Category Archives: family

Cute kid stories

My kids are grown. Yes, I’m old enough to have grandkids (But only because my children got started early)–I’ve talked about them before.

Anyway, the older son recently called to tell me some cute grandboy stories. The oldest is eight, will be nine in July. He was walking with his dad in some large mega-box store, and it was crowded, so Dad said “Hey, give me your hand. We need to hold hands.”

And the boy said “Oh Dad, that’s so embarrassing.” At eight. Broke his Daddy’s heart. They grow up so fast. Of course, Dad made him hold hands anyway.

His little brother, our youngest grandchild, just turned six. He’s been dying to be a Cub Scout since he was three, when his big brother joined up, and will finally get to be a Tiger Cub in the fall when he starts first grade. (We come from a Boy Scout family–the fella is an Eagle Scout, as are our two sons.) And since Mom is a Den Leader, the little guy has been going to all his big brother’s meetings, pretty much since the beginning.

So at the most recent Bear Cub den meeting (3rd grade Cub Scouts), a new boy came. After the meeting, the new kid started beating up one of the other little brothers. The littlest grandboy pulled him off and pushed him back and said, “Do you want to be a Cub Scout?”

The new kid said “Yeah.”

And my Guy said “Then act like one.”

Just warmed the cockles of my heart. He’s such a good kid.

Oh, and the middle grandboy–the daughter’s son. He’s the one with autism. Anyway, Mom’s taking him on one of her conference trips so he can go stay with his other grandparents in Colorado, since her conference is in Denver.

She was telling him they were going to go on an airplane to see Grammy and Grandpa. He comes back with “Go see Gigi and Granddaddy” (what the little boys call us). They go back and forth a couple of times about which grandparents they were going to go see, and she finally asks him, “WHY do you want to go see Gigi and Granddaddy?”

He comes back with “Go to the Beach.”

Beach trumps mountains for a kid who lives where it snows, I guess. Apparently not because he wants to see US. 😉

Ah well. I enjoy cute kid stories. I have a number saved up from when my kids were little, to tell the grandkids and embarrass their parents one of these days. You got any to share?

Another Travelogue

I did have an idea for something to write in this blog last night…and of course, now that it’s morning, I’ve forgotten every idea I ever had. Sigh.

Maybe if I put on my computer glasses… Yes, I have a separate pair just for working at the computer. Trifocals would just divide up my bad vision that much more…

Nope. Doesn’t help. So you will get another travelogue, because I am now home from San Francisco, fixing to head out again (Yes. FIXING TO. I am a Texan. Deal with it.)

So. We ate our way across San Francisco and Sausalito. Went with a group of fellow Galvestonians to Muir Woods to see the redwoods. Wow. If I knew where the camera was, I would download pictures and post them. But it’s in the fella’s briefcase, and that sucker has so many compartments and booby traps, I’m afraid to go hunting for it. (The camera, not the briefcase. Though I’m not sure where that is either.)

We went on a small bus, because the large ones won’t fit on the road that goes down into the canyon where Muir Woods National Monument is. The only road I’ve been on that compares, in terms of twisty hairpin curves and vertical drops was in Norway. Even Independence Pass, across the Continental Divide in Colorado, does not compare. And our bus driver drove like a bat out of Hades. And we were in the very back seats on the bus, thumping up and down and swaying and almost flying out of our seats with every curve and pothole. It was rather like a rollercoaster. Only without safety bars. Though on the way down, I was wedged in pretty tight–the seats barely had room for my knees…

But the trees were amazing. And the creek was picturesque. We even saw a 10-point black-tailed buck. Cool.

We ate fish & chips in Sausalito for lunch. We rode the ferry across the bay and watched some stunt pilots in the air show. There were so many pleasure boats out on the water (both sail & motor) I’d swear you could walk from Fisherman’s Wharf to Alcatraz stepping from one boat to another. There was probably more room than that between them, but it looked that close. We went looking for a balcony to watch the rest of the air show (It was Fleet Week, and the Blue Angels were supposed to perform.) and wound up eating again. I had ice cream. With very delicious chocolate sauce, and whipped cream.

