Friday, September 30, 2005


Life, 2,554: Writing 0

I am hot and sweaty and it is nearly October??? (Must rethink ideas on global warming).

Thank God it is Friday.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

My Day So Far

7.45 am... Get up
8.00 am... Clothe/Feed kids
8.45 am... Poop scoop lawn and get washing from yesterday off the line, send first round of COFFIN (KOD) announcements out
9.00 am... Pack snack for moms and kids for mom's group
9.15 am... Walk to mom's group
9.30-11.00 am... Mom's group. DS cries at door for me because I am relaxing with other moms. Eat muffin
11.15 am... Walk home. Check mail.
11.30 am... Clean up copious amounts of dog pee. Laundry :(
11.40 am... Make lunch for DD and get her snack ready for kindergarten, force feed child
12.10 pm... Remove uneaten food from DD and make her use bathroom--which of course takes another 10 mins.
12.20 pm... Shoes on, hunt for DS who is looking for poop in garden {:O
12.30 pm... Arrive at kindy for safe delivery.
12.50 pm... Drive home. Check mail. Check answer-phone. Think about lunch for DS. Eat left over snacks for mom's group.
1.30 pm... Video for DS. Check blogs, internet, email.
2.00 pm... Get wip out, turn wip music on, check DS.
2.01 pm... Find big pile of poop in front of TV and a naked from waist down (or should that be waste down?) kid who looks like mine, but with horns.
2.02 pm... Lose temper and shout at DS who cries and make me feel terrible. Again.
2.10 pm... Clean up poop. Laundry :(
2.11 pm... Dress DS.
2.12 pm... Go back to wip, but enthusiasm gone. Romance and poop don't mix.
2.15 pm... Check blogs, internet, email. Mailbox.
2.20 pm... Play with a couple of ideas for website
2.35 pm... Video finishes and DS restless.
2.45 pm... Leave to pick up DD from kindy, walking and actually leaving early for a change so DS can play on structure outside school doors.
3.00 pm... DS falls asleep in stroller (never happens)
3.10 pm... Arrive kindy. Teacher informs me DD left toilet door open (a charge she denies) boy walks in and all hell breaks loose. She called him a LOSER!!! Where does she get this stuff?
3.30 pm... Finally leave kindy. DS still asleep. Walk home with DD constantly moaning and asking for TV.
4.00 pm... Home. TV goes on :( Dinner goes in oven
4.30 pm... Kids at table, eating dinner, I'm writing my BLOG because I still have Sparks and bath time to survive. Eat muffin, place something frozen in oven and thank God for forethought when I cooked it (whatever it turns out to be).

Now DH will come home and when the kids go to bed he'll say, 'I thought you were going to work?' and then he wonders why I get so frustrated when he then organizes social engagements for Friday and Saturday nights.

I LOVE my kids, but they need to get over their bathroom/toilet/poop obsessions.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

What to do?

Oh dear, ranting again :/ Trouble is this stuff scares me. Scares me more than terrorist attacks, truth be told.

The difficult thing is wondering how little changes in our daily life can make a difference in the great scheme of things. I am a bad person--I use disposable diapers and my car, although a Subaru--which have very low emissions--is still a small SUV (at least to the insurers). Now these are choices I have made to deal with living in this environment, which is harsh and extreme, with 2 small kids, 2 big dogs and snow on the road for at least 4 months of the year I feel justified. The diapers was a decision made purely on retaining my sanity, which flies south regularly when home with two small kids and almost no family support (except DH-no reflection on family, they're just not wherever I've lived).

What do I do for the environment? What can you do?
1) Use the car as little as possible (I use mine 3 times a week most of the year)
2) Use the car more effectively, give someone a ride to work everyday (no axe-murderers please). Combine errands.
3) If you change appliances switch to energy friendly varieties.
4) Get advice from your Hydro company about improving energy efficiency in the home.
5) Switch to detergents and cleaning products that are environmentally friendly. Norwex and Melaleuca are two companies I know that make good stuff, there must be others.
6) If you're rich or planning on staying in your home for a long time install geothermal goal in life :)
7) Investigate solar and wind power.
8) Share body heat where possible :)

Sigh--I'm over it for a couple of days. You can relax again.
Arctic ice 'disappearing fast' BBC article

This is a great article explaining some of the complexities of what might happen if the ice melts. It doesn't just mean there is no ice for the polar bears, other factors come into play. They didn't even mention what might happen if the ice melts in regards to the Gulf stream.

