Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Trick

"Move it honey!" a voice said gruffly just before Eris was smacked from behind by a rolling garment rack. "I warned you," the petite man said as he continued by her.

She looked around at the commotion all around her trying to get her bearings. There were people crammed into the small space, many women in various states of undress, getting their hair done or cosmetics applied.

Her mind was still a little foggy. She stepped into a corner to try and figure out how she got here. Nothing was making sense.

"You're late," a round woman in all black barked at her. "Put this on and get someone to fix your hair." Eris looked down at the hanger in her hands as the woman pushed her into the nearest chair, on it was a tiny scrap of black fabric decorated with what looked like diamonds.

As someone from behind began running a brush through her long dark hair, a woman began to apply various creams and powders to her face and body. She let them, still unable to shake the cloudiness in her brain.

"You have gorgeous skin, darlin'," the woman applying make-up commented absently. "I hardly need to do anything to you. Not like some of these other girls."

The man playing with Eris' hair added, "I don't even need the extensions for this one."

Eris noticed that the other women sitting in chairs all resembled her: tall, long dark hair, and porcelain skin.

"You're done, you can get dressed over there," the makeup woman pointed to a small area sectioned off by curtains. The walls were emblazoned with the Emily's Treasure logo. Even Eris had heard of Emily's Treasure, it was Aphrodite's favorite brand. Thinking of Aphrodite, Eris remembered where she was just before finding herself here.

She'd been about the leave Hera's palace when Loki, visiting from Valhalla for the Autumn Festival, had called her over to discuss some of his recent pranks. Loki was a master storyteller, so Eris hadn't minded. He'd just refilled her wine goblet when she'd started to feel funny. The very last thing she remembered was his laughing face fading from view.

Loki!

Everyone knew better than to eat or drink anything that the trickster offered them. Eris had thought that since they shared a love for discord and chaos, she was safe.

She'd see that he was banished from Mt. Olympus for this!

She waved a hand expecting to find herself in the Great Hall in a flash. Nothing happened. She snapped her fingers this time. Still nothing. A slight feeling of panic began to creep up her chest. No powers? Was he really that cruel? Yes. Yes, he was.

~~~~~~

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Wendryn challenged me with "Loki and Eris" and I challenged Grace O'Malley with "Make a wish and blow out the candles."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo - Hopeful

I signed up.

I have only done it once before, a long, long time ago. Probably when it was still a toddler. I didn't win then, and to be honest, my work ethic these days leaves me doubting I'll win this year.

Whatever.  I'm going to give it a go. Maybe it's just what I need to get myself writing again? I'd meant to spend last week outlining and getting ready to dive in today, but, uh, haha... Didn't happen. What did happen was I spent a crazy weekend hanging out with some truly fun people. Also my niece was born!

Addison Ann, 7lbs 4 oz., 19 1/2" long. We've all been forbidden to share pictures until my brother and his wife have so I'll pop one in soon.

Want to hear a funny story?

I have an old WIP that was my original Master's Thesis novel and the main character was named Addison. This was about seven or eight years ago, before Grey's Anatomy and LONG before the newest addition to our family. In fact, I think my sister-in-law was still in high school then. Weird, but totally awesome!

OK wish me luck on the NaNo!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

How much?

A few months ago when I had to make the decision to let my little Echo go it just about killed me. I felt as if I'd failed him. Over the last few years, when I felt as if my life was falling apart, I always made sure that I had my three fur-children taken care of first. I could always go grocery shopping at mom & dad's if things got really desperate. But my "kids" were completely dependent on me.

Shortly after Echo died, Oscar began acting pretty strangely and refusing to eat food he'd always eaten. I figured it was his way of dealing with the loss of his best friend. As long as he was eating, drinking, and using his litterbox properly; I didn't worry overmuch.

But then Oscar stopped eating all together. I tried tempting him with the expensive canned food and tuna. Nothing. He wanted nothing to do with any of it. So off to the vet we went. The last place I'd held my sweet Echo. Oscar had been there before. He's usually pretty calm and happy. The first time the doctor saw him she commented of how relaxed and friendly he was.

Not this time.

He was a hissing, swatting, bundle of fury. Even I wasn't able to avoid a scratch. I ended up having to leave him there for the day so they could sedate and examine him. It turned out he had a pretty gnarly rotted tooth that according to the doctor, "practically fell out" upon examination. I was relieved it was something so simple. I should have known nothing is ever that easy.

That all happened a little over a week ago. Since then at least once a day I've stumbled upon a pile of half to not-at-all digested canned food. I figured he was just being a pig. He was keeping in more than he was expelling so I made a mental note of it and kept moving.

Wouldn't you know it? This weekend he started throwing up every single time he ate. I'm freaking out! His last visit cost me a couple hundred dollars, I didn't budget for the fist visit and sure as heck don't have the funds for another. Not only that but if he does have something terrible wrong how much can I afford/justify to spend? Will they let me establish a payment plan? What is my limit on how far I should go to fix him?

I hate this. He was my only friend when I moved home after college and there were many times he curled up next to me as I cried over the disaster that had become my life. He was the only thing that kept me from taking the ultimate escape on at least one occasion. I knew that no one would care about him as much as I did.


Oscar has really gotten the shaft the last few years. Buster, my dog, doesn't like him and the only time Oscar and I get any quality time is when Buster is outside or I lock him in another room. It's not fair. I have to do better.

Being a responsible adult sucks. 








Thursday, October 20, 2011

The New Job

"Hey there baby girl."

Mindy kept walking. It was her first day the hospital. Her first day anywhere, really. Having spent the last two days reading the massive pile of safety protocol and procedure literature, she wasn't quite ready to have solo interactions with a patient.

"Baaaby giiiirl," the voice called out a little louder, though farther away, Mindy was walking quickly to the medicine locker. She was supposed to meet Dr. Lake there in a few minutes to assist him in handing out the midday doses. She turned the corner, reliever to see the handsome doctor already there.

"You found it," he smiled, causing the slightest crows feet around his dark brown eyes to crinkle.

"I cheated," Mindy laughed nervously, pulling the folded map out of the pocket of her white smock.

"You'll get to know your way around in a few days," he assured her turning to unlock the closet where the medicines for that floor's patients was stored. Already people were beginning to line up on the opposite wall. Procedure was that the nurse on the previous shift would assemble the various doses after distributing that shift's meds. Mindy's job now was to double check the contents and distribute them. Dr. Lake was on hand for a daily check-in with each patient.

It took about 20 minutes to process the patients in line. The doctor still had a few patients waiting to talk to him so Mindy began the process of filling a new set of tiny paper cups with the various pills.


"Before you get started with that, can you please take Mrs. Downy's medicine to her. She had a fall last night and isn't getting around well today. She's in 305."

"Sure," Mindy smiled, looking up Mrs. Downey on her list and gathering the required meds: anti psychotics. Lovely.

"She's a sweetheart, unless she misses a couple doses," he assured her.

Making sure to close and lock the door of the closet, Mindy set off back the way she'd come.

"Baby Girl! You came back to see me," the tiny old woman smiled at Mindy when she entered the room. "I knew you would." According to the chart Mindy had glanced at a few minutes ago Mrs. Helen Downy was 79 years old and had been a patient here for the last 15 years.

"Hello Mrs. Downy, I'm Nurse Holmes. I have your medicine," Mindy held out the little paper cup.

"Oh I know who you are," the old woman said ignoring Mindy's outstretched hand to lean away and rummage through her bedside table. "I have something I want to give you, Mindy."

