Thursday, December 29, 2016

What a Whirlwind!

It has been abundantly busy. The three weeks I was home between Thanksgiving and returning to Michigan for Christmas kept me so busy I could not even post.  First I finished up Christmas shopping and all but one gift. Wrapped everything and got it loaded in the car.

Then, Lilac Publishing put out a book by a new author. Are you looking for a great western? One geared more to the life of the Native American? I have one for you.

This book is awesome. Faced with the death of his father, half-breed Swift Wind seeks vengeance on the hunter who killed him and stole his furs. Returning from his quest, he finds the teepees in shambles, his mother and sister raped, and he is off again to avenge his family.
     Meanwhile, his white Uncle Brad comes to visit and proposes to make their lives different. His mother unable to feel comfortable in the cabin, returns to the tribe and her teepee. A visit from his wealthy grandparents gives them the opportunity to be part of a foundering village. Can they make the change? Will they remain true to their Native American heritage or will they embrace the world of the white man?

Windswept Press a subsidiary of Blue Harvest Press put out a 99cent short story for me.

This is my first attempt at a romance.
When a stranger washes up to shore after an intense coastal storm, Lily Collins' life will never be the same. Will the stranger turn out to be more than just an accident victim? Could love be on the horizon?

Finally we are working on a Lilac Publishing release. (For those who missed the memo, Lilac Publishing is a subsidiary of Blue Harvest Press). Isle of the Faeries by JoAnn E. Henderson will be released shortly.

I am busy editing my next book Rescue Mountain to be released the end of March. I'm also working on a forward for an Agatha Christie novel which will be released in early March. Finally for those who are waiting. Book 4 in the Macy series, Something Borrowed, Something Blue will get completed for release later this year. I have not forgotten her.

That wraps up 2016 fairly well.  Happy 2017 everyone.

Friday, November 18, 2016

South State Bank...Epic Fail

Recently I wrote a blog about banks going bad. Well, South State Bank in South Carolina is an epic FAIL.

They told me I could sign a paper and get out of the escrow account. Bring it, I can budget in escrow and I know how to manage MY money. Wednesday I got a call from an assistant to the loan person I dealt with. She has only been his assistant for six months and all she knows is she cannot help me. Please email her boss.

I emailed her boss and told him to make me a happy camper they need to cut the check for my property taxes NOW as they have the money to pay them. Send me the papers to close the escrow account. The cut me a check for the remaining amount they have and I'll pay the house payment and the interest.

Today while I am in northern Ohio, Vickie Battles calls me. She informs me she is the head of the escrow department. I'm thinking good we might be getting somewhere. Then she proceeds to tell me, my loan was written so the escrow account cannot be separated from it. WTF....Yeah that's what I said. However they can take $137 and change from my principle to cover the shortage and my payment will then be $969 and change/mo.

I flipped out on her. Told her she needed to clean house and get rid of the people who cannot do their job. They should have had my taxes in front of them before EVER redoing an escrow assessment. Well, we don't have them yet. UM, yes you do. Two of your inept employees have told me they have the taxes. PAY THEM NOW!!!

We have a certain time when we cut those checks. What part of PAY THE FUCKING TAXES NOW! Did you not understand????

Then she gives me her phone number so if there is another issue with my escrow account I can call her directly. IF there is another problem with my escrow account I will be seeking an attorney and I will sue the bank.

In the meantime I am looking into who is in charge of banking in South Carolina. I want this bank audited and if I can't get someone on a state level to do it, I'll be hitting up my Congress person and my Senator. The proverbial shit is about to hit the fan. It's going to get ugly.

Anyone looking for a nice house in South Carolina??? I have one which will be on the market as of October 31, 2017.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

When Banking Goes Wrong

A year ago on October 30, 2015, I got a home mortgage through South State Bank here in South Carolina. They will eventually go the way of Wells Fargo and will not darken our skies or our pockets.

I have them holding an escrow account for my insurance and taxes. In April, 2015 when the not so good hands at Allstate tried to soak me $800 extra a year for an accident I did not cause I went looking for insurance. I found some. I got a discount by switching both car and auto insurance. I paid for the new house insurance because I knew there was not enough in escrow to cover the change. The new company assured me they would NOT bill the bank. (They DID NOT bill the bank, they sent a notice of change).

The idiots running the escrow account paid for the new insurance anyway. Leaving my escrow account $600 in arrears. Wait, what? The person could not see the account would be short? They did not call to ask me about it? Nope. Just cut a check. So, my new insurance company sent my money back. I immediately called my agent. She pulled my account, no bill was sent. Notice of change in policy was sent. She called her contact at the bank. After talking to the bank it was deemed an error on the part of the bank and I needed to put the money back in my escrow account. But the account is still $600 short.

I go to the bank and deposit the money in escrow and want to know how to prevent this again? I want someone fired for this. Knowing it won't happen, I want them docked pay. Again not going to happen.

I have been watching the escrow account like a hawk. This is also the bank which does not acknowledge additional payment to the principle. It's a line item they have to account for it. It MUST show on my bill. Even my car payment which only gets about $0.38 extra a month has to show on the statement extra was paid to the principle. It has taken me six months to get them to put this as a line item.

Here comes October. They have to look at my taxes and insurance and figure out if there is enough money in the enough in escrow to pay the bills. All banks have a way to find out the current taxes even if they have not yet been billed. Once again the IDIOTS running escrow did not do this. They used a projected tax to figure out my new payment. In their infinite wisdom (insert dripping sarcasm), they determined I had a refund of $169 + change. So, they cut me a check and raised my payment $40 + change. Really???? So, I call again, because I also have the tax bill. They have figured it with an estimate and are off $127 + change. Oh, we'll do it again. Good how do I get out of an escrow account? We can send you papers to do that, please send them.

New papers on escrow account arrive Nov 10th. I now owe them $139 + change to keep my payment at $954.04 which is what it went up to the first time. Or my new payment will be $981 + change. Wait, if they had done the job correctly to begin with I would only have received a refund of $30 + change and a $38.36 increase in the payment.

I was in the bank this morning. There is nothing they can do at a branch bank because the escrow accounts are held in the Republic of Texas. Really, my local bank where I got the damn loan cannot help me with the damn loan. No one there is authorized to give me papers to dissolve an escrow account. They have to call the guy who got me the loan a year ago. He and I have already spoken on this issue once.  So, I'm waiting for Kevin to call.

I am closing the escrow account. I will open a savings account and put the money there and include money to cover my auto insurance, too. I know how to manage money. It's not money I had to spend anyway. I mean I'm putting away 7% of my pension to cover state income taxes every month. I know what I'm doing.

Millenials who are book smart and common sense stupid...must be the problem. No one with common sense would make this many errors on one account. I have a minor in accounting. I run a business. One would assume I do know a thing or two about how money works. The entire escrow department at South State Bank is a rip off.  Avoid them if possible. They will find a way to make your money come up missing.

Yes, I will be reporting them to the better banking soon as I find out how. They messed with the wrong person.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Finding it Difficult

Trying to get back on the diet plan. I'm finding it difficult. I know it is in my best interest for my health.