I know some people say 'it's all conjecture, nobody can say what's gonna happen'. But if we get to a time where we have PROOF of global warming as opposed natural variations in world temps...if we reach that time without doing anything...we're screwed. You, me, parents, kids, that cute little puppy, all screwed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Story bored

Feeling a bit flat today. Not sure why. Maybe it is the Fall starting to turn the trees, or the fact I already seem wrapped up in layers, but I notice I haven't succumbed to socks yet. I always have cold feet so I guess that is a sign, right?

Getting some writing done this evening after I spent the afternoon working up a story-board for my wip. I couldn't move forward--I was stuck in a boring scene that had dragged on way too long--and why? Because I hadn't worked out exactly where I was going next. By nature I am a plotter, but because I was concentrating on emotions I'd not plotted this as carefully--and I was STUCK!!!! Bloody boring scene that needed a log fire and naked people to get it going (I sent him home instead as it was way too early for any of that, thank you very much :)

So I plotted my story-board to find 3 empty blocks where scenes should have been LOL. No wonder I was dragging out that crappy scene, there was nothing in the works to fill out the rest of the 160 pages!!! Anyway, now I have a ball to organize and a beach trip that seems promising as long as I remember the champagne and something delicious in the picnic basket. Fun fun fun. Why should historicals have all the fancy stuff??

So now I just have to juggle kids, kindy, skating and shopping tomorrow and hopefully I can move on.

Monday, September 26, 2005


I got 3 pages written today. Not bad considering it has been one of those days!!!
This morning was a fight with the kids to make a quick raid on the library. What should be a quiet peaceful trip has turned into snatch and grab. My son plays with the two toys they have there for about 10 minutes tops--assuming no one else wants to play with said toys because then a tussle ensues, and my boy is small, but fierce :/ My daughter scoots around and grabs about 10 books that she fancies and we leave. That is it. End of story. No quiet storytimes, no peacefully curled up children engrossed in story after story. Smash and grab.

Next was cycling to my friend's house a couple of blocks away. Normally my daughter is a safe biker, but not today. She fell off twice and crashed into me once. Son fell asleep in the seat on the back of my bike, which makes riding/steering a little tricky. So he missed dinner, because we had swimming and had to go. So we went and DH got a parking ticket from the Gestapo at the U of M.

DH was very pleased and made us all miserable until even the dog gave him a look, after which he relaxed and laughed about it. Of course, now he's determined to get off this violation--just because I got a refund from the one and only parking ticket I ever received. Now I know he has the gift of the gab, but I was nine months pregnant and carrying a two year old when I got my ticket--I wouldn't bet on him :)

Computer Problems

Just so you know--I have signal issues and have the internet guy coming to help fix them later this week.

It isn't that I don't want to waste time on the internet, or read and comment on your blogs, but my machine isn't letting me. I can take quick peeks and then it all craps out. Arnie 'I'll be back' but hope to use this problem for good and actually write :)

Sunday, September 25, 2005


OK--reached my goals as of yesterday and finished Chapter 2 of my Presents--I have to admit they are shorter than my other chapters, so maybe I am cheating? Anyway Tick Chapter 2 :)

Finished all my other little jobs (except KOD announcements which I have to get done tonight to send out next week). Now I am trying to alter curtains (not my forte) and trying to copy audio tracks onto CD's so I can listen to the RWA conference classes on the move. So far no luck.

Last night we watched Sea Biscuit. It was lovely, even if I'm not a fan of Toby McGuire. I LOVE horses. The book I'm reading now Stolen Magic by Mary Jo Putney features a unicorn, and Aunty Jan bought DD Barbie and the magic of Pegasus, so we are having a horsey time and I'm wanting to move to the country and get one (preferably that doesn't bite, bolt, roll, kick, buck--which seems to be my usual mount).

DS is scared of the Barbie movie--and in another weird twist of fate the baddy is called Wenlock, which just happens to be a neighboring town where I was born and raised.

