Wednesday, June 23, 2010

First Breakfast of The Year

Those of you who follow this blog know my family has a tradition of have breakfast together every Wednesday morning in the summer. A few of my sisters work for schools (as teachers and aides), so they have the summer off. Two of us work from home and one is a stay-at-home mom, so we have plenty of people!

Today was my sister Diana's day. She made the most delicious French Toast casserole. Lots of us attended. And, of course, there were kids! Crazy, funny, peeing in the yard, chasing the squirrels kids.

After the breakfast, a few of us went to my sister Tammy's to swim. We're renting a beach house in August and we have to get our skin accustomed to the sun or we'll be spending most of our time in the house...even with #50 sunblock!

So there we were, kids in the pool, sunbathers trying to get a bit of sun (without getting too much) and I noticed my niece Maddie (age 7) laying on a towel beside her cousin Lea (a much older woman in her twenties) doing girl talk.

They chatted about nail polish colors and music, shopping trips and bathing suits. Nothing serious. Nothing obvious. Just cute chatter.

One of the benefits of having a big family is that there really is something/someone for everyone. My daughter bemoaned having no sister so she claimed another sister-less cousin as her sister and now they each have a sister. There's no shortage of volunteers for a pick-up game of softball. If you want to go into the pool, so does someone else.

So we start the summer with breakfasts and a shopping trip, a little swimming, a lot of interacting.

And that makes me realize why we hate winter so much!


Oh, PS, next month MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE will be released. I'm very excited for this book because it's the first in a duet. In August, the story of the heroine's best friend, Ellie, will be realease. MAID FOR THE SINGLE DAD. Both books are fun and romantic. Great beach reads!

Monday, June 14, 2010

More on Stress

Continuing with our theme of stress, I glanced around my office and realized the mess around me is definitely contributing to my stress.

So, again, I went online. I typed in "organizing my office" and got a lot of great hits. But this one was the winner hands down:

They really do have 8 great steps to organizing a desk. I don't want to give away all the tips in the article. I want you to visit the website, so they get the "hit". But I have to say I was impressed.

Not only do they have great suggestions for getting your desk cleaned up; but also they suggest that you take the last ten minutes of every day to reorganize so that every morning you come to a clean desk.

Wow. That sounds like heaven.

A few years ago I realized that I couldn't always do "everything" I wanted to do, but if I could spend ten minutes working toward certain goals everyday eventually everything would get done. The system worked so well I actually work a workshop called THE TEN MINUTE SOLUTION. (And by the way, when I say a few years ago, I mean over ten...The "other" ten-minute solution people were after me! LOL)

I'm probably going to begin posting those lessons here. I'm not exactly sure when, but if you're eager to get your life organized I think they'll help you.

Until then, go read the article 8 steps to organizing your desk! You won't be sorry.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Win a Copy of the Duet!

Per my facebook and twitter tweets this morning, reply to my blog on stress and be entered in a contest to win both MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE AND MAID FOR THE SINGLE DAD!

Scroll down!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


My office is knee deep in research materials, various stages of various projects, books I want to read, books other people want me to read, and junk I need to do.

As I've said before, I don't think I'm the Lone Ranger. I'm guessing lots of you looked around your office and said, "Amen sister," when I mentioned that my office is knee-deep in stuff. Most of you probably said, "Uh, huh," when I also mentioned that half the stuff in here isn't my doing. It's other people's stuff.

I'm not annoyed by having to do other people's stuff, as much as I dislike the fact that I have no control over what other people give me to do.

And THAT'S where I think the stress comes in. It's the lack of control.

So, okay. I'm thinking that's not going to change. Which means I have to change. Sure, I've made that promise before, but this time I mean it.



Okay, stop laughing.

Knowing I would need some help with this effort I googled stress relief. I actually found a really cool site.

They don't say ridiculous things like organize your life. I've finally realized I can't organize my life when so many people seem to have a say in it. Instead, suggests I try deep breathing and muscle relaxation techniques. In a world where file folders and books are positioned to eat my feet, a little deep breathing actually goes a long way.

But more than that, I know the benefits of deep breaths. Good for oxygen. (Obviously) Which is good for your body. And it costs me nothing. And I don't look silly doing it. Even in the checkout at the Walmart, I can breathe deeply when the person behind me runs over my foot with her cart.

But I digress.

Continuing on my quest to conquer stress, I went here:

Nothing like a good quote to calm you right down. Or make you laugh. Some of these made me laugh.

The man who doesn't relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on. ~Elbert Hubbard

That's certainly food for thought!

There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them. ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

True enough!

I really like this one...

Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness. ~Richard Carlson

Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live. ~Margaret Fuller

Ah. That one will make you stop and think!

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop. ~Ovid

I actually prove this one out every day. Things I write when I'm tired are not what anyone would consider bountiful!

For fast-acting relief, try slowing down. ~Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin! One of the greats of our time.

But here's my favorite...

No one can get inner peace by pouncing on it. ~Harry Emerson Fosdick

Go to the site with the deep breathing techniques and muscle relaxing techniques. Draw a bath. Make Thursday night stress relief night!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010


To say I have been busy would be a real understatement. But there's more to it than that. I've had some un-fun things happen in the past few weeks and I've never really figured out how to blog about bad things.

I'd much rather talk about good things. Like the drive-in. We are blessed in our small city to still have a drive-in. Sunday night we packed up the corn chips and headed out to watch Shrek 4 (I didn't see either Shrek 2 or 3 but found it didn't matter) and Ironman.

I like Ironman. I have yet to figure out why. But who cares? We were in the car with our corn chips and supersize sodas for which we paid a small fortune at the refreshment stand. The night was warm. Happy kids played catch and tag, while they waited for the movie to start. It was a good night. A good break.

On Saturday night, my husband and I went to the 25th wedding anniversary of one of my cousins and I saw cousins I hadn't seen in a decade. That was fun too. Odd to remember people one way and suddenly see them as a 10-year-older version of themselves. (I'm sure they said they same thing about me! LOL)

Friday night was Miss Madeline's ballet recital. That was interesting. Not only did we have to sit through 42 (I kid you not) dances to see her one little dance (though she was adorable. A more beautiful child does not exist on this planet, unless it's her little sister Lainie.) Anyway, not only did we have to sit through 42 dances to see one dance, but also there was no air conditioning. Sweat poured off us. Yet we eagerly waited to see our gorgeous Maddie in her pink and yellow tights. I get misty just thinking about it. In what will feel like 2 days she'll be graduating from high school, then college, then getting married.

Those things more than offset the crappy things that happened. And I'm not sure if you noticed or not but the common denominator in my three good times this weekend was family. First a husband who's nice enough, kind enough and maybe smart enough to see my ego had been stomped on and my spirit broken. So he took me to a drive in. A place where you have to be a real grumpy pants not to enjoy yourself. Then my cousins. Seeing people I hadn't seen in a decade really helped me to remember what was important in life.

Then Miss Maddie. Just starting out. Cute as a bug and graceful like no one else in our sort of klutzie family. She reminded me that life is short. Maybe a little too short to be stressed out and upset. So I came home and had some ice cream. LOL...Don't tell my doctor who is currently monitoring my cholesterol!


PS...MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE is now available on Amazon! Woo-Hoo! This is a great story. I can't wait for you all to read it.

Also, my newsletter will be up and available July 1. It is a book release month, so look forward to that!