Tag Archives: happy

Happy Thanksgiving!

22 Nov

Hmmm, there’s a layer of dust on the old blog. I’ve been away for a while, and until I get some things settled in regular life, I can’t guarantee I’ll post very often in the next few weeks. But I did want to take a moment and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! (Yes, I know some of you are not Americans, but just go with it. Thanksgiving is as much a state of mind as it is a historical remembrance.)

I love this holiday. It’s relaxing. Especially this year, where it worked out that we are staying home and no extended relatives are coming here. I can’t recall the last time we had a Thanksgiving day with just the nuclear family and I’m really looking forward to it.

I am thankful for so much in my bountiful life. I have a dear husband and great kids, wonderful friends, and a career that I love. I have gained readers this year, for whom I am exceedingly grateful. I live in a place free of war, where there is plentiful food, clean water, and warm housing. I am free to follow my dreams and to worship as I please. Life is good, and I am blessed.

I wish all the best for you and yours, for today and for always. Off I go to put in the turkey!

What are you most thankful for?

Happy Anniversary! Lucy’s Real Romance

5 Oct

Today is my wedding anniversary! After raising five kids with my Helvetican Hero, you can imagine how many crazy, fun, dramatic stories I have stuffed in my memory. But the best story of all is how we ended up together.

I was divorced and dating a few different guys. One particular guy was introduced to my profile by the woman running the dating service we’d both joined a few months earlier. This pre-dated online matchmaking, and while a computer would suggest members with similar interests within a particular age range, we still had to look through binders full of hand-written profiles and photos. I had already viewed his profile, really liked what I saw, and had given permission for him to contact me. He liked my profile as well and called me one week before my birthday.

We talked for an hour on the first call. He asked me out and we met for dinner and a long walk a few days later. By the time he sent flowers to my office the next day, I was hooked. We talked every night on the phone for hours, because we lived in different cities and getting together was tricky.

He had other plans on my birthday, but he called me late that night, and as we talked, the conversation turned serious. Suddenly, the perfect moment struck, and he asked me to marry him.

I’d known him a week. We’d seen each other one night. I hadn’t even kissed him yet. But I knew. Lightning had struck, and I just knew.

I said yes.

Oh, I did finally kiss him when I saw him the next day. A lack of chemistry would have been a deal-breaker, but when his lips touched mine…wow! Every nerve ending in my body hummed.

One month later, he picked me up and we eloped to Vegas. We were married by the Reverend Belinda Rhodes at the Little White Wedding Chapel, the one with the drive-through window. It was the start of an amazing ride together. And after all these years, he can still make me weak in the knees with a kiss.

I don’t recommend this approach to finding a mate to anyone else, because the list of ways it could’ve gone terribly wrong is a mile long. But for us, it worked.

Now you know why I write romance…because underneath the ups and downs and doldrums of regular life, I’m blessed to live Happily Ever After!

That place where a great marching band and pop culture collide

25 Sep

Okay, today’s post has nothing to do with anything, save that I find the subject enormously entertaining. I just stumbled upon a video of Ohio University’s marching band performing Gangnam Style for a halftime show. LOVE this! I can’t help it, that song just makes me giggle, and seeing a great marching band turn in a fabulous performance doubles the fun! Have a look…

Now…on the off chance that you are not familiar with the original, Gangnam Style is a song by a South Korean musician by the name of Psy. One look at the video, and you’ll know why his song grabbed pop culture by the throat and refuses to let go.

Hope this strangely catchy tune infuses your day with some delight!


Mother & Daughter Tradition

13 Sep

The Princess and I look forward to the week after Labor Day (September) every year. That’s the week the State Fair opens. We like looking at all the farm animals, petting the goats and sheep, cooing over the rabbits, admiring the many varieties of chickens on display. But there is truly just one reason she and I go to the fair: mehndi.

If you’re not familiar with mehndi, it is decorating the skin with a dye, like a temporary tattoo. It originated in India but is practiced in several countries and cultures. The design is drawn with henna. The henna dries on your skin, flakes off, and leaves behind a reddish-brown stain that will last up to a couple of weeks.

