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Thursday, March 29, 2012


Life itself is an adventure, isn't it?

What is around the next corner?  The next hour? Will tomorrow be a good day, a sad day, a boring day or will it be the best day you've ever lived through?

As lives go, mine hasn't really been exciting, but it hasn't been completely boring either. I've had some days that weren't really an adventure, but since I lived through them, they were adventurous enough for my taste.  I've also had some pretty heart-pounding days that could be labeled as adventurous, but I don't want to re-live any of those!

Okay, it's pretty clear here that I do not live with adventure. I don't crave it. I don't seek it. I don't even like it. I do love a good roller coaster, but in reality, how adventurous is that? What with the seat belt thing and all.

There is only one adventure I long to take part in that I haven't, yet.  I really want to zip line. Not just a little zip line. I want to zip down a mountain side or across a deep river gorge or something really cool like that. I think it looks like so much fun that I can't imagine why every single person isn't in line somewhere to buckle up and zip!  Someday I will be someplace where one of these exist and I WILL do it.  I will do it alone because my traveling companion has nada interest in doing anything on a zip line. (He also thinks I'm suicidal for even thinking I might like it.)

For the most part, I think just navigating my everyday life is enough of a challenge. I'm not an adrenaline junky, by any means. I rather like my dull and routine life. I like that things are usually exactly what I expected and that I'm prepared for and don't cause me to go off the deep end. Going off the deep end is a rare and not happy place for me. If I'm not in control to some extent, I am probably a bit uneasy. The biggest weakness I have is that spontaneity is not my friend. (It's not my only one, but it is a big one.) I really wish it was my friend. I would like not to be such a routine, planning and everything as it should be kind of person. That's who I am. I've tried the flying by the seat of my pants way of life and it just makes me crazy.

Yeah, being crazy is probably not better than being boring.

Do you think adventure in your life is a good thing?

Is it a necessary thing for you?

What is your favorite adventure?

Please leave a comment and share your thoughts with me.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's Always That Way

He's nice to look at
And nice to touch.
He's not hers yet
Doesn't want him so much.
Being alone isn't nearly so bad
As being with someone
Someone else already had.

Taking on troubles
Which never were hers
Isn't something she wants
Being alone isn't worse.
And knowing she could
Have him if she wanted
That just feels good.

Days go by and nights go, too
She works, she dates
She thinks, she lives.
But mostly she waits.
She'll find him one day
When she turns around
He'll find her and stay.

It's always that way.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I have a very old mirror in my bedroom. Stop right there, it is an old mirror, not a mirror with an old woman in it.

As I was saying...

I wonder sometimes how many people have gazed or glanced into the same mirror and how hard would I have to look to see their reflections instead of my own.  The mirror hung in a salon I purchased in 1994 and had been hanging there since the mid 70's.

Thousands, hundreds of thousands of faces must have been reflected in that very glass.

Old faces with lines of experience and pain and joy and history. Women who bore children they lost and women who never bore a child and always mourned that loss. Women who were overwhelmed by all their children and those who doted on and adored their only child. Women who loved women and maybe finally were able to be together. Women who loved women and never said the words out loud. Men who never really looked in a mirror because they couldn't face who they had become. Men who look with pride not at the way they look back, but at the man they know they are.

Blue eyed people, brown eyed people. People of color. People with no idea of their heritage. People.
So many people. So many stories and only the mirror knows them all.

Mirror, mirror on the wall
Who's the fairest of them all?

It isn't talking. It gives up nothing of the lives and the decades it has touched. I love looking at it much more than I love looking in it and it knows that, too. It isn't telling. My beautiful mirror keeps her secrets well.

Antiques are earless for a reason and for the same reason, they have no lips. Maybe that is what I love about my mirror, maybe the only thing besides it's beauty, that I love. The glass is totally distortion-free and that is very hard to find today. Quality that once was standard, now is extraordinary.



Now, Prt 2.

