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December 2011
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February 2012

When time is short, tackle the small things...

My day was ripped in half by appointments and a kid home sick. So rather than wail about the time lost, as I've been known to do, I took on the little things that have been driving me crazy!

I moved my desk, so there was a magnet board in a place that made no sense. I took it down and spackled the walls. Which got me to painting the walls in places where my Mr. Clean Sponge didn't take effect.

Then, I caulked the bathtub. Last week I cleaned the rugs. I'm trying to make the most of my small increments of time and clean walls make me happy. But now, I want to paint the kitchen. And buy some new blinds for the windows...

See, the great thing about working outside the home is that you forget about everything that's wrong with the home. That's a good thing. It's like double-time, because I make money and I can't spend it while at work. I need to decide what's next or I'm going to start tearing down walls again, and that is never a good idea.


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Real Housewives of BH and The Bachelor

I could only stomach about fifteen minutes of the Bachelor. Once, he changed into Michael Douglas gear from "Romancing the Stone" I was about done. First off, he had a date with Nicki and they suddenly get doused by rain -- this causes the change into "authentic" Puerto Rican gear, which I'm sure no Puerto Rican would be caught dead in -- he now looks like a Colombian drug lord. Ben praises Nicki for being such a good sport.

Really? We get praised for handling weather? It's not like it's really a choice, is it? When it rains and we don't have an umbrella, we get wet. Simple science really, so let's not go too far. Can I just say that I enjoyed when "Ghost Hunters" when to Old San Juan and caught a Chinese ghost talking in the old fort. The awkward date with Ben and Nicki? Not so much. And that, was my limit on the Bachelor for last night. Is it just me or is this like if Kris Humphries starred on the Bachelor? It's like Chris Harrison is behind the curtain telling us to forget that Ben isn't really Bachelor material. Just play along!


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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Reunion was clearly better viewing. So let's face it, every housewife has had her moment in front of the camera this season where she cattily talks about another housewife. Andy Cohen takes all of these dark moments, mashes them together in a montage of negativity and lays them out for the "victim" to watch. Nice. With friends like these...

Lisa is under fire first for calling Adrienne's shoe line, "Maloof Hoofs" and then saying, they're nothing wrong with that name. They're cute, "fat" little shoes. Oh, that's not offensive at all, Lisa. Adrienne is ticked because Lisa has put down the shoes, her chef and is accused of selling stories to Radar Online. Lisa denies all of this in her Brit accent and calls such things slanderous. She would NEVER sell a story. And it might be me, but I think she might give it away for free to avoid being the one the story is sold about.

The women have all been told by RadarOnline that Lisa sold a story. Note to housewives: that's what dirty reporters tell you to get a story. Wake up! Lisa is also in trouble for calling Adrienne's dog, "Crackpot" -- Lisa has that great English wit though and she's entertaining. So I forgive her.

Kyle gets called out for doing the splits so often in the season. One can only hope that's the end of that awkward behavior. Okay, think with me now. Have you ever been to a party with your friends after high school where ANYONE did the splits? Just saying, that is some really awkward behavior. It's like when a mother says, "Oh, Kyle can tap dance" in front of her friends and we have to sit through a tedious rendition of "On the Good Ship Lollipop." Kyle defends her behavior. Seriously?

On the subject of Taylor and Russell...the ladies are asked if they should have aired the season because of his suicide. Everyone, except Camille, agrees that yes, it was educational. Maybe that's because Camille was the mean girl with regards to Taylor. I have to say, the constant denial of her abuse was educational and not in a good way. Because no one believed Taylor. As if the guy is going to beat her up on camera or he doesn't do it at all.

I appreciated that when Lisa saw the text Russell sent Taylor on her fortieth birthday where he used the F bomb and called his wife a whore, Lisa finally realized what kind of man Russell was. No decent man would ever talk to a woman like that, and if he's that violent on texts, what is to suggest he wouldn't hit her?

Brandi apparently stirs up trouble by telling the women that Russell told her Taylor helped him craft the nasty, threatening email to Camille. But apparently, that would have been impossible as Taylor was in Vegas at the time and without her phone. His being unable to attack her via phone is probably what set him off to send the email. Question for Brandi, why would you believe a man who takes the blame for nothing and uses his wife as a punching bag?

I thought Camille showed her true colors here and she was not a friend to Taylor. She's not buying any of it, but as a victim to emotional abuse herself, I thought that was a bit shallow on her part. Taylor and Camille did have a bonding moment over not being perfect enough for their husbands. The fact is, even if Taylor had known about the email, it's unlikely she would have been able to do a thing about it. You don't stop a man like this from acting. He thinks he's right at all times.

Still, most people don't believe Taylor from the sound of it, so that will continue to be an issue and she will never be able to prove it to many. That's how "gaslighting" works and naturally, she looks crazy. By the way, if she wasn't "off", he wouldn't have been able to abuse her. Abusers pick their victims carefully.

