Sunday, November 30, 2014

challenge - day 30 - fin!

it is the last day of november, and the challenge has been met!
i wrote every day (except one, and i made up for that by writing a post about that day the next day...)!

it went so fast, and yet november 1st seems like ages ago.

carriepalooza is done for another year, and tomorrow begins CHRISTMASTIME!

i love that carriepalooza is the month before christmas.  i love all the sparkly lights & tinsel & cards & cookies & egg nog & christmas scented plug ins & pine & presents & red & green everywhere.

and i celebrated the last day of carriepalooza w/ a loaded omelet biscuit for breakfast, autumn squash soup for dinner, reading & relaxing & vegging out.
it was brilliant!
i read On The Fly & started Lead (book 3 in the Stage Dive series by Kylie Scott - it's one of my favorite series!!).  : ) 

tomorrow it is back to work & i hope it will be a good & productive day!
only 3 weeks til i have another 9 or so days off.  love it!!!

i don't know if i'll keep up w/ writing every day, but i'm going to try.
i like getting my thoughts out - helps me sleep!


Saturday, November 29, 2014

challenge - day 29 - happy birthday, juli!!

today was my friend juli's birthday.  back in high school, she, renee & i had joint parties, because our birthdays were so close (19, 29, 30) & we were friends & would invite the same group of ppl, so our parents agreed w/ us that a joint party would be better for all involved!  
truthfully, i don't remember how we started having joint parties - like, if it was our idea or our parents' contribution.  and i don't remember what year it started...  i know april surprised me at the 14th or 15th party, which was at my house (and was a sleepover?  i think?) & i was SO EXCITED to see her!!
and for our 16th, we had it at the holiday inn w/ swimming & mini golf & shenannigans.  *grin*
i don't remember what we did for our 17th, but they threw me a surprise party for our 18th, at juli's house.
THAT was fun - even if erin did accidentally ruin the surprise... LOL 

anyway, memory lane... LOL  
today i met juli & her husband for lunch at rudy's tacos.  YUMMY!
it was nice to spend a couple hours chatting & hanging out.  : )
and when we were fixin to leave, a lady whose kids i used to babysit came over to say hi - she'd been eating at a table close by & thought she recognized me!  *laugh*  she was friends w/ & worked w/ my dad, and when she was looking for a sitter, he suggested me.  i babysat for them for years & they were some of my favorite kids!  the oldest is 26 now - same age as bret.  WOW!!

after lunch, i was going to join juli & john for a movie, but i decided i really wasn't feeling in a movie mood.  so i headed over to mom's to hang out for a bit.
phil & i bought her a new TV for christmas, and he couldn't wait to give it to her (or, couldn't figure out how to get it into the house w/o her seeing...LOL), so we gave it to her today.  she's super stoked - she's been wanting a bigger set for a while.  so, she went from 19" to 32".  happy camper!!  : ) 

phil brought us whitey's (mint chocolate chip shake, YUMMY!) & we just hung out.  
ate ice cream.
played yahtzee (leyton won!).
watched some disney shows.
leyton cuddled w/ me for a bit while playing his motorcycle game.
: ) 
cuddle time is THE BEST!

and then i came home to some books!
AND i won an ARC of Rochelle's latest book, Crying Wolf, which i read today.
it's fabulous, as all her books are!  

idk what else.  *laugh*
i'm going to read On The Fly by Catherine Gayle next, i think.
(i originally had "crystal" & was like, "that's not right..."  duh - crystal gayle is a country singer, i think!)


Friday, November 28, 2014

challenge - day 28 - Breathe

i'm so tired, i'm off to bed!

but first: 

- finished Breathe - it was... words can't even describe, but i LOVED it & if you haven't read KA's Colorado Mountain series, you really, really should.  : ) 

- had lunch at Golden Corral w/ mom, phil & leyton.
it was a blast!
leyton's so funny, but we really do need to work harder at teaching him the difference btwn sarcastic humor (which phil & i sorta excel at) & being rude (which leyton unintentionally sometimes excels at while meaning to be sarcastically funny).  
and the food was yummy, altho by the time i got to dessert, i had to forgo the bread pudding because i'd eaten 4 hushpuppies rather than 3.  
AND there were cute tattooed guys & cute military-looking guys surrounding our table. 

- i ordered a signed PB from Skye Turner, but for some reason the paypal invoice isn't coming to me!  

- idk what else.
sleepy time!!

: ) 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

challenge - day 27 - THANK YOU

thank you to the Lord for his ever constant love and mercy.

thank you to my family for being super awesome!
i'm so blessed to have had my dad.
i'm so blessed to have / have had the grandparents i did/do.
i'm so blessed to have Phil.
i'm so blessed to have Anthony, Leyton, Sarah, Stephen, Kathryn, Jacob, William, Adam, Andrew, Chase, Ariyana, Ruth, Andrew2, and Trey (i haven't even met Trey yet!).
i'm so blessed to have a multitude of aunts, uncles, cousins, cousins, cousins...

thank you to the men & women who have chosen the military as a career.

thank you to my friends who are there for me in good times & bad times & understand when i'm feeling turtley or when i'm feeling social.

: ) 

thank you to the authors who took a shot & wrote that first book to share their wonderful stories w/ us.
i'm so thankful for them!!

thank you to coffee, for existing and being delicious.