 I have been tagged by Jennifer Zander Wilck so here goes some more stuff you probably didn't want to know and may feel free to just skip on by,

What is the one book you couldn’t live without?
My book of passwords and account numbers and names.  I can't remember anything anymore so without that I would be setting new passwords daily.
What can you see out your window at the moment?
It is 1:28 A.M. and with the mercury light shining on the deck, I can see the solar lights and the white railing around the deck. I can also see a power pole and our shed.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Rattlesnake. Nuff said.
What fictional character would you most like to marry?
Rick Castle
If ever a fictional villain was going to win, who would you like it to be?
I can't think of any villains that I would wish to win. Though I'm sure there must be one.
How many types of cheese can you name off the top of your head? 
Cheddar, brie, muenster, blue, Colby, jack, mozzarella, parmigiana, creamed, gouda
If you didn’t want to be a writer, what would you want to be?
I'd be a Geek at Best Buy
Can you play a musical instrument?
I played the trombone in high school, but doubt I could play it now.
Do you own an e-reader or a Kindle?
I own a Kindle and I love it.
If so, how many books do you have on it?
You just got published. In a glowing review, someone calls you the next (insert name). Which author has to watch their back now that you’re on the scene?
 I would hope they would say, "There is no one out there quite like her. She is so uniquely talented."  But if they called me the next (insert name of current author of #1 Best Seller) I would be okay with that!  :)
Passing this on to:


So close, so close and yet so far away.

Once upon a time when I was a younger version of me, I fell madly in love with someone who liked me back. That never works. It didn't. I still think of him fondly and he didn't hurt me in the I'll-never-get-over-it kind of way. He just broke up with me. That's all. Gently and remaining friends, but not a couple thing. I had to figure out how not to be a madly in love15 year old anymore. It was not easy, but I managed to pretend I was just his friend and we had a lot of friends in common.

He was tall and handsome and such a sweet and adoring boyfriend. I thought I had it made. I thought this was the one forever guy for me. How lucky I thought I was at 15, to know I was going to be with this one forever.

Or a few months, either way. That was then and my eyes definitely adored him.

My eyes have adored a few more since then. My eyes, apparently are fickle, too.  They have adored a few with great passion for a few weeks and then not so much. They have refused to adore men who might have been just right for me. I'll never know. My eyes have led me astray a few times, too. Thinking they adored someone they really just lusted after. And they adored a few more who didn't adore me back.

When I met my husband, my eyes did not adore him. They noticed him because I nearly ran him over in a parking lot. They saw him when I entered the bar where he took refuge and looked at him while I apologized for not seeing him. They looked incredulous when they noticed he was a full 6 foot tall and a rather large man, hard to miss, but I did. My eyes saw the twinkle of his eyes as he laughed at my story and he made a comment which explains why I had to have him.

It was bowling night and my friend and I were wearing bowling shirts. He and his friend were as well. All of our shirts bore our first names on the left chest.  After a few minutes of me babbling, he interrupted to ask, "I see the left one's name is 'Jo'. What do you call the right one?"

Yes, he said that. Everyone who hears this heart warming story says, "No wonder you had to have him! What a smooth talker!"  Little did I know, that was the smoothest thing he would ever say to me. Well, so far.

Needless to say, it wasn't exactly love at first sight, though with that line, it's hard to believe, I know. I was actually meeting a man there so I excused myself after introductions were complete, and we went to our usual table and waited for my date.  At some point, I did dance with the man I'd nearly killed moments earlier, but had to leave the dance floor mid-song because my guy had arrived. Returning to our table and catching up with him and the rest of the gang, I told him the story of the near hit-and-run. He laughed.

He told me he had to go get some smokes and excused himself from the table about an hour later. I assumed he meant in his car.  Apparently he meant in Siberia. He never returned. After about an hour I was ready to call it a night, but I wanted just a little revenge and just in case he returned, I didn't want to be sitting in that chair waiting for him, so I asked the victim if he'd like to finish our dance. He did like. He asked me out while we danced and I was just mad enough to say, "Sure." We made a plan for the next evening. Did I mention that bowling nights involved alcohol? I may have had a few drinks.

