Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Follow up to Gifts of the Heart

Just wanted to let everyone know that my son's hemoglobin level has come up to 7.8. Normal range is 12 - 18 for ANYONE, so he's still anemic. We're waiting on his hematologist to get back from vacation to give us any further instructions, but the nurse seemed pleased that it came up 1.5 points in a week.

Overall, we're pleased, but know he's still got problems. Still, it's enough to be encouraged.

Until next time,


Monday, December 26, 2011

Gifts of the Heart

Merry Christmas, a day late! Or, as our friends across the pond may say today, Happy Boxing Day!

I hope you've had a most blessed Christmas... and managed not to kill any of your family. ;) Or is it just me that struggles with those feelings sometimes? (tee hee hee, just kidding!)

Today is my regularly scheduled post for the blog chain, and to be honest, the topic (Gifts of the Heart) kind of has me stumped. But, I shall charge on!

When I read the topic (admittedly, about 5 minutes before I started writing this post), I thought, huh.

So, rather than do a traditional post, I think I'll leave you with a few pictures of some of the things that warm my heart. I hope you'll find them as endearing as I do.

Obviously, these are my kids... and my dog. :) I'd put TMOTH's picture up, but I'm not sure if he'd be okay with it. 
So, my family is my gift of the heart... I hope you can say the same for yours!

In a little sidenote, I want to give a brief update on our son's health. Last week, we thought everything was going well, and then we went in to see his dermatologist, who, on a whim, ordered some blood work. Our guy has been sick most of the time since Thanksgiving, and when they ran his hemoglobin, it was 6.3. Normal is between 12 and 18, so he's exceptionally anemic right now. We have his blood retested tomorrow, and his hematologist (blood doctor) is watching this closely. We've managed to get through Thanksgiving and Christmas without being admitted--and seeing as those were both spent at the hospital in 2010, this is a great thing. Hopefully, we'll make it through the remainder of 2011 without being admitted again! (Now, if we can make it through cold and flu season...) 

If everything is okay, I guess you'll hear from me next in 2012... wow, can it really nearly be 2012? It barely seems like I was getting a handle on 2011! If for some reason things aren't as good as we hoped, I'll try to post a short update on Tuesday or Wednesday. 

(But I'm hoping it'll be 2012 before you hear from me again!)

Happy New Year!

Until next time,


Monday, December 12, 2011


I've been debating today whether I should try to do a post. I neglected getting one up and ready last week, and here I am, procrastinating again.

I'm probably one of the worst procrastinators out there. Okay, not the worst... but still... And, TMOTH is just as bad as I am, which means we're both hopeless.

Really, we can both be motivated... when we want to be... But if I were so motivated, wouldn't I have at least been trying to get my novel out the door these past few years? Wouldn't I have been doing more to raise my writing credits from just this blog and CCBR in the last few years?

Sometimes, I can really disappoint myself.

Which is why I've been thinking about my 2012 New Years Resolutions already. Actually, since before Thanksgiving. I've narrowed it down to four:

  • Lose 10 - 15 pounds. While I don't want to get down to what I was when I got married, and I'm on the upper-end of the acceptable range of BMI, I don't want to let myself get out of hand. 
  • Raise my writer profile from what it is now to the point where I'm under contract with an agent and have published short stories--and more than one or two. I'd like one for every month of the year, but that would mean I need ideas! :) 
  • Learn how to quilt (which I'm already teaching myself.)
  • Learn how to can.
I think I can do all of these things... as long as TMOTH encourages me, and I stay on track. Honestly, I think the hardest thing for me will be to lose the weight since I'm happiest sitting at a computer!

There's 19 days left in 2011... Have you accomplished your 2011 goals? What are your 2012 goals?

Until next time,


Monday, December 05, 2011


PERIL: A blog tour with Suzanne Hartmann and Lady Anne

Readers of Word Wanderings shouldn't be strangers to Suzanne Hartmann. She's guest blogged at least once, maybe twice. And today, I'm delighted to bring her back. She has just had her first novel debut! I couldn't be more excited for her. Peril: A Fast Track Thriller (Book 1) is now available.

A top secret agent with enhanced strength must use her extraordinary abilities during several high-profile assignments from the White House to NASCAR tracks. When unwanted publicity threatens to expose her, she herself becomes a terrorist target, with danger surrounding her on all sides.

“Plenty of action and unexpected twists.” -- Foreword by Jimmy Makar, General Manager of Joe Gibbs Racing

Suzanne and I have conspired a little treat. We've convinced her lead characters, Lady Anne and Stuart Jackson, to sit down and be interviewed--and it was no easy task, let me tell you!

