Saturday, December 31, 2011

Announcing the birth of "Friendly Fridays"

As of 1/1/12 I'm starting a new weekly feature on my blog - "Friendly Fridays."

This will be every Friday and it's a day for guest posts. You can do any type of post you like - straight up promo, something serious, something funny - anything, any topic. Nothing is taboo. Wanna bitch about religion or politics? Go for it. Wanna talk about your bellybutton lint? Have at it. Post pictures or not. Run a contest or not. It's all up to you. This does not just apply to published authors. All industry professionals (publishers, cover artists, editors, reviewers) or readers with something to say are welcome as well.

To book a date, e-mail me at (dcjuris at stny dot rr dot com)

As of 12/31/11, I'm booking from April 2012 on. Jan/Feb are full. I have a couple spots left in March.

Post requirements:

any word count (no min/max)
.doc or .docx preferred (but I can work with .rtf if need be)
posts must be edited for typos
posts MUST be given to me at least 24 hours in advance (If you give them to me sooner, I'll love you long time. The sooner the longer. ::wink::) Seriously, though - I have a 60+ hour a week Evil Day Job as well as 24 WIPS. I simply cannot (and will not) sit up until 2 AM on a Thursday waiting for your procrastinating ass to get your shit together. ::sweet smile::

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Obligatory End of Year Post

As 2011 comes to a close, I can't help but look back and think of how far I've come this year.

This year, I bought a house. I slashed my monthly housing costs in half, and am moving toward being out of debt by the end of 2012.

This year, I attended GayRomLit. This was my first writing retreat. My first trip to New Orleans. My first trip to a city where I knew no one. My first trip away from Hubby since we met. And only my second plane ride in my life. I hadn't flown since pre-911. Things are a little different now. You know they don't use paper tickets anymore? LOL

GayRomLit was a first for me in a lot of other ways. My first time going to public places alone. I went to the zoo, the insectarium, and the aquarium. It was also my first time on a riverboat. I did the riverboat cruise, even though I'm deathly horrified of boats and water. My first time roaming the streets of ANY town by myself and without a map. My first time getting lost on said streets...and my first time figuring out where I was. All. By. Myself. 

On the writing front, I had 15 releases this year, including m/m, transgender, and heterosexual, which is pretty damned good, I think. I also achieved something I'd been working toward - I had the very first story I'd ever written accepted, and I can now say that nothing I've turned in for publication has been declined. Everything I've submitted with the intent of serious publication has been accepted and published. Not. Too. Shabby.

On the home front, Hubby has been cleared to come off antibiotics for the first time in three years. This is a pretty big milestone for him.

I had my first surgery this year - I had my wisdom teeth out in February.  That went okay, so I followed it up with a breast reduction in August - the first thing I've seriously done to further my transgender situation. 

I reconnected with a couple people online, got closer to a couple other people and discovered...I don't like one or two of them. Sometimes, distance works in your favor. 

I learned the boundaries I need to put on my relationships with my family. My sister is great, but when she came for Thanksgiving and said, "You're (my legal name) to me, and you'll always be (my legal name) to me, no matter what you call yourself," that was a pretty eye opening experience. In listening closer to what she said during her visit, and how she said it, I've realized there needs to be an emotional boundary between us. I don't know if she'll ever fully accept who I am. All I know is that, right now, she doesn't. 

So, looking back, 2011 wasn't too bad. I learned a lot about myself, my life, and the people in it. I made some new friends, and chose to not be so close to some friends I thought I had. 

All in all - very good year! 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Winners of my Mistletoe Madness Contest!!!!

Well, all the names have been written down on tiny pieces of paper, folded 8 ways from Sunday and dumped into a hat (no, really, that's how we did it!). And the winners are....... Winner of a pdf copy of "Perfect Christmas" is Shadow_kohler and the winner of the cover art calendar is Emily Tardy!

I must apologize for not drawing the winners last night... I blame too much eggnog!!!  Emily, if you'll send me your snail mail (US Mail) address to (dcjuris at stny dot rr dot com) I'll get the calendar off to you ASAP!

Congratulations to you both and thanks to everyone for entering!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mistletoe Madness!!

I'm participating in the Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop!

What does this mean for you? A chance at free books, and the grand prize of a free Nook!

Leave a comment below today (12/16) through 12/23 and you'll be entered to win a free pdf copy of my sexy little m/m/m romance, "Perfect Christmas!"

Here's the blurb:

Depressed and lonely, Evan has nothing to look forward to on Christmas but his TV dinner and store-bought cookies, while his lover, Drake, spends the holiday traveling for business. But a special delivery changes everything, and Evan finds himself in the middle of a perfect Christmas. Worn out from his stocking stuffer, Evan’s not sure how he’s going to handle his present, but when Drake reveals that Evan’s gift is a threesome with none other than their hunky friend Mike, Evan summons the energy!

to see the rest of the participating blogs & 
to enter the grand prize contest! 



Saturday, November 26, 2011

Please Welcome Amber Kell!!!

Please give a warm welcome to my first ever guest blogger, Amber Kell!  Amber is here as part of her November Birthday Extravaganza, in which she's been hopping all over the place sharing bits and pieces of a free story! If you've missed any of the installments, you can find links to them all at her blog here

And now, on with the story!

Accidental Alpha #26

As it turned out the family dinner fell on the night before the 
full moon. 

“You’re father isn’t going to invite any unmentionables to dinner again, is he?” Fenris asked as he tossed aside the clothes Stanley had chosen and pulled a suit from a dry cleaning bag.

“If he did I wouldn’t be able to mention it,” Stanley teased. “And where did I get a suit? I’m pretty sure none of my other outfits were that nice.” Although he did wear a suit to his old job none of his previous suits looked like they featured in a menswear magazine.

“Consider it one of the perks of being the Alpha. You’re mate does your shopping.” Fenris gave a sniff. “From what I can see you need it.”

Stanley shrugged. “You didn’t dress up to visit with my parents.”

Fenris smiled. “I thought you’d tell me if they were formal. Besides I don’t like your father. I would’ve dressed up for your mother though. She’s my favorite new inlaw.”

Laughing, Stanley took of his sweater and jeans and dressed in the outfit Fenris brought. “Better?”

Fenris stared at him so long Stanley worried he’d done something wrong. “Huh, oh sorry I was just admiring the scenery.”