: ) 

thank you to mr c for being so adorable!  *grin*

you all get great big, giant internet *HUGS*
i love you!!!


Seattle beat the 49ers tonight & it was a really great game.
both teams have amazing defense!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

challenge - day 26 - VIVA LA WEEKEND!

i'm really, really happy to have 4 days off!  i know i just had 5 days off (my aunt vickie says i'm spoiled w/ all the vacation - yes, but also THANKFUL!) but this week was still kinda squirrelly for me, so i'm happy w/ more time off!  : )  

today we had our bonus announcement & the fact that we're getting one is a huge blessing that i am also very thankful for!  phil & i are going halvsies (halfsies?) for mom for christmas & getting her a new TV, so this will allow me to do that, as well as get all the christmas presents i want for my peeps!  : ) yay!  praise the Lord for that!  

ummm... i'm blanking out - normally i have lots to say, but i'm still a little squirrelly.  *laugh*  i read All I Want & i wasn't really happy w/ it - still excellent writing, but the story was just a lot more angsty than book 1, and i just don't really like that much angst.  like, even w/ Beautiful Disaster (Jamie McGuire, love!) they're together but they're not & they like each other but keep doing stupid stuff & ... Walking Disaster was much easier for me to read, because even tho it's the same story, it just seems like the feel of the angst was muted... that probably makes no sense unless you've read those!  (read those!)(then read Beautiful Oblivion, cuz that was good, too!)  anyway, i just don't enjoy that much angst in a story, but the writing was still really good & i'll still read the next book in the series.  

but, bc of that, i was having a hard time picking a new book so finally decided on Breathe by KA because i'm ready to get back to that mountain.  *grin*

what're y'all doing for thanksgiving tomorrow?  got some big meals planned?  i will probably order a pizza if the pizza place is open... then friday i'll spend w/ the fam.  buffet!  yay!  

and, on that note... back to my book!  ; ) 


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

challenge - day 25 - almost there!

almost the weekend.

almost thanksgiving.

almost CHRISTMAS, too!  

i'm ready to do a budget up & get cards sent out (& sarahbug's books).

i'm ready to eat Golden Corral & watch Penguins & 


today was a pretty good day.  chocolate covered espresso beans & mrc c & 1/2 a workshop w/ my friend mel & lunch w/ my friend patty & starbucks & Where I Belong.

and a snort-giggle or two.

but now i'm sleepy (before 10 - really i was sleepy before 6, to be honest)!!  so, time to switch over to the kindle app & get ready for bed!!


Monday, November 24, 2014

challenge - day 24 - back to work & ferguson

ya know, i used to really like the name ferugson.  i like any name that can have "gus" as a nickname, tho.  *grin*  

what's going on in missouri lately, tonight specifically after a grand jury decision some disagree with, is just sad & scary & i will tell you my opinion - has absolutely NOTHING to do w/ the young man who was shot & killed.  those who would riot, loot, open fire in public - at the police, at anyone! - they are not doing this in protest of a death.  they are using the heartache felt by the family as an excuse to be assholes.  

anyway.  i pray for those involved, for the police & the grand jury & anyone around the area(s) of "protest."  i pray for safety & for an eye-opening.  and for an end to the senseless violence mistakenly labeled as "protests."  ugh.  :(  

i'm also praying for the families of the ppl involved in a fatal car accident (semi vs van) today in town.  stupid snow.  i know it's pretty, and i would love it if i didn't have to drive in it (or wade through it when i got home.  in a skirt.  and then shovel it.  ugh.  why'd i wear a skirt today?!)!!  but snow + slick roads are scary, not pretty!  :(  

other than those sad things, today went well.  it was TOUGH being back at work, tho!!  not the work or anything, just being dressed & having to concentrate all day!  *laugh*  

i finished Ignite by J Wilder & i really liked it, until it ended so abruptly!  it was happy, but not complete, or something.  idk, i just know when it ended i was like, "huh?  WTH?  that's IT?!"  but i would like to read the next book!  

stopped into hungry hobo on my way home because it was closest to the bank.  CUTE guy who looks like paul walker was behind the counter.  : )  and the sandwich was tasty, too!  

J Daniels has a new book out, All I Want, so i'm re-reading Where I Belong before diving into that one.  but i don't think i'm going to get far in it before i hit the hay.  i am EXHAUSTED and also not feeling well.  booooooo!  as taylor says, tho, i'll shake it off & tomorrow will be brilliant!  

and i'm wearing jeans.  : ) 


Sunday, November 23, 2014

challenge - day 23 - sort of: a lengthy rant about immigration

i have a rant.  i apologize in advance for its length.  

as Thanksgiving approaches, i've seen more & more cartoons/memes/what-have-you comparing immigration issues today w/ the pilgrim/Native American "first Thanksgiving."
this irritates me.  
issues with ILLEGAL immigrants today are not the same thing as what happened historically in this country.  the ppl who came over on the mayflower or whatever and settled here were looking for freedom from religious oppression & over taxing & whatever other persecutions.  they built a society, and unfortunately while building that society they trampled all over the rights of the ppl who were already here, who already had their own societies going & were, i assume, perfectly happy with those societies.
they proceeded to persecute even ppl who came over w/ them, who were trying to escape the same oppression, only to end up being oppressed by their fellow travelers. (salem witch hunts, anyone?  seriously, even back then no one understood what religious FREEDOM means.)

