Friday, December 30, 2005

WTF? Tropical storm ZETA?

Saw this on Yahoo, Tropical Storm Zeta formed in the Atlantic today.

Hurricane season ended over a month ago. WTF???

And our phone is out, so no DSL or dial-up. I'm Internetless until Tuesday when the phone company can repair the problem. The guys digging the fence posts, fixing our neighbor's fence insist they didn't do it....hmmmm...

Welcome to the wonderful world of hurricane repairs.

Anyway, Happy New Year to you and yours... may your New Year be filled with good things, health, success and no more storms.

Please. No More Storms.


Seven things meme

Thanks to Patti O'Shea, who, BTW, was also nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, along with author Jennifer Ashley, I've been tagged for a Seven Things meme. Finally, I got around to doing it.

Seven Things to Do Before I Die:

1. Finish writing and publish my literary fiction book
2. Buy a pair of blue cowboy boots and ride a horse
3. Flash my boobs in public at Times Square on New Year’s Eve, even if they sag down to China
4. Go on a cross-country trip in a red convertible
5. Parasail
6. Visit Egypt
7. Learn to play the guitar

Seven Things I Cannot Do:

1. Become a NY Times best-selling author
2. Whistle for a taxi
3. Eat lima beans without making a face
4. Hug my mom
5. Deliberately inflict cruelity
6. Speak in public comfortably
7. Stop fearing hurricanes

Seven Things That Attracted Me to My Spouse/SO:

1. His oh-so-tight and squeezeable ass
2. His cheeky grin
3. His sense of humor
4. Caring compassion
5. The rose he gave on our first date
6. How well he understood me
7. The chemistry between us. Hot, hot hot!

Seven Things I Say (Or Write) Most Often:

1. You know?
2. You know?
3. You know?
4. Really, you know?
5. You know?
6. You know?
7. You know?

Seven Books or Series That I Love: (since I can’t narrow down romance as there are too many I love, I’ll list fiction and non-fiction)

1. The Bible
2. Fair Bay (child’s book I couldn’t forget)
3. Harry Potter
4. The Farming of Bones
5. Wicked (halfway through this tome and it’s a keeper)
6. Carrie
7. Stephanie Plum (hilarious!)

Seven Movies I Would Watch Over and Over Again:

1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
2. Sound of Music
3. Star Wars
4. How green was my valley
5. Gone with the Wind (sob!)
6. Lord of the Rings
7. A Christmas Story

Seven People I Want to Join In (Be Tagged):

1. Nancy Cohen
2. Mary Stella
3. Cindy Cruciger
4. Jennifer Ashley (though she has no time for this, she has seven? Eight? Twenty? Books coming out next year! She's a multi-talented author.)
5. Stacey Klemstein
6. Toni Andrews
7. Elivra Gulch, a most misunderstood woman. LOL!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

My writing is changing

Looking over the kinky werewolf story I'm writing, and browsing through my next Leisure release, THE PANTHER & THE PYRAMID, I'm left with one unmistakable conclusion.

My writing is definitely changing. For the better? I don't know. Honestly.

The werewolf story is funny, very sexy, kinky and imaginative, but light. Like hot chocolate with marshmellows, with a serving of leather and restraints.

PANTHER is very sexy (they have sex in the first chapter), but very dark and intense. Graham, the hero, is my most tortured, and favorite hero to date. PANTHER is a thick, heavy brew, a pint of Guinness served in a dark Egyptian watering hole by a handsome, brooding bartender with haunted eyes and an air of mystery.

I cried at one point while writing PANTHER. Graham does things that aren't very nice. But out of all my heroes, he deserves, and needs, love the most. I just wanted to hug him and reassure him all would work out well in the end. All the while I was emotionally torturing the poor bastard.

One of my favorite scenes is where he delivers Badra's baby and he looks into the red, squalling face of his new nephew and feels like he too, is being born. It's an intimate connection he cannot break, and he vows to do anything to protect that child.

I'm like Graham right now. I need a new beginning. The New Year. A fresh start, a chance to begin. Shed the old and forge ahead with the new.

I have another Leisure book due in April. That book is pretty much set on its course.

And after that? I don't know what direction my writing will take me.

But trying to restrain my writing would be like roping the wind. Instead, I'll hoist my creative sails and let it take me where it will. Maybe I'll sail to exotic lands and great destinations. Or I'll hit stormy seas and wreck on the shores of an island called REJECTION and have to sit there for a long while, my muse and me.

Wherever I go, it's going to be a grand adventure. I hope so.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Came home for lunch, got the mail. DH got a Christmas card. From his dead aunt. She died yesterday.

Card was mailed Dec. 22. In it is simply written, "I go. Aunt G."

OMG, I'm feeling a little freaked out here...

Chia couch

We finally moved the moldy, dirty couch in the crushed Florida room out to the swale for garbage disposal. The black mold growing in it convinced me it was time. DH had to literally peel back the door to get the couch through. There were green things growing on it! Our Chia couch. Just add water and watch it grow.

My favorite couch. I'd sit there, in the Florida room, windows wide open to allow in the breeze, gaze out into the garden with the two towering trees and the hammock swinging between them, and happily write.

This must be why I'm struggling so lately with my writing. I think hurricane Wilma caused a trauma in my life I've not truly acknowledged. Instead, I'm listening to EVERYONE who insists I should be grateful it wasn't worse.

Like at the party we attended the other night. A neighbor said, "It could have been much worse. We were lucky."

Uh-huh. Easy to say that when you lost two roof shingles, bud. It's like being in a car accident and one victim, who received a small scratch, says, "You should be glad it wasn't worse!" while you're sporting two broken arms and a busted jaw.

I lost my favorite room to write. I lost my two beloved trees out back, my reading hammock. Our roof is dented and leaks. Our hot tub is broken. And the insurance nightmares have only just begun.

I need to bid farewell to the past, and my comfort zone, and move ahead to the future. Bid good-bye to our Chia couch, and find a new comfort zone. Take each day and its challenges as it comes. And keep writing, despite the obstacles. It's like driving on the interstate. You can slow down, but if you pull off the road and stop, because you're afraid, you may never get back onto the express lane.

Right now I'm riding a bicycle on the writing freeway while others zip past me in their Mercedes and sedans and the sporty little imports.

I'm not getting very far. Others may smirk as they pass me by. But hell, I'm still peddling. And damnit, I'm not going to stop. Even if I can only peddle out one paragraph a day.

Watch me.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Cindy Cruciger & Is 2005 over yet?

Congratulations to Cindy Cruciger! She's been nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award for REVENGE GIFTS! Woo hoo!

In other news, I'm fervently wishing 2005 would just gasp and die. Already. This a.m. my FIL called, very upset. His sister died. His only surviving sister, the one he was closest to.

And we got our first bill for our roof that has yet to be fixed. For the $3,500 deposit. No work has been done, but we got the bill. Happy Freaking New Year.

Release date for THE PANTHER & THE PYRAMID

I'm a Florida wuss.

It's 41 degrees outside this a.m. I'm freezing my tookus off. Well, actually, when I lived in Jersey, I froze it off up there so theoretically, I should have no tookus left. But somehow, I do.

I turn into an ice cube below 50 degrees. How did I ever live in Jersey all those years? The worst I remember was the horrors of ... THE COLD TOILET SEAT. Like sitting on a block of ice.

Yup. Dad always kept the heat at a mind-numbing 68 degrees in the house to save on fuel costs. We'd burrow under mounds of blankets at night. And in the morning, I had the dreaded icy cold toilet seat, since the toilet was conveniently next to the double-paned window, and that bathroom never warmed up...

Yeow! Men have it so easy. Honestly.

In other news, I am now a Diva of Romance, thanks to Lori Soard! Yay! I'm so excited. I always wanted to be a Diva!

And I have a release date for THE PANTHER & THE PYRAMID, my fourth Egyptian book. September 2006. In the meantime, I'm facing an April deadline of turning in THE WHITE FALCON, the story of the Khamsin children. Yoikes. And I'm still trying to finish Marcus' and Alyssa's werewolf story. These two just will not stop having sex. Enough already!!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:8-11

From our battered house to yours... wishing you and your loved ones and friends all the peace, joy and storm-free blessings of the season. Bonnie

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Dear Santa



p.s. Don't tell Bonnie I escaped from her story. Poor dear, she's trying SO hard to find time to write me, so I just thought I'd slip out for a bit and play.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Dear Uncle Ed,

I'm so sorry for the goof. OMG, honestly, I never meant to send you a Christmas letter printed on the back of the erotic romance story I was writing. It was dark in the office, I was tired, and thought I had loaded the printer with fresh, clean paper. Not the scrap paper from one of my current works in progress.