Shaking his head Stanley smiled at his mate. “If we’re going to get to this thing on time you need to get dressed too. Why did you decide to have the dinner at that new Italian place anyway? My mother would’ve loved to cook.”

“Because I know your father won’t start anything and my parents won’t argue if we’re out in public in front of the humans.”

“Why didn’t we just have dinner with your mother and then your father? Why everyone at once?” Stanley was missing something in this whole arrangement he just knew it.  “You’re holding out on me about something.”

Fenris froze in the act of tying his tie. “I think holding out is a rather strong statement.”

“You’re handling me again aren’t you?” Stanley narrowed his eyes at his mate. Over the time they’d come to be mates, Stanley had noticed Fenris’ role was to keep the alpha happy. And if Fenris thought Stanley would be happier unaware, the other wolf kept things from him.

“Now love, it isn’t a matter of keeping things from you. Just I’ve always thought my parents should get back together but there’s only a limited number of reasons you can get them in the same room.”

“So you’re using our dinner to get your parents to sit down at the same table. What about your mother’s husband?”

Fenris shrugged. “I’m sure we can find him a new wife.”

A startled laugh burst out of Stanley. “What if he doesn’t want a new wife?”

“Then he’s out of luck. Mates shouldn’t separate.” Fenris said firmly. “I’ve known this all my life but they still stay apart. I can see my father still pines for her and my mother doesn’t look happy. Now that I know what it’s like to have a mate I’m even more determined that my parents get back together.”

Stanley sighed. Wrapping an arm around Fenris he pulled his mate close. “Babe, you can’t organize other people to do what you think they should. Your parents have to choose their own paths even if you think they’ve made the wrong choices. It’s their choices and they have to live with the mistakes they make.”

Fenris patted Stanley on the chest. “My parents deserve to be together.”

“I’m not going to change your mind am I?”

“Nope.” Fenris said.

“At least make sure everyone knows it isn’t my fault when this entire thing explodes in our face.”

“Of course dear.” Fenris dressed quickly and led the way out the bedroom. “It’s my job to make sure you always look good.”

Stanley looked down at his designer suit. “So far you’re doing well in the clothing let’s hope your people sense is as good.”

Fenris gave him a wolfish smile that did nothing to reassure Stanley. “My parents won’t even know what hit them.”

Despite his mate’s cheery outlook Stanley had a feeling there was no way this night would work out. “Maybe it’s not too late to be a missing person,” he mused on his way out the door.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hot Angels and Cool Demons Blog Tour Continues With...


::waves:: Hi folks.

Hopefully there's some new people here, maybe ones who don't know me. For those who don't, I'm DC Juris, and I write gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, and heterosexual romance. ::coughs:: Okay, okay. I write smut. But it's romantic smut! erm...Mostly!!!

Anyhow, the lovely Jay Di Meo ( invited me to participate in the Hot Angels and Cool Demons Blog Tour, and since I can't say "no" to Jay (who can, really??) here's my contribution.

My very first stand alone (not anthology) publication was a book at Torquere Press called "On God's Honor."

Here's the blurb:

Ekenezer has no idea why Nathan Bradley is so important, or why God has sent him to guard a hapless klutz. But one look at Nathan and Ekenezer soon finds that he has more than protective feelings for his ward. What’s an angel to do, though, when having the one person he’s ever wanted means giving up his wings for eternity? 

Although I was still new to the writing world and the book lacked a lot of the polish of my current releases, "On God's Honor" still garnered fairly good reviews, which was awesome for my first time out. No five star ratings, mostly three stars, though looking back, that's fair. The contract expired earlier this year, so the book is currently out of circulation.

At this point, I'm excited to start a rewrite on it--give it all the details and love it needs, and resubmit it to Breathless Press. I think my editor Mason and I could make it a really, really good piece!

After "On God's Honor" originally came out, I received a few e-mails asking me why I'd chosen an angel for a gay romance, and why in the name of Heaven had I made God a gay-sympathetic character??? (Yep, I wrote God into the book, too. Nothing is sacred with me!)

The short answer is that I find the idea of an angel in any sort of sexual relationship extremely erotic. Think about it: a messenger and representative of God, holy, incorruptible...until they meet a certain human. Suddenly they're tempted. Emotions and desires they'd buried, or even thought they'd never experience, come rushing to the forefront. Do they give up their wings for their lover? It's a dilemma they never even imagined. Think about the power there, of the average human being. Most of us can barely convince others to do what we want, we remain incapable of winning arguments against the most zealous of people, yet we tempt angels. And what greater show of devotion and love, but to cast yourself down for your soul mate?

Of course, in my book, that doesn't happen. In "On God's Honor," I portray God as a character sensitive to the needs--carnal and otherwise--of his angels. He admits that such things take place far more often than he'd like to admit, but the goal is to keep the humans safe, and he'll do whatever that takes. Even if it means turning a blind eye to certain activities.

But there's a larger reason for writing God in such a way--affirmation. You see, it's my belief that, if there is a God, he knew what he was doing when he made each and every one of us. To think otherwise is to give dominion to the other side, or, worse, to suggest the All Powerful makes mistakes. In essence, you can't have it both ways. If I'm a transgender bisexual, it's because I was meant to be. Else the Man Upstairs doesn't know what he's which case you throw the believers into chaos!

I'll admit I'm an Atheist. I've never been quiet or shy about that fact, so writing a book about an angel raised some eyebrows among people who knew me. Who was I to claim enough knowledge to speak about God and Heaven? Well, I didn't. I'm not a theological expert. I claim enough knowledge to speak about love, nothing more.

Some people suggested that, because I'm an Atheist, I wrote the book as a slap in the face to God and organized religion. To them, I've said that if love is a slap in the face to organized religion, then you're doing it wrong. O.o

I'm looking forward to diving back into this story, and seeing what can be added and tweaked. It sort of feels like visiting an old friend.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Why I Support Aj

I'm one of the authors who stepped up and defended AJ in the whole "OMG AJ IS A WOMAN!!!!" debacle. I defended him in the only fashion I know - loudly.

I've gotten barraged with messages regarding my defense, all of which, I've ignored until this post. Here are my answers, if anyone cares. (And for the record, I don't care if you care or you don't.)

Q: Don't you feel like this is a slap in the face to the GLBTQ community??????

