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February 2011

January 2011

Back On Track

Okay, let's try this again. Happy New Year! 

This week feels more like the official start of it than the previous three Mondays, that is for sure. Now that the mom-in-law is healing really well and totally on track (and ahead of schedule) for a full recovery, the stress levels are almost normal. Along with the lowering of the stress level is the lowering of the amount of comfort eating. I've lost three of the eight pounds I gained since Christmas and am on track to get back to where I was in December. That feels good. Happy-new-year

The mornings have returned to my favorite routine as well -- up early, coffee, journal, writing or researching on whatever my current personal writing project it, checking email and going for walkies or spending time on the Wii Fit. I like these mornings. By 10:00am I've gotten a lot done.

The gears are turning in our writing world and my aim is to keep them going and going. My "Be Bold" strategy is working - every time I feel myself wimping out by not doing something bold, I remind myself to step up and just do it. Yesterday my goal was to make a long list of people to email about my goals, people who can potentially help me, and then, you know, EMAIL THEM. My list was 17 people long and I emailed all of them with bold and straight forward and nice messages and I'm very pleased with myself. 

My fantasy life was stoked this week as well. I got my latest issue of Budget Travel Magazine and it has an article about six hotels in Paris that are between $100 and $200 a night. I went to all the websites and dreamt about staying in each one and eating the fresh pastry and hot strong coffee at breakfast every morning. Haven't been to Paris in four and a half years and that is too long. More distressing is that we haven't been to Italy for eight years. EIGHT YEARS! (I know, I know: "First World Problems.") Travel has always been a big priority for me and while I'm lucky to be able to travel for work, much of that time is spent, you know, working. So a trip to Italy just for fun would be dreamy. 

But the bigger dreams are up front - writing, getting an agent, selling the writing, writing more. From the realization of these dreams come other dreams. 

Look out 2011, here I come!



Good friend Ron was in Nicaragua earlier this month and sent me this photo. Cracked me up. Many people still call me that, sort of like a nickname. Once in a great while when signing my name, "Rivas" will bubble up from my muscle memory and the R will start before I can stop it. 


New Year Book Stack

Oh boy! It's only mid January and here is my book stack that sits waiting:


I'm plowing through Booky Wook 2 - This Time It's Personal! By Russell Brand. He makes me laugh and there have been some parts I've had to read aloud to Kurt, they were so funny. 

I finished reading Devil In The White City by Erik Larson and really enjoyed it. History is really my thing and all the stuff that was done for and during the 1893 Columbian Expo in Chicago was fascinating. Oh and there is a serial killer. Highly recommend it!

Which book should I read next?? Tell me dear readers and I will do your bidding.

I also have two more books on my Amazon wish list: 

The Diviner's Tale by Bradford Morrow


Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage by Hazel Rowley

Maybe by the time I get through this stack, those will be out in paperback. HA! five will get you ten that I go out and use my B&N coupons instead...I LOVE BOOKS!

Hospital Time Is Crazy Making Time

The mom-in-law broke her hip on Friday. She tripped over her own feet and landed on her hip, breaking part of it and had surgery yesterday to replace that broken bits. She's 92, but damned healthy and in good shape so she came through surgery just fine and will be back bowling in no time. 

I hope you have never had to spend much time in a hospital (as a patient or a visitor). It can be a soul and energy sucking place like no other. Time slows to a crawl. Thank god for wifi and the iPad. In between helping the nurses and doctors communicate with the M-I-L (she's VERY hard of hearing) we would repark the cars (We got to the hospital at different times as I went to feed her cats.) or go to the cafeteria, just to break the monotony. Yesterday was particularly slow as it was surgery day and it took ages to get going and then hours more, post op. But as I said, all went well.

In the ER on Friday I was tweeting about all the stuff in the hallways, the stacks of drawers that I wanted to rifle through! (I am my mother's daughter.) Stacks of drawers like this:


And a cooler thingy like this:


And the crash cart -- locked. What's in there?? I have to know!


In the pre-op area yesterday there were drawers full of stuff just sitting there, right next to me! I refrained from stuffing my purse with these random items. (I'm a recovering medical klepto.) (Okay, I've never taken anything from a hospital drawer, but the temptation is there!)


Yesterday I spent more time in hallways walking to and from cars and cafeteria, etc. This little alcove caught my eye and I had to take a picture. It's like the break room for IV stands. What are they talking about?


Around the corner was this lonely safety graphic.


Funny how outside the hospital there is more color and life. (But as K1 would say "They say taupe is very soothing.")


Today will hopefully involve less hours in the hospital. If not, then I can't wait to see what else is around to witness. (And I'll take a better camera perhaps...)

Today's Yak

My good friend Shana loved the pic of Zebby so much she dug through her photos from an amazing three week trip she took to Bhutan in 2009 to find Today's Yak:

Bhutanese Yak
As Shana said: "Now you've seen a bhutanese yak. Actually i think this one might be a half yak, half cow...called a "dzo" wait, I think tho because of the long hair, this is indeed the real thing. A bhutanese yak...I think that's why we stopped to take pictures because we were looking for a "real" one!! ps - i think they're cool!" 

Thanks Shana!

I'd Rather Be Petting A Yak

Game of Thrones Mini Moot!

So there I was in Seattle and after almost a year of being twitter and FB friends with Paul and daughter Betty, we got to meet in person! Hooray!! (That makes US mini-moot #2 after having met Axechucker last summer.)


We spent the cold morning having coffee and yummy pastries at a local spot near their house, then went across the street to a park so Betty could swing in the swings and jump in the mud puddles. We talked about writing and movies and tv and books and all that stuff that makes us happy. 

Again, I just love the internets for all the new friends you can make without hardly trying! And while I was slightly popular with the Game Of Thrones gang while I was working on the project, that star is fading. But the friendships never will.

Thanks Paul and Betty for a great afternoon!