Then we walked further down Fisherman’s Wharf to find another “better” view of the Blue Angels–except they called off the show on account of fog and wind. Oh well. So we went and sat outside a pub where they were watching the Texas-Colorado game inside. These were mostly Colo. fans. (Oh well.) And I was freezing. I pretty much froze the entire time I was in San Francisco. Except when I was inside the MoMA and had to take off my jacket. The rest of the time, I was cold.

Eventually, we worked our way back to the hotel. And went out for Chinese food for supper. We were going to go to the Irish Pub down the street first, but they were so slammed, we never got waited on. (And I wanted to have a cider. Darn.) So we left. And that was our eating adventure.

When I got hungry the next day, I wasn’t sure if I was really hungry, or just so used to being stuffed to the gills, it felt strange when I wasn’t…

I have thought nothing about writing. I have done my morning pages. Except for today. Drat. Better go do that. I had the notebook out, but… I’m being very bad.

Still have a few more things to do before I can leave to check on parents. Like buy gas for the vehicle. I’ll get there. I think I’m going to have to start going up to go to all doctor appointments with them. I wonder if I can get Daddy on that Alzheimer’s medicine. I’m not sure that’s what Mama has, but I think that’s my Daddy’s problem. We’ll talk about it.

Grandboy visits

The daughter and her boy came to visit. For two weeks. It was wonderful. :)

They came to see us, and to let his dad get some work done on his dissertation so he could get it finished. So I didn’t get a whole lot of writing done while they were here. Partly because the first week they were here, my parents, sisters, brother, spouses, some nephews and a niece came to visit, and stayed in a beach house out on the west end of the island. We had to visit them as much as we could.

One of the nephews was just back from a Navy tour in Bahrain. He and the son went out one night. When the son came back the next day, he informed us, “I am never going drinking with a sailor again. Ever.” Oh well. Oh, and the day all of those relatives left, a nephew from the other side of the family–one of the fella’s brother’s boys–came to visit for 4 or 5 days. That was fun too. But again, didn’t get a lot of writing done. Did get a lot of swimming done. (Yay!)

The grandboy is six now. He likes to take pictures with his mom’s camera. With my camera too, but he took a picture of his nose with Mom’s. This is the boy with autism, and allergies to all dairy, as well as gluten. (The dairy is related to his autism, the gluten is related to his granddaddy.)

He had a few adventures with Dolly the granddog. She’s a pretty frisky, playful dog–she’s about 3 years old, and still has lots of energy, especially when meeting new people. Which scared the little guy. But it was too hot to be playful for very long, and she quickly learned that if she moved–if she even looked at him, he would run away. So she would just lie there in the shade and let him come to her.

Within a day or two, he approached her. Then he touched her feet. Then he patted her back. The next thing we knew, he had hold of her tail, had the white part in his mouth, biting it. (Don’t think he actually bit down, but…) It was rather traumatic getting him to calm down enough to listen to Granddaddy and understand “Don’t bite Dolly.” By the end of the visit, he was pulling up her lips trying to put dogfood in her mouth, and she would just turn her head and walk away. This picture of Dolly is about a year and a half old. She’s filled out quite a bit, looking very “pit bull.” It really is all in how they’re raised…

So, yeah. It’s been pretty crazy. But a lot of fun. :)

And I am writing. Really!

Wow–love this review!

I try to avoid reviews, because if they’re bad, they just aggravate the snot out of me, and if they’re good… Well, it’s hard to know if they’re going to be good or not. But this one–

I am honestly in awe. I not only love what this blogger said, I love how she said it. I never knew that was what I wrote–but I guess I did. I remember doing it. Anyway, go forth and read it if you are so inclined. It’s at Tempting Persephone.

(Yeah, I’m on leave from the p-t dayjob to write the book. Got 8 pages today. Will be at the grindstone–er, desk–to write more tomorrow.)