I think the issue is the amount of food in my fridge that spoiled while I was gone. It makes me crazy to throw away food. I saved some out which I thought was okay, not past expiration dates, not opened. Wrong.

The result was a mild case of food poisoning. So, I cleaned out all that could be tainted in anyway. Thursday, I will take myself to the grocery store and purchase the correct food items. Smaller quantities and plan how I am going to use things.

Now if we can be done with hurricanes, I'll be all set. I am trying to find my house and get back into the swing of my schedule here. Have a couple of doctor appts coming up. Have to get an oil changed on the car.

Need to get back to my exercises for my shoulder. Just need to sort out the mess I made in the house while scrambling to evacuate for Matthew.

It will take me the rest of this week. Then I have to prioritize the things which need to be done to make this house more livable. Which means finishing getting my office put together. Hanging wall art and painting my bathroom. The list is longer, but I won't bore you.

Blood sugars are once again coming down. This is a good thing. Time to get the crockpot out and start cooking. Also freezing the leftovers for another meal.

I got just takes time.


Saturday, October 29, 2016


I have returned to South Carolina. It has been an eventful month. First, the evacuation for Hurricane Matthew....I evacuated to Clarkston, MI.  My house suffered no damage, however I have broken limbs and debris all over the yard to deal with.

I had originally planned to stay a week to ten days. You know how plans go. Mike and I went to visit my parents on Oct. 9th. Then we stopped to see my sister, Diane, and her family. All in all it was a good visit.

Mike works days, so my mornings were spent with his oldest daughter, Stacie, and the menagerie of animals. (Three dogs and three cats.) I had plenty to keep me busy. Updating Facebook, reading and I did write seventeen chapters on the new book.

Ate out too many times, will have to restart my diet again now that I am home. Should have a better start on it before I return at Thanksgiving.

Oct. 8th in the evening I had an issue with my blood pressure so, we did not go see Mike's mom. We made up for it by going to see her on Oct 19th. I have times when for no known reason my blood pressure bottoms out. I have learned how to take care of it and avoid trips to the emergency room. Was great seeing Mike's mom. Not seen her in years.

I spent the afternoon of Oct. 15th in Mt. Pleasant, with my granddaughter, Megan. We had lunch,  picked out her Halloween Costume and just hung out. I got my CMU Grandma t-shirt and a sweatshirt as I did not pack cold weather clothes.

Oct. 21st, Mike had some surgery. His youngest daughter, Heather, and I kept each other company in the waiting room. It made for a long day for everyone. He had to be at the surgery center at noon. He was not taken to surgery until 1:45pm. He was in recovery by 3:05pm and we took him home about 4pm. He is recovering well. Well enough I could come home.

Left for home on Oct. 26th after driving to Lansing to take Jamie to lunch. Got as far as Wapakoneta, Ohio on my return trip. Texted Mike and asked him to text me the phone number on a piece of property in Kentucky...cannot hurt to look.

I called about the property when I finally reached Kentucky on Oct. 27th. Left a message on his answering machine. Called my Mom when I hit London, KY thinking I would not be able to see the property as I had not heard anything back.

My phone rang as I crossed the Tennessee border. It was the man with the property. I pulled into the rest area to get information and back tracked an hour and a half to see it. I had no real agenda. On the way, my phone battery died. Duh, forgot to plug it into the charger.  So, I  have no photos of the property or the house.

Suffice it to say the property is 125 acres of Heaven in the back of beyond. Exactly what we are both looking for. I have called the gentleman back with some questions Mike had. Nothing has been decided and if the guy gets an offer he is free to sell it. But it has potential. We shall see.

I drove the 35 miles back to London, KY...takes an hour and a half on two lane, twisting, winding, roads. Spent the night in London.  Called to let my daughter know she didn't need to send out the national guard. Mike's daughter, Stacie had been texting, too. Went to dinner, checked in with everyone and life was good again.

Rolled out on the 28th heading for Huntersville, NC to take my brother to lunch. He thought I was still in  Michigan. Oh, oops. We had a late lunch at the Sports Page in Mooresville, NC. I highly  recommend it. Burgers were great. Know the fried sweet potatoes have cinnamon & sugar on them. YUCK.

It took me from 4pm to 6pm to drive the 36 miles to the NC/SC border. Not only did I have Charlotte rush hour, I77 from north of Statesville to the SC border is torn up to widen it. Ugh. Should have stopped in Rock Hill, SC for the night, but knew I would be home in three hours so kept driving.  Big mistake. I should not be driving at night ever. My eyes are just not good for that anymore. I set the cruise on 61mph and stayed in the slow lane. There are no fast food places near me, so I stopped at BK about 4 miles from home. I will NEVER eat there again. I am so tired of them not getting the drive thru orders right. And it only made me angry and gave me a headache.

Finally crashed about 1:28am. Slept until 11:28am. Woke almost human. Showered, emptied the fridge of spoiled foods, and went to eat at Sunrise Bistro, just around the corner from me. Then I had a visit with the minister's wife. Love Meghan and Mark Hunt and their kids.  Came back home and really have not done much since.

Church in the morning tomorrow, then I tackle laundry, emptying the freezer of spoiled items, and just getting settled in again.

To say I miss Mike would be a gross understatement. To say he misses me would  be the same. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I will be home. We have Thanksgiving dinner at Jamie's, because my son-in-law, Phil is an awesome cook.


Monday, October 10, 2016

The Journey on Hold

Last Tuesday, October 4th, my world got tipped upside down. Governor Nikki Haley called for a voluntary evacuation of the sea islands and Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester Counties as Hurricane Matthew approached.

I left early on Wednesday morning. I spent 11 hours in my car give or take a few minutes and made it as far as London, KY. Mind you while I tried to eat well on the road, it really wasn't working for me. Thursday saw me another ten or so hours driving. I landed in Clarkston, Michigan just after my significant other got home from work. I was so tired of the car I left everything in it and used his phone to call my mom and let her know I had safely arrived.

I could watch the wind and rain from the security camera on my alarm system, so knew how the front of my house was faring. Pretty much just the monsoon rains like from Floyd last year. I was smart enough to buy on high ground. So, I'm not in a flood zone. All the other areas around me cannot say the same.

Needless to say my diet has been completely messed up and it will remain so for the next couple of weeks. I knew when my power went out as my security system let me know it had gone to back up power. I knew on Sunday when the power came back, because once again I could see the view from my security camera.

I was messaged early today by my neighbor, my house has sustained no damage. He will keep an eye on it while I remain in Michigan to deal with some personal things. Once I am home again I will deal with getting myself back on track. Look for me to start posting again.

The results have been so good, I am no longer on the night time injectable insulin. I am maintaining well enough to remain off it.


Monday, October 3, 2016

The Journey Day 4

While my sugars were a bit higher this morning. I started at 131. Felt very dizzy, took my blood pressure it was 109/58. Nope not a problem there. Made breakfast and took my shower so I could go to Next Steps this morning. By the time I left home at 7:55am, I felt great! I think it was lack of sleep...that darn book again.

