Fast & Furious, But So Enjoyable

It’s been one wild and crazy last couple of months. I think I may have missed November completely. LOL I did manage to get around 35,000 words on NaNoWriMo, so I pretty darn happy about that. 😉 And Thanksgiving sure was enjoyable. Lots of food, great company and laughs to go around. My favorite dish will always be the sweet potato pie my sister-in-law makes. Yummy! I’m the only one in my immediate family that eats it, so I only get to savor that sweetness at Thanksgiving and occasionally at Christmas time too. Can you say leftovers? LOL

I’d like to take this time to spotlight a wonderful book by a good friend of mine. “Spider’s Dance” by Will Graham is a must have for suspense/thriller readers. Shoot, even if this is not your favorite genre, you’ll be hooked and swept away by this engaging storyline. Scroll down to get a sneak peek and find the buy links!

Dance Nook 

BLURB:

“Amazing writing! [Your] craft is fabulous, the characters leap off the page, [and your] pacing is spot-on!” – Deborah Coonts, author of the “Lucky O’Toole Las Vegas Adventure” Series.

EXCERPT: At that precise moment, there was a noise like a thunderclap, but much closer, much more intimate. The floor under my feet swayed and trembled. I made a grab for the edge of my desk to steady myself, missed shamefully, and fell to the floor with all the grace of an elephant on roller skates.

The windows shook in their frame and I heard Inspector O’Brien tumble to the floor with a thud.

Things steadied out, and I pushed myself to my feet. I took two long steps to the door. I could see from the corner of my eye Inspector O’Brien was on her feet and moving.

People were streaming fairly calmly to the stairwell doors as the fire alarms blared, but after the morning’s events it wouldn’t take much to start a full scale panic.

I went around the corner and saw plumes of black smoke coming from the server room. The smoke had an acrid tang to it, filling my nose and throat, making me want to choke and cough; all the plastic components in there had been melted, most likely. There was a distinct odor of ozone, of fried electrical circuits, and Halon from the fire system.

The police officers still around were keeping order, getting people out the doors and down the stairs as rapidly as possible. I turned around and saw Inspector O’Brien checking offices, making sure they were empty. I paused and waited for her to catch up.

“You should leave,” she said to me as she slammed a door shut.

“And miss all this?” The expression on her face told me I was only amusing myself.

I was used to that.

Without another word, I took one side while she took the other. We verified no one had been left behind, closing each door when we were done. Plaster dust floated in the air, but the smoke seemed to have stopped.

We worked our way down the hall, reaching the glass doors being held open by two policemen. I started toward them when something caught my eye. I changed direction and took four steps to the server room.

I heard her call out, “Do NOT go in there!” I told myself she was talking to someone else.

I stood in the doorway, trying to see through the dark clouds in the air. In the sparks coming from a couple of the machines, I saw a hand. It wasn’t moving.

I turned and beckoned. “Someone’s in here!” I yelled as I went in.

She got there just as I reached the hand. It was attached to an arm. The arm was attached to a body. Fanning my hands to dispel the crap in the air, I knelt down.

Ian Harris looked like he was asleep.

He wasn’t.

BIO: “Will Graham” is the pseudonym of a professional investigator specializing in computer forensics and electronic evidence exclusively.

His musical tastes pretty much stopped with The Rat Pack, and he still reads Leslie Charteris, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dame Agatha Christie, and Ellery Queen.

LINKS: AMAZON: http://tinyurl.com/spidersdancegraham

BARNES & NOBLE: http://tinyurl.com/DanceBN

REVIEWS: Thrilling…AND funny!

By Raymond Benson

 

Will Graham has written a remarkably entertaining story, due mainly to the protagonist’s sense of humor. There are laugh-out-loud moments throughout, and these do not take away from the mystery or suspense. Unique characters, an original hero (we don’t get that too often), and an up to the minute topical plot carries SPIDER’S DANCE to the bank.

 

State Trivia Time

Ever wonder how the states were made, or drawn?

I know. That’s a question way out of left field, isn’t it? 🙂  I watched the most interesting show on the History channel yesterday. How the States Got Their Shape. Now I’m no history buff. I’m more like Chevy Chase in the movie, “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” Don’t get me wrong, I love to travel and see new places. I’m just not one to stand in awe for very long. Blame it on a short attention span. A mild case of ADD, maybe?

So when this show started, I figured it would keep my attention for at least a few minutes. I’m in shock. I ended up watching this program for hours. Talk about eye opening. I guess I always assumed the state’s boundaries were decided by the land’s geography, like mountain ranges, valleys or rivers. But instead, there were many different factors that helped decide. Like the great plains, trains and even automobiles. The others are so off the wall they are downright crazy. LOL

It’s been a really long time since I was in school and studied the layout of the land. I felt pretty confident when the show started that I had retained what I’d learned. But sadly, this was not the case. When they started asking people on the street to name or draw a state’s shape, I knew I was in big trouble. Ack! Fail! Then it was name all the states that border the Mississippi? If I remember right, he said there were eleven? Yikes! Another Fail! Followed by how about the four states that corners all meet in the middle? Huh? Is that even possible? Talk about a big wake up call.