Oh, and the picture–it’s blurry because the gyroscope was moving, under the muscle power of my darling daughter who got to try it for the first time because grandparents were at the museum to chase the doodlebug (aka the middle grandboy) instead of her. I missed the “when she was upside down” shot. Oh well.

I DID take pictures

Yes, I really did take pictures. When I was in Washington, I went to the National Zoo, and took a picture of the panda. See? It was sleeping, but the camera did a really good job of zooming in on it. :)

I have other pictures, but I think if I insert them without taking up some of the space with text before I put the next picture in, they will try to overlap or something. So I shall blather on about nothing–or whatever I can think of–until I can put up another picture.

I am now on my hiatus from the dayjob to work on the book. Am I writing? Well, not RIGHT this second. I’m putting stuff in the blog. But I did work on it this morning. I got all my cover pictures up at the website. I’m not sure when I’ll be posting my excerpt–probably in October–but that’s not too far off. And I always post it to the newsletter folks first, so you know, if you want to read the excerpt, make sure you’re signed up for the newsletter.

Now for picture #2. My older son and his boys were here when I got home from D.C. and stayed for a week. They went out in the gulf to fish, and caught angelfish. I think I told you, but here’s the proof–the Big Guy with his angelfish. They’re striped when you eat them too, and they’re darn good eating.

The guys have been doing a lot of fishing lately. Earlier–at spring break, I think–they went out on a long boat trip and caught a bunch of vermilion snapper. The fella caught a HUGE red snapper, but had to throw it back because it was too big. Or maybe too small. I don’t remember. I do remember he had to throw it back. but not after he got a picture of it!

So there. I have shared pictures of the guys and their fish. (The oldest grandboy has a few speech issues–he has trouble with soft consonants, so “sh” tends to come out as “tch” and “f” tends to come out as a “p” or “b”. So he was in WalMart with his dad one day, in the pet section, and asked Dad to buy him a fish–except it came out with a ‘b’ at the front and a ‘tch’ at the end…)

Enough about fishing, and enough about the guys, right? You want to see a picture of ME, right? Even though they’re prettier than me…

So–I made this picture big, because it’s a pretty impressive fish–if you’re the type to be impressed by fish, which means I need to fill up more space. I also need to put my travel receipts into the accounting program. 😛 But it needs to be done. I have this bad tendency to save them up for 3 or 4 months and then do them all at once, digging them out from the wire basket on my desk, or the depths of the side pocket on my purse… I should do them right away, I know, but…

And I did have one last picture I wanted to share with you. I don’t look so hot in it, but my friend Rosemary is the star of the picture, because look at the pretty statue she’s holding. Yes, Rosemary Clement-Moore won the RITA award for Best Young Adult Novel at the RWA National Conference awards ceremony. She even let me rub RITA’s head for luck. I think she hand-carried her home to Dallas, for fear her feather pen would break off.

I have more pictures, and now that I am home for a while, I’ll try to get some of them posted with the blog, instead of a huge bunch with no art at all, then one blog with a bunch of pictures. I’ll space them out. I hope. If I remember to do it. You know how my memory is…


Again, a quiet weekend. The fella and I had an anniversary Friday–number 33–and he sent me a gorgeous huge orchid plant with many red-speckled yellow flowers blooming on it. HUGE plant. Good thing, because for dinner, we went to the college pot-luck awards ceremony. I did get the promise to go out again the next night.

Saturday, I decided I really needed to write at least a LITTLE, so I sat down for an hour and got 2.5 pages done. Happiness! Then we went out and ran errands. Like getting a birthday present for Idbit (AKA the littlest grandboy)–whose birthday was Saturday, and we had thought about his birthday and a present the week before, and promptly forgot about it until the day before his birthday. (sigh) Typical. We’ll hand deliver it.

