Feb 27

A reason to listen to your wife

Anna was running a fever when I picked her up from daycare on Monday, and then started throwing up on the way home. Fun. I got her fever down via Motrin and cool washcloths, and then stuck her in bed between me and Jack for the night. Yes, I knew that there was a risk that our bed would get vomitified, but there’ve been several baby deaths in the parish recently, and a common link between them all has been some sort of flu-like symptoms and/or dehydration (which can then lead to a fatal arrythmia.) Therefore, I’d rather be insanely overcautious when it comes to fever/dehydration.

So, at about 1am Tuesday morning I woke up to Anna whimpering. She felt really hot, so I tried to give her some Tylenol, which she wasn’t too keen on. Jack was awake by this point and pulled Anna close to hug her, which is when I heard her make an odd-but-familiar coughing sound.

“Jack, she’s about to throw up,” I said as I scrambled to turn on the light, jump out of bed and race to the bathroom for a towel, foolishly assuming that since he was holding her he would perform some manner of self-and-bed-preserving action as well.

He did not. When I returned mere seconds later with the towel, Anna was deep in the throes of throwing up and Jack had his eyes squeezed shut. And had vomit all over his face.

Okay, I might have laughed a bit. A little bit. He really should listen to me.

Thus the next hour or so was spent cleaning my darlings up and stripping the bed–since she’d managed to hose the bed down pretty well too–and then getting her calmed down and medicated and somewhat gatoraded. We ended up relocating to the living room and slept* on the couch and recliner, taking turns with Anna-cuddling. So, even though we did end up with a vomitified bed, I’m glad I had her there with me. (Fortunately I was able to get the bed stripped in about six seconds flat so nothing soaked through to the mattress.)

* “Slept” is a pretty strong word for what we managed. “Fitfully dozed” is probably a closer fit.

Anyway, this meant that she stayed home yesterday, and I with her. Fortunately there was no more vomiting, and even more fortunately, she was not running a fever this morning, which meant that I packed her little butt off to daycare (after giving her Motrin, just to be on the safe side!) I didn’t get a lick of writing done yesterday (I have NO idea how anyone could possibly write with a kid in the house,) however I was able to spend laundering the vomit-soaked bedding, which really is a whole new level of fun.

Feb 24

The rest of the house

Yes, I posted plenty of pictures of the Writing Lair (and yes, I DO intend to have some sort of poll or contest to come up with a proper name,) but in fact, we really did buy an entire house that sits between the Lair and the street.

It’s actually an incredibly nice house too! It’s a little over 30 years old, with only one owner in that entire time. (Okay, it started out with two owners, but the husband died several years ago, so there was only one owner by the time we got to see it.) Anyway, everyone in the neighborhood has described the former owner as “an incredibly elegant woman” who worked tirelessly to keep the house in immaculate condition. And boy-o did she ever! This house is immaculate, and I don’t think that there was a single thing put into this house that was purchased at a store that ended in “mart.”

So, here’s the front of the house.

Here’s an inside detail of the plantation shutters that came with the house. I priced plantation shutters recently. I doubt I will ever feel wealthy enough to pay what it would cost to put plantation shutters on all of the windows (including the fricking garage!) I deeply appreciate that the former owner was wealthy enough to do so. Because they really do look awfully nice.

This is part of the living room. As you can see, she didn’t skimp on the window treatments in the rest of the house either.

Here’s a shot of the kitchen. About the only negative about the house is the size (or lack thereof) of the kitchen. But then again, neither of us do a lot of cooking, and it’s insanely easy to keep clean at this size!

I’ll post more pictures later on, including the three-sided fireplace and the view from the back patio.

Feb 14

Could someone wash my brain out with bleach, please?

Had a pre-trial meeting with the prosecution team on one of my old cases from when I was with the Sheriff’s Office. For those of you relatively new to my bloggishness, I used to work in computer forensics and had more than a few cases that involved contraband images of juveniles. This last case was nasty, with several hundred images of juveniles, quite a few of whom were of the same age as my daughter at the time. (For the record, my daughter is almost 4 now, and this case is over two years old.)

This was really the case that was the end of my career in computer forensics. Searching even one computer for contraband is a tedious and time-consuming procedure, sometimes taking weeks, and I lost count of the number of times I broke down and cried while working this case. After I finished it I knew I just didn’t have it in me to look at pictures and videos of little girls and boys being raped anymore. This was just one of the factors that led to me leaving the Sheriff’s Office, but it was a significant one.