I had NO idea what I had sent you until I just looked now at the back of the Christmas letters and saw this printed on it:

"Because he found himself wanting, very badly, to have sex with her. To restore that sparkling fire in her eyes he'd seen earlier. To hear that throaty laughter turn into deep moans of passion as he thrust slowly into her wet heat..."

Yes, I'm afraid it's true, to answer the question probably spinning about in your mind. Your good little niece who works tirelessly for the poor and went to Sunday School and memorized prayers to the saints writes erotic romance. Yup. Steaming hot sex. My secret is out. I hope you are doing okay and I didn't give you a heart attack. Give my best to everyone.

Love, Bonnie

Son of rum balls

I'm so far behind in everything and tomorrow night have to make rum balls for a party. So I'm cheating and posting last year's rum ball post when I last attempted to be ballsy. Enjoy.

Recipe for balls

First, turn on kitchen overhead lights. Dress in comfy baking clothing. Crank up stereo with tape of "The Messiah" to get self into Christmas baking mode.

Pound vanilla wafers with fist. Feels good to get out frustrations, keep doing it. Mix with crushed nuts and then realize need cocoa mix. Have none. Melt Ghirardelli chocolate chips instead. First shut off all appliances and overhead lights so ancient microwave doesn't trip circuit breaker...AGAIN. Watch chips melt by flashlight. Dog is confused. Take gooey mess of chips, say "Uk" and add a bit of milk to get them to melt better. Nuke again.

Turn back all appliances. Take mess and dump into bowl. Add 1/3 cup Barbancourt rum. Add 1/3 cup corn syrup. Stir. Sip bit of Barbancourt. Add more rum to mix. Stire fastuh. Realize gooey mess will not sthick together. Add powdahed sugah. Add more rhume. Stire more, draink more.

Realize mess will not roll into little balls. Think about the idea of serving little ballz to male coworkers. Laugh. Ha ha! Put mess of rum stuffz in freezea to get to sthick. Drink morea baranb...barn...barban? aw hell, rhum. Eat store bought Christmas cookie with drink. Good. Dog shakes head.

Monday, December 19, 2005


Rough weekend. Spent yesterday driving two hours to the cemetery to visit mom on the 10-year anniversary of her death. My eyes are still swollen. There's a new addition near the crypt to where mom's ashes are kept. A 19-year-old girl who died last year in a car crash. Her name was Nycole. As heartbreaking as it was for me to lose mom to cancer, I can't imagine that mother's pain of losing her daughter. You're not supposed to bury your children.

I don't understand why these things happen. I guess that's what faith is all about. Trust and acceptance that there is a reason. I know I have to cling to these things. Otherwise, I'd go insane.

Patti O'Shea tagged me for a Seven Things meme. Will post later. Right now all I can think about are the seven things I miss most about my mom. Her laugh. Her understanding. How she helped others. Her strength. Her hugs. Her ability to listen. And her unconditional love. Even if she knew I was writing about werewolves in bondage and sex toys. I can hear her now, "Bonnie? Werewolves? Well, it's up to you. But... I have a question? What exactly is this bondage business?"

Love you, mom.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Conversations at Publix

Went to Publix last night to get groceries. Took off yesterday to get the tree stumps ground, and write. The werewolf story is getting kinky. Decided to add a bit of BDSM. I’ve no knowledge of BDSM, so I looked some stuff up on the ‘Net. Fascinating. My mind reeled.

Then I went to Publix… and ran into a friend.

Her: “Hey there! You look a little preoccupied.”
Me: “I’ve been writing.” And thinking about BDSM, you know, handcuffs, whips, chains, stuff like that.
“So what are you two doing for Christmas?”
Me: “Oh, the usual. Cooking a big turkey dinner, you know.” And maybe convince DH to try some leather restraints while I wear nothing but a frilly white apron? Ho, ho ho?
How’s the insurance struggle doing?
Me, vaguely: “Not too good. Agent is delaying our claim by research.” Maybe I should try some of that BDSM stuff on him. Put a nice collar on him, some leather, while I get that cute little, what do they call it? Oh yeah, the flogger. Send him crawling through the neighborhood, screaming, “YES MISTRESS, I WILL PAY ALL CLAIMS ON TIME. YES, MISTRESS, I WILL DO AS YOU SAY!”
“Have to get more shopping done tonight. I have my list of things to get, presents to buy. ”
Me: “Yeah, I know how it is.” Santa Claus, can you bring me some furry handcuffs and a whip for Christmas? I’d like to be naughty, not nice.
Her: “Well, I’ll let you go. Hate to tie you up.”
Me, trying not to smirk : “Well, actually, now that you mention it…”

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Overheard at Starbucks

"And he's a friend of Jimmy Buffet's, so Jimmy Buffet helped with the decorations... it was a FAB holiday party!"

"I ordered her Christmas gift from Scotland and it hasn't come yet..."

"My company bonus is a killer this year. We're going to Aspen and..."

"I drank nothing but decaf low-fat lattes when I was pregnant and yes, the baby is doing fine, she's in the top of her class now at daycare..."

what I would say: "I'm buying this gingerbread latte to clear up my raging sinus headache so I can write werewolf sex. Do you think it's okay to have werewolves into bondage?"

Monday, December 12, 2005

Does she take the dummy to bed?

And if she does, what's he like? Probably the strong, silent type. LOL!

Sorry, I can't help but wonder. I mean, when you read a story like this, you have to wonder. This poor military wife takes the dummy hubby to dinner, out shopping, because she misses her hubby who is serving in the Navy. She even takes him to Victoria's Secret. But... does she go to bed with him?

The dummy is a silent type, I guess. Not very talkative at dinner, just sits there. You know, like a real man. But at least he can't complain about her running up the charge cards when they shop. Does he give her advice on what kind of lingerie to wear when they shop together at Victoria's Secret? Did she buy him kinky thongs with a little bow-tie in the front?

Come on, US NAVY, give this Navy husband leave! This poor wife... whoa boy. Six weeks. At least! Do you want this guy, who is serving our country, to get a "Dear John, I've left you for a real dummy" letter?

Dear Larissa

Did you hear me scream all the way up there in Washington?

I'm sure you did. Remember that ungodly shriek you heard on Saturday at 3 p.m.? That wasn't an air siren. But me, down here in sunny south Florida.

I'm writing you this letter on my blog because I know what you have endured with insurance woes, FEMA woes and all the nightmares you have suffered since Hurricane Katrina hit your home. You've been there. Done that. Let me explain that shriek you heard on Saturday.

I had just returned from a wonderful RWA chapter meeting and party and was working on an essay about my mom for a newspaper contest my friend Mary Stella told me about. It's a pretty emotional essay. Usually I keep this "secret writing" to myself, but I wanted others to know what a special and unselfish person Mom was. This weekend it will be ten years since she died.

Editing the essay was very emotional enough. I had to stop because I was crying.

So as I am wiping my face, the doorbell rings. It's the insurance adjustor.

Seems we had so much damage, we have to fill out MORE paperwork. The process starts over again. No signs of a check.

That's when I screamed.

Dear Larissa, did you hear another scream yesterday morning as well?

That's when I opened the paper and saw this story in the Sun Sentinel.

The story about how FEMA reimbursed a vascular surgeon $826 for a generator he bought, a surgeon who lives in a $1.1 million home, while a poor woman who has lupus and diabetes and is on oxygen, and couldn't afford a generator, was told by a FEMA worker to go to the hospital if she runs out of oxgyen. The woman couldn't get reimbursed because she couldn't afford a generator. She told the reporter she tried not to get upset so she wouldn't breathe as much and therefore, conserve her oxygen.

We filed for FEMA. We filed because my husband worried the insurance won't cover all our damages. FEMA told us, sorry, you don't have enough damage. You have insurance, as well.

Insurance told us, sorry you have too much damage. We need to investigate further.

Are you hearing an odd, high pitched scream right now all the way up there in chilly Washington?

Yup, it's me. Screaming again.


Note to self: Consume less Jell-O shots at Christmas parties next year.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Leak fixed, writing again! YAY!!!

DH fixed the roof leak. YAY! He got on the roof IN THE RAIN, found the leak, and patched it. Thank God for my handy hubby!

AND I'm writing again! Slowly, not much, but I am WRITING! I just need to focus, focus, focus and concentrate and not get distracted. I can do it, I can, I WILL!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

My roof is leaking, thank you hurricane Wilma!

Well, the dreaded ROOF LEAK is here...

Sitting in the family room and it's raining outside, a gentle rain, mind you... and I hear the drip drip drip... the leak is INSIDE the wall... which means the water will pool on the floor inside, then leak through and ruin the carpet...

