Monday, December 22, 2008

Dece,ber 22, 2008

Today is my sister's birthday. Not sure what the plans are, but we may be going out to dinner.

Saturday night we went to a neighborhood Christmas party. We have lived here for eight years and have finally met four of our neighbors.

We were supposed to go Washington, D.C. yesterday for the last football game of the year, but on our way there my husband started to feel bad. We turned around and he is going to the doc today.

I also got a call yesterday that my aunt is back in the hospital. I wish I knew what was going on with her. I will call try calling her later today.

Either today or tomorrow I will bake Christmas cookies. All the cards and packages were mailed and the ones staying here are wrapped, so I feel pretty good about that.

I do however, have another True West column due... The January issue should be out soon, which has my first Frontier Fare column in it. I can't wait to see it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

December 18, 2008

I called my Uncle Ken last night for his 95th birthday. He is so funny to talk to and he is sharp! I learn something new about my ancestors every time we talk. I really do need to plan a trip to Tampa to see him soon. His birthday celebration was overshadowed by a woman celebrating her 100th. It stinks when you turn 95 and you are not the biggest attention getter. It looks like I will be around for a very long time with the longevity I have on both sides of my family. Some of my dad's brothers and sisters are sharp and still around in the mid-80s. There are four of them in that range.

I talked with one of those uncles today (Uncle Donald-86) to check in on my aunt. She is eating more and appears to be getting a little better each day.

I mailed one Christmas card today (to England) and the others will go tomorrow. Better get addressing...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December 17, 2008

Today is my uncle's 95th birthday (okay, he's my great uncle). He is so sharp and I love to chat with him. He actually knew my great great great grandfather who served in the Civil War. I will call him a little later today.

I finished wrapping and shipped all my long distance Christmas presents today. I also talked to my friend Tom and we talked about Christmas meals here versus England.

I had some interesting dreams last night. I guess the subconscious can take you to places you feel happy and safe when the real world brings you down.

Tomorrow I will mail out Christmas cards and deal with some paperwork. I have some family presents to wrap as well.

The RoundUp magazine from Western Writers of America came today. I am running for one of the board positions and my platform and photo are in it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December 16, 2008

Lots to update. I finished decorating all the trees and the house, just in time for the party. 14 total were here and it was a blast. We did the secret Santa exchange which is always fun, and we played a new game, sort of.

I can't tell you all the details because it wasn't totally "G." Let's just say that we substituted a body part in any song title you could name. What a little wine will do... LOL

We made the emergency trip to SC this weekend and got back last night. My aunt Juanita is not good. Her spirit is lacking, as is her diet and mobility. I got her eating tiny meals, drinking herbal tea, and walking a little. The PT also came while I was there, which was good. If she keeps up the pace we set, then she has a chance. If not, I am not sure what will happen. My cousin and uncle will be there to help her. I am hoping to make another visit out after Christmas.

I have also been having some health issues, but it appears everyting is going to be okay with me. Whew!

I previewed my March True West column this morning. It looks good.

I did some more shopping so I could wrap presents that need to be shipped. Tomorrow it's shipping and greeting cards.

I was out doing things today and I felt guilty like I should get back to work. Wow, I guess we don't realize how routine our lives can be. I did apply for a pretty interesting job today--we'll see what happens.

There is a concert at the local high school tonight and my mom's neighbor is playing the cello, so I will be going.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

December 9, 2008

I took my kickboxing class this morning and then did some online research for Christmas presents. I also spent some time learning more about my aunt's cirrhosis of the liver. After talking to my cousin and my uncle, I have decided to make an emergency visit very soon.

Next I went and did some holiday shopping and now need to get after decorating the trees.

I also need to tackle my May column for True West magazine. It's hard to even think about May 2009, but that's how far out they plan.

Monday, December 8, 2008

December 8, 2008

I guess you figured out that my computer died for a while. For anyone with Vista--do not leave an external hard drive plugged in. I had mine plugged into the USB port and it completely messed up my system. After four days of trouble shooting myself, I figured it out.

My in-laws came to visit for a few days last week. We went shopping and picked out our live Christmas tree. We ate out and went to my nephew's 18th birthday party. Me, my sister, brother-in-law, and husband all made a bet back in 1992 about Alex's height. My brother-in-law in 6'4" so we guessed he would be tall. The bet was made in the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City on 1-11-92. We wrote it on a cocktail napkin... I picked 6'3" and on 12-6-08, I won! What did I win? A drink from each of the losers. LOL

Today I had lunch with my friend Sharon at a cute little Victorian tea house in Wake Forest. It was really nice.

This week I will be busy decorating the house for Christmas and our annual holiday party, which is this Friday night. So far, only 14 are coming.

Today I filed my work search form so I can collect unemployment. I actually applied for four jobs--two are freelance and two are full-time.

I got a really special email from my friend Bob Bell after he read my blog about being laid off and unwanted. It's nice to have friends who know how to make you feel better when you are down. I've also been getting uplifting quotes from my English friend, Tom.

Monday, December 1, 2008

December 1, 2008

I cannot believe that it is December already.

The author's guild meeting went well last week--there were two new members there. Thanksgiving was nice--we had seven for dinner. I made the usual: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, asparagus, cranberries, and dessert. Three pies: apple, pumpkin, and pecan.

Went shopping on Black Friday and got a couple of deals.

We went to D.C. for the football game yesterday. Not only did we lose, but it was freezing cold and it rained the entire game. Miserable...

Today I filed for unemployment and looked for a new job. My computer has suddenly started acting up--funny, it did the same thing last Monday.

I will attempt to call Microsoft...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November 25, 2008

Today is a weird day. Yesterday and last night I felt like I was unwanted. It's a strange feeling.

I started this morning with a kickboxing class, which helped.

I am still working on my column for True West. Well, the column in done, but the recipe is just not cooperating. I will have to try and do something else. My editor gave me until today, but I am worried.

It feels kind of nice not having to be "locked" to my computer in case one of my team members called on me.

I am working on a project for my niece's 16th birthday gift, which requires looking at some old photographs, so it's been kind of fun.

I guess I will file for unemployment on Friday for the first time in my life.

Tonight is the Author's guild meeting...

Monday, November 24, 2008

November 24, 2008

Well, I guess I no longer have any reason for not keeping up with this blog.

I was laid off today from my regular full-time writing job. It came as a shock, and yet somehow I knew. I guess with our economy the way it is...

On the bright side, I now have all day to work on my books and columns. Maybe I will have the time to finish a bestseller!

If anyone needs a writer or editor, please let me know.

Friday, November 21, 2008

November 21, 2008

I had an acupuncture appointment yesterday. I always feel better after. Our niece, Jamie, was stuck in a Miami traffic jam last night so she called us. We chatted for about an hour--the girl is too funny. I wished she lived closer.

Today was Zumba and we learned some new dances--the Tango and Salsa. Muy fun!

I am hoping to get a pardon from my TW editor for my April column. I have been so busy with work that I have yet to finalize the column. It's 90% finished, but I have to make the pie. I hope she will let me have this weekend or it's going to be a late one tonight for me...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November 19, 2008

Well, we froze 10 bags of mashed sweet potatoes and about that same of whole baked ones. I also made the sweet potato casserole.

I didn't finish my column yesterday nor today. I promise Meghan, you will have it tomorrow. The recipe to go along with it is for Vinegar pie. I know--it sounds weird, but it fits with the subject of the April column. I have to make it so I will report back on how it tastes soon.

It turns out my Aunt Juanita is back in the hospital again. She is doing rather poorly and the doctors don't know what is causing her problems. Frustrating!

I decided to make beef barley soup tonight for dinner. I have been cooking it all day. It smells good, but I think I ended up making enough for 10 people.

I made the gym today, which is always nice.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008

Okay, to say I have been bad at blogging lately would be an understatement.

I could list a bunch of excuses, but honestly, I just haven't felt like doing it. I will attempt to get back into the blogging saddle again.

This Sunday we went to D.C. to see my team (Redskins) get beat once again on national television. This time it was against the blasted Cowboys. Now, I love the old west, but no self-respecting Redskins fan can love a Cowboy! LOL

It was freezing and by 9 o'clock my fingers and toes were numb. To top things off, there were two obnoxiously drunk chicks behind me. They had open beers and I thought for sure I was going to wear one. I turned to the chick behind me and asked her to stop leaning on me and to watch her beer. Well, I guess you know how that went. She and her friend got up in my face. I had all I could to do not haul off and show her some of my kickboxing moves.

However, I am an adult and she was clearly drinking because she has issues...some were obvious. As most of the drunks at the game usually do, they left early.

Today I took my kickboxing class at the gym and finally wrote an endorsement for a fellow author's book. It's nice to check things off your to-do list.

I still have my TW column that is due today, I need to update my website again, and there are more things, but I just can't remember them at this moment.

We gleaned a ton of sweet potatoes from the local farmer's fields last weekend. It's a tradition here in NC. Once the farmers take the prime potatoes, the locals can take what is left. We've been doing that for about 15 years now.

