From The Home Office

Rain Breeds Wanderlust…

I think it's rained every single day for the past two weeks here (sigh). Our seedlings are bursting out of their little starter pots but we still can't plant them. The garden is flooded. Max is dying to play in the green grass...but it's not only wet, it's windy and cold, too. I'm begging Richard for a short reprieve...just a tiny RV trip before the official summer vacation begins. …

The Berenstain Bears

When our three oldest children were little, I used to read to them at bedtime. Their favorite series was The Berenstain Bears. I think we owned the entire set at that time. Somehow, over the years, all but two of the books... …

Gettin’ My Dreams

We bought Max a brand new bed of his very own (not a hand-me-down) last week. We went ahead and bought him a queen, thinking he'll be able to take it with him someday when he moves out. And, I wasn't too keen on having a bed that looks like a car or a spaceship (ug!) in our house. …

What’s That Sound?

We had a very exciting Friday night here! Just before bed, I heard water running through the pipes upstairs and thought one of the children was showering. (My brain didn't register that I'd never heard that water running upstairs before.) A few minutes later, Ali screamed, "Mom! There's something wrong with the basement!" …

Chicken Rodeo?

Growing up, my brother, Darin, had the worst allergies of anyone I knew. He was allergic to everything, from the annual Christmas tree (we had to stop buying real ones), to our pet pony (we had to sell him). Thankfully, I never had allergies as a kid. However, it's getting impossible to blame my annual spring sneezing and wheezing on colds these days...since there are no other symptoms. Richard, too, gets all stuffy around this time of year, though he didn't as a child. Unfortunately, it looks like Max has inherited our allergies, though quite early, at the age of three. …

Two Breakdowns in Two Days…

Late last week, we were starting to wonder if we'd ever get home. Between the heater leaking gobs of coolant all over the passenger side carpet, steam filling up the cab, being stranded on a highway median, getting towed, getting repaired, and then having the RV break down again the very next day, it was quite an adventure! You can read about last week's adventures in detail and see photos at: http://www.wirelesstrips.com Hugs to all! Angela ~Do You Remember... Doo Bee Doo...~ My next class, How to Remember, Write and Publish Your Life Story, starts on May 2nd! Classes are a LOT of fun and we have a ball sharing our childhood memories while using the course memory triggers to record our memories in chronological order. The class is easy and FUN, only costs $40, and runs for six weeks. To read more or to sign up today, see: http://writersweekly.com/wwu/courses/memories.html

Six States in Five Days

Except for a severe storm that rocked the RV for hours, Navarre Florida was perhaps the most relaxing stop we've had while RVing. …

Ali Saves A Toddler’s Life

On Monday, a toddler, tall for his age, was walking down the road toward the bay here (we're on Navarre Beach in Florida). A van drove right past him, steering around him, but didn't bother to stop. He kept walking and was obviously alone. Ali hollered to me and then went to the toddler, who was almost to the water by then. He walked right past several people on the beach and nobody noticed. He was almost to the water...and still, nobody noticed. …

The Big Blue Egg

We are in Texas and were able to participate, for the first time, in my family's annual Adult Easter Egg Hunt (AEEH). There is one huge blue egg that lands the lucky hunter a very nice prize. The smaller plastic eggs are filled with candy, gifts, lottery tickets and even cash. There are prizes for finding the most eggs and the least eggs as well. …

Burnt Biscuit Ranch

Well, we arrived at my family's ranch (named for my mother's cooking!) on Sunday evening and while the children have been hard at work caring for the horses, mucking the stalls, and hauling sticks and manure, Richard and I have been sipping lemonade on the porch and enjoying our "vacation." …

No Longer A Dizzy Blonde

My one trip to the physical therapist did the trick and the vertigo I reported last week hasn't returned. Yea! Richard is happy about that because he wasn't looking forward to doing all the driving on our Spring Seeking trip. Yes, we've once again taken the business and family on the road! …