DH can't even get on the roof to look at it or try to put a tarp up there because it's supposed to rain all freaking week!!! More damage from Wilma, thank you very much. The leak isn't in the place where the tree went through the roof. I think another branch dented the roof and we didn't catch it...

We need a new roof. Fast. We signed up with The Home Depot. Waiting time for a new roof?

Four months, minimum!!!

Sigh... I'm trying so hard to get into the Christmas spirit. But this year, it's real hard. Real hard.


Mary Stella and Nancy Cohen tagged me for a book meme.

1) The first romances I read were by Dorothy Eden in the early 1970’s, including Crow Hollow. No sex, just gothic thrills. Hey, I was only 10 years old.

2) I learned part of the Greek alphabet by reading Brave New World, where human beings are produced into different classes of intelligence. Now that there are hurricanes named after the Greek letters, I can’t get the images from that book out of my mind. I picture a Hurricane Alpha as being the biggest, most powerful storm, while Epsilon should be this wimpy, lower life form storm that doesn’t know what direction to take.

3) A book that deeply disturbed me, and to this day, I can’t read, is Lord of the Flies. I know it could be true.

4) The first sexy romance I read was The Flame & the Flower. I asked mom, “What’s a manhood?” No reply.

5) I learned my love of romance from my mom. She was a romance addict and kept the hall linen closet stacked with books. I found her stash when I was cleaning the closet, sat down on the floor and started reading.

6) I read a lot of romance when I travel for the day job because the romance balances the suffering and misery I see in Haiti and other poor countries. Sometimes I’ll take three or four books with me on a trip. The sexy covers don’t embarrass me. One time I read Sandra Hill’s Sweeter, Savage Love with the half-naked John DeSalvo cover… on a bus filled with priests and nuns!

7) I’m on a quest to find books I read and loved as a child. My first book just arrived. It’s Apple Tree Cottage by Virginia F. Voight, a story set in 1842 of a family who travels in their caravan.

8) I love reading Stephen King. I was addicted to his books when I was a teenager because he was such a terrific writer and great storyteller as well as being able to scare the dickens out of me. I recently found a hardcover copy of Thinner, the book he wrote as Richard Bach.

9) In addition to reading very steamy romances, I enjoy reading sweet romances that have great sexual tension. When the love scene arrives, it makes it even more special.

10) My biggest nightmare is an ignorant world without books, like Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

11) I miss the big, thick historicals Avon used to publish by Laurie McBain (you and I have something in common, Mary Stella!), Kathleen Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers.

12) The first fan letter I ever wrote to an author was to Teresa Medeiros after reading Breath of Magic. That book got me through a difficult personal time.

13) I buy myself Harry Potter as a very special treat.

14) There are some books I can read sections at a time and set it down and not pick it up for months. One of these is a fascinating book on Christianity in the Middle East called From the Holy Mountain by William Dalrymple.

15) If a friend recommends a book to me, I’ll go on Amazon, read the reviews just to glom information and buy it even if it has the worst reviews. I never pass on a book because of reviews. I just purchased Wicked because of a recommendation.

What fun this was! Now I’m tagging Cindy Cruciger, Stacey Klemstein and Patti O'Shea.

Charlie Brown tree

Getting into the Christmas spirit. Listening to Handel's MESSIAH on the car radio. The whole thing. It always revives me this time of year. I love the majesty of the oratorio. Heaven must be like that.

In the front yard I planted the half of our pine tree that got blown off during Hurricane Wilma. It's now in the spot where my beloved oak blew down. Looks like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. I had to put something there because that bare patch looks so sad and forlorn.

I've been tagged for a book meme. Will post it later.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Christmas hay ride

Spent yesterday cutting more of the downed trees. Seeing progress. I'm tired of cleaning up after Hurricane Wilma. I need to get into the Christmas spirit. Maybe an old-fashioned hay ride would do it?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Writing mojo; Haiti missionary kidnapped

My writing mojo is sucked dry. I'm struggling to write. I get so easily sidetracked. The day job, Christmas coming, the wrecked Florida room I shut the blinds against so I don't have to look at it, etc. Plainly put, when I come home from work, I'm exhausted. All I want to do is prepare dinner, eat and watch stupid TV. Not work on my werewolf story.

I'm suspended in writing limbo, a creative inertia. Only instead of remaining in motion, I'm not in motion and I need a very strong force to kick me. I need to focus on what Julie, my CP, said about my WIP. She really liked it and loved Marcus. Very Alpha, very sexy. So why can't I write his story? Why is it when I flip open the laptop and power up the WIP, I stare at the screen and sit there? Maybe it's because the post-hurricane trauma was too much. Maybe it's just trying to establish a regular routine again, even at work. After all we only moved back into our offices this week after Hurricane Wilma flooded them.

Yet there are others who have suffered much worse and THEY write. I admire them so much. Like Larissa. She wrote almost HALF A BOOK for NaNo. Her home was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. She's living in ANOTHER state with her son while her husband still remains in Mississippi. Talk about trauma! And yet, she's writing!

I need a shot of enthusiasms. I'm expected to have certain enthusiams for the job. Just like DeNiro in THE UNTOUCHABLES. Enthusiasms, yeah. (Before he picked up the baseball bat and bashed that guy's head in).

In other news, a missionary and 11 schoolchildren were kidnapped in Haiti yesterday in two separate incidents. They let the kids go. The missionary is still being held for ransom. He was driving along a road outside PAP, probably National Road #1. Sigh... My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family and friends...

I doubt I'll be going to Haiti anytime soon. Nope. No way.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Give the whites some food

What a hungry little girl prayed in Haiti when my co-worker asked her to pray:

"Dear Lord, give the whites some food so they can give us food. Amen."

Amen, indeed.

Today's Daily Word is right on the mark. Is Someone trying to give me a message when I feel like I just can't write anymore?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Let's hunt haggis

It's that time of year again. Hunting season starts in Scotland on the internet. Go snag a haggis and win some whiskey. Or a trip to Scotland. I wanted to see if a prize included a cute guy in a kilt. Alas, it did not.

Happy hunting!

Hurricane-free Christmas

Last day of hurricane season. Officially. They say December storms are still possible. Here's a new song I wrote...what I'll be singing Dec. 25.

Hurricane-free Christmas, copyright 2005 by Bonnie Vanak

I 'm dreaming of a hurricane free Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops don't come crashing
On my house smashing
Making my living room ceiling appear so low, oh
I' m dreaming of a hurricane free Christmas
With every FEMA application I write
May your insurance deductible not be out of sight
And all your debris piles be light.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The biggest loser

Matt is the biggest loser. He lost 157 pounds on NBC's reality TV show. What a winner he is!

He wins $250,000... worth of Dolly Madison cakes. Ooops, we forgot to tell you the REAL prize, Matt ole buddy.


Tropical storm EPSILON?

One day before the hurricane season "officially" ends and there's Epsilon out there in the Atlantic?

Holy hurricane season, Batman, will it EVER be over? Bring on the tourists with their hairy paunches hanging over their little bitty Speedos invading my beach! I'm ready. Anything to get rid of the hurricanes this year...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I need a big hose

Our weekend off has consisted of meeting with repair people, roof people, all kinds of people. More hurricane clean-up. Yesterday I sprayed water on the roots of the two tree root balls out back we are attempting to remove. our neighbor, who cuts trees, advised knocking out the dirt between the roots with a powerful hose, like a fire hose. DH is so busy chainsawing the tree limbs and trying to cart away downed fence parts that I am doing water duty. I need a really big hose. With lots and lots of power. Anyone know where I can get a big, long, powerful hose like this one?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

A Floridian blessing...

May the wind always be at your back and be less than a Cat. 1.
May your insurance always be low in premiums and high in delivery.
May your debris piles all be small.
May Home Depot always be open.
And may all the turkeys in your life gobble and be sitting on your table, instead of talking and walking around, making you mutter, "WTF?"

Blessings, peace and joy,
Bonnie, who is now going to watch her hubby chainsaw the turkey

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sexier men?

Are these men sexier than Matt? I think so. Just MHO.

Let's start with Gerard. Mmmm...shirtless!

James Purefoy in a towel... oh yessssssssssss

George Eads from CSI... I modeled Marcus, my werewolf, after him...

Adrian! Who can go wrong with Adrian!

Of course Viggo... in bed... yum!

Oded... dark, sexy, bulging biceps. Always thought he'd make an excellent Jabari in a movie version of THE FALCON & THE DOVE, my first book...

Keanu isn't my type, but from the backside... I could change my mind!