Right now, I am baking the potatoes--probably near 60 by the time I am done. I will freeze some whole and mash the rest to freeze. I also have to make a sweet potatoe casserole for my husband's company Thanksgiving celebration.

Well, that's enough for now...

Monday, November 10, 2008

November 10, 2008

It's been a while since I've posted. I was bogged down with work, a little travel, and still feeling under the weather.

I recently found out that Cowboys and Indians magazine reviewed my new Taste of Tombstone in their December issue. It should be on the stands soon. It was a pretty awesome review. I contacted them to find out which issue and they asked me to think about submitting some story ideas. How cool is that?

With any luck I can get back to doing some writing this week.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October 29, 2008

The meeting last night was interesting. I really don't know why, but one of the members seemed intimated by me. Saying she heard me speak and all. I don't think of myself that way. I'm the same person I have always been--I just happen to have some published books and such. It was kind of sweet at least I think it was. Hmm.

Anyway, everyone took turns reading their short ghost story they prepared. Overall, they were pretty good. I didn't have time to write one, but I told a real ghost story that I experienced. I will share that one tomorrow.

Skipped the gym since I was feeling a little ill, plus Trixie had a vet appointment. I am also going to a company dinner with my husband tonight, so I needed extra work time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

October 28, 2008

I got back to the gym today, which is always nice. I am happy to report that I have lost about 12 pounds so far. I think I am in better shape now that I was 20 years ago!

Tonight is the monthly Apex Author's Guild meeting. I missed last month, so I an curious to see what they have been up to...

Busy with work, and not much else to report.

Monday, October 27, 2008

October 27, 2008

This weekend was nice and quiet. Got caught up on things and finally unpacked from NM.

I got good news this weekend. My aunt is almost completely recovered. Turns out she read her hospital records (she's a former nurse) and her liver is fine!

I had to finish my TW column, which I did, but then I had to test a recipe for the column as well. I made buffalo stew. Here is it, but you have to read the Feb issue of True West to get the recipe!

Today was busy with work.

I also got some terrific news regarding the new version of Taste of Tombstone. It turns out the Cowboys and Indians magazine (they are huge BTW) ran a book review. It was totally awesome and glowing!

My friend Bob Bell wrote about me in his blog for the last few days about our taping of the The Real Cowboys.

Friday, October 24, 2008

October 24, 2008

This week is finally over. Whew! It was a short one for me, but work has been crazy. My co-worker is on vacation and I have been doing her job, plus mine. TGIF.

I will be soooo glad when the elections are over. I hate politics. What makes seemingly nice, normal people can turn so ugly. The comments and smears are not to be believed. It's hard to imagine that some of those same nasty people will be getting into the holiday spirit in less than two months.

I've two deadlines fast approaching. One is for my next TW column and another is an endorsement I promised a fellow author. It's coming--I promise!

Sunday is the anniversary of the gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone. I will always remember my first mentor, Carl Chafin on that day.

Oh, an aunt update. She has pneumonia and cirrhosis of the liver, which are both bad. She is a strong lady and I think should can kick the pneumonia. The liver is another issue...

Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

October 23, 2008

As promised. The photos are of NM tamales and the others are behind the scenes and of the set.

I did make it see my publisher on Monday morning before my flight. They were totally surprised. I got a tour from the director, Luther Wilson and I met the entire staff. It's always nice to put faces with names and voices. I may have stumbled across a new idea for a book while I was there. Things happen for a reason...

My co-worker, Roni, was kind enough to shuttle to and from the airport and publisher.

While I was waiting to board my flight to DFW, I noticed a ton of security near my gate. A nice gentleman told me the governor of NM was there. Ah. Turns out, he was taking my flight. I joked with the lady next to me that our flight would be pretty safe considering who was on board. She smiled and said yes. I guess she would know since she was his security detail (a NM state trooper). I gave her my aisle seat so she would have a better vantage point to see him. Ha, and I am not even a democrat! He was on his way to help Senator Obama with his campaign in Florida.

I only have on thing to say, remember this old saying: If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.

My life is getting back to normal now that I am home. Work has been busy because one of my co-workers is on vacation.

I started back at the gym, which was tough after being away for a week.

Monday, October 20, 2008

October 20, 2008

I ended up taking the city bus to the plaza in Santa Fe. OMG--what an experience. People with bikes, in wheelchairs, with children, etc. All with their own little stories.

The plaza in Santa Fe is really pretty. I walked around and shopped. I bought bags of ground chiles and salsa. I will post some photos when I get back.

I made it out to the set on Saturday afternoon. The director/producer was happy and I offered lots of historical advice on setting some scenes for gambling and drinking. It's fascinating to see all that goes on behind the scenes.

Yesterday was my turn to be in front of the camera. It was about 44 degrees at 8 a.m. when we started. We started off with my drinking/saloon stuff. I talked about the subjects and then we made some drinks I talked about. It was really fun, but I was nervous. I also had to taste the strange things I made, so I was drinking at 9 a.m. Hey, it made me feel warmer at least. Next came the faro/gambling scenes. They we better because I had settled down and my nervousness was gone. I'll post some pics later.

I stayed on after lunch as technical adviser again. That is too much fun! I was teaching the actors how to play faro so they could deal it in the scenes. I was also checking for continuity...

We wrapped about 6 p.m., packed up and came back to the hotel. We walked to a little place called the Blue Corn Cafe dinner. It was tasty. More New Mexican food. Chile Rellenos with a Christmas sauce--which means a combo of red and green chiles.

My good friend Bob Bell got it last night so we met for drinks in the bar. I gave him the skinny of what we had done so far on the show. On of the patrons noticed him, and asked, "Are you Boze Bell?" Yep, I was hanging with a celeb!

We met for breakfast and the director/producer joined us. They left this morning to film Bob's stuff.

I am hanging in the hotel waiting for my shuttle to ABQ. I am hoping to see my publisher, if I can swing it...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

October 18, 2008

Thursday was busy prepping for the show and packing.

I arrived in Albuquerque, NM yesterday. I had some time to kill while I waited for the production crew's flight to arrive. One of my co-workers lives here, so she picked me up for lunch. I had my first taste of New Mexican cuisine. I ordered the chile relleno and it was tasty! Very similar to the ones I get in Arizona.

I met the crew and they were hungry, so we stopped for lunch. Three hours after my relleno, I was eating posole. It's a spicy red chile soup.

After that we headed for Santa Fe and wet straight to the shoot site, Eaves Ranch. We looked at where we would be filming. Once we lost daylight, we headed for the hotel. Unpacked, and had a drink in the bar with the crew.

They are shooting all day today and left early this morning. It's about 40 degrees at 8 a.m. I am meeting a friend and TW buddy, Johnny Boggs, for lunch. Before that though I am going to venture to old town and check it out. After lunch, I am hoping to bum a ride from Johnny to the set. They asked me to be there as a historical expert of the saloons, gambling, etc.

Tomorrow will be a long day since we are filming my stuff.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October 15, 2008

I skipped the gym today because I am feeling a little under the weather.

I am currently the VP-Marketing for Women Writing the West and have agreed to be VP for 2009. However, since I am leaving for Santa Fe to shoot the TV show, I will have to miss our annual conference.

Because I am a board member, I had to prepare a summary of what I did, 2009 plans, and a brief update for the business meeting. Done.

I also spent some time prepping for the show.

My TW magazine column is fast approaching (the 20th) and I just realized it. Yikes.

Still no real details on my aunt. I have talked to her, but she is still having tests. Hopefully I will know something before I leave.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

October 14, 2008

This football game this Sunday was disappointing to say the least.

Monday's are always tough after the five hour ride home and being in the hot sun for four hours. It was about 85 degrees on the field.

Yesterday I found out the my Aunt Juanita, she is the wife of my Uncle Donald. He was in the hospital last month and now she's in! She has an ulcer, but they are concerned about other things. She had more tests tomorrow, so I hope it all goes well.

I am supposed to be flying to New Mexico on Friday or Saturday, but the production company has not sent me any details yet. I hope to speak with the producer later today or tonight.

I took kickboxing for the first time in a while. It felt really good.

Friday, October 10, 2008

October 10, 2008

Well I missed yesterday, but after my tirade on Wednesday I figured I would give you a break. :)

We were supposed to take my niece, Tiffany to dinner last night for her 16th birthday. However she failed her driver's license test and was bummed. She canceled, so we went to pub trivia. I won a tie-breaker and I got two free beers!

Friday is Zumba day. It's amazing--I have lost six pounds in the last two months. The only thing I am doing different is Zumba. I don't doubt it. You dance straight for one hour and sweat like crazy.

The stock market is on a roller coaster today. It's been down all day, then it rebounds, and now it's down again. I think there are a lot of things about to happen that we may not like, but it will be better in the long run.

I haven't really changed any thing I do other than try to conserve energy better. I am trying to do my part to stimulate the economy. If everyone keeps pulling back, then the economy will suffer.

Have a great weekend because Lord only knows what Monday has in store for us.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

October 8, 2008

Last night I made a pizza from scratch. I added fresh tomatoes, provolone and mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and sauce. It was really tasty! Oh, and a nice bottle of Chianti as well.