anyway, so they did that, and they ended up waging a war against the native peoples who were already here, and they used some shitty tactics and killed them off and stole their land and shoved them into little parcels of land that they were "allowed" to keep.  was it right?  uh, NO.  but they waged a war and they won.  they kept their society & killed off as much as they could of the societies that were already here.  it wasn't right, but it was WAR and THEY WON.

and because they won, WE'RE here, and WE have laws and those laws - while also mostly crappy & devious & not really FOR the ppl who live here but more for the ppl who are greedy bastards & want to keep everyone else under their thumbs - state that certain things must be done in order for someone to live here legally.  

should those laws be less about red tape and more about letting whomever wants to live here, live here?  abso-freaking-lutely!!  but they aren't.  instead, what has been happening is the ppl who are here illegally get to make use of the resources I PAY TAXES FOR AND DO NOT QUALIFY TO USE - and they do this w/o paying taxes.  MY taxes are supporting THEIR being here.

there are so many ppl who were born here who have paid taxes all their lives, some who have sacrificed their time and possibly even bodies for this country in the military, ppl who can't afford to LIVE because of those taxes or because they're now homeless or because they have a home but make too much for assistance and not enough to live on.  these are ppl who have been here all their lives and they have tried to do the right and the legal thing, and for various reasons are unable to get help from our government.

the same government - whether it's federal or state, because there are SO many laws, i certainly couldn't keep them all straight - who wants to make laws making life easier for ppl who are here ILLEGALLY.  they want them to have driver's licenses - i don't understand the logic of giving someone who is here illegally permission to drive when, if i move & have to get a new license, i have to bring in proof or residency & a social security card & jump through all sorts of hoops.  i also have to pay for my plates every year, and taxes and insurance.  

i just saw a videoed plea today from the police in california, talking about a man here illegally from mexico who killed MANY ppl, some of them police officers who were just trying to do their jobs, recently - and he had been deported SEVERAL times already!  but with NO consequences to the crimes he'd committed while in this country previously, and because of that, and because he was allowed to live free and COME BACK to this country and stay ILLEGALLY AGAIN, those men  & women are dead.  that is just one story, with one illegal immigrant.

when ppl are here legally, whether because they were born here or bc they have done the work necessary to relocate here legally, they're subject to our legal system & can be held accountable for their crimes, hopefully to the point where they're not out & about & able to kill more ppl.  (i say hopefully, bc i recognize that no system is perfect & of course there are legal residents who commit crimes & aren't punished properly & commit more crimes.)

it is just ridiculous to me that the focus is on "oh, the poor illegal immigrant."  

NO.  i will even go so far as to say HELL NO.

the focus should not be on what can we do for ppl who are here illegally.  there are flippin SCHOLARSHIPS for kids who are here illegally to be able to go to college!!!!!  i'm still paying back the LOANS i took out so that i could go to college!!!!  and there are, again, kids who were BORN HERE who would love to go to college, but don't qualify for help because they're too white, or not poor enough, or THEY WERE BORN HERE.  that is wrong, and it is ridiculous.  

as a country, it is time we stood up & said, NO.  it is time that we focus on getting rid of the red tape & making it easier for the ppl who want to be here to be here LEGALLY, so they can be productive members of this society, so they can pay taxes (which, seriously, would be a whole nother rant on how much of our hard earned money goes back to a government who does NOT use it for the good of the ppl), so they can be held accountable if they're involved in illegal activities, but most importantly so they can experience the pride of doing what is right, rather than living a life of fear and degradation at the hands of whomever.

i realize there is no perfect solution - no matter what avenue is taken in ANY given situation, there will always be problems and there will always be ways to improve things.  but using the excuse or comparison of how "the white man" came to this country just feeds the fires of racism.  stop poking at the ancestors and start working on solutions for TODAY'S issue.  


Saturday, November 22, 2014

challenge - day 22 - vegemite

today, i stayed in my jams alllllllll day.

i went to starbucks.  in my jams.

i went to panera.  in my jams.

i took bret to his birthday celebration.  in my jams.

i read Alluring Surrender.  in my jams.

i wrote my first Author Spotlight post at my new book blog.  in my jams.  : ) 

i'm nervous about this new endeavor, but i just feel really strongly that there needs to be a book blog out there that's dedicated to the authors & the books in a different way.
i really hope it works out, because i think it'll be fun to encourage authors & readers in this format!!

it was a good day.  a blessed day.  

and i love my jams!  : ) 

what've you been up to this weekend?