A: Let me understand the reasoning here. A transgender man feels he has to hide his status in order to gain acceptance. That's supposed to be a slap in the face? What it *is* is a sad commentary on our society, and the m/m writing community.

Q: People look to m/m romance for guidance and insight, especially questioning youth. The lies of "his" "gay" situation are monumentally destructive, don't you think?

A: First of all, if anyone is looking to m/m romance for guidance and insight, all they're going to learn is that anal sex can be done without lube, men frequently fall in love with other men on sight, and gay men are incapable of keeping their hands off each other in any situation. Seriously. That's the majority of the gay romance out there. It's FICTION. You wouldn't learn how to be a veterinarian by reading The Pokey Little Puppy, would you? If Aj were purporting to be a certified expert on something, then fine, yes, I'd agree with you. But Aj purports to be a writer of smut just like the rest of us. I certainly hope no one is looking to my books for guidance and insight. Christ, just do a google search - you'll get better information.

Q (or more of a ranting statement, actually - and I'm quoting this one directly) : "Listen, asshole, Llewellyn has on MORE THAN ONE OCCASION bemoaned and bitched about female authors like myself trying to cash in on the gay male experience by using gender neutral pen names and now you defend her??? That's bullshit!"

A: First of all, if Aj is transgender, which he claims to be - and we have no proof he's not - then he's a HE not a she. Second of all, if Aj is a transgender MALE who is sleeping with/fucking/in love with/having wet dreams about/masturbating to the idea/image/memory/dream/whatever of another MALE then he is indeed GAY, or at the very least, bi. Which would make his outrage reasonable, yes?? Or does one have to have a functioning, semen spitting penis in order to be "really" gay? If that's the case, I know a few infertile, erectile dysfunctional gay men who are about to rip off their pointy-toed pumps and stab your eyes out with them. :-) And by the way, that's MISTER Asshole to you, sweetie.

Q: Who is Ann Somerville, anyhow?

A: I haven't the foggiest. I've never heard of her until this whole thing happened. Although she's probably never heard of me, either.

Q: Aren't you worried that people will stop buying your books because you defended her?

A: AGAIN, he's a he until we have proof he's not transgender. No, I'm not worried. Frankly if people want to not buy my books because I've defended someone, that's fine with me. I would rather them hate me if they need to, than falsely kiss my ass.

Q: Doesn't it matter to you that he's not really a he?

A: Nope. The gender of an author makes no difference to me. Do you have any idea how many other authors are presenting as one thing but are really another? There are females pretending to be males, males pretending to be females, and transgender males pretending to be "natural" gender males.

I think people read my works based on my talent and characters, not what's between my legs. But for the record, if it matters to anyone, there's a vagina between my legs.

Q: Is he really Dj too????

A: How the hell would I know? Why don't you write their publishers and ask? Better yet, find someone who has their phone numbers (there has to be an author out there with them) and call them both at once. Can't really fake that, hmm?

Q: But what about all the lies she told in her blog about coming out and being bullied?? She's trivializing the gay experience.

A: (I'll let the she/he thing go...apparently it's beyond reasonable grasp....) I can't say as I recall reading any such posts (not saying they're not there, just I don't remember reading them) but how do you know they're not real?? DID he come out to someone as a gay male? HAD he been bullied? Transgender people deal with our share of bullying all the time. How do we know those posts aren't based on reality?

Q (or really another rant, quoted verbatim): "SHE LIED TO US! She deceived all her readers! We believed what she said and it was all lies!! We have a right to know the truth!!!!"

A: You have a right to know the truth?? Seriously?? Are you listening to yourself? You don't have a RIGHT to know anything. Not one single, solitary thing. You have the privilege of being let into someone's life, and you have the responsibility to be respectful of them. That's where it ends. You don't have a right to know anything about anyone, especially if they're not impacting your ability to function in your daily life. Some of these authors write the smut you enjoy at great personal risk. Some have lost their families over it. Some have even been forced to stop writing and go into hiding. HIDING. Over a book. How ridiculous is that? It's completely stupid that someone risks their life to bring you a feel good moment. You're welcome.

Q: Did you read Damon's post about this?? Don't you agree with him? He's right about so much!!! How can you not agree with him? I met him in New Orleans and I think he's awesome.

A: I did read the post. I agree with some points. As you can see from the above, I disagree with some points. I'm free to agree or disagree as I wish. I met him in New Orleans, too and I agree, he's pretty cool. Although I have no idea what that has to do with anything else.

Q: I heard some publishers make you take a male or gender neutral pen name. Is that true? Do you think that's dishonest?

A: Since I'm not published with every GLBTQ publisher out there, I can't speak for them all. I've had one publisher say I'd need a gender neutral pen name, yes. I already had one, based on being transgender, so I didn't have any issue with it. And it's no more dishonest than anything else going on in the m/m community at the moment.

Q: Do you know who started all this? Will you tell me?

A: I do. I won't.

That's it. That's all I have to say. Comment or not, agree or not. I don't really care. :-)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Please vote for Finding Sanctuary!

Shameless vote whoring commencing in 3...2...1! I've had the luck of working with some very talented cover artists for my books, and one of them is up for an award! Please go vote for the "Finding Sanctuary" book cover!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Guest post at Romance Writers Behaving Badly

Are Readers Stupid? (CONTEST!!!)

Now, before you grab the pitchforks and form a mob, let me just say, my answer is "NO!"

But I wonder if all industry professionals feel that way?

Case in point: I recently read a few short stories with the intent of doing reviews on them. None of them gained higher than a 3.5, in my opinion (and we all know reviews are simply that - opinion.) There were editing issues, including punctuation, grammar, and spelling. There were plot holes and dialog issues. There were continuity issues, and issues with fact-checking. Even some of the sex scenes had issues. My reviews pointed out all these, and I honestly tried to be fair.

I mentioned to another industry professional that perhaps I was too picky to be a reviewer. I expected them to say something like, "Poppycock! Readers deserve honest, hard-hitting reviews, and authors should take notice, old chap!" (because everyone's British in my head). What I got was an agreement with my assessment, and, I quote: "I'm not even sure if many people know what line editing is; they just want to be entertained."

O.o   orly?

This reminded me of something I'd read another author say a couple years ago. I'm paraphrasing here, because I'd have to dig back through thousands of someone else's blog to even find the reference, and frankly I'm too lazy to do that, but the general idea was that it's okay to get a couple historical facts wrong in your work because most readers don't know shit about history, nor do they care.