I Look Like A Hypochondriac…

I've been having terrible episodes of vertigo. Some of them were so bad that I started avoiding driving. At first, I thought I had a brain tumor. I really, truly thought I did, until I remembered having the same thing a couple of years ago, but for a much shorter period of time. When I looked up my symptoms on WebMD.com last week, I found what I was certain the diagnosis would be. All my symptoms matched perfectly... …

Dissecting Owl Pellets

We are SO proud of our our son, Frank (age 12)! He received a $25 gift certificate to Amazon for Christmas and he's been hanging onto it until now. He brought it to me today and asked me to order him a bag of Owl Pellets. …

Spring Fever

Ali's basketball team made it all the way to the finals on Saturday...but they didn't win. It was a real nail biter and Ali was very happy to win 2nd place in the league. Zach's team made it to the semi-finals. Needless to say...we spent the entire weekend at the YMCA! …

My Failed Romantic Gesture

Last week, I purchased bathtub finger paint, window paint, red spray paint and glow-in-the-dark plastic stars. On Monday morning, while Richard had his head buried in his email, I wrote drew an A, a heart, and an R (A Loves R) in the bathtubs, on the bathroom mirrors, and on the windows in the house. When Richard was later on the phone, I wrote the same thing on the ceiling of our bedroom, right over his pillow, with the glow-in-the-dark stars. My last mission was to paint A Loves R in the snow out front and back with the red spray paint. Problem is...it was so cold that each time I tried to use the spray can, it would freeze up. I tried shaking it vigorously, but that just caused drops of red to splatter in the snow... …

Max’s Imaginary Friends

Warning: Don't read today's column if runny noses gross you out. …

Mini-Vacation!

This week, I'm getting one of my Christmas presents - a trip to a small inn that has a fireplace in every room and great shopping nearby. Yea! There are lots of winter activities, too, so the children are very excited. We've already pulled out all the snowpants, waterproof gloves and extra socks. I'll be officially "on vacation" from Wednesday afternoon until Sunday. During that time, I'll only be online checking for emergencies. Hugs to all! Angela P.S. Want to read real query letters that landed these contracts? Woman's Day - $2,800; Redbook - $3,500; Ladies Home Journal - $3,000; DiscoveryHealth.com - $2,000; Lifetime Magazine - $3,000; Life Extension Magazine - $6,480; Natural Remedies - $11,300; and many more! See: http://www.writersweekly.com/books/1409.html

Humdinger of a Snowstorm

We had a humdinger of a snowstorm last Wednesday night! We were still trying to find the car in the drifts (okay, that's a slight exaggeration) when we heard about the "Blizzard of 2005" that was heading our way. However, that little weekend blizzard wasn't anywhere near the intensity of the Nor'Easter last week (for us, anyway). …

Cows And Sheep And Goats And…

We joined the local homeschooling 4H club last week and were pleasantly surprised to learn that not everybody in 4H is required to grow and auction off livestock! All humor aside, 4H is a great group and we made lots of new friends. The children loved it and can't wait to get started on some projects to enter in the state fair this summer. …

Grandma’s Gone

Richard's grandmother has returned to Texas after staying with us for a month. We were very sad to see her go. She loved visiting...but she's in her 80's and "always cold" and wasn't too keen about our temps dipping below zero on most nights. On the two occasions when we did take her out in the snow (once out to lunch and to get her hair done and once to greet troops who were passing through the Bangor airport), she was terrified she'd slip on the ice and she shivered during the entire trip. But, she really wanted her hair done (you know how we women are!) and, being a WWII veteran herself, she was very excited about greeting troops who were returning from the Middle East. …

Breathe In, Breathe Out…

The holiday mayhem has ended and we're breathing a big sigh of relaxation. While I do enjoy the holidays, taking down the decorations and preparing for a new year is very cleansing for my soul. We did absolutely nothing all weekend and it was heaven! I did cook a nice dinner on Sunday. I hated cooking years ago but now I find it very relaxing and, when I'm making something fun, it's a great outlet for my creative side. …

