Becka's Babble

Ramblings of a Romance Writer

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

No Good. **sniff** Can't Hear Ya.

Ever since I got sick back in January, I've had a stuffy ear. My left ear feels like someone has their finger in it, or like I have some kind of earplug stuck up there.

The radio, the TV, even people around me have to turn up the volume in order for me to hear what they say. It's really annoying, considering I lay on my right side in the mornings, so when the alarm clock goes off, I barely hear it. My hubby probably wonders why it takes me so long to turn it off.

This isn't the best of news, seen as how I don't have the World's Perfect Hearing in the first place. I'm constantly asking "What?" "Huh?" etc. of the people around me. Many times, I'll ask "What?" a couple of times, and even if I STILL didn't hear what they said, I'll pretend like I did, because let's face it. People get upset when they have to repeat themselves a bunch of times. The last time I got my hearing checked was when I was a child, and the audiologist said I had "exceptional" hearing. I'm not so sure...

Maybe it's the lower frequencies I can't hear very well, ie. men's voices, because I rarely say "What?" to my female friends.

But I'm tired of being stuffy for weeks on end. Therefore, I made an appointment for the ear, nose & throat doc to take a look. I've been researching on Google, and there are references to something called "glue ear" which sounds pretty gross, actually. But it has all the symptoms I have. Of course, I'm not a doctor. Basically it happens when the tube that goes from your middle ear to the back of your throat closes up. The skin on the inside of your middle ear is just like the lining of your lungs. So it absorbs the air in there. If the tube is plugged, it creates a vacuum, which in turn, sucks this thick, viscous liquid out of the skin, filling the middle ear cavity.

Basic treatment employs the "wait and see" method. Saying most cases clear up by 3 to 6 months.

Screw that. Who wants to be half deaf for that frickin' long?!? In extreme cases, they do a procedure where they place a small shunt in your eardrum which drains the fluid and when it heals, the shunt falls out and your eardrum is back to normal. If the fluid is from an infection, they'll give you antibiotics. Problem is, I don't think I have an infection.

I'm predicting the doctor is going to charge me an exorbitent amount of money and say, "Let's wait and see..." However, just to make sure it's not compacted earwax (eeww) I'm going in. I'm also going to see the audiologist again and have another one of those nifty hearing tests. Joy of joys.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Becka's Hottie of the Week

Okay, folks. For those of you who've been watching Grey's Anatomy from the beginning, you'll probably think this week's pick is a no-brainer. But DH and I never actually watched this show, until people started hounding us, asking if we'd seen the latest episode, etc. etc. So, we decided to Netflix the first season. We've only watched a few of the shows and it's okay so far. It doesn't suck, but it's not so good that OHMYGAWDIGOTTAWATCHEVERYSINGLEWEEK... At least not yet. LOL In a way, it reminds me of a Scrubs kind of show, but with more of a drama feel. This is due to the obvious hospital setting and the overdubbing of the main character's thoughts. They even made a reference to "Bambi", Carla's nickname for JD in Scrubs... But we'll give it a chance. :)

However, I noticed the man everyone calls "McDreamy", Mr. Patrick Dempsey, and my goodness, they're right!

When the heck did Patrick go from "cute" to "HAWT?" I remember growing up with this guy in movies like "Can't Buy Me Love" and "With Honors". He always had a "look" that was attractive, but there's just something about Patrick on Grey's Anatomy that makes you sit up and take notice.

I still remember when Patrick married the MUCH older woman back in the 80's. Remember that? He was 21 and his wife was 48 at the time. There was quite the buzz on the playground at school. :) Of course, back then, 48 was an OOOOLD woman... Here I am, 32 now, and 48 isn't *that* old... heheheh...

So we're giving Grey's Anatomy a try, and we'll see how it pans out. Having a hottie on the show is definately a bonus. :P The jury's still out whether I like the lead actress or not. She reminds me A LOT of Renee Zellweger. It's almost too distracting. lol But still, McDreamy's worth it.

Congratulations, Patrick Dempsey. You're Becka's Hottie of the Week!


Thursday, February 22, 2007

I Love It When a Plan Comes Together

Well, the trip to Orlando is no longer "all talk". :) The hubby and I have squared away our plane tickets.

We've also finalized our vacation home.