I spent the next day trying to figure out how to get in touch with him to break the date. I didn't know his name, last name. I didn't want to go out with this stranger and I had no clue what kind of a man he even was. I didn't want to be alone with him and I didn't want to see him again.  I didn't have any idea how to reach him and I had given him directions to my home. What was I thinking? Why didn't I just meet him someplace? Of course, I wouldn't have gone, but he wouldn't be knocking on my door! Did  I mention the alcohol? Yeah. Stupid.

I decided to just go ahead with the date, but I would insist that we have dinner a block from my house. If it was awful or I wasn't comfortable, I could just walk home.

We had dinner. I didn't walk home. Didn't even get home until 2 a.m.  I really liked this guy and my eyes began to tolerate him. They weren't at the adoration stage yet.

We dated a lot over the next few weeks and I knew my eyes had changed their minds by the end of 3 months.  Yep, eventually, my eyes adored him. I guess they finally got it right because even as I write this and he snores sleeps about 30 feet away, these eyes still adore him.

When someone looks into the windows of your soul and the windows of their soul adore you, it's a good thing. It's forever.

And I'm really glad I couldn't find him that day.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

It IS What It IS

When you adopt this philosophy as your way of life, things become clearer and your life becomes less complicated. You cannot change everything and those you can, you must. Those you cannot, you must accept if you are to live in peace.

Not everything we first perceive as being unchangeable is so. It never hurts to sit back and evaluate each situation and search for what might be done to improve any situation. What might not be done to improve the same. Sometimes it's not so much what we must do as it is what we must NOT do to make something better. We need to learn when to act and when to retreat and let things play out.

Understanding that we can only change or control who and what we are, never who or what someone else might be, helps to evaluate what can be changed and what is what it is.

Today I am thinking of our future. Planning the summer. Planning the winter and looking forward to our real retirement. (Roomy still works 40+ hours a week.) The time when we don't either of us have a job and our time really is our own. That means, selling our house. We both love living here, but also know that in retirement it is too much work and too much expense. We don't want to be owned by the house we have worked for years to pay for. We want to recoup some of our investment and use that cash to make our new lives. Deciding whether to buy a nice motor-home or just head to Arizona full time is not easy. No decision there yet. We might even just rent an apartment here in Michigan and winter in Arizona until that is not practical. Then another decision will have to be made.

So why are we still thinking all this over and not really making a plan?  Simple enough, really. I convinced my mom to move here a couple years ago and I love having her near me and part of my everyday life. She doesn't want to go to Arizona to live and I don't want to go without her. She doesn't want to winter there and I don't want to go without her. She says she likes the change of seasons, but I can tell you that she has not enjoyed this rather mild winter we just had at all. She likes to be outside. It was too cold for that. She likes to be barefoot, a little cold for that, too. She got a little cabin fever, but didn't want to go anywhere. So, it is what it is, I can't change this and I have no desire to be a day's travel away from her for more than a couple of weeks. I love Momma and I have waited many years to have her nearby and I am going to enjoy my time with her for as long as she will let me and as long as God will let me. I am where I belong right now and what will be, remains to be seen.

Accepting that our life is what it is for now, wasn't easy at first. I am used to doing what I like when I like and for as long as I like. Now I consider what will work best for her and how I can make it better. That is what my life is right now and I am fine with that. She did that for me and two other kids for many years, it's now my turn to reciprocate. Now I think about how we will do whatever it might be to make her life better and that in turn makes mine better.  

I married a man who thinks I should have what I want. I love that about him! He also loves my mom and understands and agrees that making her life all it can be is our job one now and that my friends and readers is what it is.

It IS what It IS because Roomy and I have chosen to accept what we cannot change.


Internal Affairs

The decorated heart, the darkened smaller heart and the tiny  flower~ a family mourns as the decorated heart goes home.

God Bless our Military as each lives out his or her own internal affairs while protecting our external ones.

with my deepest respect,

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Tale of Michele & Corky

First let me say that I have the express written consent of both of these ladies to tell their tale.  See below...

So here is the story of two ladies who most of their friends and acquaintances know as fun loving and "good" girls.  You know, the kind you would take home to meet your Momma if you were dating either of them and if you were a guy.  

