Sunday, September 29, 2013

WALK THIS WAY by Angela Rose

After divorcing in 1997, I decided it wasn’t marriage or relationships that I hated….it was just HIM!

I was in my very early thirties and still very much in the prime of my life.  So into the dating game I returned. I would soon discover that I wouldn’t wish this experience on my worst enemy. 

Stuck in the midst of this “new season” of my life, I had one of my time-traveler moments!  Somehow I had been sent back into middle school, except now those pre-adolescent claws had been traded in for acrylic nails and they were desperate for a man…any man! I was a bit daunted, but wasn’t hanging up my gloves yet.

At this time blind dates could still be found, but I thought “Why not give these dating ads a try?” After all, I can get exactly what I’m looking for by their “honest, heartfelt” descriptions! (SNORT) Oh, to be thirty years old and still so naïve!

I found this ad and it read, as follows:

Paul Bunyan type, looking for a full-figured woman in mid-30’s. Seeking a long term relationship and possibly marriage in the future. I love to travel, listening to music and romantic dinners.

After reading it, I said “Perfect! Looks don't matter. It is what’s in a person’s heart, and finding a person that will treat me kindly…that is most important.” 

 I left a message, he returned my call and we agreed to meet for coffee at a local shop.  At the agreed time, I pulled into the parking lot and scoped it out looking for his dark blue car.

Listen well, because it’s not often I say “I’m wrong”, but I was wrong. There is definitely something to be said about a bit of chemistry in a relationship, and even a bit of physical attraction.  When I saw him….it wasn’t there, but even if I wanted to duck out now, I couldn’t…..he spotted me!  

I parked the car, shut it off and waited for him to get out of own vehicle.  He had managed to get out of his car, but had yet to walk in my direction, so I made the first move.

As I’m crossing the parking lot, I’m having a mental conversation with all of the voices in my head.

One says. “There is something so familiar about this guy, but I can’t seem to place it.” 

Another voice piped out. “Guurrrrllll, he fell short of Paul Bunyan eighteen inches ago!” 

Then I told the voices, “Will you all shut up! It’s not like I’m getting married….it’s just a freaking coffee for God Sakes!”  

I’ll give the voices a break, because they were spot on. The man was no taller than my own, 5’2” frame and he looked familiar….almost like I had seen him in a movie, but couldn’t place which one.

When I finally reached his car,  I smiled and introduced myself.  He did the same, and we started walking down the incline of the parking lot toward the coffee shop.  First he stepped with his left foot, and then dragged his right leg behind. Step left. Drag right. Step left. Drag right.  

As I watched, he began to explain. “I fell on the ice a few months ago and broke my ankle. It’s still giving me a bit of trouble.”    

Then the little light bulb flicked on and I had one of those "OMG" moments, as I realized who the guy reminded me of! 

Then those damn voices came back.  “Bloody hell, lass!  Yer aboot to have coffee with the Hunchback of Notre Dame hisself, Quasimoto!”

I've decided I'm just too naïve to do the blind date thing anymore. Not to paddle my own boat, but I truly believe that honesty is the best policy! If you can't tell the truth about who you are in an ad, than you probably won't bother to do the same in a relationship. 
I was blessed enough to meet my true soul mate in 1998, after a very tumultuous marriage. I’m in it for good! No more dating scenes for me! Besides, trying to fill his shoes would be impossible.  Really!  He wears a size 14! 
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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Disney Dining

There is no place like Walt Disney World.  It is the perfect vacation for singles, couples, and families.  People from ages 1 to 100 and from all walks of life can easily find tons to enjoy.  WDW was such a huge part of my childhood.  Last year I was so excited to get to share that with my young daughter that I teared up several times.  I was overcome with emotion.  Yes, I love it that much.  Disney has made magic real in this world, if only within their borders.

I find that I could talk about it in detail every day for hours and still not get tired of it.  Helping a newby plan their first WDW vacation is my drug of choice.  I can't imagine ever getting burned out on Disney and since it hasn't happened over the last 13 vacations, I don't think it ever will.  Last month I talked about my main tips for making your Disney World vacation great.  One of those tips was to get a package deal that includes tickets, resort stay and a meal plan.  This month I'd like to talk more about dining, specifically about which restaurants are my favorites and why.  Since I advocate getting the meal plan, I don't pay attention to price.  I will however mention if a meal uses more than one 'table service ticket' per person. 

