Back to school

For the second year in a row, teachers in my district didn't get two weeks off for Christmas. It's such a petty thing to gripe about, but dang it!, I wanted to sleep in today. Next year we get to work the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Woo Hoo! :-)

I got a ton done today even though I was gripey about being awake. I revamped some of my curriculum over the break and I actually put the plans on paper, ran the copies needed and put an extra set in my lesson plan binder. I hope my students appreciate the work I've put in on this. I'm trying to use the whole brain concept in my lessons.

I want to develop a living game board game for review use. The kids are used to playing Jeopardy or Bingo in other classes. This would be more interactive, kind of Candy Land for journalism students. It's going to take a long time to develop and if it doesn't work, I'll be so bummed, but if it does work, it'll be a favorite of the kids.

Currently reading: Whiskey Rebels. Love it!

My top's 2008

Fictionwise: When I first found out about eBooks on my iPod Touch (thanks MARY!!!!), I tried out a few free ones and loved them. And then, UGH, Igot caught in the DMR hell of not being able to read the books I'd bought because they didn't work on the iPod. Then Tammy on eHarlequin told me about Fictionwise. It's cheaper, and I have tons of books with me all the time, AND I can stay within my book budget. I love Fictionwise!
Stanza: My first e-reader program. Didn't work with Adobe. BUT now it works with Fictionwise's eReader. One day I'll go back to it, but right now, it's too difficult to use with Fictionwise. I have to unregister and then re-register, and I'm just not sure about that and my Micropay account. Coolest thing: someone from Stanza replied to my blog about being so upset I couldn't read my Harlequin novels on Stanza!
ebooks: I love ebooks. I can't believe it took me so long to join the revolution. I thought I'd miss paper. Nope, not even a little. I want to buy Talk of the Town, but I can't get it at Fictionwise right now, so I'll be waiting.
FullTilt Poker: This is a carry-over from last year, but I love playing poker online with play money. It's so much fun. I'm going to try the real thing later this year. I'm so afraid!
Blu-Ray and HDTV: Early Christmas present. Best buy ever! Only bad thing: we can see the makeup on the old movies like Wizard of Oz.
eHarlequin's book challenge: Everyone should join in next year. It's for literacy, plus it's a great community of readers.
USA Health Care!: Dear GOD, after the free Italian experience, I can say I am forever thankful for my medical bills, even though they're high. I'll take high medical bills over two nurses on duty for an entire ward of bed-ridden patients any day!
Cookies!: I had so much fun cooking for my gifts this year and exchanging recipes with friends on eHarlequin. I'm looking forward to continuing this tradition. Unfortunately, I must stop now as I've gained 10 pounds. ACK!
Micropay: This is the coolest thing about Fictionwise. Using Paypal I put money on my Micropay account, and I have a book budget, AND I get rebates with every fictionwise purchase. This week, I got 100% rebate on six books. Can't beat that!

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Fictionwise 100% micropay rebates!

Fictionwise is offering 100% micropay rebates on 200 book. I bought six books today and have next month's book budget back in micropay. YAY! Yes, I had to pay today, but in a month (two weeks), when I want to buy some more books, I'm good. Gotta love that!


So I didn't make the peanut butter cookies tonight because I decided to make them tomorrow due to time constraints. The macaroons were fast and easy, so I "tweaked" the macaroon recipe. The last one wasn't sweet enough, so I added a little over 1/3 c.more sugar.

Big mistake. 

I now have macaroon looking coconut candy.


If I'd put some pecans in with them, I'd have a great gift. (Dang it! WHY didn't I think of that before?!?) As it is, I have a soft chewy super sweet mistake.  

Tomorrow night: peanut butter cookies. 


So this year I'm BAKING my gifts for friends. I haven't done this in years (see previous posts about me and kitchen disasters). I ran two tests: One macaroon and one Snickerdoodle. Since I did the test run, I knew how I wanted to tweak the Snickerdoodle recipe. It was scary because the idea that I was tweaking a recipe was just a little outlandish, but I like crunchy Snickerdoodles, so tweak I did, and it worked! Crunchy Snickerdoodles. Tonight I made the first of my Snickerdoodle gift bags. And even though it took two hours, I've got to say I'm happier giving these gifts than I've been in years. One, the cookies taste good. DH ate three. Two, there's a little me in every gift. And my friends totally know my cooking horror stories. :-)
Now to find a peanut butter cookie recipe I like. YAY!
You can find the recipe on Suzanne McMinn's blog. And trust me, if I can make them, anyone can! My tweak, a little less flour and  I didn't refrigerate the dough. Also, I creamed the butter and sugar, then added the eggs and vanilla using my mixer before changing to a wooden spoon for the rest of the ingredients. While you're reading the recipe, check out Suzanne's latest Romantic Suspense, Protected in His Arms.


My professional e-mail isn't working. There's no telling how long it hasn't been working. I've been sending tests from it because I thought it was odd that I didn't get some auto responses. Today I sent a check TO IT from another e-mail just to see if it was working on incoming mail. Nope. Nothing. I PAY for this e-mail, and it's not working. I have three submissions out right now, and my e-mail's not working. All three subs are out with people who only use e-mail for responses. I have SEVERAL e-mails out to agents, all of which have probaby responded to this e-mail. I'm so aggravated right now. If I don't hear back from the company by tomorrow morning, I'm sending e-mails from my non-professional e-mail.The one that works. But that looks so completely unprofessional. I HATE this. How did I not catch it sooner. Why didn't I realize INCOMING e-mail and OUTGOING e-mail aren't necessarily the same thing!!!!  Argh!!!!!!!!

Dang it.