Monday, May 17, 2010

Chocolate Chip Muffins

I woke up and made chocolate chip muffins for my kiddos today. It is their all time favorite Mommy breakfast. Since last night I made them taco lasagna and pudding pie, they are feeling rather loved. I am not known for my cooking. I am rather well known for my hatred of the kitchen and its return hatred of me.

Little secret about the well loved muffins... Betty Crocker does most of the work. I add water and butter a pan. But since it comes from the oven, the kids are impressed.

I called my mom in since the kids have not seen her in eons and she woke them to surprise them. They probably had the best pre-school morning that they have had in forever.

I did it for them and I did it for me because today I am supposed to go to school and have a meeting with the counselor, principal and teachers regarding whether or not to skip Jus a grade.

My daughter is thirteen and in fifth grade. This same school district is why she is in this position. On one hand, it would be lovely to skip as it would put her one step closer to the all important goal line (diploma) and I cannot make a 20 year old woman/child go to school no matter how hard I try. I realize this. And it puts her with kids just a little age-wise, closer to her.

But on the downside, she just brought home an interim report with three failing grades. How can I condone skipping a grade for a kid who is failing 5th? Will this not create a black hole in her education that will never be corrected? What is the right decision?

Is this an area in life where there is no "right" decision, just a gray area where you have to pick the lesser evil?

It bugs me that the meeting is in a few hours, and I, the parent who is supposed to have all the answers when it comes to my kids... who is supposed to go in there and advocate her in some way, does not have a clue what would be the BEST decision for her.

And if I make the wrong choice, I don't pay for it, my baby does.

I did not eat any chocolate chip muffins. I don't deserve chocolate today. I am chugging coffee and praying for guidance. I hope that when the time comes, the words come and that it becomes clear to me the path we need to take for her sake...

Unfortunately, there may not be a RIGHT path, either...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Edits for Siren's

So, I got my first round edits back today for Odd Stuff. Or at least the first chapter. It turns out my areas of weakness have not changed altogether as much as I had hoped. I still have passive voice and tense issues but I think the tense is due to the Odd Series being set in first person so it is easy for me to slip and think that Janie knows what other people are thinking even though she is not psychic due to the fact I know what everyone is thinking.

I have less "show don't tell" than I did in the last book and that is a good sign. Edits, for me at least, are a great opportunity for me to look at what I am doing and remember it and hone it for the next novel. Well, and tightening up the existing book, of course but still a learning experience as I go. I tend to push the story out in such a big long gush that when I go back and do edits personally, I am still to close to the story to see the flaws. I love having an editor pick it apart on a sentence by sentence basis and let me know where I slipped up.

I also noticed that I was giggling through my edits. Last round I was bathed in sweat and shaky and defensive. This round I was shaking my head and wondering how I had missed that and laughing at myself. Apparently, edits, like so much in life, are easier the second round through. I also am less touchy, even though this story is my favorite so far. It's like I know the end product will be worth it, so yes, please shine up my baby for me.

Can you imagine if you actually shined babies? My brain just pulled up a shoe shine stand with shiny baby heads as the end result. An oddly unappealing prospect... shiny babies.

Oh, well. Now that my eyeballs are bleeding and my yawns are punctuating the ends of each sentence, I think I shall turn in for the night.

Happy day!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Potato, Potaaato.

If you call a banana an avocado it does not make the banana green. There are times in which we put labels on things because it makes us feel warmer and fuzzier to have names for all of the things that surround us. That is a rock. Over there, that big thing... tree. It just makes us feel better about things all around to have comfortable labels on things.

If you put a label on a person it does not change either who they are or how you feel about them.

I have a potato and I am calling it a potaaahto and hoping that if I say it enough times it will turn into the other. But my banana is still an avocado.

This probably does not make sense to anyone but me. But if you see a better avocado, call me. Because I am tired of calling this damn banana that.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Guest Blogger Kerri Messner!!!!

