Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sales on Saturday

No one complained, at least not to me, so I guess I can tell you about Saturday.

It rained. But it didn't matter a whit. We had so much fun. We've been eating so well, making wise food choices, but it was a fun day, so we splurged and each got a chocolate frosted doughnut and a coffee on the morning ride.

My daughter Jennifer knew an elderly lady in her small town who was selling her things and her MOTHER'S things, so that was our first stop. We did not pass GO; we did however collect $200. From the ATM. I bought six gorgeous cup and saucer sets for my collection. My favorite buy of the day. Also vintage linens, aprons, tablecloths--the floral kind--I make them into cottage-style chair cushions and throw pillows--all in mint condition. 25 cents each! Holy cow, I've paid far more at flea markets. Also got a couple of enamel pans.

Another thing I love are those oval or circular pics of girls in glass that gang from a brass chain. Bought one. The next are hard to explain if you've never seen them: they were often advertising pictures. They are framed with glass and that's it, no frame. The glass is beveled. Got one of a girl and two of scenery.

But a bid in on an antique stove. Hope to hear that it's mine.

Later in the day I got a chenille bedspread for two dollars. The lady had wanted four. When we got in the car, hubby told me that I needed for repent for stealing it from her. It would have easily sold for $45-60 at a flea market.

We bought an antique bed frame, the kind with skinny spindles that each have a flower design on the spindle. This one was painted white. We're going to use the headboard and footboard in our garden as trellises. The lady GAVE it to us for $20 because some of the slats were missing! Like I care! I will definitely take photos later in the season with flowers growing on it.

Wasn't any good jewelry. No dolls. That's okay, you get what you find.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Dangerous Friday

It was raining. But there were a couple of garage sales on the way home from school drop off this am, so...the first thing I bought was a doll. She's an 18 inch Madame Alexander in her original dress, no shoes. I checked ebay - $12.99 for her shoes!! The doll is worth about $50. I paid $1.45. The lady who sold it to me said their whole neighborhood is having a sale next weekend. Way cool cause it's the RICH neighborhood. LOL I can't wait. Rich people either think their stuff is gold or they practically give it away. Mostly the latter. :-)

Came home and cleaned and arranged the storage rooms downstairs so I could put away Bunny World. Oh. I never mentioned I also collect bunnies for Easter. I have a village and about a billion bunnies. Vacuumed up the paper grass and dusted. Then. Hubby was home and asked, "Want to hit a few garage sales after lunch?"


Bought an Easter tree for tiny eggs and bunnies to hang on. Bought two 35th anniversary Barbies, a blonde and a brunette for $5 each! You know, replicas of the original Barbie with the black & white striped bathing suit and a pony tail? I LOVE them! I've long regretted still not having my own. They have joined the other dolls in my office curio. I should take a picture.

Moving right along...we hit a sale where they had closed a day care and were selling everything. I called my daughter who is OPENing a daycare on Monday and we bought all their mats, chairs, tables and an excersaucer -- the best kind ever with the bouncy legs, and just altogether cleaned up on her behalf. Now we have to take a two hour drive tomorrow morning to deliver the goods. LOL But that's okay because a little town called Battle Creek right near her is having their city-wide garage sales. Wow, did we plan that right or what?

What else...oh when I find interesting sterling silver necklaces cheap enough I buy them to use for charms for my bracelets. I got a cross. Threw away the chain. Bought a pretty pink heart necklace...hubby bought a flashy zircon ring. We laughed because it's just fun and funky but 24k gold. He'll wear it.

Oh--there was a guy selling stacks of leather boxed cleaning kits, the kind you get when you buy a leather sofa. Recognized them because we got one years ago with a leather sectional. Anyway I always loved that cleaner and conditioner for purses, so I bought a kit.

Man, I LOVE garage sales, it's the thrill of the hunt. You never know what you'll find at the next one.

Off to take care of things since I'll be gone all day tomorrow. The plan is to get up at 5 and hit the road at 6 so we can be there when the sales start. Whoo hoo! Rain or shine--actually rain is okay because people sell their stuff cheaper. We got GREAT deals today.

Okay, I promise not to talk about garage sales any more. I'll even THINK about a 12 step program if you complain enough.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

inquiring minds want to know

okay, so what DID I buy?

I started out making an exchange at Walmart and bought Vital radiance face primer and line-softening makeup, not that I have any lines or anything, it's simply preventative. (Should that have been preservative?) When I was there the other day I got a sample from a sample lady, tried it and liked it, so like the sucker I am, I went back to buy the stuff.