The rest of the day looked like this:
Breakfast, 2 eggs poached on a slice of pumpernickel bread. A cup of cinnamon tea and 16.9 oz of water.

My afternoon blood sugar was 126 so coming down.
Lunch was awesome!!!!! I sliced eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and yellow onion and sprinkled Lawry's seasoning salt on it. Then baked it for 25 minutes. When it came out and I put my portion on my plate, I sprinkled it with Parmesan cheese. I'm so glad I have enough for tomorrow. And I can use other veggies next time, like broccoli, cauliflower, the list is endless.

Dinner tonight was an abbreviated version of the Herb and Parmesan Chicken I posted the other day. I had chicken breast tenders and sprinkled them with oregano, garlic powder, and chopped basil. Baked them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes and made a salad of spinach, 1 stalk of celery, and 1/2 a tomato, with 2T of Italian dressing. Again I have enough for tomorrow.

So, here's what Day 4 should have looked like. (I have learned to experiment).
Breakfast Omelet( 180 calories)
2 small eggs, beaten
2 1/4 oz cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 of 1 red onion, diced fine
1T grated Parmesan cheese
6 fresh basil leaves
1/8 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Coat small non-stick frying pan with oil. Add the onions and cook over low heat until nearly soft (about 5 min). If they begin to stick add 1 T of water and cook until it evaporates. Add the tomatoes and cook another 5 minutes or so until they are soft. Transfer to a bowl and clean the pan.

Reheat pan on medium heat: pour eggs into pan and tilt to coat the inside evenly. Do this several times, until the eggs at no longer runny. Cook over medium heat until the eggs have set, the remove from heat and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover with tomato-onion mixture and fold eggs over with spatula. When the eggs are cooked all the way through transfer to a plate and serve hot.

Lunch: Spinach and Kale Soup (110 calories per serving)  This will never be on my diet. I am allergic to Kale cousins and hate cooked spinach.
6 oz ground turkey
2 quarts chicken stock
1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced.
1 stalk of celery sliced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 oz fresh kale chopped
3.5oz pearl barley
salt and pepper to taste.

Brown turkey in 1 T olive oil. Combine the turkey, stock and barley in a stock pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Then add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and continue to simmer until both vegetables and barley are tender. Serve hot.

Dinner Savory Paprika Beef (242 calories per serving including sides.)
12 oz93-95% lean beef hamburger or 12 oz 100% lean steak, minced.
8 oz white onions, diced
1T paprika
6 oz canned diced tomatoes
1T tomato paste
2T balsamic vinegar
1tsp caraway seed
1/4 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

In non-stick pan, sauté the beef with 2-3 T of water. If it begins to stick, add more water 1T at a time. When the meat is thoroughly done, add the onions and cook until they are tender. Add water 1T at a time as needed.

When onions are soft, add the other ingredients plus 1/2 c water and simmer 30 minutes. If the mixture becomes too thick or begins to stick add 1/4 c water. Simmer until most of the liquid has been reduced; server with these two sides:

#1 1 c steamed carrots, sprinkled with dried basil
#2 1 c steamed cabbage with salt and pepper (Note to self, you are allergic to cabbage do not make).

Enjoy, don't hesitate to adjust for food allergies or dislikes. Change things up so you have a variety.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Journey Day 3

The best laid plans sometimes go awry. Because no where in the plan was I supposed to be awake until 3am reading the latest John Gilstrap novel. His are pulse pounding, sit on the edge of your seat books and this one is no exception.

Today started with a blood sugar of 104, a bit higher but still within normal. I had brunch of 1/2 cup strawberries, 2 poached eggs and 1 slice of pumpernickel bread. 16.9 oz of water, and two cups of cinnamon tea.

It was more of a brunch, than breakfast. So my blood sugar before dinner was 150. I was not real please with it. Dinner consisted of  1/2 c cottage cheese mixed with spinach, 1 stalk of celery, a sprinkle of shredded cheese, and 2 T of Italian dressing, and  5 sesame Melba rounds. Another 2 cups of cinnamon tea completed the meal.

My current blood sugar is 161 which makes me sad. Giving me an average of 138 for the day. I will endeavor to do better tomorrow.  I will be making individual quiche.

Day three should have looked like this:
Breakfast: spinach with 2 poached eggs on an English muffin.*

Lunch: Baked Summer Vegetables with cheese**

Dinner: Spicy Oven Chicken***

*Spinach and Egg topped muffins(220 calorie per serving)
2 medium eggs
1 English muffin cut in half
3.5 oz frozen spinach defrosted
2T low-fat sour cream (I use the real thing because I don't want the added sugars)
pinch of nutmeg
Salt & pepper to taste.

To prepare the spinach, in a small sauce pan, heat the spinach through keep tossing to keep it from scorching. When it's thoroughly heated add the sour cream and nutmeg and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste. (I would not eat this. I eat raw spinach, but hate it when it's cooked. The flavor changes to something I don't like).

Poach eggs for three minutes more if you prefer well done. Toast the two halves of the English muffin. Cover each muffin with 1/2 of the spinach mix and an egg. Serve hot.

**Baked Summer Veggie with Cheese (110 calories/serving)
2 small eggplants, trimmed and cut into small pieces.
2 medium zucchini trimmed and sliced
1 sweet yellow squash cut into strips
4 small yellow onions peeled and quartered
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2tsp coriander
1 T olive oil
1 1/4 oz fresh goat cheese(I do not eat this so would have to find a different cheese)
Mixed salad greens (for me this would be spinach)

Preheat oven to 500. In a large bowl toss the vegetables with the spices plus salt and pepper to taste. Coat baking sheet with olive oil and arrange the veggies in a single layer. Drizzle 2-3 T of water over the pan, then roast the vegetables for 25-30 minutes until soft. Don't be alarmed if the edges are slightly charred-this is normal. Let cool slightly, then spoon over the salad greens and crumble cheese on top.

***Spicy Oven Chicken(180 calories/serving)
2 4oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 sprigs fresh basil chopped fine
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
8 oz vegetable stock (can use chicken stock or make from bullion)
salt and pepper as desired.

Pre heat oven to 400. With a sharp knife, lightly score each chicken breast in several places, making very shallow cuts the length of the breast. Do the same in the other direction so you have crosshatched the breast. In a bowl combine all the herbs and spices. Dip the chicken into the mixture then rub it in, coating them evenly with a thin layer of spices.
Place the chicken in a small baking dish and poor the stock around it (but not on top). Bake until spices are browned and crispy and chicken when fork is inserted oozes clear juice--about 25 minutes. Serve hot with  a steaming bowl of broccoli.

As I live alone, most of these meals will last two days, so my days might repeat.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Day 2

This is me. My blood sugar average for yesterday was 120. Not quite normal but so much closer, I feel like dancing. And this morning my sugar was 74. If this keeps up the injectable night time insulin will be gone.

