Snow & Ice

I am hopefully wrapping up my work on a graphics project sometime today and will have the amazing finished project to share soon. I’m really excited about what I’ve been working on and that I got the chance to do it.

I had honestly thought that things wouldn’t really start getting crazy around here until at least next month, but things have popped up and seem to be just cramming themselves into my schedule. I’m going to be a giddy mess in a few weeks if things work out because I’ll get to take BG to see Swan Lake performed. I have never seen it and thought it would be a perfect time since their pointe performance this year is to one of the songs from Swan Lake. I’m just waiting on confirmation from her dance friend’s mom that they are going with us.

I also have MC’s scholarship awards ceremony coming up in a few weeks. I’ve shuffled things and made arrangements so I actually get to go. There was a conflict with dance, but our dance friend will be taking BG to class for me that night so I can see MC being rewarded for all of his hard work and determination.

I may complain left and right about feeling like crap with this stupid cough, but… when I stop and look at all that is going on and what my kids are doing, the amazing guy I pulled on all the lucky stars to get, I’m one seriously happy girl and I’m surrounded by some incredible people that keep the joy flowing all around.

Dreaming Of Warmer Days

I’m digging deep for this one and is why it isn’t nearly the quality I usually post. This is from a 2007 Florida vacation. Right now, I’d give a lot to be on a beach with warm temps. Not just because I wouldn’t feel like I’m constantly freezing, but because it SHOULD also mean that I’m not coughing anymore. Even with meds, that crap isn’t budging. Are you as sick of hearing me whine about my cough as I am of coughing?

Book Review: Blood & Ash, The Jezebel Files – Book #1

Author: Deborah Wilde
Book Name: Blood & Ash
Release Date: January 14, 2020
Series: The Jezebel Files
Order: #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Romance
Overall SPA: 4 Stars
4 Stars

 

 

Blurb: Cold-blooded kidnappers. Long-lost magic. When things get serious, she goes full Sherlock.

Ashira Cohen takes pride in being the only female private investigator in Vancouver. With her skills, her missing persons case should be a piece of cake.

She wasn’t counting on getting bashed in the skull, revealing a hidden tattoo and supernatural powers she shouldn’t possess.

Or the bitter icing on top: a spree of abductions and terrifying ghostly creatures on a deadly bender.

And don’t even get her started on the golems.

Reluctantly partnered with her long-time nemesis Levi, the infuriating leader of the magic community, Ash resolves to keep her focus on the clue trail and off their sexual tension because WTF is up with that?

But with a mastermind organization pulling strings from the shadows and Levi’s arrogance driving her to pick out his body bag, can Ash rescue the captives and uncover the truth or will the next blood spilled be her own?

Main SPA Evaluation Areas:

Characters: 4/5 Stars
Uniqueness Factor: 4/5 Stars
World Building: 4/5 Stars

Personal Opinion: 4/5 Stars

This weaves together serious and seriously funny. It is loaded with snark and attitude, but isn’t completely irreverent when presenting heavier aspects, giving you a really well balanced story.

There is also a very different feel to the way the world in this is presented as it pulls elements from the Jewish faith without veering so far as to place this into a religious fiction category. You have classic urban fantasy elements, like magic, but the origin of that magic and how it manifests felt very fresh and new, which is always a huge bonus for me.

While this is also a romance, I wouldn’t say it fits into a classic romance box as this has a whole lot of push and pull, back and forth between Ash and Levi with a bit of a steam factor tossed into that mix. That isn’t a trope I’m normally a fan of, but this didn’t quite take it to the extreme levels that would make me dislike the book. It runs along the side of the bigger plot and, while still a somewhat big part of the story, it isn’t the main focus.

The overall story arc in this is resolved, but it leaves a lot of threads open for future books. Not anything that I would call a cliffhanger. Maybe a small, cliffhanger light? As someone who really dislikes cliffhangers, the way this wrapped up didn’t push that button for me, but it may come close for some.

Overall, this was a fun and different feeling read.

