jayes_musings: (Default)
Yes, I know I haven't really updated this in forever, but I'm working regularly on my novel again, so I'm actually going to track it.



I'm aiming for 1,000 words a day, although I know that will vary more or less depending on any number of factors. Still, slow progress is still progress (and this is why I don't do NaNoWriMo *g*)
jayes_musings: (LiW -- Eleanor 1183 barbarians)
Since my last (non-review) post quite a lot as gone on in the past few months. I can't believe that it was February, so yeah, been quite busy since then. If you follow me on Facebook then you've probably seen the photos, etc.

Read more... )
jayes_musings: (historical -- rome domina)
o a week or so ago, the hubby and I went to the movies and we saw:

300: Rise of an Empire )

And then today, I had a whole better experience.

The Grand Budapest Hotel )
jayes_musings: (Gerry -- feather face)
I've just got back from a wonderful week at my sister-in-law's, house sitting for her. It was even better than I imagined it to be, especially the last four days. #2 son and I, were on our own while hubby stayed up at the house to work on it, and we only had to go up one day. It was yesterday that I realized that I haven't felt that relaxed or comfortable since [livejournal.com profile] gmnoonie and I spent our week in Williamsburg last October, and other than that...almost a year. Not that I did much, and it was almost like being on my own since #2 son spent most of the time in the bedroom playing computer games. It was a much needed break in which I indulged in plenty of crap TV...or just surfing through channels and 8 times out of 10 ending up on HGTV anyway...but I haven't been able to enjoy even just having TV as my background for nearly a year. As my internet was fast and unlimited, I did get to catch up on so plenty of my favourite shows that I've missed as well. I've also been binge viewing "Once Upon a Time" Season 2 DVD set that I bought with a Amazon gift card...it's research as I'm writing Hook in a couple of RPs. And my Season 3 "Game of Thrones" arrived, so I'll be watching that as soon as I've finished with OUAT as I haven't seen it yet, at all (yes, I know about the Red Wedding...looking forward to it as I loved being shocked by it in the book!).

But today, son and I headed back to the inlaws, our mini-vacation over (fortunately, end of March...I'm having a week away at the same place I stayed with [livejournal.com profile] gmnoonie in Williamsburg...but this time all by myself!

Hubby has returned from the house and is making maple syrup from the sap that he's collected from the trees on his dad's property. There's a lot of it, but once you boil it down, you're lucky to end up with a cup full, however, it is really good!


MOVIE REVIEW )
jayes_musings: (historical -- rome domina)
Well, I'm not having too much time to sit back and enjoy a book as I would like, but I'm still ploughing through the Cynster series as Manda has them as pups in our storylines.

Back here I reviewed the fourth book in the series, and I've now read the fifth and am reading the sixth. And I have to admit that I am struggling to stay engaged with them, and each time I pick up the book I'm reminded of why I dislike romances and the regency period.

A Secret Love )
All About Love )
jayes_musings: (Banksy -- Flower hooligan)
...but I'm back and trying to stick with it. So, an update...

The truth is that it's been busy. Just about every other day I'm up at the house redecorating. Most of the wallpaper is off and we are now painting and should be done by the time our furniture is delivered, hopefully by the end of the month. Hence why we are still living with hubby's parents right now. So, other than that, I haven't really been doing much as I'm absolutely shattered the next day.

The best news is that hubby now has a date when he starts work! March 10th! I love him, but I'll finally have him out of my hair on a daily basis and get back to my life as we should also be actually living in our own house by then!

In other news, I...like most in the northern tier of the US...am done with winter. Last week we had a massive ice storm that knocked out power to most of the area here. We were lucky in that it only took them just over a day to get it back on, but others, even neighbours were out for 4 or 5 days. And today is another snow day and we've had well over a foot of the stuff, on top of the several inches that were already on the ground, and more to come later. Spring really can't come quick enough.

At least next week, we (hubby, #2 son, and I) will have a break from the in laws. Hubby's sister and her husband 'won' a trip to Rome for a week. Their son is a Marine on embassy duty and the USO held a competition for two sets of parents to go out...except that only two sets of parents could take time off/had passports/wanted to go. So while they are enjoying Rome (of which I'm exceedingly envious), we are going to house and cat sit for them...and enjoy a place to ourselves, with TV!!! for a week.

So that's what's going on...not exactly thrilling, but that's life, right.

