Monday, December 27, 2010

Whew! What a holiday!

This year, even though I was excited about Christmas coming, it never really felt like Christmas - I'm surprised that it's over. It never snowed or iced. My husband and I are both so stressed, with both of us working full-time AND going to school full-time. I just never really got into the holiday spirit. It came and went in the blink of an eye, and I worked every day. I just can't sit still, I guess.

The puppies LOVED Christmas! They each got a couple of Plush Puppies (cows and allie-gators), and Big Girl got a Plush Puppy stuffed tree with 3 squeaky stuffed squirrels. Little girl got a Plush Puppies stuffed Gingerbread House with a stuffed, squeaky bone, gingerbread man and gingerbread block. Too cute! They were running around barking and doing Wild Husky Freakout for days! They each also got a "grown-up Husky gift" - Mommy is a HUGE Coachie, so the girls each got Coach mini-Ergo keyfobs to wear on their collars - now they have Coach purses like Mama!

The kids also had a great Christmas! They each got NETBOOKS! Plus a few other things, but those were the biggies. They feel so grown-up and are so thrilled.

Daddy Claus also hooked Mommy up. I got two GORGEOUS, rare Coach Bleecker keychains, the Limited Edition Coach/Estee Lauder set from Dillard's, AND a WIRELESS KEYBOARD AND MOUSE!!!! Plus the kiddoes got me a $25 gift card to Starbucks. I can write like a fiend now. I got my keyboard and mouse the week before Christmas, the night that I had a little mishap with a sweet tea destroying my old keyboard. I was IRATE at myself, til hubby brought out my gift, and I melted into a puddle of tears! LOL And my parents sent me cash, so I bought a pair of Coach eyeglass frames with that. And I bought a pair of Coach sunglasses. PLUS, I got a digital picture frame from hubby and the kids, so I can keep pics of all of them with me on my desk!  I am SO blessed!

And not to forget Daddy Claus - I got him a Blackberry (phone), a set of magnetic gloves from Summit (he's a mechanic), and the kiddies got him a $40 gift card so he could snag some software he wants.

So, all in all, it was a great Christmas, even though it didn't SEEM like Christmas. Just really subdued and low-key, without the holiday excitement, I guess. I will get pictures of my gifts later - now I have to get some articles submitted so I can pay some bills. hehehe

Hope everyone had a FABULOUS holiday season, and looking forward to a great NEW YEAR!~

maggie mae

A picture - more pictures to come later:

 Matching Ergo Keyfobs for Mommy and her girls!~

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How I Got Into Writing, Part Three

Well, I wasn't able to post part 3 of my little adventure yesterday. I got involved in a couple of work projects, and was just too wiped out at the end of the day. So, where were we? Ah, yes - I was a budding little content mill writer when we left off. Okay, so....

In the fall of this year, I made the decision to write full-time. Scary, but freeing and empowering at the same time. I started seeking out more sites to write for, and found several private clients. Thanks to my 3 legal degrees (2 AAS, 1 BS), I also do freelance paralegal work and am a notary. My little business is coming along - I am making enough to cover the bills, put money aside for taxes, and put some in savings. Dave Ramsey would be proud. I have a definite plan to get debt-free by the end of 2011. :) I've already paid off my business debt - there was none to begin with! I started a viable business with what I had on hand here at the house already. I bought a couple packages of nice pens with one of my paychecks, but I had everything else on hand. I am SO very blessed.

So, that's my exciting story. I have about 20 eggs in my little basket, and my business is still growing. I'm still going to college full-time as well, so it's busy around here, but I am happier now than I have ever been in my life.

Tomorrow's post: Some Resources for Freelance Writers

Sunday, December 19, 2010

How I Got Into Writing, Part Two

So, we have the story of my military writing career. Let's move on to how I got started as a civilian freelancer. :)

In May 2007, I was really working the Dave Ramsey plan, and was a member of a forum that concentrated on ways to become debt-free. Someone posted a link to I was skeptical, but set up a separate Paypal account and submitted my first piece to AC. I was amazed when it was published, AND they deposit payment into my Paypal account for it! I began writing more pieces for them, to include a 3-piece series on books for military wives. My page views went nuts, and really boosted my confidence in myself as a civilian writer. Right after that, I deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While I was gone, I was contacted by a newspaper at Fort Lewis, who purchased my series for military wives for a couple hundred dollars. I was flying!

