Monday, December 20, 2010

Love, Christmas, Recipes and Books

Yeah, that title leaves a lot to be desired but I'm thinking this is going to be one of those posts that goes every where and no where all at once.

It's now 5 days till Christmas and I'm amazingly not stressed. See, this year Bob made some off the cuff comment about how Christmas shopping is so easy. Let's just say I lost it and he was all 'what, make me a list and I'll do all the shopping'. Deciding to take him at his word I made up a list of people we needed gifts for - eg. Buy Dad 2 gifts - about 30 bucks each.

He had it all done in one weekend and he had a blast doing it.

I was floored and pleased all at once because he did a great job and hey, I don't have to go out and stress over gifts. (I had already bought the 'big' gifts for the family so it was those odd gifts that I needed)

I have also wrapped almost all the presents!

I have only Bob's gifts to wrap and FINALLY last night my writer's block loosened it's grip on my brain and I was able to write up my hopes for Bob in the coming year. This is the gift I was talking about earlier. I tell you, I was having such an awful time trying to get anything into words. Last night inspiration hit while I was watching some lame show and I grabbed the first piece of paper to my left and started writing until I thought I was done. Now I can leave it for a few days and then tweak it before deciding it's right.

The good news is that I should be able to figure out the size the writing part will take up and I'll be able to do the 'art' part over the next few nights.

With all my free time - I want to read and really, I want to buy lots of books. I found my gift card from my birthday - I figured I had used it but it ended up being in a pocket of my purse I rarely use. Duh. I'm trying to work out whether I'll order online or go to the store. Haven't quite decided.

Finally, my family now tries to make it easier for the host by having everyone bring a few dishes. So I'm doing broccoli and cauliflower with cheese AND a broccoli casserole for my SIL (that part is a surprise so we'll see if anyone touches it - SIL won't eat stuffing from inside the bird so this casserole covers both stuffing and broccoli), parsnips (my dad's fav veg but one my mom refuses to make - I like 'em too so I'm bringing 'em) and I know there is something else but it's on the list upstairs and I'm not moving at the moment.

That's is from this part of the world, hope you are having a great time and if you are celebrating I hope you are not in the middle of Stress-mas.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Special Gift For My Hubby

I don't believe I mentioned it here on the blog but over the past several months Bob has known that his job of 13 years was pretty much done. I have to say that the company Bob worked for was very good to it's employees and it's a bit sad that Bob will have to leave.

That said, Bob will continue to work for the next few months as a 'contract employee' to help wind the business down or to help it gear back up if there is a buyer.

I'm very proud of my husband (as I'm sure most wives are) and I know that he will get a job fairly fast if that is what he wants. He has already thought of a few things he would like to do once this job winds down.

I'm surprised and happy for him that he doesn't seem depressed or overly upset about this. I had told him many times before we got the final news that he had done everything in his power to keep the company going. There is no shame in what has happened - at least not on Bob's head. Now, I think there should be a few executives who should be hanging their heads in shame but then, these are people looking out for their best interests instead of looking at the economy and the need for people to make a living.

Bob's whole philosophy was about saving the business (about 180 jobs). He knew it could be done but it's hard to run a business when the 'parent' companies show no interest in it and you have a board overseeing the project that can't really work together.

Anyways, it's happened and there is nothing to be done.

So Bob's Christmas gift this year will be more along the lines of silly but you know what, these are the type of gifts Bob always remembers.

I have decided to write up something for him about how we're in this together and that he has a partner that will follow where ever he leads. I found a scrapbook frame and will use scrapbook papers to make a nice piece of 'manly' art. (Seriously, scrapbooking needs to take men into account.) And it will probably be the least expensive gift I give him this year. But I have a feeling it will mean the most and it's during the rough times, even though I say it every day, to let the ones you love know what they mean to you.

If you need an idea because of cut backs with money but aren't sure a scrapbooked art piece will work for someone, then I have other ideas that are fairly cheap and say 'I know you'.

Eg. I had a friend who was an actress (still is) and I knew her favourite soliloquy from Shakespeare. I found a frame (at like Home Sense (very inexpensive but great quality) and printed out the soliloquy on pretty paper and framed it for her.

My cousin is also really good with gifts. The year her mother was to retire she took some plain journals and got letter stickers and made up a journal for finance, a journal for adventure and another one I can't remember - it was all in a pretty cardboard suitcase (again, cheap at Homesense) and I thought it was a fabulous idea.

The only caution I can make is know your audience. My mother would clock me with a gift like that - or of course, make it a running joke that we all have a great time laughing about. No seriously, there was this gift I did and it was horrendous and we laughed and laughed and laughed. So even though it was funny, it wasn't exactly a gift my mother loved because hey, she likes particular things and my arts and crafts stuff just ain't it.

So good luck with your shopping (I'm almost done - I need to buy Bob a few more 'real' gifts) and if you decide to do something a little more crafty I would love to hear about it.

As it is, I may be missing for a few days as I struggle to come up with something 'perfect' to write for the man I love.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Top 100 - More like Sixty Something

First things first, I have already looked at my submitted list and thought 'wtf!?'. I think that's probably quite common when an avid reader is asked to rank their favourite romances of all time. There are always titles missed, some I think I got wrong and of course, the day of the week can change everything.

I will put little blurbs here and there for some of the books - cause I'm kind of lazy and yet I'm feeling chatty.

Here's what I know for sure, there are more than a few titles on this list that need to have a re-read cause even though I can look at the rating I may have posted for a book, I remember next to nothing about it. Also, there are only a few books that I remember parts of but have no clue who wrote them or what the title of the book was. Sad really.

That said, here is the list I submitted:

1. Lord of Danger Anne Stuart

Historical Romance

I can't wait for this book to get a new cover. I love the colour purple and all, but this cover needs some new life!

The hero is Simon and he's a con man from way back but he falls so hard for his new plain wife that you can't help but fall in love with him. There is a scene in this book that gives me the tummy dip and it's awesome. Obviously my favourite Anne Stuart book and really, it's like picking your favourite cat.

2. Mr. Impossible Loretta Chase

*gasp* A new cover like this one - oh so pretty and that's a colour purple I can get behind!

I loved, loved, loved this story - if you haven't read this one yet, keep reading until they get to the Pyramids. The opening is a little dry and slow but after that this book is a keeper all the way!

3. Branded by Fire Nalini Singh

I have to say in the end, I actually liked this book with Mercy and Riley better then Judd's book (and I loved Judd). Two dominant were animals having to deal with being attracted to each other and Mercy needing to be dominant yet at the same time needing a man strong enough to equal her. Bit of a dance to get it right but great to watch these two fall in love.

4. Pleasure of a Dark Prince Kresley Cole

This book got an A+ from me and that almost never happens. It was the hero, Garreth MacRieve who completely made this book for me. I also enjoyed Lousha (Lucia) who is all broken and just really needs to believe in love. I couldn't have been happier after reading this book.

5. Fire and Ice Anne Stuart

This was the book in the series that I was sure wasn't going to work for me. Silly me for under estimating AS. This book has some elements of a classic Stuart and yet, there were allowances made for how young these characters were. They both made mistakes (refreshing to see from an AS hero as they are usually dead set in their ways) and in the end, I loved them both. In earlier books I didn't mind the heroine but the hero seemed 'off' for lack of a better word. I went into the book prepared not to like Rio but in the end, he was just too cute and sweet and so not like most AS heroes but then, he found love much younger than most of them.

6. Lover Awakened J.R. Ward

Hard to believe I'm now terrified to continue reading this series. This was Zsadist's book and it was wonderful. I do have to say that afterwards I realized just how 'hero-centric' this book was. It was Zsadist's story and his heroine was really just along for the ride.