These are only a FEW of my favorites.

Disney Resort Restaurants

Every resort has their own dining room where a variety of food types for every meal of the day can be enjoyed.  These are more generic than feasting inside the park but are great for a quick breakfast on your way to the parks so that you don't waste valuable ride time standing in line to get a cinnamon roll. 
Most of the nicer resorts have at least one EXCELLENT sit down (aka table service) restaurant and some of them have shows or entertainment to enhance the experience. 

Fort Wilderness Resort - The Hoop-Dee-Do Musical Review - reservations required
It is a show and does take 2 table service meal tickets per person.  It is great for kids and adults.  The food is simple but delicious.  There are no menus, no choices.  This meal is served family style and is all-you-can-eat (ribs, fried chicken, corn, mashed potatoes, baked beans, cornbread and strawberry shortcake for dessert).  After dinner tarry at the resort and head down to the beach where you can see the water parade.  It will be a very memorable evening.  I would advise starting vacation with this because shows don't interest the kids as much after they've had a taste of RIDES!  On the day you fly in, enjoy the day at your resort.  Swim, shop, explore, plan.  Then go to a fancy fun dinner.

Polynesian Resort - Ohana's - reservations required
This too takes 2 table service meal ticket per person but it is worth it.  Yes, you could go to the Luau instead.  It is a lot of fun and has all you can drink alcohol but the food at Ohana's is to die for.  There are a number of Polynesian starters and sides.  I swear every time that the first one is the best thing I've ever put in my mouth and then each one better than the last.  Then the meat comes.  It is all cooked over a big fire pit and you can have as much shrimp, pork, chicken, and beef that you can stuff into your belly.  Save room for dessert!  (You'll notice that is a common theme for my suggestions)  The bread pudding is amazing.

Magic Kingdom

Fantasyland - Pinocchio Village Haus - walk in
This is a counter service restaurant which means you order at the bar and then carry your food to a table of your choosing.  I like this place because it is big and air conditioned.  It is Italian food, but more of the Americanized version.  We all enjoyed the pizza and the meatball subs.

Liberty Square - Colombia Harbor House - walk in
Counter service, seafood.  There is fried fish and shrimp and even some grilled and healthy options with more than just fries as choices for sides.  Again, it is big and air conditioned and the atmosphere has an early American port feel.  The apple pie pastry would fit in easily at one of the more expensive restaurants. 

Adventureland - Tortuga Cavern - walk in
This counter service place is seasonal and only open during the busiest of months.  If you are there during the heat of the summer, grab a burrito.  You'll thank me.

Animal Kingdom

Asia - Yak & Yeti's - walk up
Counter service Chinese takeout type food with no indoor seating.  There are tables between two buildings that are well shaded.  This is a lot of food for your meal ticket.  We shared one meal with an extra side of egg rolls and had more than enough for the three of us.

Africa - Tusker House - reservations suggested
Table service, indoor African buffet.  Authentic cuisine with a Disney flare.  Lots of veggies and even some vegetarian options.  So, so, SO good.  Don't go for breakfast.  It's the same Mickey waffles and eggs you can get anywhere.  Lunch or dinner won't disappoint.

Hollywood Studios

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater - reservations suggested
Table service American food.  Like everywhere the food is good but you don't come here for the food.  It's the setting that gets you.  Come INSIDE and sit in your own car at the drive in and watch clips of old science fiction movies while you eat.  It's Disney magic at work that makes the night sky twinkle with starlight at anytime of the day.  Kids (and husbands) love it. 


Man, this one is hard to pick favorites.  I have honestly never NOT enjoyed an eating experience in Epcot.  Every one, from snacks to full out dinner shows, is unique.  I try to plan vacation so that most meals are taken inside Epcot, particularly the World Showcase.

World Showcase - Germany Pavilion - Biergarten - reservations suggested
One table service ticket each, buffet.  There is a musical show (including bells and even an alpine horn number) with men in lederhosen and a dance floor.  It is relaxed and fun.  Beer is extra but trust me you want it.  Go for the darkest available.  It goes well with all the sausage and sauerkraut.  The desserts are crazy good.  Try the German cheesecake.