So, I thought it would be fun to test you today. (Insert evil laugh here. 🙂

See if you can name these states and answer the following questions. No cheating! LOL

1. Name these two states. 

2. Which four states meet in the middle? (If you were to lay on your back like you do when making snow angels in the snow, a piece of you would be in each state.)

3. Which fort was accidentally built in Canada instead of the United States and referred to as “Fort Blunder?”

4. What was the original capitol of Illinois? (It had to be moved due to flooding by the mighty Mississippi River and now only has a population of 14.)

5. Which territory, located in the eastern part of now Tennessee, tried to become the 14th state of the United States, but most people have never even heard of it?

Think you know the states shapes? Click Here to take a quiz and test yourself. I got an F+! LOL

Most people have little trouble with Texas’ shape. But did you know that when Texas was annexed in 1845, it retained the right to fly its flag at the same height as the national flag. Or that The Dr. Pepper Company is the oldest major manufacturer of soft drink concentrates and syrups in the United States? Created and sold in 1885 in Waco, Texas it has become a worldwide Texas favorite.  I had no idea, but I love my Dr. Pepper!

Now it’s your turn. 🙂 What’s an interesting fact about your state that people might not know?

Click here to check your answers to the five questions above. Thanks for playing!  😉

2012 Olympic Mania

It’s that time again.  The excitement, the adrenaline pumping and somehow oozing its way out of the TV and into your very own living room as you watch the athletes compete for the gold. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve liked to watch the gymnastics, but the swimming and tennis have been at the top of our family’s list this year so far. I have two playing tennis so that makes sense. Not sure why the swimming has captured our attention though.

I really had no idea there were so many different sports played in the Summer Olympics. I guess I just haven’t been paying enough attention in the past. Both my girls are really interested this year and are keeping us up to date on all the latest news and medal wins. I must say, that cool pause and record button on the new remote are sure getting one heck of a work out. LOL

In case you’re curious to see if your favorite sport is one of them, here’s a list – Archery, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, boxing, canoe / kayak, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, gymnastics, handball, judo, modern pentathlon (shooting, fencing, swimming, show jumping, and running), mountain biking, rowing, sailing, shooting, soccer, swimming, synchronized swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, track and field, triathlon (swimming, biking, running), volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, and wrestling.

Even the commercials have been entertaining. Have you seen the one where they share the torch by passing it on through their phones? LOL

Go Team USA! 🙂

Do you have a favorite or do you love to watch them all?

Camping Memories

I knew the day would come. From the very first moment I held those precious brand new babies in my arms, I knew the day would come when they’d be all grown up and wanting to venture out on their own. What I didn’t know was how fast the time would fly. 

We hit another one of those tough parenting milestones last week. We have been a camping family from the time our oldest was about nine years old. We started with the tent before our popup camper, which we took on an amazing trip to Yellowstone National Park. Then we moved up to our 31’ travel trailer after the kids outgrew the sleeping space. Now that was my type of camping!  🙂

So many wonderful memories were made, not to mention hilarious stories shared . Here are a few of my favorites.

  • The thieving raccoons opening up a cooler and then running off with the deer sausage with my son in hot pursuit.
  • The time a herd of buffalo walked right through our campsite in Yellowstone and hubby acted like the mighty hunter, sporting his ax as the rest of us huddled inside the camper.
  • Middle daughter getting stuck in the mud as the kids tried to cross a low area near the pond and the sound of her screams echoing through the campsite. You see, there were gators in that pond!
  • The crazy opossum hissing at a friend after he walked too close and teasingly said, “Hello opossum, opossum.” The image of a grown man running for his life will forever be engraved in my brain. LOL
  • Pumpkin carving and kids learning to whittle.
  • Waiting out a wicked thunderstorm in our popup camper at the beach in Galveston. It came up on us fast and we didn’t have time to secure anything. Hubby stood in the doorway and supported the top of the camper while the kids and I sat in the truck and prayed! ( I didn’t say they weren’t scary memories 🙂
  • Hiking up to the Devil’s Watering Hole and having a wild fox run right by me.
  • Walking through the Longhorn Caverns at Inks Lake, where they turned off the flashlights and it was so dark you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face.
  • Hearing the waves of the ocean only a few feet away on our trip to Pensacola, Florida. And walking the beach at night with flashlights in Port Aransas, Texas to catch a glimpse of the crabs under the moonlight.
  • Just being so close to nature and all the wildlife we encountered was priceless.

Sadly, we sold our camper last week. With the kids getting older and their lives getting busier, we haven’t been able to use it like we used to. Storage fees are not cheap. So the difficult decision was made and a new stage of our family’s life together has begun.  I can’t help but be disappointed and a bit broken hearted. Mainly, because selling it meant letting go of a piece of our past. Man I hate change. LOL

I’m going to try to look forward to our future and all the new adventures we will be making together. But I’ll be honest. It’s not going to be easy.