That was my reaction back then, and it still is. It's okay to give sub-par work because no one will notice??? Seriously?

If I'd purchased the books I read for review, I'd have e-mailed the publisher and demanded my money back. Some of them hadn't even been edited--or if they had, the editor needs to be fired. I've heard all along there's a feeling of ebooks not being quite as professional as print books, and gee...I wonder why that's the thought? Is it because we deliver crap?

Now, I know what you're thinking: some mistakes are honest. Take my works for example. I've found typos in the finished product a couple of times. I can tell you, with all honesty and integrity, that my books go through three edits before they're submitted, and another three to four with my editor, and then the proofreader gets them. Things still get through. The fact of the matter is the human brain sees what it wants. It forces things to make sense. Otherwise, this passage would be unreadable:

I cnduo't bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht I was rdnaieg. Unisg the icndeblire pweor of the hmuan mnid, aocdcrnig to rseecrah at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mttaer in waht oderr the lterets in a wrod are, the olny irpoamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rhgit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whoutit a pboerlm. Tihs is bucseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey ltteer by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Aaznmig, huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghhuot slelinpg was ipmorantt! See if yuor fdreins can raed tihs too.

And we all know there are two kinds of people in the world: the kind who noticed the car in the background during the theatre release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring ( and those who were too caught up in the movie to see it. So...perhaps...just perhaps...there might be some small vein of reality in what my industry professional friend said about readers just wanting to be entertained. But...

But herein lies my question, and the entire reason for the post. Readers - what do you guys and gals think? Do you notice typos? Do you notice when a character uses a word that wasn't around when the book is set? (say he uses the phrase "ass munch" in a historical set in Victorian England or some similarly glaring WRONG) Do you notice when spellings of characters names change? Do you notice when sexual positions are just completely beyond the realm of possibility for the human body to conform to? Do you notice plot flaws, slow/unbelievable dialog, and the characters referring to each other by their names 8,000 times throughout the story?? (okay - to be fair, 8,000 is an exaggeration. I didn't count the times. But a lot. A. Lot.)

IF you notice them, do you chalk them up to things that just slipped through, or are you (as I was) insulted?

Well? To sweeten the deal, and so you'll have a reason to air your complaints, leave a comment below with your thoughts, and I'll pick a random winner to receive a free pdf copy of my newest release, "Relearning the Ropes." In which I hope to God we found all the typos. :-p

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Final Round of Voting is Here!

It's the final round of voting in the First Annual BP Awards!  Go vote for one (or both!) of my entries - "Sundae Surprise" and "Perfect Christmas".  Thanks!!!!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Christmas Card List

I'm officially starting my Christmas Card List for this year. I know it's September, but I like to do things early! If you were on the list last year, you're still on it. If you weren't but want to be, drop me an email at with the subject Christmas Card List, and your SNAIL MAIL address. These are not electronic cards, but real, actual hold-them-in-your-hot-little-hand paper cards. And they'll be racy - definitely NOT PG-13. You've been warned! :-P

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Shiny New Cover Art

courtesy of the ever-wonderful Victoria Miller, for my upcoming m/m vampire release, "Orion's Way."

You like??

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Celebrate Torquere Press's 8th Anniversary!

The Eight Ball will help celebrate our eighth anniversary here at Torquere Press! Join us for the celebration!

We're having a reader scavenger hunt with weekly gift basket prizes and a grand prize (this year, a brand-new 3G Kindle along with a CD of stories from each participating author), plus daily prizes of gift certificates to show our appreciation to you -- our readers! Check our blog, where we'll have a number of our authors visiting the whole month. We'll post excerpts, hang out to chat, and talk about our stories. 

In addition to the grand prize of the Kindle, we're giving away gift baskets every week! Some are silly, some are smutty, and all are fun. The themed ones are: m/m, ménage, BDSM, and lesbian plus our authors have chipped in with extra goodies. 

Here's how to play. Visit our contest page, and start scavenging for the Eight Ball answers. Visit the author pages and find the graphic somewhere on their site. An online form is set up, and we'll randomly choose a winner for the Kindle from all of the correct entries. Plus, every day, readers will have the chance to win a Torquere gift certificate and a gift basket.

Help us celebrate our eighth anniversary and ask the Eight Ball your question… Like, will I win a prize from Torquere Press?

Thanks, and have fun playing.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

4 Kisses for Finding Sanctuary

4 Stars for Who Better Than Canyon

Gluten Free - Days 5, 6, & &

The past three days have been hellabusy!

So it's been a week on the gluten free diet. Not only am I not getting sick anymore but...brace yourself... I don't have any muscle pain, either. The chronic, excruciating pain I've been in for the past 32 years is gone.

I don't even know what to think of that, at this point. It's hard to process. It's like living life in black and white, and suddenly everything's in color. Technicolor, even. It's odd. I'm still dealing with the fatigue, a bit, but not as bad as it was, and I'm sleeping a little better.

On to new products! Gluten Free stuff we tried this week:

1. Enjoy Life Cinnamon Crunch Granola - Did I tell you about this one already? I'm not sure. It's tasty! It has raisins in it.

2. Hot Kid Cheese Rice Crisps - YUCK! With a capital Y U C K. These have the texture and taste of cardboard dusted with cheese doodle leavings. Blech!

3. Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta Rotelle - WOW! I honestly can't taste a difference between this and regular pasta. The only difference I saw was that the water turns a lovely yellow color because of the corn content. I topped it with Prego Spaghetti Sauce (labeled GF) and some cheese.

For dinner tonight, I had steak and Ore-Ida Potatoes O'Brien with Onions and Peppers (labeled GF) and Birds Eye Steamfresh Mini Corn on the Cob (which isn't labeled GF, but the only ingredient is corn). For dessert I had Kozy Shack Original Rice Pudding (labeled GF).

It occurred to me that I normally stop eating half way through my meal because I'm in pain. Not because I'm fully - I typically leave the meal still hungry. But for the last few days, that hasn't been happening. I'm able to actually eat and not get sick, so I don't walk away hungry. As a result, I don't snack in between meals - I don't even want to.