7. Falling Angel Anne Stuart

This was one of those stories that was written before the so called 'glut' of paranormals hit the market. I would say this is a great story to read right about now. Small town, cold winter and hardship right around the corner. Loved it.

8. Time enough for Love Suzanne Brockmann

Oldie but Greatie. This is probably one of the best time travel orientated books I've read. I have seen way too many time-travel shows, movies and read my fair share of romance books that leave logistics all in the wind. Who cares about all the nitty gritty, I just needed to get these two people in the same area. Uh, no. My brain won't let it lie.

If you love Suz Brockmann and you haven't read this book - get on it. It's one of her best and I have to say half way through the story I thought 'oh shit, this is so not going to work' and yet, she made it really work. Great story all around.

9. Dream Fever Katherine Sutcliffe

First and foremost - the cover of this book is atrocious which might be why I usually get it confused with the one Sutcliffe book that I really dislike which was called Fever. Yep, you read that right, make sure you get the right book!

Historical New Zealand - anything else need to be said? Okay, how about a romance that doesn't shy away from the really, really horrible things in life. I always appreciate an author who allows for real life situations to happen. Guess what? Sometimes the knight in shining armour just doesn't get there in time. Or ever. So bad things happen and I remember liking this story because it wasn't all shiny and happy but there is a HEA so go forth and read.

10. Lover Eternal J. R. Ward - Rhage

I was surprised how charmed I was by Rhage in this story.

11. Worth Any Price Lisa Kleypas

Okay, honestly, I'm not sure I'm remembering the right book - but it was either this one or Lady Sophia's Lover that was the first Kleypas I read. I found greatness!

12. The Secret Julie Garwood

I love this romance and the relationship between 2 women who haven't seen each other in years. I also remember exactly when I read this book because it was 'the' reward after writing my last final exam for the year.

13. Kiss of a Demon King Kresley Cole

14. Moonrise Anne Stuart

15. Bet Me Jennifer Crusie

16. For My Lady’s Heart Laura Kinsale

There are parts of this story that had me stumbling - I think there is a scene where the hero rides a horse into a castle all dressed in green and to this day it's the scene that stands out in my head - cause really, dressed all in green?

It was the relationship in this story that made everything work. And I rarely read Kinsale because she makes 'me' work when I'm reading and you know I hate work.

17. Over the Edge Suzanne Brockmann

This is probably one of the only single title books by Brockmann that had me with every story line. She's famous for having three story arcs happening in a book and most of the time I want to kick something but I enjoyed all aspects of this story. And yes, Sam and Alyssa in this one were amazing. Max and Gina met and it was all about them for so long in my head.

18. Gone Too Far Suzanne Brockmann

Sam and Alyssa's book. And Max and Gina's brushing up to each other. Yum.

19. Devil in Winter Lisa Kleypas

20. Caressed by Ice Nalini Singh

The book of Judd. Yummmm. It was great but there was one mis-step that I didn't exactly enjoy. Judd is ice cold Psy and has to be in order not to kill those around him with one thought. He is in love with Brenna but even touching her causes a type of brain damage. I guess I needed something other than a 'flame out' for Judd to become one with Brenna. I love an angsty character and Judd had it. This one is going on the re-read pile for sure.

21. Slave to Sensation Nalini Singh

22. Renegade Love Katherine Sutcliffe

The romance book that started it all. I'm sure on re-read it would feel old and dusty and maybe even a bit silly but I remember it fondly and for that alone it has to be on my list.

23. Dream Man Linda Howard

I had read some Linda Howard books before this one and I was all for marking her down as an author who didn't work for me. Then this book came out and again, it was before the glut of 'paranormal' and SPLADOW I found the magic of Linda Howard. I miss her.

24. Duncan’s Bride Linda Howard

An old fashioned idea in a contemporary that Howard made work. It definitely showed the growth of a relationship and I appreciated reading a book where the hero and heroine were all in and not sure what the end result would be.

25. Ride the Fire Pamela Clare

26. Lady Sophia’s Lover Lisa Kleypas

27. Flowers from the Storm Laura Kinsale

This is one that is due for a re-read as I've only ever read this book once. But there are a few scenes that still stick with me and I do remember thinking it was one of the best romances I had ever read.

28. Morning Glory LaVyrle Spencer

I'm not sure if I would ever need to re-read this book. I have re-read it maybe 4 times since 1990 and I'm pretty sure I remember almost every scene in this wonderful story. That's very odd for me so I know this has to make my list of all time favourite romances.

29. Black Ice Anne Stuart

30. Anyone But You Jennifer Crusie

The first story I read where the heroine is older than the hero and damn, she feels every year of it. Funny story and yet, there was a lot of depth here that needed to be dealt with. Great story if you haven't read it yet.

31. No Rest For the Wicked Kresley Cole

32. The Duke and I Julia Quinn

33. Dreaming of You Lisa Kleypas

34. Twilight Memories Maggie Shayne

Hello vampire heroes!!! Yep, it was Maggie Shayne who introduced me to the vampire hero and I haven't looked back since. I have very fond memories of this trilogy and an extreme 'squeee' moment in my life at a used bookstore when I found the next title after 2 years of searching. (before internet)

35. Twilight Illusions Maggie Shayne

36. Heart Throb Suzanne Brockman

Stand alone Brockmann that was amazing and yet, I've never re-read this one. So yes, this one needs to go on the re-read list.

Side Note: what a horrible cover - luckily for her I was hooked on her books by the time this one came out.

37. Ice Blue Anne Stuart

38. Open Season Linda Howard

39. As You Desire Connie Brockway

Another book for the re-read pile. I remember loving it at the time but that's about all the memory I have - okay, a few scenes here and there but not enough to go 'hell yeah, awesome book!'

40. A Rose in Winter Kathleen E Woodiwiss

Okay, the Woodiwiss books that are listed here are nostalgia induced. I was new to romance so no, I hadn't come across the story lines that apparently are used many times by other authors.

41. Shanna Kathleen Woodiwiss

This one I need to re-read. I remember the opening scene, the whip scene and almost the ending. I'm thinking there was a lot more to the story.

42. Come Love a Stranger Kathleen Woodiwiss

Again, never having read a story that featured amnesia or the idea of twins. It was spell bounding.

43. Passion Lisa Valdez

44. Mr. Perfect Linda Howard

45. Lone Rider Lauren Bach

46. A Pocketful of Paradise Kathleen Kane

Kathleen Kane is an author I find often overlooked - probably because I don't think she's writing anymore. (I love this cover - navy blue with white daisies - very classic to me)

This book was once again before 'paranormals' - now listen up you western lovers (Kristie, I'm talking to you!) this is a western with a bit of the paranormal going on.

Unless this is the other one. Either way, I have 5 books by this author and I really want to re-read them to see if they are as great as I remember.

47. Tears of a Renegade Linda Howard

48. Come Lie with Me Linda Howard

49. The Bride Julie Garwood

You have to take yourself back to a time when bodice ripping covers were the norm. That's all you would see in that small 8' section of romance at your wee book store.

Now, look at the cover. I'm telling you, I was enamoured with the cover because it was soooo beautiful. The drapes were all golden and then the back of the wedding dress and all you can see of the hero is his hand on her back and his face where he is planting a gentle kiss on her neck.

Now take then an amplify it by a bijillion and you'll have what is between the covers of this book. In a time of 'I hate you, I love you, I hate' you kind of romances I finally found an author who made the conflict external to the H/H. You got to watch two people fall in love without misunderstandings, distrust and family drama. It was refreshing.

50. The Lion’s Lady Julie Garwood

I loved, loved, loved this romance - a man who thinks the woman he is with is a delicate flower who needs his protection. What a blow to his ego when he discovers she's more than capable of fending for herself. I adored her!

51. The Prize Julie Garwood

52. Honor’s Splendor Julie Garwood

53. My Dearest Enemy Connie Brockway

Dangit - I think I have the story line of this one and As You Desire all mixed up. Looks like Brockway is making her way onto my re-read list.

