Friday, March 29, 2013


Okay.  Two days ago I actually asked the DH if we could go to the hardware store.  He was fixing one of the toilets (it was leaking and he’s got plumber on his resume).  So…I asked while he was working.  I was actually thinking it would be nice to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE for a bit – even if it was to the hardware store. 
But no.  He looked at me strangely and then went and found the parts he needed from his man-cave in the garage – and handled the fix.  Great.
Now.  He knows I am un-fond of the hardware store.  At anytime.  I’ve been known to get hives and run from the area if he takes too long looking at screws, or nuts, or bolts, or whatever. And he had me assist with picking out a faucet last year?  Ahhhh!  The only thing I buy from there is duct tape.  I have a great collection.  I use it to seal the sides of my fabric as I cross-stitch.  It’s quicker than sewing a baste stitch on it.  And looks kind-a cool.  I keep it on top the hutch.
You know what the real trouble is: 

See…I retired from my old day job. I stay home now and pretty much do a lot of busy work so I can avoid housework. It’s just me and the pets. How dusty can it be? Right?

And I have lots of interesting things to do I take care of the pets. I water and talk to the plants. I move from project to project throughout the day: stitching (by hand), crocheting (I use one basic stitch), sometimes I draw (rarely anymore)


I’ve been known to knit occasionally (when my arm hurts too much from the other stuff.  I’m that slow at knitting), and I also play a fairly decent bit of tunes on my old piano.  I also have a cello, but I’ve only played it…uh let’s see.  Can it really only be four times?  (Yikes!)  I also have an exercise room, but the less said about that, the better.  (I do use the weight machine to hang the large comforters on when I’ve laundered them) 

Oh.  One more thing.  I write romance.  I finished and sent in another historical to Kensington in New York.  It’s called Laird Ballanclaire.  It’ll be out in October.  I also self-publish a series called the Vampire Assassin league,   which means I’m also marketing, promotion, publisher, cover design approval, blurb writer, shipping department, contest entry department, street team moderator…etc.  etc. 
All this means is I have a lot to do to keep busy throughout the long, dark, cold, monotonous cold, dark, long Alaskan winter.  Did I mention how long the winter is up here? 

 And how cooped up we start to feel – despite all the busy stuff?  Oh.  I do get out.  I walk my dog(s).  The lab gets three walks a day.  Over a mile distance and an hour in time total.  In any weather.   The Boston Terrier only goes along if the weather is perfect – and he’s been wanting to go lately because there’s so much sunlight coming in the windows.  So, he’s been strapped into his harness and locked into his leash and about two minutes later, he’s ready to go back.  And because he’s super spoiled, he gets to.  Know why?


Even the dogs are feeling it.  Where the heck is spring anyway?  Even 30 degrees would be nice.  The sun stays up a decent amount of time anymore.  It doesn’t get dark until after 9:00 pm up here, and it’s light about 6 am.  But is it warm?  No.  It’s sub-zero with new snowfall.  My truck is still half-buried with snow.  Here is a picture of conditions during out morning walk yesterday.  Gorgeous sunrise coming.  March 27th.  Geez.  Look at all that snow.  It’s almost APRIL.  
I suppose I could try my hand at baking sweet rolls or something.  Maybe cookies.  I’ve got to do something to pass the time - that isn’t cleaning house.  I’m not spring cleaning until the weather cooperates.  Let’s see…I’ve got pans.  An oven.  Eggs.  Flour.  Sugar.  No.  Wait.  I’d eat it.  And then I’d have to use that exercise equipment.  I’ll just go work on my daisy cross-stitch.
And think warm thoughts.

Thanks for listening,

--- Jackie Ivie


Friday, March 22, 2013

Home Sweet Alaskan Home:


After banging around Alaska from one odd project job to the next my sweet-heart said, “We need a place to hang a picture and throw our rug.”

We are a ‘second-time-around’ couple, so my parts of our wedding vows were: Love, honor and "drive to my house" and "I won’t haul water". Well, I’ve always been able to drive home, although deep ruts and unkempt gravel have sometimes been a challenge.

About the other part-- After twelve years in my new house, this December, I got a bathtub.

Hauling water isn’t so unusual here and the cost of drilling a well isn’t the only consideration. Sometimes there is plenty of water, but you can light a match and watch the blue flame flicker around the faucet. Others have water, but it tests so high in arsenic one probable shouldn’t drink it.

In my case, the well driller blew past the gravel layer and dipped into a layer of glacier silt, so thick I couldn’t even use the water on my garden. It would have smothered the broccoli and dried into concrete.

What to do? Haul water. With two fifty-five gallon barrels in the living room (so it doesn’t freeze) we plumbed the house the same way anyone else would. I have always had hot running water for a shower, a toilet that flushes, and water for cooking and cleaning in the kitchen. Hauling just requires being scrupulously attentive to not wasting a drop.

I wasn’t willing to haul for a clothes washer, so once a week or so I made the trip into town for the Laundromat. I bought my new car depending on whether or not it would accommodate a fifty-five gallon barrel for hauling water back to my home.

I purchased water behind a gas station in town. How cold does it get? If the quarters freeze to my mittens its zero degrees or so. I carried a small propane torch to thaw out the hose-bib and gravel to sprinkle so I didn’t land on my keester.

And last August --- (Angels singing: "Halleluiah") 'New well guy' says: “I can fix your well.” And, he proceeded to do just that!!

I have a new washer and drier—they sing to me. 

I have a new dishwasher—it sings to me.

I take a shower whenever I want to and I sing.

Turns out: It’s the little things, like running water that makes a house a home.
  --- DeNise Woods 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Inspiration From Your Past

A couple years ago I started reconnecting with old friends, and more than a few former boyfriends, on Facebook. These things go in waves. You find one person who is friends with other people you once knew and next thing you know some guy is messaging you out of the blue and talking about how you were the first girl he ever kissed. How embarrassing when you don’t remember either him or the event.

Anyone who has read my books has surely guessed I was a tart in training in my long ago youth. Once I met my true love that path dead-ended. I’ve been mostly happily married for nearly twenty-three years. We’ve been together twenty-eight and I’ve been faithful the entire time, sometimes to my great frustration. But that’s not what I want to blog about.

When told of my writing profession, one of those old boyfriends passed on a question from his wife. Had I ever used him as a model for one of my heroes? The answer I sent back was a fast NO. I’m not sure if she was relieved or offended, but the subject dropped right there.

Lately I’ve been thinking about that. What I should have answered was, I’ve only used a boyfriend for a hero once and that book is not published because it’s really bad. It was the first manuscript I finished and it will never crawl out from under the bed. Of the other men I once dated, I’ve only used the one or two I had bad breakups with as villains. Those are the ones who should be shaking in their shoes!

So ultimately, I feel the wives of my former beaus should feel blessed when they don’t recognize their husbands in my books. As for my husband, he sees himself in every hero I write, and rightly so, as he’s my one true hero and always has been. And if one or two of my heroes have certain features, well, I do throw myself into research (Facebook) and find inspiration for my hot men in many places (the pics posted by women more dedicated to searching sites for pics than me). Of course a certain type of man will capture my interest more than others. Can’t be helped. Just hope my readers agree.

If you write, where do you find inspiration for your heroes? If you’re a dedicated reader -- just let me say I adore you -- what types of heroes attract you most? 

Morgan Q. O'Reilly
Romance for All Your Moods