It was a cool and breezy typical late Spring day in Michigan when Corky pulled into Michele's driveway to gather her friend for a nice dinner and catch up evening. They had been friends for years and their mutually busy schedules had kept them from having much time together lately. This evening they planned to just chat and sip a glass of wine or beer and fill each other in on what was happening in their worlds.

Corky had chosen a new outfit for the evening. She used this 'date' as an excuse to splurge on a new outfit. It was a linen pant suit in the palest of lavender shades and fit her as though someone had sewn it just for her. The blouse she wore was a little lower cut than her usual choice because the colors of it's paintbrush-stroke pattern were exactly right for the suit. Her hair was fluffy and curly and all in all, she just looked sexy and fun.  Which she also felt the moment she looked in the mirror wearing this new and different look.  She had stepped into her comfortable 3 inch nude heels, which she seldom wore, but this outfit was complete when she saw her reflection sporting these oh-so-cute shoes.

Michele had begun a new job only a few weeks earlier and had taken herself shopping for a new wardrobe appropriate for her new job and was wearing one of those for her 'date' with Corky.  Her hair had just been cut and it was perfectly styled.  The pants she was wearing were a dark chocolate brown and the top was of lime green, lemon yellow and a touch of aqua running through the color block pattern.  Her shoes were the same lemon yellow and sported a very daring, for her, platform of over 3 inches.  They had a nice natural soul and ankle strap, very sexy shoes and very classy, yet hot look. 

These two looked like they were out to impress someone and in fact, perhaps they did!

Once in the restaurant with beers ordered and delivered, they began to earnestly chat. Corky had been up to her ears in catering jobs for Spring parties and wedding showers and loving every minute of the work, but still feeling a little bit overwhelmed from time to time.  Thinking a vacation at the end of the Farmer's Market Season might be something to look forward to!  She filled Michele in on all the details of her summer plans and asked if she would like to join her at the market from time to time.

The new job was mostly what Chele wanted to tell Corky about, but agreed immediately to helping out from time to time at the Market as she enjoyed being there and would do anything to help Corky out. 

It was a nice dinner and both enjoyed their food choices and laughed and talked for over an hour after the food was gone.

"Excuse me, ladies." The voice came from the table to their left. Both ladies turned to see the source. A gentleman in his late 50's maybe, was smiling at them. He appeared, though seated, to be a tall and lanky man, very well dressed and was reaching into his jacket pocket as he spoke, "My name is Eric Pangle and I work for Gourmet Magazine. I heard you mentioning that you both cook and can and I think I heard 'catering' in there somewhere?"  Still smiling and extending his hand which held a card toward them.

Michele reached out and retrieved the card. Looking at it, but not really reading it, she asked, "And...?"   Corky remained silent and reached out for the card.

"I was wondering if you'd like to interview for a spot we are trying to fill.  We are looking for a mid-west cook to photograph with her work and honestly, you two would be perfect. Beautiful women who can cook are always a good catch in the magazine world! Are you? Interested, I mean?"  That smile was a killer.

"Maybe. I mean, I would be, if you're legit. Michele?"  Corky thought it would be great fun, if he was for real.

"Sure! What would we be doing, exactly?"

He told them all the details of the program he was trying to staff and answered all their questions. He also sent them each another drink (or 4) while they talked.  At some point, they don't remember when exactly this happened, another man joined the group.  He stated to Eric that he had no luck where he was fishing. The girls both knew instinctively that he had been elsewhere doing what Eric had been doing; eavesdropping and trying to find some cooks with some experience.  What an odd way to find cooks! Oh well, whatever. It still sounded really, really fun to these two.

Plans were made and the scene was set.

In two days, Thursday evening, they would all meet at Corky's kitchen for a run through and possibly filming for an audition. If Eric and Pete (his friend and associate) could round up a film crew and get them to Owosso by then.  Michele and Corky would choose the 3 items they would prepare for the camera and many stills would be taken after the preparation had been filmed. How exciting, the girls thought!  Whether they were chosen for the mag or not, this would be fun!