Anyway, in the past two years I’d managed to put it pretty well out of my mind, and had high hopes that the defendent had plead out and that I wouldn’t have to revisit that case. Unfortunately, such is not the case and it’s going to trial in a few weeks, which meant that today was spent going over many of the tedious details, which included looking at the images once again.

Brain-bleaching. I need it. Bleh.

Feb 13

Back in the groove

One of the things that I found the most depressing/stressing about the past ~3 months was the fact that everything was so hectic and busy and uncertain and sleep-deprived that writing ended up being pushed waaaay down on the list of priorities. Fortunately I’d finished up the crappy first draft of Demon book the second before all of the crap started, so it wasn’t as if everything was left hanging, but it was frustrating all the same.

But now we are moved! We are (almost) settled! I am not plagued with a gadzillion errands to run every frickin day! I am getting to bed by ten (well, not tonight, but most of the time)! I am exercising again (when it’s not too frickin’ cold to run)! And, I am writing again!

Okay, not as much writing as editing, but the three month break–however unintended it was–has made it easier to see the (massive number of) flaws and plot hitches in the latest book. My personal goal is to get the book into a readable state by the beginning of March, and then I want to dive into the Redneck Vampire book. And, since at the moment I’m (unfortunately) not laboring under any deadlines other than the self-imposed kind, I’d like to see if I can get a draft of Redneck done before summer.

In the meantime, I came across this paragraph I’d written in Demon book the second:

I walked to the fireplace and hitched myself up onto the table, oddly pleased that it had the added effect of allowing me to look down at him. Not that it made me feel superior in any way at all. He still radiated power and potency and sexiness that left my mouth dry and other parts of me wet. “What’s in it for me?”

Hee. I think I’ll keep it.

Feb 5

The Writing Lair

Here are some more pictures of the Lair:

Another view of the Lair, showing the side door and the doors on the end. The hoist at the end of the building is pretty much the only way to get anything larger than a person to the upstairs.

Yet another view.

This is the strange and probably quite dangerous elevator (at least to children.) I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do with it, but I’m leaning quite heavily to taking it out completely. We have a tentative plan to build out some sort of “deck” where the hoist is, with proper stairs, but that sort of project would have to be approved by the homeowners association. If it’s denied, then I would probably have a spiral staircase put in where the elevator is.

And this is the only other way to get to the upstairs at this point. It definitely makes for privacy, but I wonder about getting
stuff up and down.

This is the downstairs, still, looking in from the side door. Since the place already has plumbing, I’d like to have a proper little bathroom put int.

More of the downstairs.

This is the upstairs, looking toward the hoist end from the ladder.

Another view of the strange and probably quite dangerous elevator, this time from the top.

Looking out toward the ‘front.’ There’s a fan set into the floor of the upstairs, so I’m guessing it gets pretty hot during the summer.

And, this is the view out the upstairs window. That’s actually the third fairway of the golf course. (No, I don’t play golf!)

Feb 1


We are in the new house. It was a hellish road getting here, which included moving and cleaning with the flu, plus three closings in four days. The last closing, which was the purchase of this house we’re in now, had to be relocated at the last minute to the other end of the parish (30 miles away) because a Mardi Gras parade had been rescheduled due to weather and was due to go right past the original closing location–which would have trapped us there until about 10pm. As it was we didn’t finish the closing until almost 8pm. I then had to race back across the parish to deliver the keys to my husband who–along with four hired strapping-young-lads–had unpacked two of the three trucks onto the front lawn and into the garage and the back patio. By midnight the trucks were empty, the house was full of stuff, and we were near dead from exhaustion.

As I mentioned before, this is not the house we were originally going to buy. That deal blew up in our face, which sent us scrambling for another option. However, the more we look at it, we think that this house is going to prove to be superior, especially since I NEVER WANT TO MOVE AGAIN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.


Anyway, it’s nowhere near the bargain that the other house was (as far as the sheer dollar amount of equity we would have walked into upon closing,) but it’s still a really great deal and, frankly, a better house and better location.

But this is the feature that I am the most excited about:

This is a building behind the house. I have claimed the upstairs as MINE ALL MINE for my writing space. Exceedingly Awesome.