I tried out office chairs at Office Depot — the paper is getting me a new one–and then we went across the causeway and got some frames for the two antique map reproductions the fella bought. That took a little time. Also found a frame (finally) for my sunflower-sand dune painting. Then we came home, took naps and went out to dinner at Landry’s for our “official” anniversary date. I really love their shrimp Fresca… Then we came home to watch “The Perfect Man” romantic comedy movie and discovered that the orchid I got was actually the perfect romantic occasion gift. Roses are great, but orchids… they’re the best. So it’s official. I received the perfect romantic anniversary gift. :)

I like orchids a lot. Have one on the back patio that survived the hurricane and the winter… I hope I can keep this one alive too. :)

The writing continues to go. Sometimes I’m not sure where it’s going, but at least it’s going…

On Writing, Blogging, and Editorializing

Now that I’ve written the title to this blog post, I’m not sure what I wanted to say about those topics. Let’s begin with this one: editorializing.

See, my dayjob is at a newspaper. I’ve always been a newspaper reader, even before I got to college and majored in journalism. I tend to read stuff in them, and then–many times–want to argue with the things I read. Which is kind of a lot what bloggers do. But see, being on staff at the paper, I can’t write letters to the editor. However, I CAN write columns. (They’re not actually editorials, since I’m not an editor, but merely a lowly editorial assistant.) So, I wrote one this week. About reading books–recommending that if people want to escape from reality a little while, movies are fine, but books last longer and have a lower cost-per-escape-time ratio. They’re trying to muscle me into writing a column more often–but I don’t know if I can stand once a week. I’ve done that, and sometimes I wrote some really drivel-y drivel. It may be “occasional.” Like whenever I think of something I want to write about.

Blogs are sort of like editorials for everyman. Letters to the universe, instead of the editor. Sometimes they’re read by millions–or thousands. Sometimes, they’re read by friends and family only. Hopefully the readership of this blog runs into the dozens. :)

Blogs are like editorials that people can write instant rebuttals to in the comments. The technology makes it easy for flame wars to get going, because people can just pop off. And there are no editors to clean up their grammar and turn their gibberish into logical sentences. (I’ve cleaned up a LOT of letters. What people mail/e-mail in looks a lot like some of the blog comments. Only less coherent, some of them.)

Let’s see–so I’ve blogged about editorializing. And blogging. So. Writing. Peh. (It’s like Meh, except more puffy, with a P.)

I’ve been making fair progress on the writing, since my realization of what the opening scene should be. Even though I have been smacked in the head with another story that has insisted on being written. I write the contracted book during regular writing-work hours, and have been writing the other one during the hours I would ordinarily be reading or watching television. (My current Netflix movies have been waiting for 2 weeks for me to watch them.) So I’m not taking away from the Official Book. It’s actually been working pretty well. This other one–I’m not even sure it IS a book. It might be. So I’ll see where it goes for a while. Even though I feel guilty, I’m doing okay on The Book.

Well, except for today. Today was a bust. First, I took the granddog to the beach for a walk, and even let her off the leash. She ran and chased the birds into the surf, and ran and ran, and did Not run off across the jetty, or bother the 2 people on the beach, and when she got tired, she came back and let me put the leash back on her. And because she chased the birds (seagulls and willets) into the surf, she got all salty and sandy. So I gave her a bath when we got home. (Mostly because she was stinky to start with.)

Except Dolly didn’t want a bath. She so didn’t want a bath, that she pulled out of her collar (which she didn’t do on the walk). I had to pick up wet, salty, sandy, stinky dog and Carry her to the hose/shampoo. She is not a particularly large dog. But she ain’t no toy poodle either…

She got her bath, though. Then I went inside and took one. Between the walk, the dog bath, my bath, the laundry, and all the other sundry things I had to do, it was getting late, I was feeling cranky, so I didn’t write today. There. I confessed. Sometimes I skip a day writing, even when I’m on deadline. I am hoping this will help … clear my palate. Or something. I think I’m about to run down with this side-writing thing. Right now, it’s feeling very Mary Sue-ish, so if I can’t fix that, it may not turn into a book. And I have A Book to write.

