Archive for June, 2010

Black Roses

This isn’t a post.  Not a real post.  It’s really just a pic for K who has gone to ten million stores with me looking for black rose stud earrings. But not cheap plasticky ones (though had I found those in a store, I might have considered).  Anyway, I finally found the perfect pair online — perfect — and am happily enjoying them today.

Editor’s note: the girl next to me at Starbucks (today’s evening shift, not the morning shift) told me she ‘had to have my earrings’ because they were ‘the perfect black earrings’.  Gawd I love validation.


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On Saturday I printed the first official copy of my book.  On Monday, I changed the title of my book.

It never really occurred to me just how big a stack of 331 pages might be.  I was delighted to learn that the UPS store prints on heavy, important-feeling paper; I was less delighted to discover how unwieldy my book would be as I toted it around town.  So I’m toting it in pieces.  Each morning, instead of typing-typing-typing at Starbucks, I spend an hour or two before work editing-editing-crossing out-editing at Starbucks.  (The real irony?  Now that I don’t need to fight for the table with a power outlet for my computer, that table is empty every morning.)

I’ve written the first draft of my query letter for agents.  My query letter states the novel is complete at 110,000 words.  That would be true if my novel weren’t actually 121,000 words.  But since 110K is already pushing the envelope of what an agent will take a chance on (for a debut author with no street cred… or publishing creds either, I suppose), I definitely can’t submit something at 120K+. So while I read my book for the first time and fix any lingering typos, I am also trying to cut out 11,000 extra, unnecessary, why-did-i-even-write-them words.

That’s like deleting more than a week of my writing life.

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I’ve been derelict in my posting duties over the past few days.  Though who can really blame me when the weather has been sunny, celebrations have lined themselves up, and the puppies have demanded daily pool time?  Yesterday, G and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary.  It’s hard to believe it’s already been two years.  The wedding seems so familiar — surely it was more recent than that?  Though the planning and the work seems long behind me.  (I can barely remember making weekly runs to Michaels and Paper Source for supplies.)

Our celebration was suitably low-key and wonderfully drawn out.  Recapping in reverse, we had dinner at Outback last night after work.  The first time we ever ate at Outback together was actually the night we got engaged.  Different Outback.  Same steaky emphasis.  (It’s not necessarily why we went last night, but it’s still a nice story, right?)

On Sunday, we enjoyed what I like to refer to as ‘a day in the life of G and E’.  Which means, we hit the dog park early (though it was already way too hot for the puppies to do anything but loll around in the damp dirt), did a small bit of chores (too small, G would insist), went to the beach, and then drove out to Skippers for lunch and a drink by the water.  It was a perfect day.  When we got home, G was too sun-soaked to do any more work.  So we played race cart games online and actually relaxed for one entire day.

On Saturday night, we had our celebratory dinner.  Seared scallops marinated in lemon oil and oregano over wilted spinach with a side of roasted asparagus and topped with a shallot and champagne sauce.  I thought it was tasty, but then, I’m often fond of the meals I decide to cook. 🙂  Best of all, the meal paired with a bottle of Taittinger champagne that G brought home as a surprise to celebrate the end of the book.  And since I see nothing wrong in celebrating multiple things at once…

So that was our drawn out, very wonderful anniversary celebration.  I’ll post a pic soon.  Possibly of the champagne.  It was delicious.

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White Hall

Life on a farm seems as wonderful to me as does life by the Bay.  But instead of crab feasts, there are bounties of home-grown vegetables; instead of towels by the water, there are chairs and benches filling the shaded decks; instead of a boat, there is a tractor (or two!); and so on.  (In both scenarios, there are dogs.  Lotsa dogs.)  It goes without saying, then, that when we are home by the water, everything seems perfect.  But when we spend time at the farm with Michael, Wayne, and family, that seems like home too.

Here are a few more pictures from Grandma’s 94th (!) birthday party spent on a perfectly sunny, perfectly breezy day amidst fields, new barns, and well-worn chairs.

I’ve got just a few more of the farm to share, but that’s it for tonight.  It’s Lucy’s 6th birthday today.  Although she didn’t get her hamburger tonight (she’ll get that celebration tomorrow), we still need to be sure there’s ample cuddle and play time this evening.  I’ve only got about 20 pages left of my novel to edit.  It’s a good feeling.  Maybe this weekend, I’ll be drinking champagne in celebration.

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94 Bugs

In tribute to my grandmother’s birthday this weekend, approximately 94 bugs crushed themselves against our windsheild on our drive home Saturday night, including one monster bug whose death was devastating and messy.  Greg subsequently cleaned the windshield (not before I had to rip the last of the monster bug carnage from the windshield yesterday to go to Starbucks), and I just wanted to note ‘in writing’ how wonderful the window looked.  It’s possible I didn’t notice this morning and, when questioned, pointed out the schmutz still dotted in front of my eyes.  What I should have said was how wonderful it was that the windshield had been cleaned by a glass-loving elf.

But the windshield is not the story.  (It is only the messy ending.)  The story is 94 birthday candles.  94 wishes. 94 years and counting.  Grandma’s 94th Birthday!  We tried to count the Presidents Grandma has lived through, but I think we forgot two.  Not so bad considering the list includes 17 (and considering limoncello martinis had announced themselves by that point in the evening)! 

Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, George W Bush, and Barack Obama.  Whew!  (Truth be told, the first election I actually remember was George HW against Clinton.)

We celebrated Grandma’s birthday at Michael and Wayne’s along with Mom and K, and I have a bevy of pics to post of family and farm.  We had perfect weather for sitting outside, sipping prosecco, snacking on deliciousness, and chatting about everything.  We ate smoked salmon, farm-grown veggies, and cheesecake with strawberries.  We played poker on the picnic table for pennies and rode around beautiful Maryland in Wayne’s convertible.  G fed the horses and K cuddled with Daisy.  It was perfect!

Since there are far too many pics for one post, here are a few of the people pics.

Most important of all: the birthday girl.

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Every five (ish) days, a holiday occurs.  According to some sports analyst somewhere.  (And that, according to G.)  And that holiday?  Strasmas.  The day Strasburg pitches for the Nats.  We saw him pitch his third game on Friday against the White Sox.  The game was just short of sold out, and even Obama thought to make an appearance.  (Rooting for the White Sox, though…)

We had a great time at the game (though I think my pulled chicken bbq sandwich was far superior to G’s nats dog).  We stayed through the ninth when the game was still tied 1-1, and heard the final innings on our drive home.  Unfortunately, the Nats lost 2-1 in 11, but we still got to see 10 strike-outs by Strasburg (which seemed more amazing against the lackluster field play).

I don’t think G is switching over his Yankees alliance any time soon, but we will definitely go back for another game. 

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Sunday rounded out the trifecta of Maryland waterfront spots.  Mom got to see a typical day in the life of G and E.  We loaded the puppies into the toaster early in the morning, stopped at Starbucks for breakfast, and then tried to motivate the dogs to run and play and keep their paws out of the communal water bowls at the dog park.

(We had a small break in the morning during which G cleaned the decks, and I cleaned the toaster.  I did the best I could, really!)

Then we showered and headed to Deale for a sunny afternoon at Skippers for fish and chips, margaritas, and a mojito.

Just in case you were concerned, the puppies did have ample time over the weekend for playing and cuddling.  And they spent most of the weekend in their pool.

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