Abbreviated Holiday Issue

We're officially "on vacation" this week, even though we're at home in Bangor. It was almost 50 degrees here on Christmas Eve and all our snow melted. We had our first green Christmas since moving here! Richard's grandmother is visiting from Corpus Christi, Texas...where they had four inches of snow. She said she should have stayed at home to get her white Christmas. …

Play-Doh-ectomy

Well, it wouldn't be the holidays without a trip to the emergency room! On Sunday night, Frank said he was making a clay mold of his ear when... …

It’s Beginning to Look…

The snow started a bit late this month in Bangor and I was starting to worry that I'd never get my "children standing in a snowstorm" Christmas card photo for this year! But, the snow did finally arrive and I rushed the children outside for their annual "hurry, Mom, before another snowflake lands on my eyeball" picture. …

Two New Family Members!

We were going to have Ali wait until Christmas for another kitty, but we barely made it two days. She was still grieving for Blotch last Wednesday night, even after we visited the Humane Society and picked out not one kitty, but two!! Richard firmly repeated, "No, no, no" to the second one, but he eventually sighed during my begging, rolled his eyes in defeat, and said... AND We put up our outdoor Christmas decorations and one of them, conceived one night when I had insomnia, has literally been stopping traffic. One driver even honked at me when I was getting the mail and gave me the thumbs up! To see a photo of what's causing all the commotion, click below. …

Goodbye, Blotch…

Many of you have been tracking Blotch's progress since we learned he had an aggressive tumor (fibrosarcoma) in the sinuses above his left eye. Last Friday, I noticed something inside Blotch's left nostril and, by Sunday, it appeared to have made significant progress toward the opening. I realized it was probably the tumor. The doc told us that the tumor might break through and reach his brain, but we never thought it would grow the other way. I hoped the children wouldn't notice it, but Ali did and was distraught that she could actually see what was killing her best friend... …

Ah, Gluttony…

Trying to get an early start on the holiday preparations, we put up some of our Christmas decorations last Sunday. Max doesn't remember Christmas from last year (he turned three in September) so we've been having fun reminding him about the season. He seemed to understand the "Santa" concept and even said he's going to ask Santa for a new train. …

Blotch’s Diagnosis

We did finally get a diagnosis on Blotch's condition. The news was not good, but we are coping. The story is here: http://www.angelahoy.com/archives/002189.html I have set a near-impossible personal goal to have all my Christmas shopping and gift wrapping finished before December 9th, which is when Richard's grandmother is arriving for a one-month visit. She has diabetes, is almost blind and sometimes forgets things that happened yesterday, but she was a nurse in WWII, serving on a ship (and suffering from constant seasickness!), and the kids love hearing her war stories! In fact, she met her husband that way. But that's a romance story for another day... It's always fun to have guests for the holidays and I'm looking forward to tricking her into sharing some of her secret recipes with me. Heh... Hugs to all! Ang P.S. Want to read real query letters that landed these contracts? Woman's Day - $2,800; Redbook - $3,500; Ladies Home Journal - $3,000; DiscoveryHealth.com - $2,000; Lifetime Magazine - $3,000; Life Extension magazine - $6,480; Natural Remedies $11,300; and many more! See: http://www.writersweekly.com/books/1409.html