54. All Through the Night Connie Brockway

55. A Rose At Midnight Anne Stuart

56. Night Watch Suzanne Brockmann

I remember thinking there was not one bad note in this entire story. I wasn't impatient for something to happen, nothing made me want to scream - odd reason to have a book on my top 100 but again, I know I really liked this romance, I just don't remember much about it.

57. Hostage to Pleasure Nalini Singh

58. Honest Illusions Nora Roberts

This was probably the last NR I read because it about broke me. I don't do well with separations and there is one and I guess Alzheimers is brutal because there is one scene that had my shirt drenched in tears. And I don't like crying!

59. Public Secrets Nora Roberts

Another book I remember almost all the scenes - also another book that didn't shy away from horrible things happening in real life. I had read a few NR's before this and didn't really think she was a romance writer - this one made me see the light.

60. After the Night Linda Howard

61. Glass Houses Anne Stuart

Okay, I'm thinking maybe I meant Crazy As A Fox but then, maybe it was this one. A sweet Anne Stuart if you can believe it. Contemporary with no hard edges.

62. Darkling I Listen Katherine Sutcliffe

Needs to be re-read. I loved it but don't remember much of the story line at all.

63. Fairest of Them All Teresa Medeiros

I have to say I loved how dark this one got. It was on the edge of insanity dark and I loved it. I didn't see the darkness coming so it was a real surprise when it hit almost half way through the story.

64. Wildest Hearts Jayne Ann Krentz

65. Gift of Gold Jayne Ann Krentz

66. Gift of Fire Jayne Ann Krentz

67. Ritual Sins Anne Stuart

68. Ravyn’s Flight Patti O’Shea

I have read sci-fi romance before but I remember thinking this one was just really well done. Again, another read needed.

Kitten and Her Toes

If you got her looking for the Advent Post click here.

If you already know me then you know to click on the video. A cat lady? Why, yes, yes I am. Those are my legs up on the desk - no wonder my back aches!

I'm working on my Top 100 post but it's slowing killing my will to live. So I'll put this one up for now and in a few days I can put up my list.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Welcome 2010 Advent Adventurers!

Welcome Advent 2010 and happy 5 year anniversary! This event is hosted by Kailana from The Written World and Marg from Adventures of an Intrepid Reader and is a virtual tour of book bloggers sharing the holiday spirit.

I've participated every year so far and I have to say, this year I was wondering what I would even talk about and it was while reading my fellow Advent posters that a memory struck me from out of no where.

It's many, many years ago when I was maybe 7 or 8 years old. The entire family at the time - 6 adults and 4 kids would be at my Grandmother's house in Sault St. Marie in Canada. 9 times out of 10 there was easily 4 feet of snow outside and the tiny 3 bedroom house (with only 1 bathroom - seriously, how did any of us get anything done!) was always cozy and warm with the promise of Santa soon to come.

The memory comes from us 4 kids, 2 girls and 2 younger boys, too excited to sleep, creeping out of our beds and poking or parents to see if 'now' was the time to go see if Santa had come. When one of us kids was finally given the green light, the whole house was roused from what I now understand were very deep sleeps. (Back then, most toys had 'some assembly required' and 4am was early for those parents to get to bed). But us kids, having no concept of what adults were required to do were more than ready to get to the tree!

Now came the next excruciating part of Christmas morning.

Having to wait for those adults.

See, no one was allowed downstairs until everyone was ready to go downstairs. We were instructed to sit on the top step to wait as the adults got ready. Being impatient we swore our parents were dressing for a wedding at the rate they were going but looking back now that one bathroom did cause a bit of a slow down and no one was really getting dressed up or showering.

So there we are at the top of the stairs. Only the stairs weren't straight. There were three steps down to a landing and then the stairs turned right and then straight down. Even though we were told and a few times scolded about staying at the top of the stairs the four of us would sneak down to that landing and lay on our tummies. What the parents probably didn't realize at the time (although they probably did) was that there was a mirror at the bottom of the stairs, and if you angled your head just right you could catch glimpses of what was under the tree!

Presents from Santa were never wrapped so that mirror didn't just hint at what was down there, it gave it all away. But only if you could stay on that landing long enough to get a glimpse before being quickly told to get back to the top step.

And it's that memory that warmed my heart this year. It will be 10 years this February since my Grandmother passed and it's been even more years than that since I have spent a Christmas with those two cousins. But soon, there will be a child coming into our family (my youngest cousin is pregnant!) and it'll be neat to see Christmas from the other side of those stairs.

Thanks for stopping in and Happy Holidays to you all!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

This One is About Reading!!

Aha!! Gotcha!!

No, don't you dare click out!

I'm about to begin my rantification (new word TM me) and you know how I love an audience.

Okay, screw the innocent here's the deal, I just finished reading Play of Passion by Nalini Singh - excellent, excellent book and I'll try and write up a Cindy review over the next few days BUT and this is where my brain turns to screaming:


No, no, don't leave yet because it's not just about Singh's series so you don't really need to know too much about it.

It's about those two characters in an on going story arc that you just want to read about RIGHT FRIGGIN' NOW!

Now luckily for me the characters I am waiting for get 'their (and I swear on all that is holy, it better be the 'their' I'm thinking about)' story next. So why am I bitching? Cause there were a few scenes in Play of Passion that had my two characters interacting and for some reason I got it in my head that at the end of the story I was currently reading the characters I really want to read about would have scene near the end that would create a major shift in the relationship to give us fans a bit of a sneak peek.

I don't know, I needed something more and because I was slavering for anything about these two I actually started to resent the last few pages of a, before now, excellent love story between two changelings.

So now I'm all antsy (and yes it's November and Christmas is breathing down my neck but still, I'm antsier) about 'my' characters.

And here's the rub. They aren't my characters. They are the author's characters and she is the only one who knows how their possible story will play out. But I want things to explode in their story, I want as close to crazy as these two can get and I really think they could get there. Just, does the author want that for them.

So it's the anticipation that can in the end, ruin a book that I'm so looking forward to that I'm trying to figure out who I have to bribe, kiss or steal a kid for to get my hands on the book - Sybil, you out there?

Okay, you've been patient so I need to know:

1. Can glimpses (or no glimpes) of a couple you really want to read about taint a book that in every other way was perfect?

Uh, Hell ya! But interesting enough, only with Singh. I remember the hearts and flowers I had for Max and Gina by Suzanne Brockmann but M&G interacted so much in the books previous that you knew the angst was building and it was more than enough to keep me from doing up a rantification on my blog. In the case of the book I just read, I would rather have not seen these characters interact at all than have three tempid scenes that confused me more than anything.

2. Are you so much more patient than I am. So many books. So little time to worry when the next will be coming out.

Obviously impatient. What I should have done is not read Play of Passion. I should have saved it and read it the week Hawke's book is set to come out. This is where my 'break in case of emergency' book stash comes in handy. I can hide a bunch of books I know I'll want to read sooner rather than later but I'm stoic enough to put them aside.

3. How is it authors know exactly which couple to keep out of the pages until the very last second?

Shit, I don't know! It's a friggin' gift I tell ya. Or the practices of a well versed sadist!

4. How many times have you been let down by an anticipated book?

Uh, yeah, I've mentioned two of them in this post - Butch's book by J.R. Ward where the man I had come to love morphed into something I didn't recognize. Huge, huge blow. Max and Gina. *sigh* they were robbed.

Okay, we've almost made it through and I have one thing that is making me a touch crazy.

What if Nalini Singh pulls a Brockmann where the couple every one thought was going to get together didn't? (Luckily I was not reading Brockmann at the time of the incident and for-warned is pre-armed I say)

For me, this all explains my blue feeling about finishing Play of Passion. I would have called it the great book blues but it wasn't about the book I had just finished reading. It was instead, a sad for not having the book I want to read in my hot little hands.