Funny old world...and thanks to DH for helping me get my goals achieved :) XXXX

Friday, September 23, 2005


This is going to be short and sweet as I am so tired. Kids had an early appointment with their pediatrician for the first time this morning. He was lovely and appreciated my son ripping up his exam room :( Thankfully he is used to kids :D
For revenge he stuck both my babies with sharp needles, but that was it. My DD also had a Strong Beginnings assessment at her school. The teacher asked her to count backwards from 10 to 1, and my daughter didn't just do it, she did it in French. :O

Writing achievements this week, 6 lousy pages. I can still get my goals done if I have an incredible weekend--so basically that depends on DH stepping up to the plate with the kids. I'll report on my progress and his :)

I'm having trouble reading blogs and posting pictures just now. My PC seems a bit screwy. Hopefully it just needs a rest, like me, and I'll be able to surf tomorrow. I usually check out Kendra, Jill, Suzanne, Meretta, Mary & Peggys' blogs before the kids get up in the morning. Oh--and Jenny Crusie. But maybe it is a sign to get off the internet and write the damn book already!!

Enough said--hope you're healthy and happy.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Tonight I have the ER season premiere and CSI. Normally I just catch CSI when I can and I like all three CSI shows, but tonight I need to put my feet up.

I am so tired!!! I have gone from doing no exercise all summer, to walking 90 mins a day at speed (usually because I am late), plus walking to Sparks etc, and dealing with the new kids' routine and catching poop left, right and centre :( Plus trying to keep house, and cook some big meals for the freezer so I can cook less generally. Today was a couple of huge lasagnes and a cottage pie, tomorrow enough lentil soup to feed an army :)

So weak and feeble as I am, instead of editing a short story and writing about how Gabriel is going to get his own back on Flick, I'm going to veg. He's going to have to wait for revenge (evil cackle).

And please someone remind me to eat like an adult tomorrow. Today I ate 2 pieces of toast, 1 packet crisps, 10 cookies, an apple--and I'm seriously looking forward to the lasagne now. Yum.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Hot or Not?

OK, well yesterday I was stressed so today I decided a little retail therapy might help. My problem of course is having no money. BUT I can rationalize the purchase of a few romance novels as research (which it is) as well as enjoyment :) I was trying to get Jill Shalvis' Seeing Red but couldn't find it even in Zellers (Canadians version of Walmart). I will have to revert to the internet for it now LOL.

Instead I saw books by JoAnn Ross, Lori Foster and Jenelle Denison that I hadn't read--and before you say it, NO I haven't read all the freebies I got in Reno yet, but there is something so satisfying about buying a book and holding it in your sticky mitts that I had to get them. These 3 authors write pretty hot stuff (I have only read Lori's and that was several years ago, but I have heard on the grapevine and can tell by the covers) and I'm curious as to how hot publishing is getting as of now. Hot doesn't bother me, though I don't like erotica, I need the romance you see :) And hot seems to sell--unless your at the other end of the spectrum with Inspirational, which also sell. Again I like those books too, when well written, though don't want the industry to go to the extremes with nothing in the middle.

The stuff I write is in the middle--I need the middle--and why am I suddenly channelling Elaine out of Seinfeld???

OK--off to watch the Invasion premiere after getting 6 pages of Gabriel's story written :)

Google Earth

Google Earth
You have to try it :) Find your street, school, home town--zoom down from space. Oh Man, I forgot, Uluru, Great Wall of China Culzean Castle, Harris (where I am setting my current story).

Too much fun :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


OK--well today is one of those days where I can not stop stuffing my face with chocolate. Totally hormone related (with some added internal stress and a sore shoulder), but that won't make my pants fit me any better in the long run.

And I have noticed I have been calling my trousers, pants, PANTS!!! Lord help me I'm being Americanised!!! I'm going to end up having one of those awful obsenely ugly accents, like Lloyd Grossman. Yuk!! I like Canadian accents, I like American accents and I like British accents, but I don't want all three at the freaking same time.

OK--see the stress shining through??? :/

Monday, September 19, 2005


Got my tapes from the Reno conference today!!! Yay!!! Now I get to listen to all the great workshops I missed, and revisit the wonderful ones I went to. I also get to skip the dreary, poorly presented ones without any embarrassment. I can listen to Suzanne Brockmann's chat like the groupy I am, again and again :)

I just have to finish cleaning up all the crap on my harddrive before I do anything. I seem to have 5 copies of every photo ever taken on our digital camera. I thought the whole point was to be more picky, rather than saving crap? But I do find it hard to get rid of any photos of my babies. How sad am I??

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Winter is coming. There is a chill in the air at night--I have put the down duvet on the bed and even have to fight DH for the covers. The trees are losing their leaves and I have been wearing my trendy black gillet when I am out early in the morning. The afternoons are still nice though, when the sun is shining and the heating isn't on yet.