World Showcase - Mexico Pavilion - San Angel Inn - reservations suggested
Table service meal that far exceeds the expectations.  This is not your average Mexican food.  Each plate is unique and explodes with flavor.  It is inside the large step pyramid that makes up this pavilion and it feels like evening all the time.  You are eating in a room that has been decorated to look like you're eating at an outdoor marketplace nestled on a riverbank adjacent to a rumbling volcano.  You read that right.  Magic, plain and simple.

World Showcase - Morocco Pavilion - Restaurant Marakeesh
This table service meal is delicious and exotic and if you book it at the right time there is a belly dancing show (family friendly, of course)

Future World - The Living Seas - Coral Reef Restaurant - reservations required
Hands down the best seafood I've ever had.  It does cost 2 table service meals per person but if you look at the prices you'll understand why.  This is attached to the back of The Living Seas and so every table has a view of the giant aquarium.  It was my family's favorite meal of the whole vacation in 2012.

ALSO, Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival is September 27th through November 11th.  I've never been but I'm dying to go.  We are planning our 2014 for a bit later than normal and we're hoping it will coincide with this event.  Here is the full menu.  Looks scrumptious. 

I hope this post was helpful.  I would love to answer some questions.  Leave them in the comments and maybe I'll pick one as my topic next month!

Author Natalie Gibson

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Live Every Day

I don’t want to get to sad or morbid but 2013 has not been an easy year in my family.  I got a call in March/April that my step grandmother had taken ill and was in the hospital facing very serious surgeries.  Torn, part of me wanted to be there helping my cousin take care of her and my grandfather and part of me wasn’t sure if I shouldn’t wait until we knew exactly what care was needed.   My choice was made for me when in April, my Grandpa went to be with the Lord.

My Grandpa spent his life preaching and faithful to the Lord.    My pen name is borrowed from his name.  My son was almost named Robert Edgar, when we decided to name him something else on the day of his birth, I took Edgar as my pen name. 

It wasn’t very long after that I got another call I wasn’t expecting.   My grandfather on my mom’s side passed away a few years ago but her mother had been hanging in there.   Shortly after the loss of my grandpa, she too gave up her long fight.    Dementia may have taken her mind, but she is now also at peace.

Within one month, I found myself with one living grandparent – my step grandmother.   Her health was still precarious for awhile as well.   She’s fully recovered and doing much better now, I’m happy to say.

However, throughout the year I’ve watched as other family members have been continuously struggling this year with losses.  Most recently my Aunt’s sister, Michelle, was given awful news.    Her son who is just a few years older than me was driving home from work when a man with diabetes had a health issue that caused him to cross the highway hitting her son’s vehicle and killing them both.  

Today, she posted on her social network reminding us not to be angry with the other man or his loved ones.  They, too, are grieving as his diabetic pump failed and caused this tragedy.  What a blessing that she can remain so loving even when in the midst of such terrible pain.

The point of today’s post wasn’t the tragedy, the loss, the details.  It was in the reminder that no matter who you are, how rich you are, how young you are at some point death will reach out for you.   Are you loving the people around you?  Are you making memories?  Are you living your life?

Due to a health issue I am constantly faced with restrictions on what I should and should not do.  One thing this year has put in my face, is yes it may hurt but sometimes you have to just do it.  We are only blessed with the gift of life for a limited time so make the most of it.   Within reason, get out and move around.  Enjoy the world around you.   Make the most of every day.   Don’t just say the words “I love you” but take the time to hug the person, visit the loved ones you don’t see very often, and live your life to the fullest.   We just don’t know when our day will come, so why not live every moment as if it were our last?  No regrets.   That’s how I want to live.

Friday, September 20, 2013

School, Community and Finding a Place to call Home

Why this photo?  Its all the wristbands we wore on vacation.  Yes, we are counting down to next July.  LOL!

School has started and I'm excited.  Our son is now in the 3rd grade and testing us every day with new boundaries.  He has started spending more time with his friends and sometimes he is gone all afternoon, just being a kid.