Got My Cranky Pants On

I have no photo for you today because I spent almost all of my morning and a chunk of my afternoon dealing with the absolute nightmare that is trying to get someone to kill my cough. There are so many reasons why I quit going to the last doctor’s office and why I hate urgent care. Today just reinforced ALL of those reasons.

I quit going to the last doctor we had because I could NEVER get in when any of us were sick because the next available appointment was always 3 or 4 days out. When you are sick, you normally can’t wait 3 or 4 days. Even worse when it is your kid and they are running a fever. That and when I did go, I could easily be there waiting to actually see the doctor for a couple of hours or more. Again, a massive nightmare when it is a sick kid. I started going to urgent care because at least I could get in the same day, even if I did have to wait.

Then I began hating even urgent care because they treat me like I’m lying and drug seeking because the ONLY thing that ever helps kill this damn cough is a round or two of steroids and the cough medicine that has codeine in it (most times a couple of rounds of that as well.) Because, yes, that lung I attempted to leave on the floor is obviously a fake cough.

When I started having some pretty obvious signs that I might have a UTI (anyone that has ever had one knows what I’m talking about) and they didn’t go away after large amounts of water and cranberry juice (seriously, my eyeballs felt like they would start floating), I caved and tried to get an appointment at the new place I found and have taken the kids. Even though the website claims same day appointments, they didn’t have anything for 3 days.

Fine. I’ll go back to urgent care. And wait. And wait. And wait. Finally get in only to have them tell me there are no indications of a UTI (WTF are all my lovely, not fun symptoms then??) but, they will give me an antibiotic and a steroid for the cough. Cue the “you are wasting my time” attitude and the slight sneer when I explain, after asking about a cough medicine and she says she’ll give me what amounts to an expensive OTC, that it never works. She finally caves and agrees to give me what I know works, but very reluctantly. She so grudgingly gives me enough to maybe, if I’m exceptionally frugal and don’t actually take it as recommended, get me through 3 days.

I’m really tired of coughing, so I’m putting up with it. I have a feeling I’ll be calling back the office that couldn’t get me in today and trying to get in for a secondary appointment next week. I’m so sick and tired of people in the medical profession that don’t actually give a crap if they get you feeling better. They just shuffle you through like you are in an assembly line and toss a few antibiotics your way to make it look like they did something.

Having dealt with this for probably 20 years (yes, I deal with this exact same cough every single winter, all winter and have for at least that long) along with a few other issues I’ve had over the years, it is no wonder I cannot stand having to go to a doctor for any reason. I can say that the office I couldn’t get into has a nurse practitioner that I LOVE and doesn’t seem to have that attitude. I just need to be able to get in to see her.

Ugh! I’ll try to put my sick and tired cranky pants away for now. I have cranberry juice to drink, eyeballs to float, and a graphics project to work on.

Peeking Through

It is kind of fitting that my Hyacinths are starting to poke through the ground today showing the first signs of spring. I will probably still need to cover them some as they are calling for a little more snow later in the week. For today, it is going to be sunny and in the 60s and I’ll be spending it with BG doing some birthday shopping for her.

Out Of My Comfort Zone

So, this is very, VERY different for me. I don’t do photos of myself. EVER. But… I’ve officially taken on a staff roll for Envie Magazine as a book reviewer and a profile pic is part of the gig. Both the photo and the spot at the magazine are taking me so far outside my comfort zone I have to keep reminding myself to not freak out, but I’m still excited about it.

The position is a volunteer thing as the magazine’s goal is to remain free to subscribers and to those that want exposure, which I love and is one of the reasons I finally caved after lots of cajoling. My first review is already featured in this month’s edition that came out today.

This is going to be interesting and challenging for me. On the surface, it should be easy to come up with one book review per month, but I’m so picky as a reader and a reviewer, it might be harder than I think to find one I’m willing to recommend every month.

I really love what this amazing group of people are doing for the writing community and indie authors. It is going to be fun to be a part of it.