No Dianosis Yet

We still don't have a diagnosis on Blotch's condition, but expect it this week. He's not been doing very well and I've very sad for him, watching his discomfort day after day. I had to rush him to the vet on Saturday because he got dehydrated again. They've let me start doing his sub-Q injections at home now. Poor Blotch. Everytime I walk in the room, he thinks he's gonna get poked. I've spent a lot more time loving on him so he won't think I've turned into the big mommy torture machine. He did finally start purring again on Sunday. That was a relief. Ali's doing pretty good this week...much better than I am, in my opinion. I'm getting tired of crying myself to sleep with worry. I hardly ever cry and have always been that way. But I'm making up for it now. I've cried more in the past two weeks than I've cried in the past 20 years. I'm not exaggerating! Poor Richard can only hug and comfort me, which is about all we can do for Blotch until we know exactly what's wrong with him. Wanting to keep busy over the weekend (to keep my mind off my worries), we reorganized our bedroom and Max's bedroom. That was fun...for me anyway. Richard and the children didn't look too happy about following my instructions for where to put boxes going into storage and where to move the heavy furniture. I had to secretly make room in our bedroom for Richard's birthday present, which is being delivered on his birthday, but I couldn't tell him that. He just thinks I'm on some kind of maternal fall-cleaning craze. Heh... Hugs to all! Ang P.S. Want to read real query letters that landed these contracts? Woman's Day - $2,800; Redbook - $3,500; Ladies Home Journal - $3,000; DiscoveryHealth.com - $2,000; Lifetime Magazine - $3,000; Life Extension magazine - $6,480; Natural Remedies $11,300; and many more! See: http://www.writersweekly.com/books/1409.html

Which Life is Blotch on Now?

We had quite a rocky ride over the past week worrying about Blotch and crying endless tears, thinking he was on his last paw. Ali and I visited him at the kitty hospital on Thursday and I thought I detected something in him that told me he was getting better. The vet said he couldn't see any improvement, but I thought I knew better (time will tell, I guess). On Friday, they wanted to keep him for the weekend, but I really wanted him to be at home, just in case he was dying. I didn't want him to spend his last few days in a cold metal cage surrounded by barking dogs and hissing cats. The vet agreed and sent us home armed with several syringes of his meds, appointments for daily shots of fluids (which we had to take him in for on the weekend) and an appointment at another vet on Tuesday for a probe of his sinuses, since the antibiotics seemed to be working much slower than they should (or not at all - it's hard to tell). Our primary concern was that Blotch wasn't eating or drinking on his own. However, he stunned us all by getting up in the middle of the night on Saturday and diving into his cat food! I'm writing this on Monday night and, while he is eating, he's still not drinking any fluids on his own. His surgery is tomorrow and we're hoping they can tell us why his sinuses are completely clogged. It could be a tumor or a fungus. A tumor didn't show up on his x-ray, so we're hoping a fungus is the diagnosis. If it's a fungus, they'll switch his meds and see if they can find something to get rid of it. Blotch was feeling down tonight and we started worrying about him again. Maybe he just overdid it this weekend. Or, maybe he overheard us whispering about his sinus probe tomorrow. Ouch. BLOTCH UPDATE 11/3/04: Blotch has surgery yesterday afternoon and they found a growth in his upper sinuses. It is either a fungus or a tumor. A fungus might be treatable depending on how bad it is. A tumor would be treatable, but the treatment would only cause extensive and prolonged suffering for Blotch and would likely not cure him. We won't know for 5-7 days what it is. He's home now and very comfy, sleeping off the anesthesia in Ali's room with her right next to him doing her school work. She's a good nurse. :) Hugs to all! Ang Hugs to all! Angie P.S. Want to read real query letters that landed these contracts? Woman's Day - $2,800; Redbook - $3,500; Ladies Home Journal - $3,000; DiscoveryHealth.com - $2,000; Lifetime Magazine - $3,000; Life Extension magazine - $6,480; Natural Remedies $11,300; and many more! See: http://www.writersweekly.com/books/1409.html