Get down and dirty with Mark and Gabe from "Buried Treasure"

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

5 Divas for "On Solid Ground"

Gluten Free - Day 4

Today was Day 4. Had my cereal lunch and chips snack at work again today. Didn't get sick!

Tonight for dinner I had Minute Ready to Serve Natural Whole Grain Brown Rice (which is gluten free) with Hormel canned chicken (also gluten free) seasoned with ginger (fresh ground and powdered b/c I get lazy with the grinder) and pan "fried" in I Can't Believe it's Not Butter (gluten free). I topped it with Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry sauce (which doesn't say it's gluten free on it, but according to Ocean Spray, it is). YUM! I like to cook the chicken until it's crispy and brown, and sort of caramelizes the ginger.  Didn't get sick.

As a side note, for those who grew up not liking Minute Rice, I have to say the flavor and texture of what's available now is a LOT different and much better.

For snack tonight, we made another attempt at gluten free pizza. We used Schar Pizza Crust, topped it with Prego spaghetti sauce, the local grocery store brand pizza cheese mix, and pepperoni slices. I've done the spaghetti sauce before on what Hubby and I call "Poor Man's Pizzas" (english muffins with sauce and some pepperoni) and it wasn't bad. In a larger quantity like this though, I think I want to try to find an actual pizza sauce for next time. It just tastes different to me. As far as the pizza crust - not bad. Not the best crust - reminded me of like Tonys frozen pizzas - but definitely better than last night's pizza. I had to cook it about 10 minutes longer than the box instructions, but that could just be my oven - it's a tiny little thing and takes longer on everything.

None if it made me sick, which makes me question if I actually *am* lactose intolerant, because I dumped an ass load of cheese on the pizza, and it didn't bother me. Maybe the issue was the gluten all along.

Another product I wanted to mention is:

Lundberg Rice Chips - Sesame and Seaweed. These are tasty! They have a subtle flavor, but it's a hearty one. Very nice!

Also, have figured out, by looking up ingredients and trial and error - I can have Almond Joy Pieces and Payday candy bars, which is awesome, as I love both!

Another product I tried (and I can't remember if I mentioned this one, but I don't think I did) is:

Pamela's Products Ginger with Sliced Almond cookies. These are very good! They're soft, so you don't get that CRUNCH that you like with Ginger Snaps, but the ginger flavor is there, and the almond gives a next texture change.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Gluten Free - Day 3

Day three.

Had lunch - Cinnamon Chex cereal, and that didn't make me sick.

After work, Hubby and I went to Wegman's to see what they had. Thankfully, a lot of the gluten free products are all in one spot. However, the Wegmans brand stuff is throughout the store. Will have to go back when it's not so crazy/busy.

We bought a few things, a couple of which we tried tonight.

1. Schar Rolls, Classic White - Um...nope. The taste was okay, but the texture of these was too squishy for me, and they were very dry. Pan fried in butter they might be nice, or tossed on the grill. Rather pricey - paid $5.99 for 4 rolls.

2. Foods by George Gluten Free Pizza - Yeah, another no. It wasn't *bad*, but if you're craving pizza, this won't curb your desire. The crust was okay - I liked the crispier parts better, but the blend of cheese was meh. I put pepperoni on mine, which helped a little, but not much. Maybe it's just my oven, but the crust didn't bake evenly either. The outside was crispy, the inner part mushy. If I'd left it in any longer, though, the outer part would've burned. Quite pricey, considering it's the size of a Pizza Hut Personal Pizza and costs $6.29

3. Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers - YUM! I love these! Crunchy and nutty. It's like whole wheat bread in a cracker, but gluten free. Paid $2.69 for a 4.5 oz bag.

4. Glutino Gluten Free Pretzel Twists - I couldn't try these because they have sea salt (I'm allergic to it), but Hubby got them for himself, and said they're not bad, although they tasted like they'd been soaked in sea salt. Not a great pretzel, but a decent pretzel. "Would definitely fix a case of the munchies!"

None of which made me sick! :-D

I'm on Kindlegraph!

Head over and request an autograph!

Get Your Freak On!

1st Annual Beepie Awards

Voting is open, folks!! Go vote for me! I never win anything - so help me win this!! I've got entries under Adonis and Holiday.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gluten free is the way to be!

At least, that's the latest theory behind why I have all the issues I have. And I have to say...I'm starting to think there might just be some credibility to this theory.

I'll spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say I get extremely sick whenever I eat. We've done all kinds of elimination diets - dairy, artificial sweeteners, soda - you name it, I've stopped eating it at one point in time. We've had no luck, so a several years ago, I just gave up, and accepted this as just the way life is. Then I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. That seemed to answer some of the questions, but not all. More tests, more food trials. No more answers.

Color me surprised when my doctor suggested this past week that I might have a gluten allergy. Apparently he was discussing my case with another doctor, who asked if he'd cleared me for gluten. In my doctor's own words: "I felt like a complete moron when I said no."

I printed off massive amounts of information from the internet, and then yesterday - Saturday 7/30, Hubby and I carefully went through the cupboard and took stock. We read every label in there - and over half of it went into the get rid of pile. Then we trudged off to the grocery store to replace everything with gluten free alternatives. We were able to find a surprising amount of things - spaghetti sauce, alfredo sauce, mashed potatoes - all kinds of things. A lot of them were "mainstream" like Prego spaghetti sauce is already gluten free - at least the little jar I picked up was. Nothing "special" - just the way it's made. But we also found rice chips, gluten free pancake mix (Bisquick), and Betty Crocker gluten free cake mix.

Lunch yesterday was my first gluten free day. Now, I'd been told that it could take anywhere from 2 weeks to over a year for me to see any difference. It took 45 minutes. Seriously. That's the time frame in which I'd normally be physically ill after eating.

I had my lunch of gluten free tortilla with steak, green peppers, tomatoes, and scallions, with a side of Lundberg Fiesta Lime Rice Chips (which are *awesome*). And then I waited. I waited for the cramps. The bloating. The feeling like my stomach had shifted up into my chest and was pressing on my lungs. The 2.5 second warning sprint to the bathroom.

Nothing happened. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

I just knew it was a fluke. So at dinner, I had Hubby's fabulous sloppy joe mix over roasted potatoes. Again I didn't get sick.

At that point, I'm still convinced - yeah right. Thirty-two years of misery isn't over with ONE change. Bullshit, right?