We got our first mehndis at Knotts Berry Farm in California. The Princess was six years old. A few years later, we discovered a mehndi artist with a booth at the State Fair, and we’ve returned to her every year since. We went last night for our 2012 editions and were invited to share naan and chicken curry with our artist when we finished. What a great time! This year, our designs incorporated Jagua, a natural fruit dye that leaves a bluish-black stain behind. Bi-color mehndi, woohoo! As a side note, don’t ever use ‘black’ henna. It is toxic and can severely damage and scar your skin. If you want a black design, use jagua.

Here is my design:

This is an hour or so after getting the design. The henna paste and jagua gel are still in place on my skin, with glitter added to make it even more fun.

This is my design today, the stain left behind after the henna and jagua flaked off. The henna will continue to darken until tomorrow, and over the next week, the jagua will likely fade to a lighter blue-gray.

Here is the Princess’s design:

For both designs, we asked the artist to make something up rather than pick something specific. The Princess did ask for the Nerdfighter slogan DFTBA in her design. It means Don’t Forget To Be Awesome.

Do you have a tradition with a parent or a child?

Another Birthday Gone and Blog Hop Wrap Up

4 Sep

Birthday flowers from my boys!

Hi everyone! What a great Labor Day weekend. Things were truly hopping around here with the blog hop. Locally, after a huge thunderstorm rolled through here and cleaned out the air, we finally got a refresher course in what the mountains and blue sky look like without wildfire smoke haze obscuring everything. Ahhhhh! As an added bonus, the weather has cooled off, FINALLY. Sooooo done with summer heat. Bring on fall!

Thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes! The birthday stretched to three days this time, to accommodate everyone’s schedules. The Helvetican and I went for sushi on Saturday, yummy, then the family party was on Sunday, with my sister and dad hanging out with us for grilled chicken and ribs. My mom called and her hubby sang a birthday song he wrote.

The kids all remembered my birthday this year, and it was so much fun. The Princess wrote a song about my birthday with ukulele accompaniment. She also made me a Doctor

Tardis card, made by the Princess.

Who Tardis card, complete with the Tenth Doctor inside. Perfect nerd-girl gift! The boys went all out, with cards, coupons for free household chores, cards, flowers, Diet Coke, dark chocolate of several varieties…yes, I’ve trained them well. Then last night, we hit our favorite Mexican place, whose chile verde-smothered chimichangas are divine. I’m calling it a successfully completed birthday.

Inside the Tardis card…The Doctor, of course!

Romancing the Hop ended last night, and I have winner announcements! I plugged all of your comments into the Randomizer to come up with a winner. Miriam Roman wins her choice of a $15 Amazon or B&N gift card. Congrats, Miriam!

FYI, there were 9,000 comments left across the blog hop! Wow! The Hop Grand Prize winners are:

Kindle Fire Winner:
Laurie Goudge
(from It’s the Journey that Counts’s Blog)
$130 Amazon Gift Card:
(from Carrie Ann Ryan’s Blog)
Swag Pack:
 (from Dana Delamar’s Blog)

Today’s plan? Get a magazine article out the door because today is deadline, and maybe sneak in a nap. Anything else is a wonderful bonus accomplishment.

What did you do this weekend? Any big plans for your week?

Girl Time!

6 Jul

This has really been a week for rejuvenation for me, where I’ve taken some rare time off to spend hours at a time out of my office, away from writing, away from all of my usual hats. It’s given the creative well time to refill, as well as being a great refresher for the mind, soul, and heart. Today, I added some body rejuvenation too.

I spent the afternoon today with my daughter. The Princess and I had lunch, checked out the comic book store to see if new issues were in for her fave comics, and stopped in at a new hobby store where she picked up a remote control helicopter. But before all that, we did a mother/daughter spa trip.

The spa was fantastic, the ambience serene, the decor lovely, the staff perfectly accommodating and enjoyable to chat with. We each had an hour long massage (the lime aromatherapy was heavenly), and hour long pedicures. My toenails are now deep red. The Princess went for sparkly green. Then she had her brows waxed and tinted, because they are naturally blonde and practically invisible without assistance.

Sooooo much pampering. It’s far too expensive to do very often, but it was so worth it today, when I could share the experience with my daughter. Maybe we can turn this into an annual experience!

What’s your favorite way to pamper yourself?

Happy Independence Day and Fishing

4 Jul

It’s birthday time in the U.S.! Happy Independence Day! Everyone stay safe, and be extra careful with the fireworks in dry areas.