 ~~~~~

For the Indie Ink Writing Challenge this week Kristen Doyle challenged me with "You're a nurse in a psychiatric hospital. One of the patients, who is known to be delusional, tells you something that could solve a decades-old murder case in your town. Do you believe the patient and investigate? Or do you write the patient off as being an unreliable source of information?" and I challenged Caroline with "You've won!"

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Just An Old-Fashioned Love Song

I read a book about a million years ago and fell in love with the author's voice and sense of humor. In the notes at the back of the book the author mentioned that she had a blog.

This was around 2004/2005 back before everyone and their cat had blogs, so I was all up in this. In fact after combing through her archives from her first post to her most recent I was hooked. I also had to have one of these blog things. Here it is. Warning: I was kinda nuts for the majority of the time I blogged so it may not be a very happy or orderly place.

So back to this blogger. Reading though her archives really made me feel like I knew her. She had a message board community I got involved in she used to have meet-ups for her readers to all get together and hang out. I missed the last one by a year or so.

This blogger got married a while after I began reading her blog and of course she blogged all about it. She shared with us a video from the wedding day where friends of hers, that were in a band, played a song they'd written just for her and her husband. The song kicked ass. I soon bought the entire album and her wedding song went straight into my most played list. I would listen to it and wish for my very own love story to begin.

A few years passed. I blogged a lot. Made some kick-ass internet friends. Even met a few in person. Learned to podcast. I got pretty busy with my own internet life. I didn't really notice that the person who'd inspired me to get it all started had gone quiet.

It ended up taking me a while to piece together what had happened. Her message group had been shut down long before due to the influx of spammers and too few administrators so I hadn't been able to corroborate with them to figure out what was going on.

Eventually she came back to her website and has been knocking me out of my chair with the funny every time she posts. It was obvious her marriage had not worked out. She started talking about dating again and there were Twitter Pics of a new guy in her life.

Now every time that wedding song comes up on my iPod I can't help but cringe. The song all about love and having finally found "The One" hadn't turned out like it was supposed to. That makes me sad. The song means nothing to me, anymore.


For the Indie Ink Writing Challenge this week, Ixy challenged me with "Music means nothing to me" and I challenged Michael with "No, this can't be happening. It's too early!".

P.S. I intentionally did not link to the blogger I mentioned. It just seemed a little too "invasion of privacy" seeing as she never came out and spoke of how it all went down.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

D-I-Y-ing to get something done.

I picked up the picture frame at TJ Maxx over the summer. It was hot pink. It was also very inexpensive and with my innate cheapness I was able to see it spray panted white and going very well with my half finished bedroom decor.

I typically hand these kinds of projects over to my mom. She has all of the tools and could do it in about a 1/4 the time it would take me. Most of the time she's happy to do them, but there are a few lovely tufted chairs, an art deco desk and a sewing desk currently all in various stages of completion. I'm not going to quibble (much) she does it all for me for free.

I owe a lot of my craftiness and problem solving skills to my mom. She grew up in the 60's and had many, many aunts uncles and cousins around all the time. She learned to sew at an early age, and being the oldest of three was my granddads little helper for a long time before my uncle came along. I've heard a lot of stories about the dangerous stunts she and her cousins used to pull. To this day it seems, there might still be underground tunnels creeping all over the property where my great grandma lived. A cousin bought the house and property after her death, so we are lucky to still have it in the family.

Now that I have my own home and my very own garage I have my very own project to begin. I didn't even think about taking it to my mom and dad's house, but straight to my own. That was about six months ago, so it looks like I've also inherited my mom's sense of urgency. Granted it is a project that needs to stay in the garage and it gets way too hot here in the summer to spend much time there. Yesterday's sudden change in weather reminded me that the garage should be nice and cool for a while and I'll need to get cracking on my project.

It's a dresser. I haven't a clue what period it is from or inspired by, but I love it. It has four levels of drawers, the top divided into two smaller drawers, with a big curvy mirror that attaches to the top. I want to turn it into my dressing area. Right now it is a dark natural wood stain, but I want to paint it a shade darker than my grey walls and stencil the front with a large white fluer-de-lis type design. Or maybe black or white chevrons? Pintrest has me going crazy with ideas.

Knowing myself, the dresser will probably still be sitting in the middle of the garage this time next year.

Hey, wait a minute!

I'm trying to be nicer about myself and that wasn't very nice. So instead I'll turn this into a challenge. I'm going to get started on my "new" dresser this weekend. Yep. No more putting things off. Especially things that would make me very happy.

Pictures to come!


For the Indie Ink Writing Challenge this week, Summer challenged me with, "Look around you right now, pick an item and write a story about it" and I challenged Cedar with "Remember the fable of the Lion and the Mouse? If not look it up. Write about a situation from the prospective of the lion".




Thursday, September 29, 2011

Behind Schedule

 It had taken so long to get here, now that the end was in sight Charlie could hardly contain his excitement. Patience, he thought to himself. You've waited this long, you can wait a few more minutes. 

The subway car slowed for another stop and as people got off and more people got on Charlie gave up his seat to a young mother with a toddler and a giant stroller loaded with shopping bags.

"Thank you," she said, relief in her eyes as she sat down and pulled her son into her lap. Keeping one hand on the stroller to keep it from completely blocking the aisle.

The train slowed again and Charlie smoothed down the from of his suit jacket in nervous anticipation. MacPherson Square said the barely audible voice over the loudspeaker. He would still have a few blocks to walk but it was a beautiful fall day, he would enjoy it.

Years of patience, planning and focus had culminated in him finally getting the job he'd wanted since childhood. Of course, today would be the day his car wouldn't start. Luckily, his habit of leaving time for any eventuality had come in handy. That and the Metro station a block from his new apartment.

The doors to the car opened and Charlie stood to the side to let a couple of ladies exit first. He was just about to step onto the platform himself when the third woman, stopped abruptly in front of him and whirled around.

"My portfolio!" she gasped bumping into him as she tried to get back into the car. The tangle of their side to side dance lasted just long enough for the doors to begin to close. Finally just pushing past him, the woman raced to the seat she'd just left and grabbed the well-worn black messenger bag from under the seat. "Crap," she said looking up and seeing the platform disappear as the train entered the tunnel.

"Did you miss your stop too?" She asked coming to stand beside Charlie next to the door.

