Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING...even if I am a couple days late!

Finally got to settle down and rest after hosting that HUGE dinner. Still getting back into the swing of IE, though holiday eating is a lot easier with IE. Listen, when you're full, you're full, it doesn't matter what day it is. But in full disclosure, there are still too many yummy leftovers left over, including my son's mother-in-law's most excellent homemade tiramisu. (Hint: Laced with rum!)

Since yesterday we just hung around the house, relaxing, I was able to fit in a lot of work on my new WIP, which is a short romance story. I'll be zipping that off to a magazine, and then it's back to a paranormal novela that I started prior to Thanksgiving.

This is really my favorite time of year. Not only is there a lot of excitement in the air, but it's a time filled with family and reflection over the past year, plus expectations and plans for the new year.

Oh--and how do I get one of those nifty HP mini laptops? Any chance they'll dip down in price once the Christmas lights get put back in the attic?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Unique Writing Tool

Lately I've been published under another pen name, one that's separate from both Connie Keenan and Consuelo Vazquez, and just this week I really got energized. I don't know what it is, but there are two times a year that I get especially jazzed to get some coals in the fire, writing-wise, and the first is spring. There's something about spring--you know, the "young" season, the season when everything's new and sultry summer is right around the corner. That season's got a way of giving birth, so to speak, to new projects.

The second season is right now, at the end of the year. When everybody's reflecting on what they've done, I find myself making plans for the coming year.

That means this is also when I get those all-important writing tools ready. You know, things like a new calendar to keep track of deadlines...a case of Diet Pepsi, preferrably Cherry, for that fizzy caffeine kick needed for writing late into the night...a folder for story ideas and clippings that inspire me and I might need for research...extra notebooks and pens, because I'm an antique that still totes those things to work with me so that I can sit in my car at the park at lunchtime, getting some time with my WIP.

And most recently, a writiting mascot--my dog, Chi-Chi! Poor Cheech got roped into that one the other night. She was resting comfortably on the rocking chair in the bedroom where my hubby, her daddy, was watching Everybody Loves Raymond before falling asleep.

"Aren't you writing?" Bill asks me.


"But you came in for your dog?"


Luckily, Chi-Chi is a natural born princess. She doesn't care where she can lounge out, just as long as she can curl up and nap. She happens to do that very regally, too. That was her extent of overseeing my writing that night. No biggie for her, but she made my job of telling a story a lot less lonely, just having her nearby on the daybed in my home office while I tinkered away at my desk (really a baker's rack that I've had for years. Kind of a stylish workspace--efficient, too!).

And having her there worked even better than a tall, frosty glass of Diet Cherry Pepsi!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More Intuitive Eating Adventures!

Nine months now & counting. If it was a relationship, I'd have to say it's not just a fling anymore!

I promised to check back in on intuitive eating, so here I am. To this day, I have yet to count a calorie, point, carb or anything else, and yet my weight is now fluctuating between 128 and 130. Since my weight had gone as high as 138, that's been interesting to me. The only thing that I have changed is that I've started going back more regularly to the gym, and that's because I notice that I feel better on the whole when I go to the gym. The key word there is regularly--I'm not exercising obsessively.

Did going back to the gym speed up my metabolism, hence the loss of 10 pounds? Honestly, I don't know. I tend to think it has more to do with the fact that at this point in my journey with intuitive eating, I'm no longer stress-eating, i.e. treating a chocolate sundae like a therapist after a rough day at work. Something else is that I've stopped thinking of eating as something done on a weekly cycle, with a weekly allotment of points, so if I "mess up" I then have a feast day and glumly decide I'll start over the next day, only to "mess up" again two days later. As any ex-dieter can tell you, nothing will pile on the pounds and keep them on more than emotional eating and the I've-messed-up-but-I'll-do-better-tomorrow-so-pass-the-Doritos mentality.

Now it's like that old Christian song goes: one day at a time. Obviously, that's not just a good way to approach intuitive eating, but that's a good way to live! I no longer have an "allowance" of points or calories that I'm "permitted" to eat each day, with some surplus at the end of the week as a "reward" for being good. At this stage, looking back at dieting, that's a bizarre way to live. It's almost like life revolving around food...which it doesn't.

Instead of an allowance, now I have FREEDOM! I have a long way to go on this journey, but I've come to the point where I trust myself. Food is no longer The Enemy. I can go out to a get-together at a restaurant with friends and not worry about eating "point-friendly" meals. On the contrary: I have what...I...want. Not what I'm "allowed" to have or what I'm "supposed" to have.

In light of the fact that I now look at a fresh salad served with a light vinagrette dressing with the same anticipation as a Dairy Queen Blizzard--and sometimes I consider the salad more inviting--why would I ever want to return to the frustration, expense and enslavement of dieting?

Would you believe that I'm also trying out more recipes now than I ever did before? Here's one I found for zucchini bread that is out of this world! Our garden was producing more zucchinis than we could humanly eat (even with giving some away to friends and family), but look what happens when you add some cinnamon, flower, walnuts and other ingredients!

