End Your Week With Happy Kids!

— 1 —

My thirty-year high school reunion was this past weekend.  I didn’t go, but I was totally stalking the whole thing on Facebook. Everyone looked wonderful, and it sounded like they all had a great time.  But Michael was working, and I just couldn’t take my high-school BFF up on her offer of being my transport. It’s an eighty mile trip each way, and she’s a busy teacher with a lot going on in her life. To be completely honest, I was a little afraid to go. My memory just isn’t anything close to what it used to be. I don’t know if it’s the pain, the meds, the stress, or some combination of them all, but I have huge gaps in my memory. Even with nametags on I’d think – “I know him. We were in homeroom together.” Then I’d realize that wasn’t possible because homerooms were alphabetical. And some names brought no memories. I can honestly say I knew nearly every single person in our graduating class of six hundred . . . but I can’t remember the teachers, the classes, the funny stories – it’s all just gone. And that horrifies me, because I loved high school. Also, how would I answer when people asked, “What are you up to?” I mean, I don’t want to lie, but an honest response would kinda put a damper on the party mood, ya know? Talk of disability, suicide attempts, looming foreclosure, etc is a downer at parties.

— 2 —

 John and I were able to catch up on the episodes of Doctor Who we’d missed in time to watch the finale together on Saturday. It was a fabulous way to celebrate the end of Marching Season and a break for us all. I wish there were more shows Michael and I enjoyed watching together, but John and I have a whole list: Walking Dead and Talking Dead are our favorites, but Doctor Who and Face Off are a ton of fun as well.

— 3 —

In fact, SPOILER ALERT we were debating how long Eugene would last with the group now that he’s admitted he has no “secret cure”. Then there he was on Talking Dead afterwards, mullet still intact, so obviously he last quite a bit longer on the show. BTW, is there anyone else who finds the post-Apocalypse Beth more appealing than the actress herself? For some reason she annoys me.

— 4 —

I did host my first Nerium Twitter Party on Tuesday as planned. It wasn’t a big crowd, and I still ran over a bit, so I’m going to have to edit it down before I do it again. There are just so many important facts to share about Nerium, and so many fantastic pictures! Editing my Facebook and Twitter Parties for Nerium is harder than editing a manuscript.

— 5 —

Speaking of manuscripts, I’ve been a NaNoWriMo slacker this week. I could make all sorts of excuses, but what it comes down to is I just plain didn’t do it. Right now finances are more important, so Nerium comes first. Someday I will make money from my writing, but with Nerium I get paid every week. So that’s where my time and energy is going. Here’s my Nerium website if you have no idea what I’m talking about. It truly can make huge changes in the way you look and the money in your bank account!

— 6 —

John turned sixteen on Wednesday! Unlike his older brother, he’s in no hurry to get his permit.  He thinks things through very thoroughly, and is appropriately cautious about the responsibilities driving will entail. Of course there’s also the issue of the sole car in the family being a massive tank that simply can’t be parallel parked. That’s going to have to be rectified before he can take his actual driving test!

— 7 —

Last night I got to spend some time with the Kennedy Kaboodle for the first time in a LONG time! Even though Maeve slept through my entire visit I filled up on baby cuddling and little boy hugs. Then I got an update from Rachel on her 5K training and her favorite story in mythology. SO nice to hang out with people who understand just getting through the crazy day-to-day and enjoying the moments as they come.  And I always come away with great app or plugin suggestions, a new book idea, and some new songs in my head (in a 45-minute drive!)

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Twitter Party on Tuesday!

I just can’t tell you what s blessing Nerium has been for Michael and me. I feel productive, even though most of what I do is chat with people on the phone or via text or email (usually from bed on my phone), occasionally going out for a Wine and Wrinkles party! Since I LOVE Twitter parties I thought I’d throw one and see how it goes :D It will be Tuesday the 11th at 7 p.m. EST.

I’ll be giving away a bottle (two-month supply) of Nerium’s flagship product, Nerium AD Night Cream ($110 retail value), to some lucky party-goer! Follow me at @angieballard on Twitter, and the hashtag is #beautifulskin. If you want to make it easier use tweetchat.com and enter the hashtag. It will show you ONLY tweets with that hashtag, and will attach the hashtag to anything you post or re-tweet. Easy-peasy, even for Twitter newbies!

You can learn all about Nerium, see some impressive before-and-after photos, and ask all the questions you like!

