Showing posts from October, 2011

Weekend in Photos, October 29 & 30, 2011

Maya carving pumpkins at her godmother's house on Saturday.

Yes, she had to get a little dirty!

I love windmills, so, of course, Maya had to pose by this one at Vala's Pumpkin Patch on Sunday.

Cinderella never looked quite so, well, skeletal before, did she??

Celebrating finding Herb, who managed to get lost with no cell phone for almost an hour at Vala's, by riding the train.

This and That

Here's a photo of a sleeping Maya with a snuggling Muffin from Wednesday, October 26. They were actually on top of me on the couch, so this is my best effort from about a dozen photos taken with my cell phone and an extended arm.

Allie, our Rottweiler, had surgery yesterday for an infected toenail. Maya accidentally stepped on Allie's paw almost three weeks ago, and this is the end result. Fortunately, Allie seems to be just fine. She's not even messing with the bandage on her paw. She probably doesn't want to wear the "cone of shame" again!

Maya added carving pumpkins with her godmother tomorrow afternoon to her busy weekend schedule. I'm hoping to get some rest this weekend to beat my cold, which now has my voice sounding all froggy. What are your plans for this weekend?

Claimed by Rebecca Zanetti

Starting right where Fated, the first book in Rebecca Zanetti's Dark Protector series ends, Claimed (2011) covers the story of vampire king Dage and geneticist Emma. (This is a family series. The first book covers Talen and Cara, and Dage is Talen's brother, while Emma is Cara's sister.)

Visiting each other in visions for years--a couple of decades in Emma's case, a couple of centuries in Dage's case--Emma and Dage already know they're destined to be together before they meet. Throw in Dage's efforts to lead the realm of immortals while battling the Kurjans and Emma's need to protect Cara and Cara's daughter, Janie, at all costs, and there's still plenty of tension and drama, despite their relationship seeming to be a "done deal."

This second book didn't hold my attention quite as well as the first book, though. I didn't feel the chemistry as strongly between Dage and Emma, and I really couldn't understand why Emma didn…

This and That

At the risk of sounding unstable, never mind on the interview. After talking more with Herb and giving the job a lot of consideration over the weekend, I decided not to waste their time and mine on the all-day interview.

For now, I'm just going to concentrate on going back to school instead of trying to go back to school, potentially starting a new job, and potentially having either an unpleasant daily commute or facing the prospect of selling our home and finding a new one in Omaha. The timing is just off for that much change all at once in our lives. If the change only impacted me, instead of my husband, my daughter, and my mom, I might have gone ahead with the interview and hoped for a job offer.

Maya and I also have a nasty cold right now. She's doing pretty well, except the coughing starts when she needs to be sleeping. That means we're all awake, and I'm dragging during the day. She even complained this morning, "I kept having to call you twice [when w…

This and That

Okay, never mind. I have an on-site interview on November 2. I'm pretty nervous because I've never had an all-day interview before, and I have to give a 30-minute presentation as part of the interview. Since I'm also a picky eater, I'm even stressed about having lunch with them.

Again, please wish me luck. Thanks!

For a service project for Maya's Brownie troop, she collected food from our cupboards, Grandma, and a few of our neighbors this morning to donate to the local Salvation Army. She collected 39 items thanks to their generous giving. She's very excited that she gets a patch for her vest in addition to helping others. A win-win situation.

Maya keeps changing her mind about what she wants to be for Halloween. She can't decide between being a vampire or a witch. I gave her a deadline of tomorrow for a firm decision because I don't want to be throwing a costume together on Halloween. I'm sure I'll have photos of her to share later.

This and That

Thanks for the well wishes on the interview. I think I did okay, but I'm not expecting to be invited for the second, on-site interview. I already started my list of reasons to be relieved not to get a second interview, including the job having a more varied schedule (evenings, weekends) than I'm used to, a fair amount of travel for the position, and needing to either move or commute to Omaha, which is about 50 miles from where I live, for the position.

The bad part? I want the job even more now after interviewing than I did before. Sigh.

I started a personal lifestyle intervention because I have horrible genes, and I'd really like to live longer than my dad did to have more time with Maya. He died when he was 57 and I was 23, and I was the same age when Maya was born that he was when I was born (34). This is NOT a diet; this is a move more and make better eating choices going forward life plan.

We have a treadmill I used regularly while pregnant with Maya. I started…

Random Facts about Me

1. I start feeling anxious if I don't post often enough on this blog. Five days since my last post?! AAK!

2. My phone interview is tomorrow afternoon, and I'm trying to be Zen about the situation. I don't "sell" myself well, particularly under pressure, which makes interviewing challenging, and I really want this job. Sigh. Wish me luck, please!

3. I hate playing games. Interviewing seems more like a game than anything else. . . .

4. I received provisional acceptance to the online program to obtain teaching certification. That means I need to get at least a B in the first two classes, which start in January, in order to be fully accepted into the program. I don't really have the right undergraduate background for this particular program, so the provisional acceptance makes total sense. I'm actually relieved I didn't get either outright rejected or asked to take a bunch of undergrad classes. I'm excited and nervous about getting st…

The Bookman's Wake by John Dunning

The Bookman's Wake by John Dunning (1995), the second in the Cliff Janeway series, is another book my mom gave to me to read.

