Don’t Spend Your Birthday Like I Did Mine!

Hi all. Hope you enjoyed the previous weekend and, like me, are already looking forward to the next one!

Mothers day flowers 2013 My Mother’s Day Flowers–h’ain’t they purty?

Joanna bday 2013  Standard Birthday activities–on Mother’s Day 🙂

I wrote this on Saturday afternoon, while taking a break from an evaluation that shouldn’t have been as tedious to write as it turned out to be. My brain felt about to explode.

That’s how I felt Friday night too, after tentative birthday plans to get me an awesome PB and chocolate icy-cream dessert at Friendly’s wound up sidelined by unexpected trips to my local satellite emergency room.

Yep. I had spent most of my b-day afternoon doing some of the easier parts of the report that took up about seven hours this weekend. A coworker had dropped in. While we chatted I heard a thump that sounded like it came from upstairs. Long story short: hubby was soon calling me from the other room. He’d “blacked out” briefly after choking on coffee and hit the hardwood.

Luckily, he didn’t hit his head, but his elbow certainly didn’t look happy and he had a nice little cut just above his hip that was turning some nasty shades of purple real fast. My darling also has a cardiac history, so we trotted off to the ER. That was about 4:00 PM.

Two hours later we were told he’d be transported to the mother hospital for overnight observation. I went home to pick up a few items for the guy.

Younger son came home and headed out to garage, as per mom’s request, to check if lawnmower was inside. (Hubby had forgotten he’d already asked older son to put it away, so it seemed odd that it wasn’t in the yard when I got home.)

Yucky story short: Mom tunes in to younger son crying and shouting for help from outside the garage. (That horrid sound may never leave my ears.) He was sort of plastered to door, with the tips of the middle fingers of both his hands stuck in the hinged space between the garage panels. Thank God I’m not the panicky type and quickly lifted the door until the gap widened and he could slide his hands out. The boy hit the ground. He panicked, and as the pain set in he got a little hysterical. When his eyes started rolling back I was sure he was going to pass out. (Getting that big kid off the ground would have been a feat. ‘Nuff said.)

Calmed the kid down and headed back to same ER with him in tow. Since I’m the primary insurance holder, the registrar girls had already scanned my insurance card when hubby showed earlier. They looked at me and said, “Oh my gosh, it’s your birthday today?”


Got the younger one home by nine. Older guy needed a ride to a practice for an upcoming affair he’s part of. Dropped him off and headed back to hospital to wait for hubby to be transported. Made it home a little after ten.

Here’s hoping next year’s commemoration of the day I was born is a little less dramatic. Boring works after that.

Never boring, however, is Nadal at a final on clay. We’ll take Rafa’s win in Madrid!

Have a great day and a great week,


What Makes DWTS So Darned Compelling?

Happy Monday, friends and blog followers–y’all make me so happy!

A few weeks behind wanting to share this but this seems as good a time as any (and I couldn’t come up with anything else, lol).

Yep. I’ll admit it. I’m a Dancing with the Stars junkie. Whenever the season’s about to start or is in full swing and Monday comes around, the theme music goes off in my head and I get psyched again! (I start dancing and singing it too. My poor family…)

Started watching during Season 3 because Marie Osmond was a contestant; wound up totally hooked. A few seasons later big brother Donny took a turn—didn’t expect the show to hold that much more interest for me after that—but every season gets better and better. Monday and Tuesday nights I own the living room TV. (It’s the biggest and has the HD converter.) The only talk allowed in the room is about the show and NEVER during the dancing or the judges comments. (I banished my older son’s girl to the basement when she picked up the guitar, lol.) I plan absolutely nothing for the next eleven or twelve weeks. If I miss anything or want to catch an amazing dance or situation again, I head to or YouTube. Yes, I’m thrilled when I get my life back between seasons, but as soon as it’s time for the next installment…

So the morning I wrote this I was wondering: what is it about this show that is so addicting? The visuals are a feast set to music. The band impresses and amazes me beyond words every time. The professional dancers enthrall me. Most of the time, I like the judges, too. (Every now and again Bruno and Len say some not-so-nice-things that have nothing to do with fostering the celebrity dancer’s growth and/or try to influence the audience to vote them off. Okay, the latter is MHO but aficionados like me know what I’m talking about.)

I rarely know all of the celebrities at season’s onset. This time around, who’d ever heard of JR Martinez? And did I get the connection to the preseason hoopla and news buzz surrounding Chaz Bono as a participant? (Ask me if I even realized who he is and his origins as a person in this world, not that I don’t remember adorable blond Chastity with her renowned parents). Nancy Grace I was familiar with; had no clue a Kardashian brother existed.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Back to my thoughts on why I’m so hooked. As a writer and author of novel-length romance, I tend to be big on relationships, emotions and commitment. I’m into characters, character arcs and how a lead character progresses through his/her story journey, both internal and external.

Follow the next season: I challenge you. Follow the celebrities week to week and hear about their physical and emotional rides. Like the characters in your favorite read, they experience highs, lows and every level of emotion in between. Some show a physical transformation. (Look at Kirstie Alley and Ricky Lake. Sure wouldn’t mind finding out how I might look after a three-month stint of eight-hours-per-day of dancing—with newest pro addition Tristan McManus, I think. That Irish accent gets me every time ;))!

Watch, how every season, someone emerges as the emotional connection to the audience. Ain’t always about the dancing, folks. Yes, JR—this season’s champ—really danced up a major storm. He also had all the charisma most of the runners-up tend to show; head judge Len Goodman calls it “The People’s Favorite.”  JR was absolutely amazing and filled both roles.

I think, though, his story as a person truly captured Americans’ hearts. As a war veteran who sustained the burn injuries he did, and who lives with the physical and emotional scars he has, he appealed in a way others may have not. (Definite romance hero material.) Again, I speak only for myself, but on Week 10, when he hurt his ankle during rehearsals and later while competing, what bugged me most was the absence of his exuberance and that engaging, infectious signature smile. I mean, I knew him now. I felt so badly to see him hurt.

Okay, so I sound like I’m waxing dramatic, but that’s truly how I felt. I also loved rooting for Rob Kardashian. He came in looking as stiff as I would have and left with the honor of second place. He believed and transformed himself—reached a place he’d never expected to go.

Promise I won’t go on and on about every contestant. Guess I wanted to throw out that, as we writers kind of know, it’s all about the story.

Thanks so much for indulging me. (Especially for an upcoming post on DWTS pro Derek Hough and, in MHO, sets him apart from the rest of the pack. And he’s not even my favorite. I’ll reveal that then too.) For now, how about taking a moment to share your thoughts on what hooks you to this or your favorite show?

Have a great day,