Breakfast was supposed to be a medium sized banana. I had a small one. I have learned, bananas are not a fruit I should have right now, so the remainder will be made into banana/nut bread which I will freeze and take home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Diane, Jamie, & Mom please note this).

Lunch was supposed to be Salmon & Artichoke Salad*. Not in my life time. I don't eat fish EVER and I don't like artichoke. I will however put the recipe at the bottom. This one tells me it's 240 calories per serving. I had liquid lunch...16.9 oz of water while I was driving out to get this small table.
I needed some place for the other teapot lamp. I think this works well. It will be nice if I have a guest. The overhead light will not be needed.

Dinner was supposed to be Tomato Soup (70 calories/serving)**. Well, not tonight folks. I had another peppered ribeye. Later I ate a snack of two celery sticks and 1Tablespoon of peanut butter.

Mind you I have also had 4 cups of cinnamon tea and am on my second 16.9 oz bottle of water.

Dinner was supposed to be: Herb & Parmesan-Crusted Chicken (274 calories/serving)***

*Salmon & Artichoke Salad
1 4 oz cooked salmon filet (it can be steamed, baked, or poached) crumbled
1 hard boiled egg sliced as thinly as possible
2 small artichoke hearts, quartered
8 black olives, sliced
1/2 of 1 lemon, very thinly sliced
2 oz mixed salad greens

Scatter the salad greens on a plate as a bed for the other ingredients. Layer the eggs, then salmon on top of the greens. Sprinkle with olives and top with lemon.


** Tomato Soup
12 oz canned tomatoes or 1 pound of fresh
1 white onion, peeled and cut in half
4 cloves garlic
2 c vegetable stock(or make from bullion)
1tsp dried basil or 1T fresh
1 sweet green pepper with seeds removed
Salt to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process on puree or liquefy until smooth. Transfer to a sauce pan and simmer 5 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

***Herb & Parmesan Crusted Chicken
2  4-4.5 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2T crushed corn flakes
2T grated Parmesan cheese
1/2tsp garlic powder
1/2tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Combine all ingredients but the chicken breasts in a bowl and mix well. With a mallet, (or the flat side of a heavy chef's knife, if you don't have a mallet) beat the chicken breasts until they are flattened. (you want to make sure they are dead) Then dip them into the cornflake mixture. Place on a nonstick baking sheet or one lined with waxed paper or parchment and bake 20-30 minutes until the coating is nicely browned. Serve hot.


Friday, September 30, 2016

How Day 1 Really Looks

This was not how I planned the day. I was up at 8:30 and my am blood sugar was 83. You may all happy dance, I know I was.

I got eggs delivered from a friend and we chatted for a bit. I made breakfast. I had 1/2 cup strawberries, 2 poached eggs, one slice of rye toast, 1 cup of cinnamon tea, and about 4 oz of water.

The plan  was to go to the bank, make a deposit, and cash a check. This was all accomplished. When I returned home I worked for a bit on a baby layette I am making. Baby due Nov. 8th so I have some time. Turned on the idiot box (TV) for some reruns...background noise mostly. Had thought I'd watch something I had recorded so I could get it off the DVR. Best laid plans, found me asleep before I knew what hit me. Came to life around 2pm angry because nothing else I had planned was getting done.

I have come to the conclusion, when my body is adjusting to healthy foods, it sometimes needs to regroup. Hence, the naps.

Decided it was too late to have lunch, but took my blood sugars 129. I can live with that number. Not quite a happy dance, but close.

Loaded dishwasher and assessed what my menu options were. Did not make Cream of Celery soup as I still have veggie soup I will use up.  Will make peppered steak for dinner and have a spinach salad. I will get my 600 calories without much effort.

Currently have a ton of energy. So, will look to moving some more of my office into the office and out of the living room. There is hope of recapturing the living room by the end of the day tomorrow. I'm excited.

Just made a second cup of cinnamon tea and will be drinking water with dinner. Won't get as much today, but some days that is how it works.

Off to do house stuff.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Official Day 1 Starts Tomorrow

Guess what I did today??? Yep, I went grocery shopping. I can really start following my diet plan. So, here's what tomorrow looks like:

Breakfast: Strawberries 1 cup, one scrambled egg, cinnamon tea and 16.9 oz of water.

Lunch: Cream of Celery Soup* (homemade) and tuna with spinach in it. 16.9 oz water (The diet plan wrapped the tuna in lettuce).

Dinner: Peppered steak** and onions, spinach salad with a drizzle of dressing (Italian)
1 cup cinnamon tea
I am looking forward to this.

* Recipe for Cream of Celery Soup.
6 oz of celery washed and diced
5 oz leeks, trimmed and sliced (I have green onions)
1 clove garlic
1T soy sauce
10 oz vegetable stock (or use bullion)
1/2 tsp. celery seed
5 oz skim milk (I have 2% so will make allowances for it in the calorie count)

Combine all ingredients but the milk in a large sauce pan or small stock pot. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 min, until the vegetables are soft. Remove from heat. Add  milk and run through a blender until smooth. Serve hot or cold.

**Recipe for Peppered Steak
4.25 oz lean ribeye steak with all fat trimmed
1/4 tsp crushed or cracked peppercorns
1 small yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 small tomatoes halved
3.5 oz frozen spinach
1 tsp olive oil

Coat the bottom of a skillet with the olive oil, then add the tomatoes and onions and cook over low heat turning as needed. Until browned and soft. (If they begin to stick add a couple tablespoons of water). While they're cooking rub steak well with the cracked peppercorns.
When the veggies are nearly done, add the steak and cook to your desired doneness (about 7 min for medium well) Turn midway so it browns evenly.

Place spinach in a small microwave-safe container, add 1T water, and microwave for 4-6 min. Serve steak topped with onions and accompanied by the tomatoes and spinach.

Hope you enjoy.

The New Journey

I haven't posted much on this as I have been unable to shop for the foods I need. Payday has arrived and my list is long.

Let me start with what I have done. Since last Saturday (Sept 24, 2016) I have been trying to use the foods I have on hand to eat close to 600 calories. I have run from 580 calories to 642 calories. Yesterday was one of the best days so far. Am fasting blood sugar was 127, a little high, but more in range than out. I ate lunch exactly two hours later because I was heading to back to back meetings. Before lunch sugars were 207. I was not thrilled. However, bedtime sugars ran 123. I decided to cut  my bedtime insulin to 10units from 15units. It was a wise move. My am fasting blood sugar was 99. That is within the normal range.

I have all the supplements needed. I have not added any of them. I had an allergic reaction to a prescription med....broke out in a rash and looked like the bride of Frankenstein. The rash is slowly going away. To be on the safe side, I will only add one supplement at a time and will take it for two weeks before adding another. (I did up my vitamin doses to match those in the book).

The book for those who didn't get the memo is Done with Diabetes put out by Constitutional Health. It runs $37. It's a quick read and makes a ton of sense.

Have I lost any weight? I won't know until next Thurs. morning when I go in for my annual physical. I only get weighed at the doctors. I do not own a scale.
Although the goal weight I am shooting for is 120. I am not a number on a scale. I am a person and will not let my life be controlled by a number. No scales in my house.

