Sunday, February 24, 2013

Eventful Week

Tuesday, Ken was on his way to work and got hit by a snow plow.  Don’t worry he is fine.  His truck is dinged up.  We all stayed home to keep an eye on him.  Fortunately, he had no negative side effects. 

The rest of the week was quiet for the most part – thankfully.  I got a lot done yesterday though.  Chapter for science – done.  Taxes for Alicia – fixed, accepted, and done.  Errands run with Vicki – done.  New cell phones ordered – done.  Genealogy looked up for a cousin, editing job, and FAFSA – done, done, and done.  These are all checked off my to do list this week. 

Today, I’m going to sit and watch some dvr programs with Ken and crochet.  Also on my list is to help Vicki make some of her homemade products that we are selling.  We have a list of mostly organic items that we are selling because we have found they work wonderfully for us (yup we were the guinea pigs) and now we are going to sell them.  There are scrubs, lotions, face wash and a variety of other products.  I’ll post a link when we get that far.  We are also making a big batch of carbonara and marinara, so I’ll be assistant chef to Vicki and Ken will be canning the results for the marinara and we will freeze the carbonara. 

I’ve tried a new stitch called crocodile crochet.  I love how it looks and it is fun to make.  I bought a slipper pattern that looks fun.  I’m also working on an ascot for Vicki (yes Kelly she gets another one).  I’m hoping to finish that today while we watch dvr stuff. 

I’m hoping for a quiet day today – mostly.  I’m also hoping for a less eventful week next week

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Good News

My romance novel made it to the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards Contest!  In the first round they read my pitch and liked it so now I’m advancing with 399 others to the second round.

The second round reviewers will read my excerpt (and the other 399 excerpts) and the top 100 will be moved to the next round.  I’ll know more on March 12.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  I think my romance novel is really good. 

The GRAND prize is $50,000 plus a publishing contract.  Some other finalists may receive publishing contracts too.  First Prize winners get a publishing contract and $15,000.  There are a whole bunch of other prizes too.  I’d love to get either the grand prize or a first prize.  The money would be awesome to say the least but the exposure would also be incredible. 

Realistically, I’m not holding my breath but I am hopeful.

I finish writing my grant proposal and submitted that.  Now it is a wait and see as I don’t believe they notify until the end of the year. 

The new editor from a publication contacted me and asked for articles.  It is nice to have this happen as it shows an appreciation for my writing even though they don’t pay.  I sent her a few articles. 

In the mail yesterday I got my copy of the calendar from (Scars Publishing) that has one of my poems in it.  Every time I see my poetry published somewhere it surprises me – in a great way.

Now I just wait for the rejection letters… “If you aren’t being rejected regularly, maybe you’re not trying hard enough.” Kathy Ireland.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Bills are paid.  Grocery shopping is done.  I’ve done a small amount of homework.  However, I have two very long to do lists which aren’t getting done as quickly as I’d like.  I know I push myself (sometimes too hard) but I have a lot on my plate right now. 

Went shopping with Kelly yesterday and had a bit of fun wandering around the craft store, this was a good break for me as I was in a slump on the homework end.  It was good to get out with her and Vicki to shop in a craft store. 

Today is a study day.  I have a long list of homework I need to get done.  I also have to get some of my writing stuff done.  I want to finish off my grant and get it submitted so I can just be done with it.  I found another grant I want to work on but the deadline isn’t until June so I have lots of time to work on it.

One of the publications I have submitted to in the past contacted me to ask for submissions.  I’m going to get two or three things done for them this weekend.  Unfortunately the only payment I get is free copies of the magazine but it is publications on my resume.  I have at least one other submission to make today because the deadline is looming.  The articles all need editing and I have final edits on the grant material to do.  The other submission I think is ready to go – I just want to read through it once.  After I get these three things done, I’ll be switching over to homework and hopefully making good progress.

I’m supposed to go to my sister’s house today for a birthday thing for my nephew but it really depends on how much homework I get done.  If I make good progress I’ll go – if I don’t, I won’t be able to as I have so much to do. 

I did finish the capelet I was making for Vicki – I just have to sew the closing on it that we picked up yesterday.  I also worked on Kelly’s scarf that I ran out of yarn for.  I think by tomorrow I’ll have that done. 

I know it sounds like I had a tedious weekend but I had fun with Kelly and Vicki.  I also am getting stuff done which always makes me feel good.  Now if I can get just a few more things crammed into the too short weekend I will feel like I can tackle the week without a giant weight on my shoulders. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Rip Off

My daughter has no insurance.  She qualifies for none of the programs that help people with no insurance because she lives at home.  Maybe we should just kick her out?  I don’t think so.  Johnson and Johnson produces one of the medications – the very expensive medication – she takes.  They have a program which allows her to get assistance from them to get her medication.  For the last year, she has been getting this nearly $700 prescription for free because of Johnson and Johnson. 

She got a call from the doctor’s office to let her know Johnson and Johnson had sent them a form for the doctor to sign for her to continue to take this very expensive drug.  This is great news as we were just talking about seeing what we had to do to continue with their program.  However, the bad news (and you had to know there was some) came when the nurse told Vicki the doctor wouldn’t sign the form unless she came in for a visit. 

Now Vicki has no job, no insurance, no income.  If she goes to the doctor, I have to pay for it.  She was unhappy about a completely unnecessary visit to the doctors’ office as it cost $108.78 for a miniscule visit.  Literally they wanted us to pay that much money to get the doctor’s signature. 