One Sick Kitty

As I'm writing this, we're just crossing the North Carolina / Virginia border, heading north. The fall foliage here is breathtaking! Wish I could stop and take some photos, but we're on our way back to Maine because Ali's cat, Blotch, is ill. It should take us about 22-24 hours of driving time, which means we'll have to stop and take a break at a hotel tonight. Ali's doing pretty good and feels bad that our trip was cut short. But, I know she and Blotch will want to be together during this time. UPDATE: Blotch is on antibiotics so he'll probably be okay, but he sure is one sick kitty. Ali's very happy to be with him. We're going to get a pill gun from the vet in the morning because Blotch will not take pills. He's too smart to eat them if you mix them with tuna, and he'll take your finger off if you try to force one down his throat. I tried to give Blotch a pill this evening, forgetting about all the scars he's given me over the years. He bit me, hacked up the pill (ewwwww!) and is now hiding from us. Blotch - 1 Angela - 0 We'll see how it goes tomorrow with the pill gun. NEW UPDATE 10/27/04: They had to admit Blotch to the kitty hospital this morning (Wednesday) for an IV. He won't eat, drink or take his medicine at all. He has his blanky and his stuffed giraffe and we can visit him at anytime. We're hoping he'll be home by the weekend. :( Hugs to all! Angela P.S. Want to read real query letters that landed these contracts? Woman's Day - $2,800; Redbook - $3,500; Ladies Home Journal - $3,000; DiscoveryHealth.com - $2,000; Lifetime Magazine - $3,000; Life Extension magazine - $6,480; Natural Remedies $11,300; and many more! See: http://www.writersweekly.com/books/1409.html

Beach BBQ

We spent the weekend with my sister, Autumn, and her husband, Dave. They introduced us to Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, with its white sand beaches, stiff winds (glad we didn't blow into the ocean!) and an incredible restaurant. You can read all about it HERE. We're staying at a really nice campground in Myrtle Beach right now and, while they don't have wireless Internet access, they do let you dial into your dial-up service directly from your RV. So, it's not too bad. But, between the four of us needing Internet access, if you turn your back for a second, somebody just might yank the phone line out of your laptop and stick it in their own. I took the day off on Sunday and, after our drive to Myrtle Beach, I cooked a big, fancy dinner...which is not an easy task when you're working with about 12 square inches of counter space. Ali made an incredible pumpkin cake for dessert and we wolfed it down with cinnamon ice cream. Our burgers on the grill tonight, with maybe some cookies and milk for dessert, will be pretty anti-climatic. Where are we sleeping tonight? You can track our current adventures at: http://www.wirelesstrips.com Hugs to all! Angela P.S. The WritersWeekly.com Fall 24-Hour Short Story Contest is THIS SATURDAY! Can you receive an assigned topic and then write and submit an award-winning story within 24 hours? See: http://www.writersweekly.com/misc/contest.html

RV vs. Mother Nature

While it took us about an hour to get out of Virginia Beach, Virginia (mapquest.com doesn't always create the most sensible directions) and while we had a slow leak in one of our tires that we had to check every hour or so, we did finally make it to the Outer Banks of North Carlina yesterday. …

Nature’s Awesome Fall Show!

Our cross-country, summer trek was so much fun that we've taken our children and business on the open road again! We departed Bangor, Maine on Sunday with our laptops and the kiddos and started driving south. During our last trip, we were sensible (say boring). We had a firm itinerary and had made all our reservations in advance. However, that kind of traveling was kind of a drag because we couldn't stay longer at the places we liked (and had already prepaid for the bad places even when we wanted to leave early). So, this time, we did the non-sensible thing and left home with an itinerary, but no reservations. …

It’s Almost Time to Go!

Our itinerary is almost finalized and we'll soon be heading south in our RV. We'll be visiting two renaissance faires while we're on the road and the children are SO excited about that!! They'll be studying the Renaissance Period as part of their homeschooling curriculum leading up to attending the actual fairs. They're anticipating the characters and the events, such as jousting and horse races, while Richard and I can't wait to sink our teeth into smoked turkey legs and other high-fat culinary delights (hey, they're zero carb!!). Unfortunately, we've had to postpone our trip to Florida because it appears someone has a vendetta against that state, but we plan to travel there in 2005. We are heading South soon, just not quite THAT far south. We'll be enjoying the Fall foliage on the way down and will be spending quite a bit of time on the beaches of the Atlantic ocean before heading back through the mountains, and back through the Fall foliage. We're so excited!! You'll be able to track our progress at WirelessTrips.com. Hugs to all! Angela …

Lobster Ice Cream?!