And this guy... wouldn't you like to be a mattress right now? LOL!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sexiest man alive?

Whew... Gamma is supposed to totally pass us. What a relief.. Yesterday we pulled another part of one tree stump out. The tree trimmer never showed up. The Florida room is still a wreck and the couch out there growing moldy with each rainfall. But at least Dh's roof repairs appear to hold up. The fencing guy might be here next Friday. I'm just praying we can get our roof replaced by NEXT hurricane season.

In the meantime, I wrote a little yesterday! Woo hoo! First writing I've done in five weeks! I finished Marcus' love scene. He and Alysia are no longer in "coitus suspendus," lol. And People Magazine has named Matt as their sexiest man alive. Huh? I mean, he's cute but... honestly, I think there are sexier guys out there. Maybe it's the grin.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Tropical Storm Gamma sucks away Bonnie's last remaining sanity

I can't believe this...

I am so screwed. If this thing hits here, even as a tropical storm, we're in big trouble. Our roof will go for sure. I have no hurricane supplies. We ate them all after Wilma. No gas. Debris STILL PILED UP OUTSIDE OUR YARD!!!

Someone just shoot me. I just want to go hide in a corner and cry.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Tree stumps, suspended sex & werewolves

Ouch. Today I realized I really hurt my thumb. Somehow, during the debris cleanup, I pulled the tendon away from the bone. So each time I go to wrap my thumb around something, it hurts. This is atop my bruised knee from falling on the tile floor last weekend, my assorted cuts and scrapes from carting debris to the curb.

As one friend put it, “You’re a walking disaster.”

Huh. The tree stumps in the back are still there. A tree guy promised to come take a look sometime in 2006. It’s raining… again. Each time it rains I get depressed about the hole in the roof, and the rain pouring through the crushed Florida room, wrecking whatever else remains out there we have no room to haul inside. Roofers tell me they are so backed up they are enlisting their mothers and grannies as helpers to cart roofing shingles and it will cost me $1 million to just get an estimate. I wanted to promise sex but that would only get me on a waiting list.

So here I am. And the one thing I really, really want to do is write Marcus’ and Alysia’s story. Marcus is a werewolf. I had written quite a bit of his story on vacation, but… I hate to admit it… I left him right in the middle of a sex scene. I mean… there he is, he and Alysia are, um, joined, I guess is the operative word. I meant to finish it. I did. But we had to get on the road and I never completed it. So Marcus is standing there, bending over the bed’s edge, part A inserted into her part B, forever suspended in time until I find time or energy to finish the scene.

I can imagine what is happening now in Marcus’ book world…He stands there, hunched over Alysia, enthralled and yet agonized because he is literally stuck…So the other characters from my Egyptian books walk in, giving advice….

Marcus: I can’t believe Bonnie just walked off and left me like this.

Alysia: How do you think I feel? I mean, we just start getting some nookie and I’m frozen in time? My back hurts. My legs ache from being spread so wide and damn, did you HAVE to press all that lovely muscled weight down on me? I feel like I’m on an ironing board beneath a steam roller.

In walks Jabari, Ramses, Kenneth, Graham and Tarik grown, characters from my past and future Khamsin Egyptian novels.

Marcus, snarling, tossing the sheet over Alysia to hide her nudity: Who the hell are you?

Jabari: I am sheik of the great Khamsin warriors of the wind. I am the first hero Bonnie created. I know her best. I am here to give you advice on your current situation.

Marcus: Current situation? Isn’t it a little obvious, shrek.

Ramses: That is sheikh. Show some respect.

Alysia: Uhhhrrr! I can’t see a thing under this sheet!

Graham: Perhaps if we toss some water on them…but that does not work on dogs.

Marcus, growling: I am not a dog. I am a werewolf.

Kenneth: You do look a little hairy…

Tarik: Look, we’re both in the same situation. Bonnie dropped the ball. She was going to write my story next, but I can’t even begin to get it on with my woman. At least you got this far. With

Ramses, growling: What is this about my daughter?

Tarik, hastily: Never mind.

Jabari: I know Bonnie best. She created me first. Until Bonnie gathers all her necessary energy and finds a spare moment to complete this act of love for Marcus and Alysia, I fear you are permanently stuck, Marcus.

Graham: She’s had too much stress lately. Between damage from the hurricane, displacement at the day job, trying to clean up, and trying to find roofers, tree people and trying to figure out how the hell she will cook a turkey on Thanksgiving, and worrying that her husband in his current lumberjack mania will use a chainsaw to carve it, she is not able to write.

Marcus: So that means I’m gonna stay like this, forever?

Jabari: I fear this is so. Until she returns to your story, you can’t go forward. Or back.

Alysia, beneath the sheet: Mmmmphhhh!

Graham, helpfully: It could be worse, Marcus. You could be paused on the brink of your release.

Ramses, nodding: Yes, indeed. Like backed up plumbing.

Kenneth: Maybe we should call that firm, Roto Rooter? And away will go trouble down the drain?

Marcus: Growls

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

First book!

It's so much fun to see the excitement of a debut author when she has her very first book out.

The author is fellow writer Virginia Reede. She beat Blair (hear that Blair Valentine? ha ha ha!!), winning first place in the FF&P's On the Far Side contest in the erotica category. Witch's Knight debuts today at Ellora's Cave.

I'm so happy for her. This is what I love most about the romance business....sharing the joy and excitement. Here's a blurb from Witch's Knight. I can't wait to read it!

Sir Geoffrey has never believed in magic. Even so, when King Liam sends him in search of the mysterious witch of Caernathen, he has no choice but to obey. When his errand takes him to the beautiful and sensuous Leonore, he is soon entangled in her spells—and her bed.Leonore has always known exactly what she wants and needs from a man, and it seems that Geoffrey fits the bill in every way. But the king's purpose in sending for her—to help find and rescue the abducted Crown Prince—propels her on a mission more challenging than she could have anticipated.

Complicating matters are the king's court mystics, who are jealous of Leonore's superior power and King Liam's confidence in her. And they aren't the only ones who are jealous—Geoffrey finds that both Liam and Prince Wesley are competing for Leonore's affections.When Leonore finds herself in the position of having to choose between a king, a prince and a noble knight, everything she has come to believe about men, herself and the source of her magic will be challenged. She must decide between power—or love.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Shiver me timbers

Insurance adjustor turned out to be a very nice man. We should get a call in a couple of weeks. He definitely said we need a new roof and the Florida room is a total loss. So I'm a bit hopeful we can get enough money to at least get the roof done.

In the meantime, I'm sighing over this. Pirates in Paradise in Key West. December 2 is the day I'd love to be there for the pirate fair. I want to go! What fun to explore Key West's pirate history! But, sigh, we can't. Guess my pirate dreams must remain contained to corporate raiding, not sailing the wicked seas.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Secret writing

"I don't write not to be published. That would be some kind of punishment."

I read these words of author Joan Didion's today in an article in the Sun Sentinel about the upcoming Miami Book Fair. Didion, an author who has been published for 40 years, wrote a memoir about the death of her husband. It's called The Year of Magical Thinking. She writes the story of her husband's death and her dying daughter's illness, her own feelings, how she views doctors, how she couldn't part with her husband's shoes because "magical thinking" kept her believing one day he might return for them.

But it wasn't the book itself that caught my attention. It was that one small quote in the article by the author. She sat down to record her thoughts, feelings, memories after her husband died with full intention of getting the book published. She doesn't write "not to get published."

It threw me out of my usual Sunday morning lethargy. I wonder what the secret writers of the world think of her statement. Secret writing is my catchphrase for writing you scribble and never show to anyone because it's simply too personal, too painful, to share.

Didion's statement caught me off guard because I too, have written pages and pages about grieving. I have a journal that chronicles my mother's death from cancer, ten years ago next month (she died right before Christmas). I have journals chronicling other painful life events, from my first divorce to losing my first baby after years of struggling to get pregnant. It's my secret writing. Once or twice I've tried to assemble those essays into a coherent piece, but could not. It was as if they were meant to lie in a bedside drawer, silent, hidden away from the world, available to my eyes only.

I'm glad she wrote her book, because it appears it has helped others who also are grieving deeply and never show it. In this world, it seems people are all too eager to share in your success, but uneasy about sharing your grief. Yet I wish she hadn't said that about publication. How many brilliant, talented writers are struggling out with their own stories who don't write to get published, but write because they must write or simply die?

I've published three Egyptian historical romances as mass market paperbacks, with two more in the works due for publication in the upcoming months. I've published two e-books under Blair's name that I equally enjoyed writing. I write for publication, and yet, there are books in my drawers that I absolutely love that will never get published. I wrote them because I had to. Because there was something inside me that took hold of the idea and would not let it go.

