Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Oh wow…

I can’t believe it’s been almost two years since I posted anything on here. It’s amazing how time can zip past you and you don’t even realize it. I haven’t been idle all this time, I promise you. With 4 kids, 2 dogs (now 3–see below) and a much-traveling husband, things are ALWAYS on the go around here and something new is always happening. As a matter of fact, I actually have two new books coming out–one in August and the next in January. They are written under my (brand spanking new) pseudonym: Emery Harper. They are part of a cozy mystery series. I am currently editing book two in the series which can be quite a time-draw!

The hubby and I got a chance to get away and got to Hawaii this past winter. It was much needed downtime away from the male offspring that are always under foot!

IMG_1707On top of all that, I, just this very week, got a new puppy. And she is as cute and she is hyper (or asleep). She’s keeping up all on our toes! (She’s a Wheaten Terrier and already a McDonald through and through) wlEmoticon-winkingsmile.png

School will be out next week. This school year flew past and as of Friday, next week, I will have a high school freshman–oh, that is so hard to believe–and a senior. Wow and wow. The two older boys are both working full-time (and living here) having decided to forgo college–which is fine, I guess. I’d rather them work at something than waste money not wanting to be there–we already did a year each of that each.

Hope all is well with y’all and I hope to be able to keep on top of things a little better!


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Yes, I know I haven’t blogged in FORever (or as my kids say now if it’s something *really* long: five-ever—yeah, my kids are weird). Things with four kids are always hectic. It’s funny that I thought once I had two kids of driving age, life would be so very much easier. Boy, was I mistaken!

But that is the way of a mom, right? You push everything else back for the kiddos. (At least one kid appreciates it and has promised very nice accommodations at a top-notch nursing home when the time comes.) Nyah-Nyah

Still, it’s been months and I am sorry for the absence. Now, cut to THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL … WOOT! Rainbow

And how glad I am that the first day of school was managed and is over! They put #3 child (a sophomore) in Freshman English. I had words. They put him in Soph English but for some inexplicable reason they pulled his Theater class and put him in P.E. I had *WAY* more words (even as a beginning soph, he has already completed *all* the require PE credits—thank you marching band and baseball). He now has tech theater instead of P.E. (I warned him to be careful and nice to the girls in the class—were it not for NSHS tech theater there would be no him, or his bros Winking smile )

#4 child (in jr high—wow) all but melted walking home from school (over a mile in 103° w/ no shade at all—it’s not that far until you add in that dern heat); I felt so bad I will pick him up the rest of the week, at least. He’s deliriously happy. He was pleased with his classes, save the class with the Vietnam Vet who is very strict, he’s worried he won’t cut it. He will and it’ll be good for the kid!

The two college boys (oh, how that hurts to say!) seem to like their classes—so far. I’m not crazy about the books that cost (literally) twice the amount of the class hours themselves. One kid is pretty sure he can find one text book online, which apparently the teacher is okay with, while another one of his classes you have to have a code that comes with the book in order to turn things in. Wow… can’t believe that!

… and DO NOT get me started about the Cluster F#$% of traffic yesterday in front of the schools (which not a one had crossing guards—The elementary really surprised me, you want to make the kids fend for themselves on the first day of school, in uber-traffic?!?)

Le sigh … today is day 2. I will think positive and … To quote Mr. Roarke, “Smiles everyone, smiles”  Smile

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Two lies and a truth

Okay so that’s not quite right. It’s supposed to be, two truths and a lie. Have you ever played this game? You give three “facts” about yourself, two of which are true, the third being a lie (pretty self-explanatory by the title). I figured I would tweak this game a tad (hence being one truth) and update folks on some news about me. It’s a fun way to get the word out, yes?

Anyhoo… here we go.

1) I am pregnant with boy child #5

2) I sold a two-book deal to Harlequin

3) I got a fairy tattoo on my shoulder


Out of the three, which one do you think is the truth? Can you guess or do you hate guessing games? (who could hate guessing games, though?!?)

So what do you think? Going, going….

The truth is:


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You know when weird things happen… At three the other morning the dog woke me barking. She’d done this several times the past week or so (**see later comment). I get up to basically tell her to shut the hell up and … I hear someone playing basketball at the neighbors.

Did I mention it was 3 AM!?!?

I, as quietly as possible, opened my front door and peered outside. There’s some blond kid-ish looking person playing basketball between my neighbor’s hoop and the one across the street. I ran and woke the hubby and he came to look. We couldn’t decide what to do. On the one hand, a kid should not be out of his house at three in the morning for any reason, but on the other… my first thought was if we talk to him he might mess with our cars (yeah, I tend to over-react as you know). The hubby (who’s clearly been with me too long) was thinking that it could be a ploy to draw someone out of the house to then rob him. (Like I said, he’s been subjected to me for too long)

We dithered so long the kid was gone. No harm no foul that we can do anything about.

The hubby headed back to bed but I was wound up tight and went to watch TV. By my third DVR’d show I was sleepy and it was just after five so I am ready to head to bed and I heard the same noise. Yep, the kid was back at it. Still thinking the nefarious thoughts, I called the non-emergency police number (which I sadly have on hand for numerous reasons) and told them about the kid. It took them fifteen minutes, but they do show up, and he’s still at it. I see them talking to the kid so I ran to my room to put on a bra incase they needed a statement from me (women understand this). By the time I got back to the door, I see the police cruiser driving off. WTF!!! Did they simply tell him to go home? It’s a kid. Out by himself. In the dark of the morning.

Well, hell.

I didn’t recognize him and was not about to go door to door to see which of my neighbors have a blond kid who may or may not have a tendency to slip out in the middle of the night. But damn that was annoying and ever so slightly anticlimactic! Now, I am wondering **if he does this often as the dog has woken me up almost every night going on a week now.

