Sundays with Gage- Reveling in the The Game

I grew up about 45 minutes from Columbus and have a dad who is a Scarlet & Gray fanatic it is no surprise that I ended up spending 4+ years on campus becoming an OSU alum.  Football is king (although we go through eras of basketball excellence) and The Game, the one against that team up North, is important, like really, really important.  Lots of trash talk and alcohol consumed (at least I’ve heard ;)) for the rivalry.

Our esteemed coach, Jim Tressel, messed up and let the team and university down a few years ago, so he was fired and our Buckeyes can’t play in any bowl games this year.  That made this game their national championship, a win would cap an undefeated season.  The excitement was high and the pressure was on.

Gage had a hard time containing his energy.  Took a nap for the ages and woke up with a minute to go 🙂  We’ll have to work on his game watching abilities next year.  We won 26-21.  Go Bucks!

The Rosy Rivalry Game

Ohio State University Buckeyes Rivalry Flag Banner ImageToday’s the day.  The Ohio State-Michigan football game.  It often the most important game of the Big Ten season because these two teams are always in the hunt for a championship.  But this year it’s a little different.  Ohio State has already secured the Big Ten Champions title for the 5th year in a row and we are headed to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 13 years!!!  Michigan has had a rough couple of years and a win today would give them bragging rights, a moral victory. 

I love this game, always the last game of the season, but I’m always a little sad too because that means that college football is coming to an end for another year.  Yes, the bowl games are a couples of days on non-stop football, but Ohio State has not been putting their best foot forward in the past few years, so the bowl game comes with trepidation.

So, here’s hoping for a Buckeye victory today.  Feel free to leave a little love for your favorite team.

Ohio State Game Day Saturday

Ohio State travels to Indiana to play at 7 pm tonight.  I thought instead of trivia I’d provide a clip of one of the best Ohio State football traditions, Script Ohio.  This is a favorite of anyone attending a game.  Enjoy.

My husband and Staci are very happy that Michigan State won in overtime 26-20 against their in-state rival Michigan (sorry Thoughts of Joy).

Kathy’s Virginia Tech wins against Duke.

Wordlily is cheering for Nebraska and Linda’s Cal Bears have a blogging cheerleader.

And Bonnie and Em will be waiting with me for the Ohio State-Indiana kickoff at 7pm.

What about your team?  Let us know how they did today.

Ohio State Game Day Saturday

OSU 30    Illinois 0

It’s wet here in Ohio and most of the first half of this game was a soggy mess.    It wasn’t exciting, but it was a good, solid shutout.  Great way to open the Big Ten season.

A little Ohio State trivia…Actors Patricia Heaton, JK Simmons, and Melinda Kanakaredes all attended OSU.

So, how did your team do today?  Give us an update 🙂

Here are a few bloggers who left some love for their team last week…

Bonnie and Em shared in my Ohio State winning afterglow.

Staci is always rooting for Michigan State (as am I since my hubby is an alum) although they fell to the Irish.

Kathy’s Virginia Tech pulled a fast one and beat Nebraska.

Thoughts of Joy was Michigan Blue all the way.

And Harvee showed some appreciation for the Toledo Rockets even in their loss.

Ohio State Game Day Saturday

I LOVE college football.  As a kid growing up just east of Columbus it was scarlet and gray all the way.  So, I am so happy football season is back.  I am still recovering from last week’s loss to USC, but I’m trying to let it go. 

 Today’s football score…OHIO STATE  38     TOLEDO  0

We looked pretty good.  Pryor has a great arm, now we’ll see if he can get a few more completions.  It was a happy game after last week.

A little Ohio state trivia…Goosebumps author R.L. Stine and author John Jakes both graduated from Ohio State.  As did 2 authors I’ve interviewed this year, Sherryl Woods and Rachel Hauck.

So how did your team do today?

A relaxing week at the lake followed by a heartbreaking football loss

We went to Kelley’s Island, Ohio on Monday with my parents for the week.  We love it there (more info here).  Here was the view from the deck of the condo we rented…ki view from deck

Kelley’s Island is a hidden gem in my opinion.  It’s only four miles across, but there are so many walking trails and even a small beach that it feels bigger when you explore.  This is the third time we’ve gone there and it won’t be the last.  Here are a few photos from around the small island…ki boatski me & jason on beach

ki sunsetSo after a peaceful week surrounded by Lake Erie we took the ferry back to the mainland and headed down to Columbus for a little football game.  I’m a Buckeye alum and I get two football tickets a year and lucked out getting these seats to the biggest game of the year, #3 at #8…osu-usc footballIt was so loud and the Bucks were leading with less than two minutes to go, but then something bad happened.  We lost.   It was a good game and I can’t believe I have any voice left.  It was great to be on campus again and I was thrilled that the crowd was as loud as they were the whole game.   We got back at 2:30 this morning. 

