Quick Trip

By the time you read this, I’ll be in Palm Springs where I’ll be speaking to the Palm Springs Pi Phi alums tomorrow and then meeting my mother’s friends in her new Palm Desert community before hopping on an early flight home Tuesday morning.

My youngest son Ty is going with me while the older son stays home, attends the WWE show coming to town, and has a friend over. Things are good but hectic, and while stress is creeping in a bit, I always feel stress before I head out on a trip, whether its a twenty-four, forty-eight, or two week thing. There just always seems to be so much to do–lists to be left, arrangements to be made, shopping done, checks and cash set aside. How do we accomplish what we need to accomplish without our heads exploding? I’ve become a queen of lists–list for babysitter, list for assistant, list for Jane, second list for Jane, third list for Jane…

In honor of our Presidents weekend, I’ve got three fun giveaways–a cheerful red and white cherry print hot mitt, a scented pie candle courtesy my friend Kari Andersen, a 10 Barnes & Noble gift card, plus tons of JP reader goodies like my new Easy On The Eyes mirror, pen, nail file, bookmark and more. Just share what you’re doing this weekend, or tell me how you cope when you’re really busy, and you’ll be entered in the drawing. My Presidents Day Weekend contest ends Tuesday night at midnight PST and I’ll pick three winners and announce on Wednesday morning. Until then, have a great weekend and rest, relax and recuperate!


  1. This weekend is just a cleaning and organizing fest before I get reasy to leave for Hawaii! How do I cope with a busy day, hmm…lots and lots of coffee help! 🙂

  2. It’s Family Day weekend in Canada, so you guessed it, I’m spending time at home with the family this weekend.

    I’m also doing a bit of organizing around the house…hanging some new pictures, etc., stuff I’ve been meaning to do but always ends up on the bottom of my list!

    I’m also listening to some new music that you recommended in a post awhile ago — Abra Moore and Two Loons For Tea.

    Have a good short trip!

  3. Have a good trip! This weekend we went to a “Hearts” party on Friday, had dinner with friends at their house on Saturday and today I’m listening to my husband moan, groan and swear as he tries to fix our kitchen faucet.

  4. This weekend, my husband and I spent time together yesterday for Valentines day and today we visited our parents and caught up on some household chores.

  5. Hi Jane,

    Well I’ll be working most of the weekend but Monday after work I promised my daughter I would take her to Limited Too to get some new clothes. They are having a great 40% off sale and she has sprouted up like a weed lately. Have a great trip.


  6. This is my weekend to work and so I feel like I work all morning to get stuff organized for the upcoming week. I then change from mom clothes to nurse scrubs and start all over for another eight hours! I’m not complaining at all. I just wish that I could let go of some of the things that need to be done and just hang out! I’ll have to work on that! Have a great time in Palm Springs!

  7. Wow, Palm Springs. And one reader is getting ready for HAWAII! Have fun ladies.

    I slept a lot today. I needed it. 🙂

    Tomorrow my girls and I are getting our hair cut.

    Nothing big planned but time with family. The way I like it.

  8. Went to the movie “Confessions of a Shopaholic” with my girl buddies and we loved it. Of course the book was better, as usual – authors give us the structure into which we can put our concepts and imaginings, as you do Jane, and sometimes directors see it differently than what we readers think is right, but still, it was lots of fun and silly and a diversion in tough times. Loved going out for dinner afterwards, too, and seeing the crowds of families and couples and friends having a good time. I feel lucky and I am grateful for good friends that tolerate me and authors that struggle, as I have learned reading your blog, to keep me entertained and make me think as well!

  9. Jane, have a wonderful stress free trip and don’t worry about things. That is how I handle stress. If it doesn’t get done so be it. I was one that never liked to traved because of the stress of packing and seeing that everything got done. Hubby was never one to help much, so I finally just gave up making plans for vacations and things.

    I have spent the weekend cooking cleaning and doing laundry. Today a made a banbana pudding and took it to my father-in-law who is 85 and just got out of the hospital last week. He loves banana pudding.

  10. Pi Pi Beta Phi
    P-I P-H-I Pi Phi
    Me for Pi
    for a Beta Phi
    for I just love Pi Beta Phi

    Pi Phi love and mine!!!