"No thanks to you," he muttered glancing at his watch. He still had 10 minutes to get to work. He didn't like the thought of cutting it so close on his first day. But what could he do? He took a moment to look at the Metro Map to see how far away the next stop would leave him.

"I'm sorry," the woman smiled up at him flashing him a smile, complete with dimples and a happy green eyes. "We can just get off at the next stop, its only a few blocks out of your way I'm sure."

Charlie nodded, before he could orient himself using the map, the train came to a stop and the doors opened. The woman grabbed him by the arm and pulled him out of the car. "Come on, I'll take you back to the square. I'm Erin, by the way. Where are you headed?"


~~~~~~~~~~~~


This week’s Indie Ink Challenge came from Kayla, who gave me this prompt: write about a person who does everything "by the book". I challenged Hannah with the prompt: I've never done anything like this before. Are you sure it's safe?

I'm not thrilled with my work, but I want to keep working on these two characters. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Favor


Her favorite color was lavender. But she ruthlessly shoved past her new purple top in search of the drab olive green blouse her mother had given her for her last birthday. She was going to the ballroom tonight, but she wasn’t going to have fun or try to hard. 

She owed Dan a favor and this was how he chose to collect. By making her accompany him to the Friday night swing dance class so he could be assured of having a partner once the open dancing started. It didn’t hurt that she’s been the one to introduce him to the hobby so she knew what she was doing.

She was scraping her long dark brown hair into a messy ponytail when her doorbell rang setting her dog, Milo off on a cacophony of delighted barking as he raced to the front door.

“You ready?” Dan asked.

“Give me five minutes,” she said opening the door and walking back to her bedroom. She smudged on the barest hint of black eyeliner and a single coat of mascara before grabbing a sheer rose colored lip-gloss from her basket of makeup and slipping it into her back pocket along with her driver’s license and cash.

She paused before leaving her room to take a couple of calming breaths. It was ok. She was allowed to go out and have fun.

“Hurry it up,” Dan called. “I don’t want to miss the lesson.”

“You know I can give you a quick refresher when we get there?” she reminded him as she came down the hall.

Dan was still standing by the door, Milo sitting at his feet begging for a good pet. “Yes, but I already know you. I want to meet some new ladies and the partner switching during the lesson is the easiest way the break the ice.”

She rolled her eyes and grabbed her keys from the table by the door. “Be good Milo, I love you!” she said with a quick couple of pats before leading Dan out the door.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks to Alison and the II Writing Challenge for a truly inspiring prompt: Her favorite color was lavender. I think I may have the beginning of something pretty good here.

Be sure to swing by Debra's blog to see how she answered my challenge.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Go fish.

Growing up, my family took a lot of road trips. We were pretty poor. But every couple of years there was a summer road trip to somewhere. Montana, Missouri, Victoria Canada, Texas... and all stops in between.

On the Montana trips we would often stop to fish in one of the many creeks or rivers we passed. My brother and I each had our own poles and creels and I wasn't the least bit squeamish about impaling an earthworm or cricket on my hook. My dad would give my brother and I our little cans of bait and send us off. Never out of shouting distance, but we had quite a bit of freedom for 7 and 9-year-olds.

I don't remember where we were on this particular day, but I remember finding my spot up river from my mom on a big outcropping of rocks. An older woman was fishing from the other end of the rocks and I being a social (chatterbox) little kid quickly struck up a conversation with her.

This lady had a bunch of fish dangling from her line (whatever its called when you sting a fish by its gills and let it float in the water?) and I was impressed. I don't remember a word of our conversation but I do remember what happened after she caught a fish.

"I don't like them to suffer," she said before grabbing the trout (most likely) by the tail and whacking its head on the rock next to her. I was too young to understand the irony of the situation and I don't remember any of our conversation after that. But I do remember my mom calling me over and making me fish beside her the rest of the day.

Now that I am an aunt (to the cutest little boy in the world) I can't imagine letting him wander around in the wilderness talking to strangers, but it was a far different time back then. Wasn't it? Then again there was a weird lady bashing fish to death in front of little girls...

~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks Feisty Cat for the inspiration as part of the Indie Ink Writing Challenge. Want to join in the fun?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Day 14 - 11 pounds gone!

Yes you read that right. 11 pounds lost in two weeks!

It probably would have been more but around day 9 I has a success-fueled moment of bravado that resulted in some terrible eating choices and I kind of gained back four pounds. Lesson learned: cheating "just a little" is still cheating. Since then I've been meticulous about tracking my food intake over on The Daily Plate and have managed to end each day knowing that I did the best I could.

I have stuck to my ban on refined sugar, caffeine and simple carbs. I still use too much fruit in my juices so I'm probably getting a little more sugar than I should. I have visitors in town from Missouri this weekend so I know there will be ample opportunity to slip-up so I really need to concentrate on the end result and making healthy choices.

We're headed to the Jelly Belly Factory today and are going to drive into San Francisco tomorrow so wish me luck!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 7 - 9lbs down!

Yes you read that right. I've lost 9 pounds since I started my juice fast last Saturday. I probably could have lost even more if not for a few hiccups along the way.

I didn't get to my current weight by eating healthy so it should come as no surprise that I leaned off the wagon a couple of times this first week. I'd like to think that even though I was eating food instead of drinking the juice, I made OK choices. Wednesday night I broke down and had Chipotle but stayed away from the carbs, and last night I had In-N-Out, again staying away from the carbs. I'm not proud of my choices this week. I kind of got into the mindset that I could ease up the restrictions a little until Saturday (tomorrow) since I would be going all juice then.

I have to remind myself over and over that I am the boss. Not my cravings, not the commercials telling me to order a pizza, not my friends who are all going out to eat, ME. I'm kind of a crappy boss.

Whatever.

I've got to not beat myself up, savor the tiny triumphs and just keep moving forward. Let me tell you it was hard this morning. I got yelled at by my Dad/Boss at work and it was all I could do to keep from pulling into the McDonalds drive-thru for some greasy self-medication. I was able to resist, thank you Jesus!

As a reminder my Tiny Triumphs of the Week:
  • -9lbs
  • No sugar or gluten for 7 days
  • Was able to resist temptation even under stress

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Don't you touch my iPhone!

It's that time again! Time for the Indie Ink Writing Challenge! This week mine comes from Greg and id kind of kicked my butt:

The coming technological singularity.


I LOVE my technology. I was the first of my friends to get a cellphone, DVD player, and TiVo and assorted other little gadgets and things designed to make life easier. So this make what I am about to say seem a little crazy.

I wish the internet had never been invented.

I know, I know, with out the internet you wouldn't be reading this right now. I wouldn't have met some amazing people and learned so many things. I would also be EXTREMELY bored at work.

A few months ago a customer came in (an old man) and he asked to use my desk phone to call his office. He didn't have a cell phone. While my first thought was, "Who in this day and age doesn't have a cell phone?" My very next thought was, "That must be nice..."

I have an iPhone. As soon as Verizon started offering them (and my renewal time came up) I had it in my hot little hands. I love it. I love it so much I would marry it. But at the same time I kind of loathe it. I learned from previously having a Droid and several Blackberries that I was addicted to the little chime that told me I had new mail or text messages. In the movie theater I would keep my phone at the very top of my purse so I could glance down to see if the message indicator light was blinking.

When I got the iPhone I immediately disabled all alerts except for text messages. Not just to save battery power but the keep myself from engaging with my phone every time spam came in to one of my three (yes three) email addresses. It has made a huge difference in a lot of ways. I can carry on a conversation with out rudely checking my email. I can watch a TV show or movie with out getting distracted by someone's comment on Facebook. Tiny things, but I'll take them.