Seriously folks, if you decide to take a family trip to DisneyWorld, check out the vacation homes BEFORE you go trolling the hotels. The above house was only $150 a night. That might sound expensive...until you realize 14 people will be staying there. THREE FAMILIES. Would we have been able to get three hotel rooms, heck, even *motel* rooms, for $150 a night? The answer is NO. This house has three master bedrooms and plenty of doubles, singles, and bunks for all of our rugrats. So each family couple has their own master bedroom. How sweet is that?!? Not to mention this house has a huge backyard and a large pool. And we're not bothered by lugging things through a hotel lobby. Just take our rental car, park, and we're "home".

Having our own vacation home also means we can go low budget and cook our own meals. There are cooking utensils and plates and everything on hand, even a washer and dryer if you have to do laundry. It's wonderful. It is THE way to go.

Now, we only need to secure our rental van... (we're getting a 15 passenger party van--not anything new for us, since we own one lol)

...and buy our park-hopper tickets and we're golden!

Add to this the new deck we've just ordered and the spa I'm buying TODAY, things are finally coming together. :) The insulation guys were already here yesterday spraying our attic and we've also contracted a company to put in a new furnace/AC/water heater within the next two weeks. :)

This isn't because hubby and I are filthy rich. LOL Remember, we just re-fied our house. AWESOME! :D

So come mid-March, everything on/in the house should be all done! Woohoo! Our trip to DisneyWorld will be completely finalized in the days to come. I'm so excited! Becka and the gang will be in Florida from April 24th to May 5th. If any of you locals can find me, I'd love to say "Hi!" LOL


Monday, February 19, 2007

Mt. Hood

Just look at this mountain. Isn't it beautiful? Mt. Hood looks out over the basin Portland, Oregon is nestled in. In fact, on a clear day, you can see almost every little detail on the mountain in the distance, as it's really the only tall mountain around.

In fact, I even wrote about this mountain in one of my books, UNDERNEATH THE MISTLETOE, in the Mistletoe Magic Christmas Anthology from Champagne Books. The hero and heroine rent a cabin near it. It really is gorgeous.

However, I came across this news article link today on Climbers who had to be rescued off of Mt. Hood's weathered face. Couple this with the tragedy that happened on Mt. Hood just a month or two ago of the climbers who went up--and never came down, you have a daunting image of just how hard it is to climb this mountain. And survive.

I've lived in the Portland area since January of 2001, and I've lost count exactly how many times rescue crews have had to go spelunking on the mountain to find stranded hikers. Seriously. What's the draw? Maybe I'm just not one to find mountain climbing fun. Perhaps it's the thrill of conquering a mountain that others have failed to do. Perhaps it's the overall beauty of Mt. Hood itself.

But word to the wise. Just look at it from afar. Hike the low-lying mountain trails and keep off the peak. I've got to wonder if any other mountain in this country has as many hikers lost and dying than Mt. Hood in Oregon. Don't get me wrong, it's a mountain that will take your breath away. But it will also kick your ass.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Becka's Hottie of the Week

It was hard choosing someone this week. I haven't done anything exciting that would even constitute a "hottie of the week." I thought about Ashton Kutcher, only because hubby and I watched The Guardian this week, but I thought there's got to be someone else I can choose... I just wasn't feeling Ashton. Sorry Ashton fans...

Instead, I decided to go with a man who's actually helped me along with my career as an author and really has absolutely no idea. That man... is Mr. Ben Browder.

You see, I first saw Ben on Farscape, battling weird space creatures and looking all-around HAWT in those tight leather pants. Now, he's on the show Stargate as Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell. Along with Claudia Black, also on Farscape. Learning they were going to be on Stargate together was like a Sci-Fi geek's wet dream. And praise God, he kept the tight leather pants in his wardrobe!! :D

Now, you might recognize him, not from Farscape or Stargate, but because I've used Ben Browder as the "model" for Wade McAllister, the 3rd hero of my B*E*A*S*T* books. You can see for yourself on my exclusive B*E*A*S*T* blog.

Also, Ben's character name from Farscape was "John Crichton", and that is where I lifted the name from for my character's title in HEARTS ETERNAL: His Grace Laith Moreland, Third Duke of Crichton.