Friday, November 21, 2014

challenge - day 20 (and day 21)

sooo... i may have forgotten to write yesterday before bed.
so, you get two days in one post!  
lookie there!  ; )  

yesterday was a good day.  slept til like 9, read Lady Luck, vegged out.
then, had to get dressed in non-PJ clothing so we could go to Granite City for bret's bday dinner.

it was a nice dinner - mom was able to get someone to be w/ grammy for a few hours so she could come hang out w/ us, and she gave me a birthday card & paid for my dinner.  awww!  : )  i had salmon oscar, which had lump crab meat w/ the salmon.  i was thinking "yum!" but there really wasn't THAT much crab meat.  the salmon was good, tho.  still, the whole 'oscar' part of the salmon oscar was a little disappointing.

and it was great to hang out w/ aunt carol, uncle mike, dawn, shawna, misha, mom & bret!!
until bret & shawna were talking at cross purposes about the bill, neither getting what the other was saying & it escalated to the point that misha had to go.
thankfully, this was after she was done eating, but still, it wasn't a good way to end a party!
before that, tho, it was fun!  and bret got some nice presents, and he (and mom & carol) got this delicious beer which he let me taste.  very smooth!  dawn got a cranberry mojito, which she also let me taste, and it was VERY yummy!  : )  

we got home around 9:30, i think, and i tried to finish LL, but that wasn't happening, so i went to sleep!

slept in til 8 today & then read & chatted on FB & VEGGED OUT again, which was FABULOUS.  : )  

met aunts judy, sharon & nancy at olive garden for lunch at 11:30.  aunt judy made a card for me & included grammy's newspaper clipping of her turning 100.  that was such a neat card!!!  she also gave me a gc to B&N.  woot!  (i was going to go w/ them to the mall after lunch, but it was sorta my bad day & i probably shouldn't've been out at all, and i didn't want to push it!  so i came home after lunch, instead.)  aunt sharon found a cute birdie-gummy worm card & also gave me $$.  that was sweet!  and aunt nancy gave me a fountain thingy & a pretty pin that i put on my coat.  : )  it'll probably move to my purse when i replace my coat, but we'll see.  

it was great to visit w/ some of my aunts & learn a little about what's going on w/ them!!  we missed aunt vickie, tho.  she had to work til 2.  d'oh!  

tonight i finally finished Lady Luck (it was terrific!!) & next will dive into Alluring Surrender by Skye Turner.
woot!!  : )  

also, just a moment to do a happy dance because i have so many great books from my wishlists on my kindle now, thanks to april & kathy & i'm so happy to dive into them!!!

i've been thinking of doing a book blog of sorts... i mentioned something like that on Katy Regnery's FB (she was calling for book bloggers who wanted an ARC of Wild About Weston) & she said "DO IT!!!!!" which was sweet.  *laugh*  the thing really holding me back, tho, is sorta the same thing that holds me back from editing professionally - i like being able to pick out my next book based on how i'm feeling, and not based on a deadline, or HAVING to read the new release right away.  plus, that's what everyone else does.
so, i think i'm going to do it, but i'm going to do it my own way.  : )  
i'm not doing it to get ARC's out of authors - i've been fortunate enough to get a few of those through contests and once or twice through an author just *poof* giving them to me (you know who you are and THANK YOU!!!!!).  and i review everything i read on amazon & goodreads, so i'm thinking i'll start off posting a few of those & seeing if i get any hits.  
so, if you read this blog & HAVEN'T read my reviews when i post them to FB (or even if you have & want to just support the experiment), click on the link to the book blog when i post it.  
(and if you're reading this & aren't a friend on FB, i'll post the link in a future post once i create the page.  or come back & post it here if i remember.  LOL  IF I REMEMBER!)

tomorrow my plan is more reading & vegging & coffee & maybe a movie w/ mom.
we'll see!  : ) 


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

challenge - day 19 - BIRTHDAY!

happy birthday to me!
happy birthday to me!
it's my birthday today!
i don't know if you knew that - as someone pointed out, it's not like i advertise the fact or anything like that at all.  



so Carriepalooza goes all month long, but today is the actual day which marks my age going up.
except that i am 28 forever, because i said so.
: ) 

so, i slept til about 8, started KA's Lady Luck, drank some coffee, checked out FB (so many birthday wishes - i have the most awesome and amazing friends & family!), replied to everyone, was SUPER SURPRISED by gifts of books & coffee from april & kathy (THANK YOU AGAIN!!  i love you both with or without presents, but the presents are MUCH appreciated!!)... it was a fabulous birthday morning!

i ended up making the decision to cancel my birthday dinner at pizza ranch because 1/2 of my attendees had to cancel due to various circumstances (*hugs* to trish!).  it was disappointing, but i'm okay with it because i had the opportunity to hang out w/ phil & leyton for a couple hours!  

and even tho leyton threw a fit at the end & that wasn't cool, i did get birthday hugs & kisses & phil made spaghetti for dinner & i had gotten a free birthday brownie from capriotti's so i shared that w/ them.  it was nice to hang out watching spongebob & icarly & leyton play games on phil's phone.  : ) 

i also went to WM this afternoon to pick up cat food & a few other things.  saw two of my former co-workers, louise & venus.  i worked at WM briefly (in the grand scheme of things - it was like less than 2 years, i think?  i'm not entirely sure, actually, how long i was there!) & i can't tell you how much it warms my heart that ppl still remember me there!  i don't think they remember my name, but they remember ME.  *huggles*  

stopped at starbucks before WM for a peppermint mocha & one of the guys i hadn't seen in a while was working & he mentioned he hadn't seen me in a while!  *laugh*  i'm like, i've been here practically every day!  : )  i love my starbucks peeps, i really do!

what else?  oh, when i got home, i had a bday card from aunt janie AND a package from cousin amy!!  what a surprise that was, waiting at my door!!  
guess what it was?  it is perfect & fabulous!!  : ) 

see?!  she said she saw it & thought i might like it. 
she was spot on there!  