    Have a great Pi Phi engagement. We are having one at Keeneland Race Track in Lexington in April. FUN FUN!!!

  11. I can’t believe you’re going to be just an hour or so away and I’m not going to see you – bummer! Have a great time in Palm Springs! My daughter just came home from spending the weekend there – what a coincidence! Anyway, enjoy your short stay in CA – and hopefully (contrary to the weather man’s forecast) the sun will shine or at least it won’t rain too much while you’re here!!! 🙂

  12. Well yesterday I watched movies since it was a rainy day.
    Today was a rainy day so I went over to my mom’s house to help her tidy up . Then I came home and started getting the girls clothes all ready for a week of school.

    Like you I have many ‘Gigi’ list.
    a big kitchen calendar to write down up coming things. Sometimes I feel like I need an assistant.
    I try to always mail the bills within a day or two of them arriving.
    Enjoy your trip!

  13. Saturday spent the whole day with family and friends including an awesome dinner party at a friends house. She makes the best gnocchi and meatballs. Yum!
    Sunday spent preparing for a decades party that we will be attending next weekend. We can choose from decades ranging from 50’s to the 90’s… I choose the 80’s. Also spent today babying the hubby who is down with a cold.

  14. Hi Jane,
    Hope the sun shines for you in CA! We will be going to
    Camarillo over spring break,
    & to take the kids to the
    beach! always fun!
    I always have an on going list.
    When you realized you only accomplished half of the things on your list. It’s time to make
    a new list. So you can make
    room on the list because you always have more things to put
    on the list. Who made up these lists anyway? I will tell you,
    I wouldn’t be able to live with
    out my list. It’s helps me stay
    organized and sane. Especially when your trying to figure out, what parent meeting you are suppose to be at,& which child.
    It’s in writing! Thank God for pen & paper! With all the other thousands of things running through your head!
    A big plus is my family helps with the “to do list” around
    the house. Thank goodness!
    But there are still times my
    head feels like it’s going explode. Isn’t that quite
    normal in times we are in?
    When multi tasking has been
    taken to extreme. Hope we all
    can take time to breath and
    enjoy the moment!
    I beleive we did yesterday
    My family and I enjoy the
    Day snow shoeing!
    Hope your Day was Sweet!
    Have Great Weekend!

  15. We are moving into our new house.
    Lots of transistion, and it seems when change is the current sweeping you away…it is hard to keep, stick to, or even create a list.

    Travel safely…

  16. I’m not doing much this weekend. We had a family member pass away suddenly this last week & the family will be getting together all weekend & Monday to help comfort my uncle. It’s amazing how you make plans & schedules for a weekend & then all of a sudden nothing seems important anymore. And suddenly all the errands you NEED to run don’t seem so urgent.

    Well I will definetly be praying for safe travel for you! Hope you enjoy your trip!

  17. Hi Jane!
    We have a four day weekend at our home! All four of us! We have been busy with work and school and company lately that this is a great time to relax. So far we have watched movies, eaten pizza and popcorn, and played games (with the TV off- yeah!) My husband is reading “The Shack” a great book. And I have put my studies aside to read for fun, “The Visitation” by Frank Peretti. I hear the TV on, so the kids must be watching another movie! Family time is great!
    Blessings to you!

  18. Laundry, laundry, and did I mention laundry? That’s what I’ve done all weekend. I did make two new bracelets and some earrings, so I did have a little fun. With one kid sick, and the other one wanting attention, I’m pooped! Just relaxing now. Getting ready to go sit and read a little before crawling under my nice warm covers!

  19. Oh, Jane, I am so jealous you are going to Palm Springs! Have a fabulous time!

    Well, I spent most of my weekend visiting my mom at the Rehab/Nursing home. She fell down two weeks ago and broke her hip. She just turned 84 also. I feel so bad for her. She can’t even get out of bed by herself yet. The nurses aids have to help her. It has been a long two weeks for her.

    I just watched “Kung Fu Panda” tonight and loved it! It has a nice moral to the story. If you believe in yourself, you can do anything.

    Have a great time Jane!