When I got home, I kind of played at the writing thing while I continued my active-duty military career. I signed up with Helium, DemandStudios and others, and wrote during my lunch breaks at work, or on the weekends. I didn't start freelancing full-time until October 2008. That's where we'll pick up the story again tomorrow. :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

How I got started writing.

We'll break this up into a couple posts, from day to day. I'd like to talk about how I got started writing.

I've always kept journals, and have loved writing, ever since I can remember. And my family enjoys reading what I write. But, I thought they were just saying that because they are my parents & siblings. So, when I had been in the military for about four years and transferred to a new unit and my Colonel started pushing me to write an article for him, I tried to get out of it. He was much smarter than I, though, and kept pushing me. Finally, I wrote the article for the base newspaper. I got so much great feedback on it, I began volunteering for more and more writing assignments. Soon, I had gone from "office helper" to full-blown military journalist, and began attending military journalism courses and teaching them to other airmen and soldiers from our sister unit. Sadly, a few years later, I accepted a position as a military paralegal and my writing was turned in a different direction. I did still manage to get a few journalistic and even legal pieces published in the newspaper about once a month, and I continue to do so today.

Tomorrow's post: How I got started as a freelance writer in the civilian sector!

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Part-time endeavor

In addition to my full-time writing career, I also sell Scentsy. I have been a consultant since August 2009, but went active for a few months and just re-signed on. I lost my rank and downline, but it's okay - I built it up once, it's just a bigger challenge to do it again. I just love Scentsy and am proud to be part of such an awesome company. They really care about their consultants and are constantly providing programs to help us. The products are fabulous. I have two large Husky mixes, and 2 kids, so I cannot have flames around the house. Scentsy is all wickless, and heated with a small light bulb. The wax gets warm enough to emit lots of scent, but won't burn your skin.

This month, I am doing a promotion to jump-start my business. Anyone who places an order of ANY size on my website between now and Christmas Eve is automatically entered to win one of several "virtual door prizes" to include a full-size warmer, a plug-in warmer, and 3 bars of wax. If anyone is interested, you can email me or visit my site at Thanks! :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Resources for Writers - Accentuate Writers Forum

Since I am now writing full-time for a living, I would like to help other writers find the freedom to quit their 'day jobs.' At least once a week, I will profile a helpful resource for writers, or a great site to write for. Hopefully this will help someone. Today's post is on a great resource for writers. If you are looking to talk to other writers, find LEGITIMATE paying job leads, and join a family of writers, you need to visit my friend Michy's Accentuate Writers Forum. Michy has tons of experience writing, and checks out all the job leads she posts BEFORE she passes them on to us. In addition, we help and support each other online and offline, and help each other with critiques of resumes, articles, short stories and books. Every type of writer is welcomed there with open arms. I would not have been able to make it as far as I have without AWF, and I hope it helps you, too! :)

Big things happening!

So, a LOT of huge things have been happening lately. I have decided to jump-start my freelancing career, and have lined up a ton of new clients and sites to write for. This is now a full-time gig. My husband even respects what I do, now that it's working for our family!

DH retired from the military last month. Scary. He has a RETIRED ID card, and my ID card says that I am a retiree's family member. He's still looking for a good job, but is working at a local auto place for now.

The kids and dogs are great. We adopted a Golden Husky mix in July to keep her older GSD/Husky sister company. They are inseparable, and people mistake them for litter-mates all the time.

Other than that, not much to report. Since I'm writing full-time now, I'll be updating this blog several times per week. It's good to be back! :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Harrowing Day!

We almost lost one of our doggies today. We have a 19-month old GSD/Husky mix, and an 8-month old GSD/Husky/Golden Retriever mix. Both girls are spayed, obviously, and their energy levels know NO bounds. They are constantly playing and wrestling, and play-fighting, complete with barking and Husky-howling. We generally keep an eye on them, and break them up if it gets too intense (ie, when one of them yips or screeches in pain).

Today, I was down in the basement hanging up laundry on the clothesline, my kids were in the basement playroom and my husband was upstairs in the family room watching TV. All of the windows were open since the weather is sunny and breezy and 70*.