The presidential debate last night was frustrating! It didn't help clear up anything for me. I wish they would stop attacking each other. Just tell us what you are going to do for us and stop saying you're gonna bailout the poor people who are affected my the housing problem. Hey, I worked in that business for 16 years (in fraud). Most of those people don't belong in the houses they have. Really - someone making $30,000 a year can afford a $500,000 house? Not. So now they can afford it even less and the good old government is going to come along and save them. What about those of us who live within our means - what bonus do we get?

I skipped the gym today to get my hair done for the upcoming History Channel shoot.

I also stopped at the grocery store because they had triple coupons. Now I must confess that I use coupons--who in their right mind wouldn't? Anywho, now that I work from home and can shop during the week, I have run into a new breed of shopper. I prefer to call them coupons Nazis.

Seriously, they have 3-inch thick coded binders. They call each other and let other coupon Nazis know what's in stock. They hit several of the same stores in different locations. Good Lord, they are possessed.

Case in point. I went to get a can of organic tomatoes (there were only three left on the self and two were dented). I paused, there was my mistake, and this woman came around the corner. I saw the panicked look in her eye when she saw three cans. Then she looked at me. I kid you not, she cut me off and damn near ripped my face off with her arms to get the non-dented can. I stood in shock and then just chuckled. I went to the next aisle, and there were several more cans of this brand. Too funny!

Next time I better go armed with elbow pads and a hockey mask!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

October 7, 2008

The weekend was nice. Saturday we did some shopping and wine tasting. Sunday was all about footall. Both our teams won, which is always nice. Sunday night I grilled Porterhouse steaks and baked prailine cookies.

Yesterday was very productive. I have a new (and really good) idea for a fictional title. I did some research on the yesterday and outline a few chapters.

Today I will hit the gym, do some work, and maybe have time to get started with the new book. It's really strange, I have friends who write fiction and have heard them say their characters speak to them. I never really understood what they meant until now. I can't get my lead lady out of my brain!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Octoer 3, 2008

Last night was a little chilly, so I made a roasted turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. It smelled like Thanksgiving here last night. Just no pie...

Today is Friday, which means Zumba!

On my way home my mom called to ask for my help. She rescues cats and dogs and lives in a somewhat rural area. People keep dumping cats and dogs at this abandoned mobile home.

This time the *@^*#& dropped off 10 long-haired Chihuahuas. Poor things were clearly used as breeders. Their nails were three-inches long, most of their fur was missing, and they were so skinny and clearly abused. What gives people the right to use animals as their income? I swear I hope there is a special place in Hell for people who abuse or neglect animals. What kind of a person can do that? It just broke my heart to see these little creatures shaking and starving. The more I write about this the more upset I get.

I hope this weekend brings happy times...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

October 2, 2008

I just realized that I haven't blogged since Monday. Oops. I have been feeling a little off this week. Not sure if it's a cold coming on or something.

I have been working with the production crew for my upcoming TV shoot. They don't know a lot about Tombstone, which is where we are filming, so I have been helping with that.

I got to speak with my good friend, Jim Clark, who used to reside in Tombstone. He is aptly called, The Train Guy. Just about any movie in Hollywood that has a train scene in it was done my Jim.

I've been hitting the gym this week, but I skipped it today because I am just too tired and my head hurts.

Monday, September 29, 2008

September 29, 2008

This weekend went went to South Carolina to visit my aunt and uncle. My uncle is my dad's older brother (he's 84). After my dad died, he stepped in... Last month he had emergency surgery to have his gallbladder removed. He is doing remarkably well considering his age.

We laughed and talked about dad. I made them apple and custard pies and we had brook trout for dinner.

On Saturday we went out for a drive in the country and found this beautiful road and a covered bridge. There was also a small mosaic of old plates (I wonder if they were found nearby) and pretty wild flowers.

Unfortunately, a little dog ran right in front of our car and we could not stop in time. It was a horrible feeling--and still is. I have no idea why this little dog was running loose on a busy road. Of all days to have to deal with a new death...

I always believe things happen for a reason, but why this happened is beyond me.

We came home yesterday.

It's apple season and I wanted to bring some home from the mountains and along our route back we found some. It was even pick your own if you wanted. Well, we tried, but the ones on the trees weren't very nice, so we just bought a bag that had already picked.

Friday, September 26, 2008

September 26, 2008

We skipped trivia last night because there is just too much going on, plus that nor'easter was whipping the wind pretty good. I went to Zumba today with my new dance shoes. What a huge difference they make!

I have been busy gathering details and research for the upcoming TV show. I did get to speak with some friends today so that was good.

This weekend will be tough--tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of my dad's death. A family friend emailed me yesterday and said something about dad that I had totally forgotten (we were friends 30 years ago). They used to call my dad Tarzan, why I do not remember. I cried for about 10 mins yesterday when I read that.

No worries--I will keep busy. That's all we can do.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

September 24, 2008

Yesterday I had physical therapy. For some reason, my knee is giving me real problems. I have to skip my kick boxing classes for a while.

A few weeks back I entered a local photo contest. Well, last night was award presentation. I did not win. Hmm. This is the photo I entered. The theme was supposed to be "On the Road." None of the photos that won really depicted that theme.

I received a call from a production company yesterday and they want me to be in their documentary about Wyatt Earp. They want me to talk about drinking and gambling...who let the word out? Looks like I am headed to Tombstone next month for the shoot. This show will air on the History Channel, like the others.

Speaking of the others, my Investigating History: Wyatt Earp show aired last night again. Sorry I didn't post it here until now. I totally spaced this yesterday.

Went to the gym and have been at this computer all day.

I started an Italian pot roast for dinner since it's a little chilly - 69 degrees. We are starting to get some gusty winds from the nor'easter off the coast. Tomorrow is supposed to be worse...

Monday, September 22, 2008

September 22, 2008

We traveled to the Washington, D.C. area again this weekend for another football game. We stopped at our favorite restaurant in Hanover, Virginia.

This Sunday's game was quite eventful. We won, which is always good. Now this next part might sound crazy or silly to those who are not sports enthusiasts or nutty football fans, but here goes.

The Redskins, like many other teams, have a mascot and die hard crazy fans. However, we take it to a whole new level. There is a guy (our mascot) who dresses in full "Indian" garb (I use that term loosely since his costume is straight from a Hollywood B movie). We also have grown men who wear dresses and pig noses--they are called "Hogettes." They actually do a lot of local charity events and a few years back did an NFL Visa commercial.

Anyway, I got the full fan treatment from both of them. First, the Chief (yes, that's what he is called) sat down near me, so naturally I did the fan thing and had my pic taken (shown here). Then, two of the Hogettes asked to sit next to me. Hmm. Yes, another photo was taken (also here).

What can I say--I'm a nutty Redskin fan just like the rest of 'em. Keep in mind that it was about 90 degrees again, so be kind when viewing the photos... :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

September 19, 2009

Today is three months since my accident. I suspect I will be hearing from the insurance agent again soon. She usually checks in every 30 days.

Yesterday I hit the gym, did some work, and then went to trivia night at the pub. It was fun as usual, but we didn't win. I also talked to my friend, Mary, in Denver. She and I are different, yet so alike and I really miss her. We agreed to do a girl's weekend somewhere. Our criteria? A place with good food, good wine, and a relaxing spa...

I took Zumba again - so far it is not getting old. The class just seems to whiz by. Before you know - the hour is up.

I also got word yesterday that I might be doing a "talking head" appearance for a PBS show. Nothing is set, but once I hear more I will share it here.

Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

September 17, 2008

I struggled through my group strength class yesterday. I feel way better today.

Yesterday I finally finished editing the presentation I gave back in April at the Booth Western Art Museum. The actual presentation was about 25 minutes, but I edited down to about nine minutes. Feel free to go watch it -

Today I have another physical therapy appointment, so I am skipping the gym.

Considering it was 99 degrees on Sunday, today feels pretty darn chilly at 64. I might have to don a jacket...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

September 16, 2008

Saturday we drove to Washington, D.C. for the Redskins football game. We got to eat at one of my favorite places--it's called the Houndstooth Cafe. They have some awesome BBQ and clam chowder. We stayed in Maryland Saturday night, then headed to FedEx field on Sunday morning. We tailgated, like true football fans was a real scorcher.

We got into the stadium and got to see our new seats for the first time. Holy cow - we were about 20 seats from the field. When the ball is thrown in our direction it looks like it's coming right at you. You can also hear the crunching of the players equipment. Next game I will take some pictures so you can see.

The game was awesome, but it had to be 99 degrees on the field and in full sun for four hours. We each drank two bottles of water, which cost $5 a bottle. That wasn't nearly enough water to hydrate us in those conditions. Later that night and yesterday we suffered some dehydration issues. I am feeling better today, but still not 100%.

Yesterday I stumbled across a new book review for Taste of Tombstone in a Tucson paper. The reviewer was very kind.

I will attempt the gym today...

Friday, September 12, 2008

September 12, 2008

Zumba! I even bought a music CD from the instructor today. It's fully of sexy Latin songs.