Yes, I am a Sci-Fi geek. Always have been. I remember as a kid eating dinner and watching re-runs of Star Trek (not quite old enough to have seen the first run of those shows *wink*). I also remember drooling over Jonathan Frakes back in the day, or "Number One", as Capt. Picard called him in TNG.

But I digress. Ben Browder is long overdue to make it to my weekly list of sexy men.

Congratulations, Ben Browder. You're Becka's Hottie of the Week!

(Wow, I LOVE that jacket...)


Thursday, February 15, 2007


No, folks, I'm not talking about this Orlando:

I'm talking about THIS Orlando!

DH and I have decided to take our family on our family vacation to DisneyWorld in Orlando this year. We pretty much decided to take a family vacation every year, and last year, we went to Disneyland. It was so much fun, we wanted to go again. But we recently watched a documentary on Walt Disney with the kids, and DH looks at me and says, "I've got a wild hair."

Uh oh, I'm thinking. The options start running through my mind. Since our re-fi, anything could be going through his head, from "let's get rid of our Dough Boy and install a below-ground pool" to "Let's bulldoze the house and rebuild!"

But he says, "Let's go to Orlando!"

We've always dreamed of going to Disneyworld. For at LEAST 10 years, we've been "dreaming" about going to Disneyworld with some friends of ours. We just never had the fundage back in the day. Then the kids started coming. And obviously we didn't have the fundage. :P But now, we do! :)

So when we first started planning our Disneyland vacation, we invited another couple to come along, because it had been years since they'd been. Once we told them about the Orlando option, they said, "HECK YEAH!!"

We then called up our other set of friends (that we've been "planning" to go with for 10 years), they said, "We can't afford it, but what the hell!"

So now, we're going on a kick ass trip to Orlando end of April, beginning of May, for two weeks! We're going to take things nice and slow, probably get a 7 or a 10 day park-hopper pass to go and see the sights. We want to have the option of "taking days off" if we so desire from all things Disney.

It's going to rule. I'm so excited. We're renting a big vacation home instead of a hotel, because split up between three families, it's a HECK of a lot cheaper than three hotel rooms for two weeks. So we'll get our very own pool, and these houses have multiple master suites, a bajillion beds, all the cooking utensils all ready to go so we can go "budge" and buy food to cook or have stocked. There's a game room complete with pool table and TV's everywhere, Internet with computer, minutes to the park, the whole nine. I'm VERY excited about this.



Sunday, February 11, 2007


Yes, I know this is my personal blog, and I haven't done much "promotion" on this blog in the past. However, since Becka's Babble gets the most traffic out of all of my blogs, I thought I would share a little something with you.

My historical western, IN YOUR ARMS, is my favorite historical romance. Despite the success of ON EAGLE'S WINGS, it was always IYA that I loved. I suppose it's due to the fact I just love cowboys. Or maybe it was my hero, Marcus McCaide, that really tugged at my heart.

But my publisher at Champagne Books has a policy. Books must sell 350 eBooks before they are considered for the print program. IYA's sales have been less than stellar. My B*E*A*S*T* books are selling like hotcakes while my western gets "left in the dust." :(

Therefore, I wanted to ask you to help me out by buying the eBook. Heck, even come back to my Babble blog and let me know your thoughts, good--or bad--if you so desire. If IYA doesn't go to print, it will be the only book of mine that won't go into a print program. And what a shame for a book that's my favorite western!

If you want to do your part in getting IN YOUR ARMS to print, you can buy it at the following link:

You can also watch a video I put together for this book to whet your appitite. :P Thank you for your support, guys. I really hope this book can move some electronic copies in order to have a chance to go into bookstores. Enjoy the video!


Friday, February 09, 2007

Becka's Hottie of the Week

LOST returned this week! I'm sooo happy about that. I thought about picking my hottie from LOST, but that would be too easy. There's SO many to choose from on that show... How could I possibly just choose one? Besides, have you ever SEEN that many beautiful people on one airplane before? LOL

That left me with finding someone else from this week's Adventures of My Life.

However, I wasn't left wanting. This week's hottie is a man EVERYONE drools over. Mr. Clive Owen.