Two weeks BW (Before Wilma, which is how I measure time now), a friend and I had breakfast. She asked me why I keep writing and working so hard with my writing when there simply is not much money in it. I didn't respond. I didn't respond because she isn't a writer. And she can't understand what it's like NOT to write.

Each time I've struggled with the notion of giving up writing, be it romance or the nonfiction pieces I toy with, it feels like part of me is gasping for air. I can't give up writing. I don't write for publication.

I don't write to be published.

I write because I must.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


I heard our beaches were back open today. Was thinking about going, and would if we didn't have so much work to do. Seeing the ocean can be very relaxing...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Egyptian book excerpt

It's national novel writing month, I just realized. I'm still too drained, too exhausted and overwhelmed with hurricane damage to write. So I'm cheating. Here's an excerpt of my upcoming Egyptian historical, The Panther & the Pyramid. Maybe I'll just pretend I wrote it this month? This is the scene after they become lovers, anonymously, in a whorehouse. The first chapter is posted on my website.

The Panther & the Pyramid, copyright 2005 by Bonnie Vanak

He arrived late, as all expected of his title. Inside, he remained watchful for a red-headed nobleman.

Like a panther, he prowled the perimeter of the ballroom. Not listening to the feminine whispers fluttering in his wake. Ignoring the admiring stares and hastily dropped curtsys as he approached. As always, he lightly clasped his white dancing gloves. Rarely did he dance, and when he did, it was with a select few who caught his interest. Graham did not want to encourage speculation as to the possibility of a future bride.

Last year, his brother had consorted with these same people. Kenneth had come before them with his Egyptian accent and his Egyptian past. Money and rank gained him acceptance. Still, he stood out like a pyramid in the yellow London fog. A savage, they had thought of him.
Graham did not stand out. He blended, his accent nearly gone, his habits very English. He was respected as one of them, thought to have been raised by a proper English couple.

The truth would rock society back on their delicate heels. Graham had been captured by a warrior Egyptian tribe and learned to kill to survive. He was far more savage than his brother.
Faces swam before him in a blurred haze. Detached, he dropped a smile, making polite small talk and moving on. Tonight, his restlessness was too large to be temporarily caged by social chatting.

His eyes scanned the ballroom for a flash of red hair. He saw none. Until he turned and his gaze lighted upon a tall mass of flame gold curls. His heart raced.

It was her.

He spotted her across the crush of people. She stood out like a living flame on a blackened horizon. Graham could not breathe. He could not think, nor act, but simply stand, lips parted.

The red hair mesmerized him. He had not seen the full glory of those tresses, nor anticipated how the strands would wind around his heart, like a spider’s sticky silk.

He remembered her, naked before him. Skin to skin. Sweat slicking their bodies as they strained against each other. Strangers forging a brief bond in the flesh.

Shared passions. Hidden secrets.

Self-discipline and control shattered like brittle glass. Mesmerized, Graham began striding forward, mindless of the fawning stares cast his way.

Barely six feet away, he stopped. Daring her to see him.

She turned. Their gazes caught and held.

They could have been the only two people present.

Intense hunger filled him. Like an opium addict’s deep craving, it took hold with steely claws.

Graham stared, remembering the sweetness and hot passion in her arms.

He wanted to hold her in his arms again, even for a mere dance. She was his worst nightmare. And yet he could not help wanting her, again.

Though his instincts screamed a protest, his senses urged him to stop, turn and leave behind the sweetness of last night, he paid no heed. Graham, the aloof duke who rarely danced, tugged on his white dancing gloves, making his intentions perfectly clear.

“Look, the Duke of Caldwell. How striking he is,” Mary murmured.

Breath caught in Jillian’s throat. The Duke of Caldwell? She put a trembling hand to her coiled hair.

Graham. Her lover.

Clad in elegant black evening dress, he cut a regal, imposing figure. Women pivoted to stare. Ivory and lace fans waved madly as erratic butterflies. Whispers drifted through the enormous ballroom like mist. Several pairs of admiring eyes affixed to him as he wound his way through the ballroom. Young girls preened. Older women simpered.

Jillian simply stood motionless. Her heart thudded an erratic beat against her chest.
She remembered him in the male glory of his nudity. Powerful muscles sculpting his shoulders, the clean lines of long bones and hard flesh.

His body covered now in severe black silk, white waistcoat and tie. Thick ebony hair swept across his forehead. Those piercing, dark eyes remained guarded in their gaze.

Regarding her across the floor as he advanced. His loose-limbed, graceful stride reminded her of a powerful jungle cat.

The fleeting image of a leopard came to mind. A black leopard, sleek in formal wear, stalking prey. Her.

Jillian braced herself, forced a smile to her face.

An amazing change came over the matrons as he approached. They twittered and curtseyed, and a distant sparkle lit their eyes. When he stood silently before her, she automatically glanced at her aunt. Aunt Mary’s stern look softened. She swept him an elegant curtsy.

“Your Grace. How good to see you again. It was indeed a pleasure meeting you at the Knightsbridges’ assembly.”

Graham nodded, his eyes searching Jillian’s face. “Mrs. Huntington, may I have the acquaintance of your charge?”

His voice was smooth and deep, the burn of whiskey sliding down a parched throat. The burn of whiskers rasping across the tender flesh of her throat, as heated as his kisses…

Jillian automatically put a gloved hand to her flushed neck in remembrance. Her aunt’s gaze riveted to Jillian. “Your Grace, Lady Jillian Stranton, daughter of the earl of Stranton. My niece. Lady Jillian, His Grace, the Duke of Caldwell.”

By rote, she sank into a deep curtsy, knees wobbling so precariously it was a marvel she didn’t collapse upon her skirts. Graham nodded toward her dance card, the short pencil dangling from it.

“May I have the pleasure of the next waltz?” he asked.

Her dry lips moved. Bernard had requested that one. “I’m afraid the next dance is taken, Your Grace.”

“Then I must find one that is available.”

Graham picked up her dance card, penciled in his name. His dark, knowing gaze buried into hers. He dropped the card, gently grazing her gloved wrist. Heat blazed between them, a living, writhing thing. The pencil swayed from her trembling wrist.

“Until then,” he murmured.With a shaking hand, Jillian scanned the card. The dance right after Bernard’s. His.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Where's the brain cells? Gone with the wind.

It's time I admitted something I've been trying not to think about since the hurricane.

I still can't believe how stupid I was...

this is a photo I took of the Florida room a half an hour before the tree fell on it. It was right in the middle of the storm. Winds were whipping and I stepped into the room for a minute to see the action. Took a photo. It's too dark to see how furious the wind was blowing.

This is a photo of our Florida room and what happened a half an hour later. (The photo was taken after the storm)

Had I been standing in the room when the tree fell, I'd have been struck on the head. Maybe killed.

I honestly did not take this storm that seriously. Maybe because Hurricane Frances fooled me last year. A three day nightmare, slow moving hurricane where the winds were blowing, but not so hard. We even opened the windows to let in fresh air after the power went out last year. Hell, we were staying in this room to read because it was so dark in the house!

I hate to admit it but I think I didn't have a brain three weeks ago when Hurricane Wilma hit. I have nightmare visions of being killed by that falling tree, and then seeing the autopsy, just like on CSI, my new fav. TV show. Nick Stokes (what a hottie!) and the doctor are peering into my head.

Nick: What is it, Doc? What are these two objects? Gummy bears?
Doc, shaking his head in sad disbelief: No Nick, they are Bonnie's last two brain cells. I think they were fighting each other the day of the hurricane.
Nick: You mean, when the tree fell on her house and she was standing there in the most vulnerable room of the house, watching the hurricane?
Doc: Yup, I'm afraid the cause of death is... Stupiditus.
Nick, sighing: What a shame. I bet she lost the few good brain cells with the falling barometric pressure. If only she had listened to Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel...

I swear upon whatever malfunctioning brain cells are in my head, that I will Never, Ever, EVER...

Not Take A Hurricane Seriously. Ever Again.

Next time, even if it's barely a Cat. 1, I'm outta here. Dh will STILL have to work at the hospital, leaving me alone again. So I'm taking me, the dogs, the parrot...

And my stupid brain cells.

And getting the hell out of Dodge.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Mine's the BIGGEST!!!

If you type biggest dong, no quote marks, into Google's search engine, my web site is NUMBER ONE!!!

Penis enlargement spammers, beware! Out of more than 1 million dongers, mine is bigger than yours! Ha ha!

Try it!

Ah yes, these days I am so easily amused by the little, er, I mean the BIGGEST, things.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Klaatu Barada Nikto.