I talked with my friend in England today. He had some interesting information to share for my latest book. It's always good to hear from friends!

Well, today I decided to be domestic and do some laundry. Must to my surprise and dismay, the washing machine decided to leak. Let me state that our machine is on the second floor. There was so much water that it was raining on my car which is in the garage below. Yikes. I have spent the last 5 hours playing clean up and soak up.

Thank goodness it's Friday and I can rest tomorrow.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11, 2008

As expected there is lots in the news about the 7th anniversary of this date. Still hard to imagine that day. It was like a scene from a movie and could not be happening, but it did.

I ended up making baked penne pasta with Parmesan cheese. I used some sauce I made and froze, then added some fresh pesto I made. It was tasty.

I took a new class at the gym today - cardio funk. Lots of fun with funky music from 70s-90s. Tomorrow is Zumba!!

I saw the physical therapist again today. He is quite a character and has one hell of a sense of humor. I love him! He is also quite skilled at what he does. He sort of did a deep tissue thing, but moved my joints and muscles around. I am still twisted (hey, we all knew that before!) from the accident, but he thinks I will make good progress.

He does have me concerned about my knee though. That was the one place that took a direct hit to the dashboard in the accident. It seems there is something liquidy, called plica in the body. A plica is a thin wall of fibrous tissue that are extensions of the capsule of the knee. When that is banged it can turn into scar tissue which might need to be surgically removed later. Yikes. With proper work I might be able to avoid surgery.

Tonight is Pub/Trivia night. A night out is just what I need after being beat today by Kurt (P.T.)...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

September 10, 2008

Today's class at the gym was an awesome workout with one of my favorite instructors.

After that I had a dentist appointment to replace a filling. I was never convinced that I needed to have it done, and the dentist I saw today agreed with me. Got away without having a needle jammed into my gum!

Last night we watched the Replacements with Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman. There are so many funny scenes in that movie. It was just what I needed to get excited about this weekend's home game!!

I am making something Italian for dinner tonight...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

September 9, 2008

I normally enjoy my kick boxing class at the gym, but the instructor was feeling tired, so she modified the class.

The progress on my next book is making me feel so much better. I talked to a historian at the FBI today about some details. Looks like I may have to contact the U.S. Marshal's office next.

I am hot on the trail of some really sinister people from the past...

We watched 12 Monkeys last night and I totally loved Brad Pitt's performance as a nut job!

We are supposed to have nasty storms tonight and the temperature is supposed to drop about 25 degrees.

Tonight I am making Pork Jambalaya for dinner.

Monday, September 8, 2008

September 8, 2008

Well, T.S. Hanna made her way here and the eye of the storm went right over us. Luckily her winds were only gusting at 40 m.p.h.. We had some downed tree limbs and five inches of rain, but other than that nothing serious. We actually went out Saturday afternoon with some neighbors to taste wine.

A tiny little local winery had its grand opening on Saturday, so we had to go and give it a whirl. Let's just say that NC wine is traditionally made from the muscadine grape, which is native. It's a big sweet grape, which is exactly how the wine tastes. It's not my favorite.

It was football Sunday yesterday and my husband's team, the Steelers, crushed their opponent. He made the comment the other day about having to read my blog to see what I'm up to...hmm. He was only joking (I think). ;)

I made a little progress on my new book project, which always feels good.

Today I went for physical therapy and was surprised that I have been doing all the right things. He said my spine and rib cage were shifted to one side, which is causing all my pain. He thinks with one or two more visits, I should progress much quicker. He also told me that working out at the gym has advanced my progress.

I go back on Thursday.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

September 4, 2008

Here is the deer picture from a few days ago, and one of my adorable Bailey cat.

Well, the crab soup got put on hold. I ended up making chicken Caesar salad for dinner.

I hit the gym again today - took a class and did some weight-lifting. I also scheduled a physical therapy class to see if I can get my back, neck, and shoulder feeling 100%.

You know, I realized today (well, not just today) that my really good, close friends all live too far away. Either I moved, they moved, or I met them in my travels and they have always lived away. What can I say? I miss them! I just left a message for one of them and hearing her voice made me think about all this mushy stuff.

My good friend Bob Bell (yeah, he lives far away, too) did as promised and posted a Peruvian soup recipe. It sounds really yummy and I can't wait to try it.

Tonight is usually pub trivia night, but it's the first regular season football game. I was torn between going and watching it there or staying home. I opted for staying home and ordering pizza.

We are going to have to put some things away outside to prep for T.S. Hanna - she's supposed to hit here tomorrow afternoon through Saturday afternoon. Those are always fun (yes, that was sarcasm).

I don't normally talk politics here, but I have to say that I was totally impressed with the Republican VP candidate, Sarah Palin. Holy cow - she is impressive. It's funny how all the news people and commentators are comparing her skills to Obama's and who the better candidate is. Uh, excuse me, she is running for VP - not president. Compare her to Joe Biden is you must, but Obama, really!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

September 3, 2008

The gym was good as usual. I also managed to take some packages to the post office.

I finally made it to downtown Raleigh to pick up my concealed handgun permit. I also got an awesome new pair of sunglasses - Maui Jim.

I took a friend's advice and changed the intro to my website, and I am real pleased with it. You'll have to check it out. I also updated the free recipe for September.

I am going to attempt to make Charleston She Crab Soup...we'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

September 2, 2008

Well, since I haven't blogged since last Thursday, this one will be big.

Friday started out really great with my Zumba class. It went down hill after that. I have a client who is making me nuts and really stressed me out Friday afternoon. However, there is nothing like "moose drool" to make you smile again!

Saturday was the usual, wine tasting and shopping. Sunday we went to our friends' house for a Labor Day party. It was nice and we had ribs and all the fixins'. I made a pig pickin cake for dessert. Now before you conjure up an image of pork and cake - STOP. It's a yellow cake with mandarin oranges and the topping is Cool Whip, vanilla pudding, and pineapple. It's really tasty and everyone wanted the recipe. I should have know better because that always happens. I should start taking printed copies with me.

Monday some friends and I went shopping. We went to the outlet stores nearby and left at 10:15 a.m. We got home at 6 p.m. Talk about shop 'til you drop. I got some awesome deals though - a Van Heusen shirt for $2.81. Yep, you read it right. Some many other as well. Since I got home so late, I made crab cakes for dinner. They were awesome.

This week AMC TV is running my all-time favorite actor's Dirty Harry movies. Yes, that would be Clint Eastwood. One of my dreams is to meet him...

I took my second favorite class at the gym, which is kickboxing. I am getting pretty good at it, too. I am waiting for the GE repairman to show up to assess why my new dishwasher isn't working right. It's one of those between 1-5 things again.

I got some book and map orders I need to process and it's September so I need to add a new recipe to my website.

Rotisserie chicken for dinner tonight.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

August 28, 2008

Today was a day full of body maintenance. First thing this morning was a follow-up with my regular doctor for the accident. I still some real tender areas around my left shoulder blade and neck. He says it will just take time and wants me to try physical therapy.

Later in the morning, I saw two deer, a mama and a baby eating in my backyard. That's not something I usually get to see. I will try to post a photo tomorrow. Too cute!

This afternoon it was acupuncture, which was a little painful after all the doc's poking around. I had to skip the gym, which was probably beneficial anyway. Tomorrow is Zumba and I can dance!

Tonight is pub night, so I hope my brain is working for the trivia part...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

August 27, 2008

I got some rest last night, finally. I went to the gym today in the torrential downpour that is called Fay. We have been under tornado warnings all day because of it.

Dinner tonight will consist of something cooked inside--I am thinking along the lines of Mexican fare.

My friend Bob Bell is in Peru visiting his son and he kept talking about all the great soups. I sent him an email asking for some recipes. I noticed in his blog that he says he will get me some.

I love tasting foods from other places. Most people buy the typical souvenirs, but I buy food and cookbooks. What better way to learn about a culture or history? I guess you can see why I wrote Taste of Tombstone!

Have a great night...I'll keep saying, "There's no place like, there's no place like home!"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

August 26, 2008

Charleston was wonderful. As I stated - I love to photo the area, so here is a sampling.

We went for our 23rd anniversary. The inn where we stayed was nice, but not quite what I had envisioned. It looked much better on the website. We had breakfast delivered to our room each morning on a silver tray. It included juice, coffee, pastries, fruit, and yogurt.

We used the bikes they offered and toured all over old town from 9:30-4:30, with a break for lunch. I was on a quest to find the best She crab soup and Shrimp and Grits. So, I guess you know what I ate...

We were supposed to take a sail on an 84-foot sailboat, but they canceled us for lack of other riders. Hmm. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes were horrendous! We had bug spray, but they still swarmed us. I am not joking - people were slapping themselves and running to get away from them. I have plenty of souvenirs!

When I got home I received my copies of True West for the saloon story and a check! I also got a check for doing a book review for my publisher. Yesterday, it paid to be an author! LOL

I am sorry that I have to skip the Apex Author's Guild meeting tonight, but I am just too exhausted. It was hard to sleep at the inn in Charleston because of the A/C unit. It droned on all night and I barely got much sleep in two nights.