DH and I Netflixed a movie called "Greenfingers", where Clive plays an inmate at a prison who grows a garden and gets "rehabilitated" through his love of flowers. Sounds really corny, but it was a good movie! :P

And then there's the series of short BMW films. Who could forget those? Where Clive plays this vigilante BMW driver who gets hired to drive all these famous people around. I LOVED the Madonna short movie. DH actually sent away for the DVD of those short movies, which was free from back in the day. I don't know if you can get that DVD any more, but we have it, yo!

What's not to love about this man? I mean, look at those eyes. The jutting jaw. The sexy stubble. And that accent. **swoon** A man with an accent gets me every time. :P

I've always enjoyed watching Clive Owen's movies. They could be utter crap and he could still save them on his good looks alone. LOL Heck, I'd watch anything with Clive in it. I think most women would. He's just, dark, & handsome.

Seriously, folks, these pics speak for themselves. What is there to say? Clive is so hot, he's eligible for TWO hottie weeks in a row. LOL But I'm sure I'll pick someone else next week anyhow.

Congratulations, Clive Owen. You are Becka's Hottie of the Week!


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Mint Cookies 'N' Cream Ice Cream

Okay, folks. I KNOW it exists. Why the HELL isn't it more popular? Where the frick is my Mint Cookies 'N' Cream Ice Cream?!?

Don't get me wrong. I *can* find the Mint Chocolate Cookie from Ben & Jerry's at my local grocery store. But I want fricken' Dreyer's to have this flavor. And if they do, they sure ain't selling it in Oregon. Tillamook, how can you call yourselves ice cream makers when I have yet to see Mint Oreo Ice Cream on the shelves? Not even Generic X ice cream has this flavor.

Why do I have to pay an arm and a leg to get my fix? I lubs the Ben and Jerry's--unfortunately, my pocketbook does not. I want a larger tub for the price I gotta pay, dammit. I have four kids to feed! (Five if you count the hubby LOL)

Seriously. Have you had mint choc. chip ice cream with some oreos on top? I had some this evening, and thought why the heck don't they make this flavor? Then I thought, wait, B&J's does! But they come in the annoying little pint size. Gah!

As an aside, did you know you can buy *ice cream* off Amazon??

I've heard you can buy all sorts of groceries off of Amazon these days. Wow. Not just books anymore. LOL I hope they ship them in separate boxes... I can see it now.

"Great! My copy of 'Jack the Bodice Ripper' is covered with melty Mint Chocy Cookie! Mmm, Fabio sure tastes great!" lol

Okay, that's just wrong, I know. *blushes* But it doesn't cheapen my argument. Any of you seen big tubs of Mint Cookies 'N' Cream in your local grocery store? And if you have, can you pick me up a few? ;P


Monday, February 05, 2007

Why ReFi? Because We Gotta!

DH and I have lived in our house for almost two years. This June will be our second year. Since June of 2005, our house has shot up in value almost $100,000. The perfect time (at least for us) to refinance. Why? Because there are a few things our house needs, plus a few things that we want, which will also improve the value of our home in the long run.

First of all, we gotta get a new water heater. We currently have a 50 gallon, but with four small kids showering, DH and I showering, not to mention the dishwasher that sometimes goes twice a day, and two sets of washers and dryers, it's just not cuttin' the mustard. There's nothing worse than having to keep turning up the heat to continue having a nice, hot shower, even when it's not a long shower! So that's a given.

Lord knows how old our furnace is. It's obviously not efficient. So it's getting the boot as well. We also want to get air conditioning. What better time to put in A/C than when replacing the water heater/furnace? :D

Along with that, we've also decided to get a new deck. Keep in mind, our first floor is the second story. From the street, our house looks like it's a single story home. The bottom floor is a daylight basement, with rooms and a second kitchen, second washer/dryer hookups, the whole nine. So our current deck comes off of our dining room on the main floor. It's rickety as hell and we have no clue how old it is. Not to mention it's in desperate need of a sanding and staining. Ugh. No thanks. Let's just get a bigger one! :P

Here's a picture of our current deck.