A great week with a not so great end.

9 in ’09 with Rachel Hauck

 This is my first of many (I hope) interviews with authors I enjoy.    Every Friday I’ll be asking 9 questions of an author gracious enough to answer them.  I reviewed Sweet Caroline last year (review here) and its author, Rachel Hauck, answered these 9 questions for me.  Thanks Rachel!  You can visit Rachel at her website,

Rachel Hauck is a best selling and award winning author. A graduate of Ohio State University, she lives in central Florida with her husband and pets. She is currently writing her twelfth novel.

1. I loved your book, Sweet Caroline.  What made you choose to set it in the South Carolina low country?

RH: To be honest, I looked at books set in the south and saw how well received lowcountry were and thought, why not set a book in South Carolina? But before that, a friend of ours wrote a worship song called Praise House. I asked where the idea came from and he showed my husband and I his home video of a spontaneous trip he and his wife took to Beaufort, South Carolina looking for a Gullah praise house. As soon as I saw his video, I knew I wanted to set a book there.

2. This YouTube clip promoting Love Starts With Elle is great.  Can you tell us how it was done and more about your Diet Coke addiction?

RH: Diet Coke addiction? What Diet Coke addiction. Okay, yeah, I do enjoy my daily Diet Coke. It’s my drink of choice rather than coffee. When I was in college, I was a Diet Pepsi fan, but several years ago while at my corp job, everyone drank Diet Coke like it was going out of style and I switched because several people had office mini-fridges stocked with Diet Coke. The rest, as they say, is history.

The Love Starts With Elle trailer came to me one night out of the blue. I wanted a book trailer, but they are all the same and I wanted to do something different. I thought, “What if I talk to Elle like she’s real?”

I called a good friend who used to work at Pixar. We agreed on the project and price, I wrote a script and we filmed it a few days later. It was fun and easy. Despite my bad hair day, it turned out well. 🙂

3. You attended Ohio State (Go Bucks!) and earned a degree in journalism.  What drew you to writing inspirational fiction as a career choice?

RH: Yes, Go Buckeyes! I always wanted to be a writer which was one reason I majored in Journalism. After graduating and working in the corp world for awhile, I thought about writing but knew the publishing road to be daunting. Finding an agent, etc.

In the early ’90s I started reading Christian fiction. I enjoyed the stories and liked the aspect of weaving in a spiritual theme if I wanted. On ’94, I started my first book, a WW2 epic. Excerpts from it made it in Love Starts With Elle.

I went to my first writers conference in ’97 where I began meeting people and learning about the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA.) In those days, you didn’t need an agent. A writer just submitted to the publishers, but even by the late ’90s, fiction was making huge strides.

I don’t think I purposefully set out to write Inspirational, it just came out of the books I was reading and the excitement I had in my heart over a life in God.

4. Do you have a local writing group or fellow writers that you look to for support and advice or is writing a solitary endeavor for you?

RH: Writing is always solitary. No way around it. But I do have a great support network. My brainstorming buddy and great friend, Susan May Warren, is a phone call away. She’s a fabulous and award-winning author who really helps me out when I’m stuck in the middle of writing. I do the same for her. We laugh about how clearly we see each other’s stories, but are so blind to our own.

My good friend and award winning Christine Lynxwiler also provides support. Many times, a writer needs someone just to listen to the struggle. And of course, if something good happens, they are the first ones I call.

I am a member of Romance Writers of America which has a local chapter. I attend monthly meetings with those writers and receive a lot of encouragement. I learn something every meeting.

And, I’m on the Advisory Board for American Christian Fiction Writers. Part of the organization is run by a member based email loop, so there’s always writers an email away. Such a great resource for all kinds of information.

Last, but not least, I’m a member of published author organization and we provide a lot of support to each other. I feel surrounded sometimes.

My husband and non-writer friends, and my family also provide support. They listen to me go on and on about a book issue. Bless them!

5. What was your favorite childhood book?

RH: I loved to read biographies, but far and above, The Little House books were my absolute favorite. I’ve read the entire series a dozen times.

6. I love quotes.  Do you have a favorite quote or scripture?

RH: I have one of each. My favorite quote is from Michael Jordan.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

My favorite Scripture is Song of Solomon 4:9.

“You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride;
         You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes,
         With a single strand of your necklace.”

7. What are you reading right now?

RH: I just finished “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Next book, not sure yet.

