Friday, May 28, 2010

Finding Love Again

Finding Love Again
I am amazed it has been a full month since I last blogged…. Where does time go? I find that most of my time is eaten up with cooking, cleaning, writing, writing, sports, playing with the kids and trying to find time to sleep.
For those of you readers out there that found the love of your life early on, count your blessings. Many of us either found love and it just didn’t work or we just haven’t found that special person that makes our heart sing. I used to fall into the category of love come and gone, until I met a man last year who runs marathons like me. I like to joke, “We fell in love because we run the same pace.”
As I write my romances for all you, I’ve been living my own. I never thought I could find love, real love again. Let me tell you I was proven wrong. This month we were married and had a magical wedding, the kind that comes out of romance novels. Our children all stood up with us as my three year old walked down the aisle with my father and me, holding her blanket. I think after writing, “A Daughter’s Discovery,” I fell in love with the idea of wildflowers and had that theme for my wedding.
My dear and amazing mother-in-law brought me to tears as she gave me a set of pearl earrings, necklace and bracelet for me to have and wear for the wedding. She too got the idea from the same book.
The next day we were whisked off to Kauai, Hawaii, for a romantic honeymoon. It was heaven to be alone with no kids, no responsibility and the ability to just love each other for ten days. Kauai is the garden isle full of lush forests and secret beaches. We scuba dived and spent hours on the beach snorkeling and talking of nothing. The sunsets, air and flowers, cast a glow of splendor and enchantment creating romance wherever we rent.
I write this to you all, telling you to cherish the one whom you love, or never give up the idea that can’t find you. It found me again. My next book, “The Firefighter’s Heiress,” is about two people who believe that love will never come to them. They are in for a big surprise.
Aloha and Mahalo,

If you want to see some fun action you can go to:
We recorded ourselves zip lining and touring the NaPali Coast on video.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer is the Season

Tourist season has just barely begun here in Philadelphia, the “City of Brotherly Love,” but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the hordes of people jamming the sidewalks. With cameras glued to their faces (and earbuds blocking any outside noises), the gawkers are oblivious to those of us who live here. We edge around the posed photo-ops, trying to avoid being part of anyone’s ‘what I did on my summer vacation.’ We cross streets to avoid being sucked into the massive amoeba-like student groups. We plan our route so that we pass the minimal number of historic sites possible on the way to and from our destinations.

It never occurred to me, when we chose to live in this part of town, that the historic district also meant the tourist district. I just liked it because it’s vibrant with lots of shops and restaurants and many old warehouses renovated into condos. It’s within walking distant of the Reading Terminal Market and a couple of decent grocery stores. The subway is convenient to get to more far-flung parts of town. From my front door, I can walk in four directions and find interesting things to see in safe neighborhoods. Now, though, as summer begins, I’m beginning to rethink my decision.

Once upon a very long time ago, I visited Philadelphia with my parents. I saw Independence Hall and felt the crack in the Liberty Bell. I had lox and bagels at the Famous Fourth Street Delicatessen. I liked the city then, though it was much grittier than it is now. That vibe I mentioned earlier? I could feel it, then, too, even as a teenager. Maybe that’s what drew me back here all these years later. Maybe Philadelphia has been calling to me all along. It’s my place; I just didn’t know it until now. But the tourists are going to drive me crazy!

So, what am I going to do about it? I’m not going to beat them, that’s for sure. Trust me, there are waaay too many of them to battle. Instead, I’ve decided I’m going to join them. I’m going to take back a piece of my new city for me. I will gawk and stare and appreciate all the historic landmarks alongside the most dedicated tourist. Betsy Ross and Benjamin Franklin, look out: here I come.

Hey, what are you doing this summer?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Facing the Big 4-0

I'm only a few days away from -- gulp -- turning 40. I don't feel 40, at least on most days. :) Maybe it's because I'm not a mom and I don't have visible proof in the form of teenagers that I'm old enough to be a mom to a teenager. It got me to thinking about ways we can make ourselves feel young, even as we grow older.

1. Keep up with new music. You might even like it. I still love to dance to whatever the latest club music is even though I don't go to clubs. But watch out, Harlequin party! :)

2. I read lots of YA/teen novels. There's just a part of me that I think will always be a teenager and connect with teen stories.

3. Same with younger-targeted shows and movies. I'm anxiously awaiting Eclipse just like a lot of girls half my age. Have you seen the trailer!?

4. Take care of ourselves. Since I don't have kids, I need to take care of myself because when hubby and I get old, there won't be grown children there to take care of us. My parents have a wealth of health problems, many that could have been prevented with different life choices. Last summer, I started trying to lose weight and become more active. I started a blog, Healthy Writer, targeted at helping writers (and anyone with a sedentary career) get up and get moving and make better eating choices. Having lost only 10 pounds since last July, I upped my game today by joining the YMCA and went to my first Zumba class. Did I feel like I was going to die 15 minutes into the hour-long class? Yes. Did I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment when I made it through the class upright and without passing out? Yes. I'm hoping that by the time I (along with Tawny Weber and Michelle Butler) give our Healthy Writer class at National in July, I'll be down at least another 10 pounds. I'm still about 30 pounds from my goal weight.

5. Try new things. I love taking trips to places I've never been, reading authors I've never read, challenging myself to accomplish things I doubted I could. Sometime in the next few months, I'm going to tackle one of my phobias by taking some swimming lessons. If I can learn to swim, that will provide one more way to help me exercise and take care of myself.

6. Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep ages us. I don't want to look older than I am, thanks.

What are your favorite ways to keep yourself feeling and looking young?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Eagle Watch

Last month I blogged about the Hornby Island Eagle Cam, a live web cam that’s giving us a bird’s eye view of life in the nest of a pair of bald eagles. In April, we were watching Mom and Dad take turns brooding their two eggs.

Early on April 29th, one of the eggs hatched and just after sunrise (PDT) web cam viewers around the world welcomed baby Phoenix to the world.

Sadly, it seems the second wasn’t fertilized and has not hatched, but watching Mom and Dad raise Phoenix has more than made up for that disappointment. It’s especially incredible to see how amazingly gentle these parents are, in spite of their fierce beaks and deadly talons.

Even more astounding is the growth rate of a baby bald eagle. Phoenix will fledge and leave the nest when s/he is about 80 days old, with a wing span of 80 inches!

Here's Phoenix at three weeks old, with the unhatched egg for scale. I love the little dinosaur face, rubber chicken body and that pair of I’ll-grow-into-them-someday feet. So adorable.

Hornby Eagles also have a Facebook page where you’ll find lots more information and many more photographs. It the link doesn’t work, a Facebook search for Hornby Eagles will take you there.

Happy eagle watching!

Until next time,
Firefighter Daddy (July 2010)