along w/ all of that, i got to chat w/ april for a bit, and i had to check my work email for something, and when i did, i saw i had birthday wishes from my previous wall-mate & also a few unexpected ppl remembered & sent me a note as well!!  <3 <3 <3 seriously, warms my heart!  LOVE!

so!  i think that about covers my birthday day.
one more story!

so, mom had said she couldn't make my birthday dinner because she would be working & then going to grammy's.  so, when i cancelled, i of course didn't let her know bc she said she wasn't coming!
cut to 4:30-ish & i'm hanging out on the couch w/ phil & trying to show him georgine's tattoo when my phone rings & it's mom.  he looks at it & doesn't hand it over, but instead says, "let's freak her out" and answers it, "joe's crab shack!"  LOLOLOL  there's a pause & then he laughs & says, "were you looking at your phone to make sure you dialed the right number?"
so funny!
so, as it turns out, she stopped by pizza ranch to surprise me, but she was the one surprised bc i wasn't there!
it was super sweet of her to stop by, tho!!!  : )  
love love love!!!

oh, and i spent part of the night when i got home watching Ylvis videos on youtube.  
april told me of her favorite, Massachusetts, which i hadn't seen.

NOW i'm off to dive back into Lady Luck.
more LOVE!  

: ) 

thank you for all my fantastic birthday wishes.
y'all ROCK!




Tuesday, November 18, 2014

challenge - day 18 - freeeedommmm!

today i: 

-  got up early enough to warm up the car before heading to work.

- confused my barista at starbucks by ordering my usual-usual instead of my unusual-usual.

- saw mr c more than once.  i love his arms.  possibly a bit too much.  hmmm.

- actually got a smile out of mr c.  they're always so brief, tho!  i need like a two hour smile fest w/ him!  

- had some meetings.

- made my new wall-mate laugh.  : )  

- got distracted by shiny things.  more than once.

- had TWO birthday cards waiting for me at my desk when i arrived.

- was blessed with pickle dip from my catty-corner wall-mate.  it was YUMMY!  i want more.  ; ) 

- ate squash soup & butternut squash ravioli for dinner.

- oh, ate my leftover squash alfredo for breakfast.  LOL 

- didn't get my mail.

- am trying to finish Relentless Rhythm because KA is calling to me.  i love michelle mankin's writing, but i'm not thrilled w/ this story.  well, i mean, there is ONE THING that i'm not thrilled w/ & unfortunately it's sorta a big thing & if there was just a divorce in the works i would feel better about it.  i'm okay w/ a character being married while starting a relationship w/ the other main character but only IF the marriage is a technicality (like, they're fighting for divorce, in the midst of a divorce, their spouse is somehow incapacitated & not getting better... i've read all of these plot lines & been okay w/ it & don't consider it an affair or cheating.  possibly bc i have known ppl in similar situations & can justify not putting your life on hold bc of these things).  

- didn't realize that point above was going to be quite that long.

- really wish i had some chocolate.

- am planning to sleeeeeeep in tomorrow & then go get some chocolate.  and a few other grocery-type necessities.  

- wish it weren't so blasted windy.  it's cold out!  it's NOVEMBER!  the month of carriepalooza is not supposed to be this cold.  feels like january or something.  yeesh.

- think that's it.

: )  


Monday, November 17, 2014

challenge - day 17 - presents!

today was a little wacked out - one of my wall-mates moved & a new wall-mate moved in.
my first thought was - but will he be able to make me giggle snort?!  
so, jury's out on that; we'll see.

had a meeting where i felt like i was being threatened, but i don't think they MEANT to threaten me, and later i talked to my supervisor about it & she said she knows what i mean, but agrees that it was an unintentional use of wording that could have been chosen more appropriately & less ... ultimatum-like.
so, i'm calling that one okay & moving on.

brought my leftover pasta from OG last night to lunch & then forgot that i'd brought it & so got lunch in the cafeteria & remembered about my delicious pasta just as i was finishing the cafeteria food.
oh well, now i have pasta for breakfast tomorrow!
(going out w/ a friend for bacon & ranch tomorrow at lunch!)

this afternoon was a blast, getting my new wall-mate situated.  
the tech guy who set up the computer & such was a RIOT!
if HE was my wall-mate, i would definitely be giggle-snorting.
his wife must be in stitches all the time!!  : )  

after work, i picked up starbucks & subway.
i discovered that i have more on my starbucks card that i'd thought.
i think one or two of the regular baristas has been giving me unexpected gifts!  
so, thank you!


sara emailed me yesterday to say she mailed out my package wednesday, so i checked the mail on my way home & IT ARRIVED!!!!
happy two days before my birthday to me!  : ) 

JOLLY RANCHERS & the coach wristlet & FAITHFUL & all sorts of cards & bookmarks!  
thank you thank you thank you!

and now i'm going to eat my subway, drink my coffee, eat some popcorn, read Seduced By Stratton, play on FB, read my email, and... have a HAPPY evening!  : ) 

hope your week so far is also FABULOUS!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

challenge - day 16 - home again

this weekend was just SO FABULOUS!
i'm so thankful to my mom for giving me this for my birthday, and i'm also thankful that SHE was able to come w/ & have a relaxing weekend away from all the stress she's been under.
: ) 

the drive home went pretty well - a couple of snarky/bitchy moments, but they passed fairly quickly & it was a good trip.  AND we had the hilarity of mom following a semi into the semi part of a rest area.  heh.  her car is so tiny, too, it was even funnier!  