I am feeling better. I have some more energy, I've been productive the past five days. If this is what the diet can do for me in five days, I can hardly imagine how I will feel in eight weeks.

I'll update more, with menus and recipes as we go on. This week's big recipe was vegetable soup.

My version:
1 large bottle V8 juice
1 large package frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots
Toss in crockpot on low.
I let mine go overnight.
1 cup of the soup is about 80 calories.

Most of my meals are 200-220 calories.

Best of luck

Monday, September 12, 2016

It's Been a Long Week

This has been my week. Add to it runny nose and itchy red eyes. I really hate allergies. However I stopped taking my allergy meds on Sept. 6, 2016. Why, you might ask? Because I have an appointment with my allergist tomorrow Sept. 13, 2016 and have to have the allergy meds out of my system.

As a result, I'm not sleeping well. I find myself napping in the middle of the day and exhausted by bedtime. I've gone through a box of Kleenex and most of my hankies.

I will have a water bottle and a Zyrtec in my car to take as soon as I leave the allergist in the morning. At least when I take it, I am not miserable.

To add to this, I had my mouth prepped for a crown this morning. Now the numbness is gone, my mouth just aches. So between the two sleeping should be interesting tonight.

I empathize with anyone having allergies. I would not wish them on anyone. They seem to have gotten worse as I've aged. Aging can stop now.

I know there is an end to this and it is in sight. Twelve hours from now I will be sitting in the allergist's office. Thirteen hours from now I will have taken an allergy med. Within an hour I should be feeling some relief.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Embarking on a New Journey

Most of you know I'm a diabetic. In 2012 I followed the 30 Day Diabetes Cure book. It helped me lose my last twenty-five pounds making a total weight loss of one hundred pounds in five years. It took my blood sugar levels down to within the normal range. I don't know can't tell you why I stopped following the diet.

Recently I find my medications are not working. Adding insulin at night has not changed anything. I've had more normal range blood sugar readings in the past three months than I've had in the past year. However, my A1c has not changed. This only aggravates me. How if I'm doing everything right are things not  changing?

I have come across a new book. Done With Diabetes: 100% Natural System to Rid Yourself of Diabetes and Get Your Life Back. I am still reading the book. I'm about halfway through it. I talked to my endocrinologist today. He says it's okay to try it. According to this book, I should see a dramatic change in seven days. The program is eight to twelve weeks.

While my daughter supports my endeavors to become healthy, she is not thrilled this diet only allows 600 calories/day for the duration of the program. There is a maintenance program to follow. I know I cannot eat more than one thousand calories a day or I will start gaining weight. My goal is to lose the last fifty pounds I need to be rid of. 20% of my body weight would be a loss of 34 pounds. Again, I know my system. I need the extra sixteen pounds to allow for ups and downs in weight.

The one thing which never happened when I was first diagnosed was for my doctor to give me a healthy eating program. And the mess put out by the American Diabetes Association is guaranteed to keep you using Big Pharma. The effectiveness of the med I have been on for seventeen years are lost after about six months, then you have to add other meds, and even more meds, and finally some form of insulin. This is how they continue to allow you to get sicker and sicker.

Well, I'm done. My kidneys are in danger, my liver is also at risk. If I don't take charge the doctors are going to kill me with the help of Big Pharma.

The first thing I intend to give up is this:
My endocrinologist believes I will be able to leave the Levemir behind. That is a savings of $120/year. So, my first step is to lose this.  My hope is today I bought my last box of them. I will keep you posted as I make my way through the book and start the meal plan.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

When an Offer is too Good to be True

We are all attracted to money. I find it sad when people try to exploit our greed. I have been working for six months to figure out how to offer an on-line writing course which would be meaningful. I have worked on lesson plans and found the first set of plans would not work in the time frame I had set. So, I went back to the drawing board.

I have bounced the idea off friends on offering a local writing course. There is a possibility I could offer it at the local library, but I don't want to price it out of the realm of allowing people to attend. I have been working on how I would put a workbook together for this class if it ever materializes.

When I am contacted by a gentleman on LinkedIn. He offered me a conference in Las Vegas in Sept. I looked at his introductory video and was extremely interested. I did a conference call with him for fifteen minutes and he sent me tickets to his conference. It all sounded wonderful. I was excited and began making plans to attend.

You know there's a catch right? I looked at his website regarding the conference which is running four days. The second two days would cost me about $2200. Oh wait, I don't think so. In the long run I'd be putting out more money than I have. Even his six months payment plan would break me.

So, I have been sitting here tonight working out lesson plans. I am to lesson thirteen with the option to give away five lessons. I'm going to hire a business coach for a couple of months and we are going to work on getting it fine tuned along with the marketing program. And I won't be spending $2200. I'm looking for someone to video tape for the on-line. I'm tossing around the idea of taping the actual classes, but think that would be a hindrance. So, when my office is completely set up, I'm going to  see about video taping there.

I know I already have three students who would take the on-line class. I'm sure there might be more. Once it is ready I will launch a huge campaign to bring awareness to it.  I am not looking to build a six figure income, just want to pad my retirement and give myself breathing room.

Reaching people who want to write, is something I want to do. It's personal for me. There was no one reaching out to me when I was looking for writing instruction. I even had a college professor tell me I had talent, but she didn't know how to help me develop it. Sad, commentary on college, there. I've read everything on writing and gone to writing workshops and conferences. I've been part of an on-line critique group. I was part of a writing group. I want to create an atmosphere for writers. This to me is the best way to do it.

While the program in Las Vegas is wonderful, it is out of my price range. I know you have to invest money to make money. I do that. I will continue to do that, just not as much money as they think I need to invest.

Know what you are getting into. I learned before I spent too much.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

When the Government is Out of Control

I am angry. My anger is directed at Mylan Pharmaceuticals. Let me explain what has happened.
Last year about this time AviQ an alternative to the Epi-Pen was pulled from the market. It happened because there was a flaw in the dispensing system, preventing the correct amount of medication from being dispensed when needed. This left Mylan's Epi-Pen the sole provider for allergy emergencies.

I carry a dual Epi-Pen, because my reactions are so severe I could need two shots before I can get to an ER. Most of the time, mine out date and are never used. Knowing they are in my purse takes a bit of stress out of my life.

Recently Mylan has raised the price of a single Epi-Pen by 400%. Since it only takes $1.75 to make a pen, I have a hard time swallowing the fact they now want to charge between $400 and $600 per pen. I know children who have come close to dying because of bee stings and no Epi-Pen was available. Should one of my many food allergens end up in my food by mistake, I could be at risk of death. I will not pay that kind of money for two reasons: 1) I don't have the kind of money they are asking. Because the price quoted is after the insurance pays. 2) I don't have the kind of money to spend on something which will out date and never get used.