Today I planted bulbs, 50 odd in all. Tulips, crocus and Hyacinths (sp?). I planted them in all different beds, front and back, not knowing where they will actually survive the 5 months of snow and ice. I also planted two half barrels and hope something grows--not just dandelions :)

We got our wood order filled. Last year we had NO idea. We burnt far too much, too quickly because we just didn't know how long it should/would last--we ran out at the end of February and the snow didn't start to melt till beginning of April. Last year we only got the wood insert put into the fireplace in late October and the wood guy (Big Mek)had to crawl through the snow to find our wood (now that was what he told me and I am naive enough to believe him). This year I ordered early and he delivered 2 cords which DH has stacked up in the basement. It looks scarily enormous!!!

So I am hoping, in the contrary nature of weather, that has dogged and messed with my psyche my whole life, that this year's winter is mild with little snow.

Chances of that living in Winterpeg? I'd say 100-1 odds against.

We'll see.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


My daughter just made up a joke.

What flower do you find between your chin and your nose?Two lips


Friday, September 16, 2005


Well I am having a crappy day. I think I'm getting a cold, I'm deaf in one ear (I would mention wax, but it is too gross). Last night I just missed wiping my face out on the side of the kids' table. Seriously, if I were over 5'1" tall I'd have had a broken nose at the very least and a few missing teeth to add to my beauty. Instead I landed on my knees--hard. Thank God they were built as shock absorbers, and though the tiles hurt, it hurt less that a table in the face.

This morning my son took off his diaper and pooped on the floor, then covered it with his snack bowl and smeared it all over the place. Since then he has found the glitter--right up there on my hate list next to poop. It went EVERYWHERE.

So great.

I am having trouble concentrating on writing, and I hate that. But I am getting some lovely emails via the Romance Junkies and I'm so grateful. Lord, after waspish comments from some contest judges/agents, I need a few nice things to remember. I do remember the good things people say. They go top of the pile in my head, but the bad comments eat away at the foundations so I have to feed my soul with nice things.

Not poop...but independence
Not glitter...but sparkles
Not sore ears...but the time to take it easy

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Otis Redding

I spent the last few days on an Otis fad. Anybody who knows me well, knows I like all different types of music and right now it is Otis.

I was shocked and dumbfounded to learn, that Otis Redding died when he was only 26 years old. 26 years old. In that short life he created a legacy of soul music that still lives on today. I shiver with the opening words of 'These Arms of Mine' and 'I've been loving you too long (to stop now)' brings tears to my eyes. 'Try a little Tenderness' makes me sad and 'I've got dreams to remember' always inspires me when times get rough.

Then there is his most famous recording '(Sittin' on) The dock of the bay', which he wrote after a break where he spent a lot of time listening to The Beatles 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' LP (did I mention I used to live off Penny Lane in Liverpool?). Apparently when Otis played his new tune to everyone back home, nobody cared for it. He recorded it in the studio on the 6 & 7th December 1967 and died three days later in an aircrash. The record landed at #1 in the pop charts 3 months later.

Like many great artists he never knew how incredibly famous he would become.

Otis believed in himself, pushed himself, fought prejudice both racially and musically. He defied convention, struck out in a new direction even when people said it wouldn't work. It takes guts and self belief to do that. Here's to a great man.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

England Win the Ashes

From the BBC---

Men of the series
While England supporters rejoiced even the most fervent of England fans must have felt touch of sympathy for Australia's Shane Warne.

The leg-spinner bamboozled England's batting line-up to finish the series with an incredible 40 wickets.

At times it appeared he was playing Vaughan’s men on his own.

He and Flintoff were named Men of the Series.

From me---
Now I don't know anything about cricket--well not much anyway. I know that ball friggin hurts if it hits you, and I know we haven't won the Ashes series since 1986. Now the history of the Ashes is complicated--see here for explanation. But the bottom line is the Aussies have been thrashing us at it for yonks--and rubbing our noses in it in every chance they get. So finally we can rejoice!! And I loved the footage of Andy Flintoff staggering onto the bus, obviously drunk, but smiling merrily, before they began their trip through the streets of London to see Tony Blair.

Nice to have something to celebrate!!!

Tax man

Yesterday I learned that biscuits (gingernuts to be exact) and potties don't mix. Today I learned that my son can be bribed for jelly beans. We haven't conquered potty training yet, but we've made inroads.