When we moved from the sticks to Lindale, it was my prayer that he would be able to have a somewhat normal (or what I called normal) childhood.  Riding his bike, playing with friends, trick or treating on Halloween, and even playing in the mud.  Yes, it wasn't until last year that our son actually was able to trick or treat.  I cried and took pictures.  Our son also loved passing out candy and talking to everyone.

The town that we moved from last year, didn't offer those things.  We lived on a street but not a neighborhood.  We didn't even have a sidewalk for him to ride his bike.  No kids around for him to play with and forget about being gone all afternoon.  We lived in a town that didn't have neighborhoods, sidewalks, or even a place for kids to even meet up and hang out.

We lived in a lake community that catered to the "weekenders or snowbirds" that poured alot more money in the economy then we did as citizens that lived there.  I was never more relived when we moved to a town, in an honest to goodness neighborhood where we had next door neighbors, kids playing outside and sense of community.  We have embraced Lindale and Lindale has embraced us.

The school district rocks and we all have Eagle Pride and wear it everyday.  As a stay at home mom, I get the spirit more than hubs but that's okay.  He's slower than most.  LOL!  We go to football games on Friday nights, the rodeo in May, and this year we will start going to basketball games.  Brian will join Cub Scouts and hubs joined the Lions Club.  Now, am I going to join anything?  Not sure at this point.  We don't have a true PTA/PTO but I am involved with the school.

Why am I telling you this?  Its that time of year when people start either crying or shouting about their kids that are going back to school as if this is a bad thing.  I don't see it that way.  I'm happy when school starts and so is Brian.  He loves the routine, structure and more importantly, his friends.  We have never had a problem with him getting up and going to school.  He loves it but I just keep remembering that by the time is in Junior High...this will all change.  LOL!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dariel's Lists: 10 Things We Can Learn From Our Dogs

The last couple years have been an eye opening  mixture of sadness and appreciation. Until recently, I had three large house dogs, a broad head Black Lab (girl), a Dobie/Coonhound (boy), and a Rottie mix (girl). Both of my girls died of complications from Hip Dysplasia. The Lab, Tauris (yes, I meant to misspell it to make it more feminine :-), was 12, and the Rottie mix, Isis, was only 8. Now, I know this is sad and all, but bear with me - there's a silver lining. That's Jackson in the pic above, fussing at me because I woke him up from one of his many, frequent naps. He's actually grumbling about it! LOL

I cried about the 8 year old the most because one day she was still running around pushing everybody like a big puppy, and the next she was miserable with pain despite expensive meds and physical therapy. Within a month, she couldn't even walk to go outside and potty, and she couldn't stand up to eat. After a while, I'd put the food in front of her and she wouldn't eat. Okay, I know everybody needs the silver lining NOW. I hear people say all the time that they don't want anymore pets because it hurts so much when we lose them, but think about that for a minute - suppose we said we didn't want to love people anymore because it hurts so much to lose them! I have always loved and admired animals, and they've always been an integral part of my life, so I can't imagine living without them.

So, there's something going on with my boy (Dobie/CH) Jackson that I have now, so I'm dedicating this post to my dogs. LOL I'll tell you more about what's going on later. For now, let's talk about some things we can learn from dogs (translated, silver lining)...

1. Enjoy the little things. Any pet lover knows how happy our dogs get when they realize they're going for a ride, or to the park, or just for a walk or run. Unlike us, they don't take the little fun things of life for granted.

2. Enjoy your meals like you'll never get more. I love watching them eat and enjoy their food. They're content and appreciative, and Jackson always comes and finds me after he eats just so he can kiss my hand. I love that! His way of saying "thank you."

3. Happiness is the standard. Unless there's an immediate reason not to be, they're joyous about living. They don't worry about something that hasn't even happened yet. They make the most of every living moment instead of killing time with negativity.

4. Giving without expecting reciprocation. They show affection in every way they can, even attempting to groom us without expecting anything in return.

5. Protect the ones you love. I've seen dogs protecting homeless people who can barely feed them, yet the dogs are willing to give their lives without a thought. I've seen them live with constant neglect and mistreatment by selfish, hateful owners, yet they sacrifice for these people and love them anyway.