WE got our cable back today and this a.m. instead of working, I watched THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL.

figured it was quite fitting, watching life stand still in the 1950's while half of my county still doesn't have power.

I was trying to puzzle out the words, "Klaatu Barada Nikto. " For those unfamiliar with this classic movie, 'dem is the words Patricia Neal's character speaks to Gort, the robot, to prevent him from DESTROYING THE WORLD.

Or so we believe.

I think "Klaatu Barada Nikto" can stand for many meanings, depending upon said situation.

For example, if your power is out for 10 days straight and FPL forgot you, it can mean, "Restore power immediately or I shall run amok with my gas powered hedge trimmer and turn my neighbor's greenery into chaos!"

Or, "Will you adjust my cable bill for the days I was without or must I sic my hungry Rottweiller on your billing people?"

Or, "If I have to wait in another 64 hour gas line again, I shall destroy all in my path! Love, me."

Personally, I'd rather think that it advocates peace, love and harmony.

"Klaatu Barada Nikto."

The perfect phrase every South Florida homeowner NEEDS to hear:


LOOK MA!!! I'm Uncle Fester!!!

I figured there had to be a "bright" side to this electrocution thingie.

I went to the garage, found a 60W light bulb and stuck it into my mouth just like Uncle Fester in THE ADAMS FAMILY.

WOW! I light up like a Christmas tree at Rockefellera Center in NY CITYA!!!

I figure there is gold in dem lights.

I'm gonna rent myself out as a walking, talking eletrical appliance for those still without power. Like my FIL.

He has NO power. So I figure, $5 an hour as a living light appliance. Hey, I'll be cheap. $25 for the whole damn night. Just stick a 60 watt bulb in my mouth, and I'll shine da light on your home all night. Stand there like a living light pole. Just like Unca Fester.

Forget FPL. Forget Kansas City linemen or the rugged, cute, Texas boys we saw last night at da restaurant, eating beef, slugging down beer and being cheered by the rest of the diners for their hard work.

You, the powerless and the forgotten, now have MOI! Bonnie, da light extraordinaire! Fired up by a shocking jolt of 220 W, she now can power a measly, but still working, 60 watt bulb to light up your life.

'course I will NOT see what happens if you try to plug into my "other" end.

God only knows what kind of electrical shock DH is due for...

hee hee hee!


i went to turn on the hot water heater. didn't realize the plastic guard was off.

touched the metal tab. it was wired with 220 volts.


my hand is still hurting.

my house is still a disaster zone. my good friend just got laid off. roofers are trying to pressure me into signing up with them or we'll never get our holey roof fixed.

someone please tell me it will get better. or just shoot me.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

My man has 18"

I knew I was in trouble when his car pulled up and he had a gleam in his eye. Following my DH was our friend and neighbor.

DH got out and whipped it out... the 18" that will obsess him all weekend. Our friend's eyes lit up with jealous appreciation.

"Wow," he mumured. "Haven't seen one of those in a long time. You're so lucky."

I had tremendous fear DH would hurt himself. Did he know how to handle those 18"? What about me? All I was used to was a wimpy 12" that barely worked and DH had to really apply himself to get the job done.

But I think those 18" will come in handy, despite my fears.

The 18" is a brand new chainsaw. I stood there like a nervous wife, hand wringing, as they stroked her chaisse and fingered her chain with ooohhs and ahhhs. And then they set to it, cutting up part of the tree downed in front.

Wood chips flew. Dh had a mad grin on his face. The look was there. NEW TOY!

This weekend, we have a date with a chainsaw. Oh boy. I can't wait.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A love story

She had been breathlessly awaiting his arrival all day. When he walked through the door, she launched herself at him like a skyrocket.

"Whoa there," he said, laughing. "Don't worry. I won't back out."

"You'd better not," she said, smiling and so happy to see him. Her heart raced madly. Oh, he looked so good, she just couldn't believe he was hers. All for the next hour. She grabbed his hand.

"Back here," she ordered. "We've no time to waste."

She led him to the right spot. Breath caught in her lungs as he bent over, the tight clasp of his low riding jeans squeezing him like a bum squeezing a dollar.

"Right here?" he asked gently. "Do you want me to do it now?"

"Oh, yes, yes, yes!" she screamed. "Do me now! DO IT, DO IT!"

Her screams of esctasy filled the air. She didn't care if the neighbors heard. As he removed his enormous hammer, she gloried in the sight of its thick, long shaft.

Far too long she had been denied. Far too long she had waited, heard stories of his tremendous prowess as he satisfied all the desperate housewives in the neighborhood. Now, at last, it was her turn. As he began to pound his tool, she shook with unbridled joy, feeling something she had not felt in ages.

Utter satisfaction.

For at last... the roofer... had come.

Saved by the bra

For our ten year anniversary, DH had given me a small diamond heart pendant on a thin gold chain. I've been wearing it daily, and today went to work with it on.

This morning, I went to feel for it and it was gone. Panicked. My heart is gone, I told everyone.

We're all lined up like a boiler room, computers on tables. Then someone asked, "Did you look down your shirt?"

I peeked down inside my shirt and said in embarrassment, "It's in my bra."Everyone laughed and applauded. My heart was saved by my bra.

Today found out one of our favorite parks to bike ride in is closed until April. It was only 3 miles away from our house, featured large, shady trees, a string of lakes threading through the park. It reminded me of parks I frequented in NJ. Now it's trashed. Sigh...One day at a time. One day at a time.


There's a train car in New Mexico called the O.Y. "O" stands for operational, meaning it doesn't earn money, and "Y" is the letter assigned to it. It's a snowblower, but Dh and I joke that it's the OY car, the car you take on the tracks when things are piled too high.

We need the OY car here in South Florida.

Our power is back on, thank you God! I was ready to lose my mind yesterday. Between worrying about our roof and then losing power... It's a good thing we got it back, too, as right after, DH ran down to our friend's house with the last of our gas to give him for the generator we loaned him. He had maybe 1 gallon left in the generator. Our friend and his wife had to do an emergency rescue of people in a nearby retirement community.

we had four inches of rain yesterday in South Florida. In that retirement community, the ceiling collapsed.

A lot of ceilings collapsed all over. In Palm Beach county, 50,000 homes are structurely unsound and condemned. Those people are homeless.

In our county, 1,000 people are now homeless. They had to literally rush out of their apartments, condos and homes in the pouring rain as it rain into what was left of their homes. Many are elderly. They are confused. They don't know the hell what to do.

So here I am, back with power, feeling grateful, feeling relieved and feeling awful for those who lost everything. I wish I could help, but what the hell can I do? I'm just hanging in there one day at a time myself. Praying our roof will hold and we too, won't have to rush out in the rain with what little we can gather. It's shocking and sad how one day you go from wondering about what you'll cook for Thanksgiving dinner to worrying about if the roof will hold.

Yup, the OY car. We need it here in South Florida. Because all I can do is look around at my house, those who have it much worse than me and say, "Oy. What a freaking mess."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

We lost power, again

I'm ready to just shoot myself.

Transformer blew, the neighbors told me. Happened while I was at work. We just had a wicked downpour and the transformer blew up. Smoking. I came home and the dogs are terrified. They can't stop panting. I'm trying to calm them down as the parrot is shrieking. I'm about to lose my damn mind.

The only good news is I THINK the patchwork DH did on the roof is holding up. I don't see a leak.


The irony is, we gave away our generator to friends who didn't have power yet. So here we are, powerless, no generator.

That will teach us for being nice.


Saving the bar

It's raining.

I'm depressed and scared. I hope the repairs DH did to the roof will hold and the two-foot hole is okay and won't leak. And there's what's left of the florida room... the roof on that tore off from the house roof and rain will pour inside what's left of the room...

The bar is still in there. I forgot to get it out.

It's a solid wood bar, one his dad gave us. Been in his family for years. I just moved it out of the direct hole in the roof so rain won't drip on it, but when water starts pouring into the florida room, the bottom will get wet and rot.

Maybe I can get some guys from work to sneak away and save the bar.

There's just so many things to try to think of... and my brain has turned into cottage cheese. Last night the power flickered again. We held our breath. Today it's hot and sticky. We have no a/c. DH won't test run it until he blows the foot of wood chips out of the fan outside. He's afraid if he doesn't, the chips will jam the fan motor and then we're really screwed.

Good luck in finding an a/c repair person now. Nothing much is open. Even the Publix by me still has no power. the dunkin donuts has no power. Very few businesses are open.

I need to save the bar today. Somehow. Someway. I've got to shake off this damn depression. It's not helping.