Breaking news, just as I was about to post about my DH's inability to stick to a budget (you'd think they'd learn maths at private school), we got a rebate from the tax man!!! All hail every God living and naked rain dancing at midnight tonight to give thanks for small mercies...all welcome :D

Monday, September 12, 2005


Do you think the romance heroes we write about, those panther-like men who move with silent and deadly grace, do you think, that when our poor heroines marry the guys, said heroes turn into cupboard-banging, door-slamming, toilet-flushing noise monsters at six o'clock in the morning?

Just an idle thought...

Sunday, September 11, 2005


I was wondering how I was doing--personally, you know, wondering if I'd got anywhere near where I'd wanted to go in my life. So I figured I'd check out the goals I wrote back in January this year.

And couldn't find the buggers!!! Anyway here are some long term goals I holding back :)

One Year--1st book accepted for publication.
Now I guess this depends on several things and even though the year is marching along at a clipping pace I will not give up :)

Two Years: Second book published--good reviews ;-)

Three Years: Third book published--good reviews--sell on proposal

Four Years: Two book contract

Five Years: Best Seller status, earning a living writing one ST book a year and maybe a category too.

LOL--dreaming big :)

But what have I achieved except for raising my two little beings, unbalancing the checkbook, being a housewife (though really I didn't marry the freaking house)?

I finished two stories--one 105K words, one 75K words. Got to Reno, pitched to Denise Zaza and got a request for the manuscript. Met a bunch of editors and agents, drooled over my favorite authors (embarrassing but true), learned the dark side of the industry and RWA ;-). I volunteered for the publicity committee for my chapter of RWA (Kiss of Death), made some wonderful friends, critiqued 4 stories by my CPs (maybe more it is hard to tell), got to grips with two new software packages and made DH a website and designed my own template for future use. I can't think of anything else, but I'm pretty pleased with the year so far.

Ohh...and I wrote the first chapter in my new story :)

Unfortunately, I know I need to rewrite the first story I wrote if I am to sell it, but must write my Presents first, while I have the tone and feel for the line in my head :) Note to self: must NOT kill anyone.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Simmering Down

So today we used airmiles to book 3 flights to Miami and should be staying somewhere on one of the keys. My daughter astonished us because I said 'Hey we can go to Disney World' and she said, 'it has 3 water parks and great nightlife' LOL. The power of advertising :/ I noticed DH hasn't booked his flight LOL--he did say he might stay home :D

So calmed down a bit. Still some simmering but that's just stress. I am about to dive into writing--DH has kids, football game and a birthday party, wish me luck.

Tonight I am hosting a Norwex party. Can you imagine holding a cleaning party LOL? Anyway I have cleaned most stuff, but left sticky finger marks on the telly screen and grease on the cooker so the lady can demonstrate--shouldn't be too hard to find dirt in a house with two kids and two molting dogs :)

Friday, September 09, 2005


Have you ever thought about how easy it is to get angry? Real bone-deep pissed-off angry so you walk around with your teeth set, your eyes narrow as twin lasers and a clipped shut off way of analysing the situation you are in?

That was me earlier.

I think my problem stemmed from non-stop activity from 10.30 am to 6.30 pm. I literally didn't stop. Packed rucksac for DD. Got emergency bread from local shop, fed kids early lunch/made sandwich for the wee monster to eat on the hoof, picked up DH so we could both take DD to kindy (that was lovely seeing her so grown up and playing with her old Pre-K friends), did the BIG shop in Superstore (God I love that store as it is cheap and hate it because the quality of service makes you feel like you are in prison), rushed home, put groceries away, put DS in stroller and legged it in 30C heat for twenty minutes down to kindy, picked up grumpy child (she'd been fabulous in class but when she relaxes she gets surly), got home, emptied dishwasher, cooked tea & fed kids, washed up, poop scooped, filled out RWA ballot (please God don't be raving idiots), hung out laundry, bathed kids, sorted ten tonnes of clean laundry and put it away, cooked dinner for me and DH. Phew!

So when DH arrived late from the pub I was less than gracious :) And I should have been gracious. Really I should. He came home with the great news we are going to Florida (airmiles willing) for 2 weeks in early December, he has to work but I can play :). Florida--in a Manitoba winter--trust me if you lived here you'd know why I should be kissing his great big feet :)

Jenny Crusie

OK--I don't normally read Jenny Crusie's blog. I am a huge fan of her and her books and I did have to rugby tackle Meretta every time she saw JC in Reno, but I'm not the stalker.

