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2004-02-24 - 3:11 p.m.

Well, My entry didn't win the contest in the local Pennysaver! Dashed are hopes for a $50 gift certificate to a golf driving range or a local restaraunt! I was amused by the sappy, horrid "Roses Are Red" variety of poems which won that ALL features rhyming couplets. Apparently the judges were unaware that poetry DOESN"T HAVE to rhyme! It was REALLY funny reading some of the winning entrys!

I am pleased with myself as I mailed out TWO short stories this week! I set a goal of entering a particular contest by this week. Yesterday I mailed out the story I worked on for the past six weeks. Today I noted that authors are allowed to enter the competition twice. I pulled up another piece and edited it and mailed it out today! A great sense of accomplishment as I not only met, but exceeded this most recent writing goal.

I also am really happy that my husband was happy to edit my writing and once again proved to be a very objective and capable editor! He in fact has published over a half dozen articles himself, so is not a stranger to writing. (Even if his work have been largely in trade magazines in the IT sector.) He's been paid far more for his articles than I ever have! So it was great to have his input and support. I also am glad to have an old friend who also agreed to read a piece and give feedback. I'm Interested in what she has to say as I recall from our college days that she herself is a talented writer, and she is more detail oriented of a person than I am.

The kids have been fighting colds, and over the weekend the littlest one was awake with croup. On Fri night I had to take her outside for a midnight drive with windows open in the rain as the cold damp air helped her immensely.

The following week we had enjoyed a visit to my in-laws. (Although I am not sure "enjoyed" is the proper word!) The visit was nice, but not without its stress and "moments" as I like to call them. We came close to leaving abruptly after a fight between my husband and my mother in law. Fortunately my Father in Law talked to Westley, and then I did as well, and he apologized to his mother. (Even though she was also at fault! A wonderful sign of his maturity at not being defensive and just sucking it up to make things better instead of INSISTING on being acknowledged as being RIGHT!) I joked that I finally figured out what his strong personalily, and his mother's likewise similar strong personality needs to be tempered-- TWO on ONE! Both my father in law and I spent time talking with my mother in law as well and it seemed the JOINT mediation of TWO people to talk to these strong opinionated TYPE A persons really Helped!

So instead of taking off back to NY, I took the loaded car full of kids to the park to play for a while. They I came back to the in-laws where my hubby and his father re-loaded the car with all the belated Christmas gifts and then they took a drive down to our house in VA to unload them all rather than have to bring the load to NY only to be moved to VA in the moving truck a month from now!

The boys enjoyed visiting my sister-in-law and her new husbands new home in Vienna. They then enjoyed a visit the next day to a Grizzley tool show room, on the drive back to NY. (A handyman's dream land!)

So I had two trying days with all the kids at my Mother-in-law's without any toys, an excessively loud TV that blared constantly due to her being hard of hearing. I was carless so couldn't take the kids out at all. We had to get by with the Victorian age rules of the household. It was indeed an experience!

On the ride home I commented that it was good we visited. My hubby said "Not for me" and I said, "But for the kids" and suprisingly the kids all raved about the trip! They in fact acted like they were disappointed we had to come home. The three year old today complained she wished she was still there, and said "I liked the cereal" The house there IS filled to the brim with sweets! They did indeed have sweetened cereal the kids normally don't eat, and the kids were indeed spoiled with more Christmas gifts than they ever imagined.

VA HOUSE UPDATE: Upon the visit there last week Westley discovered the builder will not meet the goal of the house being livable for us by the end of Feb. Kitchen tiles are backordered, and are not due in until Mid March. New prosepective move back date is End of March.

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