As you can see, it's not very big. We want to extend it out by two feet and widen it by another ten feet. It's currently 10 feet by 15? feet. I'm not sure of the second dimension. I'll have to ask DH. But we want the deck to extend at least underneath the window on the right. That's our son's bedroom, and we want to give him a way to climb out of his window in case of a fire. We don't like him only having one way out of his room. The stairs will move from the side of the deck to along the front of it, which means we'll have to either move or get rid of our firepit, but oh well. New deck trumps fire pit. :P We actually entertain a lot, since we have small kids, we prefer to stay home instead of pack up to go to someone else's house, so all our friends come here for parties and get togethers and such. And in the summer, we all go out to the pool and have fun. It will be awesome to have a bigger deck that's capable of actually holding a nice table and chairs.

We are going to get "composite decking", which is a new material, part wood, part plastic, that never has to be stained or weather proofed other than hosing it off. We LOVE that aspect. LOL And it looks beautiful. We're going to get our deck in a redwood color. Here's a picture of what we'd like to do.

Why do we want the lattice all around the bottom of the deck?? Because of this bad boy:

Yup, we want a spa. We have the perfect place, right under the deck, complete with a slab of concrete. And the lattice is going to give us the privacy we need. :D It's going to work out beautifully. All of our friends are *definately* going to want to come over to our house this summer! lol

The spa we're looking at is a Coleman spa that seats 6 people comfortably, an 8' X 8', so it's a big spa. It has little waterfalls on it and cool LCD lights in the bottom that can change color! It even has a cooler, folks. And as if that wasn't cool enough, the LCD shines through the ice in the cooler, giving it a psychedelic feel. LOL!! I cannot wait!

We've gotten our house appraised, we're in Escrow now and we've been projected to close next Monday. Whew. It's gonna be crazy in Casa de Goings in the coming weeks/months. But everything we're doing goes right back into the worth of the house.

Awesome!! Can you tell I'm a wee bit excited?!? :P


Friday, February 02, 2007

Becka's Hottie of the Week

Suave, dashing, debonair, you can't say Hugh Laurie doesn't have sex appeal.

At first glance, you might not categorize Hugh as a "hunk". He's one of those men who looks good when you first see them, but as you get to know them, they become knucklebiters. Perhaps it's their body language, the look in their eyes, their facial expressions, or the timbre of their voice... Personally, I'd like to think Mr. Laurie's sexiness is in his eyes.

These pictures don't do his eyes justice, however, if you've ever watched an episode of House on Fox, you'll fawn over his bright blue eyes. In fact, he's the only other person I know of, aside from Elijah Wood, who has such a striking set of deep blue eyes.

Sure, Mr. Laurie is 15 years older than I am, (he'll be 47 this year) but that doesn't mean I can't find him hot. He's got the mature face, the sexy stubble, and the attitude of a bad boy (at least on House). What's not to love? :P Oh, and he puts on a fabulous American accent. He's British, you know. We love Britain.

I chose Hugh Laurie this week due to my trip to the doctor on Wednesday. I shudder to think what Dr. House would have said to me had I been examined by him. LOL Probably something to the effect of:

House: "Boo hoo, you have a cough. Get over it and stop wasting my time. Here's your prescription for some concentrated Vitamin C."

Me: "But this prescription just says 'Orange Juice'."

House: "I know. Now get the hell out of here."


Congratulations, Hugh Laurie. You're Becka's Hottie of the Week!


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Sick. And. Tired.

Well, I went to the doctor yesterday, and was given your basic brush off. You know the kind, where you're in the room with the doc, he's asking questions, scribbling furiously in your chart, and you just know in the back of his mind he's thinking about the burrito he left in the microwave. Why do doctors do all they can to get out of that room??

The only doctor I know of who actually sits down and takes the time to talk to me is my children's pediatrician. He's a great guy. He'll yak with you all the day long. But the doctor at the urgent care yesterday took a quick swab of my throat and left for five minutes to go check for Strep Throat (because I'd been complaining of a painful sore throat). He did manage to listen to my lungs for a bit, but I guess they are clear, no matter how much *I* can hear them rattling in the mornings and evenings...


So, the doc gave me a prescription for cough medicine with Codeine.

It did manage to give me a good night's sleep, so that's a bonus. :P I took some this morning and was a bit loopy. The verdict's still out on whether or not it is actually helping my cough. The doctor's diagnosis was as follows:

"You probably have 'some kind of virus', so just rest, drink fluids, vitamin C, that kind of thing..."

Gotta love it when even the doctor has no fricken' clue what's wrong with you. Here's hopin' I don't have to go back in a few days.