Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Here Chicky, Chicky by Angela Rose

Here Chicky, Chicky!
                In our family’s on going quest to have a healthier lifestyle, my husband and I have a plan to “Go Off the Grid” in the next five years.
                The first phase is planting a garden, learning how to can, and the possibility of starting a small orchard of apple, peach and pear trees. Along with that we are looking at building a small greenhouse, so we can have a few fresh veggies during the colder months, as well.
                Phase two was getting a few chickens…as in four or five. That is where we are at now. I consulted with a friend who raises chickens to find the best layers, and there are some breeds that can be “sexed” and some that can’t. Being “sexed” for those of you who are not familiar with chickens, it's the ability to tell if a chick will be a hen or a rooster. Roosters can’t lay eggs and we have no desire to breed them. She mentioned that Leghorns are great layers, but can’t be “sexed”, however Golden Comets lay great and can be “sexed”. I’m a huge fan of Foghorn Leghorn, so I decided that I’d take a gamble and chose the Leghorns.

At the end of February of this year our journey into raising free ranged chickens began. Our four leghorn chicks arrived and there is no need to deny it…they are cute!
            A week didn’t go by when I decided that four chickens may not be enough for a family of eight people. So I gave my friend a call and told her to look around for some Golden Comet chicks. A week later in came our newest chicks. They were even tinier and cuter than the last set. We named these ones Sophia, Blanche, Dorothy and Rosie. That may have been a big mistake, because I was starting to bond with my new feathered babies.  It was also around this time that we discovered one of our leghorn hens was actually a rooster. Oops! Hey, one out of four…that was a pretty good gamble if you ask me. So now I have a Leghorn named Foghorn. My dreams were coming true.
            My husband was content with our growing brood. I, on the other hand, was not. Google is a very dangerous place and it wasn’t long before I realized there were some pretty amazing breeds of chickens. The chicken bug had bitten and I knew that eight chickens would never be enough. Getting more, however would be tricky, as my hubby was not on board with my newfound obsession. I needed reinforcements, so I recruited my oldest daughter, Jenna. She hit up the local Tractor Supply and in mid-March she smuggled in two Giant Cochin chicks and two Black Star chicks.  The Giant Cochins were a must have. They have these beautiful feathered legs and remind me of Cancan girls. However, it took less than twenty four hours for my deceitfulness to be discovered. My husband is a mathematics major…he knows how to count to eight and he was coming up with twelve when he looked in the nursery.  Busted!
        I promised the hubby that this was it, and I truly meant it at the time. Then I went on Google. Did you know they have chickens with Mohawks? Barbanters not only have beautiful markings, but they are great layers during the frigid temperatures of winter. Okay, so I live North Carolina and the colder temps aren’t going to be a huge issue…but these guys are going to have Mohawks when they’re full grown! Do you understand how cool that is going to be? I needed my chicken fix. I called my friend, who by this time I’m referring to as my dealer.  It took a while, but my dealer found Barbanter chicks. I only bought two, but she threw in an extra Barbanter and two Cochin Bantam/Sultan cross chicks for good measure. By this time, I’ve set my nursery up in the garage. This time when the hubby came home and checked on the babies he counted seventeen. I think the roof actually lifted off the house.
        It wasn’t a week later my addiction went into high gear when I discovered Sultans. OMGee! These chickens have 80’s hair. I mean Big Ole’ Mall hair! I was in love and I needed one…or two. I made an inconspicuous call to my dealer and ten days later she located this rare breed. Last Saturday I hit an all-time low when I made a “quick chick” purchase in the parking lot of the local Harris Teeter.  I slid my dealer $15 dollars across the hood of the Cluck Truck and she gave me a box of three Sultan chicks. My excuse to my husband for opting with three instead of the two that we had agreed on…I’m OCD and I needed an even number. So here we are the end of April, we have twenty chickens and I’m in absolute heaven. I can’t get enough of my girls…and Foghorn!
          If you’re looking for me…I’ll be sitting in the backyard talking to my hens and conjuring up a new idea for a middle grade book about….You guessed it, Chickens!     