Hopefully I've made some sort of point out of all this and you'll find it and run with it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Introducing Twilight

I've never in my life had a 'lap' cat but wow, you can barely get seated before this bundle of new joy jumps up and makes herself right at home.

<---- Twilight: What does 'shame' mean?

Amber used to get up in our laps but only once in a while, this little monkey is all over us but I'm thinking the explanation will get it all sorted out.

So how did it all start?

Bob was in bad shape. Okay, I was in bad shape also but I didn't think Bob would want to go see rescue cats so I didn't bring it up and I was okay with it.

What we weren't prepared for was Pixie's reaction to not being able to find Emma. That wonderful purring beauty that Pixie, if she was quiet and sneaky enough, could creep up on and curl into a little ball beside her and drift off into a wonderful sleep. I swear, whenever you found Pixie sleeping anywhere near Emma there was a little kitty smile of triumph on her sweet face. See, I mentioned before Emma was a diva and sharing the spot light was not going to fly and it was too funny to catch that annoyed look on her face when she woke up to discover her personal beauty space had been invaded.

But Pixie adored Emma. Maybe even worshiped her while at the same time managing to pull all kinds of kitten antics that drove Emma batty.

We realized we had a problem when Pixie started to search high and low for Emma. The final straw was when she crawled under our gas stove to see if maybe Em was hiding from her under there.

Bob's reaction was we needed to get Pixie a new best sister. I thought so too but was more on the fence about it.

Flash forward to us in the store looking at this 7 month old kitten/cat through little tiny bars. I opened the cage (cause really, try and stop me) and pulled out this tween kitty to see what she was like. Let's just say, she put on quite a show. I tell you it was like you could hear the litany of 'I love you! I adore you! You love me! You adore me! Take me home!!!!' Played over and over again. We put her back in the cage, our hearts still too raw and then it happened.

She reached through the cage bars and stretched out her toes at me.

Maybe I'm unobservant but I've never seen another cat but Emma pull that trick and never thought I would again.

Bob was cooked on the spot. 'She's reaching for you with her toes!'

Twilight: Shhhh, don't tell. ----->

One day later we were registered and getting all the information for her.

She'd been abandoned in a stairwell with her brother at 6 weeks. There was no real foster family to take these two in so the lady who is the co-owner of the rescue took them home and kept them in a small room together. She said she would go in and play with them but I'm sure with work, the rescue and life in general, these kitties didn't see humans too much. So from a baby to 7 months later this kitten had never had a home.

Which explains the first three days where Twilight couldn't stay off of us and seemed to have no control over her limbs. You would be petting her and her back leg would fly out from no where and she would fall over and then roll all over. It was quite funny but at the same time a wee bit sad.

Aside: She was named Twilight - I tried to explain to Bob that it was like naming an animal Harry Potter (cause Bob has next to no pop culture knowledge but he has at least heard of that) and even though he 'got it' he didn't care, he liked her name. So yes, I'm prepared to answer 'no' to the 'ohhhhh, you named her after ....' for the rest of our lives.

The other funny thing was watching her discover the size of the house. I'm thinking she must think she won the lottery and in little more than 3 days had investigated every nook and cranny and declared herself Queen of all she could see.

And it took her three days before my heart finally melted. It was just too broken at the time but I pet her and cooed to her and was grateful for her but I wasn't bonding as I have always done in the past.

On the third day I started to tell Twilight about Emma and I cried and told her I was sorry. And damn if she didn't stretch her toes up and place her paw on my throat.

I realized then that Twilight was a mixture of all the cats that had been before her.

She looks so much like Pixie that if she races by we can't tell which cat it is. She's called a delicate tortoiseshell and it doesn't show in pictures but she has the colour of Amber's fur running through parts of her coat. She's so loving she reminds me of Bob's cat Bunny who literally drooled while purring at your feet and she's eating like Winston used to (We used to say he was an Emperor in a former life as he had a regal air about him - until he heard the food dish, then it was everyone for them self cause he was coming).

Best of all, Twilight thinks Pixie is the bee's knees.

Pixie is not so enamored and instead of looking under the stove for Em, she now crawls under it to get away from the 'new thing'. But I don't pity her because she tormented Emma just like she is being tormented now.

<--- Pixie: Holy shit! When did she get here!?

And interestingly enough, if Twilight can get just close enough to that massive (and Lord Pixie is HUGE) fur ball on the bed, she'll fall over in contented bliss with a goofy grin that looks just like Pixie's once did.

Welcome home Twilight.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gorgeous Emma and her Fancy Toes

Emma left us over a week ago now. I still get teary eyed whenever I think of her and I have been hiding from my blog because I don't feel like I have anything to say that would do her justice.

(This picture was during the summer when it was so hot no one could move. I found her curled up in Bob suit case and I imagined her saying 'that's it, I can't take this heat another minute! I'm out of here!')

Her final hours were not fun and I sat vigil for most of the night. She could no longer walk and would fall out of her bed and make to go somewhere. I finally figured out that maybe she wanted the litter box so I held her up and held her tail - for the tiniest pin drop of urine but it turns out she settled down after that. She lay on her side with her feet spread out in front and in back. She looked like she normally did when she was lazing the day away but I still cried and murmured to her for hours.

I was stunned and so touched when near the end I quietly told her how beautiful her toes were. She was vain about that. I swear I don't know how she could tell someone was talking about her toes but the minute you did she would spread her toes wide and flash her paws at you. For hours she hadn't had the strength to do much but the minute I told her how gorgeous her toes were she threw her front paw out as if to say 'you know it!'.

Emma was the baby of the family for 15 years. I still can't believe how much time has passed and yet, we can mark it with the loss of a large part of our nuclear family (Bob and I got married and I inherited 2 large dogs and 3 cats.) I miss the craziness of the house, the silly things that happen when you turn your head for a minute. So not only am I mourning the loss of Emma, I'm mourning the loss of Rocky, Cody, Bunny, Winston and Amber all over again.

Emma was a diva.

There's no way around it. The world revolved around her or things were going to get 'poopy' in a very literal sense. When she needed pampering she would find Amber and get her to bathe her until just that point where Em decided that was plenty, thank you very much, and she head butted Amber. We had to feel for Amber. A love session never ended in a relaxing nap. Nope, Amber would have to play her way out of the situation.

And Emma was not a 'dog person'. Or those beasts from the bowels of hell as I'm sure she was want to call Rocky and Cody. Poor Em if she happened to be between the dogs and the back door where their food was waiting. I saw Em get flattened a few times and for the vain one she was, that could not go unpunished. Too bad it was Bob and I that got the punishment but Em was not going to deal with any mutt.

In the early years I remember that Amber would head to bed with Bob while Emma would get up on the back of the couch and put her paw on my shoulder while I watched TV. Just a soft purring in my ear. When we moved the TV to the basement I lost that little delight as I said dogs were not to be tolerated.

That said, the day Rocky died Emma went down to the basement in our new house and touched her nose to his. Rocky was so out of it he didn't know but Bob and I cried to see her come and say good-bye. How she knew was beyond us.

I guess I think of Emma as a refined woman, dressed to the nines in jewels and fur who looks like she doesn't have a care in the world but deep down she has a heart of gold.

I miss her.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Just a Worry Post

Em is in really bad shape.

So bad I'm not comfortable with how she is doing but the vet wants us to give her some steroids and appetite stimulants and Bob picks those up in the morning. I should tell him to bring her to me while I'm in bed so I can get them down her. (Bob's not good with meds and his babies)

I pray that by tomorrow night I see an improvement because right now, Em looks like she's knocking on that door.

I want to pick her up and hold her but she was never really a lap kitty and I don't want to hurt her inadvertently.