Next up, book reviews.
jayes_musings: (Moving)
Well, okay, along with the hubby.....and, oh yeah, the bank.

And not just any house, but after (for me) 28 years of moving every very few years, this is intended to be our forever home. For a brief description, it's rural central PA...as rural as I would allow the hubby to move me and about 30 mins from the closest good sized city, but the location is stunning. It's American farmhouse style, built in 2008 and about 2700 sq.ft, but we're going to finish off the basement, so that'll bring it up another 1000 sq.ft, four bedrooms, 2.5 baths. The only thing 'wrong' about it is the decor...so not to our taste, very flowery...but that is easily remedied. It sits about halfway up a big hill/small mountain with open fields in front and wooded to the top of the hill/mountain and is all but 22 acres (21.96 to be precise). It almost backs onto a state park...and the strip of land between the two is an easement for utility companies, so no one is going to build there anyway.

I won't say how much we paid, but if I converted it to British pounds, it would cost only 50kGBP more than my mum's 2-up/2-down end of terrace in the middle of town.

It was a long, roundabout journey to getting the house though.

We first viewed it back in July and really liked it (duh!). The problem was, at the time, twofold. 1) Hubby did not have a job, only his AF retirement (that hadn't actually come through yet) and naturally banks were not willing to lend him the money without a job, even though he would have a very good, steady income for the rest of his life. The second was that the property was actually divided into two parcels of 10 acres and 12 acres which would have meant two mortgages...one at a much higher interest rate. We had to walk away as it was just impossible.

Clearly, we weren't the only potential buyers with that problem, and within a couple of months they had combined both parcels into one. That problem solved, hubby still didn't have a job and our bank that caters nearly exclusively to the military would not give him a loan (despite the retirement pay). So, on the advice of our wonderful realtor, we went to the small local bank in the town, and we were pre-approved with very little fuss and certainly they weren't bothered by his lack of employment, knowing that a) he had his retirement, and b) he was looking for work. Our mortgage is worked out relying solely on his retirement, which is very good. As it happens right before Christmas, he got a job with the DoD, although he hasn't started yet.

Our next and last hurdle was the fact that the sellers, a Mennonite family had already moved out and were in Bolivia doing missionary work. We actually should have closed last week, but they had signed the Power of Attorney for their representative incorrectly, so they had to travel to the US Embassy in La Paz to redo it and then express mail it here. With the holiday weekend and the heavy snow on Tuesday, it didn't reach their agent until yesterday.

So now, after 28 years of moving, 9 months without a home of our own, and over 7 months of living with the in-laws...we have a house. Not that we've moved in yet...or will do for a little while. Arranging for our belongings to be delivered out of storage, some in VA and some in CA, can take a few weeks, and so we're going to spend that time decorating it to more our tastes. And that in itself is a thrill after so many years of base housing and rentals where magnolia white is the only permissible colour!
jayes_musings: (Pullo cheers)
One of the things I want to do this year is keep a log of the books I read and movies I see, along with a brief review of them. I'm a little late starting, but I'll do what I remember.

Book Review: 'A Rogues' Proposal' )



Movie Reviews )
jayes_musings: (historical -- rome domina)
....declaring my excitement that the scheduled closing on our house was just a week away. But I knew...just knew that I shouldn't let myself get excited until it was a done deal.

The joys of buying a house )

So, yeah, not exactly thrilling stuff, but it's about all that happened this week...aside from the PA Farm Show, which is basically cow butts.

And if, by chance, anyone is reading this...some eye candy for you. As it was his 40th birthday this week, Hrithik Roshan )
jayes_musings: (Gerry -- feather face)
x-posted to LJ & DW

Okay, so I'm a few days late, but that is thanks to the oldest visiting us from Cali and sucking up our limited data allowance, so the last few days of December internet was switched off. And the first couple of days of January have been busy.

It's the Yearly Round Up!

So, I didn't surprise myself when I said last year that I would fall behind in trying to post weekly updates. Once again, for 2014, I will make that attempt and hopefully succeed better. I think I will due to some things that I'm planning to do and because this year will be far less of an upheaval than 2013.

Looking back and looking ahead )
So that's the plan...let's see how it goes, huh?
jayes_musings: (Moving)
I HAZ INTERWEBS!!!

Updates on life later, but just had to shout my escape from the internet void for right now.