Frank surprised me the other day by saying, "Zach's so nice now, Mom!" I responded, "Well, he's growing up, honey. When siblings grow up, they usually stop arguing about silly things." He squinted at me and replied, "Are you sure ya'll didn't brainwash him?" We spent Sunday driving through the countryside, toward the coast, looking at the Fall foliage, which is just coming out here in Maine. We then drove to Bar Harbor, did some shopping, and ate a great dinner. It was quite chilly and the strong winds coming off the Atlantic made it downright cold. We stopped at one store and plunked down too much money on some new fleece jackets. We'd only grabbed sweaters on our way out that morning, forgetting how cold it can be on the coast this time of year. It wasn't too cold, however, to stop by our favorite ice cream shop, Ben & Bill's Chocolate Emporium, on the way home! Richard ordered the pumpkin pie flavor, but I was too skittish to try the lobster ice cream. After taking a big bite of Ali's lobster at dinner, I decided not to try it mixed with sugar. Ick. Hugs to all! Angela …

Whooping Cough on the Rise

In case you haven't heard, Pertussis (Whooping Cough) is making a comeback. The vaccine does not protect children forever and apparently there's no booster shot for adults. We first heard about the increase in cases when we were traveling through Illinois this summer. Last week, a friend of mine in Batavia, Ohio found out her daughter has it. And, this weekend, we learned that all our children may have been exposed to it last weekend at Max's birthday party. We'll find out in a couple of days and will then know what to do. I wasn't too concerned about Max because his shots are relatively new and he's probably more resistant to it than the rest of us. But, four hours after we received the phone call about the possible exposure, Max came down with a 101 temperature. I was pretty nervous, until I remembered that his friend, Sammy, had a cold last week when he'd spent a lot of time with Max. Max got very cranky and said, "I need some wuv." He fell asleep in my arms and took a long nap, sleeping right through dinner. When he got up, he smiled, grabbed his trains, and took off for his bedroom. He's cured!!! Those short-lived fevers in babies are always a mystery to me. We're keeping a tight rein on the kids until we know for sure if they've been exposed. If you haven't heard about the outbreak, you might want to click below. Whooping cough it torture for children and adults and can be fatal in infants. For the latest news on current outbreaks, search for "whooping cough" here: http://news.google.com/ Hugs to all! Angela …

Max is Three

Max's third birthday party was on Saturday was a smashing success. The grown-ups had a cookout, the older children played tee-ball and croquet, and Max ran his trains through the dirt, just happy to be surrounded by so many kids. Some of you may remember that on Max's first birthday party, Frank's friend, Mitchell, was hit by a car in front of our house on his way to the party (he's fully recovered now). Last year, Ali had to go to the emergency room on Max's birthday for two sprained fingers. No injuries were sustained at the party on Saturday...which is why it was so successful! Max's actual birthday is today, Wednesday, so we'll be holding our breath all day long, praying nothing happens! We're currently plotting our next trip for WirelessTrips.com. We'd planned to go to Florida, but we're currently checking with the campgrounds we were going to visit to see if they'll be re-opened soon because of that fiesty Hurricane Frances. Some are open and some are closed, so our trip may be slightly delayed. The children started school this week. Ali and Frank are homeschooled (they actually attend a private school in Vermont via distance learning) and they were very happy to open all their new pencils, erasers and notebooks. It's so quiet in the house right now. As I'm sitting here typing, Ali and Frank are right here in front of me, doing their math. Max wanted to "go to school" too, today, so Ali made him some big alphabet letters to trace. He enjoyed "school" for about 30 seconds and then ran into his room to play with his trains. The nights are chilly here now and the days are getting shorter. If you look closely while driving through town, you can see that the leaves are just starting to change. It's cool and a bit cloudy today, perfect weather for a light sweater. I LOVE this time of year! Hugs to all! Angela P.S. Want to read real query letters that landed these contracts? Woman's Day - $2,800; Redbook - $3,500; Ladies Home Journal - $3,000; DiscoveryHealth.com - $2,000; Lifetime Magazine - $3,000; Life Extension magazine - $6,480; Natural Remedies $11,300; and many more! See: http://www.writersweekly.com/books/1409.html

Boom!!!