Today I had a bowl of gluten free Cinnamon Chex. Still not sick. Then tonight, Hubby and I went to Target and bought a waffle maker, and he made gluten free waffles. I followed that up with gluten free cupcakes.

And I'm... Still. Not. Sick.  As a side note, the waffles contained dairy - whole milk, which is something we'd previously thought I couldn't have. But now that I think of it, I've only ever had it *in* stuff, like cakes and whatnot. I've never really drank it straight because I'm not terribly fond of it.

Aside from that, I do have a tiny bit more energy, and I slept better last night than I have in a long time. My doctor says it's not entirely unheard of for someone to see a benefit in this short of time, especially with how sick food was making me. I'll try to keep my blog updated when I try gluten free products.

So far, I've tried

1. Cinnamon Chex cereal, which was very tasty - on level with Cinnamon Toast Crunch - and didn't make me ill.
2. Bisquick Gluten Free Pancake Mix - made waffles out of it. Very good - couldn't even tell it was gluten free.
3. Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devils Food Cake Mix - YUM. Seriously - you wouldn't have a *clue* this was gluten free. Rich in flavor, and the cupcakes were moist and had a wonderful texture.
4. Lundberg Gluten Free Fiesta Lime Rice Chips - Wow. These are really good. Very tasty - tangy and salty. The texture is different than a regular chip - more like a Dorito but even a little thicker. Very crunchy. And reasonably priced - I think I paid around $3 for the bag, which is on par with most potato chips.

Hubby plans to try his hand at some gluten free French bread - will definitely let you know how that turns out!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On Being Transgender

According to Wikipedia, "Transgender (pronounced /trænzˈdʒɛndər/) is a general term applied to a variety of individuals, behaviors, and groups involving tendencies to vary from culturally conventional gender roles. Transgender is the state of one's "gender identity" (self-identification as woman, man, neither or both) not matching one's "assigned sex" (identification by others as male, female or intersex based on physical/genetic sex).[1] "Transgender" does not imply any specific form of sexual orientation; transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, or asexual; some may consider conventional sexual orientation labels inadequate or inapplicable to them. The precise definition for transgender remains in flux, but includes: "Of, relating to, or designating a person whose identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender roles, but combines or moves between these."[2] "People who were assigned a sex, usually at birth and based on their genitals, but who feel that this is a false or incomplete description of themselves."[3] "Non-identification with, or non-presentation as, the sex (and assumed gender) one was assigned at birth."[4]"

Got all that? Great! But...what does it all actually mean? What is life like if you're transgender? Well, I'll tell you what it's like, from my point of view, based on what I've been through and what I go through on a daily basis. My opinions are my own, and probably don't reflect the majority of other transgender folks out there. Your mileage may vary.

For me, being transgender means:

*Growing up confused, shunned, and disappointing my parents. Although I'm sure there's nothing I could've done to impress them, my parents were certainly not happy with their queer little kid, even when I didn't know I was queer. Mom would let me wear jeans and t-shirts and boy clothes at home, but when it came time for other people to see me, it was dresses, tights, and cramming my feet into tiny little girly shoes. I learned very quickly that who I was and how I acted was shameful and embarrassing. I overcame that in time, of course, but fuck it all - I shouldn't have had been made to feel that way in the first place.

*Looking in the mirror and never seeing who I really am. My outsides don't match my insides. The reflection I see might as well be my sister, cousin, or a friend who happens to look a little bit like me. But that's where the similarity ends. I don't know that person.

*Constantly explaining my life. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't mind setting people straight about misconceptions, or answering well-meaning questions. It's the day-to-day hassle of reminding people to address me as he, not she. I'm Daniel/Danny/Dan/DC/hey-you-asshole/studly-man-muffin - nothing else. My legal name has very little meaning to me anymore - it's just a reminder of the hell I went through as a child and in my early adult years. It's a reminder that I'm not who I want to be. Who I SHOULD be. Who I'm SUPPOSED to be. And really, you have enough names to pick from in that list. You don't need one more.

*Being something my family has to explain. Hubby and I can't go very many places without being gawked at or asked questions. Because. Of. Me. Because people can't just live and let others live. I'm not a science experiment. I'm not a side show attraction. I'm a human being. And the thought that I'm any sort of a hassle or an impediment to my family is heartbreaking. My happiness is a hardship. Do you have *any* idea whatsoever what that feels like??

*Everything is a hassle. Shopping for clothing - hassle. I don't want to wear pink fu-fu fluffy crap. I want to wear man clothes. The only problem is, I don't FIT in most man clothes. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a nice button up shirt in the women's department that doesn't look like Lady Gaga fashioned it for Barbie, or Betsy Ross stitched it for my grandmother??? And WTF is up with the low cut neck lines?? I can't believe ALL women like to dress that way. And WHY THE HELL is there a stupid pink flamingo on half the tank tops in stores right now? Perfectly good gender-neutral tank top, and they stitch a stupid pink flamingo to it. REALLY???? Shopping for jewelry - also a hassle. Try to find a masculine watch that fits my tiny wrists. Go on, try. It took me 45 minutes to find a pair of hoop earrings that didn't have either flowers or some other girly thing hanging off them. When I asked the store clerk if they had anything "with a little less fu-fu fluff on them," she looked at me like I'd handed her a knife and asked her to give me her kidney. Going to the bathroom is a hassle. I don't belong in the women's room. Men use the men's room. Not me, though. I still have tits, therefore I MUST be a woman, right?

*Ignorance is not my friend, but I've gotten used to him. How many times in a day do you automatically address people by a gender-specific pronoun? How often do you say "thank you, ma'am?" How often to you say "that woman/man over there?" How often do you think you might be wrong? Just because the person in front of you has a chest, that doesn't make them female. There really is no reason to address people by gender-specific pronouns. A waitress who says "How are you ladies doing today?" could easily just say "How are you both doing today?" Same greeting, but slightly more aware and compassionate. Instead of "Can I help you, ma'am?" how about just "Can I help you?"

*No matter what I do, some people will never ever treat me with respect. I have co-workers who just flap their hands at me and say "oh, come on. you're a woman!" My mother still thinks me being bisexual is a "phase" at the age of 32. She won't even discuss the transgender aspect.

*To society, I'm always going to be a label, no matter what. Even if I had the surgeries and hormone therapy, I'll always be TRANSGENDER. I'll never just be a man. A guy. A dude. There will always be "well, he's transgender." Or "my transgender friend Daniel." I'll never just be Daniel.