Bon Voyage

Apr. 26th, 2013 07:44 am
jayes_musings: (Graphics -- England)
No, I haven't been around much, but I have a good excuse, that if you follow my Facebook, you've probably seen.

But I thought I'd better post something before I go on radio silence for a week. Today, approx 18mos after booking, me and the hubby embark on our transatlantic voyage that is marks our departure from Europe and our return to th US. Wifi will be too expensive, but I'll be blogging and posting once we arrive...with pics, of course! Also what makes it even better, is that we got an upgrade...bigger stateroom, even nicer dining! Cunard, www.cunard.com have a webcam, so you can follow our progress, not that you'll see much, just sea! :D

In other news, when we shipped my cat before we left Germany, the plan was that he would stay with my sister-in-law. Unfortunately he and her cats did not get along at all, so now now he's staying with my MIL and settling in nicely, at last.
jayes_musings: (Moving)
PHEW!!

Well, hopefully things may settle down for a little while...like a week! The predicted craziness was indeed crazy. Two weeks with my sisters-in-law, two of which had never been out of the US before, and one of those who had never been on a plane before...so they were really touristy...photos of EVERYTHING. Then the youngest came home on his spring break and also my mum.

Hub's retirement went very well indeed, and the effort that went into it, the dinner/roast the night before, the ceremony itself, and then the reception after were awesome. One of the many presentations he received was a gun barrel from an A-10 (7ft long and about 100lbs) which will was made into a corner shelving unit. The ceremony itself was according to protocol and quite emotional for hubs...but swigs of Bitburger helped to fend off the teary moments (his fellow Chiefs had a pool going for when he would blub). And then came the reception. Usually such things only last a couple of hours, but we were there for six, partly because it was an open bar, but mostly because of the great live music. Dave's now former boss, the group commander, has his own band, and they were terrific, even more so considering they'd only been together a month or so and the Colonel who's new to the bass guitar and only played Country and Western was now playing Rock as that's what the rest of them play. When they finished their playlist, it turned into a jam/rehearsal session, which was just as much fun.

Then it was all go for packing out and cleaning the house to turn it over. It's my least favourite part of moving being surrounded by chaos and yet so very bored as the packers do everything...then clean, clean, clean. Yesterday, though, it was all over and the house turned back over to the landlord...and best of all, we never have to do this again! Now, I can relax until we leave Germany next Friday (hub's the busy one with out-processing *g*).

ETA: Also, how could I forget to mention my furbaby, Ming? He flew out yesterday to the States and is staying with one of my sisters-in-law until we get over there. Poor thing, with three weeks of chaos and noise, he was quite upset even for a laid-back kitteh like him. I just got a message this morning that he'd arrived in Maryland safe and sound...but I hope he adjusts well to staying with her, and that her two kittehs adjust easily to him as well.
jayes_musings: (Moving)
So two weeks ago Friday was hubby's last day at work in the Air Force (he officially retires in July), which is why I've fallen behind with updates...again. I'm just not used to having him around the house all the time. As for writing, it's very hard to do when he's around and interrupting me every five seconds.

That said things are speeding up for our move. We've been getting a lot of stuff sorted out, ready for the movers to come at the end of the month and setting up all the necessary stuff like shipping the cat and car, as well as getting the other one ready to sell.

But as the Subject line states, from next week it's really going to get busy and I'll be lucky to be around online at all as his sisters are arriving on Monday and we are all down at Garmisch for the week. Fortunately, though, before that hubby is away down in Munich for the weekend for the Strong Beer Fest with 12 other middle-aged guys, and I get to enjoy this weekend to myself. Just what the introverted me needs!
jayes_musings: (DW -- Five & Ten Kinky Sex Nao)
A little late in keeping up with my attempt to post weekly, but I hope it's going to be worth it. Monday, I just got back from my trip to England and a holiday with my bestie, [livejournal.com profile] gmnoonie. I did slip in a quick post of our very fun Just Jhoom class at CenterParcs, and we also enjoyed two very wonderful sessions at the sauna on site. Unfortunately, we were in the land of Internetless...and even 3G-less...which was frustrating. We did escape CenterParcs and took a day trip into Bath, meeting up with Noonie's daughter and daughter's friend for afternoon tea at the pump rooms. I may later post some pics of Bath, mainly of the Roman Baths.