A little about Lady Anne: She is King Ahmad’s beautiful, but mysterious bodyguard. While she appears to be all lady on the outside, she is not afraid to face terrorists and is capable of taking them down with her enhanced abilities. She is a woman full of secrets, and no one is able to trace her history or whereabouts.

A little about Stuart Jackson: he is a two-time NASCAR Champion at the peak of his career, yet finds his life lacking meaning. Although drawn to Lady Anne by her beauty, once he has a chance to get to know her, it is her contentment in an obviously difficult situation which makes him seek her.

WW: Thank you both for finally agreeing to this interview. I understand that you value your privacy and rarely make appearances.
STUART: Some of us make appearances so rarely that they’re almost impossible to find. (glances at Lady Anne)
LADY ANNE: (points at self and mouths "who me?") As the woman said, I value my privacy.

WW: Stuart, I hear that you and Lady Anne are an item.
STUART: (pulls at collar) Well…uh…no. Actually, the media started that rumor. She's might be the most beautiful and interesting woman I've ever met, but there are...ah...
issues...that keep us from having anything but a friendship.

WW: I see. Lady Anne, could you shed any light on these issues?
LADY ANNE: I cannot expound on them, but I can say that the way I dealt with these issues only encouraged Stuart to try to find me because he recognized in me the kind of peace he was seeking.

WW: Stuart, you're a NASCAR champion, and have the kind of fame and fortune most people can only dream about, and yet you're not content with your life?
STUART: I felt empty. Like I was missing something, but I didn’t know what. I was always looking for the next challenge—something bigger and better to look forward to: my first win, a championship, the next step up the racing ladder. But every time I got there, it was only a matter of time before I looked for what was next…until I ran out of challenges. I reached the pinnacle of my career, but when I looked down on the other side I saw nothing

Then I had two brushes with death in less than a month. I don’t know. It just stripped away everything that I valued, and the culmination of my dreams didn’t seem as important as it had been. I was still proud of my accomplishments, but I saw that something was missing.

WW: And you finally located Lady Anne to get answers?
STUART: It took quite a bit of finagling, but yes, I got my answers…and a whole lot more.

WW: Can you tell us how you first met?
LADY ANNE: Stuart attended the State Dinner at the White House in honor of King Ahmad, and I was the King's escort for the day.

WW: And you were the hero of the day--
STUART: And the hero when she escorted the King to the Talladega Superspeedway, and at the Famous Fifty Banquet.
LADY ANNE: (blushing) Yes, but I paid dearly because of the notoriety my actions brought. It threatened my personal life and eventually made me a terrorist target.

WW: Because you kept saving the first Muslim king to convert to Christianity?
LADY ANNE: Yes. But it was an honor to be given such an assignment. As difficult as it has made my life, much good has come of it, and I have come to realize that God is in control and has been leading me since the White House incident, even though I doubted Him.

WW: How do you deal with the stress of knowing that there are people out there who want to kill you?
LADY ANNE: It's hard. It worries me constantly, but I have a plan. It is very risky and I am not looking forward to implementing it, but if it works I should be safe from the threat of terrorists.

WW: I don't suppose you could share that plan with us?
STUART: Don't even go there. She'll never answer your questions about her plans. Trust me, I tried. She was polite, but wouldn’t give up any information she didn’t’ want to.

WW: As much as I would love to know more, I can understand that your plan requires secrecy, so I will simply wish you the best of luck. Thank your both for joining me today. It has been a pleasure to get to know you.

To celebrate the release of her debut novel, Suzanne is giving away a KINDLE!
Entries will be accepted until 12/16. For details, click here: WIN A KINDLE

Suzanne Hartmann is a homeschool mom of three and lives in the St. Louis area. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Composition & Linguistics from Western Illinois University. To relax, she enjoys scrapbooking, reading, and Bible study. She began writing fiction when her children were young, and four of her short stories were published in a Milliken Publishing reading workbook. PERIL: Fast Track Thriller Bk. #1 is her debut novel.

On the editorial side, Suzanne is a contributing editor with Port Yonder Press and operates the Write This Way Critique Service. Through her blog, Write This Way, she has become known as an author who can explain writing rules and techniques in easy-to-understand terms. Her popular Top 10 series of articles formed the basis for her e-book on the craft of writing, Write This Way: Take Your Writing to a New Level.

Peril is now available at in paperback for $16.95, as well as at for $12.99. I understand that while not available yet, it should be available on Kindle within the next couple of weeks.

If you're a writer, you should also check out Suzanne's e-book, Write This Way: Take Your Writing to a New Level, of which, I am pleased to be an endorser for.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Suzanne, Lady Anne, and Stuart! I honestly can't wait to read this book.

Until next time,

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