, we met one of the pitchers of the visiting team and that made it special. Is it my imagination or are they just making them so young nowdays? We stayed for the fireworks afterwards and we were all pretty impressed with the show. The only drawback was that it was so frickin’ HOT! It started out at 100+ degrees and once the sun set, it only went down to about 100.

Ahhh…Texas in the summer.

Fast forward to the next weekend. We visited a Farmer’s Market and brought home tomatoes, peaches, plums, and cantelopes. Then we scooted on down the road to M & L’s and grilled and swam the afternoon away. I swear, GW has a fixation about getting my hair wet. What part of ‘I don’t want to get it wet’ am I not making clear to him, LOL? But this time I was ready. Instead of spending the rest of the day looking like a drowned rat – I brought a girl’s baseball hat and put it on. So, instead of a wet rodent I looked like a wet dork.

RWA Nationals was last weekend and I have been hearing and reading so many great things about it. All the loops are buzzing and the motivation and energy is running high. Next year it is in Nashville and I am making plans to attend.

Still moving forward on my goals mentioned here. I am writing some every day even if it is a couple of paragraphs. Right now I am involved in Candace Havens word challenge. I did my 500 words yesterday and almost fainted at the 1142 words that are due today. Wow! Wonder if that means counting the 500 words yesterday? LOL! Somehow I don’t think so. Candy is all about tough love and getting things done.

Back to work…

Stay Cool!

~Sandy

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June 23rd, 2009

“Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages”

~Terry Pratchett

…Sunday was the first day of summer and it arrived with on the wings of hell!

It is now officially summer and nothing but triple digits are forecasted for North Texas.

Last week we had the opportunity to visit with one of GW’s dearest friends. He was here on business and since the Chicago area doesn’t have a Salt Grass Steak House, we trekked over and had a few drinks (for moi’ it was the White Zin, of course) and chowed down on some pretty good steaks. I can’t remember which steaks they chose but I ordered the Kabobs and a baked potato and YUM! I also tried their steak soup and both GW and I liked it so much I may try to make it. Shouldn’t be hard.

Since this was only the second time to meet ‘the friend’, it was fun to get to know him a little better. He and GW have been friends for so long that they have so many stories to tell. I can tell they actually have more stories they CAN’T tell, and as hard as I tried, mum was the word of the night for those. But it was endearing to watch them grin over memories of long ago and share things as only really good friends can. The kind of friend that will always be there for you. The kind of friend that could blackmail you till hell froze over, but you know they never will. Probably because you have as much on them as they have on you, LOL, but that’s besides the point.

I have a few of those and they mean so much to me.

Those kind of friendships are the best kind. Even if you don’t get to see or talk to each other on a regular basis.

Only have about 800 words on my new WIP. Must write faster…must write faster…

Tonight it’s either left over hamburgers or soup and sandwiches. I have a whole roasting chicken in the fridge I want to cook tomorrow so I am scouring recipes today for something that hits the YUM factor.

Stay tuned and stay cool…

~Sandy

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June 17th, 2009

“If the future seems overwhelming, remember that it comes one moment at a time.”

~unknown


Seems as if I just don’t have enough time in the day to do what I need and want to do.

Last Saturday started with our monthly Yellow Rose RWA meeting with guest speaker multipublished award winning paranormal author Sandy Blair. I must tell you, she really rocked. There were a few tidbits and info she spoke on that ended up being epiphanies for me. Things that I have probably heard dozens of time, but this time sunk in. Duh! AND I won a critique from her!!! I’m so excited! Trying to spiff up and polish what I want to send to her.

Saturday afternoon, we spent at the lovely home of some friends. Grilling, swimming, laughing, and playing a game called ‘Set’. I like the game because I have a chance at winning! And with it being so hot, (trust me, Texas is hot, hot, hot and not in a good way) I even put on my bathing suit and got into the water. I wasn’t going to get my hair wet, but someone else had other plans.

Brat!

Thanks, to L & M for inviting us over. Will be our turn next.

Sunday, we went to Brenda’s so GW could help her with a TV problem. She sent home an HBO television series that contained 5 discs – each with 2 or 3 shows on it. My first thought was it would take us a month to watch half of them, but we got so engrossed in the storyline that by Sunday night we had all the discs watched except for two – a total of nine shows we finished! We wrapped up the other two discs Monday and Tuesday nights and were so disappointed there were no more to watch! The killer wasn’t who I thought it would be or wanted it to be, but it made for a nice surprise. Didn’t get much done around the house, but enjoyed the vegging out and being mindlessly entertained.

Monday night found the recipe for PF Chang’s lettuce wraps and, although the cutting up the veggies were time consuming, it was so worth it!! It probably wasn’t exactly the way they make them, but I got durn close! I heart PF Chang’s! I also love their fried calamari, but you can forget me even touching the raw slimy things.

Last night I made beef fajitas and with homemade quacamole. Yum! And tonight I have some fresh talipia that I am going to bake or fry or something. That will also be a first for me so stay tuned. I have no clue why I am in such a cooking mode lately. Most of the time I agonize over meals.

Note to KB: My pulled barbecue pork didn’t come out as good as yours! :-( But I am determined to try again.