How do you deal with life’s ever changing cycles? Like it or hate it?

Dad to the Rescue

Ah, Summer. Time for beach vacations, movies, sports camps, Vacation Bible school, poolside fun and anything else to keep the kids from getting bored. The days are zipping by fast. No surprise there. Funny how those summer months fly while the school years seem to drag on and on at times. This summer, I’ve been pretty much home bound due to the bunion surgery, and bummed we must miss our yearly camping trip and fun on the lake. But never fear. Super Dad is here. LOL

Hubby is stepping up and making sure the kids enjoy their summer and have great memories to take back to school with them. He and my son traveled to the beautiful state of Montana for some much needed father son bonding time. What an amazing fishing trip. The pictures are just breathtaking. I think I know where I want to go for our 25th wedding anniversary. And I’m even willing to fly to get there. Now there’s a new one. I hate flying with a passion. LOL

Brave hubby is even planning a shopping/college touring trip for our girls. My oldest will graduate this school year (glup) with her sister right behind her the next. Maybe they will fall in love with the same college on this trip. Sure would make mommy feel better having them at the same school to watch out for each other. I know. I know.  It’s good for them to be out on their own. But…. Who am I kidding. You never stop worrying or being a parent. It’s a lifelong journey.

The shopping trip should be fun and very interesting. Two giggling girls and their dad. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to see this first hand. LOL

I still remember those special times with my dad. The learning to drive in the mall parking lot. The changing oil and tire lessons. And my all time favorite…building the most awesome doll house from scratch.

It’s great to see the kids get some extra dad time. Makes all this hobbling around a bit more bearable and oh so worth it. 🙂

Have any favorite childhood memories you’d like to share. How about a time hubby stepped in and saved the day?

4th of July – Let’s Celebrate!

Wishing everyone a very Happy and Safe 4th of July!  On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation.

A few fun facts:

  • The first signature on the Declaration of Independence was John Hancock’s.
  • Three U.S. presidents actually died on July 4. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe
  • One president, Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4.
  • In 1870 the Congress made the 4th of July an unpaid holiday for federal employees.
  • In 1941, Congress declared 4th of July a paid federal holiday.
  • Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird. Thankfully, he was outvoted by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson who chose the bald eagle.
  • Potato salad and potato chips tend to be the most popular food items at 4th of July barbecues.
  • 150 million hot dogs will be consumed. Roughly 1 dog for every two people in the U.S.

I have to admit, this is one of my favorite holidays. I love hot dogs, the fireworks and get togethers with friends and family. We still buy some of the same fireworks we had when I was a kid. You know, the smoke bombs, snakes, roman candles and regular firecrackers. But we’ve added a few new ones to our traditional arsenal as well.

Underwater firecrackers are so cool. They have a longer fuse, so you have more time to get rid of them and they actually pop underwater. The kids love filling coke cans and bottles with water, tossing one of these little suckers in, and then running before the container goes air born. Don’t worry. Overprotective mom here has checked, double checked and even triple checked this little activity. It’s safe. Well, as safe as fireworks can be. There is always adult supervision. I think hubby ends up needing the most supervision though. LOL

We’ve had our fair share of close calls over the years. For example, firecracker falls over in the middle of the street at the last minute and then goes off, sending everyone watching scattering like a bunch of rats.  And then there was the one time we thought a roman candle was a dud, only to find out it was just slow to ignite. Talk about shock! Another run for cover moment.

So celebrate big this 4th  of July, but watch those little loved ones close and the big ones even closer!

Do you have a favorite firecracker from when you were little? Or how about a close call that sent you running and ducking for cover at the time, but makes you laugh now?

Gators Have Teeth!

Boy, have I found some great and not so great shows these past few weeks. We recently switched from one cable provider to another and now have so many new channels and features I feel like I have a new toy.  A toy that makes my head spin at times. LOL Technology moves way too fast for me.

We can now record with one touch of a button on the remote. Fast forward, pause and watch shows on demand and the coolest thing of all is when the phone rings and the number pops right up on the TV screen. Take that solicitors! I don’t even have to get up to ignore you now.  🙂  To think, we’ve been living in the dark ages all this time. LOL I mean, we still have one of the dinosaur VCR’s and have been known to use it!  Shhh…don’t tell.

But have no fear. We have crossed over to the new age and I must say, I really love it. 🙂

After hours and days of channel surfing, my newest favorite show has to be
Gator Boys. These crazy guys catch live gators with their bare hands! One puts on his snorkel and gets into the ponds to hunt them down. That’s right, he actually swims with them, snags them with a rope on the end of a pole and then drags them out. Unbelievable. It’s as if these huge animals with all those sharp teeth are nothing more than little puppy dogs. I’m beyond shocked.

But I must say it it’s quite entertaining. Or maybe I’m just starting to lose it! Ha!

Do you embrace all this new technology? Or are you like me and fight it, hanging on to those cool gadgets we once thought of as cutting edge?

 

 

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