Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Family Tradition

A tradition at my house is to put up the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving Day.  We have an artificial tree, mostly for safety reasons.  (If anyone is going to set their Christmas tree on fire, it’s me). 

It’s a family affair.  My husband puts the tree together.  He used to do the lights too but now we have a pre-lit tree.  (How is it that something always comes out to make his jobs easier?)  The kids put on the ornaments.  When they were little our tree was always leaning to one side or the other because they always seemed to put everything on the same side.  And I left it that way because that is part of what makes the holidays so special.  Lots of cute memories.  As they get older, they complain about doing the ornaments because it takes so long and the tree won’t be up that long anyway.  (From Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Day is quite a stretch if you ask me). 

We have never used real popcorn or berries to put on our tree.  The various dogs and cats that live in our house would take that as an invitation.  As it is, the dogs like to lay under it and the cats enjoy climbing it.  We end up picking it up off the floor several times every year as it is.  If we put food on it, well, I have no idea what would happen.

I get to supervise and put on the icicles.  Yes, they are messy, clinging to your leg as you walk by, falling off the tree when a gift is added.  But I’ve tried leaving them off and it’s just not shiny enough without them.  They add a lot of sparkle to the tree.

Did you know that if you look at the lights and squint your eyes they look like stars?   I spend a lot of time staring at my tree.  It looks different every year. 

Some day soon it will be a mom and dad affair.  I’m enjoying the supervising for as long as I can.

Until next week,



The real trouble with reality is that there's no background music --- Anonymous

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Black Friday is less than a week away.  Yes, I know that some people take this day very seriously.  I tried it one year.  I got up at 2:00 am and stood in line for 4 hours.  When the doors opened, the crowd surged forward, sweeping me inside.  I rushed to get a shopping cart and put it into gear heading for electronics at the speed of light.  Well, as close to the speed of light as I could get when surrounded by 1,000 people.

By the time I made it to the electronics section, everything had been picked over and I had to really dig through the bins. The cell phone, IPOD, and blue ray players on my list were sold out.  I saw one e-reader and lunged for it.  So did a little grandma with blue hair.

Now, I am usually the woman who gives in, lets someone ahead of me in line, holds the door open for others, etc.  But  this time I just couldn’t do it.  Not after the hours and the crowd and the lack of sleep.  I must have been out of my mind.  I held on to my end and she held on to hers.  Our eyes locked and the staring match was on.

I had no idea little grannies could be so mean and so strong.  I lost.  And talk about being embarrassed!  Not just because I was beat out by a little ole lady, but because of my actions.  I blame it on lack of sleep and stress from being in a huge crowd.  But that was the first time I had ever lost control.  And I am going to make sure it is my last.

I no longer do the Black Friday shopping.  The picture of me and the granny that was published in the paper on Saturday made sure of that.

Be sure to watch my Facebook and Blog this week -- The final book in my SEAL, Inc. series is due to release sometime this week.  What a great way to spend the extra minutes of your holiday (if you have any!!).

Have a great holiday!!

Until next week,


Thought for the Week:

           The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese
                                                                               -- Anonymous

Sunday, November 13, 2011


As I scanned the new book selections this week, I couldn't help but notice that there seemed to be more reviews posted than usual.  I'm not one to put a whole lot of stock in a review before I purchase; I like to make my own decision.  However, I did take a peek.

There is a big difference between a critique and a review.   Sometimes, people get them mixed up.

A critique is provided by another professional writer who is asked (and sometimes paid) for their opinion. This opinion is given orally in a critique group or privately to the author. He/she reads the story and uses their skills to judge all aspects of the writing. Like a teacher grading an essay paper, grammar, sentence structure, and story structure are all taken into account as well as point of view, composition, plot, etc. Advice is given as to how the story could be improved and also praise is given for the good job done. This is an invaluable tool that all writers can use and help each other grow and do their best work.

A review is written by a reader and is meant to be shared with others. It is a personal opinion given to let others know what that person thought of the story. It should not be mistaken for the critique. While greatly appreciated, it is freely given and an invaluable tool that can increase sales and encourage writers.

So please, if you feel the need to review a book that you’ve read, remember that someone has poured their heart and soul into it. Give your opinion without trashing the writer. Stick to the reasons why you did or didn’t enjoy the story without picking it and the writer to death.
Until next week,


Thought for the Week:
A lot of good arguments are spoiled by some fool who knows what he's talking about