I heard my husband yelling, "HEY! HEY! HEY!" in a panicked voice, and then I heard the sliding glass door to the backyard slam open, and my husband kept yelling. We all ran up out of the basement, and my husband screamed for me to come help him. Apparently, the girls were doing their usual Wild Husky Freakout wrestling match, and LittleGirl got her bottom jaw stuck in BigGirl's collar. She couldn't get unstuck, so she was choking BigGirl, and both girls panicked. Natural instinct kicked in, and they were fighting like wild wolves.

My husband and I got BigGirl's collar off, and got the girls into the house. I was crying. We cleaned the blood off their faces, inspected the wounds, and we all sat on the kitchen floor for about half an hour to calm down and regroup. It was another two hours before the girls stopped being scared of each other. I had to take them up to my bed and we all cuddled - BigGirl at the foot of the bed, LittleGirl on the pillows, and me in between.

The only good thing that came out of this was all the hugs. BigGirl does NOT like HuskyHugs, but LittleGirl is a cuddle-bug. While we were up resting on my bed, BigGirl got right up in my arms, and let me hug her the WHOLE time. After we got up, she barked play-barks at LittleGirl, and they slowly began to get re-acquainted. It was like the first day they met - they were very tentative, and LittleGirl kept bowing to BigGirl. I cried again.

Both dogs are well now, and are back to being best friends and playing like normal, but Mommy is STILL freaked out. I'm just SO thankful that my husband is between jobs right now (he's on terminal leave from the military, awaiting retirement in December), and was home to hear the fracas and save both girls' lives.

I will be out of town for work this weekend, but I am working on both girls' adoption stories, and hope to post them here soon. :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Entry for the Pedigree Dog Food's "Write a Post, Help a Dog" promotion!

I'm back, and what better way to return to the blogging scene, than with a post to help pets? :) I have been very involved in rescuing pets over the last year or so. I am a volunteer at two local Humane Societies, I work with three local dog rescues, and I run transports for these rescues to help get dogs to their furever homes. All this has led to me abandoning blogging for the time being. However, when I heard that Pedigree is donating a TWENTY POUND BAG of their new Healthy Longevity dog food to an animal shelter for every blogger who blogs about the Pedigree foundation's adoption programs, I knew I had to come back from my hiatus and blog about it!

All of my pets have been rescues, and I've had a lot of pets over my 33 years. Currently, I have two rescued German Shepherd/Husky mixes lounging at my feet chewing on Pedigree treats while I tell you about their friends that are still in need of homes. Estimates are that FOUR to EIGHT MILLION pets wind up in shelters every year, and over HALF of that number NEVER make it out to a loving furever home. Pedigree has set up a Foundation to try to solve this problem.

You may have seen Pedigree's commercials about shelter pets, with the tagline “Don't pity a shelter dog, adopt one.” Pedigree is heavily involved in spreading the word about animals in shelters who need forever homes. They are more than talk, though. They donate food and other resources to shelters and rescues, and they assist people with finding and adopting the perfect shelter pet!

The Pedigree Foundation has created a website with resources for adopting a shelter dog. Included in the website's information are links to area shelters, articles on responsible dog ownership, and information about how to get a free month of dog food for newly adopted shelter dogs. You can click here to see the site.

If you are on Facebook, you can also help Pedigree help pets. Just click "Like" on Pedigree's Fan Page, and they will donate one bowl of food to a shelter. So far, over 1 MILLION Facebook users have done this - that's over 1 MILLION bowls of good, nutritious Pedigree food going to homeless, hungry fur babies.

Many people turn a blind eye to the plight of shelter animals. The stories and statistics are very painful, and with the current economy, many people don't have time or funds to help animals in shelters. But with a few clicks and a little effort, EVERYONE can help shelter animals from the comfort of their home. So click on over to Pedigree's website or their Facebook page, and do a little bit to help a homeless dog! And make sure to say a huge "thank you!" to Pedigree for all that they do to help rescue homeless dogs!

And don't forget to check out ALL of the entries in this promotion at "I Love Rescue Animals!"

Don't Breed or Buy, While Shelter Pets Die!