The city is installing a new sewer system on our street and things have been quite noisy and hectic here for the past three weeks. The good news for Max is that they're now right in front of our house. There is a huge "twackturr" right in front of our window and it's been digging and scooping and filling up dump trucks all day long, every single day. (They start at about 6:00 a.m. each morning...grrr!) Anyway, they're even using explosives to blow up the huge rocks, which the kids think is super cool. The other day, Max was sitting at his perch, by our bedroom window upstairs, watching the big "trackturr" out front. After about an hour, he turned to me and said, "Mommy, I don't want pway wif dat trracturr. It too big. I go get baby trackturr." And he disappeared to his room and returned with a toy "trackturr" that he proceeded to push on our bed, scooping up covers and dumping them on the floor. The trackturr sure is close to our power lines. They keep bumping into them over and over again. Eeesh. Hugs to all! Angela P.S. Want to read real query letters that landed these contracts? Woman's Day - $2,800; Redbook - $3,500; Ladies Home Journal - $3,000; DiscoveryHealth.com - $2,000; Lifetime Magazine - $3,000; Life Extension magazine - $6,480; Natural Remedies $11,300; and many more! See: http://www.writersweekly.com/books/1409.html

Sit Down So I Can See You

I took Ali (age 13) in for her annual physical this week. She's already 5' 9" (much to the frustration of her 17-year-old brother, who's only 5' 8") and the doctor plotted her projected growth. The doc predicts Ali will be 5' 11" or 6' by the time she's finished growing. She already has a hard time finding nice shoes in her size, and we already have to look up when we talk to her. Ali's taking it all in stride. She's very proud of her height...and boys don't pick on her anymore since she towers over those her age. Heh... Zach started the new golf season this week. He's a senior and one of the best players. He was named one of the team captains this year (there are two captains each year). He's very proud and having fun playing every day. Since Ali and Frank are homeschooled now, we don't have to go on that annual, expensive school-clothes-shopping-spree. We do still buy supplies, but we don't have to buy brand new Nikes, designer jeans, and more. What a relief!! And, since the children don't feel any pressure to wear "just the right" clothes, they don't mind missing the shopping spree this year. Frank's birthday party was on Saturday. We took six children skating and then they all spent the night. Richard and I are still recovering from that... Hugs to all! Angela P.S. Want to read real query letters that landed these contracts? Woman's Day - $2,800; Redbook - $3,500; Ladies Home Journal - $3,000; DiscoveryHealth.com - $2,000; Lifetime Magazine - $3,000; Life Extension magazine - $6,480; Natural Remedies $11,300; and many more! See: http://www.writersweekly.com/books/1409.html

My Little Baby’s Growing Up!

Frank turned 12 on Sunday (sniff). My little baby's growing up! Max will be three in about three weeks and Zach will turn 18 in a month (Lord help me!). I keep telling them all to stay little, but they don't listen to me! I picked up some mysterious illness over the weekend and having been running a low-grade fever ever since. I'm still feeling a bit puny and completely puzzled about what I have. If it keeps up, I'll go to the doc. I wasn't too sick to release my new book, however! How to Reborn a Doll in a Day is now online and available for instant download at: http://www.booklocker.com.com/dolls The print version will be available in about two weeks. What is a reborn doll, you ask? They're adorable!! Don't miss the photos of our lifelike babies here: http://www.booklocker.com/dolls Hugs to all! Angela P.S. Want to read real query letters that landed these contracts? Woman's Day - $2,800; Redbook - $3,500; Ladies Home Journal - $3,000; DiscoveryHealth.com - $2,000; Lifetime Magazine - $3,000; Life Extension magazine - $6,480; Natural Remedies $11,300; and many more! See: http://www.writersweekly.com/books/1409.html