Look at this adorable little boy Nerium helped:
BOY SCAR

and this woman, who got amazing results! (I waited until someone identified her and confirmed the pics before I was willing to post them. I didn’t believe it was the same woman!)
confirmed pic

If you aren’t available Tuesday evening, let me know and I’ll email you info on Nerium, or invite you to a Facebook Party, Twitter Party, or a real life Market Party if you’re in the Louisville area! If you’ve already heard about it and are just searching for someone to order from please feel free to browse my website at angieballard.nerium.com. We have a fantastic gift box available starting the 11th as well, so check back to take a peek at that (or let me know whom you want me to send a link to!)

I’m Writing Again!

— 1 —

My mom has turned into that old woman. You know, the one down the street who’s grumpy and mean to the trick-or-treaters? Yep, not only did she fuss at the kids who grabbed too many pieces of candy, but when some older kids came by she asked to see ID proving they weren’t over twelve. Seriously, she did! It’s a wonder her house didn’t get egged or TP’d. In this day and age it would barely have been a blip on the news if some teen had pulled a gun and shot her for not handing over the candy. And her little dog, too! Then the teen’s parents could likely have brought civil charges against her, forcing her to pay for intense therapy and medications for their child, who’d been traumatized by being refused Halloween candy.

— 2 —

 I got the judges’ sheets back from a contest I entered this week. Actually I got the email last week and just let it sit unopened in my Inbox in case it said, Your writing sucks!”.  When I was finally ready to open it I saw I hadn’t finaled (oh, well), but the first judge’s sheet gave me a score of 68 out of 70! That particular judge loved my book, had some excellent constructive criticism, and offered to read the whole thing when I was done! I was pretty thrilled, but when I looked her up and saw she has three entire pages of books on Amazon, all with great reviews I was over the moon! The two other judges gave me high marks for writing style/voice, romance, and dialogue – YAY!! But one of then nearly had a heart attack over my excessive use of commas, finally reaching the end of her rope and typing in all caps: “GRAMMAR USAGE BOOKS ARE CHEAP! BUY ONE!” Yes, I do fling commas enthusiastically, but I’d never publish something without having someone else delete all the extras. The third judge gave me a truly horrible score, and she said it was because no protagonist, ever, should drink, smoke, or talk on their cell phone while driving.  I don’t think she read the whole first twenty-five pages, or she’d have had more to complain about.

— 3 —

Anyway, that was a wonderful motivator to get me started out in National Novel Writing Month. I haven’t tried NaNo in a couple of years, but this year I’m going to do it, writing only in the evenings so that when I ignore my timer and keep writing through the worsening pain Michael or John will call me on it and force me to go lie down for a while.  Best part so far? When I posted my daily word count to Twitter and FB one day my very first nurse manager, from when I was a new grad in 1988, mentioned that I was ahead of her. I hadn’t realized she was a writer! So of course I invited her to the next Louisville Romance Writers meeting – and she’s coming!

— 4 —

John’s high school marching band finished fifth in the state for the season, which I think is pretty fabulous. Even more fabulous is that he’s getting more rest, we’re driving less, and he has more time to focus on homework. Also, he’s got time to prepare for his driver’s permit test – he turns sixteen in a little over a week.

— 5 —

Michael and I have an appointment Monday to see someone about getting help with our mortgage. He filled out lots of paperwork, copied tax forms and pay stubs, and we scheduled a phone interview on election day. We had them call on my cell since our landline is MagicJack, which isn’t worth $20 a month. Two tins cans and a length of string would be more reliable. Anyway, we were both on the sofa, paperwork between us and phone on speaker. I should have known that wouldn’t work out. Just as Michael was getting frustrated with the government employee who was telling us we didn’t qualify for a particular program because my long-term disability payments had run out (I know, it doesn’t make sense to me, either – your income has been slashed, so we can’t help you. If your income was higher – high enough to pay your bills – then we could help you) Sam started feeling left out and jumped onto the sofa, right on top of all the paperwork. So we were both trying to pull crumpled, fur-covered papers out from beneath her very large rear end when Boss started barking loudly at a squirrel or cat or something. Michael started swearing, I tried to get to the speaker button but wasn’t fast enough, and it was all downhill from there. I’m still waiting on the email this woman (we never got her name) was supposed to send me, so we will probably show up Monday with all the wrong papers.

— 6 —

This was the song going through my head as Sam wiggled happily, trying to find a comfy spot on the paper-strewn sofa:

— 7 —

By the way, I’m going to host my first Twitter Party! I’m pretty excited about it, too :D It’s going to be a Nerium Wine and Wrinkles Party – BYOB, of course ;) It starts at 7pm on Tuesday the eleventh, and some lucky Twitter follower will win a bottle of Nerium’s flagship product, the Nerium AD Night Cream ($110 retail value) at 8 pm. It’s going to be lots of fun, and you may get some gift ideas for Christmas! The hashtag for the party is #beautifulskin See you there!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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Anything worth doing can be done in jammies!