Also, she smells of urine and sickness which makes me want to give her a small warm bath but Bob doesn't want her to catch a chill. I'm worried she feels horrible and is embarrassed about the way she smells. Although Amber was the one who would be mortified if she stank.

Every once in a while the kitten approaches her and chirps at her as if to say 'you ready to play now?'

I know you guys know I love my furry critters and my chest hurts from trying not to cry. I figure there is never a good time to make this kind of decision but tonight it's been all I can do not to wake Bob and say 'it's time'. I will give the meds 48 hours for a turn around. After that, my girl would be suffering and that's not acceptable.

On an aside: My vet has cost us 800 bucks over the past month with Em. Some of the costs were for blood work that needed to be sent away for virus results. That night I read about the virus Em possibly has and it said the best way to test for the virus was with the fluid they drew off her. So yeah. The blood results were negative and now the vet wants me to bring Em in to be drained again so they can do the 'right' test. Cause it's either this virus or bladder cancer. Guess what, same end result.

If I didn't already know Bob's situation with work I would have no problem with the (I'm sure) 200 bucks it would cost for these tests but at this moment, I'm not really sure of the benefit and Em would be taken from her home again and poked and prodded.

I do know the virus can be detected after death with tissue samples but Lord knows what that would cost. My only concern at that point would be Pixie and potentially any new kittens we would bring into the home.

Phew. Sorry it's dreary here right now but getting this written out really does make it easier to get back up and keep going. I wasn't going to sleep if I didn't get the mess and fear out of my brain.

Oh, fun side trip. The other night I showed Bob a kitty bed that is heated and Bob was all, 'we have to get that for Em'. I was thinking if she was in pain then maybe heat would help. We put it in the laundry basket she has procured as her own little slice of life but I wasn't sure she was happy about it. So I then took the bed out but I put it beside her basket and lo and behold, a few hours later I found she had picked the heated bed as a preferred spot.

And yes, it tickled me pink to think it might be helping.

Damn, I love that furry nut.

I know there are readers here who have had to make the same decisions and doesn't it just suck! But I wouldn't give up a minute Bob and I got with our Em and her funny ways but that would be for another post - that I wish I didn't have to make for a few years yet.

I hope you are having a great weekend.

When it goes bad I plan on plunking my butt down and reading Play of Passion by Nalini Singh. I was very excited when I picked it up but doing the AAR poll has been uh, time consuming. And I forgot, the ones who send in their lists later are the die hard list makers which means almost all the ballots have 100 titles (early in the poll you can have 100 then 20 then 40 then another 100 - so the inputting isn't so intense. Now it's all 100s baby!)

Okay, off to kiss Em on her forehead and to tell her I love her again (I'm sure she's all, yeah, yeah, you love me - now go get me some pain meds!! I hear Oxycotin is nice.) Poor Baby.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The World is Tilting

I don't want to come off too upset as I know I'm a very blessed person.

1. Bob's work may be coming to a close - through no fault of his own but this economy has been no help and I know there are tons of people in the same boat. I get it. I'm just scared of the unknown and I shouldn't be. Tonight Bob was told he could be an asset for another company so if/when every thing falls apart to go see them. And like many things, this is awesome but in the real world things get tough and even those people who would love to have you on their staff just might not have it in their budget. So we're in a wait and see pattern. Would it be great if Bob could continue in the job he has - absolutely but we also understand if that job needs to be lost.

This part has been made easier when I can openly talk to Bob about my fears and he can calm me down. He says I'm his rock and as long as I'm fine he'll be fine. I'm a fairly easy going person - hey, now, I can be! - and in reality I'm not the 'big' spender in the house. I have patience to wait for things - Bob not so much so Bob's life will change much more than mine. Except for having fewer TV channels and maybe dial up Internet.

Okay, dial up Internet gives me hives but I can do it!

2. This one I'm working on.

Emma may have a virus which is untreatable. Death is the end result. Emma is 14 and has had a great life and I wish she could live forever but I understand if it's her time. Over the past few months Emma has had great days and not so great days. She had a UTI which was treated but then it seemed to come back 5 days later - only her whole stomach was bloated up.

Today after X-Rays and blood tests the vet discovered massive fluid filling her belly area. She took 1/2 a litre of fluid off her tummy which caused Emma to lose a whole pound. Then she dropped to diagnosis on me and the fact that there was really nothing that can be done.

What stumped the vet was that the virus was normally found in younger cats. I then thought to ask if it was contagious and she said 'yes' and I about fell on the floor. I told her about Pixie and she said that Pixie has probably brought it into the house. Again, I was on the floor. With tears in my eyes I asked her if both my cats were going to die of this and her answer was 'quite possibly yes'.

My heart and head can't seem to fathom this. I've never had to put down a baby animal (I'm sorry, they are just babies until they get over 12 years of age) and can't wrap my brain around Pixie getting sick. Also, the fear of losing Emma is already making me sore but the idea that Bob and I would be a one kitty family makes me want to cry also. Only because if Pixie has the virus, I couldn't possibly bring in another cat that might get the virus and get sick also.

I have done some reading about the virus (and I'll know if it's this one on Friday (although reading the symptoms I'm saying the doc is right) and I'm not sure if the vet is completely right about the spread. Also, it's common for cats to carry the virus that can then mutate into this deadly one.

What does this mean? We could have Pixie tested and it will come back normal but she could still carry it.

Sorry, I'm just trying to work it all out in my brain. Em isn't happy tonight - I think the fluid withdrawal was a bit of a shock to her system and I think she is in some pain but I insisted on antibiotics to at least get the UTI under control. Hopefully in three days Em will be a happy kitty again and we'll just have to watch for fluid build up. And hopefully the kitten doesn't have or get it at all.

So that's where my brain is right now.

And you know what is comforting me? The idea of all the books I have to read and re-read. I told Bob the good news was that I had lots of books to keep me busy if he loses his job.

Right now I'm working on my list of 100 Favourite Books to enter into AAR's ballot. I have a preliminary list worked up - I used Shelfari and this blog to pick out titles and now I need to arrange them and remember those that I usually miss.

Thanks for listening. It just makes it easier when I can write it all down.

I hope you all are doing well!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

No News...

Short and sweet.

Doing the polls with LinnieGayl and Lee for the Top 100 Favorite Romance books and that is some serious work. We have a spreadsheet with over 3500 titles on it and I'm still adding in new lines with every ballot. And since I'm a little crazy when it comes to working with Excel I take my time and at the moment I'm very, very behind. Not that I'm complaining - just explaining why I'm not really around right now and will continue to not be so around until late November.

I've read nothing - read above paragraph.

I want to read everything. Okay, that should say 're-read everything' because I'm wondering about my own ballot and if I will leave some titles off because it's been years since I read the book. I mean, does it hold up? I'm not sure, so I'm hoping I can get a list done up soon but again, read the first paragraph.

My anxiety is fairly under control but I haven't finished our Christmas shopping which always causes extra beats for my heart. Ugh.

The swinging sister to anxiety is depression. I'm not super depressed but I know I'm not myself. I need to get on the treadmill and start working out every day. Last year I was on it in October - it's looking like November will be the start time for me.

And damn, I hate to even talk about it but I need to diet for real. I keep saying I'm not ready. But there will be a baby here in February and I want to be fit enough to play with the cutie. And fitting into smaller clothes would be a bonus.

So yeah, lots to do with nothing getting done.

Hope you are fairing better than I am!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Top 100 Romance Books

AAR's poll for the Top 100 Romance Books is now up and running. *phew!*

I know a few people like to play in the polls so I thought I would let you all know - you can go here to enter your list. I'll post here again when the results are done.

A few years ago I compiled my list and got to number 34 and after that my head exploded. So no stress, how ever far you get is how far you get - just send your list in with 3 or 100 book titles, it's all up to you.