Epicness And F-Bombs

It isn’t always clear on here, but I tend to be a huge potty mouth. Granted, I’m also a courteous and polite potty mouth and I don’t cuss around people I don’t know or aren’t certain they are okay with cussing and is why I tend to keep it mostly clean on here. I also don’t cuss at people unless they are idiot drivers and even then, they aren’t the ones to hear it.

I do cuss around my kids and they know my rules around it. I’d be fine with them cussing as long as it followed those rules, but they think it is funny to NOT cuss. At least around Hubby and I. We know they do it. They know we know, but they still won’t cuss in front of us. It has become something of a game for them. And yes, we all have a twisted sense of humor that not everyone can appreciate.

Yesterday, MC gets home from school and tells me he nearly got into a head on collision with a bus in the neighborhood. It was in an area where there is kind of a blind curve, at least when you have several large pickup trucks parked in the street. MC was on his side of the road and didn’t see the bus (who was driving WAY too fast for a residential area) and lucked the hell out in that they came up on each other when MC was right in front of a small cul-de-sac and was able to swerve. Otherwise, it would have been one hell of an ugly wreck.

He was obviously a little shaken up, but okay. We talked about it a bit and went on with our afternoon. While I was at dance, Hubby sends me a picture of how close he came, reminding me that we have a dash cam in the car that MC drives. It was kind of freaky to see how bad it could have been in that shot.

When I get home, Hubby is all excited (weirdly) and all “You’ve got to see this!” He shows me the video and I can see exactly what happened, which is even more disturbing, but also kind of shocking at how smooth MC handled the whole thing. I’m still not understanding Hubby’s attitude. Then he’s “now you have to HEAR it.” Apparently our dash cam also records sound. We did not know this.

He turns the sound back on and replays the video, but it is silent. I’m giving him the eye and he just tells me to listen. I see the bus come along, deep into MC’s lane to avoid the trucks and what look like several workmen that were near the trucks. I see MC swerve into the cul-de-sac to avoid the bus and keep going. All still silent. I’m seriously impressed at how cool MC is through the whole event.

Again, I give another side eye to hubby. Then, about two houses after MC passed the bus, you start hearing sound.

He is about a block away from home and he just lets go in these epic bursts. What puts the icing on it is that he has somehow developed this deep, country drawl in his voice that I’ve NEVER heard from him before (he is now blaming his girl, saying that he must have picked it up from her after talking to her so much). It is so much and so different, I almost don’t even recognize it is MC talking.

The first burst is a little mild, then it gets quiet again. I think we are done. Nope. Another couple of houses and we get another burst that is a little longer and a little more colorful before it gets quiet again. Again, I think he is done as it is quiet until he pulls into the driveway.

That is when he lets it ALL come out. All the best, most colorful words are flying from my kid’s mouth. It is this over the top, epic curse fest rant at the bus, the trucks and the guys around the trucks. Hubby, BG, MC and I are all laughing so hard we can hardly breathe. I think we listened to it half a dozen times before we had enough.

His reaction to the whole thing has now given us material that we will never let him live down. “Fucking lumberjacks” said in a deep country drawl will live on for all eternity here and will come back to haunt him over and over again.

It may make me a bad parent, but I was beaming proud of my kid in his amazingly creative use of the F-bomb. I’m also crazy impressed with how ridiculously calm he was during the actual encounter. If I’d been in the driver’s seat, the dash cam would have had a boat load more F-bombs and then some from the very first sight of that bus and there might have been a bit of a wet spot on the seat.

In all seriousness, I’m just thrilled to death that this is something we can laugh about and it all turned out okay.

*The photo is an old one and has nothing at all to do with this post. I just liked it and felt like posting it. We haven’t seen that much snow on the ground here for several years.

 

Powdered Sugar Tree

Okay, so not really powdered sugar, but it reminds me of what it looks like if you dusted something with powdered sugar. Can you tell my brain is shifting into cake mode?