The ladies spent Wednesday evening setting the kitchen up for their 3 chosen projects. They made sure everything was on hand and the kitchen was film-ready!  They decided to wear dark shirts and the starched white aprons which Corky kept in her kitchen for all occasions. They bore an embroidered "C" and looked very professional.

One hour before the scheduled time, they arrived to primp and check each other out. Once satisfied that each of them looked sexy, kitchen savvy and hot, they moved on to the food prep business. They lined up the ingredients and cooking utensils needed for the molded salmon salad, the chicken croquettes and the raspberry filled cupcakes they would be preparing.  Everything was ready when Eric and Pete arrived.  The film crew would be there in a couple of minutes as they were checking into the local hotel, The Comstock, at this very minute.

They ran through the usual way things are done and Corky asked a few questions as they went along. Michele was to be her assistant, basically, and Eric wanted them each to talk as they went along. Laughter was encouraged, but he warned to maintain control at all times, less cutting  that way. Laughter was a given for these two, control, maybe.

The front door opened and in walked the film crew. The first one through the door was Maksim Chmerkovsky and following him was the actual camera man, Val Chmerkovsky   his younger brother.  They were the official film crew in their off season from Dancing with the Stars.  They both loved this work and right now, they were seriously being adored by their new subjects!

Talking was a big problem for both ladies at this point. They were decidedly star struck. Two of their favorite dancers were setting up equipment to film them! They were going to get the undivided attention of these two hunky guys for hours! Holy COW man!

It took 7 hours to complete their film and still shots. The food was perfection and the photos of it were scrumptious. The ladies had relaxed after spending a few minutes with the Chmerkovsky brothers just getting acquainted.  

Now would be the time to tell those who don't know that Corky is married and Chele is not.

As everything wrapped up and everyone, exhausted and done for the day, was packing up to go, Maks quietly asked Chele if she'd be interested in a quiet drink somewhere.  Since it was now early morning, he suggested coffee somewhere.

I will tell you only that Chele called into work, risking her new job because when EVER was she going to get this opportunity again? Her new boss totally understood and told her to go for it!

The entire magazine crew left Owosso later that evening missing one member. Maks and Michele had gone incommunicado.  I do not have these details. I believe only two people have them and don't want to share. I can imagine though that when Michele showed up for work on Monday, three days with Maks?, she was smiling ear to ear and when I saw her two weeks later, still smiling!

Coffee?  It mighta started with that, but somehow I gotta think and so do you, it got around to breakfast, lunch, dinner and a helluva dessert!

Gotta love those good girls. 

And by the way, they weren't chosen for the magazine, but neither seemed to care!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Spring List of Things To Do 2012

1) Finish re-painting 2 levels of the  Deck.

2)  Make table top with tiles.

3)  Paint table and chair frames.

4)  Get out Deck Furniture 

5)  Opening the Pool

6)  Finishing the cement work.

7)  Re-painting the pool deck.

8)  Planting annuals.

9)  Cleaning perennial beds.

10)  Adding new set of steps to the deck.

11)  Getting out Pool Deck Furniture & Toys

12)  Lay in the Pool and Enjoy My Summer



My phone rang at 7 a.m. and I am getting ready to go to work. Grabbing the phone as I hustled to the kitchen for that last cup of coffee before I head out the door, I hear, "Mrs. Heroux?" 


"This is Sgt. Somebody from Westland P.D. calling. Is Jayne your daughter?"

My heart quickly rose to my throat. I was having difficulty finding my voice. What had happened to her. Why was her local PD calling me at 7 a.m.? It couldn't be good news. Dear God, please let her be all right.

"Yes." The only thing to leave my lips.

"Well, ma'am we're holding her and her boyfriend, Rob. Do you know him? I haven't been able to reach his contact."

"Yes, I know him. Why are you holding them?" 

Still not able to breathe well.

"They were picked up last night driving under the influence and your daughter doesn't have insurance on her vehicle and a number of other charges."

"Oh my God! Seriously? Are they being released?"