One I am liking, actually. I like how it’s going. I need to go back and tweak some of the early stuff so it doesn’t erase the conflict, but I think I know now how to do that now. Harry needs to shut up. He’s a talky kind of guy, (Some guys are–my oldest grandson is getting in trouble at school for the exact reason his dad used to–talking too much… ) and he believes in laying his cards on the table–but he doesn’t need to lay out quite so many of them. And he needs to be just a tad more aggressive.

Speaking of grandsons–they didn’t get to come last weekend. Just their dad. So all my boys–the fella and the two sons–had a boys’ day out and went Gulf fishing for the day on Friday. They caught two meals worth of vermilion snapper, which is not the same as red snapper, which is not in season. I’ll post a picture of the fella’s ginormous red snapper he caught. The youngest caught a 28-inch amberjack he had to throw back, because amberjacks have to be 32 inches to keep them. But the snapper was excellent. They invited me, but…

So. There you have it. Opinion, and news. What more do you need?

Right between the Eyes

Yep, just got smacked. Another year got me.

It has been CRAZY chez moi. A day or two after Dolly’s mega-adventure, her boy came home from college evac. He’ll be back in school on the local campus in the next week or so. A few days after that, he went with me to fetch the parents, since I was NOT letting them drive through Houston. We got to see my baby sister for a little visit, and some nieces and nephews, and then we were off, zipping back through the heinous Houston traffic. (I took the tollway, since I didn’t want to deal with downtown traffic, even during off hours.) And the parental units finally agreed that they really didn’t want to drive through Houston. The traffic was scary and the signs and exits were confusing. Given that Daddy got lost inside my house (!), I think it was the best decision. He has spatial issues and motivational issues. Mama just can’t hang onto events. She couldn’t remember whether she’d made arrangements to have her chairs recovered. (I went with her to do it, so I know it happened.) That sort of thing. (I figure the writing is on my wall, so I plan to enjoy my next 20 years or so…)(A LOT.)

It was good to have them down for a visit, though. The older son came in Christmas evening with his boys and we had Christmas all over again. The grandkids made out like bandits–which is as it should be. The boys had an all-night movie-watching marathon, which got postponed because the electricity went out for about 4 hours. (We had a cold supper that night.) We played our new games and laughed like loons–one of the games we got required writing down things that belonged in sets, like “Things a lady should not do” or “Things you should not say to your mother,” then guessing who wrote what. We had to repeat the things numerous times because Mama had trouble remembering what they were, so we got to doing them in a sort of shorthand. And of course, we decided that “Fart” could be a “thing” on most of the lists–and of course, boys being boys, “Fart” was the answer they gave a great deal of the time. And I got my tang all toungled repeating the answers so many times, and came out with “spart and fit” instead of what it was supposed to be, and made everyone laugh so hard I thought I might fall out of my chair.

You had to be there, I guess…

The little guys had to go home Monday morning, so I took the great grandparents home Monday afternoon. We had such a good visit. And then Tuesday, after I worked really hard on the writing and got lots of good stuff done, I went to the dayjob, and fell apart. The crud hit me so fast and hard, I was falling asleep over the computer, so I took my sore throat and icky feeling home and went to bed. I’m still coughing like I could lose a lung, but the ickiness is gone. The main problem was that the ick hit the brain.

I tried to write…one other day that week. Thursday–New Year’s Day, maybe. And the writing was good, but I had an inspiration during the writing for how the blackness of the moment would resolve itself…and when I finished the writing, I couldn’t remember what my inspiration was to make myself a note. Usually, I can remember, or at least reconstruct, but it was just gone. So I resorted to typing in/revisions for the next several days.

Today, I let myself get back to the writing, and it’s coming nicely. I like what I got today. It flows–and the braindead writing worked too, believe it or not. I have 3.5 more weeks to get this finished, typed and completely revised. Wish me luck. I’m going to make it. Without too much panicking involved…

The next book, however…

Happy New Year to all y’all.