So what do I think about the coming technological singularity? I think it's bad, bad news. Not that computers will grow to overtake humans or anything like that. I just think technology may be getting a little too big for it's britches.

Check out Greg's response to my prompt. It's kind of weird that I answered his and he answered mine...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day 4 - Stumbling but recoverable.

Yesterday ended on a "meh" note.

I stopped at Costco after work to load up on some more fruits and veggies and I was starving! I had to walk through the bakery department to get to the produce and thank you God they didn't have any chocolate cake on display or I might have gone home with one.

Instead I picked up a flat of beefsteak tomatoes, a package on mini European cucumbers, 5 lbs of strawberries, 2 personal sized watermelon and a bag of clementines. I also bought a rotisserie chicken, roasted turkey lunch meat and a big bag of raw almonds (more on that later).

It was a fierce battle in my head as I walked to the front of the warehouse. The devil on my shoulder telling me to go ahead and have a giant slice of pizza. The angel reasoning that I was almost at the end of day 3 and hadn't had any caffeine, sugar, flour or fat. I'd also made the mistake of slurping down my 64 ounces of juice before 1 pm and by 4 pm I was STARVING.

But I did it! I was able to resist the dastardly allure of melty-cheesy-goodness poison. I may have ripped open that package of turkey and wolfed down a slice before I made it out of the parking lot...

OK back to the part where I bought the meat and almonds. No, it is not on my "plan" but I also didn't properly for this endeavor and went from eating everything in sight, including blue-cheese fries the night before I began, to a raw, protein-free diet in a matter of about 10 hours.

I'm giving myself this week to juice all my meals, but supplement with pure protein in the form of chicken, turkey and almonds for the really tough moments. My goal will be to be all-juice by next week.

Now onto today. I feel great. I had a 6 am Bible study meeting so I had to get up at 4:45am in order to get in my usual getting ready routine as well as juice. I didn't even hit snooze. I was up and showering with in a minute of my alarm going off. I've had a bit of a mid-morning lull where my head feels a bit foggy but it probably means I just need to have some more juice. I'm really trying to parse it out to last me all day. And in between 16oz cups of juice I'm drinking the same cups full of water, at least one if not two. I'm spending a lot of time in the bathroom, but its all good because it means I'm getting cleaned out. Right?

P.S. See the link to my new Tumblr account on the right to get my juice recipes.

P.P.S I slipped and had the last remaining Eggo waffle last night. I should have thrown them out before this all began. But I beat myself up enough about it last night. Today is a new day and I'm going to move on.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 3 - I think this is do-able.

I'm not going to be to post a daily account of my juicing, but I will try to post about it every few days. Both to keep me accountable and to share with anyone else who might be on or considering getting on this crazy ride.

I spent most of day 2 in bed trying to sleep away the day so I wouldn't be thinking about all of the things I couldn't eat. It was a war in my head. The devil side coming up with all these reasons why I should just let myself have an In-n-Out protein-style burger or a Chipotle salad bowl with no cheese, rice or sour cream. I found that the safest way to avoid those temptations was to just stay home.

I'd gone to a new church in the morning with a big group of my friends and as they all drove off to Chili's for lunch I took myself to the grocery store to replenish my stock of fruits and veggies. There was a Taco Bell in the same parking lot as the grocery store and I can gladly say that I only thought about stopping in for a minute.

I'd spent most of the church service thinking about what kind of juice I would make for lunch. I settled on what I now call Sippin' Salsa. It was quite tasty and after all of the sweet juices I'd been having was a nice spicy change. I'd forgotten to get fresh garlic or cilantro so I think the recipe could have been a bit better.

Sippin' Salsa
4 tomatoes
1/3 jalapeno - no seeds
1/8 onion
1 stalk celery
1 small bunch of kale
1 lemon cucumber -seeds removed

Later that day my roommate's car broke down while she was at the grocery store so I went to give her a jump start (thanks random guy in the parking lot willing to show us how to do it). All I could think was that both Chipotle and In-N-Out were right next to us. Luckily I told Malina what I was thinking and she was able to talk me out of it. I did run into Safeway to pick up more veggies (my spinach had started to rot) and strawberries. While I was in there the pull of protein was so strong I bought a pound of turkey lunch meat. 

I ate half of it as the night went on. And a dill pickle. And a tiny slice of colby-jack cheese. Yeah... I'm weak. But at least I didn't do drive-thru and my "cheats" were sugar and carb free. Those are the biggies that I'm trying to detox from.

My evening juice was so yummy. On the advice of my friend who has been juicing for almost a month I made a higher calorie all fruit juice. I call it Wat-An-Apple.

Wat-An-Apple
1/3 fresh pineapple
1/4 personal size seedless watermelon
1.5 cups strawberries
2 apples

It was almost like drinking sherbet ice cream. A perfect way to end my day.

There was another juice in there somewhere, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was. I'll have to check my Juice Diary and let you know.

I have high hopes for today (Day 3) even though its early. I'm at work and will hopefully be distracted enough to not obsess about food all day. I prepped all of my ingredients last night before bed and this morning I was able to make two 32 oz juices in about 15 minutes (including clean-up time).

Pray for me.



Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 1 - GIVE ME CHICKEN!

Day one of my 60 day juice fast and I want to eat my dog. OK, not really, but put a roasted chicken in front of me and I would tear it up.

I've been told that the first three days are the hardest so I just have to push on through. The plan I am on lets me drink 5 - 6 16 oz. fruit and vegetable juices a day. That's it. Crazy? Probably. But I've got to do something.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Early one morning just as the sun was rising*

Is there anything more wonderful that waking up whenever you wake up? For me it's somewhere between 8 and 9. But for some reason this morning I was awake at 6:30 and just couldn't get back to sleep.

I'd been up late the night before celebrating. My publisher had just accepted my second book and a large advance was on its way. She'd even mentioned putting me on contract for another three books. Squee!

Who would have guessed? Me? Silly, socially awkward, Tobie, living it up in NYC as a published author? Only in my wildest dreams!

Knowing better than to wake Christy up, I slipped into a pair of jeans a hoodie intending to grab coffee and something sweet at the bakery down the block. I was in such a hurry I almost forgot to grab the key to the apartment (thank-you Christy's sister's in-laws for letting us stay here while you're out of town!).

I was locking the door behind me when the neighbor across the hall came out of his apartment.

"Morning," he mummbled, not even looking at me. He was cute. If you like the whole tall dark and handsome look.

"Hi," I replied pulling on the door to try to get the deadbolt to engage. It wasn't wanting to click into place.

"It's kind of tricky," my mystery neighbor said reaching around me to lift and pull the knob as he deftly slid the lock home. "I'm Sam, you must be Christy. Charlie and Simone told me about you."

"Oh no, I'm Christy's friend Tobie. Nice to meet you and thanks," I nodded my head at the door as I shoved the keys into my pocket and getting my first good look at him. Holy crap was he gorgeous. Dark hair, a day's worth of stubble and pale blue eyes that I couldn't seem to look away from as we walked down the hall to the stairs.

"Where you headed?" Sam asked as he held the lobby door open for me.

Was is my imagination or was he having trouble looking away from me too?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well that was fun! Many thanks to MajorBedhead for the inspiration: 
        An early spring morning, somewhere in New York City.

Like to write and want to play? Check out the II Challenge

*Name that tune.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The green envelope

Green.


Greeeeen.


Grrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeen.


Greeeeeennnnnnn.


Green! Green! Green!


Kermit the frog.

Turtles.

Pine trees.

And now envelopes.

No return label, just my name and address beautifully written in flowing black letters across its kelly green expanse. Inside was another green envelope. This one a pale mint color. Miss Florence and Guest was written in the same lovely calligraphy. Another wedding. Between these and all the baby showers I'd been going to lately I was never going to be able to save enough money to go to Europe next year.

Gordon and Lydia Kyle
invite you to the marriage of their daughter
Melinda Sue
to 
Henry Bradford Lange

I couldn't read past the groom's name.

Brad was getting married.

Not to me.