Then I took my coupons to Bed Bath & Beyond and bought the dryer balls that I'd seen in their ad. Someone had already told me about them. I've used them for 2 days now and they're great for jeans, towels, sweatshirt, stuff like that, but for anything that needs the static removed you still need a dryer sheet. Also got a Pasta Express that was in the flyer, too. You put your spaghetti in this long container, pour boiling water in, wrap it with an insulated thingie, and then drain it through the colander lid. Looked great--will let you know how it works.

DSW (my FAVORITE shoe store) was right across the lot, but I did not go look at shoes. Good girl. I did however look in a few clothing stores and bought a stack of T-shirts, several dressy shirts for under jackets or alone and...okay a ring. It was on sale, so how could I not. I came home and told my husband, "Look what you bought for me" and he said "Am I giving it to you today?" I hadn't bought a ring for a really long time. I don't have enough fingers is my only problem. I wear four rings on my thumb at all times--one of them was my great-great grandmother's wedding ring. Her name was Pready St.John. It's fat gold. The others are gold, white gold and copper, so they go with everything. I'm a mix and match kind of gal--now that silver is so popular I have silver jewelry, but not many silver rings. Have I ever mentioned I love gemstones? So besides the thumb, I wear three rings on my left hand and two on my right. I adore bracelets, too. Silver, gold, beads, charms, doesn't matter.

And watches. I have half a drawer full of watches. Minus the one that got flushed in a rest area somewhere in Iowa. (I'm sure I told that story in a past blog, right?)

This morning the garage sales tackled me on my way home after dropping my kindergarten grandson off at school. Last night the hubby asked, "Are you staying home tomorrow?" I intended to. LOL Who knew there'd be four sales right on the way home?

I bought Garfield books for the six-year old. He loves Garfield. Got a couple of old glass mixing bowls for 50 cents each that would have sold for $20 each at a flea market. Whoo hoo! I love to bake and cook using vintage bowls. I have a couple.

Oh! And one old gent had a shoebox of vintage spice tins! 5 cents each. Yes, I bought them all. Cleaned them up and set them across the back of my stove. All the shelves and spice racks were already full. You'd pay anywhere from a couple dollars to 10 or 12 at antique stores.

So those were my bargains. Now it's raining and I'm home--but I have to leave for another kindergarten Spring program at a different school.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Wednesday, a day of recuperation

I have decided to take a day off before I need a day in rehab. I will come back to the work-in-progress with a fresh eye. It rained yesterday, but the sun is out bright and shiny today! Gorgeous Spring!

The Powers That Be selected a title for THE LAWLESS MISS HOLLIS (too many S's they said), so the book that will be released February '07 is titled THE LAWMAN'S BRIDE.

:::sigh::: I always defer to those who know what sells books, so I'm not gnashing my teeth or wailing or anything. I'm simply making room in my bank account for that big check!

So, you can probably guess where I'm going..........

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Where have all the vowels gone?

Well, I'm once again going to be shopping for a new keyboard. I wear out keyboards. Usually at an average of two per computer. First the vowels go. There are no letters left on the tops of those keys. I know what they are when I'm typing, but I can't look down and tell you what those letters are. And then the entire left side is wiped free of letters--except Q.

Q X and Z are all bright and black and stand out from the rest of the worn off keys. Interesting how I must tap harder with my left hand. It doesn't make a difference if I keep my nails really short, either.

And this time--there are actually deep grooves in the most used keys. How is that for weird? This is a first. Wonder if they sell an industrial strength keyboard. Thank God I'm not wearing out the keys on my Alphasmart!!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Winner of The Betrothal....

is Meljprincess!

Please send me your address and I'll get your book in the mail.


Friday, April 21, 2006

Friday Too Soon

Here did the week go? I've been in the zone ending up THE LAWLESS MISS HOLLIS which is due next week. I've never written a book in quite this way before, which is surprising, but it's working. I've always been a very linear writer--beginning to end, very little editing or changing. This time I've gone back and added, rearranged and cut, changed gears and headed back in the right direction. The story differs from the synopsis as always, but in kind of a weird way. Goes to show a writers style is always evolving and nothing ever works the same way twice. As soon as I get under 100 pages I feel the relief, and this was no different. Whew!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

........simply irresistible.........

There are things I simply can't resist. There are things I love, but can say no to. Like my children. Like Skittles. Like purses that are way too expensive. But these other things....oh my. I know I'm not alone. Some of you probably even share these obsessions or have bigger ones of your own.