BG’s birthday is coming up soon. My girl will be 16! Ugh! Another driver and way too soon and not soon enough. Anyway… since she is the only one that lets me make an actual cake anymore, I spend a lot of time trying to come up with a great idea that she will love and I get to play the way I want.

For a little while, I thought I’d do another costume inspired cake since her point costume this year is a really simple, but elegant white with black accents (they are doing a piece from swan lake). I didn’t want to do a full out costume, just a small layered cake that mimicked the black applique from the costume. When I mentioned this idea, she didn’t seem thrilled as I’ve done a couple of ballet costume cakes now.

I went back to brainstorming and I came up with an idea that, if I can pull it off (which is always a question), she is going to absolutely squeal over. When I told her I had an idea that she would love and asked if she trusted me to just make it without her actually knowing what I had planed, she gave me the go ahead. I love that she has no clue what I’m going to do and it will be a surprise for a change.

I won’t say specifically what I’m going to do yet in case she decides to get nosy and drop by here, but I’m so excited about working on this. I won’t really be doing anything new as far as basic design or technique really, but it is also unlike anything I’ve done so far from a finished project standpoint. I’d say the chances of it turning out like I imagine are on the high side.

I still have a little over 2 weeks to get the design planned out and I need to find a few reference photos to help with some details, but I’m so excited and can’t wait to work on this.

I’ve Got Nothin’, How About A Cat?

BG is home sick today, so we are both feeling like crap and running low grade fevers.

We got some snow this morning, but it is more like snow soup because it was quickly followed by rain, so… no cool pics.

Instead, I’ll share a pic of my blanket and ottoman hog, Cleo. She may try to hog my space, but she is the sweetest, most loving cat I’ve ever been around. She gets even more hoggish when it is cold, so guess where she’s been lately? Some of the best medicine is a snuggly cat.

Still Frozen

We started the day with negative wind chills and me on edge because it was the first time MC ever really drove on anything that wasn’t just wet. The roads weren’t horrible, but there were still patches of snow and some ice here and there, so I was kind of a wreck until I got his text that they made it to school.

I’m very much deep into hermit mode right now. It is kind of a downside to being a SAHM, at least for me. Outside of getting BG to dance, there aren’t a whole lot of things that I HAVE to get done. When it is bitter cold and dreary and I’m still feeling cruddy, it is way too easy to opt to just stay bundled in some blankets with a book. I haven’t even felt like writing a review I’m so deep into that mode. I love that I can do this when I need to, but I hate that it is so easy to do outside of those need to times. I feel like such a slug.

One of the few things I’ve gotten the energy to do (mostly because it is one of those things that really needed to get done) was update my calendar with all the upcoming events, mostly the latest rehearsal schedule for BG. All of these don’t start until April, but with this year being so different for her, it is the first time I’ve seen how much extra time the girls that assist have to spend at the studio when it gets closer to recital time. My four days a week at the studio is going to explode into almost every single day. There are a few times that her entire Saturday is going to be spent at the studio. When I say her entire day, I mean from something like 3 until almost 10pm. If Saturday had been one of her assist days or she was a ballet assistant (only juniors and seniors, so maybe next year), it would have been even longer.

When BG and MC were talking about snow days and how they would impact the last day of school and BG’s recital dates, the topic of MC’s graduation came up. I had a moment of panic that I hadn’t put that date on my calendar yet and thought there would be a conflict with one of those rehearsals. Turns out that is one of the very few days I have on my calendar that didn’t have BG at the studio. Such a relief!

I knew this was going to be kind of a crazy year, but I had no idea that I was barely going to have a moment to breath this coming spring. Maybe I shouldn’t feel so bad about taking this time to be a hermit.

Snowy Start

I don’t think it is supposed to amount to much, but we are getting some snow today. I did a quick test and it is cold enough to freeze bubbles, but they aren’t freezing fast enough and it is just a tad too breezy, so they don’t last. I’ll be watching the weather all day hoping I might get a chance to get out and play for a bit.