  20. Jane, your on is going to have so much fun at the WWE event! I wish I was going!
    This weekend I ran tons of errands (like always) and finally got myself caught up on my scrapbooking. Tonight I am rewarding myself by watching the NBA All Star Game!

  21. Hey Jane, I finally got to see “Flirting With Forty”. It was cute & fun! Our granddaughter gave me a dvd of “Kate & Leopold” starring Meg Ryan & Hugh Jackman (I’ve been pining for, for a long time!). We (my hubby & I) volunteered to watch her little ones so that she & her hubby could have some Valentine date time, which they took us up on. Lunch & time at our local Barnes & Noble is what they chose to do. Yes! Another generation of readers, who read to yet another generation of lovers of books!!
    Do hope your trip to Palm Springs is uneventful as to the weather. We do have a storm coming in tonight. I live in the high desert whereas your mom is in the lower desert. Had a little snow Friday & everyone got really excited! Have fun!!

  22. The first half of this weekend was spent reading The Frog Prince. It took me many years to realize I didn’t need a man to make me happy I needed to be happy in my own head. Everything after that is frosting on the cupcake. On Sunday we had a family get-together at a new Japanese restaurant to celebrate my niece’s(Sarah)30th birthday. Have a great weekend! Love your books!!

  23. I’m fending off a cold this weekend, so I’m not doing much – providing meals for the family, making bread, napping…

    Have a great trip! Debbie

  24. I’m still recovering from the flu so I took it easy this past weekend (Saturday was a baaaaaadddd day). Did some laundry Sunday but other than that, just rested.

    Have a good trip. 🙂

  25. I try to do as little as I can get a way with, so I don’t stress. Have a wonderful trip, I used to live there and always enjoyed the weather…hotter the better.

  26. Enjoy your quick trip Jane!
    For traveling I am a “list maker”! Most important thing to pack?? reading material.
    This weekend was relaxing, I made soup, did reading, and tried to finish sewing a new diaper bag for my niece..
    Husband is off today, everyone is except me 🙁 But someone has to be there to take care of the sick patients !

  27. Hi Jane! Didn’t do much this weekend; I actually had it off for a change so I used it as ME time. I slept in, wore comfy clothes, took naps, all the good stuff. HA! 🙂

  28. When I am really busy, I am a compulsive list maker & crosser-offer. As for what I am doing this weekend, well, I went shopping two of those days because that is kind of my hobby! And to tie in with that theme, I went to see “Confessions of a Shopaholic”. It was such a cute movie and my new favorite!

  29. Hey Jane! It is always busy around here with my kids and all of the activities they are involved in. I have learned when I am driving them around to their activities, it is a perfect time for them to do some of their homework! Keeps the car quiet too! I am usually stressed, but secretly think I love to have tons of things to do. I’m not quite sure what I’d do if I sat around all day at the house in front of the tv!

  30. This weekend I spent cleaning out the kids closets and going through stuff to get rid of and give away.
    Some say were in for another ice storm so I’ve been kind of getting things in order to be on the safe side.

    I hope we do not have anymore ice or snow. We went without power for a little over a week here and it was tough.

  31. I used to make lists and lists of my lists! I need to get back to that compulsive list making because I did get more done and was more organized. I’m not very obsessive anymore and haven’t been since I started taking anti-depressants years ago. I keep praying to get more organized and slowly its working!

    On Saturday we made home made pizza! We all had a blast and everyone had their own pizza to make how they wanted it. My son and I also made a triple chocolate bundt cake. Dark chocolate cake with choclate chips and chocolate frosting. Very yum!

    I read a lot also. I have been reading Meg Cabot’s “Queen of Babble” trilogy. Perfect for Valentine’s!

    Hope you enjoy your trip and seeing your mom!
    Take care!

  32. This weekend hubby and I are both working. Not romantic you say? I think having a job and working overtime in this economy is very romantic! LOL!

    Since we’ll both be tired, we’ll order Chinese and watch LOST. A peaceful evening spent with my honey!

  33. The kids have a four-day weekend and so far its been busy. Sea World (San Diego) on Friday, lunch with my great aunt and then dinner with friends on Saturday. Sunday was church and an afternoon/evening visit with MY mom. Today we’re relaxing at home in our pj’s because rain is forecast for the entire day. I hope the sun is shining in Palm Desert for you!