~~~~~~~~~

Thanks Dili for the inspiration as part of the II Writing Challenge.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Something has got to change.

I weighed myself over the weekend. For the first time in months. Guess what? I've managed to gain 22 pounds. In approximately 3 months. WTF?

After crying a little, thinking some pretty bad thoughts, and crying some more I went out and ate some crap food. Talk about vicious cycle.

I KNOW something has to change. I know what I need to do. Eat better and exercise. I can't even say exercise more because that would imply that I do any exercise at all. I hate it.

So I took my first step last night. I moved my treadmill into the house from the garage where it had been sitting for the last year. I positioned it right next to the TV in the living room so I will have plenty to entertain me.

Right now I'm watching Sick Fat & Nearly Dead on Netflix streaming. It is really amazing. I have a few friends and cousins who are juicing and I even have a juicer. What's stopping me?

Pure laziness.

So here I go. I'm kind of broke right now so it will have to wait to begin officially until the first of next month. In the meantime I can plan. I do so love to plan.

Wish me luck and send me your prayers.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Worth It

It's that time again! Time for the Indie Ink challenge. I swear one of these day's I'll write something that isn't in response to these challenges but for now you get what you get. My challenge this week comes from Cedar.


Role reversal: The housewife has become the sole provider.

I struggled with this a little bit. Only because I have no clue as to what it would feel like to be a housewife. But I know all about being sole-provider. It's up to me and me alone to keep the dog and cat in kibble and the roof over our heads. I'm green with envy towards the lucky people who have found someone to love and help pay the bills.  Not to mention the hugs I could demand whenever I want...

~~~~~~
The baby was crying again. 

Jane cracked open one eye and saw the alarm read 5:57. Three minutes before it would start screaming at her to WAKE UP, WAKE UP, WAKE UP! For some reason she was really resentful of losing those three tiny minutes. But the baby was crying and her husband was snoring, as usual.

"Simon," she nudged her husband, "Gaby's awake." No response. "Oh don't get up, darling. You rest up for your big day of sitting on the couch. Let me see to your daughter," Jane grumbled throwing off the blanket and yanking on her bathrobe.  5:59. At least the alarm would wake him up, she thought with a slight smile.

***

"Honey I'm home!" Jane called out as she walked into the kitchen from the garage. No response. "Simon?" Her heels click-clacked on the tile she'd agonized over the summer before. She still wasn't sure she'd made the right choice. The slate gray was gorgeous, but she'd been drawn to a pale green as well. Simon had voted for the gray so that's what they ended up with. That and a staggering second mortgage that was currently eating up the majority of of their savings while Simon looked for another job.

She'd walked all through the downstairs of their house noticing that for once Simon had managed to clean-up after himself and their daughter. The toy box hadn't been properly closed, but it looked like all of the toys were inside it so she'd let it slide.

"Simon!" she yelled this time. Her voice echoing back at her. Their entryway with its twenty foot ceiling and eight foot wide staircase was ridiculously over-the-top. But at the time they entertained, a lot, and it had seemed to make sense.

Jane looped her purse and laptop bag over the newel post and started up the stairs. Pausing half-way up to remove her shoes. "Much better," she sighed as her aching feet met the soft carpet.

She peeked in Gaby's room as she passed, the lights were off and her crib empty. She made her way to the last door at the end of the hall. Passed out on the bed, surrounded by children's books was her husband. Their eighteen month old daughter curled up against his chest. Both sound asleep.

Jane let her shoes fall from her fingers onto the plush carpet as she took of her jacket and crawled into bed next to the most important people in her world with a smile.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The worst day of my life.


It has been a week since I had to have my cat Echo put to sleep.  I still get a little teary about it. He was so young…

I know some of my friends think I’m crazy for being so upset about a CAT. An ANIMAL. But most of them do not have pets or particularly like animals so I shouldn’t expect them to understand.
It was just so out of the blue. He’d been acting strangely all weekend. Monday morning my roommate dropped him off at the veterinarian for me and a few hour later the doctor called and told me she couldn’t find an obvious reason for his illness and would have to do some blood tests. She also wanted to keep him overnight because he was dehydrated and had lost a lot of weight in the last few days. Still I was expecting that he’d be able to be fixed. It might be expensive, but it would be worth it.

Less than 24 hours later the doctor called me again. The news was grim. He was in kidney failure and his ketone (I think – I was in a bit of a state) levels were crazy high. Like five times normal. Still I was thinking, OK it’s going to be expensive. I was right, it would be an expensive treatment that might give him another six months. Another six months spent having to be given daily subcutaneous fluids, administered by me, repeated visits to the vet and me back at the same place in six months with a very sick kitty.

I lost it.

I was at work.

I couldn’t stop sobbing. Messy, loud, uncontrollable sobbing. Luckily I work with my dad and brother so I was able to get it out. 

I had a big decision to make. 

Rationally I knew what I needed to do. Emotionally I was having trouble making the decision. It took four hours but finally made the call. I was going to get to see him and say goodbye first. I knew I wouldn’t be able to be with him when they gave him the injection. How selfish of me? I let him die with strangers! I hate myself for being too weak to be there. 

When I went to say goodbye he looked like he’d lost more weight, even hooked up to an IV and being flushed with fluids. He was also drooling uncontrollably. But as soon as I picked him up he began to purr and the sobs started again. 

He was my baby. The sweetest cat you can imagine, not one of those hissing bitchy cats that hates everyone, but a loving cuddly companion who liked to lay in the crook of my arm, taking affection when it was offered but never demanding it.

My mom was with me though it all and we took him to her house for burial. The house I grew up in, in the country with lots of space. He was buried near a blooming plum tree not far from the grave of my parent’s beloved dog, Bob. 

My dad had dug the grave before we got there so there wasn’t much to do but put him in it and cover it with soil. My mom is working on a marker for his grave. 

I miss him.