I vote for sending Taylor to Love Addicts, Anonymous and getting her off the show though. She's got her book deal and I think some quiet reflection is in order.

Kyle, I know you all love her, but I didn't see it this year. I thought she was truly a mean girl and an enabler with her sister, who clearly cannot be controlled anyway. So why bother? After comparing being friends with Lisa to playing chess with Bobby Fischer, I'd say that friendship is on the line. She and sexy hubby can go live happily ever after.

Who do you want to see back next year? I have to wonder if Brandi will be back. Apparently, the reason she isn't on for the whole hour, is her booze-induced New Year's Eve wedding incident. Nice role modeling for the kids.

Dana. Face it, no one cares if we hear from Dana again.



Downton II is Oversharing...

The soap opera factor is much higher in Downton Abbey II, and it's not that I'm not thankful for a new series of episodes, but it's hard enough to explain my viewing habits to my family...Do I really need the saying, "He'll never walk again..." in my Masterpiece? I mean, "All My Children" fine, but really, Downton?

And then, I really didn't need to know that Crawley couldn't "be a real husband" but has two women vying for him, did I? I feel like I want to close the curtains and let them have their moment.

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Now, I hear word that Shirley MacLaine is being added to season 3. If she's a ghost, I'm over it! (She's supposed to be Lady Grantham's mother.) There were still great aspects. For those of you who get Star Trek humor? William was totally wearing a red shirt when he went off to war. But Daisy married him on his death bed. I love her and I think we're going to see a big character change in her. Fun stuff. Crawley's manhood? Not so much.

I still love it, but oh my Mary might have sold her soul to the devil to get out of her consequence from scandal. Poor Mary.


Kaley Cuoco Best Dressed SAG 2012

E! has voted Kaley Cuoco one of the worst-dressed at the 2012 SAG Awards. Are you kidding me? First off, no one had any standout gowns, except Kaley. This is so gorgeous. It's a Romona Keveza gown and it reminds me of my favorite wedding dress by Lazaro. I'll try and find that one to post. But I LOVE this dress and I think she looks gorgeous in it. And E! and its style mavens need to get with the program.


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Here's the Lazaro gown. The color is called Sherbet. That makes me want to get married again, though I'm too old for it, so maybe I can talk Elle into it when the day comes.


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Radio Interview Chaos

So this morning at six, Colleen Coble and I had an hour-long, live interview with Dan Manley from Kentucky. Right as we're about to go on, I squeal as I almost step on my daughter's hamster, who once again, has broken lose from his cage.

My dog (a terrier) starts a chase and Humphrey the Hamster disappears into the exercise machine -- and the dog is growling. Why? Why do I have to have Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom happening as I'm trying to promote my story of Bliss and Smitten, Vermont?

Why? Because quiet bliss is not part of my makeup, so that's why I write these worlds of heavenly calm. My life will never look like that. Humphrey got himself stuck in a garbage pail in the laundry room so I was able to get him back in his cage until the next breakout. The dog never actually barked loud enough to be heard on radio.

And the hour went by relatively quickly. I'd say that's enough excitement for the day. Now, I'm thinking Spa Pedicure...

I saw the Marilyn Monroe movie last night. Meh. I guess I knew the story so it wasn't that interesting to me, but Michelle Williams is fantastic. Still, it's really impossible to have Marilyn's sparkle, but she played her perfectly. I'm taking my kids to school and going back to bed now. Humphrey and I have had a big day already.


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The Artist: My Review


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Okay, I didn't love it. I think I have too much history with old movies. I have loved them since I was a child. So the movie, while paying homage to those oldies, came nowhere near what surprising sparkle the oldies held. To watch Charlie Chaplin on the screen is magical. I found the lead in this a little annoying -- and kind of sniveling if I'm honest.

The heroine tried to be cute, but I wanted to smack her. I didn't think she had the star quality to pull it off. I guess neither of them did and that was the problem. Their homage to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers didn't come close. I've seen all these oldies on the big screen and when you watch their stars, you cannot take your eyes off of someone like Fred Astaire or Humphrey Bogart. I nearly fell asleep in this one.

There's also no motivation for the character not to keep trying, so I got annoyed with him really quickly. That wouldn't cut it in a novel, to have a character who was passive in their garbage. I don't know, like I said, if you haven't grown up with the oldies, this is probably fantastic. But as for me and my money? I should have stayed home and watched TCM.


Much Ado About Loving

Yesterday on the Judith Regan show, she had the authors of a new book called "Much Ado About Loving:Much Ado About Loving: What Our Favorite Novels Can Teach You About Date Expectations, Not So-Great Gatsbys, and Love in the Time of Internet Personals

If you're a book lover and that title doesn't grab you? I don't know what will. Though I do think the cover sucks, so I bought it on my Kindle. All that great literature and you give us that for a cover? THe pub should be ashamed, quite frankly. Loving great literature as I do, I'm this book's primary market, and I wouldn't have touched that book in a bookstore. If I hadn't heard the authors on Judith Regan, I would have passed it right up.