Leaving My Computer Off All Day

I didn't get to take any Sundays off during our 6400-mile adventure, so I treated myself last Sunday by leaving my computer off all day. Ali and I drove to the cloth store (Ali's making a dress for herself) and rented some movies and we (Ali, Richard, Max and I) spent the day eating popcorn and staring at the television screen. It was heavenly! Frank decided to try to land some largemouth bass, so he spent the day fishing with his friend on the Penobscot River (in our backyard). And Zach spent the day with his friends. (One of his best friends is leaving for college on Friday.) When it cooled off outside, we weeded the garden, which had been inundated with weeds because of the heavy July rains. Ali is currently winning the pumpkin-growing contest. She has two tiny pumpkins on her vines while I have none on mine. We have two new baby maple trees growing in the garden so I'm going to tie them to stakes so nobody will pull them out (and so Max won't run over them with his toy tractor). Frank planted some flowers in June and they're beautiful now! At dusk, the mosquitoes descended on our fun and we had to race inside. I sure wish it was already the weekend again... Hugs to all! Angela P.S. Want to read real query letters that landed these contracts? Woman's Day - $2,800; Redbook - $3,500; Ladies Home Journal - $3,000; DiscoveryHealth.com - $2,000; Lifetime Magazine - $3,000; Life Extension magazine - $6,480; Natural Remedies $11,300; and many more! See: http://www.writersweekly.com/books/1409.html

A Wonderful Day

We had such a wonderful day yesterday! It reminded me of what it's going to be like when we retire someday...no work and all play! Since it rained all night and was supposed to rain all, we decided to go do the touristy stuff instead of sitting in the RV all day long. The first fun thing we encountered after leaving the campground was a detour due to the flood... Read the entire story and see lots of photos at: http://www.wirelesstrips.com/archives/travel_essays/001878_08012004.php Hugs to all! Angela P.S. Want to read real query letters that landed these contracts? Woman's Day - $2,800; Redbook - $3,500; Ladies Home Journal - $3,000; DiscoveryHealth.com - $2,000; Lifetime Magazine - $3,000; Life Extension magazine - $6,480; Natural Remedies $11,300; and many more! See: http://www.writersweekly.com/books/1409.html

No Running on the Freeway!

While our drive through Mississippi last week was so uneventful that we had a hard time staying awake, our drive through Alabama and Tennessee couldn't have been much more exciting. We left Mississippi and drove through Alabama, with Nashville being our afternoon destination. Somewhere in Alabama, the sky turned black and I said, "Richard, wake up! Grab the camera!" He yawned, "Why?" I excitedly replied, "Because it looks like tornado weather and I don't want to miss it!" Read the rest of this story at: http://www.wirelesstrips.com/archives/travel_essays/001847_07252004.php Hugs to all! Angela P.S. Want to read real query letters that landed these contracts? Woman's Day - $2,800; Redbook - $3,500; Ladies Home Journal - $3,000; DiscoveryHealth.com - $2,000; Lifetime Magazine - $3,000; Life Extension magazine - $6,480; Natural Remedies $11,300; and many more! See: http://www.writersweekly.com/books/1409.html

Weaving Our Way Toward Maine

Today we're on the road, heading for Robert, Louisiana. We'll be weaving our way toward Maine over the next two weeks, stopping at fun and educational places along the way. Our stay in Texas was grand! The food was great (you can't get good Mexican food in Maine), we got to see dozens of relatives, the kids were spoiled by their numerous grandparents in The Woodlands and in Corpus Christi, and we're all exhausted. The kids have so many grandmothers that Max now thinks if someone has wrinkles, their name must be "Grandma." You can follow our adventures (and see lots of pictures!) at: http://www.WirelessTrips.com Hugs to all! Angela P.S. Want to read real query letters that landed these contracts? Woman's Day - $2,800; Redbook - $3,500; Ladies Home Journal - $3,000; DiscoveryHealth.com - $2,000; Lifetime Magazine - $3,000; Life Extension magazine - $6,480; Natural Remedies $11,300; and many more! See: http://www.writersweekly.com/books/1409.html