I feel for families who are struggling in the current economy, this is going to devastate them. The last time I had an allergic reaction to something the PA who was my primary care almost killed me. I can't risk that happening. My allergies are severe and life threatening. We don't even know what caused the last reaction. Which to me is even scarier.

If that weren't bad enough, the CEO of Mylan Pharmaceuticals announced yesterday she was getting an $18million dollar raise. Well, not from me. I will boycott her company. I am leaving orders for my pharmacist that if the only place I can get meds is from Mylan, I will go without. She is a greedy bitch.

I hope she is IRS audited. It is my understanding Congress is looking into this, however at the rate Congress actually does anything productive, I will be dead and gone before it is resolved. This is nothing more than greed and is allowed by a corrupt government. Not getting into politics. No one in the last 8 years has done anything to improve my life. But they sure have managed to tax me to death. I will not stand for this kind of blatant greed.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Just in Case You Missed it.

In case you missed my take over of Shelley Wilson-Author's blog here's the link.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Sunday, July 3, 2016

On the Dawn of Our Nation's Birth

I've pondered a few things today...I know scary thought. The world I grew up in is gone. The world my daughter grew up in is gone. Our entire world changed with the attacks on the World Trade Center.

At the time we pulled together as a Nation, believing in United we stand. I don't feel real united at the moment. I feel our government is out of control. Congress--House and Senate are living high on the hog at our expense. We have no one truly worthy running for President. And Obama Care or as I call it Obama Doesn't Care has not helped anyone but those who were not working to begin with. We now have more people on welfare than we ever have.

Welfare is NOT a career choice, however our government is using it to control the people it governs. I'm not saying there are no people who need help. There are more than you know. We need to find our roots. Every family should have a garden for fresh vegetables not infected by Monsanto. We should share our bounty with family and friends. If everyone grew something different, we could trade off.

I'm all for planting my lawn with fruit, vegetables, and flowers. I'm also willing to share. I know there are people who need it. I'm one person, I could make a difference to someone. Just think if we all did this...we could change lives.

We need to give teachers the respect they deserve. They spent four years learning how to be the best they could be. They spend summers and evenings during the year taking classes to stay abreast of new things to teach your children. Think about it, if it weren't for teachers, there would be no doctors, lawyers, bankers, Wall Street brokers, Congress, Senate, President, one would have a job. Teachers think out of the box. They spend hours trying to reach the unreachable child so he/she gets the education they need to be a productive adult. Test scores don't give you a full picture of any child. I know children who were awesome artists who did not do well on standardized tests. But the tests where one week out of their lives and they measured ability...NOT.

I have a friend on Facebook who is posting the number of deaths in Chicago this weekend. I have lost count, but the last post I read said two officers were injured when someone threw a firecracker at a patrol car. What have we come to? Instead of trying to improve things, we are killing each other and those who serve and protect us. Yes, I know there are bad police officers. They are thankfully in the minority. But, we have bad teachers, bad doctors, seriously bad politicians. When did we stop seeing each other as people with potential?

Deep pondering for someone who is not adulting today or tomorrow. It makes me wonder how we can change things? How can we become a "kinder, gentler nation." I spend Mondays from 9-1 reaching out to help those who want help. What about those who don't know how to ask for help? I work with a marvelous group of people with deep Christian roots, who believe no one gets ahead if you don't reach out. We have many success. We have those who give up on themselves or cannot overcome the obstacles in their lives.

We need to educate ourselves so we don't repeat the mistakes of the past. We need to demand our Congress and President uphold the Constitution our forefathers fought so bravely for. We need to start looking out for each other. We need to be vigilant--not vigilanties. Lawlessness is uncalled for. We need to support those who protect us, police, fire fighters, service personnel. We need to report suspicious activities. It's time to get involved. We can't sit back and do nothing.

Now, I think I've done enough pondering for one day. I'm going to turn in. Tomorrow I tackle some personal things I've been neglecting. I can return to adulting on Tuesday.

Happy 4th of July!!! May God Bless America.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Friday Night in the Hood

For those who don't know, I was not told when I bought my house it was a  habitat house. I would not have purchased it if I had known. While they started this neighborhood in 1997, my house was not built until 2003. It's not a bad house if you like neighborhoods, I don't. So, tonight I see police lights flashing in my front yard. I decide to see what is going on. The following are the photos I took from the front porch.

This is looking down Yost  Lane from my house. In the first photo there were at least twenty police cars and I watched the fire truck pull in. Then I grabbed my phone. The second one is across from my house and someone was trying to find out what was going on. One woman had parked her car across the road and walked to her house with her groceries as they were not letting people drive down the road. The third one is also in front of my house, by this time the ambulance and four police cars have made and exit. The fire truck was making its way toward leaving.

Someone on the street said they thought it was a hostage situation. It was not. We were the  Breaking News at 11pm. Three boys were walking down Yost Lane at about 9pm when a car slowed down and fired two shots before speeding away. One sixteen year old boy was taken to the hospital with a non-life threatening injury.  Yes, folks, he was shot.

I am feeling safer with the new alarm system, however this is not the way I want to live. Am seriously rethinking where I want to live. 

A police car just drove through the neighborhood. I believe it is going to be a very long summer.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

So Much to Catch up On.

Let's start with June 3rd, on my way to Michigan I stopped to see my great nephew, Teddy.

 I caught him at work helping out his mom. It was also time for a bottle so I got to feed him. Love his cuddles.

June 5th my two granddaughters, Megan Kline and Jime Bejas graduated high school.
This is Megan before graduation...her plans are to attend CMU and study neuro science. Long term goal is to be a neuro surgeon.

Here are my two girls together. Jime left on June 27th to return to her family in Argentina. We miss her already. She has to finish her high school down there, then she can go on to her future.

I also got to spend time with Mike.
At graduation and her open house the following weekend.
This was before graduation but we had some 'us' time, too.

Then it was on to the Ann Arbor Book Fest with Blue Harvest Creative.
It was awesome. Hot so I drank a lot of water. We sold 51 books in five hours. Met a lot of people and did some great networking. Fantastic success.

I have returned home to plants gone wild.
My money tree needed a new pot. While you can't tell it is three feet high.

I have also learned Next Steps Johns Island, the organization I volunteer for is no longer having fund raisers. Too much apathy here on the island. Sad, when we are trying to bring the islands together as a community. But, there are big things still happening.

Time to find my routine and get back to being busy. Office room paint has been purchased and is ready to go. Accent wall paint in my dining room has been purchased and is ready to go. Mirrors are ready to go up so I can unpack tea pots. It's starting to come together.

Oh, the first addition to the fairy garden has gone out.

Lily of the valley have been planted and well watered as it has rained the past two days. Not complaining, just wish the humidity would go away.

Hope y'all are well.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Book Review Time

I was lucky enough to receive this book from C. Hope Clark for review purposes. Once again she has created lovable characters while bringing in the rich history of the low country.

Edisto Island is south of me, I've not been to Edisto, but believe it will be worth a trip. I love Calllie Lawton as a character. She is flawed and fighting her own demons while at the same time taking on the demons in Edisto. Her former years as a police officer, show she has not lost her touch. She knows how to root out the bad guys.