~~~~~~~
This was my response to a challenge from The Drama Mama, as part of the Indie Ink Writing Challenge. I was given the words: immortal, incumbent, echo, time. As soon as I saw the word echo I couldn’t write about anything else. It’s all a little too raw still. I’ll do better next time.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sad







Echo 
2006 - June 28, 2011
Beloved friend.I'll miss you.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

This Cat's Life

Tell a story, with an animal as the main character.

This weeks II Challenge came from Seeking Elevation. It was fun to try and imagine what my cat thinks. My roommate spoils him outrageously.


 ~~~~

"Not again," Oscar grumbled slitting open one eye as he heard the familiar call coming from the front of the house.

"Osc-y! Where are you boy?" a high pitched voice, that was getting closer, called out. "I have a treat for you!"

"Treat?" Oscar popped his head up. "Now we're talking." He stretched his long white legs, arching his back and baring his tummy.

"There you are!" A tall dark haired woman came in to the room and gathered him up in her arms. Nuzzling his belly. "Did you miss me?"

"Like a hairball," he muttered, to her ears it sounded like something nicer. His automatic purr kept anything he said from sounding too mean. He wouldn't want to stop the treat train.

"Do you want your treat?"

He made the face that melted her every time: ducked his head and shoved it into her palm while mewing piteously. He had no pride when it came to treats. Especially from this lady. She gave the good stuff.

She set him back down on her bed and pulled a crinkly plastic bag out of her purse. By now The Dog had heard the commotion and come to investigate.

"Back off, Buster," Oscar hissed. He hated sharing with The Dog.

"Shoo Buster," the woman said pushing The Dog out of the room. "You"ll get yours in a minute." She turned back to Oscar who was waiting patiently, his tail wrapped around his feet. She opened the bag and the delightful smell of dried turkey drifted down to him.

"Yes!" it was his favorite. He knew that putting up with all the petting and cuddles would pay off.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's nothing a fresh coat of paint won't hide.


When I bought my house three years ago every wall was beige. It was one of the things that sealed the deal for me. That and the pool. I had been looking for about three months when we found this place and I had seen some really scary houses. We (my parents and I - they were helping me) would only consider foreclosed homes and lucky us, the market was full of them. 

I was so happy to find a house that was in almost perfect shape: no missing walls or broken windows, the previous owners even left behind their washer and dryer while not new worked well for a couple of years. I was ecstatic that everything was so uniform in color. It meant I could take my time in deciding what I was going to do. Also beige pretty much goes with everything. 

It took a while to get the keys to my house so I had moved in wiht my parents when my lease ended and was able to paint the common areas while they were empty. 

I started in the kitchen:


Pardon the during photo, I'm terrible about getting befores and afters.

 The cabinets were a dull medium colored wood and the counter tops were black marble tile. Black and brown? Eww. First order of business: cover the nasty brown wood with a nice bright white. It was a monster pain in the ass. First I had to meticulously wipe everything down with TSP, then wipe away the TSP, prime inside and out and then paint. It took several coats to get the finish just right.

Once the cabinets were done it was onto the walls and chair rail. My first impulse had been bright green:


Thank goodness for those little sample bottles at Lowe's. My dad calls this color "What you see in the toilet bowl after a night of hard drinking. So yeah, I didn't go with green.

 Then I thought, how about a Tiffany's blue? Neither of the above were right, but I persevered and finally found the right shade. Not bad right? Also the blue is echoed in the color of the pool when you look out at it from those windows.
 
Then I moved onto the living room. I had been wanting a peacock blue and again it took forever to find the right shade. These days I see my colors everywhere... of course. Here's a handy tip: don't think you will be saving time by using one roller for two different paints. Especially when the second color is a lot darker than the first this is the result:

 It took an entire gallon of paint to do that one wall. I still find spots that could use some touching up every time I look at the wall.

It took my two years to finally get to my bedroom. I had planned on painting one wall black and the rest white. I was going to use hot pink as my accent color and planned to use it liberally in all sorts of silly knock-knacks. Luckily, I came to my senses and went with a more mature black/gray/green scheme. I think it turned out wonderfully. 

My mom made the headboard (ignore the clashing sheets please).

My mom also made these memo boards that I use to pin my jewelry to. 
The absloute latest paint project was this buffet.
It started out a deep periwinkle but my talented (and retired) mom used the same color paint from the kitchen cabinets to transform it so I could have some extra storage in the kitchen & dining room.


Now that summer is (kinda) here the projects will be put on hold as it gets a mite bit hot in the garage and there is no way I'm spray painting in the house. But I did just score a beautiful mirrored dresser that is begging to be painted black and white.


~~~~~~


Thanks to Brad for inspiring this post as part of the Indie Ink Writing Challenge.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Drama! Suspense! Fiction!

"Lila, my dear,  I just don't think you understand the gravity of your situation," Geoffrey Matthews IV, drawled, peering over his Gucci sunglasses at his ward. He took a moment to study her as she stood at attention in front of him where he reclined on a chaise by the pool.

"I mean, really darling," he sighed. "I've made sure you wanted for nothing these last eight years and this is how you repay me?"

Lila stiffened at his tone, but managed to hold her tongue. She knew from experience that it did no good to point out that as her guardian it was her trust fund that kept him from doing any wanting.

"You will attend the benefit tonight. You will be all that is lovely and charming. You will convince Henry Dominic that he should donate to my campaign. You know it won't go well for your brother and sister if I am displeased..."

"I. Hate. You." Lila bit out still not looking at her uncle.

"Be that as it may, I'm the only family you have and until you come into your majority, I make all decision regarding those brats. Your brother is starting to become quite a handful isn't he? I'm sure a strict boarding school would do him wonders..."

"I'll do it," Lila said shortly. She would be 21 in a few months. Getting her uncle elected as Governor of California would keep him too busy to figure out a way to keep her family together until she could take over as legal guardian of her brother and sister.

"I knew I could count on you," Geoffrey smiled leaning back against the lounge and flicking a hand in dismissal. "I've invested far too much time to fail at this juncture. You make sure the younger Dominic develops and interest in you and his father's money and influence will be mine."