*Living up to a label is HARD. There's a weight on my shoulders - on the shoulders of every transperson out there - to be an example. To live up to some shiny, really high expectation. I'm supposed to be more open minded because of what I am. I'm supposed to be kinder, gentler, nicer. Never mean. Never angry. Always appreciative, always supportive, always helpful. I'm supposed to like every other gay/bi/trans person on the PLANET because we're in the same club and we even have the decoder rings.  NOT. I'm just like everyone else - sometimes I'm a flaming fucking asshole you want to punch in the face. Sometimes, I want to curl into a ball on your lap and sob my eyes out. Sometimes, I want to scream until my voice is hoarse. And I don't want to put on an outlandish outfit and go flap my arms around at a pride parade like a queer emu. I'll sponsor your endeavor - I may even get a table and pimp my writing and a few others'. But I'm going to do it in a civilized, quiet fashion, thank you very much.

*I'll always have to think about where I'm going - who will be there, what I should wear, is it safe to take my partner, is it safe to flirt with other men, is it safe to have a couple drinks, can I walk there safely or should I drive, should I carry pepper spray or not, who will have my back if there's an issue, how will I deal with the homophobic police force if there's an issue...etc.

*I will never, ever fit in. Even among the GLBTQ community, there is animosity and hatred toward transgender people in some circles. I will always be a target, and my family will always be in danger in some way, shape, or form.

So. All that said - most of it really, really not pretty - what's the point? The point is, being transgender also means:

*Respecting myself
*Accepting myself
*Celebrating myself
*Taking no prisoners in life - meeting everything head on and climbing every mountain that's put in front of me.
*Understanding that I deserve this - I deserve to be happy, no matter who spits on me.
*Being me

And those six little things are worth all the rest, ten times over.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Introducing...Betty Bird!

This is Betty Bird.

Shortly after Hubby and I started to move in, Betty Bird decided she'd move in as well. She built this nest...

and then a few days later, laid these two eggs. 

Betty Bird is rather shy when she's on the nest, so for a while, all I was able to do was photograph her from inside the house. They're a little dark, but here is Betty Bird sitting on her nest. 

Then, this morning, we woke up to this little fella.

We have named it Tweet.

And here is proud mama Betty Bird with her little Tweet. I waited 20 minutes for this shot, standing on the top rung of a ladder, peering down at them from the top of the inside door, one hand holding two slats of my mini blinds open, the other hand trying desperately to keep the camera still! 

Guest Blogging over at Top2Bottom Reviews

Friday, June 17, 2011

New Release!

My newest release, "Who Better Than Canyon," is out from Breathless Press. This story is pretty special to me.It's not like the others I've written.

If you're looking for my normal hot, steamy erotic sex-filled story, you might be disappointed. "Who Better Than Canyon" has no sex. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch.


For a couple reasons. On the one hand, Canyon, one of our main characters, resisted me every time I wanted to write the sex scene. He's one of these guys who needs to be sure before he sleeps with another man, and he had a lot of doubts about Simon.

On the other hand, I saw a comment from another author way back when, that said romances couldn't be written without sex, because readers wouldn't read them. It's always been in the back of my mind to prove this person wrong. Maybe I have. Maybe I haven't. I won't know until I get the first royalty statement.

This story is special to me, though, for a larger reason, and it didn't come to me until I was nearly done writing it. Canyon's name had been picked out long before the story even had any back bone. It started with a guy named Canyon being refused entrance to his lover's funeral. At first, I balked at the name Canyon. I mean, really? Who names their kid Canyon? And didn't that sound just a little like a trite, over-used romance novel name? Canyon just cocked an eyebrow at me and said, "that's my name."


Once I got over the name thing, the story flowed nicely. It wasn't until I typed this sentence: Donald stopped and faced him. “Like the wrestler? Who betta than Kanyon?” he mimicked. “Rest his soul, of course.” Looking skyward,he crossed himself quickly., that I realized the story had a bigger meaning than just two guys meeting and falling in love. Maybe this story could stand for something, but without being one of those mushy, overly preachy Stories That Stand For Something. So I've dedicated the story to Christopher Klucsarits, a professional wrestler who "played" Kanyon in several wrestling circuits, and one of my favorites to watch.

"But, why?" you ask.

Christopher's career was shadowed with controversy over his sexual orientation. Was he gay? Some, including him, said yes. Some, including him, said no. Who knows? Unfortunately the answer passed away with him, when he took his own life on April 2nd, 2010. Whether or not he was gay no longer matters (and shouldn't have mattered ever). What matters now is breaking the cycle of hopelessness and despair, breaking the cycle of people feeling like there's no other option than suicide.

That's why I'm donating my first 6 months of royalties to The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

The cycle of pain has to end, and for that to happen, we all must do something. Make a monetary donation to organizations like The Trevor Project when you can, and when you can't, make a human donation to everyone else. Smile at people. Don't judge or mock. Be patient and kind - you have no idea what the life of the cashier scanning your groceries is like. Maybe she scans slow because she was in a car accident and has brain damage. Or maybe she's just a lazy bitch. The point is - you don't know. And you really, really don't know what the impact of your actions and words will be. Growing up, all I needed was one person to treat me like I mattered. Just one. Most people get whole families - I just wanted one. 

Be one. :-) 

"Who Better Than Canyon" Blurb:  
When Canyon's ex-lover, Robert, dies, he leaves behind a last request that Canyon take word of his passing to Simon, an old friend on the east coast. Canyon reluctantly agrees, and soon finds himself falling for Simon, despite the nagging belief he shouldn't. Canyon is plagued by guilt over his part in the accident that claimed Robert's life. But Simon knows something Canyon doesn't: Robert's death wasn't an accident, but a suicide, and Robert's intent was for the two men he left behind to come together. But Robert's plan didn't account for two things: Simon's disbelief that anyone can truly love a soon-to-be-cripple, and Canyon's staunch decision that the next man he gives himself to will give him a wedding ring first. Can Canyon and Simon set aside their own issues long enough to see what lies between them, or will they both miss out on their happily ever after?

Dunwood Funeral home loomed up out of the surrounding trees like some sort of ominous monolith. With its gables and spires, weathered brick facade, bright blue awnings over every window—complete with fancy scrawled monogrammed Ds—and fake green grass carpeting covering the wide entry stairs, it was completely out of place in the miles of desert.

