Computerless: Hope at last

This is my 3rd week without a computer and the stress is starting to show. I stare at others wistfully as they type and scroll on their keyboards. When I see a domain on a commercial, I change the channel quickly.

Beyond desperate, I went back to the computer store this Friday hoping to get some sort of resolution. The clerk there, blissfully immersed in computers, was sympathetic to my situation. Either that, or something in my face must have told him I wouldn’t hold out much longer.

According to him, the tech guy can have my computer fixed by Tuesday.

I hope he’s right. I literally can’t wait.

Two weeks of no screen time except for following the US Presidential race have left their mark.


Computerless: Week 2

I thought I could handle it. I mean, how hard can it be? I have a phone that is sort of like a computer. I have a computer at work. I can use my hubby’s. I can handle not having my computer for a week…

I was wrong.

It’s now week 2 and, after many desperate calls to the computer-repair place, I’m no further ahead of knowing when my laptop is coming back. The only progress is the grumpiness of the tech guy who receives my calls. If I call again, I fear he will throw my computer out the window.

However, as luck would have it, this particular week the Presidential Campaign has become rather fascinating to watch. So I can substitute one screen for another and hopefully make it until my beloved laptop returns.

If not, I might lose what little sanity I have left.



Computer issues

My lovely, trusty computer has been with me for years now. It’s seen me writing and blogging and searching and discovering people online…It’s seen my ups and my downs and through it all, it’s stayed virus-free and faithfully reliable.

Lately, though, it’s been getting some things confused and it doesn’t move as fast as it used to. It’s 4 years old, which is getting up there in computer years, so I treat it with care and try to understand when it mixes up what I tell it. I still think there was potential and life in the old girl.

Still, when a tiny email took forever to write, I decided some action was needed and called the techie-support-people and after many tests and a whole lot of waiting, they told me that it was probably a hard drive issue.

It goes to show you just how techy I am that I had no idea what that meant. But to make a long story short, my lovely computer is now in the hands of a techy person at the store who will poke and probe it and see what it needs and just how much that will cost.

If the cost is higher than the computer is worth, I should probably buy a new one.

I should be happy there’s such great support over the phone. I should rejoice that in only 3 to 5 days, I will know what’s wrong. I should rejoice that I will either get a new computer or have mine working again.

I’m not happy. I’m terrified. For 3 to five days, I will be computer-less.

P.S. If you’re wondering how I’m writing this post…I’ve snuck onto hubby’s computer while he’s in bed with the flu…

Warning: Obsession ahead

I have discovered Kristan Higgins and I can’t seem to be able to read anything else. There might be a fair amount of her books coming your way in the next bit or so. I’ll also read other authors, but I thought it’s only fair to warn my lovely readers that there might be a bit of a trend in the books you see reviewed here.



She loves animals, has a great sense of humour and is an awesome author…what’s a reader to do?🙂

Review: The Wicked Duke

Madeline Hunter is definitely an author that I keep tabs on. She writes historical romance and, in my humble opinion, doesn’t always get the credit she deserves. She’s a fantastic writer and has written many books that happily sit on my keeper shelf. So, when I read the back story of The Wicked Duke, it went on my TBR pile immediately.

Lancelot Hemingford is the Duke of Aylesbury, a rake with a devilish reputation with women. Unfortunately, he’s also suspected of his brother’s murder, something that bothers Lance enough that he wants to finally be rid of the condemnation. To clear his name, he makes a bit of a deal with the devil and, in the process, ends up married to Marianne Radley.

Marianne is legally dependent on her uncle, but she’s incredibly intelligent and smart. She’s figured out a way to make money–something of an impossibility for women back then–by writing under a pseudonym gossip letters to the newspaper. It’s that same cunning that has her sniffing out what truly happened to the Duke’s bother.

Their marriage is a busy one. Things start to be uncovered. First and foremost, the Duke wants to clear his name but, along the way, secrets are revealed that test their commitment to each other. The wonderful aspect of the book is that they fall in love with each other by the end, something I was hoping for all along but fearing might never happen.