As Lila escaped to the children's wing of the mansion she kept repeating in her head: 85 days. Just 85 more days and we'll be free.

~~~~~
The above was a work of fiction inspired by this week's Indie Ink Challenge issued to me by Alyssa. Go check her out and tell her she's awesome!

My prompt was: a good investment.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Meanwhile in an alternate universe...

I'm back on the horse after diving off it headfirst a few weeks ago. My Indie Ink challenge this week comes from Jules at Mean Girl Garage. Thanks for the opportunity to venture into Fantasyland. It was fun.

"It should be."


If my life were to follow the conventional plot lines of an ABC family movie this is what it would look like:

Naive farm-girl goes to college at the beach. She charms all she meets with her down-home wisdom and innate sweetness. Over the next few years she works hard, earns the respect of her professors and peers and finds she has a knack for writing. She gets a few short stories published and works on writing a novel while developing her instincts and prose as she studies journalism in the hopes of writing for a large newspaper or magazine.

Along with all of the hard work and learning she manages to find time to meet "The One" and they develop a healthy relationship that perfectly balances time for schoolwork, friends and each other. She graduates with honors getting a B.A. Journalism with a minor in creative writing as well as the coveted (by some) Mrs. degree.

She was headhunted months before graduation and gets time to explore Europe with her fiancee before they both move to San Francisco to begin their fabulous post-college lives. The dot-bomb doesn't affect them and within 5 years of their wedding she's pregnant with twins and working from home having sold two movie scripts and her first novel.

And in this perfect world, they lived happily...ever...after. 

While we're there in the perfect world she wins a Nobel prize for literature and a MegaMillions jackpot of over $300 million dollars which she uses to rescue animals all over the world. Shut-up! It's my fantasy!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Today's post brought to you by the color Blue.

I had no clue where to go with my prompt for this week's Indie Ink Writing Challenge  from Trish: Blue.  I have nothing against the color, it's not my current favorite (gray) nor do I hate it (chartreuse). I just didn't know what to write about it. I've decided to take the easy way out and create a meme. Cause I'm stumped/lazy/coming up on the deadline.

When I type the word "blue" into the search bar on my iTunes library I am left with 208 songs. That's kind of  a lot so how about we divide that number by my favoite number, 12 = 17.333. OK 17. That's still too many. Let's just do 12. Mmm 'kay?

  1. Blue Ridge Mountains - Fleet Foxes - I'd like to see the Blue Ridge Mountains. They're in Virginia right? Part of the Appalachians? 
  2. I Want You So Bad I Can't Breathe - OKGO - from their Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky - Right now I really want peace of mind. My poor cat is having health issues and the bills are getting kind of high. I just want him to be OK. 
  3. Blue Trail of Sorrow - Alison Krauss & Union Station - For some reason this makes me think of  Native Americans on their way to reservations back in the 1800's.
  4. Ocean Size Love - Leigh Nash - Blue on Blue album - A few years ago I was "in love" with this guy. He saw me as nothing more than a friend/doormat. This was one of the songs I used to listen to on repeat just imagining that someday he would realize how much he loved me and finally, finally love me back. Yeah. Never happened. Moving on.
  5. Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash - I grew up (an still live) about an hour away from Folsom. As a kid my parents sometimes took our ski-boat to Folsom lake to water ski. I was always terrified that the boat was going to cap-size and insisted on laying on the floor of the boat so that if the boat did flip over I'd be able to swim out from under it. Don't ask. I was (still am) kind of a fraidy-cat with far too active an imagination.
  6. Milk Cow Blues - Tyler Hilton - This is from the Walk the Line soundtrack. Tyler Hilton played Elvis Presley, my childhood crush. Yes, I knew he was dead. He died a few months before I was born. I've always secretly wondered if I was Elvis reincarnated? But I would have to believe in reincarnation.... Maybe I just like to sing.
  7. Just Blue - The Weepies - How I've been feeling lately. There seems to be this gray cloud hanging over me the last few weeks. Like I'm waiting for something bad to happen. I can't seem to shake it.
  8. Seven Year Blues - Charlie Haden With Family & Friends - I just love Terry Gross. I wish I knew about her when I was growing up cause I think I would have loved to have a job like hers had I known it existed. This was one of the first interviews I remember hearing when I started listening to different NPR podcasts. If you like Bluegrass and cool old men. Give it a listen. 
  9. One Blue Sky - Sugarland - We get a lot of blue skies here in California's Central Valley. I appreciate them as they help bring the temperature of my pool to swimming levels sooner than cloudy days. Which is why I don't swim in Winter.
  10. Never Saw Blue - Hayley Westenra - When my nephew was born last year, I swore his eyes were going to be blue. I swore that they were a lighter and brighter blue than most newborns so he was sure to have blue eyes. He eventually decided to prove me wrong by developing light brown/hazel eyes. But I still love him to bits and pieces.
  11. Liquor Store Blues (feat. Damian Marley) - Bruno Mars - I don't really drink. I can't see the point in wasting the money on something that doesn't taste good. In college I was far more willing to waste a lot, A LOT of money. As soon as I had to start paying my own way, drinking seemed to loose it's appeal.
  12. She's Trying - Dance Hall Crashers - Blue Plate Special album - Now that I've gotten more into swing danging (East Coast) I really wish we still had places like dance halls. I really should have been born about 50 years earlier.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

SAVE THE CHILDREN!

It's Indie Ink Writing Challenge time again! Thanks so much, Random Girl, for the inspiration. I hope you like it!

I have so many things running through my head right now.  Perhaps I’m taking this exercise too seriously? Don’t do drugs. Guns are bad. Don’t forget to spay or neuter your pets. Recycle! Love your neighbor. Which one do I pick to focus on for 60 seconds?

Ok I have it.

Turn off the television.

Look, I’m as big a pop-culture/TV/Movie/Video Game junkie as the next person. But I also like to read.  I know some of the Jersey Shore morons have “written” books so you can start there (please don’t unless you absolutely have too, it would only encourage them).

Get outside! Plant some vegetables or flowers! Get your hands dirty instead of your mind. While you’re at it, put down the cellphone. Will the world end if you don’t forward that funny chain text message? Probably not.

Since we’re talking about the end of the world, get your hands on the movie Idiocracy. Watch it and realize that it is happening: society is getting exponentially dumber with every generation*.

Please. For the sake of your children’s children’s children. Unless the volcano under Yellowstone blows before then, ‘cause we’re all toast if that happens.

P.S. I am not a crackpot.

P.P.S. A crackteacup maybe, but not a full-on pot.

*Claims not verified by any authoritative agency.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Oops! I forgot tell you what the prompt was:

You have just been offered the world stage for 1 minute. Everyone will hear and see you. How do you use your 1 minute with the world's attention?

Maybe I need to cut down my TV time even more?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Silence

This week’s Indie Ink writing challenge comes to me from Marian. After having last week off I was raring to go on my new wordy adventure:

Write a piece that takes place at the ocean, on the off season.

The boardwalk was quiet. All shops closed for the winter, the rides silent and unmoving. Bernie was all alone just the way she wanted. There were a few people out on the beach, but with all the stalls closed Bernie was able to enjoy the quiet.