But big news on her blog--check it out for a laugh :)

Larissa's Auction

Larissa Ione's eBay auction is now live here.

I have bid on 5 things and hope I don't win them all :) But with 6 days to go I doubt very much that I will.

Good luck Larissa. I hope this gets you started.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Nora is challenging people to match her donation to Habitat for Humanity and also to send books for the survivors of Katrina (thanks for the link Meretta)

On a personal note my daughter starts kindy tomorrow (bless her). She is very excited, but a little scared too. Considering she'd be in Grade 2 had we stayed in Scotland I feel like it is way past time she started full days, but no, it'll be a year of half days to start with while I look after the wee man :)

Talking of the wee man (aptly named considering the lack of progress on the nappy/diaper front) he had his birthday last week and his sister, helped by a good friend of ours, baked a cake. Isn't it fab?

Writing-wise, I have my images, soundtrack and plot sorted out. Seriously, I am now prepared :) Just going to nail down the internal and external conflicts so they are up front and personal in my head, and then I can start writing. I know, I know, I'm being lazy. Is it the changing seasons? because I am whacked--maybe I need to get my butt in gear and set my goals.

Gabriel (Gabe) and Felicity (Flick) are my hero/heroines names...what do you think? Nice and easy for all those contest judges who usually have trouble with me??

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


I'm almost embarrassed to admit how much I'm enjoying the Harlequin Presents books I'm reading just now. Loreth Ann White sent me a bunch and I bought one of the latest by Emma Darcy. Many are set in Australia--though I notice they aren't really full of Aussie expressions, or they are set in other hot places. Now I'm going to set mine on the snow-white beaches of the west of Scotland--??? Hope it'll fly.

Right now I'm plotting. Have my hero and heroine in mind (including pictures). A film star and a photographer (breaking the don't write about film stars rule). I have revenge, passion and hopefully two souls who find each other in a cold world :). So I'd better go eat and plot.

Wish me luck!!!

PS. What are you doing???

SOS America

Below is part of a Newsletter I received today. It is for people wanting to send things to the Katrina relief effort. Seems strange to me that they weren't asking for things, because if I were naked, dirty and hungry, I'd rather have a tin of soup and a T-Shirt, than a gift voucher for a shop that no longer exists. Not that I think the donated money will be wasted--I hope not. But I want to help people on the ground. If you want to receive this newsletter sign up with Kathryn Falk at the email address below.

She set up the organization to help US troops in the Gulf--kind of weird that this attracted me as a Brit who doesn't believe in war, but I guess I grew up during the great crisis of conscious following the Vietnam war, and the terrible way War Vets were treated when they came home. I guess I see my grandad fighting the Germans in WWII and my dad in the paras and I wonder 'what if...'

What if somebody treated my grandad poorly if he were injured? What if my dad didn't have enough to eat during a posting? So although I haven't done much I did send a couple of care packages in the hopes they found someone in need. Somebody's future grandfather, someone's dad.

Now SOS AMERICA are trying to help people suffering following Hurricane Katrina.


Kathryn Falk []
10218 County Rd 941-B
RR1 Box 134
Alvin, TX 77511-6839

NOTE FROM KELLI SALKIN to Booklovers & SOS America Patriettes -- this SOS is going to both lists, you may get a duplicate.



I am holding down the fort while Kathryn packs up boxes and bags, and takes 6am flight to Hobby Airport! AIRTRAN waived overweight/extra boxes' charge at LaGuardia,and at Atlanta. Alerted staff in both airports to help out. THANK YOU AIRTRN and Gwendolyn Ashley.

SOS Patriettes and RT Booklovers are collecting supplies and boxing them up as I write.

SOS America will not turn over things without knowing exactly who is getting what. We guarantee your donation goes where it's needed. The same strategy that works for our troops is expected to work in this crisis. We start the "adopting"/"sponsoring" process.

You take on as many names as you can and share them with your network of contacts, office, church, school, scout troops, etc.