Janeway, a former Denver cop who becomes a bookseller, is pulled into a mystery by a former associate who snags his interest with the reference to the possible existence of a specialty press edition of Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven. Supposedly, all Janeway has to do is go to Seattle to retrieve a fugitive named Eleanor Rigby for return to New Mexico for criminal prosecution, giving him access to Rigby and her knowledge of the edition.

Dunning creates an intriguing read about family, pride, and how the secrets of the past come to light. I had no idea where this book was heading, but I certainly enjoyed the rambling route of the story and Dunning's creation of Janeway's intelligent, down-to-earth, snarky voice. I plan to explore the rest of the series in the future.

My overall personal rating of The Bookman's Wake is a B+.

This and That

Maya and her Sharpie-decorated pumpkin on October 8, 2011. She keeps checking the pumpkin to be sure a squirrel hasn't come on our porch for a quick snack. So far, so good.

I think Maya settled on being a vampire for Halloween this year. That's a pretty tame choice compared to the year that she was a mummy-ballerina-princess, so we'll see if she stays with the vampire decision as October 31st gets closer. We plan to do our usual trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. The candy isn't really the draw for Maya; she likes going door-to-door and seeing the others kids in their costumes.

Halloween and Thanksgiving are my favorite holidays. I love this time of year!

I don't want to jinx myself by giving too many details, but I have a phone interview for a job I really want. Wish me luck, please, because I think this is a job I'd do well and really like, and at least I'm getting the chance at an initial interview.

What's new in your world?

To all my Ca…

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick

From the preface of Nathaniel Philbrick's Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War (2006):

We all want to know how it was in the beginning. From the Big Bang to the Garden of Eden to the circumstances of our own births, we yearn to travel back to that distant time when everything was new and full of promise.

While I don't particularly want to really travel back in time to live in Plymouth Colony, reading about the lives of the early settlers, as told by Philbrick, is fascinating. He covers about fifty-five years of history between the Pilgrims and the Native American tribes in the area, including King Philip's War, while providing insight into the lives of legends like William Bradford and Miles Standish.

If you have a strong interest in early American history, this book should be fascinating for you. If you don't really have a strong interest in the subject, you probably don't want to read a book this in-depth.

My overall personal rating of Mayflower: A …

Fatal Heat: A Navy SEAL Novella by Lisa Marie Rice

Lisa Marie Rice is hit-or-miss as an author for this reader. When she's in top form, her romantic suspense novels rank among my favorite reads, including Midnight Man and Dangerous Passion. Her new novella, Fatal Heat (2011), falls into the hit category.

Max is a former Navy SEAL, recovering from life-threatening injuries received on an operation in Afghanistan. Paige is a scientist who is about to need a warrior's assistance. Paige also has a rescue dog named Max (yes, the same name as the hero), and he brings a nice touch to the book.

Max is an Alpha male, Rice's specialty, and Paige is a little less helpless than Rice's heroines sometimes appear, which I consider an improvement. They have an instant-lust relationship, and the suspense regarding Paige's work just adds to their quick bonding. This story is exactly what Rice's readers expect from her, in other words.

I could easily see this novella expanded into a full-length novel, and I actually wish …

Ecstasy in Darkness by Gena Showalter

Ecstasy in Darkness (2010), book five in Gena Showalter's Alien Huntress series, is an entertaining read if you like your heroines smart, strong, and loyal and your heroes sexy and tough, yet vulnerable when it comes to the right woman.

Ava Sans, working for Alien Investigation and Removal along with her best friend, Noelle, is bloodthirsty, smart, and insecure about her own worth. Victor McKell is an arrogant vampire who can stop time, and he's currently on AIR's most wanted list.

Throw in an alien queen with some sort of virus-spreading ability that can destroy everyone on the planet and McKell's desire to learn how to walk in daylight, as some other vampires are doing, and you have a thing or two besides romance and bonding to keep Ava and McKell busy.

This is easily one of my favorite Showalter books, partly because of the friendship between Ava and Noelle and the snappy dialogue from most of the characters. How many books have two best friends betting on wheth…

This and That

I'm really enjoying October so far. Autumn is my favorite time of the year--leaves changing colors on the trees, cool evenings and crisp mornings, fresh apples and apple cider, visits to the pumpkin patch, Halloween and Thanksgiving, October as National Medical Librarians' Month, and my favorite college football team back in action.

Okay, my Nebraska Cornhuskers devastating loss (17-48) in their conference opener against the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday hurt. That's one football game that left me with a sick feeling in my stomach, though I did appreciate seeing Badgers' quarterback Russell Wilson play like a dream. Sort of--as much as I could while watching my team disintegrate, anyway.


My friend and pen pal Dana over at Save Snail Mail wrote a post about a couple of petitions involving snail mail at Each petition needs to reach 5,000 signatures in order to be seen by the Obama Administration. This petition involves refunding the pension ove…

Our Weekend in Photos, October 1-2, 2011

Maya, my friend Keli, and I went to JK's Pumpkin Patch, a new pumpkin patch just outside of Lincoln. For $5 admission, including your choice of a pumpkin, we had a bargain visit. We agree the patch is geared more to younger children, though, and Maya gets to make a trip to Vala's Pumpkin Patch later this month, too.
Muffin, pre- and post-groom.