Obviously we had to because we sure cannot afford the roughly $700 a month and this drug works wonderfully for her.  I feel we were robbed.  We had no choice but to pay the doctor for his signature.  Now I know the medical profession will say – we were paying for his expertise and he was being responsible about making sure she truly needs this drug. 

I say it is a maintenance drug and there was no need to review whether it was needed.  Nothing in her health has changed and all they did was rip us off.  Our health care field is broken and we need to fix it.  Maybe the politicians should be looking at that instead of being ridiculous about fiscal cliffs and other idiocy.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Not Quite Done

Today is going to be a busy day.  I have homework to finish and need to help Vicki prep for Super Bowl food as we have Kelly and Dominic coming over to watch.  I also want to finish off my grant, work on crocheting, and a few other things. 

Yesterday was a bust.  I was in the middle of working on my grant when Ken said the tv channel he was watching went out.  This led to an all day affair with the cable / internet provider.  It eventually got fixed but it literally took until about 8:00 pm last night before we have tv services back.  I get glitches but I don’t get when they totally screw up.  I got the run around to begin with but had all the information and finally got someone who was willing to listen and work with me.  Now the service is correct – next I’ll just have to watch the billing to make sure they get that straight.  I’m sure my frustration and annoyance level will go through the roof as I try to get that fixed.

I did get some of the editing done on the grant but now I’m second guessing myself on what writing sample I should send in.  This is what my grant will be judged on for the most part so it is extremely important.  I want them to see my writing style and understand the story I’m trying to tell.  I also want it to be a well edited piece of writing.  Here is where the dilemma comes in – I have 25 pages which are well edited and start the story but aren’t the meat of the story (prologue and back story).  I have the beginning of the story which hasn’t been edited at all.  The prologue and back story has been edited by several people and I’ve had input from a variety of sources.  This means my edits have been thoughtful and constructive.  I’m not sure if I jump ahead if I have as good a quality of writing as the other part.  However, the beginning of the story is more action filled and jumps right in to the main characters and their quest but it isn’t edited.  I’ve had little feedback on it at all.  I’ve done little work on it myself as I’ve been working on editing the first part and writing at the tail end of the story.  I need to make the choice today especially if I’m going to start with the beginning because I will have to get the 25 pages I’m going to submit edited. 

This morning I was going to get up and work on my homework.  I’ve not touched it yet.  I’ve spent the last hour working on editing other people’s stuff and sorting through emails.  My last lab for this section is the next thing I’m going to work on and then I want to go back and review the ones where I got answers wrong.  The material is definitely getting more difficult and I need to have as many points as possible as I move forward.  Yes, I know two of my labs I only missed one and that is acceptable but I still am going to need the points.  Also, I have no idea at this point if I have homework for the other class as the professor has not posted anything and I wasn’t in class on Thursday.  This is particularly frustrating to me because I could have spent yesterday working on it but she hadn’t posted anything yet or answered my email.  I know my faculty told me to give her 48 hours (business hours) but at the same time it causes me stress because I can’t just stay home from work because she hands out a ton of homework.  Here is where I have to do what I can and let the rest go – obviously I’m working on that. 

I’m going to try to spend the next two hours very productively and then this afternoon I’ll be assistant chef to Vicki and have fun during the Super Bowl (who ever thought those words would come out of my mouth?)

My to-do lists got some attention but not enough…

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Another To-Do List

Actually it is probably two or three to-do lists at this point.  I need one for the basement as we have a crack in our foundation and we need to clean it and get it prepped to get fixed.  I’m pretty sure that is a long list of cleaning and reorganizing things.  Then there is my school to-do list.  One of my professors is very organized and helpful, and the other, isn’t.  Of course I have a crochet / crafting list.  Last but certainly not least – I need to finish writing my grant so I can ask someone else to read it before I submit it.

I was working on my science homework and a friend told me I didn’t have to get it all done then.  I told her everything is SCHEDULED.  Yup I’m back to the schedule my life mode.  I didn’t actually finish the chapter I was working on but I came close.  I’ll try to finish it tonight when I get home.  I’ll also work on crocheting tonight. 

The weekend will be filled with editing my grant to get a “final” version.  I can edit until time ends so I will have to cut things off if I want to get it submitted in time.  I have a rough draft for the four sections I need but none of them are final.  I’d like to get that finished this weekend.

Aside from that task, I have homework.  Vicki also told me we have three sets of DVDs to get through so I’ll probably get a lot of crocheting done while we watch DVDs.  I also still have to finish that last lab.  In addition to the lab, I’d like to review the ones I already did to see if I can improve on them at all.  I’ve taken five quizzes (labs) and three of them have answers wrong.  We can take them twice so if I can figure out which ones I’ve done wrong, I can do them again and add points.  The professor takes the highest score so if I do worse it won’t hurt my grade.

I have my first science test next week and am a bit nervous about it.  The labs / quizzes are fairly straight forward.  I don’t know how the professor will be and it isn’t one of my better topics, which means I’m a bit nervous about it.  I’ll have to schedule (there is that word again) some study time for the exam. 

Sunday we will have a couple over to watch the Super Bowl.  I’ll likely crochet through all of the game as I’m not a fan.  The couple is fun though so I can have fun with them even if I don’t like what is on the TV. 

Hopefully I will cross off many things on my to-do list this weekend.  The more I get off the list the fewer items that will have to carry over to next week’s to-do list.  Some might say I’m obsessive about to-do lists but I say it is just good organization.

Back at the Grindstone

With nine days off, you would think I got a lot accomplished.  I did when it comes to spending time with my girls but off my to-do list?  No...