    The rain has backed off a bit, so I’m going to do a rain dance after I make the kids waffles. :o)

    Safe travels to you and young Ty.

  34. I totally know what you mean about the stress of packing and leaving on a trip, even if it’s for pleasure. I so often feel overwhelmed with all I have to do and how far behind I am. I look around and everyone around me seems so together and relaxed. I don’t know how they do it. They must have housekeepers and nannies! I, on the otherhand, feel like the Amtrak is speeding down the tracks and I am barely hanging on with one hand. This weekend the boys went to the desert to go riding and I decided to stay home to get some things done. Well, wouldn’t you know it, I came down with the flu and was in bed for the majority of the weekend. Oh well, I guess there’s always next weekend to get caught up
    :-)!! I just have to laugh and keep holding on! Have a great time in Palm Springs.

  35. Not doing anything exciting. Trying to declutter one drawer/shelf at a time. Amazing how long that can take…….. 🙂

  36. Hey! Sounds like you’re having a good weekend! I’m not doing anything, because I have to have surgery (boo!). So, I’ll be taking it easy and making the hubby wait on me.

    Thanks for the awesome contest!!

  37. This weekend is full of family birthdays and enjoying the beautiful weather outside. I try to keep the kids outside as much as possible so I can clean the house and do laundry..
    Thank goodness for President’s Day and a day off.

  38. We don’t have President’s Day off here, so I am enjoying a quiet Monday. My kids will be home soon and the afterschool madness begins!
    We did have a beautiful weekend though and got to enjoy each other and the beautiful weather. We also saw a movie and had dinner out.

    Have a good time in Palm Springs, Jane, and a happy birthday tomorrow!

  39. I am working today but we did attend a family get together yesterday. Whenever I have to travel I am always sure I have forgotten something and I usually have. I hope you have a great trip.

  40. For President’s Day I am doing…absolutely nothing. Oh happy day! I’ve spent the weekend running to the four corners of my universe. Friday night I took my mom shopping (not a job for the faint of heart or countenance), Saturday I was at a meeting all day for the Liberty State Fiction Writers most of the day (a new and awesome writing group) and then took my mom to an evening “party” at church for single divorced/widowed women on V day, Sunday was a trip down to Philadelphia where I took my mother and paternal grandmother to lunch and then we spent the afternoon with my maternal grandfather and aunt and uncle. All pretty exhausting. I had the unhappy experience of losing a young co-worker on the plane that crashed in Buffalo last week, so I wasn’t exactly the best company all weekend. So I am taking this glorious day off from work to sleep late and sit with my kitty cats and eat Snickerdoodles and watch nonsense television and just not be or think as much as I can at least until I have to tomorrow.

    Have a wonderful time in PS! Travel well and safely.

  41. Hi Jane! I had to run some errands today. When I get home, I have to do laundry and then I’m just going to sit down, relax, and do some reading. I hope you had a wonderful trip!

  42. As you share the same birthday as my honey, Jeff…we spent part of the weekend having a brunch for his birthday. The rest was just relaxing.
    have a great bday 😉

  43. We had a busy V-day weekend, lot of time with my girls on Saturday (valentines day parties) and then Sunday was Church. Today, Monday – being a domestic goddess… doing housework, cooking and cleaning. Loving my babies! Thanks for the Presidents Day contest!

  44. This weekend I am trying to get over a miserable cold. I felt well enough to have lunch with my husband on Saturday and luckily my teenage son was at a friend’s all weekend…Sick sucks! 🙂

  45. I guess because I have to prioritize things at work (I’m a nurse)…When things get hectic & crazy at home..I try to stop for a minute and say, “Wait, what abolutely has to get done now?” Most of the time, I can move things around….sometimes my 2 daughters decide to just put on our “comfy clothes”, snuggle on the couch & watch a romantic comedy.
    Everyone enjoy what’s left of the weekend!