I love chocolate. I guess I've mentioned that. Can't say no. Can't say one. Can't even say one a day. Can't say maybe not. Can't stop. Can't get enough.

Jewelry counters lure me in with all the bling and glimmer. Rings, bracelets, earrings...gemstones, fake gems, gold, white gold, silver, I love it all. I wear it all. I love jewelry. (Pet peeve: People who pronounce it Julery.) Bobbles, charms, the danglier the better. I have a sterling charm bracelet with charms I've collected since junior high. (No, jewelry was not made of stone back then.) It's so heavy and jangly I sound like a tabourine wearing it. I've since started on a second I like to call the charm annex. I've also started charm bracelets for my daughters and oldest granddaughter. (Woops, I don't actually have children that old. My bad.)

Goodwills and garage sales send out some sort of sonar beam that draws my car into the parking lot like a magnet. There might be something there I can't live without, and how will I ever know if I don't stop??

I can't pass up a teacup and saucer or a teapot if it has roses on it.
The book and magazine section of the store has a flashing neon sign RIGHT HERE, CHERYL.

Pens. I love pens.
Shoes. I adore shoes.
Sales. I can save money!!!

What about you? What can't you resist?


Here are two different NICK ALL NIGHT covers, Italy and Germany. It's always fun to compare and contrast.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

time for another give away!

I just love this cover. Doesn't it remind you of Spring with those gorgeous colors??

I'm going to give one of you--my blogger buddies--a copy of The Betrothal. Terri Brisbin's story is nominated for a Rio award and Joanne Rock's is a RITA finalist. Joanne has autographed this copy! I'll draw a name on Friday.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Holiday Fun

So how was your Easter? For the first time ever I didn't cook and our family went out for dinner after church. Boy, was that a lot less work! Of course we had our traditional egg hunt, even though the day was overcast and chilly.

Here are seven of my nine little darlings. Aren't they the cutest kids you ever saw? My daughter LeighAnn and I just discovered the self-serve photo machines at Wal-mart. Duh. Why have a regular camera when these are so easy?

Friday, April 14, 2006


happy birthday to me! happy birthday to me!
happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday to me!

Didn't know I could sing so well, did you?

My hubby is taking me to dinner and a movie this evening. He had a load of DIRT delivered to our driveway this afternoon. Not quite the delivery I was expecting. !! He's in the garden mode already.

Did I ever mention I rec'd a bottle of champaign from my publisher to celebrate my RITA nomination??

Monday, April 10, 2006

Flat Eric

This is Flat Eric, and his travel journal was my writing project yesterday. If you've never heard of the Flat Stanley Project, Flat Stanley is a children's book. <---------- the offical website

In the book, Flat Stanley, by Jeff Brown, Stanley is squashed flat by a falling bulletin board. One of the many advantages is that Flat Stanley can now visit his friends by traveling in an envelope. The Flat Stanley Project is a group of teachers who want to provide students with another reason to write. Students' written work goes to other places by mail.

Students make paper Flat Stanleys and begin a journal with him for a few days. Then Flat Stanley and the journal are sent to someone who completes the journal. Flat Stanley and the journal are then returned to the original sender. Students can plot his travels on maps and share the contents of the journal.

Have you ever done a Flat Person? I've had Flat Adam and Flat Eric both visit me. We had a great time together!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Sometimes I'm so deep into a book that when I have to take my head out for real life, the difference is startling. For example, I've been writing a book where the horses are trudging through crunchy snow, their breath visible in the frigid air when I have to take care of reality. Like go pick up someone from school. I go out and am surprised to find it's eighty degrees and the sunshine is beating down.

Last night the irony of the world I write about struck me when I ran out for supper. It's deadline month, so everything is quick. This time it was Sonic. My daughter asked me to grab her prescriptions on my way. I took her debit card and got into my car in the garage. I drove a few blocks past a lovely recreational area, drove through Walgreens window, where I didn't even have to sign because her signature's on file, then moved to the connecting parking lot and ordered supper where I used my debit card and again didn't have to sign. Then I drove home -- into the garage, stepped into the house -- without ever leaving my car or being out in the weather!

Only minutes before I'd been in 1880's Kansas with the dry prairie wind blowing and people boarding the Santa Fe passenger cars for trips that would take days.