Monday, April 28, 2014

Cancer Sucks

I will apologize right upfront for the tone of this post. I am sharing something deeply personal and it will not be my most entertaining post.

Saturday, April 21st 2014, my husband's brother, Geoff Gibson, lost his battle with brain cancer. A few years ago he was diagnosed with a melanoma on his back. Doctors removed it and he was given the all clear. Unbeknownst to anyone, the cancer traveled up his spinal cord into his brain. It was massively aggressive. He took part in several trials, surgeries, chemo, laser treatments, doing everything he could to fight the invasion. In November he told us that the doctors had given him 3 months to live... 10 months prior. He lived fairly normally for 4 more and then started to bleed into his brain. They installed a shunt to drain it, twice, but it was really just to make him comfortable. Geoff came from Dallas to Tyler to see us and to relax in the country at the end of March. The visit was nice; Geoff was himself. But he had to be removed by an ambulance when he became unresponsive. The tumors were growing, pushing on the parts of his brain that control vision and hearing. He got to live out his last month at home with tons of friends visiting him everyday. He had a seizure, the first of many, a couple weeks ago, went into a coma and didn't wake up.

We celebrated his life and paid tribute to this art and nature lover this weekend in Dallas. His favorite pub, The Dubliner, closed to the public on Saturday and opened to friends and family. We were comforted by the large crowd. Geoff was loved and will be missed. He left us too soon, not even 45 years old.

Geoff believed that a cure was right around the corner. Help make his belief a reality. Donate to cancer research. 

Geoff and his now 21 year old son.

Author Natalie Gibson

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Family, Fun, and Fish

We are getting ready to do a mini family reunion which is taking place at "The World's Largest Fish Fry" in Tennessee.   So I will keep this short & sweet.

Getting ready for a big trip is a lot of work!  Worse, my husband is a worry wart so he's been driving me bat shit crazy the last twenty four hours.   I think up until the moment we leave he's going to be like this.   Remind me again how much I've missed him as he worked six day weeks all winter....quick!

Things we can't forget to pack are obvious but my special concession is my Kindle.  My son takes his as well.   I can tell you if you have been on the fence about an ereader that it definitely beats packing half a book shelf in your suitcase.  It saves you weight and means you can travel with a ton of choices so you never run out of reading material or over pack it.   It's perfect for vacation.  

What's your one can't do without item when you take a big trip?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from my family to yours.  We are in Dallas celebrating with my family.  My brother has decided to hide our sons eggs this year.  I'm sure that we will find some next year.  LOL!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Easter Sunday

Memoirs of a Wonderful Easter 

My Grand Nieces and Nephew/Godson
left to right:  Lillian, Ivan and G'Lina
As a little girl Easter has always been special and very, very memorable.  I remember going shopping with our mom and her going through the aisles for that very special dress and attire she would like her two daughters and son to wear.  My sister and I always had to dress alike even though she was four years older.  She absolutely hated it but at eight she rarely had a say in it.  I didn’t mind because I knew that the end result will have me feeling pretty and absolutely elated. 

Easter Sunday we would wake up bright and early, take a shower, have breakfast and head out to Easter mass.  The pretty Spring colors cheered me up immensely and I couldn’t wait to show off my pretty pink dress and white shoes.  This year my mom even bought us matching purses so of course that made the day a bit more special.  We not only celebrated the return of Jesus but we celebrated us.  I remember always wanting to have a little girl of my own I could dress in pretty dresses but I was blessed with one boy.   My niece on the other hand has two girls and one boy so I at least get to live vicariously through her and enjoy watching her follow in the tradition.