6. Trust. Trust is really hard. It means a willingness to risk your heart. Dogs do it all the time. They trust us to make the best decisions for their lives, feed and care for them, and even when we make bad decisions and detrimental mistakes, they don't judge (at least I've never heard one say anything. LOL). Jackson is not friendly, so when we went to the vet and the tech took his temp (you know, at the back end), I wrapped my arms around him and turned his face towards me. He looked into my eyes when he realized what she was doing, but didn't say a word. It was as if he was saying "If you say this is okay, I guess I won't turn around and take her head off." Now that's trust!

7. They follow protocol. They know who's in charge, and they seldom challenge that. To them, being in charge doesn't mean you're the most important or most educated and certainly not the richest, and it doesn't even mean you're the one who feeds them. It means you're the one they love the most, for whatever reason. I like to think they see our souls, or at least our auras and our hearts.

8. They're honest. Dogs are guileless and straightforward.

9. They don't complain about their condition. No matter what's ailing them, they let you know about it if you're an attentive pet owner, then they leave it to you to take care of. They don't whine and complain and say "why me?" They accept and make the most of their situation, whatever it is. I admire that. I'm not there yet - nowhere near it. LOL

10.Last, but certainly not least...It's not all about them; It's all about you. As mothers, we get a taste of that, but we're the ones giving the unconditional love in that instance. In fact, I think dogs and mothers are the only sources of unconditional love in the human realm, and not all mothers are even capable of this amazing gift. It's still one of a dog's most admirable traits, if not the most endearing. You are the center of their universe, because of that they forgive you for anything, and it's that unconditional love that allows them to wrap their paws around our hearts forever :-)

Now, Jackson and I went to the vet for a second opinion. He's had a growth on his ear for a little while, but when it started changing in appearance, I got worried. So...we're having it removed on the 10th, and by the time this posts, hopefully it'll be over and done with, and my baby boy will be back to his old surly, bossy self. LOL  I'll let you know how everything goes. He's already on pre-surgery antibiotics. Wow, has veterinary medicine come a long way, or what? Anyway, for now, make the most of every day with your pets so you don't have to regret anything. Take them for rides with the windows rolled down as far as they safely can be,  go love on them and find all their "happy" spots - you know, the ones that make them shake their back legs and roll their eyes back in ecstasy. LOL When I get teary about my girls, it's those things that give me comfort. They most definitely deserve all the love we can give them. Don't worry - I've also got 7 black cats, so I'll write about them one day, too :-)

I'd love to hear about your pets, and feel free to share pics with me on

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Little About Lil Ole' Me

I got to thinking about what I would want to write for a personal post and I kept coming up empty.  My life all in all is pretty boring.  So since this is actually my first blog post with The Romance Troupe I figured I'd introduce myself....

For starters, this is me. ROLL TIDE!  *Waves hi to everyone in internetland* 
So to begin, this is generally my first thought in the morning....

My mornings generally start with me smacking my alarm quiet a few times around 5am, then getting ready, grabbing my first cup of coffee and writing before waking my lovely evil spawn for school. 

I work five days a week at my wonderful day job where I am an administrative assistant (basically a glorified receptionist/customer service rep) for a copper redraw mill just five minutes down the road from my house.  No matter what goes on during my day I absolutely love my job.  I love the people I work with, they make every day worth being there.  I love working with customers (most of them) and talking to different people throughout my day.  No one answers the phone like I do. ;-)  So when I gripe about working on spreadsheets or something of that nature that's what it involves.  Gotta love earning that paycheck.

When I'm not at work I am at home doing my second job as a housewife.  I say job but we all know being a housewife pays...NOTHING!  Unfortunately.  Anyway, I get off work at 4:30pm, pick up my kids, come home, cook, clean, help with homework, write, and maybe relax before going to bed and starting all over again the next day. 

On a side note, I would like to know where the housewives are that look like this....

Because generally I look like this.....

 Now we do get to have fun and/or relax on the weekends.  We try to do things and get out of the house at least for a little while.  Just last weekend we went to the lake and this weekend it's the zoo.  We take one big trip a year and maybe one or two small ones as well.

Small trip with just our teenager and her friend to Gatlinburg, TN.