The Wicked Duke has a great pace. It’s not rushed, the marriage doesn’t happen three days after they meet or anything and yet, I kept turning pages trying to find out what was going to happen next. I think what kept me glued was the great characters, the sad but not over-the-top circumstances and the superb dialogue. Historical romance dialogue has to show feeling without using today’s expressions and that’s not easy with polite, restrictive English sayings. Still, Madeline Hunter manages to do just that.

Madeline Hunter is certainly no dim wit. She has a PhD in art history and more than twenty seven nationally bestselling historical romances in print. If you haven’t tried her before now, check out her website and try some of her books or go for this one. It might be the third in a trilogy but it can be easily read on its own and it’s got everything you want in a historical romance, the love story, the historically accurate pieces and dialogue, great characters and a rakish duke. It’s definitely a great summer read.



Note: to go to site, click on cover.


River’s boo boo

My husband and I own two dogs. Since they’re akitas, they’re apt to howling instead of barking and have an insane amount of fur.

Well, said fur might be lovely but it knots like anything. So I brush it. Daily. I was in the middle of doing just that when I felt something hard and weird deep under River’s fur.

I couldn’t tell what it was and he wasn’t really inclined to let me poke around. So I waited until he was eating. River is food-driven, so he notices nothing while he eats. As soon as he started chewing, I started moving fur around.

And found this.


The thing wasn’t in his fur. It was stuck deep into his flesh and hidden by the fur. The dark part was where it was imbedded into him and blood had soaked it to that colour. I pulled it out and stared in horror at the hole it left behind. I ran for the antibiotic ointment and applied that while River was finishing his meal (he eats really fast).

This…thing was in the fleshy part of his hind leg, where he couldn’t reach, so at least the ointment was going to stay put. River didn’t seem upset or even aware that I had done this but I was almost in tears.


That’s where it was, deep inside there. It was really hard to even find it and pretty much sheer luck that I did. Still, it left me pretty shaken up and I  was determined to perform a close inspection of all his fur, just in case there were any other things stuck in there.

Of course, I didn’t find any more. But what were they? And where did they come from? And how did they end up on the thigh of my doggie?


Looking around the yard, I found these seeds and I think that’s what imbedded itself into River’s back thigh. There are thousands of these all over the yard thanks to the massive tree that sheds them.

I still have no idea how that seed ended up embedded inside River and no way to keep them away from River or Ocean. Raking the entire lawn one day only caused exhaustion and I was certain I heard the tree laugh as it spilled even more seeds to the ground.

For the next few days, I hovered anxiously over each dog as they stepped outside into a minefield of dangers. With an eagle eye, I followed every movement and dashed outside to prevent certain disaster more than once.

The entire discovery was pretty disturbing and, while my therapist hubby assured me that my feelings were okay and I needed to ‘stay true to my process’, I searched River for signs of PTSD.



River didn’t seem to be ‘processing’ anything. In fact, he seemed oblivious to the entire process. While I still searched his legs for other deadly impaled objects, he played with his bit of rope.

River’s lack of enthusiasm aside, I still think I did a good deed for my pooch. I gave myself a pat on the back for being a good doggie mom.

Review: Catch of the Day

Catch of the Day is a light, contemporary read. It’s got sadness in it, but it’s also got comedy and a set of characters that kept me turning pages. It’s by Kristan Higgins, who seems to find a way to turn any story into an addiction for me. She’s that good.

Catch of the Day tells the story of Maggie. Maggie is awesome. I loved that she owned the only diner in a tiny coastal town. She greets the locals every day and brings meals to shut ins and any local fundraisers. Not only is she super nice, she’s also super-kind. Finally, she has a dog, an elderly lab named Colonel who’s just a gentle soul and who I instantly adored.

Poor Maggie has a problem, though. Everyone sees her as either a daughter or a sister, so there are no possibilities for romance or even a date. Her twin sister, Christy is married and has a beautiful little baby and, while I would be totally jealous, Maggie babysits for free and adores both her sister and her niece.

Before you get the impression that Maggie is just perfect, let me dispel that. Maggie has the terrible tendency to talk…her mouth off. When she has a crush on someone, she tends to tell everyone…and that tends to spread in her little town like wild fire. She also tends to like impossible men, like the town’s priest.