But seriously, I was so frustrated by book 34 I didn't know if I was coming or going. Was J.R. Ward's latest book a smidge better than Singh's latest or am I getting this all messed up. I take things too literally.

I'm thinking in the end, if I can put the book down as one of my top picks for favourites, then who cares if it's 40th or 1st. Not on my own list anyways. Once you get a bunch of people's lists together, then the numbers mean something to me.

For me, the top 20 should be read. Although I can't say I have read all of them. After that, if you have already tried an author then I'm just as happy to let a title in 54th place pass me by.

I'll give you a heart rending example: I'm not reading Jane Austen.


I'm just not that kind of reader. And I'm not ever sure what that means. Maybe if I get kidnapped and locked up in a room with only Jane Austen type books I'll get around to reading them. Since I've got any number of distractions running around my house including a TBR mountain, then I can pass.

And maybe one day I will get around to Diana Gabaldon.


Now, give me the latest Anne Stuart and it's probably on my list around number 86.

You know, if I get that far.

How about you?

Wanna make a list?

Already know which books you aren't really ever planning on reading? (except in that one scenario where you are on a desert island and the only books there are the ones you figured you'd never read but hot damn you are bored and reading is better than sitting so you'll pick up that friggin author that writes books that make your teeth hurt cause that's all there is.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thankfully Done

Canadian Thanksgiving was this weekend and we hosted so I was a touch busy doing my Fall cleaning. Spring cleaning rarely happens as the pool seems to call very early.

This year, I dove into the pool for the last time on the Labour Day weekend. It's been an odd fall and not getting to swim again may come back to bite me in the arse.

Last year at this time I started walking on the treadmill to keep myself active during the winter months - little did I know the summer this year was going to be the killer. Backward couch potato.

So plans for the treadmill are on high for this week - I got on last week and the sweat pouring off me was something else. But I know I have to get back into it and get healthier. Now that the house is almost back to rights, I feel like I have more time.

Luckily I seem to have survived the plague that came to the house - poor Aunt went from sounding fine Saturday afternoon to sounding way too sick by Saturday evening. I'm taking my vitamins and cleaning up my hands enough to hopefully keep everything at bay. I didn't feel great on Sunday but I think I was just wore out.

On the agenda the past week was work on the Top 100 Romance Book poll for AAR. I have been doing some HTML and I'm trying to learn about php files. So that took up some time this past week and will continue on into this week and then once the poll starts I'll be counting up ballots.

So if you visit AAR or just want to play with your books and try to sort them from the mostest favourite to the next mostest favourite then you have some extra time. We're hoping the ballot goes live on Friday and the polling will end on the 14th of November.

As to life, Gorgeous Cousin is now looking pregnant and I keep thinking how February will be here before we know it. I'm very excited and I know GC is too.

Before that though there are more than a few birthdays and of course, my Achilles heel, Christmas.

But Bob should be off on vacation next week so I'm thinking we can knock most of the gifts off the list and maybe I'll even wrap stuff up so I won't feel over exposed in December.

And books. I really want to read more books.

Wonder if I can find time for that this week?

Okay, off to watch some TV.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Checking In

I have more than a few things I need to be doing on the internet at the moment and no, gaming is not one of them. Although it'll happen.

Diabetic cold medicine is the new Holy Grail and so far I'm sucking wind. We have one brand in the house but I don't understand how a cough suppressant can also be an expectorant so we went looking again tonight. I found a sugar free expectorant so I bought that one. It wasn't until Bob went to take the medicine and he read the side of the box where it says 'if you have diabetes don't take this'.

I don't know if Bob has diabetes as he was told he was borderline. He doesn't have to take insulin shots but takes a pill every night and monitors his sugar. Meanwhile, GC is insulin diabetic and she knows she can't take over the counter cold meds.

That States have Diabetic Tussin but it's not up here as far as I can see and I can't find an official site. Bah.

All that said, Bob is feeling better. I think he just wants it out of his chest. Meanwhile I get much better when a cold finally hits my chest.

I also need to look for DVD storage that won't burn my eyes with it's hideousness. Bob wants all our DVD movies out on shelves so he can see what we have. Problem is I've learned I'm a visual person and seeing rows of DVDs makes my brain hurt. So it needs a door. And if I have to look at it beside my TV then I want it to look nice. I suggested bookshelves at the bottom of our stairs in the basement (the place I refuse to go) but that went over like a lead balloon. So Bob and I are at a stalemate.

I also need to check out a few things but that won't take long.

So enough dithering.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Oh, Right, It's Fall Again

Bob's sick.

Poor guy, I said for years he was a carrier because he never got sick. Never! So I'm a wee bit worried about him and the strength of what he's got.

As a rule, when Bob does get sick he doesn't slow down. He figures he can be sick at work or at home so might as well go to work. I, however, find this thinking so messed up it pisses me off. Why? Cause I said to Bob, 'who's the idiot who was sick at work this past week?' Yep, some sickie hacked and coughed over everything last week. No wonder Bob's sick.

My philosophy is - if you're sick stay the fuck home. Even just for one day. (Course, now I understand there are companies that don't pay people for sick days which I think is a crime. I think everyone should have at least 3 paid sick days a year - that's not too many and probably just enough). The contagious nature of most colds / flu happen in the early stages so I'm all about staying home in the beginning.

I should mention here that I took a course (elective at that) called Plagues and people. To say my world was rocked during that class is putting it mildly. I'm thinking I'm probably one of those people who knows just enough to be dangerous (stupid). Let's just say that the so called 'quarantine' measures I've seen countries put up are laughable to the extreme (this includes Canada's reaction to SARS). In no way do I think the world today could handle a mass break out of any type of disease but I seem okay with that knowledge.

Cheery bit this post is eh?

Anyways, my stalwart husband came home today about 2 hours after he left for work - surprise that! He worked from home (cause just sitting and vegging is not Bob's way) and hacked all over our computer desk, keyboard and friggin' monitor. You better believe I whipped out the Lysol wipes and cleaned off the surfaces. Probably won't save me but hey, I'm giving it a go.

On the home front, Bob and I have now painted our master bedroom way too many times.

Primer coat on the ceiling and four walls - I did.

2 coats of ceiling paint, cutting in around the edges to get a nice white line for separation - I did.

Picked a colour - Nath was right, Bob's colour blind and about had a spaz attack when I said I didn't like the colour - 1 coat on the walls with cutting in - Bob did.

Bought the colour I originally wanted - Bob cut in and painted 4 walls one coat and had a complete meltdown. The cut in looked lighter than the rest of the walls - never seen this before.

I decided to cut in again only to discover that Bob had taken the new paint pail out of the room and I was painting with the original colour that I didn't like. It never occurred to me that he would leave the paint in the room that was the wrong one. I know you are thinking 'didn't you notice?' and seriously, I was painting and thinking how it must dry much lighter - only while cleaning the brush did I think back and go 'uh, no, paint dries darker!!! zomg!!!'

Cindy has meltdown.

Bought another gallon of paint - cut in and painted all walls yet again - I did. There is still a problem with the top part of the walls - a bit lighter still.

Walls feel tacky and I'm not sure they are drying properly so I have told Bob we need to leave the damn thing to cure for the next week. (Bob likes to get things done but hates painting - which is why I get mad when he does paint - I like painting so leave it alone!)

So fingers crossed the walls dry up and the colour bleeds together nicely.

Now I just want to read for a few days but I'm thinking sickie is going to take up all my strength.

At least I bought a couple books - Anne's latest and I think Jayne Ann Castle's latest (although I'm not sure as I haven't been following her series for a few years)

Okay, off to play.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Caleb by Sarah McCarty

I wrote this post back in April when I was trying to find my muse and decided it's kind of a book-review so I'll post it now. Unless you guys want an in depth discussion on how my sleeping is so screwed that I slept 18 hours today without feeling it? I'm thinking my 27 hour wakeful zone from the weekend had something to do with this crash but like I said, it gets messy.