Kathryn has 2 days to straighten up the house before her cousins from New Orleans arrive. She hasn't been there for years. Many of you know Ron, her late father's caretaker who looks after things??! (I'll say no more!) I don't want to be there when she announces it isn't clean enough - the dust will fly! Maybe the caretaker will fly out the door too! LOL

In the meantime, if you can, start collecting collect sanitary products, hygiene items, toys, children's items, unneeded summer clothing (just wash and fold and separate into adults, children under 12 and babies under 2), and underwear (of all sizes). Think of all the things you'd want if you were stranded! We'll have more instructions soon - I'll print Alvin mailing address again at end of this newsletter.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

One of those days

I'm having one of those days!! Kids driving me mad. Trying to potty train DS but every time I take him to the loo to pee he screams and cries. So back into nappies until next time. DD is being a PITA. She won't eat her meals, but the momentshe steps down from the table she complains of being hungry. So, I try to make her finish what she left, but she can sit over a single piece of bread for hours!!!

Everyone is talking about school and child care. I am so jealous...even the occasionally babysitter would be wonderful.

Free to good home--one worn out, pissed off mom.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Saturday, September 03, 2005

BBC's take on Katrina

BBC's take on New Orleans

And another article BBC.

These show different perspectives on the situation. I'm not bashing Americans BTW--some of my best friends are Americans :) I'm just mesmerized by the whole terrible situation and looking forward to those people still suffering finding hope. I saw a wonderful piece on Minnesota News (KARE?), where a man gave a house to a family, rent free for a year. They had never met.

What a wonderful gesture. Wonderful people.

Embarrassing Moments.

My husband and a colleague had a big grant review this week. Lots of good behavior and being on their toes. So Thursday night after it was all over Steve came back to our place to relax for the evening and stay over, before he traveled home the next day. When DH and I were out of the lounge, our dog--the older one--Finn (she of the excellent health and good breeding), sidled up to Steve for a stroke. He obliged and gave her a pat (not a dog person). She decided this wasn't enough and gave his hand a firm nudge--showering red wine everywhere. All over him, the couch, everywhere.

So--I had to wash Steve's clothes, find something of DH's for him to wear, wash the couch.

Next day. Son was watching Robin Hood while I got something together for my writing chapter Kiss of Death. I should have known--it was a sign :) Daughter was upstairs and all was blissful. I went through to check on my son and found the fireplace opened, 6-month-old ashes strewn over every surface until the only color visible was grey and son running around like a powder puff giving off fumes.

LOL. Thank God the couch is washable!!!!

I won't go into the more posterior stories--we're toilet training and enough said ;-)

Friday, September 02, 2005


Below is a message from one of my DH's brothers (see brat on the biography page :)) I think he's very talented.

Dear Professor Anderson,

I am an ardent supported of your work and have followed your research avidly ever since your enlightening paper on the, 'salt secretions of the lesser spotted European dogfish.' I too am an avid biologist who's interest was sparked by a childhood gift, although mine was a junior doctors and nurses set. I feel my experience would be of great benefit to your lab and I would revel the opportunity to work under your tutelage. My work includes the, 'identification of previously unidentified elements in a technicolured cough after ten pints of stella and a curry,' and the esteemed report on, 'birds, with and without beer goggles'. I hope my application for a position in primitive fish physiology and endocrinology research is successful and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards,

Speedy Darwin.


Here is a heart-rendering account of the force of Katrina by a fellow writer,
Larissa Ione . Makes you think and be grateful for what you've got.

I am so sorry for the people of the Gulf Coast. The devastation and destruction is mind numbing--not to mention the loss of life, be it human or animal. I am appalled by the slowness of the response given the US is such a sophisticated country. During the Tsunami clean-up, we knew it would take months and years to even begin to make things right for the poor people of SE Asia, but the States? Couple of days--weeks at most. Doesn't look that way--it'll be years before things ever get back to normal, and that is assuming they don't get hit by another hurricane soon.

Isn't it ironic--Mother Nature cutting off the USA's oil? Some might think not. But the Ocean in the Gulf of Mexico is at record temperatures--30C. The ocean is 30C. Ocean temperatures are responsible for spawning hurricanes. The hotter the ocean the more frequent and forceful they become. This year had the earliest hurricane ever, and now the most destructive on US soil. And the US officials still deny global warming is even happening.

I am hoping some good comes out of this awful event--not that I'd wish disaster on anyone--but I'm hoping that maybe the citizens of America will start thinking about global warming, start using cleaner power (as we all should) and I hope the people of the Gulf recover from this soon. Very soon.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Website up and running--hopefully

DH's Website What do you think? I hope it loads OK in the different browsers--tell me if something isn't working for you. The hit counter isn't activated yet, I'm hoping someone at U of M can fix that.

My first website.

I'm very proud of DH and his accomplishments--even though some days I want to kill him :)