The twists and turns this story takes will keep you reading well into the wee hours. The parallels to Callie's personal life, make you second guess. I was unable to figure it out until Ms. Clark was ready to divulge the culprit. I was surprised it was not someone I had even suspected.

The question is will she nab him in time to save her friend?

A remarkable read and should be on your summer reading list.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Huge Book Sale May 27th to May 3

Many have read these, many more have not. Some will share this because they love them, other won’t because they don’t wish to inflict my books on people they care about. On the flip side of that, if you didn’t like them, share this to your enemies! Plenty of opportunity abounds for lovers and haters alike! Here is your chance to spread the love (or torture those you feel are deserving). All of my books are on sale in one way or another, so take advantage of it since I don’t do these often. The sale runs from today, May 27th thru Monday, May 30th

A New Beginning (short prequel) – FREE
AD 4
In the War of Fire, death often heralds a new beginning…
Dragons, magic, and war are commonplace for sixteen year old Emallya. Though she longs for the simple life of hearth and home, some things are not meant to be.
Her dreams for the future are changed in a single night when battle breaches the walls of her home, and she finds her true calling. The innocent hopes of youth are cast aside as Emallya steps forward into a future she never imagined for herself.
*This is a short story within the Dragon’s Call world and includes a bonus peek into Embers at Galdrilene, the first Dragon’s Call book.

Get it FREE on Amazon

Embers at Galdrilene (Dragon’s Call book 1)
embers new cover
“A ray of light, a stain of shadow, shall endure to breathe life and death into the future”
The war between the Guardians and the Shadow Riders ended in total devastation. The final battle killed all the dragons and left nothing but fields of ash. A small clutch of dragon eggs was all that remained to provide hope for the future.
Five hundred years later, the ability to use magic is a death sentence and dragons are remembered as a curse. But the unhatched dragons sing for their riders…and six lives will be changed forever.
The elements of magic are drawn together as the dragons’ call leads them on a journey where they learn everything they’ve been taught to believe about magic and dragons is wrong.
With the last of the dragons and the world at stake, they will risk everything to heed the call.
But an evil from the past rises again. Shadow Dragons ride the dawn once more…

Get it for .99 on Amazon

Tears of War (Dragon’s Call book 2)
New Tears of War cover
“Old things come again and new things surface.”
Faced with a looming war, the riders have no choice but to leave the safety of Galdrilene and reach out to the nations for help. But the Shadow Riders are doing the same and not all nations are opposed to their rule.
New discoveries are made, old wounds are reopened and betrayal hides among welcoming smiles.
As one nation begins to unravel it’s clear that some choices, even those made with the best of intentions, can have devastating consequences.

Get it for 1.99 on Amazon

Ashes and Spirits (Dragon’s Call book 3)
Smaller cover
“The incomplete weave breeds the darkness…”
Presented with impossible odds, the Guardians struggle to hold against the Shadow Riders. While enemies from within are discovered and allegiances are formed, the losses mount.
As the war escalates, one Guardian may have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save all.

Get it for 1.99 on Amazon

Bound by Time -FREE
Time knows no bounds when you are tested to your limits…
Isobel Moore is looking forward to spending her summer break alone while her parents are overseas. But when she returns home from college she discovers it’s no longer the welcoming place it used to be…and that something sinister now resides within.
As Isobel begins to question her sanity, a mysterious neighbor moves next door with plenty of his own secrets…and Damien DeLuca has the uncanny ability to always show up when the unexplainable happens.
Now Isobel must unravel a past that tests her limits and everything she thought she knew—before the darkness kills her.
Get it for FREE on Amazon

Bound by Legend
Featured Image -- 1759
When demons show up there will be hell to pay…
At nineteen Morgan has already faced more loss than she can handle and has more experience living on the street than she wants. Unable to do anything other than keep on the move in order to hide from the demons that hunt her, she guards her heart and emotions carefully. But when the demons start talking to her and calling her by a name from another life, things spiral beyond her control.
Lucian, an ancient dark angel who has seen his fair share of lives, is happy being a free agent until he’s assigned to Morgan. Determined to do everything on her own, she’s unlike any channel he’s ever met.
As the danger mounts and a demon prepares to open a gateway to the underworld, Morgan must find a way to overcome her past in order stop him. Offered what her heart desperately wants, and holding a key that will close the gate but open another, Morgan struggles find the strength to make the right choice.
Get it for .99 on Amazon 

 What people are saying about the Dragon’s Call books
The people that were happy:
“I thoroughly enjoy these books and feel anyone that love true Fantasy, full of magic and dragons, will enjoy these books. The characters are richly written and the storyline is addictive. The interaction between dragon and rider is some of the best Fantasy I’ve read. I love the relationships the author has developed between the two.”
“Took a well used genre (dragon riders) but added a new twist that had me struggling to put the book down. Real page turner that keeps you on your toes.”
“All 3 books are just wonderful. From start to finish it will keep on edge just waiting for what will come next. You won’t be disappointed!! These books have gotten me in trouble!! I couldn’t put it down, tried for work as a result!! Dragon Loves must read set. Looking forward to reading more books by this Author!!!”
And the people who weren’t happy:
“Very boring. ….”
“This book might take prize for overall, most cliche fantasy book Ive read this year.”

And those that are neither:
USA Bestseller List says, “Who are you?”
New York Times says, “This is a restraining order…”

The happy for the Bound series:
“Such a sweet, romantic and action packed story. From the onset, you’re drawn in and intrigued by everything going on. I never knew a window could be so menacing!”
“I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading Bound by Time.”
“Amazing & intriguing story. From the very beginning I was drawn in & it never disappointed.”
The unhappy:
“The storyline was slow and uneventful with very little happening along the way.”
“Hated main character.”

USA Bestseller lists says, “We still have no clue who you are.”

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Writer Beware!!!!

You have written a book. Now you want it published. Do you query agents and see if you can get it into a traditional publisher. (Assuming you know the Big 6 in New York have 12 authors who get all their attention). Which means at least a two year or more wait. (James Patterson had 27 rejections on his first book. Chicken Soup for the Soul the first book had 47 rejections before being published). Or do you self-publish?

This is where you need to do your homework. There are ways to be an Indie Author and there are vanity presses. Here's how you know the difference:
    A Vanity Press:
     1. Charges you a ton of money
     2. Takes 80% of your royalties
     3. Might give you a 40% discount on your purchases
     4. Discounts your sales to Amazon and other wholesalers.
     5 Keeps you losing money

Small Presses:
     1. Offer you a contract
     2. Do NOT charge you up front money
     3. Take a portion of your royalties 40% to cover their expenses
     4. Will pay you royalties once you have made $20.

Indie Authors:
     1. YOU are the boss
     2. Have a great design team
     3. You pay for set up and book design
     4. 100% of your royalties are yours.
     5. Have your own logo
     6. Can be printed with your logo through with world wide distribution at NO COST to you.