Next time, if there is a next time, I will just go yell and the little dude to get home and see what happens.

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Turkey-week out

I hope y’all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The McDhousehold celebrated for days. As I mentioned, it started a week ago Sunday. That’s what you get to do when you have kids, parents, siblings and in-laws to boot … so much family you get cross-eyed—but in a good way. I like to make a full meal for just our house the weekend before. The hubby really likes him some turkey. It’s fun to pull it off and it earns major “honey do” points, not that I promote guilt trips to the spouse but hey, if it works Winking smile

There was a week of “stuff” to do from cooking the regular meals (do you know how much three teens and a ten-year-old eat al day long… let me tell you: A LOT!) and the little add-ons for Thursday. I made 2 bowlfuls of cranberry sauce, the hubby’s mostest fave green bean casserole (twice) and 12 dozen cookies. No, that’s not a typo, Wednesday was uber-cookie-making-day until just before Christmas.  Sadly, or happily—not sure what your view on it might be—most of the cookies are already gone (but they did go with us to the in-laws).  Thursday, we went to the BIL’s house for a day with the other McDs… We had all the goodies we have every year, got to see family and watched the Cowboys win (thank goodness… otherwise, it would have been a most unpleasant hour-long ride home).  It was a good and long day on Thursday—the dogs were very happy to see us come home. And I was glad that I didn’t know the neighbor was deep frying a turkey in his front yard until after I came home—sheesh!

Then it was truly rest day. And before you gasp in horror, no I don’t shop on Black Friday. Having worked in a mall all four years the hubby was in college, the last year being 81/2 months pregnant the day after Thanksgiving (and once a couple of years later at a Wal-Mart—with a two-year-old and one-year-old home alone with the hubby… you’d think his one time being with them like that was he hardest thing ever… ha!), I have seen enough Black Fridays that I will probably NEVER ever shop on that infamous Friday—in stores. Online is a whole ‘nother thing and yes I have started burning up the internet with purchases. Smile with tongue out

The weekend, we picked back up the regular routine: Kids, kids and more kids. And it’s when I got back to my reading and most importantly writing. After the week of family and food I have so much more to add in to my books now… bwaaahhh, er, um, “Any resemblance of the characters to actual people is purely a coincidence…”

Again, I hope y’all had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. And if your family is anything like mine, use my motto: it’s all book-fodder!  Rolling on the floor laughing  Cheers!

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School on the brain

School starts in a little over a week… can you hear me cheering now. I am so terribly happy (more so than I should be). I have been buying supplies for weeks. I must admit, I love school supplies so that’s no hardship on my part—just ask the other girls here. The kids, in the mean time, are driving me nuts! They are on each other’s nerves like crazy. Unfortunately, it’s too hot here to shove them out the door and make them play—last week it got up to 108° on Monday, 110° Tues. thru Thurs., and back down to 108° of Friday. We’re breaking heat records left and right and left again. Which of course, is not outside-kid conducive. Though frying an egg on the driveway was fun, for all of 10 secs—then it was just too dern hot!

Still, lots to do. There are several stages getting the kids ready for school. Every year (and I mean every single year, every single school… such a huge pain) we have to schlep out to the school and prove we *still* live where we say we do. I hate that the most. It seems to be the biggest waste of time. But as I have no choice, I do it. This year they’re putting all the forms we have to fill out online. That is a godsend. With four boys time six to 8 pages of repetitive crap every dang year, it will save time. Once it’s in it’s in and I only have to tweak the changes.

Soon we should be getting schedules. For all but the youngest this is a huge deal. (the youngest is only in fourth grade so you get what you get—and now that one of the least favored teachers has retired, he’s not worried at all). The other three are worried about their classes and teachers and one was going to drop athletics then thought better of it. Another wanted in athletics (and signed up for it) is now also fretting being in it—but he’s also in honors band so who knows how that will play out.

We have already been buying clothes here and there, too. They are a little put out I won’t let them wear it ’til school starts. But such is life.

All this back-to-school drama is so *much* drama. And considering it’s all boys… I can only imagine what girls would do to me.

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Same but different

I don’t know how many times I have heard: There are no original stories out there. Everything has been done and done again (and now thanks to some uber-creative and slightly scary minds done w/ a monster twist). The other day I was working on a new book and I stopped for a mental break to watch Lifetime. The movie on was something I’d seen before, probably three or four years ago. It is eerie how similar the movie is to my story—even though I didn’t even remember it until ten minutes in. And this is not the first time it’s happened (Just usually it’s finding something similar AFTER I have finished at least the first draft).

Being with and around writers for the better part of eight years now, I know (and believe) you can give ten different writers the same outline and they will all create a vastly different story from it. The concept will be the same but the ins and outs will shift some per their personality and their style.

Still… after seeing this movie and knowing how close the plot is to my book and knowing I’d seen it way before I started, I can’t help but wonder how much of my story was organically pieced together and how much might have been a recall from Lifetime. It boggles the mind (well my mind anyhoo…). Now let me state it is different *enough*.  And just the other day I read a blurb for a book in RT that was almost identical too—and I have not read that book at all.

Too, I suppose, some topics are timely. How many times do similarly themed books hit the shelves and movies hit the theaters. These are things that began their lives (in some cases many) years before so it’s not like someone threw it together to get it out for competition sake.

I have wanted to experiment and get together several writers and see how different one plot can be—and I know it’s probably been done before, I have just never run across it. Unfortunately most writers have their hands full with stuff already and it is a time consuming challenge. Something to shoot for down the road I guess. Still … I can’t help but wonder about it.

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