Thankfully, Maggie and the priest stay friends and we get to meet Malone, a gruff fisherman with a heart of gold who rescues Maggie out of more than one fix and then steals her heart.

I make it sound so simple and straightforward but there’s a lovely story here, with great characters and an awesome doggie. Catch of the Day was absolutely heavenly for me. It had humour, great, easy writing, good twists that I didn’t seem coming and a great ending. It was so good, I cut my conversation on the phone with Hubby short so that I could finish it–and I had really missed him.

If you’re a contemporary fan, definitely give Kristan Higgins a try. If you haven’t read her before, this one is a great place to start–though I have yet to find one of her books that I don’t devour in a day. And if you like something with romance and a great sidekick with soft brown eyes, Catch of the Day is definitely for you. A great summer read.



Drawing with pencils

I tried drawing with pencils and… well, I’m no Picasso but pencils have the ability to make any doodle appear serious and professional, so I love them.

Here is the result. I know…at least it was fun to draw.


Believe it or not, that’s supposed to be Winston Churchill. I included a picture so you would know what he actually looked like.



Review: Heartless

I adore Mary Balogh’s historical romance books. I can’t tell you exactly what it is about her writing but I can immediately tell that she’s from England (she’s actually from Wales). Her books always have a very authentic feel to them that just lifts them above other books.

Heartless is the story of Lady Anna Marlow who has devoted her life to taking care of her dying parents, first, and then her siblings until she’s almost out of marrying age. Devoted sister that she is, she’s still thinking of how to marry her younger sister when an elderly aunt takes an interest in her and tries to match her instead.

It’s though this match that Anna meets Lucas Kendrick, Duke of Harndon, our hero. After the years of hardship, stress and worry, Anna needs someone to take care of her and lift worries from her mind. However that’s not what she gets in the Duke of Harndon.

Lucas Kendrick was banished from England by his own family and, in the aftermath, was forced to find his own way in the world. He did so very successfully, but lost all innocence and became very cynical in the process. He’s reluctantly back to do his duty as heir and it’s just in that frame of mind that he marries Anna.

It’s a marriage of two people who don’t know each other at all and who, both, have had traumatic events in their past. What follows is how they manage to heal their wounds, befriend, then fall in love with each other, all while unravelling their place as the Duke and Duchess of Harndon.

I love historical romances for many reasons, the elegance of their speech, the beautiful setting, the calm rhythm of their lives and even the lack of technology. Things seemed so much simpler and honourable then. Heartless has all of those, of course, with a very authentic English touch to them all, but it’s also a beautiful love story. And that’s the best part of all.

I’m a true Mary Balogh fan and have rarely met a book of hers I didn’t like and this one is no exception. I’d recommend Heartless for the story and writing and because it’s a great book. But, to put it more simply, because I started it on Thursday morning and did nothing all day until I could turn the last page and find out what had happened. Then basked in the afterglow of a good book for quite a few hours. It’s that good.



Update: Ocean’s Booboo

I finally caved and dragged Ocean to the vet yesterday. There, they sedated her, shaved the area and palpated around. There wasn’t any blood or liquid coming from the toe so they turned to the X-ray for answers. And there, on the side of her bone there was a tiny fragment that was not attached to the big gone. On the other paw, it clearly was attached.

This is the toe in question

This is the toe in question

In one of her mad dashes around the yard, she must have injured the toe and broken that tiny bone.

Now the vet said there wasn’t anything we could do for the toe but, like all vets, she had a ton of very expensive ideas that might help Ocean. She suggested antibiotics, which I vetoed since there wasn’t an infection, massage and physiotherapy, which I vetoed again when I saw the price of one 20 minute session.

After paying over $500 for the trip, I took a groggy Ocean home.

Ocean sleeping off the anesthetic

Ocean sleeping off the anesthetic

River, keeping Ocean company.

River, keeping Ocean company.

Meanwhile all of this was going on, my lovely hubby was supposed to be at work. Instead, he was buying me this.IMG_0355

Some husbands get their wives flowers…I got the world’s oddest plunger.