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So the authors were comparing people's love lives to that of great literature. How can you not love that? If you're an Anna Karenina or a Madame Bovary? You have issues. (I'll say!)

Even more fun, they got into the real lives of Tolstoy and Dickens (they were complete dogs to their wives -- heinous, in fact) and the wonderment of how these men could create such rich, emotionally-sensitive books and in reality be such relational morons is a question for the times.

I suppose I'd be a Bathsheba Everdene from "Far from the Madding Crowd" -- which isn't all that great either. Bathsheba was a bit headstrong and didn't know what she needed/wanted. That's my story. What's your literary counterpart? Willing to share?


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Food Police: Paula Deen Caught Eating a Cheeseburger

Oh my, this is disturbing. She has diabetes and she's eating a cheeseburger!!! GUARDS! GUARDS!! Next thing you know, they're going to go after obese people for eating pizza. Where are the freedoms in the world? We know Paula has Diabetes and she loves to eat what is a diabetic's nightmare -- and this is news, why?

If you're a foodie, and you have a life to live -- if you want to down a bacon burger with donut buns, it's YOUR business. Is it smart? No. But neither is buying a $500 handbag when I don't need one. People are entitled to their vices. Last time I checked, no one was perfect.

Seriously, if I could be completely healthy and had to eat/pop vitamins like Suzanne Somers? I'd take a shortened life span and down a slice of tiramisu. I just don't get why people think other people's habits are their business. If you're not married to them, why is it your business? And I'm just going to ask you. Who seems happier? The healthy chick or the one with a fryer in her kitchen?

Paula, honey, you down that cheeseburger with gusto. Next time, do it in the comfort of your own home, so you can really enjoy it.


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FYI, "The Scent of Rain" is official. It's at the publisher's, edited and approved. So I am celebrating this morning with a trip to the theater to see "The Artist." And I'm going to have Sour Skittles and a Diet Coke in honor of Paula. After all, tomorrow is another day and I could get hit by a bus -- then I'd really be ticked I didn't eat the Skittles.


Explosive Bouquet

One of the negatives of doing book research is that I find out how much effort goes into something and it gives me a new appreciation of that aspect of life. Case in point: well-trained hairdressers (Split Ends); what it takes to be a great esthetician and why your skin NEEDS a good facial here and again (Smitten) and my most recent discovery is the perfume business (The Scent of Rain) -- I got an email this morning and it read, "Explosive Bouquet" about a new fragrance called "Flowerbomb" -- I would have gone with the Explosive Bouquet as a name versus Flowerbomb, but that's me and my marketing background. The point is, I read the perfume's notes and I really want to get to Sephora and inhale it for myself. It has all my favorites.

Listen to this magical description:
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This floral explosion releases a profusion of flowers that has the power to make everything seem more positive. Magically evocative notes immediately awaken your deepest senses, giving you the impression of living life in your own secret garden, away from reality. Sambac Jasmine, Centifolia Rose, Cattleya Orchid, and Ballerina Freesia bloom on a base of Patchouli.

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It's enough to overcome a bad name. Although maybe that appeals to you youngins and I'm not cool enough. Either way, it's another reason to get lost in Sephora. Which, besides DSW, is a place I go when I need to chill. There's nothing like fresh, pretty makeup and scents to make your heart realize what's important. : ) Plus, if you go into Sephora with kids at the mall? They pick off and go elsewhere because there is something kid deterring there. Just saying.

Where's your happy place?


Rejection is Part of the Business...but at home?

So this morning, I had to do three radio interviews for Smitten. By the way, if I haven't already said so, you can enter to win some great prizes from Thomas Nelson if you visit SmittenVermont.com -- you can also read about the town and get some wonderful recipes.


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So on the third interview, the publicist's patch system didn't work, so Colleen didn't get on the interview and it was just me. The guy was fabulous though. Ken Johannessen from Newstalk KPQ in Spokane, Washington.

Anyhoo, I finish my interview and the kids are all home for late start and Seth goes, "Mom, no offense, but your book sounds terrible. I mean, who wants to read about relationships and stuff?"

No offense? Really? No offense, but you suck?? Clearly, my kids have not been given the gift of encouragement, and that is wrong. I'm encouraging. Didn't I believe in your guitar abilities when you clearly had no musical talent whatsoever? I did. I kept paying for lessons until you came to the conclusion on your own.

Didn't I sit in the soccer bleachers while you played with the leaves on the field and danced? I did. So how exactly did this come to pass that my son would feel the need to encourage -- or not -- in this manner?