we tried to go to IHOP for breakfast before we left indy, but there was a 30 minute wait, and i had thought i wanted a sit-down breakfasty meal, but faced w/ the prospect of cooling our heels in the waiting area of IHOP, i decided i really just wanted to find a starbucks & head for home.  so we did.  and idk if all starbucks have this on the menu (i don't recall seeing it at ours, but then i'm not usually looking at the food items), but this one had a thanksgiving panini & it was DELICIOUS!  and fairly easy to eat in the car.  : )  
and then we went to olive garden for dinner when we rolled into town.
butternut squash chicken alfred.
lemme say again...
and the breadsticks were extra garlicky today, so that was a thumbs up, as well!

now i'm just happy to be chillaxin at home for a few hours before bed.  
tomorrow & tuesday = work.
wednesday = BIRTHDAY!!!!!
i have the bug guys coming for the quarterly "keep my home free from ants & spiders" & then birthday dinner at pizza ranch.  woot woot!
(agh - i just realized i never asked nicki to make my cake, dang it!)
thursday = VEG OUT & also bret's birthday dinner at granite city.
friday = VEG OUT & also... erm.  oh!  birthday lunch w/ aunt judy (at the olive garden) & then more VEGGING OUT.
saturday = VEGGING OUT
sunday = VEGGING OUT and also hopefully tv at trish's?

: ) 


Saturday, November 15, 2014

challenge - day 15 - Indie Unmasked


this has been a fabulous birthday trip!  : )  

so, last night we rolled into town at like 11 indy time, i met the lady w/ the son in the marching band competition (Bands of America - check them out - Reeths-Puffer), and then i finished my book & started Alex's book & i couldn't get to sleep!!!!  i finally put the book down about 2:30, i think?  then i was up just about every hour, but i went right back to sleep after calculating how much sleep i could get.  LOL

got up this morning around 9:30 & just putzed around being excited & nervous & looking up everything i could on directions & 2nd directions & what the room would look like & looking up authors so i'd have a face w/ the name & just doing everything i could to TAMP DOWN the darn nerves!!!  *laugh*
ppl who get panic attacks will understand.
ppl who don't get panic attacks will probably understand, also.

: ) 

oh, around 10 i got the brilliant idea to look & see if Lyft is in Indy (they are) but when i tried to look up rates & stuff, the website was being a brat, and then i tried to download the app on my phone & go that route, but i don't have enough space (?!) so i took that as a sign i should just drive.  heh.

once i finally got going, it was about 11:15, and i made it to the signing - after getting turned around a couple times, of course! - around 11:45.  whew!  chatted w/ ppl in line, met some awesome authors, got some books signed & entered into a couple drawings.  
(hindsight - really wish i would have thought to ask if i could stay an extra hour since i bought two tickets for the noon slot & mom ended  up not coming... but, that's okay.  much as i would have liked to walk around another hour & meet even more amazing authors, being around all the ppl really wiped me out!)

so, this one was set up as a sort of free-for-all.  tables were set up for all the authors & we could all go to them however we liked.  this was different than nashville, where we were lined up & went to each table, but there were also about 3x more authors at this event, so this set  up worked well!  
of course, for me, this set up started out a little nightmareish.  i mean, i only have read a handful of the authors, but know of a lot of them.  and some were completely new to me!  
i was looking for rochelle's table, but couldn't find her right away, and there was a "clear" table, so i latched over there because i recognized the name, but haven't read any of her books yet!  

i was very, very nervous (thus, chatty) but Amber Nation & her editor, and Savannah Stewart & her friend (Kathryn?  i am blanking on names because i didn't see them!  tho they were wearing name tags, i think... agh.  i hate when that happens!)  anyway, they were all SUPER SWEET & i am so grateful they were my first table.  and i'm looking forward to reading both their books!  : ) 
also - they each were wearing fabulous scarves!  Savannah's had skulls!!  <3  

i spotted Tia Louise next, so spent some time chatting w/ her - also super sweet & i like her writing style a lot!  and she had a great necklace on!  

next to Tia was Mahalia Levey, who i did not know, but her books looked good, so i got a couple to try out.  she has a rocker series & a paranormal, so i got one of each.

then it was time to head over to Rochelle's table.  AKA Cookie.  *grin*
it was SO NICE to meet her in person & get to chat w/ her a bit!  as i knew from our chats on FB, she would be so much fun to hang out w/ on the regular!  : )  
i got the PB of Sucked Into Love for me & then the Blythe series for Sarah for christmas.  
happy christmas, sarahbug!!!  

next to Ro was Tessa Teevan & altho her line wasn't long, the gal two ppl in front of me was there FOREVER!  i was chatting w/ the ppl in line, so i'm not sure if she had lots of books to sign or what.  *laugh*  but Tessa IS a chatterbox & awesome, so it's all good.  i had fun while in line, the only problem (eh, not really a problem, i was just getting nervous because of this) was that they kept blowing the 1:15 whistle, which means technically i should have booked it (haha, see what i did there?) outta there, but there were still a couple authors i wanted to see AND did i mention Tessa is a chatter box AND right next to Ro, so i was also chatty.  : )  she had a great story about her grandma - i think she should go into marketing for Tessa!  LOL  she sounds amazing!  : ) 

so, my time was technically up, but Mia Sheridan was RIGHTTHERE and i have been wanting to read Becoming Calder & Finding Eden, and i L O V E Archer's Voice, so there was no way i was leaving w/o saying hi to her & getting those books.  :D  well, except Archer, bc i have that one.  : )  she was awesome & her husband had a great sense of humor!  and they offered to keep security away from me if they came looking at my wrist-band to find out i was there after 1:15.  *laugh*  (i really don't think they would have kicked me out, but i was still cognizant of the fact!)  