But when we left CenterParcs on the Friday, we headed to Cardiff. Not only is that where Noonie's daughter is at Uni, but of course, it is the home of Doctor Who and Torchwood! And we couldn't be there and not go to the Doctor Who Experience! Actually, that was one of the main purposes of the trip. *g* (My apologies for the poor quality of some of the photos, I was using my tablet, which doesn't have the best camera and no flash :( ).


Pics of our Experience, and fully geeking out, under the cut )

Such a pity I no longer have my Doctor Who icons loaded. Fixed that!

Just Jhoom!

Feb. 5th, 2013 12:55 pm
jayes_musings: (Default)
Short post as I'm on my tablet, as there is only wifi at Starbucks here at CanterParcs Longleat.

[livejournal.com profile] gmnoonie and I are now enjoying a well desvered latte after doing an hour of Bollywood dance aerobics. As I'm not exactly at the peak of fitness, I wondered if I would get through the whole hour. I did! I really enjoyed it and had a great workout. I will have to find out if the offer these classes close to where I'll be living, as I could really get into it as a form of aeroboc exercise, especially if the instructor is as nice as this one was.
jayes_musings: (Pullo cheers)
Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] beccadg

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

1) What are you currently reading?
2) What did you recently finish reading?
3) What do you think you’ll read next?


1) Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller I'm really enjoying it. It's the story of Achilles (obviously) as told by Patroclus, and it is a true love story between the two. I do have some quibbles, mainly the fact that she changes tenses all the time. I know it's supposed to be a stylistic thing, but there's not even a defined break, like a chapter but from one paragraph to the next sometimes.

2) The Legion by Simon Scarrow. I still stick with this series even though I am thoroughly sick of what a Gary Stu Scarrow's beloved main character is. I keep hoping they'll improve (the series started out so well that I'm always wanting to give it another chance).

3) Not sure yet. I think I will be downloading several onto the Kindle, so I have plenty to read once I'm in transit, and I think most will be light reading material, perhaps Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series or some of Anne Bishop's other novels. I also want to read the other books in Chris Wooding's "Adventures of the Ketty Jay" series (and would love recs on other steam punk novels).
jayes_musings: (Banksy -- Flower hooligan)
...as promised! (I will get into the habit of this again!)

I'm trying to enjoy the quiet before the storm of hubby's retirement and moving, but although things have got to get really busy yet, it's not proving to be the quiet that I hoped for.

Last weekend, hubby and I went to Luxembourg City, which is only about 40 mins from home. We'd never been to the city centre, only to the cinema on the outskirts, and had heard that it was a lovely city. Now, whether it was the freezing temperatures, the snow, or the fact that signs for parking garages mysteriously disappeared once you got to the centre, we ended up less than enamoured by it. We did end up parking by the Casemates...parts of the ancient fortress of the city... but we weren't going to hike down into the valley and have a wander as it was just too cold and icy. It looked quite beautiful, and I'm sure is a very lovely spot in nice weather.

In the end we decided to head back to the outskirts and have a late lunch at the shopping mall (or what passes for a mall in Europe) and then over to the cinema where we saw Django Unchained. I know there has been mixed reviews on the film, and maybe it's because I love Tarantino (and Christoph Waltz) but I thought it was one of his best. Me and hubby had a great time watching it and discussing it after...which is something he rarely wants to do after seeing a film.

This week we're trying to get things organized for the move. He's sorting out the basement and I'm doing data entry...inputting all our DVDs, CDs, and books into a database so we know if any go 'missing' when we move (because that wouldn't be the first time). I've also got to scan a bunch of old photos of hubby...the embarrassing ones...so they can make a slideshow to show at his retirement.

I also want to get back in to my Roman blog, but yeah, that may still have to be on hold for the foreseeable.

Ahhh...I'm so looking forward to going to England next week!!
jayes_musings: (Graphics -- England)
So, the Holidays are over, the decorations are put away, hubby is back at work, and #2 is back in college....it must be time for my annual post apologizes for not posting more over the previous year and promising to post more in the coming year....and likely failing again.*ggg*

(Okay, so I started this post over a week ago now, so I'm already behind on my attempt to post once a week, at least, but I'm still going to try. Maybe I'll even get two posts done this week....yeah, sure!)

I'll also be updating from Dreamwidth more often and crossposting to LJ, seeing as LJ is becoming ever more unstable and vulnerable to ever more regular attacks. Okay, so the crossposting didn't work...pretty sure I know why, and I'll work on that later, maybe.

Read more... )

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Jaye

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