Big trip with everyone to Disney this past summer.
So in a nut shell my life revolves around kids, work, the house, and things like that.  Oh and of course writing.  I squeeze it in when and where I can because that is my passion in life.  It keeps me sane from this crazy life I live every day. 
I have many things that  make me smile and get me through my days.

Other than my amazing kids....
And my amazing husband....
I have a few favorite shows...
 This doesn't even begin to cover it but these four are the main ones.

I could live off coffee.  It is the nectar of the Gods!
Football season is my favorite season!!! I LOVE college football! ROLL TIDE BABY!

And um, Darth Vader is my hero.  Just saying.
So there you have it.  A little bit about me.  Like I said, there's nothing really exciting but I have no complaints.  I'm an everyday wife, mother, receptionist, writer, and hopeless romantic who still believes you can still have first kisses even after being married and not going to bed angry. 
If you've read this entire thing and haven't fallen asleep yet....

Thanks everyone!!!


Saturday, September 7, 2013

How to Survive a Remodel or Armageddon (Is There Really Any Difference?)

First, let me begin with this: I love my husband. I truly, truly do. He is practically perfect in every way. He’s a carpenter, a very handsome, muscly, and smart carpenter. He also looks great in a kilt. (He has verra nice knees!) The man knows how to build things and build them well and beautifully.

We’ve been married eight years now and quite frankly, we still act like newly weds. The honeymoon, dare I say it, is far from over.

However, when it comes to home remodeling projects, there are times when I am left questioning my own sanity. This blog post is for all the newly married ladies out there who may be contemplating a home remodel project with their husbands.

1. Any project that begins with “Its simple honey and I can do it in a weekend” actually means this: “Yes, it is simple, but the idiot who owned the house before us didn’t know what the hell he was doing.” Plan on all weekend projects taking at least four weeks. Minimum. You must allow time for husband to fix all the ‘stupid things’ someone did to the house before you owned it.

2. When your husband says, “Its not heavy, its awkward,” be prepared to use muscles you didn’t know you owned. It is always, always, always both awkward AND heavy.

3. When your husband says, “I have everything I need to do it.” Be prepared to be called upon at least three times to run to (insert the name of your local home improvement center here). There is a strong potential you will be sent --at the last minute mind you -- to Menards, Lowes, Home Depot, whichever one is furthest away from where you live because the closest place won’t have what you’re looking for.  You might be cooking dinner or rocking a baby to sleep, or in the middle of a shower or just getting off of work.

The time will not, I repeat, will not be convenient for you. However, when your husband is in the basement holding parts to your home in his hands and he really, really needs something that broke unexpectedly or that he forgot to get, you will be called upon to help save the day. He will appreciate the fact that you have just dropped everything to run to Menards to get a can of plumber’s glue stuff ($2.19 at Menards). You can’t take your shower or cook dinner or do dishes or bathe a baby without water. Someone has to go and that someone will be you. I recommend being dressed at all hours of the day or night. Keep your car keys handy, as well as your checkbook, credit cards, and a full tank of gas in your car. It will help expedite matters and make your life just a tad bit less stressful.

4. Get to know the people who work at your local home improvement center. Take cookies. Send birthday cards. These people will soon become your closest and dearest friends. I now have nine people from our local Menards on our Christmas list. You want to make these people your best friends. They know where all that really weird looking stuff is. The weird looking, funny named things that your husband is going to send you after. Trust me, they don’t name the aisles “Funny looking stuff my husband needs”.  

5. Be prepared to take pictures of the things he needs that you will be running after. Don’t wait until you get to the home improvement center to ask him to send you a picture, because if you call your husband and try to describe what you’re looking at to compare it with what he actually needs and he’s knee deep in a flooded basement…well, divorces have started over such things. Take the picture before you leave.

6. If your husband comes to you and says, “Hey, honey? Can you run out to Menards and pick up 25 sheets of 8 x 4 pink foam board? You can take my truck.” Run. Fake an aneurism, fake an appendicitis attack, do what you must to get out of this task. ESPECIALLY if he has a truck with a tonto cover on it. This simple sounding task will end up making you question why you married him to begin with. Trust me. I present to the court the following evidence located at my blog post concerning same, dated June 2013.