while i was in line there, i spotted A.D. Ellis across the way, so i made her my last stop.
SHE RECOGNIZED ME & gave me the HUGEST hug!!!!  : ) 
seriously, do you know how awesome it was to have an author i enjoy recognize my name & want to give me a hug?  between her & Rochelle, i was in absolute heaven!  *grin*
and then it was time to go, well past time to go!
the only bummer is that i SOMEHOW missed Michelle Lynn.
i don't know how it happened, but i just want to kick myself for that one.
ah well, hopefully there will be other signings for another opportunity!

despite missing Michelle, i DID have a blast & enjoyed EVERY author i was fortunate enough to meet, and i SO can't wait til the next opportunity to do this comes about!!  : )  
(wondering if i could swing wicked book weekend... *grin*)

after the event, i headed back to my home away from home.
but had to stop at starbucks first!  : ) 
i got a little turned around in my pursuit, of course, because that's how i roll.
then, HAPPY came on the radio & i was bopping out & i turned into a menard's parking lot to bop out while i looked for directions back to the hotel, and i looked up ... and there was a starbucks!  

so, i came in, told mom the story of my day, showed her all the books & swaggy goodness & then wanted to collapse into a nap.

but, even better, my friend Summer & her family (Israel & kids Bella, Beau & Emma) live in the area & so they came to take me to dinner!!  Summer & i haven't seen each other in probably more than *cough* twenty *cough* years.  craziness!!!  we keep in touch on FB, but it was so nice to spend time w/ her & her family!  i really like her hubby & kids, they seem like GREAT peeps!  her kids are quick to smile & share a joke & that just makes me happy!!  

AND they gave me cupcakes, and those cupcakes are delicious!  : ) 

now, here we are at 9 o'clock indy time & i'm wiped, but oh so happy!  
i doubt if i'll get to bed soon - i want to read a bit first!  

tomorrow we head home & hopefully the weather won't be bad on the drive!!


Friday, November 14, 2014

challenge - day 14 - they don't fall back?!

okay, so this is gonna be quick because i need to SLEEP!  apparently indiana doesn't do the whole fall back thing?  so it's like after 1AM right now, and i need to leave by 11 to make sure i can find the venue & stuff.  oye.  

but we didn't get in til 11ish & then i wanted to finish Falling For Fitz... next up is Anyone But Alex.  : ) oh, these English brothers... LOL 

today was pretty good, except i found out a friend was fired (*pout*) & that sucked.  

banana & pumpkin bars were delivered & shared for carriepalooza & that was cool.

the trip out here was pretty easy & quite nice & that was also cool.

mom decided she didn't really want to go w/ me tomorrow, so i'll be on my own.  that's ... a little nerve wracking, but also not.  idk.  it would be nice to introduce her to "my" world, but at the same time she would probably be bored (her words) & then whine at me to leave (also her words).  so, i guess it'd be best to avoid THAT.  *laugh*

i met a lady outside while i was bringing something in for mom & she told me they were here from michigan, for a Bands of America semi-final competition.  her son is in the high school marching band for reeths puffer & he's only 13!  and they made it to the semi-finals this year & placed 10th out of 20 teams to make it.  that's pretty darn impressive all around!  so good luck to Reeths Puffer Marching Band tomorrow!  or, today... 

anyway!  i need to sleep!  ttfn!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

challenge day 13 - counting blessings

i love getting to dig into things!  
not, like, dirt.
but problem solving, puzzling things out.
and helping ppl while doing it.
i love the "aha" moment when someone GETS it.
so fabulous!

because i can't do anything about the situation i vented about yesterday, at least not until i'm presented w/ an order to do something i don't agree with, of course, it was business as usual in my little cubby today.  : ) 
and i had fun w/ my wall-mates, even if i did have to ask one to tone it down towards the end of the day because she kept telling stories that i REALLY wanted to hear about & participate in, but i had a couple things i HAD to get done & it was too much temptation for me to join in!  : ) but then i got my stuff done & i was able to make up little smile cards for them cuz i wanted to spread the carriepalooza joy & i didn't have treats today.  *laugh*

but i WILL have treats tomorrow - one of our retirees is a FANTASTIC baker & i've ordered pumpkin bars from her for my birthday treat for the past 3 or 4 years, i think.  this year i also ordered banana bars to share.  and a cinnamon bread loaf for me.
i might share some of it.  
; ) 

i finished Dom Wars Round 1 at break & then started Katy Regnery's Falling For Fitz.
i finished Sweet Dreams tonight.  
it was FAB!  
definitely one of my favorite KA's!  
i can't pick A favorite, even tho i tend to think of Law Man as my favorite, but then even before that thought has finished, i think of Tack & so then Motorcycle Man comes to mind, and then i think of Benny & The Promise & how much i just ADORED him... 
so yeah, can't pick a favorite-favorite.  *laugh*


TOMORROW is friday.
TOMORROW mom & i are heading to indy!
*happy dance*
*also a bit nervous dance*
after the initial getting there & getting settled (at the event) i know it'll be fine & i'm only there for like an hour, which is its own kind of nerve-attack!  
but i'm so so so so sooooooo excited to meet these awesome ppl!!!!  :)  

pray for safe travels & good times & blessings all around!!!
i will be bringing the computer w/ me, and the hotel usually has wi-fi, so i'll be able to update on the road!  : ) 


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

challenge day 12 - bummed

today was a fairly normal day, but then there were really good parts.