We bought fresh shrimp for the docks while we were there, so I am doing something with them tonight for dinner.


Friday, August 22, 2008

August 22, 2008

Well, I totally spaced this yesterday. I was busy with work and other things and the time got away from me.

We went to the pub again last night - it's turning into a regular thing and it's been fun. Yep, had the same food and drink.

I think the last few days at the gym are catching up with me...I am getting sore all over. That is such a good thing.

My uncle went home from the hospital yesterday! Now I hope he has a speedy recovery.

I am going to wrap up my bio and platform for WWA tonight. Next week I have to finish my proposed 2009 column idea for TW mag.

It was TTT today at the gym - it's supposed to be a cross between aerobics, group strength, and kick boxing. I must have been snoozing because we did not do one kick boxing move!

I miss Zumba--they don't offer it every Friday.

Happy weekend to all!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

August 20, 2008

Today was circuit training at the gym which is always different depending on who is teaching. We'll see if I am sore tomorrow...

I have been making plans for our Charleston, SC trip.

Anyway, I love shrimp and grits and no place makes it like Charleston! I can't wait to eat. They are a town known for food. We also might take an 84-foot sail boat around the harbor.

I always take a ton of photos while I am there because the Victorian architecture is so stunning. It's summer so the flower boxes will be gorgeous as well.

Buffalo burgers on the grill tonight.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

August 19, 2008

Today is the two month mark since my car accident. I am much better than I was, but my neck still aches off and on...

So the dinner plans got switched and we had the Moroccan chicken last night, so it's sausage tonight.

It took the kickboxing class today and then had a big client meeting today. I am happy to report that it went well. Whew!

I have to take my new car into the shop tomorrow for a little fix up--nothing major.

Switching's been 10 years since my dad died. His older brother, my Uncle Donald has sort of been filling in since then. U.D., as I like to call him, is 84 and in near perfect health and mind. Last week he had emergency surgery to remove his gall bladder. His is in the hospital right now, but should be okay. It always amazes me how fragile life is. Yeah, I know the man's 84, but he is my step-in-dad and grandfather. I hope he goes home soon. Like me and my dad, U.D. and I have a special bond...

Monday, August 18, 2008

August 18, 2008

This weekend was productive. We went shopping on Saturday as usual, bought a large box of tomatoes from the local produce stand. When I say large I mean, like 20 lbs+.

I turned those beautiful red jewels into six quarts of Tomato Basil (basil grown on my back deck) soup and nine quart bags of frozen tomatoes. Both will taste great this winter. I also made two dinners out of them. Last night was steak on the grill with zucchini and tomatoes. I also made Moroccan Chicken which will be tomorrow night's dinner.

I just got a big project at work and wanted to dive into it, so I skipped the gym. I will get back to it tomorrow.

It's grilled chicken, artichoke, and spinach sausage for dinner tonight.

Friday, August 15, 2008

August 15, 2008


Yes, I took it again.

Today was crazy - computer problems, had to pop by my mom's house because she today the 13th?

It's pizza for dinner tonight...

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

August 14, 2008

I have got to start getting some sleep. Nope, it wasn't the Olympics this time. Kitty cats, phones, and snoring...

I was so exhausted that I skipped the gym. I did manage a short walk around the neighborhood.

This afternoon, I did some volunteer work for a group called, The Center for Volunteer Caregiving. A 42 year-old man who had a stroke needed a ride to the doctor, so I took him. His wife was picking him up. It's amazing how something so simple for me was so big for him. It really does make you feel good to help others.

Tonight I will celebrate with a Guinness at the pub we went to last week.

I got my first paper copy of the Denver Post book review. It looks so awesome!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

August 13, 2008

I've been staying up to dang late watching the Olympics. I'm on the east coast, so most events don't get going until midnight my time. Hey, I had to stay up and watch Michael Phelps!!

Hit the gym today for the circuit training class. Came home and did work and more work.

I am ready to quit and make dinner. I grow my own herbs on the back deck and I just harvested some fresh basil. I am making homemade pesto, so it's pesto chicken for dinner.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

August 12, 2008

Yesterday was just an awesome day. I have been getting congrats from all my writer friends on the Denver Post review. I am still dancing around.

I took my kickboxing class today and it always feels so good to kick and punch (myself in the mirror). Hmm, wonder what that says about me? LOL

I also had an acupuncture appointment to help with the neck pain, which, by the way, is finally getting better.

I still have so many things to work on and deadlines are approaching, so I have to be brief today...

Monday, August 11, 2008

August 11, 2008

This weekend was pretty quiet. We stayed did a little shopping on Saturday, yard work on Sunday, and watched the Olympics last night.

I got an email from my "Victorian Sister," Michelle Black (great author) yesterday telling me that the Denver Post reviewed my Tombstone's Treasure book. For any author - that is HUGE!

Not only did it get reviewed, but it was a good one, too. Whew. Check it out: I was told they included a copy of the cover in the paper itself.

It seems my author stuff is finally paying off...first True West magazine, then the Denver Post, I wonder what's next?

Friday, August 8, 2008

August 8, 2008

Lots of fun at the Irish pub last night. I had a huge salad and cottage pie - as predicted. Oh yeah, Guinness, too.

The trivia was fun. It's amazing how much useless knowledge you carry around in your head. Out of six, I was the only one who knew Kansas was the sunflower state. We all totally bombed on a question of name 10 of the top 20 movies of 2007. Could you do it? We got five right. Ugh. I think we'll go back next week and test our brains again.

I took the Zumba class at the gym today and I still love it. The hour just flies by. I wish all the classes were that fun. I have to get back to lifting weights, too. Those are tricky with the neck/shoulder thing.

No big plans for the weekend, but something always pops up. Have a great one!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

August 7, 2008

I get hungry for pie every time I see those photos.

Today was group strength training at the gym--can you tell I am a gym rat? I honestly feel bad when I don't get to go. It's a great addiction.

I've decided that I have got to start making a list or lists of things I want to accomplish, both short term and long. If I don't I will continue to drift whichever way the wind takes me.

Tonight we are going to an Irish pub with my sister and brother-in-law. It's trivia night so it should be loads of fun. My sister goes every Thursday night and usually calls me with questions. I am her "phone a friend."

They have an awesome cottage pie, which I love. I'll have that and a pint (Guinness, of course) and I will be good to go! Sl√°inte. (Cheers in Irish).

Hmm, I ended with a pie reference, although not the sweet kind...go figure.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

August 6, 2008-Bonus Blog

I came across some photos from our trip to Cherokee, NC for July 4th.

Can I just say that I live for pie? My niece and I eat pie on all our vacations. We are actually in search of... We call each other "pie-rates."

Well, honey, too. I am a honey junkie and have to buy some no matter where I travel.

August 6, 2008

I finally got a photo of me at the beach this past week, holding a very large shark's tooth that I found. Topsail Beach, NC, which is where we go, has a large collection of shark's teeth lying on the beach. I have never found one this large before!

I managed to update my website yesterday and added a vanilla ice cream recipe for August. I figured who doesn't like ice cream on a hot summer day? Check it out:

It feels good to be checking things off my "to do" list.

I took a circuit training class today--I will be sore tomorrow.

I am hoping to finish up my bio and platform for the WWA board position. I've been struggling to make it sound perfect, but I guess I just need to be who I am and not worry about being elected. If it happens great, if not, then it wasn't meant to be.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

August 5, 2008

Today is a great day! I am on the front page of True West magazine's webpage. How awesome is that? For a western writer - that's big time. Check it out:

I took my kickboxing class at the gym today and it felt great to be back at it.

Yesterday I was able to tackle a large portion of my bio and platform for the WWA board position. It made me stop and think a lot about being a western author. If someone had told me 20 years ago that I would have four published books, been on four TV shows, and be considered an authority on food in the Old West, I would have said they were nuts!

It only took until I was 35 to start doing what I loved...the wheels move slow sometimes. But, good things really do come to those who wait. Hmm, think I should add any more of those? ;)

I need to update my website today or tomorrow with the August recipe and my last Southwest Blend interview.

Monday, August 4, 2008

August 4, 2008

I guess you figured out that I didn't blog from the beach. I guess I should have, but honestly, it was nice being away from the computer.

Let's see, we ate tons of seafood, which I cooked. We had scallops, clams, grouper, red snapper, crab, and shrimp. Every night was something a little different. We did have London broil one night for dinner.

The beach was beautiful as always. Most days I just sat in my beach chair with a canopy (so I didn't fry). I read a little, visited with my in-laws, and went swimming. I couldn't use the boogie board this year because of my neck injury.

We went fishing one night on the pier and my brother-in-law caught a three foot shark, which he thankfully let go.

We got home on Saturday, unloaded the car, and then collapsed. There was a bit of tension between some of the relatives this year, which made the vacation stressful at times. In a way, I am glad to be home.

I skipped the gym today because I am still exhausted, but I will get back at it tomorrow.

