Where you’ll find me…

In the upcoming year. You know, if you had a hankering to buy me a drink (I like gin and tonic–good gin, only please, chocolate or apple martinis, and margaritas). Or if you’re my husband and you’re wondering when it’s safe to have your girlfriend over.

April 3-6 Desert Dreams Conference, Arizona
April 14-18 Romantic Times Convention, Pittsburgh (I’ll be there Monday through Friday only)

May 23-25 local RWA Florida chapter weekend (it’s really close to Disney World. Think I can make a break for it?)

June 5-8 Lori Foster Get Together, Cincinnati

July 28-August 3 RWA Nationals, San Francisco

August 11-August 25 New Zealand and Australia Romance conferences

October 9-12 Emerald City RWA conference
October 24-26 NJRW conference

November 7-9 Chesapeake/Virginia combined RWA conference

Um. That’s all. I hope my family doesn’t disown me and/or forget what I look like. Would you believe I turned down quite a few offers for the year? I’ve also got a family reunion in North Dakota the week before nationals–I fly from the reunion to nationals. But hey! I’ll have some kickin’ frequent flyer miles.

For Doctor Who fans

Sci Fi Channel buys Season Four and Sarah Jane
from Outpost Gallifrey: Doctor Who News

The Sci Fi Channel has announced they have acquired both series four of Doctor Who and Series one of The Sarah Jane Adventures. Both series are due to screen on the channel in April. The Futon Critic reports that the two programmes will join Battlestar Galactica on Friday nights, with The Sarah Jane Adventures premiering on 11th April and the new series of Doctor Who launching on 18th April with Voyage of the Damned. Thanks to Tim Collins


On a more humorous note…

Brianna has taken to telling everyone, “I have two dogs! I have Reesie and Heath!”

And I do mean everyone. Every time we check out at the store, she tells the cashier (Target, Walmart, random clothes stores, it doesn’t matter.) Stop to talk to someone? She tells them. Today it was a random lady in the doctor’s waiting room and then the nurse and then the doctor. Before too long, Brianna’s going to be known as The Girl with Two Dogs.

I did feel bad for the lady in the waiting room, though, because she made the mistake of engaging Brianna in conversation and thus got to hear a list of our pets, including that “Oliver went to cat heaven”.

And no, we haven’t gotten the idea of “stranger danger” quite impressed on her yet. Although Brianna does tell me that if someone tries to take her, she’ll yell really loudly. After she tells them she has two dogs, I’m sure.

Warning! Whine ahead…bring cheese.

I’m sick. I hate being sick because there’s no being home and taking a sick day. It just doesn’t work that easily when you work from home. Josh has been sick for a week. He was home last Wednesday and Thursday. Then Brianna was home Friday. They both seemed to be getting better over the weekend but then yesterday I started feeling bad so that, of course, means everyone else relapses (because there’s no wallowing in sickness for Mommy, you know).

It was a long night last night, Brianna woke up at 2:30 saying her ear hurt. I gave her some tylenol, she coughed for a few hours and then finally fell asleep and slept in about an hour later than she normally does. When she woke up, she seemed to feel fine, said her ear didn’t hurt so off to daycare she went. I, on the other hand, felt like crap. I’d finally stopped working to sack out on the couch and nap when daycare called. Brianna had woken up from her nap crying and saying her ear hurt. So I called the doctor, made an appointment (thank God they could fit us in for late in the day) and went to pick her up.

What’s really frustrating in all of this is that we’re FIVE days away from our new insurance kicking in. Five. Saturday. All we all needed to do was stay healthy for five more days. Three months we’ve been healthy, and in the past two weeks we’ve had to deal with an eye problem (and really expensive drops for me with no prescription insurance), and now this. Of course.

So I went, feeling like crap, to sit in the doctor office for an hour, waiting for them to see us for less than 5 minutes to tell me she has a slight ear infection (no! really?) which could resolve itself without meds. So here’s a prescription but don’t fill it unless she gets worse. Uh. Okay. Thanks. Glad I paid $70 for that.

Anyway, I’m ready for her not to be home “sick” anymore. Because except for being incredibly whiney (um, even more than usual) she sure doesn’t act sick. I think she’s got those daycare teachers totally figured out and is playing them.

Now I’m trying not to hack up one of my lungs and just praying that tomorrow, everyone will be back at work/school and I’ll wake up miraculously cured. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Slow cooker jambalaya

I made this yesterday for dinner, just threw everything in the crockpot and let it go while I was in and out all day. It turned out so good, even Josh liked it. I would definitely make this again and actually, I can’t wait until lunchtime so I can enjoy some leftovers! Original recipe is here, but as always, I made a few changes (anyone who’s read this blog for any length of time shouldn’t be surprised). I’m posting my recipe here. For the original, follow the link above.

Crockpot Jambalaya

READY IN 8 Hrs 20 Min


2 skinless, boneless raw chicken breasts- cut into 1 inch cubes
1 pkg Hillshire Farm sausage, halved and sliced (I used hot, you could use any flavor. You could also use andouille sausage instead, which is more authentic, I’m sure, but we always keep this on hand)
* 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
* 1 cup chicken broth
* 2 teaspoons dried oregano
* 2 teaspoons dried parsley
* 2 teaspoons Emeril’s Essence (Or Cajun seasoning)
* 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon Tony Chachere Creole seasoning (optional but it adds a little more heat and a small amount of salt. You could also use this in place of the cajun season. Available for purchase at Walmart or other grocery stores in the spice aisle)
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled/deveined
* 1 16 oz pkg frozen okra


1. In a slow cooker, mix the chicken, sausage, tomatoes with juice, onion, green bell pepper, celery, and broth. Season with oregano, parsley, Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, and thyme.
2. Cover, and cook 7 to 8 hours on Low, or 3 to 4 hours on High. Stir in okra during last hour of cook time. Stir in the shrimp during the last 30 minutes of cook time.

Serve over your favorite rice.

Makes about 12 servings.


*note, this is pretty spicy with all the extra seasonings, so if you don’t like spicy food, I suggest using plain sausage and cutting out the cayenne and Creole Seasoning, just using the Emeril or other Cajun seasoning. That should take the heat down to just a hint.

If you don’t like shellfish/shrimp, you could easily omit that (or the okra) and just use chicken and sausage. You could add extra chicken breasts to add more meat.

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