Canyon parked his truck and stared at the building for several long minutes before he finally shut off the engine. He'd been only seven the last time he'd attended a funeral, but his memories were still vivid. Dozens of people seated on rickety, squeaky wooden folding chairs and crammed into a tiny parlor with a broken air conditioner. And then there was the body—painted up and put on display like a bad art exhibit.

He'd sworn then—even at that tender age—that he'd never, ever subject himself to such emotional torture again. Of course, that had been twenty years ago. Before Robert. Being here now was the least he could do after causing the accident that had taken Robert's life. No, not causing, he admonished himself. It had been Robert's choice to drive away angry after their fight. He'd offered to let Robert to stay, but his pig-headed nature had taken over, and Robert had sped off in a cloudy haze of dirt and flying pebbles. No one could've talked sense into Robert that night, not Canyon, not anyone. But that didn't make Canyon feel any less guilty.

He adjusted his tie, another thing he'd sworn off, and opened the door. He stepped down onto the pavement and slammed the door shut wincing at the inappropriate crack. He headed up the walkway and waited at the end of a long, serpentine line of people moving at a snail's pace toward the entry. Ten minutes crept by before he climbed the stairs and spotted the reason for the lag.

A pert nosed, fresh-faced young blonde woman stood at the door, holding a pen and a clipboard. "May I have your name, sir?"

"My name?" Canyon frowned.

"I'm sorry. Only people on the list are allowed list inside."

This stunk of Natalie's doing. Heartless bitch. His name wouldn't be on that list, and he knew it. "Canyon Roth."

She scanned the list, looked back up at him with sympathetic round eyes. "I'm sorry but your—"

"Name's not on the list. Yeah, I know." Canyon looked past her into the solemn entryway of the funeral home. Goddamn Natalie. Maybe he could make the internment, if nothing else. "Can I ask where he's being buried?"

The woman bit her lower lip and shook her head. "I'm sorry, but I can't give out that information to..."


4.5 Diamonds for "The Door Under the Bridge"


Friday, May 6, 2011

I'm Too Sexy for Facebook!

Or at least, this cover is. So sexy, in fact, they made me take it down and promise to never, ever, ever, ever post anything like it ever again. ::grin:: I'm such a bad boy!

When Keenan's lover, Naro, reveals the deep, dark secret of his past, Keenan must decide how strong their love really is. But Keenan has a secret of his own -- one that's right up Naro's alley.

Candlelight. There should've been soft, flickering candlelight, instead of the almost harsh glow of the light orb swinging above them. And soothing music—Keenan should've paid someone to stand outside the bedroom door and play a kempla flute for them—instead of the distant howls and calls of animals floating in through the window. They should've been surrounded by wisps of incense—that spicy-sweet blend the heavyset apothecary always sold at Festival—not the same old scent of dinner lingering on the air, mixing with the smells of the world outside. For that matter, he should've cooked something special tonight, roasted a bruta pig or filleted a tarkin.

All these thoughts went through Keenan's mind as he trailed kisses down the right side of Naro's neck, across his collarbone, then nibbled a path back up to those full, luscious lips. He would've liked to have staged the night a little better, made their first time more special, but Naro's urgency and enthusiasm had convinced him otherwise. At least he'd changed the bedding yesterday. Something had told him to use his best, softest sheets and his nicest—or least tattered, anyway—top blanket: the heavy one with the gold ribbon running around the edges and the birds stitched onto each hand-quilted panel.

The big wooden bed creaked as Keenan leaned over and reached to the bedside table for the bottle of oil—the very expensive, hard to find glandra flower oil he'd had ferried in four months ago in anticipation of a night like this. He'd spent his every waking second for the past year waiting for this moment, and, now that it was here, he couldn't imagine a more perfect way to spend the evening, poor planning aside.

"Wait. There's something you should know first." Naro pushed against Keenan's chest and sat up a bit.

House Update!

As many of you know, I recently bought a house. It's an older home - built somewhere between 1900 and 1930 (there's some debate on that matter), and probably hasn't been updated since the late '70s.

There were two different types of carpet throughout - the dining room and living room had brown shag, and the bedroom, spare bedroom, and den all had commercial grade ugly green/blue. It's assumed that this is because these three rooms appear to have been additions to the house, but we're not entirely sure. The entire house is an off-white, except for the kitchen, which was yellow (including the ceiling) with aqua subway tiles. The bathroom still has a blue toilet, sink, and tub. :-)

Now, personally I like the retro look, so not much is changing - at least not right away. I did update the paint in the kitchen - still yellow, but bolder. It now has white on the ceiling and Benjamin Moore "Sun-Kissed Yellow" on the walls. And I plan to paint all the rest of the rooms as well.

We're finding all kinds of little quirks throughout the house. For instance, on inspection day, I noticed two little hand prints on the wall in the dining room. The walls were done in faux plaster, and apparently one of the kids stuck their hands in it, and mom (or dad) didn't have the heart to spackle over it. Very cute. However, we've now found more hand prints, and even tiny little footprints just inside the doorway that leads down the hall to the bedroom. Too cute!

The dining room and living room carpet came up easily, to reveal beautiful hardwood floors. Awesome! The other rooms,  however, had the carpet glued down. So we've scheduled an installation of laminate flooring by Home Depot, around the 15th. We replaced the stove and fridge - that was a fiasco. Suffice it to say, I'm not using Lowes for anything *ever* again.

Today Hubby is there supervising the removal of 12 shrubs and 1 tree while I'm at the Evil Day Job. I've ordered red glass knobs and pulls for the cabinets, and bought all new appliances (microwave, coffee pot, etc) - because red is going to be my accent color in the kitchen.

We're still waiting on the installation of the fence before we can officially move in. Hopefully we'll hear something on that soon. So far everything's come in under budget, so I should get to June with no money left, but everything done. LOL

This weekend I'm going to try to finish the kitchen - The Boy is helping with the shelf paper (ripping out the old, putting down the new) and I've got one more coat of paint to put on the walls, then tackle the cabinets. Unfortunately when the previous owners painted the cabinets, they painted OVER the hinges. So I've got some paint remover and I'm going to see if I can get that off there. I'm sure the hardware is quite old and pretty.