7. And that is just for the small projects that happen around the house. For the major projects, such as the one we are currently undertaking, I don’t recommend newlyweds even consider undertaking room additions until you’re in your 40’s and have been married at least 6 years. Such projects are not meant for the faint of heart or the young. Room additions are meant for those of us who have been around a while, the battle-hardened individuals if you will.

In conclusion, whatever time period your husband has given you to complete a project, just double it. Double the cost too, as there will be unexpected costs along the way. Have the number of your local home improvement center on speed dial.

And when you’ve gone without a kitchen sink for a week, or you hear your husband in the basement or outside cussing up a blue streak, using words you’ve never even heard of because things are not going as planned, remember why you married him in the first place.

Home remodels are kind of like being pregnant. You go through emotional highs and lows, morning sickness (trust me there will be times you want to throw up when you see the price of something), swollen ankles (because you’ve dropped a drill on your foot), you will be tired and frustrated and blaming him for putting you in this situation to begin with, but in the end, you have something beautiful to admire. A new closet or freshly painted bathroom or a new living room…or, if the Gods decide to smile on you, a beautiful new kitchen and dinning room and home office.

Right now, the Gods are not smiling down upon us. But I know we will win and prevail. My husband said six months. I’m giving it 18 before I can cook in my new kitchen, have family over, or sit down in my new home office. Two years max. I'll give him that. I mean, he looks great in a kilt!!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The “C” Word

So many people don’t want to hear or see the “C” word. It’s a dirty word. It makes some people mad. Makes other slink away in fear or regret or both.

And for once I’m not talking about the four-letter word that rhymes with punt **GRINS** 
I’m talking about the six-letter word, cancer, that affects everyone of us in one way or another. Some only on the fringes and others of us that face it every day as either a patient or a caregiver.

To each of those people my hat goes off to you. I send you virtual hugs and kisses, pats on the back, and encouragement to keep fighting. To the family members of people with cancer who are being strong and positive and helping in every way you can, I appreciate you, I’m sending positive thoughts for you to rest well each night so you can kick booty again tomorrow.

I’ve had three cancer scares in about that many years. Those days or weeks of waiting for test results…they’re awful. 
Everything grinds to a resounding halt waiting for a yes or no. You’re entire world revolves around that phone call to see if the tests are positive or negative. What surgery do you have to have? Chemo, radiation, reconstruction. All of the above for so many.

I’ve been lucky every time, but that doesn’t seem to be the norm. Not anymore. I’ve lost friends to cancer. I’ve lost family members to cancer.

I sang at the funeral of my best friend’s mom who lost her battle the end of last year.
It’s everywhere. No one is immune. There is no cure, nor vaccine to be made and distributed to the hundreds of millions of people on the planet that have or will have it in their lifetime.

To all the survivors out there. You FUCKING ROCK! I am in awe of your ability to keep going. I’m floored by your tenacity and drive to kick cancer’s dick in the dirt.
And one more thing I don't want any of you to forget. 

Every bald head, every scar, every burn mark. You fought a battle. You slayed the enemy and are here to tell the tale. Wear them proudly. I am honored to know you, and humbled by your story.
My life is forever changed because of this disease and I wanted to give a tiny piece of what you've lost back.
Members Only, Book Two - Haleigh's Ink is for all of you.


A three letter word that means such different things to many people. Pictures and words that might stand as a reminder of love, loss, rebellion, or camaraderie. For Haleigh Grace it meant freedom. 
Walking through the doors of the tattoo parlor, Inkfluence, marked the start of taking her life back. Making it what she wanted it to be, and no one was going to tell her she couldn’t. Not ever again.
Little did she know that behind those doors would stand, Jackson Muse. Her best friend that walked away years ago without a backwards glance. The one man she fantasized would someday be her knight in shining armor. The one she saved herself for.
But, he has a knight of his own. Tall, dark, and dangerously sexy, Scott Preston. The very owner of the shop Haleigh has an appointment with at midnight.
Feelings long buried rise to the surface and the three find themselves bound by more than just ink...

A Romantica® BDSM erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave coming soon...

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Jennifer Kacey is a wife, mother, and business owner living with her family in Texas. She sings in the shower, plays piano in her dreams, and has to have a different color of nail polish every week. The best advice she’s ever been given? Find the real you and never settle for anything less.
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