Still can't get hold of my insurance company. I really do think the agents packed their bags and are living in Argentina.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

my suggestion for next bush supreme court nominee

my priorities are very focused these days...


Power keeps flickering. Wind howling outside. Broken electric meter and high wind...

Equals losing power? AGAIN?
FPL can't fix broken meter for at least ten zillion months. Or until I die and am buried in an air-conditioned casket.

No more. Cold Showers. No. More. Canned Barfaroni.


Florida chainsaw massacre

Where was Leatherface when I needed him?

I would have made him a great trade. "Dude," I'd have said, "Loan us your killer chainsaw and cut down the tree that's on the hot tub and I'll give you my right leg."

My right leg is killing me now, anyway. Doesn't the bible say, "If your right leg offends thee, cut it off"?
Did Jesus ever chop down a 40-foot tree with a wimpy chainsaw that can barely cut butter?

We had no help today. The great-looking men with chainsaws Cindy Cruciger has spotted are NOT in my area. All our friends had mysteriously vanished. Dh had to get the tree, the "small" one off the hot tub.

He had a dinky chainsaw that was about as effective as a kindergartner's rounded scissors. But we had no choice. So we set at it. FIL was here, he picked up branches.

Dh sawed. I hauled.

We worked 9 hours on the one tree. Finally, we have a backyard. I think there's grass back there.

I took two muscle relaxers and I'm slowly killing a bottle of wine. I still have major back pain. I think I'll go for gas tomorrow. I just hope Dh doesn't file a missing person's report while I'm in a gas line. Work is open. They are squeezing us into a small space. They're called bathrooms. The new printer is a spool of toilet paper and a Sharpie.

Florida room

Before Wilma, at Christmas when Tiger was cold and I bundled him up...

And this is what it looks like now... But rooms can be rebuilt...eventually. Lives can't. 11 more people in South Florida died post Wilma, from generator fumes, falling off roofs, you name it.

I have hopes I can see an insurance adjustor sometime in the next century... and maybe then we can get the new roof we need.

I also believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy... lol...

Before and after

I think I need to do before and after photos. this is our garden railroad layout before.

And after, what it looks like now...

What a mess my backyard is...

What would the Pope do?

This is what I did all day yesterday. Well, I was just posing. Our neighbor cut up the tree. I helped haul pieces to the swale.

It was a beautiful, shady tree. Doug, our neighbor, said it had to be at least a half century old. Hardwood, he thinks it might have been mahogany. I wanted to save a small piece, just to grieve. I love trees. I keep telling myself we are blessed and so much better off, despite the damage. Our house is liveable. We have power. Last night a friend came over to shower and do laundry. Half of Broward still has no power and some may not get it back until Nov. 22. Many are suffering greatly, with no jobs and no homes. Many are elderly.

It really annoyed me to read the paper this morning, the first paper we've otten since the storm hit last Monday.

Some guy paid nearly $700,000 for Pope John Paul II's old Ford Escort. It was the kind of car JP II would drive, kinda rundown, ratty, economical. So what would JP II, who always advocated helping the poor, say about spending that ridiculous amount on his car?

He wouldn't like it. And he'd say to the guy who said he wanted it as a reason to get close to JP II's spirit, go help the poor. If you don't want to help them in other countries, there's enough of them right here in the good ole USA.

Like my fellow residents in Broward. Many are jobless, permanently, or won't get paychecks until businesses open. And the evictions are beginning. The county is starting to evict people because some houses or apartments are too damaged to live in. So where are these people supposed to go? Shelters are the last option.

Hurricane Beta is slamming into Nicaragua now. I can't read about it. It's too heartbreaking.

Yesterday we got a lot accomplished. I'm trying to focus on the positive, like our neighbor who came over with his huge power chainsaw when he saw DH struggling to cut the monster tree out front with his puny electric chainsaw. Doug reves up the power chainsaw, and says, "Here, let me help."

He worked ALL AFTERNOON on that tree, cutting it into pieces, thankfully removing the dangerous limb that was hanging over our neighbor's roof. Refused to take anything for it. Said he didn't need anything. DH promised him free electrical work when he needs it. DH and I worked all day trying to remove the tree debris and pile it onto the swale. Every muscle in my body hurts, but it's a good feeling.

I'm trying hard not to get depressed. Like I said, we're blessed. Our house is liveable. What gets me is all around me, my neighbor's houses look terrific. Across the street, our neighbor's house looks like House & Garden. She was trimming her hedges the day after the hurricane, while I was standing outside in shock looking at the wreckage of my yard.

She really bugged the hell out of me, trimming those damn hedges.

Today I'm hopeful we can get to the tree on the hot tub that is blocking 75% of the backyard. If Dh can get the side gate fixed, or even just smash it so we can get in that way, it will make it easier. The root balls of the trees out back are blocking the south side of the yard. Doug told us some tree trimmers are charging $1,000 just to take out the root balls.

The root ball of our tree in the front yard, tipped on its side, is about 15 feet in diameter. Oy.

Okay, must concentrate on good news. We killed a rat last night. Big sucker. He's gone to the great Attic in the Sky. And I have power. I have power. I have power. Today I am going to Target. I heard there is one open. I'm buying Halloween decorations. Damnit, even if we get no kids trick or treating tomorrow, I need to decorate and act like life is normal.

Maybe I'll go get the dead rat out of the garbage and put it on my prissy neighbor's manicured lawn. Just the idea greatly cheers me.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Oh, rats

They're in the attic.

Must have come inside right after teh hurricane ripped a hole in the roof when the temps dropped down to 56 degrees that night. And now they are sealed inside because DH fixed the hole with plywood. I saw one this morning when I was online, as I had insomnia. It marched across the train tracks back into the attic. See, the train running in our house goes through the attic. So now the rats are using the tracks as an express lane to get into the house.

DH put traps up there. Before Wilma, I would have freaked out with rats running into my house. Now it's just another thing to deal with and move on.

GOOD news... I have fresh meat! Publix was open in Boca, my friend and I went there a couple of hours ago. I grabbed what I could, pork hamburger meat, you name it. Fresh milk! woo hoo! It was a zoo. No real frozen items but pizza. They are the only store open with full power able to stock perishables. And they are the only place open with a working ATM. On the way back we drove down Federal. OMG, there are 4 high voltage power lines lying in the highway! Federal is down to one lane only...and the marina is totally destroyed.

Tonight my friend is grilling out and we're doing a party, with a bonfire with some of my dead tree. I think we need some sort of normalcy. Another friend called and she's clinging to sanity with both hands, as the generator her brother brought down is broken. She still has no power. I can't believe how lucky we are to have power.

Friday, October 28, 2005



And a good wine supply!

My friend and I are headed there tomorrow a.m. Carpooling to save gas. DH spent two hours in a gas line only to have them never power up the station because the yahoos screwed up the generator. Oy.

Tomorrow night my friend is taking our downed tree as firewood, we're roasting marshmellows, toasting each other with wine and doing a "Let's get back to normal" party at her house.

I'm ready. boy, am I ready! And the idea of fresh food has me so damn excited... how weird is that? Today I was ready to grab a free Salvation army meal. I never take charity.

Now I know what it's like to be on the other end...

For dinner, I had canned cheese and crackers again, and I was lucky enough to find some ham frozen since last Thanksgiving. My friend and I had a feast! Dh ate the last of the frozen food I had bought before the hurricane.

Tomorrow is more canned barfaroni, unless I can find some fresh meat. Turkey slices would be GREAT!!! I have gravy, frozen bread, can make HOT turkey sandwiches!!!!

Never thought I'd see the day when I'd be so excited to see a grocery store have fresh food.

120 mph winds

This is the side yard and smashed fence, broken electrical meter and the shutter the wind tore off the window. We had winds of 120 mph.

This is tiger and tia hiding out in friend's house for the second half of Wilma. My friends came down during the eye and rescued me. Poor dogs were so stressed and confused.

This is the back yard I can barely get into because of the tree that fell on the hot tub. The garden railroad layout is half wrecked. The pine tree my FIL planted with the seeds from our wedding is half gone, but I think I can save it.

my front yard

This is the tree that fell in the front. if it had fallen on the house, it would have crushed the bedrooms, even the one where I was hiding. First thing DH did after fixing the broken water main was put the flag out. I think I needed that as much as he did.

I have power!

Thank you God! And the tree guys came to cut down the tree from the house. Oh, my poor house, everything is a mess... can't write about it now,here's some photos. I have insomnia, again.

this is teh back yard, the tree that fell on the house is to the right, the tree that fell on the hot tub and yard to the left.