She never seemed to get quiet at home. Living in a two bedroom house with three other housemates there was always a TV on or music playing. It didn’t help that Bernie had lost her job last week and now didn’t even have the refuge of her small cubicle eight hours a day.

“I wish I could keep you on,” Ken, her supervisor had said.

When she got to the end of the boardwalk she turned around and began walking towards the other end. She’d lost track of how many laps, she would just keep going until she came to a decision.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Busy doing other things

I adore my homemade planner. I made it out of a plan black notebook, inserted/okie-rigged tabs to reflect what was important to me and viola! Thanks to my mom having a super cool Cricut machine I was even able to decorate with an adorable owl.

Moving on. Why am I bringing this all up? The time change has really gotten me screwed up this time around. Not only can't I fall asleep at night, but waking up what feels like and hour earlier than I am used too has made me kind of a walking zombie this week. As I will show you in the next few pictures you will see why that is a bad thing.

This is what my January looked like. If I still carried last year's notebook I would show you my December and the myriad of colors and appointments would astound you. January turned into a pretty light month.
 Then there was February. Holy crap, when did I have time to breathe? Did I mention that my calendar is purely extracurricular? On top of the 40-ish hours I spend at work every week I did all of the things you see below. This is what I show my dad (also my landlord) when he comes by the house and notices that the grass in the back hasn't been cut in about 6 (maybe more) months.
 I have high hopes for March. The latter half anyway. After going-going-going like a crazy person and getting a new (and absolutely wonderful) roommate I had decided to take the month off from almost everything. But slowly things crept back on the schedule. How could I say no to the casserole swap last week? Or playing XBox Kinect with Dina and her 5-year-old tonight? So what if the sun is currently shining and the weather is foretasted to rain the next nine days. The grass has gone this long with out mowing. It can go another week or 4. Right?
 April is pretty open... for now.
Maybe then I'll have time to clean out my overflowing bedroom closet, plant my seedlings or get the junk out of my office so I can actually use it?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Regret

My Indie Ink writing challenge, this week comes from the lovely and super talented Jen O.  Boy did it kick my booty. I must have started and erased about half a dozen different beginnings before a last minute conversation with my roommate finally got me on the right track. It still needs a little work, but I think it's pretty good for having banged it out in an hour.

I hope you like it!


The morning after you've done something terrible to someone.  Except...you don't completely regret it.  You may or may not know the person you've wronged.


Quinn woke up to sunlight streaming through the blinds on the window. Her head was fuzzy with whatever drug the emergency room doctor had forced her to take to get her to stop screaming. It had worked so well she didn’t remember getting home.

Next to her the other half of the queen-sized bed was empty and it hit her. Stan was dead. The events of the night washed over her. 


She’d been sitting at the bar the restaurant where she was supposed to meet her husband and their friends Carol and Greg. Greg had called to let Carol know that he and Stan had just left work and would be joining them shortly. That had been 45 minutes ago.

It wasn’t uncommon for the two men to get distracted talking about some project they were working on at the engineering firm where they both worked. Quinn and Carol were used to waiting on their men and luckily enjoyed each other’s company enough not to mind being left together.

When Quinn’s cellphone rang with Stan’s number on the caller ID she answered ready to give him a good natured ribbing, “I’m on my third glass of wine and if you don’t get here in the next five minutes I can’t be held responsible for what happens next,” she said not bothering to say hello.

“Mrs. Downs?” asked and unfamiliar female voice.

“Um, yes?” Quinn answered confused and slightly alarmed.

“I’m a nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital, your husband has been in an accident and we’re going to need you to come down here as soon as you can.”

“Yes, of course, that’s- that’s on Lake Avenue right?” Quinn asked grabbing onto Carol’s arm to steady herself. At the same time Carol’s cell phone rang and she quickly answered it.

“Yes ma’ma. 1232 Lake Avenue, right off of Fine Road. The emergency room, you should try to get here as soon as possible, ask for Tatiana, that’s me and I will take you right to your husband.”

“Yes. Ok. Right. Thank you,” Quinn said, a strange buzzing beginning in her ears as the reality of what she’d just been told sank in. “Carol,” she began but didn’t have to finish her thought because the tears streaming down her friends face as she spoke quietly into the phone let Quinn know that she was also getting a bad phone call.

The two women rushed out to the street and the valet flagged down a cab for them. By now Carol was weeping but Quinn was too concerned with making sure their driver knew the fastest way to the hospital to think about why the nurse had insisted she hurry.

“Is Greg all right?” Quinn asked.

“He’s got a broken leg and nose,” Carol told her making an effort to stop crying. “He said they were crossing the street to the parking garage when a car came around the corner and hit them. Greg was only clipped but he said Stan was a few steps behind him and was thrown over the top of the car.” She took a deep breath before continuing, “he didn’t know anything about Stan. They won’t tell him anything.”

The cab dropped them off at the entrance to the ER, Carol tossed a handful of bills at the driver as Quinn ran inside. It didn’t take long for someone to find Tatiana for Quinn and she was lead to an emergency room that was quiet except for the beep of the heart monitor and the whoosh of some sort of pump.

“Dr. Keith will be here in just a moment to explain your husband’s injuries.”

Quinn didn’t acknowledge her she just stood beside the man that was supposed to be her husband, but whose face was battered beyond recognition.

“Stan?” she asked her voice cracking as for the first time tears began to leak out. She saw the bottom edge of his fraternity letters tattooed on his upper arm and she could no longer hope it had all been a mistake.  
It seemed like hours that she sat there next to him, holding his hand, crying, begging him to wake up. She didn’t notice the doctor and Tatiana as they entered the room.

“Mrs. Downs, I’m Adam Keith,” he introduced himself. “We did everything we could, but I’m sorry to tell you your husband’s head injuries are too severe. He won’t be waking up.”

That is where the memory got fuzzy… she recalled him asking if Stan was an organ donor, his driver’s license hadn’t been labeled so. He wasn’t. He’d always said it would be weird walking around with someone else’s organ inside him so he didn’t want his in anybody else.

The doctor asked if they could harvest Stan’s viable organs but it would have to happen soon if she said yes. He was being kept alive just for that reason. As soon as the ventilator was turned off he would be gone. That was when the screaming began.

“Noooo!” Quinn screamed over and over. “Wake up! Wake up!” she insisted yanking on Stan’s slack hand.
It was then that the doctor had nodded at Tatiana and the nurse handed Quinn two small pills and a cup of water. “Take these dear, it might make you think more clearly.” Quinn knocked her hand away the pills flying to the floor.

“No!” she said fiercely, “You’re not cutting him up into pieces. I don’t care what you say. You’re not mutilating my husband.”

Dr. Keith sighed and said he hoped she changed her mind in the next half hour.


Tatiana had finally convinced her to take the pills, but the artificial calm hadn’t made Quinn change her mind.

Now in the bright light of day, Quinn was sorry.