Thanks to Brenda for coming up with a new working title for my new YA. ‘Angels, Demons, and a Teenage Drama Queen.’
I’m still working on a rough synopsis and I’m really excited about this one.

Which reminds me…off to work on it!

~Sandy

June 7th, 2009

“A tale never loses in the telling.”

~An old Scottish proverb

Ah…the land of kilts and clans, bagpipes and drums, whiskey and beer, haggis and bangers, naps and tatties, dancing and singing…

GW and I went with some friends to the annual Scottish Festival and Highland games Saturday. I tell you…the Scots and Irish certainly know how to party!

We started at 9:30 and the weather was so nice although the wind was blowing a bit hard for my taste. I hate my hair to be mussed. But by the time 3:00 rolled around, I was begging for it to blow harder, hair or no! I doubt it gets this hot in Scotland.

We got brave and tried several new things. First on the list was a beginners Gaelic lesson. Not sure if I could ever master that difficult language but we did okay learning some basic greetings. And GW really got into the swing of things and did very well singing Old MacDonald had a farm in Gaelic. Especially the I AI I AI O part! Must have some Scot in him way back!

Next, we stopped to watch a bunch of big guys in kilts (BIG guys…I dare you to call them skirts in their faces!) throwing these big ball things called hammers. Evidently, the one who throws it the farthest wins. You know, men stuff. Always competing.

Around lunch, we visited the food court and, of course, we all had to try some original Scottish fare. We tried Scottish meat pies (pastry with meat) and it was a little bland, but not bad. Then we tried bangers and mash (little sausages and mashed potatoes covered in onion gravy) – again, not too bad.

Then we all got our courages up to try haggis. Okay, if you don’t know what haggis is, I’m not going to tell you…just google it, my friend, and clap your hands for our bravery! Tried it once, don’t have to try it again, LOL! But you know…when in Rome…or Scotland I should say.

To reward ourselves we hit the funnel cakes and the scones with strawberries and whipped cream. Worth the calories, trust me! After all that, along with my favorite drink – pear cider, and just a wee bit, I promise :-) – I was ready for a nap.

But we perservered and watched caber tossing, Irish dancing, music from harp bands to the Celtic rock band The Kildares. We left around 3:30 and ran a few errands and then came home and crashed big time! But it was so much fun!!!!

One of the Bagpipe Marching Bands:

One of the many breweries serving all kinds of beer. They even let you sample before you buy. I was a wuss and stayed with the pear cider. But I did try a sample of the others.

I have no clue who those people were, but they wouldn’t get out of the way! Everyone takes their time and like to talk and visit.

This is where we bought our bangers and mash and haggis.

Here it is – my first (and last) taste of haggis. The haggis is the brown stuff. It’s served with mash potatoes and rutabagas. Proof for posterity that I did try it!

We B rockin’ with this group called the Kildares! Soon after this picture was taken a girl with a fiddle joined the group and it was awesome! I plan on downloading some of their music to my iPod.

This group was called Clandestine. Due to the heat, the bagpiper was having trouble tuning his instrument so he took it apart to work with it. It confirms that the bagpipe is not a native Texas instrument, LOL!

Okay, girls, here’s what we’ve always wanted to know but afraid to ask. But, take my word for it not ALL of them wear shorts underneath, LOL!

This is called the Caber Toss. GW did a great job with these pics:

This kind of dancing takes so much stamina. Their heels are not allowed to touch the stage during the performance.

Some funny sayings I saw:

‘Some see it as a glass half empty.
Some see it as a glass half full.
But an Irishman just asks: Are you going to drink that?’

‘Be careful meddling in the affairs of dragons.
For they find you crunchy and taste good with ketchup.’

Seen on the t-shirts of some of the women:
‘Kilt inspector – spread’em lad!’

If you ever get a chance to attend one of these festivals, I highly recommend it.

BTW, do you know what the Gaelic saying in the title of this blog means?

…a 100,000 welcomes!

~Sandy

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January 29th, 2009

‘Love is the beauty of the soul.’
~Saint Augustine

~Sandy

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January 3rd, 2009

‘In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t.’
~Blaise Pascal

…and hard to believe that it is almost over. When the work force calls, we have to be obedient.

But we need to be thankful for both the jobs and the time off. One does beget the other.

It is fabulous here today. Not that I have been outside yet, LOL! But the blinds are open and the sun smiles in. I hear it’s going to be close to 80 today and then tomorrow plummet to the 30′s and 40′s. Brrr.

All morning, I have been writing. Yep, you heard me correctly. For the first time in forever, we haven’t had to rush out the house for errands, but lazed around until the guilt set in and I got to work at the keyboard. Today I tried something a little more creative. I unhooked the laptop from the big monitor and drug it over to the den where I set up shop.

Actually helps the creativity some to try something different.

If I didn’t think it would get me off track, I’d take a picture of how the den looks right now with all my ‘stuff’ spread out. It is so unlike me. But I can’t write unless I have certain things within reach.

Unfortunately, the TV is on and cooking show channels are making me very hungry.

Soon, though, we have to get up and get some work outside done. Have weeding to do and mulch to spread. The pansies were looking pretty ratty, until a good watering has now perked them up and they are looking bright and cheerful.

Have a great Saturday!

~Sandy

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