Okay, Caleb by Sarah McCarty

I picked up some Sarah McCarty books because I have seen a few good reviews and some people talk about her as an auto-buy. Can I remember where I saw all this, uh no. But that's why this one was pulled off Mt. TBR.

Overall a good story. It's a paranormal with weres and vampires although definitely not the type of vampire I'm used to seeing. The weres we meet seemed like most.

The book started out great and I thought I was in for quite the ride. The heroine is sass personified and knows her own mind and I liked her by the second chapter when she was forced to act and act she did.

So lots of action and then ... things kind of fell into the background. The action part and the sass from the heroine. I found the conversations between Caleb and Allie to be so circular that I just wanted to shake them both. Caleb is hiding tons of things from Allie about becoming a vampire but the things she does know only make her feel inadequate and quite frankly depressed.

Before all that there is some sexing going on. And well, I didn't find it all that sexy.

Don't get me wrong, I think this book would be rated up in the sex scale - like hot but not exactly burning. Hmm, not sure. I need more angst or even passion and chemistry between the H/H than I found here.

Another problem that had me shifting images in my head so many times that I didn't know where any of the characters were in relation to each other (not good in sex scene) or even in the room. One minute Caleb would be cradling Allie in his lap then without any mention he would be in a chair or even standing up.

(I haven't finished the story yet - I'd say I'm 2/3 through the book and I think it's going to take something huge to get me to finish the book. I just wanted to get some of my thoughts down so I would remember the good and the bad so far.)

Uh, finished, kind of.

Let's just say I got within a few chapters of the end and stopped caring. I'm trying to figure out if I rated that as a DNF or just say 'yeah, I got the gist and finally decided I didn't need to know how it ended.

I'm going to read Jared's book which I think is the next book but I will start skimming if I run into some of the rambling conversations that happened in this book.

I liked Allie as a heroine for part of the story, then she kind of flaked out. I'm not sure if it was because she became cut off from her life and life became the house the men lived in or what but Lord, it became depressing. If this had been a historical western I could have understood the isolation but it's a contemporary that read like a historical at times. I understand that these brothers don't really want to expose themselves but to stay so isolated seemed odd.

Anyways, I'm not sure why I want to read Jared's story but I own the book so I'll take a quick boo through it.

There was a scene in this story that had me thinking 'okay, now we're getting somewhere' and then it didn't pan out. Basically, I'm thinking it would have worked better as a threesome story - and I have yet to read one.

I know, things I haven't read yet. Epic.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Couch Potato Re-hab

Lord have mercy I have been a lazy couch potato for way too long. The heat helped to keep me from doing anything harder than lifting an ice cold coca-cola to my lips and releasing a happy sigh but what a difference temperature can make.

Tonight I decided to tackle priming (painting) our master bedroom - it's in reno hell - old closets got ripped out and re-plastering every where but if it keeps Bob from spending too much money at home depot then I can live with the dust. Well, Bob's been away for 4 days and for the first 3 days lazy won out over everything. I was disgusted with myself because I used to paint rooms over while Bob slept but my moving mojo jumped out and left me high and dry.

So I decided to quit letting lazy win and climbed out of my comfy chair and got to work. Right now there are two teeny tiny muscles in my arms screaming at me to just knock it off already. I have to say I hate painting ceilings because of the white on white and never knowing where you are. Paint people have come up with that blue/pink ceiling paint that turns to white which will be lovely after all the priming is done. (but that turn happens so fast if you blink you can miss where you were).

I put 2 coats of primer on the ceiling (it's the super primer stuff that is more oozy to put on the wall - it covers stains and plaster repairs and oil based paints so it's a must if you have an older home) and 1 coat all around the room. I would have done another coat (okay, I did one wall twice and about fainted) but it was hot and I was sticky and it was shower time.

The other pain of this stuff is it stinks to high Heaven. Bad stuff that usually gives me a headache but hey, hopefully that part is almost done. What Bob will do now is check for repairs he has to make to the patching - any lines that pop out or holes in the mud - trust me, waking up and staring at a ceiling that is less than perfect will kill my Aries hubby. So hopefully I can not worry about that part so much.

I loved the summer this year but it's nice to be 'doing' things again. Bob and I tried to keep the A/C off for as long as we could cause we're all energy conscious and stuff now (like what the hell?) and I remember just walking across the room was enough work in the heat of the afternoon.

So treadmill here I come again.

Not tonight though. Another night. No really, another night.

Actually I'm probably the only person on the planet who can do an 1 hour walk on the treadmill 5 nights for 7 months of the year and not lose an ounce but stop for 3 months and my girth groweth again.

Oh, so I've stopped buying those 100 calorie treat things because I would have 2 bags when I got up and another 2 before bed. Yep, 400 calories without thinking about it. So I've cut that out and I'm trying to learn to enjoy diet pop. Turns out if I'm eating I can drink diet but I can't sit and sip at a diet pop - which is probably a good thing.

Tonight I cracked like the pop whore that I am and ordered in 4 regular Pepsi with my dinner. I've had 2. I also ordered chocolate cake which I think will die an inglorious death in the next few hours.

The good news is there is always tomorrow.

Course, that's been my motto for a few years - looks like I need a new one!

So lay 'em on me - any great mottoes (Great Scott - that don't look right) you got stashed away?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

5 Years!? Okay, 4 1/2

So while I was away goofing around in the pool and playing way too many online games (Facebook is evol!) my Bloggiversary blew on by.

5 years.

I'm going to count it more as 4 1/2 seeing as how I didn't blog for like 3 months in a row at one point.

So I'm struggling with putting sentences together. No, really. I can't seem to write a few words without having to sit back and yank it out of my brain. I now will type for as long as I can and then go through and toss junk out.

I discovered this while trying to review Anne Stuart's August book for Sybil. I couldn't get anything down on paper and it was making me crazy. Normally I just sit and crap comes forth but lately, it's like my brain has no clue what's going on.

So I'm just going to have to put it out there, the good and the horrid until I get my mind back into working order.

There's lazy and then there's crazy lazy and I'm thinking my brain was heading for the crazy.

Bad Brain.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dark Need at Night's Edge by Kresley Cole

I finally stopped dithering around about picking a book and went with another Cole.


Cindy Blurb: There's this ghost see, and well, that would normally have stopped me cold in my tracks but I know that Cole writes books about 'the Lore' so I figured it's not like one of those ghost stories where everyone is human and something weird happens at the end of the book for a convoluted HEA.

Okay, right, a ghost named Neomi who died in the 1920's on what was supposed to be the best night of her life. Neomi wanted to live so badly and fought her death so much that she was stunned when she came too and no one could see or hear her. For 80 years she lives in her dream home, wearing her gorgeous dress without anyone knowing she exists.

Meanwhile, three vampire brothers are trying everything they can to save their 'rogue' brother from being killed. In the Lore, there are good and evil vampires and the ones with red eyes are those who have killed while taking blood and are deemed evil. These vampires are tormented by the memories of those they have killed and end up not knowing their own thoughts from those that end up there from others. In the end, most of these vampires go insane and become nothing more than killing machines.

Conrad Wroth is considered a prime example of this.
Add to this he wants to kill his own brothers and things get complicated. In order to save Conrad, his brothers lock him in an old gothic house where he sees a beautiful woman who enchants him and makes him wonder if he has finally gone completely mad.

I love lost causes.

Conrad is almost completely lost and the early parts from his point of view show us how disjointed his thoughts are. Conrad is clinging to his sanity or the parts he recognizes for no other reason than to kill his own brothers for cursing him to the ghastly immortal life he is forced to live. The good news is that he doesn't seem bitter as much as just determined and with good reason which you find out over the course of the story.