I have no idea how many calories are in it. But I do know a slice of it goes perfectly with a great cup of coffee and it makes a good, filling breakfast!

Next time: Some interesting observations about intuitive eating, otherwise known as how we were really meant to eat before the multi-billion dollar diet industry told us we were doing it all wrong.

Till next time!

Friday, June 18, 2010


This week I got a special surprise and learned that Aurora Reviews gave SUBURBAN VAMPIRES 4 1/2 suns!!! Woo hoo! You can check out the review by Begonia right here.

More blogging later this week!

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Post on Consuelo Vazquez!

Pass by my Consuelo Vazquez blog. I meant to post that here. It's for all us flower lovers and homebodies!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Au Gratin...But Not Really

Usually I don't share recipes on my blog, but this one was SO yummalicious that it's getting an entry! A friend of mine at work, who knows I love to cook, found it in our local paper and passed it on to me. The problem with getting a recipe from me is that I've become of those "a pinch of this, a dash of that" cooks (Chef Gordon Ramsay would probably stand in my kitchen going, "OH, MY GOD!!!" ). Don't think you'll have problems following it, though, so here goes:

What you'll need: an oven (duh), preheated to 350 degrees...a casserole dish, and mine was a long one...enough potatoes to layer said casserole dish, cut into au gratin-size slices. The recipe called for 4 large baking potatoes; I used about 7 smaller potatoes. Ah, I'm such a radical. Anyhoo, other ingredients: Garlic, minced or powder; Parmesan cheese; a quart of half & half; and a wonderful thing--a new discovery for me--called Gruyere cheese. The recipe called for a half cup of the cheese, shredded, but I used waaaaaaaaay more than that.

First step: After peeling and slicing the potatoes, toss them into a Dutch oven with the whole quart of half & half and the garlic, which I also varied to taste, as with salt and pepper. Cook at medium until the mixture somewhat thickens, then transfer to the casserole dish. Add both the Gruyere cheese and a sprinkling of the Parmesan, then pop that baby in the oven. Bake for 50-55 minutes.

The recipe called for allowing the potatoes to cool for about 30 minutes, but after about 5 minutes I brought that bubbly, cheesy, creamy delight straight to the dinner table. It's sort of au gratin, but sort of absolutely different, thanks to the mild and delicious Gruyere cheese. It was a hit at dinner, especially with my daughter-in-law Yesica and me, who loved it.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I missed V tonight!!!

Earlier in the day when I came home for lunch, I noticed it advertised on YouTube with the words, "V Returns Tonight" or something to that effect. But of course, with the potpourri that is my life, I got sidetracked. My hubby invited me out for a walk after dinner, but I'd already made "girly plans." You know--get a pedicure first, then hit the tanning salon. After that I came home to watch American Idol with Bill, Yesica & Brandon while my granddaughter strolled around the living room wearing my flipflops (the blue ones with the little silver starfish, which that young lady just LOVES to pieces). Forgot all about V, darn it. Hopefully we can catch up with all the aliens' doings on the next episode without getting too lost.

There just aren't enough good sci-fi shows on TV. V caught my attention, and although it's not Invasion, which goes down as one of my all-time favorite shows (and it has William Fichtner playing the very mysterious Sheriff Tom Underlay, although I'd watch William Fichtner in ANYTHING--the man is sheer romance hero material!), it's definitely entertaining and worth catching.

Monday, March 22, 2010

While You Were Away

Remember those little pink pads with those words at the top of the sheet? WHILE YOU WERE AWAY, so & so called, etc. Does anybody still use those? It's been some time since I've been a secretary; my "civilian" job is as a medical records clerk, so I haven't gotten to use those WHILE YOU WERE AWAY thingies.

In any event, that should be WHILE I WAS AWAY because I've been AWOL from this blog for almost a couple months. Since I last wrote I finished a short novel, shipped it out for a publisher's review, started a new novela, and started...belly dancing classes! Whenever I can get my hip scarf away from my granddaughter Aubrey--she loves that thing, even thought it goes around her tiny hips about 7 times, I think--I zip off to class. So far I'm still a beginner, but it's fun!

More recently, my husband threw me a surprise 50th birthday party, and the weather complied with a gorgeous, sunny, blue sky. (Hey, it isn't every day a girl gets to turn half a century old. For the occasion, my best friend treated me to a gift certificate to Victoria's Secret. Only a GREAT friend would dream up that one, y'all!)

It's been a crazy weekend but I've got to get back to work on this new WIP. As for the other work, it's great to have something out making the rounds again. I don't know if it's my age or the spring slowly rolling around again, and I find the spring to be very inspiring, creatively speaking, but I've had something of a reawakening. Lately, each day I look forward to stealing away enough time to get at least 500 words done.

And of course, stealing an hour on Wednesday for some belly dancing!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Novel Spaces

Hey--I'm blogging today over at Novel Spaces. Very fun place, so drop by!