Back to the topic of deadline:
I've always cooked for a crowd. I have four children. As they grew up and moved out it never got easier to cook less and think smaller. But now I make it work to my advantage. I still cook a large meal, and then I place meal-size portions in divided containers and stack them in the freezer. These are our deadline frozen dinners and they're healthy and homecooked! Hey, I should write Heloise, eh?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Taylor Hicks

Here's a vintage pic and he has a beard! oh my!
Hear Taylor sing at his fan site:
Okay, so I probably would buy one of his recordings.

Who will be the next American Idol?

Okay, so I'm hooked. I rarely miss a show. Always tape it for my daughter and often watch the tape so I don't have to take time for commercials. I'm thinking about TVR through my cable company, so I can automatically record programs I watch weekly.

One of my favorites this year is Taylor Hicks, though I can't see him as the American Idol. Even though I love him, I would most likely buy a recording by Elliot or Mandisa. But haven't his looks improved? I wish he'd let loose and play his harmonica.

Thank you America for voting off Lisa. Did you know she was on Star Search three years ago? Give it up, sweetie. Hated to see Kevin go, but it was time. I was amazed he made it so far. He was this year's gimmick contestant. My friend took a trip and met him at the Early Show taping in Times Square last week and said he's a sweetheart in person.

For me the right three were in the bottom three last week. Ace is sticking around because he has the tween vote. Bucky was pretty sad until he did his thing in a cowboy hat last week. Keep that up Bucky, and you can stay a while longer.

Kathryn isn't a favorite. She's only there 'cause she jiggles. C'mon, I'm tellin' it like it is. I do like Paris, but there's something too cute about her, you know? Her hair is different every week, have you noticed? She has style. Mandisa please don't ever torture America with a pair of jeans again. If they could just film her from the shoulders up, you know? She looks beautiful in a classy dress and her voice is incredible.

Elliot has it all going in the voice department. He shouldn't try to dance ever again however.

In the past I voted for Clay and for Fantasia.
Everyone knows Clay should have won.
Whatever happened to Fantasia anyway?
Kelly Clarkson didn't appeal to me, but my opinion has changed because of the great work she's done on her CDs.
I buy recordings--I have Clay and Reuben and one AI from each season.
Who would you vote for?

Monday, April 03, 2006

What do you watch?

Every new television season I watch all the news shows to see what I like and then dismiss 90% of them. I am not a Lost fan. Could it move any more SLOWLY? They "lost" me toward the end of the first season after a few miles of film depicting the various expressions of the characters. Shock. Surprise. Anger. Jealousy. Could we move it along, people?

I'm also not a Desperate Housewives fan. I tried because everyone was talking about it and I didn't want to be square. I don't find the characters' behavior amusing. Not even intelligent or motivated. Count me not desperate enough to watch. I catch an episode every now and then because it comes on before my favorite show....

So what can I NOT live without watching? Gray's Anatomy. I laugh. The tempo moves so quickly that you can't take your eyes away or you'll miss a look or a remark. I can't wait to know whether or not Dr. McDreamy ditches that wife. I have to know when George forgives Meredith. PLEASE, George, please forgive Meredith! I'm not quite sure what's up with this new doctor interest of his, but I have to watch to find out. I care! I even bought the first season on DVD the day it came out and watched it. I had missed a show! LOL

I used to be a die-hard ER fan. I can catch you up on all the original characters and those for years. The last couple of seasons I've lost interest about half way through. If the writers would just ask ME I could tell them which characters to hook up and who to ditch. I could tell them they can't take a favorite character like John Carter and fix him up with a new person we don't care about from another country and expect us to CARE. So their baby dies--so what? We had no emotional investment. Give him someone interesting and deserving! They let so many wonderful opportunities for emotion slip away:

Mark Greene died and Elizabeth just moved away. What??
Carrie Weaver had a miscarriage and it was never mentioned again.
Carrie's love interest died. They just moved her on?
A helicopter fell on top of the Doctor We Love To Hate and we didn't get to see any reactions?? What?
Dr. Kovich boinks every female doctor and intern and patient's mother and -- WAIT! The writers have actually paired him up with Abby again! Someone we care about. One point for them.
However: in order to really give this guy conflict, what they've needed to do all along was pair him with a wonderful woman and put this woman and children in danger. Remember his backstory in Croatia? Couldn't save wife and children--feels helpless. If I was writing his story I'd be setting him up. Well, they sort of did it with Sam and her kid. Nobody cared. Now...with know she's pregnant, right?
I fear something bad. Anyone heard that she wants off the show or something? She just may be about to die. I hope not.
Oh no. Back to John Carter in Bolivia or wherever. Guess I'll read email tonight.

Next post: American Idol