  46. Hi Jane,

    This weekend I’ll be rounding up boxes. I’ve decided to move up to Portland so I can be with my boyfriend. My 17 year old daughter is excited and hopefully I can motivate her to help without a bribe…hehe

  47. Hiya Jane, i hope you have a great trip. this weekend my kids had basketball games so we were at the gym all day on Saturday. Sunday I had to work.
    I have to make lists when things are really crazy too. If I dont then I tend to forget what my name is. 🙂

  48. Hi, Jane:

    Hope your quick trip to Palm Springs was relaxing for you, even though you were stressing beforehand. I had a very enjoyable Valentine’s weekend. I made a delicious dinner for hubby and I, then we watched Vicky Christina Barcelona, while we Tivo’d Flirting with Forty and then watched that right after. I had only been able to view it online until Saturday and we enjoyed it much more seeing it commercial free (skipped those courtesy of Tivo) This week started out with me power shopping at Wal Mart tonight to get ready for our annual family ski trip to Jiminy Peak in Massachusetts. I am so used to packing ahead for these trips that I don’t even need lists anymore. Boxes are stacked with provisions for the trip and will save us lots of time and money as the stores up there are few and far between. This way, we can relax when we get there and just pick up the items we need for dinner during the week. I guess you could say planning ahead is my way of handling the stress of going away – in my case away on vacation. If we were flying instead of driving, it would be quite different. That’s always more stressful.

  49. I thought I’d entered but see I didn’t.

    on the weekend I worked Friday and Saturday nights- 7 pm to 7 am and then slept on Sunday. I had my boss over for supper on Sunday.

  50. Jane,
    Happy Birthday!! I spent the weekend celebrating my son’s 5th Birthday! And filling out kindergarten registration forms:) Yay! This coming weekend is my birthday and my hubby won’t tell me what he is planning. Last year, I spent my birthday in the bathroom with a stomach virus…not exactly my idea of fun!! So, really anything this year should be an improvement!!
    Jane, have a safe trip home and enjoy your special day with your boys!!

  51. it was a long and nice weekend…fri night dinner, sat night drinks w.friends, sun dinner w.family! in between all that household chores and grocery shopping…wish i was in palm springs!!!

  52. Spent the weekend buying a car. When I get busy, I get cranky, suffer from heartburn, look squinty-eyed until the project is complete. Then I can return to normal.

  53. Jane,
    Happy Birthday!!
    Hope you have a great trip. I could sure use a get-away right now. We have survived the winter ice storm. Two weeks with no power. Talk about stress.
    We did not have a nice romantic candlelight dinner for Valentine’s Day. I wanted every light in the house on!
    We spent the weekend picking up limbs.
    I did find time to finish your book The Frog Prince. You are my new favorite author. Keep them coming!!

  54. Hi Jane,
    It’s Mid-winter break here. I’m spending my week-end here recuperating after being in a car accident on Friday.

  55. It has been crazy busy at work & at home. There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. During times like this it is important to “Just Breathe” and remember what is important; our family and the time we spend together 🙂

    Hope you have a great week & Happy Birthday!

  56. When I get that stressed…I turn up the music on my ipod. In my office at work, I can’t get any radio reception at all, so I have to rely on my ipod. I am so eclectic in my music, there is no telling at any time what you might hear when you step into my dungeon. That is what keeps me sane. I hope you have a great week and a wonderful birthday! It also helped major today that when I got home that I had a goodie bag from you! Thank you so much!

  57. Thank you for speaking at the PiPhi meeting yesterday here in the desert.You are wonderful. I am glad we were able to visit and that I was lucky enough to sit next to your mother..You had us all teary in a good way…Will contact your mom regarding ordering some books. Good luck May and will be anxious to hear how you are…Hugs, Anne

  58. Hope you have a great trip! I’m finishing up the last chapter in my own book, about to start the fifth Sookie Stackhouse book, and am gearing up for my son’s vacation week. Hopefully we’ll find some fun stuff to occupy us…as long as we avoid any serious ice storms here in NH…

  59. Hi Jane! I relaxed this weekend. I went out to eat, watched some movies, and tried to get caught up on my reading. Have a great week and Happy Birthday!

  60. Exercise has finally become a habit (now bordering on addiction) for me. I started working out last August and have kept it up.

    When I’m having a stressed out day, my daughter and son not-so-subtly bring me my gym bag. Exercise is my answer.

    Best to you Jane!

  61. Hi Jane!

    Several things…

    (A) Happy BIRTHDAY!