I need to submit a plan for my 2009 column to True West magazine, which means I will be focusing on that. I am also trying to plan a trip to California wine country either this month or next so I can do research on my next book.

So much to do, so little time...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

July 23, 2008

Well, last night's event was pretty interesting. There were about 10of us at a local coffee shop. This was the second meeting, but everyone attending was a first-timer like myself. I was a little late so I missed some of the the Intros. It seems I was the only published author attending, which is not a big deal.

Listening to the attendees, most of whom are still looking to be published was very interesting. I sometimes forget that I was just where they are at one point. I have been truly blessed in my writing career with supportive people, great publishers (well, most were), and some plain 'ole dumb luck! I offered to share what I know from my last 10 years with anyone who wanted to listen. I wish I had a group like this when I started.

It was nice to chat about writing with a bunch of people who don't know a whole lot about the west. It seemed strange to me sitting around a coffee shop in NC talking about the old west. Bob, the man in charge of the meeting knows a lot about trains and likes Tombstone. He saw that Bob Boze Bell wrote the forward for Tombstone's Treasure and said he knew who he was. See Bob - even in the south your rep is known! LOL

I will go back for next month's meeting...

I skipped the gym today because I have so many things to do before the beach week. Also, the DirecTV man is coming today. It's was on those appointments...we'll be there between noon and four. Just great. They have been trying to get me perfect reception for over eight months now and I am so tired it. First it was my equipment, then it was my trees, now it's my equipment again. If this doesn't get fixed I am switching to Disk Network, which I can get free for one year with my phone service.

Back to work...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

July 22, 2008

My dinner with Sharon was fun as usual. I brought her up to date on all my author things, including the radio interview.

I took the kickboxing class, but I did have to curtail some of the punching because my shoulders started to hurt.

I am cleaning off my desk because I just can't stand the clutter. I also had to get to some things that have deadlines.

I owe Univ of New Mexico a yeah or nay for a peer review. I promised another author I would give her a quote for her book jacket and I still have research to do on two of my own projects. Whew.

When I get back from the beach, I am going to take at least one hour per day and dedicate it to research or I will never get anywhere.

Tonight is the Apex Author's Guild meeting--I am curious to see how it goes. Generally, being a western author in NC is tough. Unless you write about the Civil War, slavery, or southern iced tea, no one cares.

I am going with a positive attitude... :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

July 21, 2008

This weekend was spent shopping for the beach week. Sunday was spent planting some flowers and other assorted yard things.

My Southwest Blend interview went very well. If you missed it, you can still catch it using the link in my last blog.

I am meeting my friend Sharon for dinner tonight, which is always fun.

I took a new class at the gym today. What a workout! I say that a lot, huh? Anywho, it was. We did intervals on the elliptical and then worked various body parts. I still have to take it easy when it comes to upper body stuff. My neck and shoulders are still weak and sensitive.

Tomorrow I will attempt Kick Boxing, but maybe not throw any punches.

Friday, July 18, 2008

July 18, 2008

So yesterday I found out that my friends, Bob and Meghan at True West magazine, want to include my blog for the TW world to see with my new column. Oh boy! Knowing that, I better shape up...

I went to Zumba class at the gym today again - I still love it. Lots of great salsa music - we did the Cha Cha Cha, Cumbia, and the mambo, plus a ton of other sexy Latin moves. We shook our hips and our upper body. Muy diversión (much fun). The lyrics to one of the songs is "arriba, abajo, arriba abajo." Imagine that with fast latin music playing...I can't get it out of my head. Arriba, abajo, ah caramba. The words mean up and down.

This Sunday I have another online radio interview with Southwest Blend. This will be about my Tombstone's Treasure book.

Like last time, I will be on beginning at 2:25 ET. Here's the link to the show:

Make sure you don't click the link until after 2:00 ET or you won't get the show.

Y'all have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

July 17, 2008

Yesterday was a great day at my regular job. You know, that one that actually pays the bills? I even get to be creative and write.

We are getting ready to launch our first company newsletter for our clients and I am in charge of it. It's been a ton of fun finding content for it. Yesterday I spent a good deal of time looking for funny, yet appropriate jokes that I could include.

Here's what I used: How do crazy people go through the forest? They take the psycho path. Okay, you at least chuckled, right?

Today is just as fun since I am scouring YouTube for some funny videos.

On my author front--I have made zero progress lately. I have so many little things, like website updates, WWA board prep, WWW board stuff, virtual updates, radio interview prep, and so much more. I need to make a list and get my a$$ in gear. Good Lord, it's already July 2008!

I did find an interesting notice in the paper--it's for a local writers guild calling for local authors. They have a meeting next week, which I will attend.

Tomorrow: Info about my Sunday radio interview and my new column in True West magazine. Bloggers beware...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

July 15, 2008

I went back to the doctor today since my neck pain seems to be getting worse than better. He seems to think it's just swelling, but wants me to start physical therapy (PT). He then wants to see me in six weeks to see my progress. However, if I see certain signs, then I need to contact him right away.

Okay, back on my's bad enough that someone has turned my life upside down because of carelessness, right? But noooo, the girl who hit me, let's call her R, insurance company called today.

First she asked how I was. After I told her I had just been to the doctor's office and what was happening, she started with an accusatory tone. "Well, I guess you had a pre-existing condition, because you should be healed by now." How the heck does she know when I should be healed? Is she a closet-practicing doctor?

"I'll need all your past records, why did you get acupuncture in the past, etc.," WHAT? "My client's car didn't have any damage, so why are you still hurting?" Uh well, don't you remember, my freakin' car was totaled! How did that happen? Geez.

Her tone was totally uncalled for and I am tempted to hire an attorney just so I don't have to deal with her anymore.

I'll step down...

Monday, July 14, 2008

July 14, 2008

The weekend was nice. We took my new car shopping on Saturday and Sunday we cleaned out the garage (well, most of it). There is still much to be done, but it's looking better.

After the garage we need to tackle the attic, but that's a fall job. It's about 130 degrees up there right now.

I got this really cool notice in my email today from True West magazine's executive editor, Bob Boze Bell:

"We are planning some groovy surprises for this fall.

My good friend Sherry Monahan is going to start doing a column on food and entertainment in the Old West. Sherry's book "Taste of Tombstone" is an excellent source for what the cowboys and gamblers of Arizona actually ate in the cafes and restaurants of frontier Arizona.

As readers of True West magazine already know, Tombstone was quite cosmopolitan. For grins, here are some examples of menu items from 1882 at the Maison Doree:

.. Chicken Liver Crochettes, ala Parisienne
.. Veal Cutlettes, plain and breaded
.. Antelope, a la Governor
.. Oyster Patties
.. Salmon Croquettes in Cream Sauce (also Colorado River Salmon in Lobster Sauce)
.. Spring Lamb
.. English Plum Pudding, Hard Brandy Sauce
.. Cream Pie

And no, there is no mention of cowboy beans at any of the numerous restaurants in the fancy silver mining town. "

I knew I was getting a column but it was so cool to see this!

This photo is of me and Bob at the Western Writers of America booksigning last month in Scottsdale.

Friday, July 11, 2008

July 11, 2008

It's Friday, although it was a short week for me. :)

I went to the gym today! I took a Zumba class, which is a cardio workout done to Latin music. It was totally awesome, and I can't wait for next Friday.

I had an acupuncture appointment today to help with my neck and shoulders. They are thinking I might have a pinched nerve. Ouch.

This weekend will be time to clean out the garage - there is too much junk. Goodwill here we come...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

July 10, 2008

I got my new (used) car last night. It's so "luxurious" according my niece.

We had wicked storms last night, so the car got wet on the way home.

I have been struggling with some intense neck pain today. It feels like something is pinching and it hurts like crazy. My doc said some days would be worse than others until I am completely healed.

It's amazing how one event can cause a cascade of others...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

July 9, 2008

I know it's been a while since my last post, but things got a little crazy with accident issues, the holiday, and vacation.

I am still working with the insurance companies to get my old car and medical bills paid off. I am getting a new (used) car tonight, finally. I will have my own wheels again. It's another Jag...

Nothing new on the writing front just yet - I am still plugging along on various projects.

Our niece, Jamie, came into town last week for her annual vacation. We saw fireworks for the holiday and then headed to Cherokee, NC to camp for a few days.

The camping was fun, but it rained off and on the entire time, which is not ideal for one sleeping on the ground in a tent. The dampness did not help the pain in my neck and shoulders from the accident.

I cooked steak, BBQ chicken, and big fat juicy burgers for dinners. Hot coffee, eggs, French toast (pictured) and sausage for breakfasts.

We learned a great deal about the Cherokee Indians during our visit. We also went tubing down a river, where it rained on us.

By Tuesday morning, we had had enough, and were ready for comfy beds and "hotel" sheets. We got home and had movie night - two nights in a row. We saw Cool Runnings, Stripes, Waking Ned Devine, and Trading Places. We also watched the finale of Hell's Kitchen. I picked the winner about four weeks ago.