(note to readers: I just took a gravol so things might get dicey)

Conrad's brothers Sebastian, Murdock and _________ refuse to give up on Conrad and after 300 years of separation they have finally figured out a way to save him. They need him to stop drinking blood from the vein (you know, I'm not sure how it's different from drinking blood from a glass but I think they mentioned that taking from the vein is 'live' blood so the victim's memories come with it). Conrad, not being rational and believing his time is almost up anyways wants nothing to do with this 'cure' and so the brothers kidnap him, have some witches put a spell on an old gothic mansion to keep him from escaping and begin his treatment.

He sees a ghostly woman the night they capture him. Is she a fragmented memory, his final stages of insanity or could she really exist.

I really liked Neomi and even though she is innocent when it comes to the Lore, in life she lived to extremes. She is surprised to discover the men in her house are vampires, that there are such things as witches and others called Valkyrie and the like. She is moved the most by the 'crazy' man the brothers have brought to cure. He is savage, covered in blood and filth and yet, she wonders as he sleeps if he can really see her. She longs to be seen and acknowledged and if this be her only way then so be it.

I have to admit there are some weird otherworldly things at work through the later half of the book. At one point you're thinking 'really!? Again!!' But hey, it's a Cole and I enjoy her stories and I liked the crazed Conrad and his ghost Neomi much better than I've liked some of her other characters.


Thursday, September 09, 2010

September Should Be Good

Hey, hope all is well with you guys. Special hugs to Kristie - I'm not sure she can surf the net yet but I know I'm not the only one thinking of her and wishing her a speedy recovery.

I just finished Dark Need at Night's Edge by Kresley Cole and will hopefully post my thoughts in the next few days. Dang if I'm not meeting more and more interesting characters that I want to know more about but I'm going to try and resist the urge to pick up another Cole until at least October. Seasoned reader that I am, I know I'll start to see similarities if I read all the books back to back so I'll savour them better a bit at a time.

I don't know about you guys but I have times in my life where things just seem to pile on. I don't even have that much I need to do but I tend to bend to expectations a bit too easily and the past 3 weeks have been hard on the body.

Okay, more like 6 weeks.

Let's just say that in order to sleep when I need to I've been concocting just a few too many potions to get me sleeping and back up in time for things to happen. This past weekend my body told me it was done. I won't type out what I took (cause it's a touch shameful) but it didn't touch me. Not even a little bit.

Since I'm far from crazy I told Bob to just let me be for the next few weeks. I don't want to hear about 'you should get up at noon' or 'hey, you going to get up today' or nothing. I swear I have had to be up all summer at specific times to do this, that or the other and I'm done. Turns out you can have too much of a good thing cause I'm ready for Fall this year!

This morning I climbed into bed naturally tired for the first time in a looooooong time. Bob comes to kiss me good-bye before leaving for work. Imagine my shock when I hear Bob at the bedside and I ask if he's off to work - 'Uh, no, I just got home - it's 5 o'clock'. I'd slept for 10 straight hours and it had felt like I had just blinked my eyes.

I'm looking forward to feeling stable again!

Other than that complaint summer was excellent! The heat had us using our pool more in one summer than probably the last few summers combined. Also, my youngest Godson (9) and my best bud's guy (7) both learned to be fearless in the water. Watching these two finally break through their fear and become two water lovers was way too much fun - and active for Aunt Cindy who tread tons of water and learned she was strong enough to hold up at least 60 lbs in deep water - cause kids are afraid of grabbing onto you when their not sure of their safety and the 2 mommies aren't swimmers like me.

Anyways, I'll dust off this old blog of mine and see if I can be more fresh and observant (doubtful) on a more regular basis (hopeful).

Afterall, Wendy reminded me of what blogging should be about and sometimes I forget.

How 'bout you? How you doing?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Demon From The Dark Kresley Cole

How does Kresley Cole do it?

I should have hated this book but again, Cole pulls it off.

CindyBlurb: Carrow the _____(crumb, can't remember her moniker) is a witch who has been kidnapped and pulled into a super secret, super hidden jail run by mortals who are gathering all sorts of lore creatures to dissect and learn about. Carrow can't use her powers (usually powered by happiness) because of a collar around her neck. Turns out all the lore are helpless with this thingamajiggi round their necks good or evil, allies or warring factions.

Carrow is normally a 'whatever' kind of woman and doesn't really sweat the small stuff. Until the small stuff comes in a package of Ruby, her 7 year old cousin whose mother was just killed. The Order (as these new baddies are called) what something from Carrow and in return they will release her and Ruby from the jail.

What do they want?

They want Carrow to go to hell.


At least, I think I have that right. Basically another plane of existence that is hell like with drought, famine, fire and demons. There are a ton of new creatures also but vampires are also part of the landscape.

What is Carrow retrieving from hell? A Vemon - a creature that are only rumoured to exist by the lore but are believed to be mythical. But hey, whatever, Carrow needs to get the hell out of Dodge so to the hell plane it is.
And the Order will turn off the collar do-hicky so she can use her powers. Woohoo. Except how much joy can there be in hell? Yeah.

The Vemon Malkom meanwhile was created by an Evil and has lived in isolation for much of his existence. He is a demon and vampire and believes he is an abomination to all. He has been betrayed by every single person he has ever met (yep, includes mommy) and killed his best friend in a fit of rage and betrayal. Malkom is way beyond acting even remotely human has become more of a Neanderthal over the past 400 years.

What's the only thing that's going to save Carrow from a gory death? She's Malkom's mate and he scents her as she approaches.

And the chase is ON.

Lord, there is so much I want to explain about the story and stuff but wow, it's just really involved and yet so simple.

So where did I have problems? Pretty much the first half of the book. Could I put the book down? No.

Explaination to follow - so hang on!

My problem head on was Malkom. He's 7 feet tall, got horns and sounds like a huge mother. In fact, I couldn't get this image out of my head.

Sorry, I find this guy freaky and not even remotely attractive. In fact, you need to add more hunch to his back and no wings.

This image fought along side an image of a seriously huge body builder - trust me, I was trying to find him attractive and even though I like leaner heroes I could at least work with a overbuilt man-like being.

None of my mental images were helped by the early interactions with Carrow. He's brutish and animalistic in the extreme and about rapes her the first time he catches her. Hell, he breaks her wrist in his enthusiasm. Yeah, not winning any 'ooohhh, you're so hot' kind of awards.

Carrow bolts and who can blame her. He follows. He catches and brings her back to his lair.

The good news is Carrow understands the things that neither of them can communicate because they don't speak each others language. Carrow knows only stupid stuff in Demonish and the Demon despises English so taught himself to forget all he learned. I guess 300 years is good enough to forget something you want nothing to do with.

For me there was definitely a vibe of Carrow being so much more intelligent than Malkom and I'm not sure she isn't even now.

Malkom became more of a character I could understand once he showed he had a logical side buried under all that brute strength but boy, he really had to concentrate to get there.

So why did I like this book?

I'm not sure I know but the last half was awesome.

I understand the allure of Beauty and Beast like stories but when the beast has very simplistic views of how things will be, I'm not so enamoured. Malkom did prove he could be logical but his beast side won out on more than one occasion. In the end, it was Carrow and even Ruby who made the book great. Seeing fleeting images of love stories coming and those that had already happened were also a great boon.

And since I'm not great with words, just know that after reading this story I want to read the few books I have in the series that I haven't read. Thankfully I can't find them at the moment so I can't gorge on them all at once and then have the great book blues.

Still, I may need to dig one out for next week.

B- (I have to say I would probably re-read this book as it was sexy as hell once my brain stopped trying to beat me up with the image above)

Edited: I found the three books I haven't read in this series and I'm fighting with myself not to grab them all up and gobble them down.