I’ll try to post again this week, maybe about goals…

Lights, tunnels and trains

One party down, two to go. Then things may actually slow down up to Christmas. Maybe. Last night was my local RWA chapter party. Good eats, good company, good fun. I even came home with a new handkerchief and a silver-plated Christmas ornament. A pretty one. We’re having Christmas caroling at our house tonight. Tomorrow night is the Lion’s Club party. That requires another White Elephant gift. Since it’s the fella who’s a Lion and not me, I have placed him in charge of the elephant.

Today, I drafted the boy (okay, I bribed him with lunch out at Shrimp n’ Stuff–I had the 10-shrimp lunch special, and got Twelve shrimps!! Bonus!) to help me cart four boxes down to UPS to get Christmas presents shipped off to various Texas locations plus Pennsylvania. So that’s done. The fella wrapped presents and boxed them to ship while I went to the party. He’s a good guy like that. Then he cleaned up all the wrapping paper. What a guy! I did have to vacuum and clean bathrooms, but he picked everything up. We are now ready for the party tonight. I even made copies of the words to Christmas carols, so hopefully people will sing. I know at least one other person will sing, so I think we’re good.

I need to call the parental units to see what their schedule is and when they might be able to visit, but other than that–and figuring out what to get the man who buys for himself everything he wants–I think we’re done till the holiday arrives. The grandboys will come on Christmas day, so That’s when things will get busy again. I’m at the edge of the tunnel, if not out into the sunlight…

Which brings us to the writing tunnel. I can see the light. The end is there–and I write and write, and it doesn’t seem to get any closer! Days like today do not help, when I write for a couple of hours and realize that the pages don’t take me where I need to go. I can use some of the stuff I wrote, but there are too many people present in the scene. I know what’s wrong and how to fix that part, but I’m not sure how to set up the scene I need to write instead. Ugh. But I don’t have to bake anything or clean anything or shop for anything or mail anything (hmm–may have to mail–we’ll see) the rest of the week, so maybe I can figure it out and Get It Written.

I am coming up with some ideas for the next book, which is helpful, since it’s due in September. But dang, I got to get this one finished! Wish me luck.

High and dry

I tried to post another blog the other day, but the electricity blinked out for a few seconds at the parents’ house, and I never did get back to it.

So. The word is Very Good about our house. We did not get any water inside, not even in the garage, that we could tell. So my baby sister’s car is fine. We can’t get it out, but it’s fine. See, we only have a key to the front door of this rent house. The front door is a double door that had to be barricaded against getting blown in by a 2×4 bolted down to the door frame. (The bolts are permanently installed.) So we can’t get in the front door. And with the power off, we can’t open the garage door. We now have a generator (imported from Kansas, because apparently you can’t buy a generator in Texas for love nor money), but haven’t been able to get across the causeway to do anything about it. One of the trees got a little torn up. There are some shingles missing from the ridgeline. That’s about it, for our house. But the island is in such bad shape, there’s no point in going down yet. (Besides the fact that they won’t let us come.)

The sister on the cruise–the cruise ship docked in New Orleans. They rented cars and drove to Austin to put the kids on a plane so they could go back to work.

Our church had essentially no damage. The only one on the island in that kind of shape, I am told. Friends who rode out the storm on their boat came through okay, though the boat was damaged. Another friend, who lives on the mainland where they said just to hunker down, had two big trees fall on their house and they had to evacuate their house in the middle of the night when the winds were blowing hard. But they’re okay and their pets are too.

They are going to start classes for A&M Galveston on the main A&M campus next week. I’ve got a temporary berth for the boy to stay, until he can find something else, or until they move back to Pelican Island. They’re talking about being back on their own campus by the end of October.

I’ve gone up to stay with the in-laws for a while. I like to see the fella face to face at least once a week. He did go down to check things out yesterday (which is where the house report came from), and Galveston College is in great shape too. The storm broke 5 plate glass windows. Two in a hallway, one in a faculty member’s office, and two in classrooms with little besides desks in them. Their buses didn’t even get messed up.

It’s going to cost a fortune to get everything put back together. Hopefully, not too much in terms of time.

I’m trying to get some writing done, and have actually been doing pretty good at that. Ten plus pages to the good this week.

Y’all take care.