Tomorrow I will attempt the gym for the first time since my accident. I hope I can handle it. It's really bugging me to not be working out.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

June 26, 2008

No post yesterday. Honestly, I was too upset.

I found out my car is going to be totaled because it will cost too much to repair. I am so bummed - I have owned that car since the beginning. I know it's only a car and I am happy it sacrificed itself for me, but still...

What really steams me is that I will likely not get enough to even pay it off. So this chick slams into me, I have injuries, aggravation, stress, depression, and tons of things to organize, and now I have to deal with getting another car. It's not fair - they should have to set me back to where I was before all this happened.

I know things happen for a reason, but I will be danged if I understand this one.

Well, off my podium, for the moment.

I did manage to get some information for True West for my feature column on western food. I am very excited about that for 2009.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June 24, 2008

Today my knee, neck, and shoulders are bothering me. I guess they were right when they said I would feel things much later. I am really ticked off that I can't do my regular things at the gym.

Tomorrow I am going to get an appt to see my family doctor and get some sound advice.

I've got some minor things I need to finish up for the saloon story.

Still no word on my car yet...

Monday, June 23, 2008

June 23, 2008

I did take it easy this weekend. I also found out that I will be getting a regular column in True West magazine starting in 2009. Yippee!! It will be about food, of course...

I am more sore today than I have been since the accident. I had a chiropractor visit and need two more this week. They towed my car today and I should hear something this week about "Miss Kitty's" fate. I've included a photo. The damage looks worse in person than in this photo.

Now I am really ticked - I can't get back to my regular gym workout for at least two weeks. Oh sure, cardio is fine, but no weights.

Oh yes, I made Bob Boze Bell's blog again - this time in name and with a sketch from a seminar at the WWA convention. You can look under June 19 in his blog and see the sketch.

Friday, June 20, 2008

June 20, 2008

Some updates...

Turns out they did not catch the losers who stole our stuff--my neighbor got it wrong. The detective said there are no arrests.

I made the gym Tuesday-Thursday. It felt good getting back to it. However, on my way home yesterday, I was rear-ended. Several cars came to a sudden stop, but the 19 year-old behind me didn't. Well, she did after she slammed into me. I estimated she was doing between 25-35 m.p.h.

First, I am only bruised and sore. There were two police officers in that line of sudden stoppers, so they were on the scene when it happened. My knee slammed into the dashboard, which is odd because I was wearing my seat belt. I guess my butt slid forward.

All the stuff in my car was tossed around. At first I was in shock, then I was just really scared. I saw her coming and knew I was in trouble.

The police officer sent for an ambulance because my back was really sore. The EMS guy suggested they put me on one of those straight boards and strap my head to it. I looked like a pro-football player.

Needless to say, I was embarrassed. Here I was in my workout clothes, all sweaty, hair soaked, and I am laying in the middle of the highway (on a stretcher) for all passers-by to gawk at. Ugh.

I was taken to the hospital, tested, x-rayed, and no broken bones. Yee-haw!

My poor car took the brunt of the hit. I fear they may total it because of all the damage. I will take a photo and post it.

Anyway, I will be taking it easy today and this weekend. More on the car and me later.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

June 17, 2008

I made it to he gym today for some group strength training. I missed the kickboxing one because my sleeping schedule is still off. It takes me about 3-4 days to get back to normal, uh, well, as normal as I can be.

I heard they caught the dirt bags who stole our stuff, but I am waiting to hear from the detective on the case for the details. I will post them when I hear.

Being at a writer's conference is so inspiring, and depressing all at the same time. I come back raring to go, stories a plenty, but then realize I have a full-time job. I need to eat and pay bills, so I guess the writing will continue to take a backseat. Renewed writing energy is hard to beat though!

Did I mention that I have been toying with a book idea and after this past week, I am going to tackle it with's about wine in the old west.

I got to speak with my good friend Tom today, which is always nice! He and I are working on some plans for the future...

Monday, June 16, 2008

June 16, 2008

I bet y'all thought I fell off the face of the Earth. Well, I didn't, I just went to Arizona.

It was a trip of book signings, entertaining writing friends, setting history straight, attending a writers conference, and visiting new historical places. What a whirlwind tour, of sorts.

We went to Tombstone first, where we stayed on our 40 acres. It was awesome. Well, except for being stung by a killer bee (at least I think it was a killer bee). People tease me about being the "Martha Stewart" of camping. Who knows, I may just get a TV show out of it! Yes, I eat steak or pork tenderloin that I grilled over my stone mesquite pit. I also serve wine and make a dessert on the fire that resembles crepes. What can I say? I love to cook!

We then went to Scottsdale for the Western Writers of America (WWA) convention. It's an awesome group with lots of famous faces. I met old friends and acquired some news ones. I also got lots of books and sold a few, too.

A couple of publishers are interested in some new books ideas, including some fictional titles I've been toying with.

The WWA president, Johnny Boggs (just did a True West story with him) asked me to run for one of the WWA board positions. There are four candidates and two positions. Sounds like running a political party. I don't run until February 2009.

Saturday night was the big gala where the Spur Awards are given. I didn't win one, but my good friend, Bob Boze Bell of TW magazine, did. We were even invited to sit at his table with his family and staff. Bob is one of the first people to support my writing, and still does. He has been my mentor for years and I hope to keep it that was for a long time.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

June 4, 2008

It was crazy yesterday. Trying to deal with insurance claims, the cell phone company, and more because of the break-in. Turns out, I should thank the dirt bags! My insurance company is replacing the XM radio and GPS with better models than we already had. At no cost to us- very nice.

It looks like there were 10 of us in total who were ripped off. I still hope they catch them.

Took my kickboxing class yesterday and pretended I was kicking the crap out of the thief. It felt great! I had one hell of a workout.

Watched Hell's Kitchen last night and enjoyed it.

The painters finished the house today, so all can be put back together again. The house looks really nice. I am pleased with the colors and the job they did.

I missed the gym today, but got my hair done in prep for my Arizona trip next week. I will get back to it tomorrow.

Monday, June 2, 2008

June 2, 2008

Well, just when you think you are safe, you find out that you're not! Last night, someone broke into our car in our driveway and stole the GPS, cell phone, and XM radio. Criminals are so stupid - they can't use the XM radio because they stole the faceplate, which is useless because the radio is installed in the car. All they did was cause us to replace the whole damn system!

Had to get a new cell phone and will have to get a new GPS as well. I am so pissed it's not even funny. You know, you work hard for your stuff and then some dirt bag just takes it. There is also the "violatation" that you feel. It's weird.

I hope the cops catch the low-life excuses for human beings.

Sorry, but that felt good.

Friday, May 30, 2008

May 30, 2008

Dang it! I missed another day. Well, I probably didn't have much to write about anyway.

Made it to the gym again yesterday, and worked on some research for a saloon story for True West magazine. I worked on some travel plans for my Arizona trip next week and booked our niece's plane ticket for her July visit. I think we are going camping in the NC mountains.

I finished my part of the saloon story today and sent it to the co-author of the story. His name is Johnny Boggs and he is a fantastic writer. Great sense of humor, too.

It feels so good to finish a project. I worried about it for a week and then I finally did it. Wished I had done it sooner.

I took a new class at the gym today - 20/20/20. Twenty minutes of cardio, kick boxing, and weight lifting. Great work out!

Sticking close to home this weekend to pack for the trip.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May 28, 2008

Today started out with a good workout at the gym. It's been raining most of the day, so no walk.

My publisher called to say he really likes the Pioneer book and gave me some tips to strengthen the Intro and Biblio. I will work on that this week/weekend so I can send it off to him.

Not much else is going on...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

May 27, 2008

It was a nice long weekend. The two parties on Sunday were totally different, but both were fun.

Yesterday, I planted more flowers that I care to remember. My back is letting me know about it today.

Watched three of my favorite movies this weekend. All involving Clint Eastwood, of course. First was Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which he produced and directed. Then it was Any Which Way but Loose and Any Which Way You Can.

I forgot to mention that I am hooked on a new show. It's called Robin Hood and airs on BBC America.

Friday, May 23, 2008

May 23, 2008

Well, I totally spaced this blog yesterday. I had my teeth cleaned, which took two hours (no, they're not that bad) because I had to wait for the dentist to show up. Boy was I pi$$sed.

Anyway, I had to skip the gym, then the painters showed up and I had some additional prep work.

I forgot to mention that I took on another assignment from my publisher. This time it's to review another author's work and recommend for or against publishing. I read the Intro and I am already hooked...

I also have to work on my saloon story for True West magazine this weekend. The deadline is coming real fast.

We have two Memorial Day parties on Sunday and I am not sure what's in store for Monday since we have off. Maybe planting flowers, shopping, who knows.

Have a super weekend!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

May 21, 2008

I started the day by taking a circuit training class. I always feel so much better when I work out, but I wish I would see some physical progress.

I watched Gordon Ramsay last night and I must say that his temper trantrums are getting a little over the top. C'mon - kicking the trash can and throwing pans. I also watched a very neat show on the legend of the crystal skulls. Well, Indiana Jones premieres tomorrow so it caught my eye. It was an awesome show, but I am bummed to know that civiliation as we all know it will cease to exist on December 21, 2012 if you believe the legend! That is, of course, unless all 13 skulls are aligned in time.