- birthday bagels for a fellow novemberpalooza co-worker
- laughing hysterically w/ co-workers
- my friend becks delivered a french silk pie i'd ordered
- i shared the pie w/ co-workers & everyone enjoyed it lots
- got to chat w/ my friend mel a bit
- got to see mr c and get a laugh out of him : ) 

but then it was aslo really crappy (shitty - i want to say shitty) when i had a meeting w/ my supervisor at the end of the day, directly after having comforted a co-worker from having a shitty day due to their supervisor's rude & mean behavior.  i wasn't expecting my meeting to be a bad one - i've been very blessed the past two or three years, that every meeting i've had has been very, very good.
but this meeting, this was the meeting where i was informed that - despite the fact that i'm known company-wide (at least in the US) as the SME (subject matter expert) on a certain system, despite having put together documentation and given presentations on the subject and been the go-to person for the past few years, despite building a reputation of trust, quality, knowledge and caring about not only the company but the employees - they want me to have a "specialist" for this process's issues who i would escalate things go.

aca-scuse me?  

i know my title isn't "specialist" but WTH dudes?!  

anyway, there are several things wrong with this scenario, not the least of which being these points:

i've been assured on multiple occasions that THIS EXACT SCENARIO WAS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

i was asked what i liked best about my job, what made me want to get up in the morning & come in to work, even if i'm not feeling so hot one day or whatever, and i answered w/ my joy over what i get to do w/ this particular part of my job.  that i get to interact with ppl & HELP them & work w/ so many different groups to make sure that everything was being administered correctly.

so, yeah.
three months after THAT discussion, after saying the one thing i didn't want to give up if we ended up shifting work around, was this part...
and after EVERY meeting this year telling me what an amazing job i do, that ppl come to my manager w/ compliments on how i do my job, specifically regarding THIS...
and after literally telling me that THIS wasn't going to happen...

so, tell me how i can not take that a little bit personally, since the person who asked me that & seemed oh so interested in the answer is the same person who decided to mess w/ that part of my job?

so i feel a bit confused right now, and a bit all over the place.  
i mean, i'll do whatever.  but i'm not going to lie about how i feel about it.
i'll roll w/ the punches you want to deliver.
i'll do my best for the employees and even the company, as i always do.
but i don't know quite how i can give my best anymore, because apparently when i do they see that as an opportunity to fix what isn't broken just because the lines look better on some chart.
so, that's fine.

yeah, i'm a little ticked about how it went down, and i can't even go into all of it here.
my supervisor said she'd take my concerns back to the person who wants to implement this, but i don't see it changing their mind unless God performs a miracle (and He could).
i got the sense this is where things were going.  
i had a gut feeling all those months ago, but i trusted the reassurance that THIS WASN'T GOING TO HAPPEN.

where i got to talk to mel & see mr c & where mom & i are going to Indy in a couple days & i get to meet ROCHELLE PAIGE & Michelle Lynn & some other awesome wordsmiths.
and where i hopefully get to have dinner w/ summer & visit.
and where i am finally home, in comfy clothes, and Sweet Dreams is just waiting for me.
so i'm gonna read, and i'm gonna try & kick out of this disappointment and disillusion.

and i may eat a snowman cookie later.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

challenge - day 11 - thank you

today was a really good day - council meeting went well & other than a couple emails & things that made me GRRRRRR throughout the day, things were good.  : )  

still reading Sweet Dreams (seriously, her books are LONG but so good!  and no matter how long they are, i always want MORE!).  also reading Dom Wars Round 1 by Lucian Bane, because i need an e-book to read on breaks at work, and i've been intrigued by this series for a while, but was leery of buying it.  however, he put out rounds 1-3 for free, so i'm giving it a shot.  so far i surprisingly like it, but we'll see how it goes.  i'm hit or miss w/ true D/s stories.  however, i like the concept of how this series is written & the "character" or Lucian Bane, so... yeah, we'll see!  

today's veteran's day, so a great big THANK YOU to all our service men & women.  and i've been advertising it on FB & have probably shared the link here already, but will share again - Cup of Joe for a Joe is a great project!  it just amazes me the awesome feeling doing something like this gives.  it's like buying the person in line behind you a cup of coffee - you (usually) don't know them, you (likely) will never meet them.  but you know the feeling YOU get when someone gives you something free, and knowing that you're giving that to someone else is just ... fabulous.  : )  

so, THANK YOU again to those serving, those supporting, those waiting, and those who have retired.  you are greatly appreciated & i pray you will be blessed.  *HUGS*

and now, back to my book.  :D  only 4 sleeps til brooklyn!  no, wait, i mean til the Indie Author Event in Indy!  :D