8. If you were placed in the life of one fictional character who would you choose?

RH: Hmm, good question. Maybe Ebenezer Scrooge or Elizabeth Bennett of Pride and Prejudice fame.  Mostly to see what their world was really like. I’d like to see Ebenezer’s change and watch Elizabeth fall in love. 

9. And finally, what are you working on right now?

RH: I just finished a book with country artist Sara Evans. The book releases sometime this spring along with her new album. I’m excited about it. We’re doing several fiction books together. They are stories we made up. Nothing autobiographical.

Thanks Stacy! Great questions. I appreciate this opportunity!

Books by Rachel Hauck– Love Starts With Elle, Sweet Caroline, Diva NashVegas, Lost in NashVegas, Georgia On Her Mind, Lambert’s Peace, Lambert’s Pride, Lambert’s Code, New Hampshire Weddings, Windswept Weddings

Ohio State-Michigan Football

It’s THE day for Ohio State and Michigan football lovers.  It’s the game that always ends the season and it should be a cold and snowy one.  The Buckeyes are 22 1/2 point favorites and have won the last four years.  But Michigan could make it’s whole season with a win today. 

Michigan Wolverines-Ohio State Buckeyes
Teams Michigan Wolverines
Ohio State Buckeyes
Originated 1897
Series Michigan leads, 57-41-6
Most Recent Winner Ohio State
Trophy None
Team Ohio State Michigan
National Titles 7 11
Heisman Winners 7 3
Bowl Appearances 39 38
BCS Bowl Appearances 6 4
Rose Bowl Games 13 20
All-Americans 177 75
Big Ten Titles 32 42

My Obsessions

I’ve been tagged by Don  to confess my obsessions/addictions.  Today I turn 37 and since I’m feeling contemplative I think I’ll list one for every year.

Flavored coffee, black is my favorite way to start the day.  And continues until the afternoon begins.

Red wine is my relaxation in the evening.  I probably like it a little too much, but it’s healthy, right?

Buying books seems like a healthy addiction, but it can override common sense.  I can go to a bookstore and purchase 10 books for a $10 and not have time to read any of them before more books find their way into my shopping bag a few days later.  I do have a reading and writing addiction which seem to fit in with my book problem.

My grandparents passed onto to me the puzzling gene.  Working on jigsaw puzzles is a good way to work out stuff in your head.  If I’ve got a problem I need to work out, doing a jigsaw is the best medicine.  I am currently finishing (600 pieces or so)  a 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzle of Florence, Italy.  I will include a picture when I get it done because it is a much anticipated achievement.

Chocolate and cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory are two addictions.  I am currently eating a piece of Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake and it is heavenly.

Ohio State football season is my favorite season of the year!  And that explains my favorite color, red.

I love my family and they are my rock.  On a related note I frequently become obsessed with genealogy when I find a new branch in my family tree.  Which leads me to trees – I love them and never feel more at peace with nature than when I am surrounded by them.  I also feel very much at peace when I am surrounded by my wonderful friends.  Cleveland has made me appreciate and look forward to snow.  On the other hand, I adore saunas.  This time of year always reignites my interest in politics (just ask my dad who was here this weekend).  I have become more interested in my blog- and in yours- than I thought I would when I started.  I check email constantly.  But I love getting snail mail.  I also love to send letters and cards. I love meeting new people and going to parties, which go together very nicely, thank you.  My only fashion addiction is Kathy Van Zeeland bags (I’ve given away everything else!) and I won’t confess to how many I own.  I love romantic movies and can watch my favorites over and over. On the TV front…I can spend too much much money at QVC, I tape The View everyday, if I’m home I watch General Hospital with only a little guilt, and when the tv is on, its default station is CNN.  I love to play board games and am a bit competitive.  Especially during March Madness when I become completely obssessed with beating my husband on our brackets.  I go to New York City as often as I get the opportunity (which isn’t often enough!).  I love getting into the hot tub on a cool night with my husband.

Which leads me to my obsession with getting my cat, Scout, to gain weight and getting my dog, Max, to lose the pounds.  Of course, my best obsession is my husband, Jason.  And for #37 I asked Jason what he thought my obsession was.  He thought about for a few minutes and said, “You like to make other people happy.”  Maybe I should just make him addictions 1-36 🙂

I’m tagging Kathy & Elena to confess their obessions/addictions.

Ohio State vs. Wisconsin

OSU 20  Wisconsin 17

Last night we had 3 couples over to play cards, so I didn’t get to watch the game until there was about 5 minutes left in the game.  And I’m glad I got to see the last Ohio State drive.  I cannot say enough good things about our freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor.  He’s only going to get better.  And Beanie Wells was back in form rushing for 168 yards.  Ohio State snapped Wisconsin’s 16 game home winning streak.