This is what's left of my Florida room, the room that had a big leak after Hurricane Frances that we fixed. It's really leaking now, lol. You can kinda squeeze through the back door. My poor dogs are so confused. we have no yard now for them. No fence, either. I still can't get through to my insurance company. I think they took their phone off the hook.

Monday, October 24, 2005

it's over

FIL is okay, dh is finally home... friend's house is okay, part of roof is gone.

We have no power. Water is shut off, the tree in the front took out the line.

But this is our house, the back... i can't stop crying... and we can't get the tree off probably for a week. i don't know if it is safe to stay here.

everything is wrecked. the tree my FIL planted on our anniversary is down as well.

And the roof LIFTED OFF of my building at work, there is two inches of water in my work area. Everything is destroyed.

So I don't know if I have a job, either.

Someday, I can look back on this and laugh. Not today. I'm too busy crying. But at least we are all safe. Even the bird.

raining inside my friend's house

part of their roof blew away

Evacuated the house

Friends came and got me during the eye. the roof was still holding when i left, doggies are with me, had to leave poor parrot behind.

dear god, when is this over? all the windows on the courthouse downtown are blown out. trees down all over my neighborhood. now we're getting the back end.

barometer was down to 29.1 when i left.

i hope my car and house and bird will be okay.

i'm so scared

tree fell on our house, water starting to stain the celing, wind is blowing it INTO the house. the other tree fell on the hot tub.

i'm in my "softa safe" room in the master bedroom, shuttered, hiding on the bedroom floor.

please god, let this be over soon. i'm so scared. still can't get hold of FIL.

a tree just fell on our house

i'm so scared...

i hope it hit the florida room roof and not our roof... i looked out and it's leaning against the house. it's one of the big trees in the back. oh god.

it's so bad here. winds have to be at 102 mph.

i'm hiding in the back bedroom. i'm alone with the dogs. i started crying. called DH at the hospital. poor dh, he's trying to comfort me and there is not a damn thing he can do about it.

i tried to pull it together for his sake.

then i told him i want to move. i do. i hate this, oh god, there goes another limb!!!!

when will this be over????

7:44 a.m. tree branches falling on roof, winds whipping

And it's only supposed to get worse, according to Brian Norcross.

I took a shower by candlelight. Figured I might as well be clean if the house falls apart around me, lol. Went into the living room, looked out on the patio and the winds are whipping so hard that the air seems to be compressing. Then went into the kitchen and WHUMP!

big tree branch falls on the roof. I can see it blocking the kitchen window. Oh dear.

I'm not scared. Nope. Not me. LOL!

I wish I had coaxed FIL to come here to stay... just to keep an eye on him. DH just called. He sounded worried. he said he tried calling his dad, but phone kept ringing. I assured him he is okay.

I hope.

The worst weather is supposed to be here in about an hour. Wonderful. The barometer is now 29.3, lowest I've ever seen it.

The irony is we are supposed to get 56 degrees tomorrow night. Hurricane, followed by winter.

Just listening to Brian Norcross on the radio... some poor lady in Davie called in, scared and hiding beneath her "formal dining room table." She lives in a mobile home and didn't evacuate. He told her to stay there.

Oh crap. I just heard another tree branch. Damn!

I think it's time to start drinking now. Like Jimmy Buffett said, it's five oclock somewhere.

6:45 a.m. power out

and here I thought I'd have power for a few hours longer. HA! It went out at 6 a.m. I think FPL shut it off. They do that, DH informed me, transformers start popping.

Winds have increased. Rain started. Barometer still falling. Now 29.5.

Yesterday it was 30.1.

The lowest in the past two years I've seen it was with Hurricane Frances last year. It went down to 29.3. I think it will drop lower than that.

Tia and Tiger, the doggies, are now with me in the living room. They're spooked.

And I have to award Dr. Steve Lyons of the Weather Channel my personal "Gee thanks" award. Just before the power went off, I heard him talk about the high winds we're going to get here and he said there will be bad damage, trees down. He advised, "If you're in a house with trees outside, get into a room where the trees won't fall on the house."

Ha ha ha! We have two very large trees in the back. THREE very large ones in the front.

There is, really, no place in the house I can go and feel safe.

I hope DH is holding out okay and the hospital still has power. He's the electrician, so his job is pretty important in the storm for the back up generators. During Frances, he had to go OUTSIDE at the height of the storm to hook up the spare generator.

I hate hurricanes. Did I mention that already?

5:19 a.m. Wilma now 125 mph, dog snores

Wilma has GAINED strength and is now 125 mph. Forecaster Ed, the geeky guy with glasses from the National Hurricane Center, says all of South Florida should expect Cat. 2 winds in the next six hours.


Barometer continues to fall. Now 29.7. Winds are picking up as we are now getting Wilma's very outer edges. Tia the dog is snoring on her pillow in the bedroom.

I got two more hours sleep. Yay! Maybe I can try for two more?

I am tense, and getting a bit scared. Riding out a hurricane alone is not fun, but this one is going to be bad. I've never been through a storm with winds this high.

I think I'll lose power in about another two hours. If I'm lucky, not before then.

Hopefully, power is all I'll lose.

I wish Cindy and her husband had left the Keys.

I wish my friends in West Palm had left their house near the water.

I wish a lot of things right now.

Like being in New Mexico, scrubbing toilets.

2:30 a.m. QVC sheets, wind gusts

Dh just left for work. He's supposed to drive 40 minutes south to the hospital, where he will be all day. Hurricane Wilma is now a cat. 3 as I had thought, with winds of 115 mph. It's heading for Naples and the worst side will be slamming into my area about 9 a.m. or so. The winds are very breezy right now. Almost delightful. The kind of wind you like sipping margueritas on a lounge chair in the Keys.

I let the dogs outside just now, their fur ruffling in the increasing breeze. Barometer continues to drop, joy to the world. We're supposed to (in the eyes of the grim forecaster at Channel 7) get hurricane force SUSTAINED winds and gusts over 100 mph over here in Broward.


I need to sleep, but I can't. I need to quit watching television. I'm sick of watching the weather forecasters predict doom and gloom. There's nothing more I can do to protect myself, just pray the trees in the front and the back hold out and don't crash. Or large branches fall down. We've never had a "real" hurricane here with sustained winds.

so instead of watching the weather, I'm watching QVC. They're having a special on very pretty patterned sheets. I wonder if it would be too weird to call them up, order some. "Hello QVC? I'm calling from a hurricane. But I had to have those sheets. Even if my house falls apart around me, hey, at least my bed will be pretty."

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Category 3?

Wilma is just now one mile short of a Cat. three.


I don't think I have enough liquor in the bar for a cat. 3.

I hope Cindy Cruciger and Dave and assorted pets will be okay. They didn't evacuate the Keys.

I hope the trees don't fall on our house.

I hope I have enough insurance to cover the damages.

Last one is a joke. Maybe I can sell myself on ebay instead of a roof shingle to cover the damages?

For sale:

Weary Floridian/romance author tired of hurricanes. Will clean toilets in New Mexico in exchange for never having to endure another 8 days of constantly watching The Weather Channel and wishing Jim Cantore would just leave.

Barometer dropping & spooked dogs

Hurricane warning. Wilma will be here by morning. the barometer I have that I set out on the kitchen counter for all hurricanes (six of them since last year) is dropping. Was 30.1 this a.m. Now it's 29.8. Not good. Tried to take dogs out for a walk, they would not go. They're spooked.

Finally we got Tia out on the leash and looked up at the clouds approaching. very eerie.. wind from the southwest, clouds circling in that direction. Yup, hurricane coming.

I'm trying not to get depressed or anxious, but it's tough. DH has to work. They are sending him in at 3 a.m. Hopefully the rough weather will not be here by then. So again, I'm riding out another hurricane alone.

I'm trying to teach the nasty-mouthed parrot, who is now in the living room instead of the patio (see birdie fly in hurricane. fly birdie, fly!) to say, "Wilma, go away." he just stares at me and mutters, "Duh."

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Hurricane watch & Tropical Storm Alpha


Alpha is out there, due to hit Haiti in the next couple of days. The first Greek-named hurricane. I hope he's a wussy Alpha male who's really a Beta. Haiti always has mudslides in ANY tropical storm.

In the meantime, down here in not-so-sunny Florida, my area is under a hurricane watch. Wonderful. Wilma is supposed to hit the west coast tomorrow night/Monday a.m. and we're supposed to get winds just as high, a cat. 2, maybe, on the east coast. The house is shuttered, so is the condo, and I have provisions.

Already we had five inches of rain last night. Some areas down here got flooded.

Is it over yet? Do you know how bizarre it is to shutter up and prepare for a hurricane when down the street, the neighbors have dancing pumpkins on their lawn?