Apr 23, 2006

On Taking Stone for Granite

Have you ever thought about stone? We went to a stone store on Saturday to pick out the coping for our pool. For those of you not familiar with the word "coping" (I wasn't either until we built our last pool) it's the top edge that surrounds the pool. They used to use concrete or brick but now the "style" is a more natural looking stone.

According to our pool builder, it can be a very expensive mistake if you don't choose your stone wisely. Your decisions are literally "set in stone." I have to admit I haven't thought much about stone...but when you're trying to decide what color you want your pool to be you start thinking about it...and noticing it. Stone is everywhere! Stone walls, stone fences, stone buildings, stone steps, stone fireplaces...the list goes on and on. (I'm reminded of Forest Gump's shrimp boat friend).

So we go to the stone place. It's a modest building with a few offices and a small showroom. The guy walks us out back and WOW...It's a huge graveled area with piles and piles of stone. And they come in all sorts of colors from all over the place...Oklahoma Flagstone, Tennesee Blue Gray, Pennsylvania Lilac and some with names like Arizona Chocolate, Cherry Rock Flag and Cafe Blend... by the time we were through...I was starting to get hungry!

We ended up deciding on the Colorado French Vanilla...sounds yummy doesn't it? They gave me a small piece and OMG...it's heavy. Of course you would expect something sold by the ton to have a little weight to it. The whole time I'm wondering what the shipping charge would be to send one of those piles UPS. My husband asked the sales guy how they get their stone and I said "they dig it up" but I was immediately corrected. No! They BLAST it up. I looked closer at my stone pile and checked for burn marks...

Of course I've heard of a rock quarry...but I never really thought about it...ya know?

BTW...here's a pic of French Vanilla.
French Vanilla Flag 1 It's a smooth stone because they cut it. As a matter of fact, I managed to pick out the least natural-looking stone on the lot. I wanted my stone to look manmade...lol.

They're supposed to start digging the pool on Friday. If they hit stone on the dig it will cost $800 extra to blast it out. Maybe I could use that for my coping and save the $300 a ton for the French Vanilla.

More as it develops.

Apr 19, 2006

Another Reason to Love Friday

We got some good news today at work. They are now offering us "Flexible Fridays" where if you work 9 hours for 4 days you can leave at noon on Friday. You can only take 10 of these shortened Fridays a year but these sound like they will come in handy to write. It's just another way our new HR guy is trying to make it a better place to work...YOU GO BOY!

Writing News: I got word from my agent that a Canadian Publisher has requested to look at CurvyKathy31: Confessions of a Chat Addict. I love it when these opportunities pop up out of nowhere!

Goodbye Ace! Another American Idol bites the dust...and I really hated to see this one go. He was just downright pretty to look at!


I still think Chris has the best, most unique voice and if he made a single of his version of I Walk The Line...I would buy it. But in the end I think the little girls will vote in Katherine.

Apr 18, 2006

This 'n That

Writing News: I only accomplished half of my goal (50 pages instead of 100) but they are 50 polished pages. I found it hard to just barrell on through, which was my original plan. I have to perfect as I go. That's just me. I'm looking at about 2 1/2 chapters until I can officially type 'the end." I CAN'T WAIT!!!

My list of excuses:
1, One of the reasons I had a hard time writing more was the amount of personal business I had to attend to that I usually take care of while I'm at work (ie: filing my income tax, making dr. appts., paying bills online.)
2. My husband took vacation time at the end of the week. There is something about him being around that disrupts the creative flow, even when he's mowing the yard or doing something else constructive.
3. I spent a lot of time eating out and shopping...come on...I was on vacation.
4. Easter Sunday was my husband's birthday and I had to host his party.
5. The view and the weather were so lovely.

For Swingers Only:
My husband used to play golf and wanted to start playing again but decided his clubs were too old. Sooooo I bought him new clubs and bag for his birthday. Since they were too big to wrap I put scavenger hunt type clues all over the house that finally led to the trunk of my car. He was genuinely surprised and it was so worth it to see him smile like that...and to watch him chip back and forth across our backyard (and into the lake on purpose.) Hopefully him playing golf won't disturb the creative flow. We'll see next Saturday.

Pool update:
It looks like it's going to happen. What fun I've had designing it. They start digging late next week. More to come...

Apr 9, 2006

What a Weekend!

My best friend, her boyfriend, her 14-year-old daughter and her daughter's friend drove up from Waco to spend the weekend. It was the first time they'd seen the house so we got into high gear and hung the last of the pictures and the new drapes in my office and tidied up (especially the guest room) for their arrival on Saturday.

After a trip to the mall on Saturday we went to the Trail Dust--a steak house complete with a slide from the second to the first floor, a dance floor and a live country band. It's a touristy place and I can't remember the last time we've been there, but it's the kind of experience that leaves you feeling like you've been somewhere special.

Having guests for the weekend was a new experience because I've never had a guest room before...the girls slept in the gameroom. We all had a wonderful time eating out, shopping and chatting beside our backyard view. The weather was gorgeous, everyone got along well and as we hugged and kissed them goodbye we made vows to do it again soon.


But, enough about my weekend, I want to talk about next week. I haven't told you but my agent was contacted again by the editor who's interested in my first book. She wants me to finish my next book so she can sell me to her publisher as a 2-book deal. So I'm taking off next week to finish Spoiled Rotten. It will take about 5 chapters which equals about 100 pages. Divided into 5 days equals 20 pages a day. There, see, I'm not completely right brained. I can divide.

I'm a little nervous if I can write that much in one week though. I mean, I think physically I can do it...it's the emotional part I'm worried about. I find writing is emotionally draining...so we'll see how much I can do. Wish me luck!

Apr 5, 2006

A Lot Of Hot Air

We were sitting outside admiring our new view early yesterday evening when suddenly over the houses came two hot-air balloons. The sight was so colorful and so unexpected it literally took our breath away. We both ran inside looking for the camera and by the time we got back out they were tiny dots in the sky. Anyway, this was what I caught on film...well, actually there wasn't any film involved.


Re: Finishing book 2. I'm working on it!!! Come on, I can take a break now and then to look at the balloons, can't I???