    (B) Have a fabulous time on your trip! Sounds fab!

    (C) My holiday: This past weekend four of my former (recently former) colleagues met in Kansas City for a fabulous girls weekend. Our nationwide company shut its doors for good at the end of January and it’s been very tough on us all. We wanted to get together as *girlfriends* instead of just colleagues because we all get along so well and laugh so much when we’re together.
    We had a great weekend filled with shopping (mainly window), great food and lots of laughing. We were all well aware that this may be the last time we get to spend together for a very long time so we lived it up. It was a GREAT weekend!

  62. When I am stressed I usually hunt me down some yummy chocolates 🙂 lol

    I need to start exercising like Linda :/

    Anyhoo, have a FUN trip!!!

    Thanks for another fun contest.


  63. OMG, did I have a fun day yesterday with the entire City of Seattle. My friend and I took her grandchildren to the Acquarium along with the rest of the world. We saw the exhibits, lunch at The Red Robin, a carosel ride, shopping and a bike ride back to the car a mile away. Just a wonderful day for the girls.

  64. By the way, Happy Birthday Jane. Looking forward to see you and the rest of authors and readers at Celebrate Romance in Portland next weekend. Have a wonderful day! xxoo

  65. This weekend was a time to ignore the to do list and spend family time together and do things with the rescue special needs dog we adopted several months ago. Home-cooked crock pot meals and lots of time to read.

  66. The kids are on break this week from school. As a kid we just had a “President’s Day” off, now it’s an entire week!! We are in Northern Cali and it’s pouring rain and we have been cooped up in the house. So tomorrow the hubby and I are taking the kiddos to San Francisco and the new California Academy. We are so excited! Other than that lots of books to read and the occasional good movie on TV (caught Flirting with Forty finally). ~Michelle

  67. I had some great down time reading and my goodness if I pick another book where the main character dies I am not sure what I am going to do. Kinda of creepy! LOL Off to watch the biggest loser and start The Reader later this evening. Hope you all had a great weekend.

  68. Happy birthday, Jane! I’ve now read FWF, Frog Prince, Mrs. Perfect, and Odd Mom Out. Enjoyed every one – you are awesome.


    Auntie Rebecca

  69. HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! May all your wishes come true!!!

    And with that said … I can’t believe that you left the gloominess of the Pacific Northwest and traveled all the way to gloom – and HAIL – of Southern California!!! What a crazy weather day we’ve had here today!!! Did you bring it with you, just for me??? 🙂

  70. Just found your book “Flirting With Forty”. Am liking it so much that I went online to see if you had written the next one yet. That’s when I found your website. As I’m reading I’m reminiscing about my vacation in Hawaii this past summer with my two daughters. Hmmm..thinking my next Hawaiian vacation might be just me. Am I like Jacqueline? I don’t know…have to see how the book ends. Thanks for the adventure!

  71. Okay, everyone, I posted the winners and I goofed again. (I am dyslexic with numbers!) And because I flip numbers strangely when I count and add, I have confused everyone, including myself.

    However, the winning numbers should be #17 (date of my b-day), #45 (age I just turned), and #64 (year I was born.)

    But earlier I announced different winners and got folks excited that hadn’t won, so I will give 5 prizes instead of 3, and while the correct winners are now below:

    #17, Kim B, you are the winner of the contest, and why did #17 get picked? Because yesterday, Feb 17th was my birthday!

    #45, Cindy, you are another winner. And #45 was picked because I just turned 45. Happy belated birthday to me!

    #64 Madelyn Hill, you are the third winner. I picked #64 because I was born in 1964…

    Lesli and Jerrie, previously announced at winners still get good stuff, too. So happily my error means more gifts, but sincere apology for more confusion.

    Winners–all five of you–do send me your mail address so I can get your goodies out in the next mail



  72. Happy Birthday Jane!! Hope it was the happiest yet. Wishing you love, laughter and many, many more days to celebrate…you! Mandy

  73. Valentine’s weekend my daughter and I were sick so we stayed home and kept each other company while my husband went to Davis to watch his sister have a baby. This coming weekend we’re going to celebrate my brother’s b-day on Saturday and then visit the new baby on Sunday. Fun family stuff :>

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