When my son was three years old we had recently moved to the suburbs and our first Easter at the local church our Pastor looked onto the congregation and smiled at all the pretty little girls in their frilly dresses and bonnets and asked that they all come up to the altar.  Since my son saw them coming and didn’t quite understand he followed suit as I tried to grasp on to him and pull him back.  I missed him by seconds and he basically dashed to the front of the church.  Everyone thought it was cute as did the Father cause he put his hand up and said, “It’s okay he can come up too,” with a huge smile on his face as he took my son by the hand.  The innocence of children has always amazed me for now he is twelve and is already interested in girls.  Time has flown by but the memories of Easters past and those to come will still put a smile on my face.

With that said I wish you all a very Happy Easter Sunday with your families and a truly magical day.  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Easter, Books, and a Recipe!

Easter is upon us!

I love Easter! I won't go into a religion topic but it is a wonderful time to celebrate! It also means Spring has sprung, flowers are blooming, birds are singing, the amount of colors you see outside is breathtaking. Easter colors happen to be my favorite as well. I love pastels but these days people think you're having babies when you use those colors. lol. 
We don't have a ton of traditions around our house. We are still developing them really. 
The main things I do every year though include: 
Making the girls their own unique Easter baskets. No not the baskets themselves although that would be cool. ;-) I buy all their goodies like chocolate, bunnies, jelly beans, and add those. I buy some sort of stuffed animal, usually a bunny. I get peeps of course. And they each get something special. This year it will be accessories for their American Girl Dolls. Last year it was a DS game. 
We color eggs together. And we go to my parents for a ton of food and Easter Egg hunting.
I also like to make birds nests and the girls get a kick out of them as well. They are super easy and really good! Recipe below. 

Birds Nest Recipe:


2 Cups Miniature Marshmellows
1/4 Cup Butter
4 Cups Chow Mein Noodles 

Butter a 12 cup muffin tin. 

Combine marshmallows and butter over medium heat in a saucepan; stir until the butter and marshmallows have melted. Stir in the chow mein noodles, coat well. Butter fingers and press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the prepared muffin tin. Refrigerate until firm.

Kids LOVE these things!

Other than preparing for Easter I've had a ton going on. I just had my first big book signing in Atlanta with The Novel Experience. It was a lot of fun and I got to meet a lot of wonderful authors that I've only known online previously. I hate/love to admit it but I came home with quite a few new books to dive into. My wallet however wasn't very thrilled with me. ;-)

My Erotic Encounters collection is doing well thanks to my amazing readers! I've recently decided to write three more shorts with new characters to add to the collection. You can download each of the first three stories separately or together in a small bundle. 

Three short stories in the Erotic Encounters series all put together in one paperback.

In Temptation, you meet Alaina and Jonathan as they struggle with their secret relationship. While hiding in the shadows they give into the passion they cannot deny.

With Betrayal, you get to learn more about their partners Robert and Melanie. Melanie battles with uncertainty with Jonathan while keeping her own indiscretions hidden.  In the meantime, Robert decides to take a new step with Alaina.

Exposed is all about the end game. Will love conquer all or will their skeletons pull everyone apart?

What are some Easter traditions you have?

Thanks for reading along!


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sexy men and a cat video...

I'm right in the middle of writing Jenna's Consent in the Members Only series. It is hot and sexy and OMG kinky. In honor of this I'm going to post pics of sexy men and a cat video. Why a cat video? Because people go nuts for them and they are cute!
 ink -YUMMY!
 Oh if the picture just went a tiny bit lower!
 Hello, muscles!
Unbuttoned jeans...sigh...

And without further adieu the funny cat video!! No clue who's video this but full credit goes to them on it's fabulousness!

This was approved by my ten-yr-old. He loved it and hopefully you guys will get a kick out of it too!!

Members Only, Book Two
A three-lettered word that means 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. No one was going to tell her she couldn’t. Not ever again.
Little did she know that behind those doors stood Kyle Muse. He was her best friend, who had 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 owner of the very 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® ménage BDSM erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Haleigh's Ink Available at Barnes and Noble
Haleigh's ink Available at Ellora's Cave

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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