I am truly lucky to have my favorite blogger visiting... Yup, you guessed it, Kerri, The Queen Of Random has been so kind to stop by and agree to a guest blog... Without further ado, Kerri :)


Hello friends and fans of the totally awesome Virginia Nelson!

I've agreed to guest blog over here on her site because she rocks. She gets a kick out of my unstable (but fun!) mind, so maybe you will too.
Last year a litter of 5 kittens (older kittens) showed up at my house. They have been called the illegal immigrants ever since. Yes, I fed them. Yes, I know what happens when you feed them. I just can't look at hungry cats while I have a bin full of cat food. It seems wrong somehow.
The SPCA was called and they said they don't have room but they put my name on a waiting list. I tried giving them away to everyone. The cable guy. The phone guy. The UPS guy. The mail lady. Friends, family, neighbors. Everyone acted like I was offering them spitting cobras. "NO! No cats!"
So I just gave you all of that information just so I could tell you what happened the other day.
I mowed my grass and found an Easter egg. Luckily it was the plastic kind.
Ok, so it has nothing to do with the cats. So? Are there rules around here against that kind of thing? I don't think so. :-)
I do have a cat story though. One of the three females had kittens the other night. I watched, and was grossed out. I thought cats hid in a dark quiet place when they had their kittens. This one had them right out in the open. I knew she was going to have them at any point so I let her in the house. If she had them outside there's a good chance of not being able to catch them. You can't give them away if you can't catch them.
She purred through the whole thing. I remember giving birth. Twice. I didn't purr and I HAD DRUGS. She was purring like it was the best thing that ever happened to her. What a show off.
I hate cats.
She had 3 and settled down so I went to bed. I checked on them in the morning and was shocked to find out she had 2 more overnight.
I was ok with it when I thought she only had 3. It's not too difficult to get rid of 3 adorable little kittens.

Yeah, the whole experience has been full of suck for me so far.

We have one cat. His name is Bo and he was neutered years ago. (He still holds this against me)
So I do the right thing and get my cat fixed and I still end up with more cats.
Want to know the worst thing about this whole stupid ordeal? Of the original 5 illegal immigrants 3 are females.
Yeah, 2 more litters of kittens are on their way.
The SPCA still can't help. I really thought they'd be able to take these cats before this stuff happened.
My plan is to sit in the Walmart parking lot with all of these kittens the minute they're old enough.
I thought of making a giant sign that said "FREE KITTENS!" but then I remembered everyone acting like I was offering venomous snakes.
So I think the sign ought to say "Bring your camera, you will not believe what I have in this box!"
I'm thinking that once they see the kittens they won't be able to resist. They can run right into Walmart and grab all the kitty gear they need if they don't already have it.
This plan is going to work. This plan is going to work. This plan is going to work.
You're saying it with me, right?

I refuse to be the crazy cat lady. I have taken steps in my life that have kept me from being that crazy cat lady.
I can't lose that battle after all this time. I've worked so hard!

Actually, I just like dogs better. Most cats are boring. (Except when you have a laser pointer)

Have you ever taken a look at the cat toys in the stores? All of those toys are designed to drive cats out of their minds. Here ya go kitty, chase this fake mouse that you're never going to be able to eat...
If kids' toys were all designed to drive them out of their minds it'd be child abuse.
Here ya go kid, it's a swingset! But you can't swing on it, it's not real!

Maybe that's why cats are so snobby. They sense that their frustration is amusing to us.
They get us back though, oh yes. You know what amuses them? When they're in the litter box digging around and they fling litter into the next area code. They do their business and hop out with a stupid little cat smirk on their face. It's true. I've seen it.
This is the most I've ever written about cats in my entire life. And you were lucky enough to be here and witness the whole thing.
I apologize.
Kind of.
But not really.
I could ramble on all day long. But I do have things to do. Cats to feed...
Have a "free to ANY home" kinda day.

PS-It's not all bad. I don't have any small rodents within 800 feet of my house. If there are no small rodents, there's nothing for snakes to eat. If there's nothing for snakes to eat, it means the snakes are somewhere else!