Vanity Presses: Tate Publishing, Xlibris Publishing, Author House Publishing, Infinity Publishing these are the most widely known. There are dozens more. Check under Publishers for a complete  list. Stay away from them. They are NOT interested in promoting you. They are out to make money from you.

Small Presses are good. You have no risk. The downfall is they come and they go. So, there's the risk.

Being an Indie Author is the best if you have a stellar design team. I can recommend one. A good design team will help with your branding. People will come to recognize your books by their covers. They will be stand out with the right team.

Please be wary when you enter the publishing ring.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

And the Rollercoaster Ride is Coming to an End

This man, my Dad, has gone through two surgeries for stents in his heart since last Friday. I am pleased to say, he is doing very well and will be transferred out of the Coronary Care Unit tomorrow.
It is looking good for him to come home on Friday.

On Sunday, May 15th, he will celebrate his 82nd birthday. And a belated Mother's Day with my sister and her family and my daughter and her family. While the festivities will be low key they will be a celebration.

I am looking forward to going home in June for two reasons now. To see my dad and to watch my granddaughter graduate from high school. Again low key on the celebrating, but it will be good to be home.

Thank you all for your prayers.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

When Life Becomes a Rollercoaster

Most days life runs smoothly. I'm a normal person who does normal things. But every now and then life throws me a curve ball. It came on Friday. With a message on my phone.

I'll start with my dad calling, oh wait it wasn't Dad. Mom's voice on the message telling me Dad had a heart attack and was in the hospital.

Mom, my granddaughter, Megan, and Dad, Aug. 8, 2014. We were at a family wedding.

The good news is Dad had two stents put in. He has one completely blocked artery. He needs two more stents probably on Tues. Expected to be back home by Friday.

In the meantime, my sister, Diane has been on site and keeping the rest of us informed. These are the times I hate being so far from home. I know it bothers Dean and Nancy both being so far away.

Sending prayers for God to watch over him. And trying to keep busy.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

A-Z Challenge---Letter Z

I apologize this should have been posted yesterday.

Z is for zany. Zany means amusingly unconventional and idosyncratic.
I have zany tendencies. I am easily unconventional and my friends tell me I'm funny. Being a writer sets me in a different zone.

I look at the world in potential mysteries. Or how can I make this incident a story without hurting those involved.

I also tend to not conform. Which sometimes gets me into trouble.

All-on-all it just makes life interesting.


Friday, April 29, 2016

A-Z Challenge--Letter Y

Y is for yearn. The definition I'm using is to have a strong desire for something. You are never to old to yearn. And it's not a bad thing.

You might yearn for a well deserved vacation. You might yearn for a new job, a raise, or any of a million other things. As humans we all have unrealistic yearnings, too. My desire to wake up wealthy in the morning are not likely to come true. But, the yearning is okay to have. I just need to find out how to make it happen if it is a real yearning.

Let yourself yearn. Give yourself permission to dream. You are never too old to yearn. It keeps you striving for new goals. It keeps you alive.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

A-Z Challenge--Letter X

X is for xenial. Xenial is when you offer kindness or hospitality to a stranger. Children learn this early. Before they learn prejudice.

Most children learn to be xenial long before anything else. Others their own age are automatically friends until they do something to anger one another. But they are not the only ones.
Aminals learn to live with different species if they are left alone to become friends. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

Even when we travel for reasons not vacation, we can find children willing to reach out. Maybe we should think about being more xenial here at home.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A-Z Challenge--Letter W

W is for wonder. Wonder in the form of awe. Babies do it best. Their faces hide nothing. It is the child-like feeling in all of us when something unexpected and pleasant happens. The thing which grabs your heart and make you say, "Awe."

The feeling there is still magic in the world and splendid things can happen. It makes us feel warm and safe. It allows us to forget the negative if only for a minute.

There are still those moments in life when I see something which makes me speechless and reminds me there is a greater power than man. Nature blesses us with these scenes daily if we only take the time to look. Never lose the power to wonder. Never lose sight of those truly "Awe" moments.


A-Z Challenge- Letter V Once again I'm catching up

You guessed it v is for victory. It might be a personal victory or a public one. It might be small or it might be large. Every victory you have is a good thing.

Remember this:

The more effort you put in, the tougher it seems, the sweeter it will be when you achieve it. I do this in terms of writing a book. The harder it is to write the better the book is and the final product is awesome.

Losing weight was difficult at best. It doesn't come off as easily as it goes on. But my health could no sustain the weight I was. It became a matter of living or dying. It took a good five years and I'm still not where I should be. It was however a personal victory.

This one I celebrate daily.


Monday, April 25, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter U

U is for unique. Every one of us is different. We are unique in our own way. It's time to embrace your uniqueness. Revel in being you. Embrace what it is which sets you apart from others.

Many people who seem different are labeled eccentric. They might be, they might not. Most likely they walk to an entirely different drum. It doesn't make it a bad thing. People who see the world differently are not necessarily geeks, nerds, outcasts. They are people who have learned to embrace their differences and live in a way which makes them happy.

In case you didn't already know:
I have learned to live with it. It took me a while to embrace, but once I did I became happier. I enjoy life to the fullest.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter T

T is for teach. At some point in life we are all teachers. We teach our children, We teach our co-workers. We teach each other. Some of us even become teachers. 

When we teach well, our students are excited and teach each other. We learn better when we are sharing knowlege. 

Teaching in many ways is just moderating. As Frost says, we awaken in children the thirst for knowledge. We lead them on the path to learning. 

I continue to teach although I have retired from formal teaching. I share my love of writing with others and engage them in the activity of writing in hopes someday one of them will become a writer. I also teach new writers how to get published. I love questions and answers on writing.

I encourage reading. I write books I hope people will love reading. To attain the goal of creating readers I will continue to write.


Friday, April 22, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter S

S is for support. Sometimes you have to ask for help to get support. You have to know who you can go to for support. Sometimes you have to know the kind of support you need.

Then there is supporting others in their time of need, whatever the need might be. Sometimes being the support person is the most important job you have.

In my case, I support new writers. I encourage those who've been writing. I'm there for new writers who have questions as they embark on a career writing. Each hoping to be the next James Patterson, Stephen King, or JK Rowlings.

I also volunteer at an awesome place (Next Steps of Johns Island) where I help people who want to make positive changes in their lives and step out of poverty. It's a daunting task. Some are just trying to keep a roof over their heads. Others are in need of housing. Many have been lost in the system. They are not asking for money, which is good, because we do not give out money. We do help them. We get their resumes ready, we help them find work, we find them places to live. We work with other agencies to make sure they are getting the right benefits and all the benefits they are entitled to. We have helped Veterans get their benefits. While it is challenging it is rewarding. Watching each person make some kind of personal gain, and gain confidence it amazing. Once they feel they can take the next step, they tell their friends to come see us.

Support can be many things. Just listening to someone is giving support. Giving food to a food bank is support. What can you do support others?

This is support. We'v got YOUR back.



My laptop has been at full capacity for the past two weeks. It's nice to be consistently writing again. It's been hit or miss for...