I got some living to do then...that's only four years. :)

We are having the exterior of the house painted, but the painters didn't show up today. They should be here tomorrow...tonight however, I have to remove all the plants, furniture, etc. from the porch and back deck.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 20, 2008

I took the kick boxing class again and I still love it. I fell on my a$$ while doing one move, but I don't believe I did any damage. I also had a mammogram today - ouch! You would think in the 21st century they would have something less painful. I guess the alternative is worse.

Weird weather - today is sunny and 80 while yesterday was overcast, 65 and cool. We're supposed to have wicked t-storms later.

I am working on a new article for True West magazine with fellow author Johnny Boggs about saloons in the west. It should be tons of fun.

My new addiction, Hell's Kitchen, is on tonight...

Monday, May 19, 2008

May 19, 2008

Well, we took the carry concealed handgun class on Saturday. The class started at 7:45 a.m. and lasted until 6:15 p.m. that night. We were exhausted. There are so many things that I did not know about the gun laws in NC. I guess I knew, but forgot, but we can carry a handgun on our property and in public, as long as is it NOT concealed. However, there is a little law that says if you do that and it freaks people out, then you can go to jail for a carry wisely!

Our class was to allow us to carry a concealed handgun. Not that I really want to everywhere I go, but it will be nice in some places.

Yesterday was spent at my mom's house. We did a ton of yard work for her as her Mother's Day gift. I pressured washed some chairs and back deck. I also trimmed all her bushes and helped plant some others.

Needless to say my back, arms, feet, oh hell, I hurt all over!

Friday, May 16, 2008

May 16, 2008

Last night we went to dinner at the little Italian place nearby. They have gotten better at service and the food is always pretty tasty. I opted for lasagna.

Today I started with a 2-mile power walk. I also just got back from the gym where I lifted weights.

Tomorrow is going to be interesting. We have decided to take a class so we can have permits to carry handguns. It's not that I wanna go toting a gun around on my hip like Wyatt Earp (well, that would be cool), it's more so that when we take our guns to Arizona, I have a permit that says I can. It's not illegal, but it sure will avoid any confusion with the law.

As you might guess, I am not afraid of guns and have had them around me all my life. My father was a hunter and he taught me to respect firearms--and how to use them.

I will report on the class in my Monday blog.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

May 14, 2008

Oops-missed yesterday.

I took a circuit training class yesterday at the gym - pretty intense. I also managed to update my website and it includes a May recipe and links to some new stuff under the appearance page.

Today I took the group strength training class. My shoulders are still sore from the kick boxing class. It was pretty cool today when the instructor told me I had "great arms." Sweet!

I have to admit that I love Gordon Ramsay. I swore I wouldn't watch Hell's Kitchen after last year, but I am hooked. I wonder what that says about me? LOL

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

May 13, 2008

Last night's concert at the local high school was very nice.

Today I took a kick boxing class, which I have never done before. It was very cool, but I need some practice! I will definitely take that again next week.

I need to update my website to include the May free recipe. I also just noticed that one of my 2004 Wild West Tech shows is replaying on May 31 at 9 a.m. so I want to add that.

It's hard to believe I did that four years ago. It was that Gold Rush Tech show that got me my stint on Lost Worlds. The producer, Tom, said that's where he saw me for the first time. Who knows what the Lost Worlds episode will lead to...

Monday, May 12, 2008

May 2, 2008

The weekend was nice-did the usual: shopping, tasting, etc. Yesterday was Mother's Day and I was planning to make mom dinner. However, one of her kitties got sick so we rushed him to the pet E.R. He only had a sore throat and bad virus. Before all that I planted flowers and things in the yard. It was really overcast and windy.

I managed to book all my travel plans for Arizona next month. I will be in Tombstone for a few days and then up to Scottsdale for the WWA convention.

Today is still very windy and cool. I have a cello concert to attend tonight, which should be nice.

Friday, May 9, 2008

May 9, 2008

Today was a weird day. I attempted to go for a walk at 8:30 and still haven't made it. I guess no workout today. My Internet went down and I had three meetings that I couldn't miss, so I was scrambling to find a local place with wi-fi. Just when I did, the Internet came back up. I've been in meetings ever since.

I am finally done and getting ready to quit.

Tomorrow will be spent shopping and wine tasting.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

May 8, 2008

I had dinner with my mom last night and helped her with her foster kitties.

I am feeling much better today so I went to the gym and took a group strength training class. Now I feel really good - tired, but good!

It's rainy today and the weather is supposed to get pretty ugly later tonight.

Oh, that interview I did is here:

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

May 7, 2008

Yesterday afternoon was a good day. I got my Washington Redskins season ticket seats upgraded to an awesome new section. No more covered dungeon seats - these are about 20 rows from the field!!

A friend also called with some potentially good news...which I will share if, no, when it happens.

I had dinner with another friend last night and she watched my Lost Worlds show on my DVD player. It was actually funny - we were in the back of the restaurant and a couple sat near us. We chuckled at the show a couple of times and they asked us what we were watching. Sharon told them and they said, wow, we're eating dinner with someone famous. Well, you know me and my smart a$$ attitude, so I said, yep, you knew me on sight (of course they had no idea who I was)! Before they left they toyed with the idea of getting my autograph. Well, that would have been a first for me. I have only ever given my John Hancock when I've sold a book!

I skipped the gym today because I am feeling a little off today. I am not sure what's wrong, but I just don't feel 100%. I will attempt a walk later.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

May 6, 2008

Happy Primary Election Day!

I say happy because maybe, until November, the numerous political calls will end. I swear if Hillary Clinton calls me one more time... (well it's a recording). ;)

Anyway, I did my civic duty. It should be interesting to see how things play out tonight.

I went to the gym today, but missed yesterday.

Dinner was yummy last night - I made Chile Rellenos, refried beans, green corn tamales, and margaritas, of course!

I did an interview with Marsha Ward, which will be posted to her blog soon. When it does, I will include the link here.

Monday, May 5, 2008

May 5, 2008

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

We had a blast on Saturday at the antiques fair. The weather was perfect. We got there about 10:30 and left at 4:30. We only stopped to eat, which consisted of NC BBQ at the Presbyterian Church. Needless to say our feet were tired.

I was amazed at the amount of western collectibles I saw in NC. I bought three books. One is a 1956 children's book called, Wyatt Earp, the next is a 1938 booklet called, Hell's Hip Pocket, and the third is the Last of the Mochicans by James Fenimore Cooper, with not copyright date.

I also bought a Derby hat in honor of the day. After lunch we dropped off some purchases and enjoyed the juleps I brought along. How sad they had to put down Eight Belles.

Yesterday we did a little shopping and then came home and did yard work. I planted flowers and herbs and cleaned out some flower beds.

Heading to the gym later...although I think I got plenty of exercise over the weekend.

Friday, May 2, 2008

May 2, 2008

I have been doing really well with going to the gym and walking. I was up early today so I already did my walking. I will hit the gym for weight lifting later today. I also need to help with the feral kitties - nail clipping.

The interview I did on Sunday is available anytime on the Website and they also included a review of Taste of Tombstone (2008 version).

Tomorrow we are headed to a quaint little town called, Cameron. They have a bi-annual antiques fair and they place is bursting at the seams with antique dealers. It was a blast last year and I can't wait to go tomorrow. We're going with another couple - Bev and Dave, who are long-time friends from high school.

Tomorrow is also Kentucky Derby day so I am taking some Mint Juleps to go!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May 1, 2008

Happy May!

Yesterday was one of those days when being an author is very cool. I know this may not be a big deal to some who read this, but to an author doing research for their next book - it is!

I was doing some research for my top secret book and was looking through old newspapers (online) and was tracking a particular man. Well, low and behold, the 1890s newspaper included a sketch of this guy, plus some other sketches associated with the story. OMG! That is so freakin' cool. I can't wait to use this in my book. See? It may seem a little nutty, but it's such an awesome feeling.

When I gave my talk in Georgia about researching the Old West, I alluded to something like this. As a researcher, you look for all sorts of "treasures" and when you find the big nugget, it's a real rush.

I made it to the gym yesterday and will go today. It's supposed to be 77, so I will attempt an afternoon walk as well.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April 30, 2008

Oh's hard to believe that May is just around the corner. I have so many things I want to accomplish and time seems to be racing by.

The beer fest was a blast! We only tasted 32 of them and no one got drunk. We had lots of water and food, which I am sure helped.

The interview went very well, and they want to have me back again for another one.

It poured most of the day Monday so I stayed home and did not work or go to the gym. I made up for it yesterday by doing both. I will do that again today.

Despite it being May tomorrow, I have made some excellent progress on two of my books! I haven't heard anything from the NYC agent or the publisher - so who knows...

I swear that the waiting part of being an author is the toughest.

I've made an observation that I thought I would share - it seems that some of my friends have changed of late. It's kind of weird and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Wait - is it my friends or is it me? Hmm.