Mirror Lake, Uinta Mountains

Now then, fishing… I spent yesterday having a day off with the Helvetican and catching fish. We drove up to Mirror Lake in the Uinta mountains, which sits at about 10,000 feet above sea level. Temperatures were perfect, with a great breeze. Such a relief after the high-90s in the valley.

Another view of Mirror Lake, looking north.

My primary fishing love is fly fishing, but given that we were fishing mid-afternoon, I went with spin casting instead. I only hooked four, though given that it was not prime fishing time, I was pretty happy with that.

The water was so clear that with the polarized lenses on my sunglasses, I could watch the fish swimming around. I had a lot of fun watching fish get all territorial and chase my lures, even though they weren’t interested in biting.

A pretty butterfly that landed near the shore where we were fishing.

A good day all around, and hey, a bad day fishing is still better than a good day doing a lot of other things. I feel refreshed and ready to write!

Going fishing, back later…

3 Jul

I’m heading up to Mirror Lake with the Helvetican for a day off and some fishing. I’ll pop back on later, maybe with photos. Take care and stay cool, everyone!

Musings: Last time for this life milestone

23 Jun

Yesterday, my youngest child, the Princess, obtained her driving learner’s permit. That’s the last time I’ll go through that particular milestone of life, hooray! Nothing is scarier than going through the process of teaching kids to drive, so I’m glad she’s the last one.

Life with the Princess has long been full of final milestones. With her, I’ve celebrated the VERY LAST diaper. (Well, until grandchildren. But you know what I mean.) The very last baby learning to crawl, to walk, to talk. The last bottle and binkie. The last time through the Terrible Twos and Tantrum-ridden Threes. The last first tooth lost. The last first day of school. The last graduate of elementary school. The final middle school student. The last time through every other measure of growth and change children go through to this point. She’ll be my final high school graduate in a couple of years.

I enjoyed those milestones with my firstborn, filled with wonder, because they were new accomplishments. I enjoyed them with sons 2, 3, and 4 because it was a measure of where they were in life, a sign they were growing up, that we were all moving along. But it’s different with the Princess. Partly because she’s female, and let’s face it, so many of those experiences are handled differently by boys and girls. So in a way, even though I’ve been through these things several times, with her they are new.

It also feels different to pass those milestones when you know it’s your last time. There’s a poignancy to tossing that last bottle in the trash, a wash of memories that accompanies the final act of the Tooth Fairy. Most of all, as her adulthood speeds ever closer, I leave behind more sure things and stare out at vast possibilities. Because when your children are growing, there are certain things you can count on. Certain experiences, milestones, that everyone passes through. You know, as much as you can ever know in life, that particular experiences are built into the timeline. There’s something stabilizing about knowing a bit of what to expect in the lives of your children. Once they graduate high school, the way-stations along that timeline become fewer. College or other post-secondary training options. A career. Marriage. Children of their own. My children may experience each of those, or only one or two. Or some more than once. It’s all unknown, a voyage of discovery.

I’m already there with my oldest three. Son 4 has one year left before he graduates and flies into the unknown. I’m glad I have a while longer with the Princess, to savor the last of the measured portion of her life, and of my own. After all, once she reaches adulthood and the world of possibilities opens before her, so will it open for me. Once I have completed the work of raising my children, and with my Helvetican still fully engaged in his career, I’ll find myself with nothing but a few vague possible milestones (grandchildren?) and a whole landscape of choices and opportunities. I’m going to have a blast!

If you’ve reached that point in your own life, what have you chosen to do as you move forward? If you’re not there yet, what do you dream of doing?

Mending Fences reviewed by Romance Junkies!

21 Jun

Okay, so the cold is hanging on, and a sore throat developed last night, six days into this craziness. Guess who’s off to the doctor?

On a much brighter note, Mending Fences finally got a ‘review site’ review. As much as I love, love, LOVE the reviews readers have been generous enough to leave on Amazon and Goodreads, there’s just something about getting a look from a Reviewer, you know?

This particular reviewer, at the Romance Junkies site, gave the book 4 Ribbons, which in RJ talk means “A book I would recommend to all my friends.” Yep, I’m a happy girl. Here’s the link to the review: Mending Fences.