Okay, at this point I am relieved she isn't hurt or dead. I am glad she wasn't alone, I think. I want her out of that jail so I can, oh, I don't know what! She's an adult and I can't really do anything, but she will know how disappointed I am, that's for sure!

"What do you need from me? I mean, what does she need?"

"You'll have to come and sign her out because she can't drive an uninsured vehicle. It's in impound and she'll have to obtain insurance and show that to the impound officer and pay the storage fee."

I am now crying. I have to go to work in 5 minutes. I have no one to cover me until 10 and I don't want my little girl sitting in jail for 3 hours more! I am nearly an hour away from her.

"I'll be there as soon as I can, but it will be 11 or after, at best. Do I need to bring anything?"

"No. Just sign her out. I'll let her know you will be coming. Can you try to reach Rob's family for me? I'm not getting an answer and they thought you might drive by there?"

"I'll try to get them later. I have to go to work right now. Are we done?"

"Yes, ma'am we're done. Drive carefully now."

He hung up. I hung up.

I went to get my purse and shoes and some kleenex. I am now crying full out. What in the world was she thinking? Why in the world would she not have insurance? What was Rob thinking? How am I going to handle this?

The phone, again.

Growling, I answer. "Yes?"

It's my daughter,


Still crying.  "Are you okay?"

"April Fools!!!"   Laughing hysterically on the other end of the phone from her and others in the back ground.  I am not amused.

"I am going to drive down there and beat your ass! You seriously thought this would be funny?"

"I did and I can't even believe you believed it for a minute!  And are you crying?"

Yelling a bit now, "Hell yes! I'm crying! My daughter is in jail an hour away and doesn't have car insurance!"

"I'm sorry, Momma.  Really, I thought it was funny and I still think it's funny, but I never meant for you to cry!  I love you, Momma!"

"I love you, too. Please don't ever do this to me again!  EVER!  No April Fools jokes on your momma ever, ever again."

There was more, but I think you get the gist.  In retrospect it was very funny and I see the humor now. That day, not so much.  

April Fools my ass!  Such shenanigans from a grown adult woman!  


Friday, March 16, 2012


I can tell you that the reflection in my mirror is not me. I mean the woman who lives in my mirrors is not the woman I see from inside this body. I suppose YOU see the woman that lives in my mirror. She is much older than I.  She has wrinkles that I may one day have, but not this day. Her eyes are very old. They look very tired and used up. Mine have a lot left to see and they aren't tired. So my point is, reflections lie.

I wish I could say that time has been kind to my face. I kinda envy people with smooth cheeks and foreheads. Eyes that have not filled out so much that the lashes are hidden without mascara, are something I had once; something I don't have now. There isn't enough makeup in my bathroom to make me look 30 or 40 or 50 anymore, but I still put it on. I accept the turkey neck and the road map face and even the filled up eyelids. However, I choose not to spend too much time actually looking at that reflection because it only makes me sad. I don't want to be reminded of my years. I don't want to think about how I look and seeing that woman, I have to acknowledge I am showing every single one of my years. 

But reflections are also a very good thing. We need to know how the world sees us. We need to know that who we are inside does indeed change who we are outside. The face the world sees changes as people get to know us. One who might seem very old and very decrepit at first glance, might well be the most beautiful and capable person you have ever met. You will know that only after spending time with that person. The opposite can also be true. Someone who carries a beauty everyone admires may be a despicable character and you will know that only when time shows that to you. What we are, establishes our beauty to the world and also our value. I believe beauty is as beauty does. I know that once I get to know someone, their being does reflect in their face. Goodness of heart makes one more beautiful and meanness detracts from one's beauty.  

Reflections are only physical. Physical is only a facade. I'm for doing the best you can do with what you have and smiling a lot. That also seems to bring out the beauty, don't you think?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Wandering Mind is Sorting Today

Just gotta clear my head of some wandering, yet troublesome thinking. You may click out now if you'd like because honestly this one is really about sorting my brain compartments and maybe the worse piece of crap I have ever published. Or it may be brilliant. Not likely, but possible.

I met a child, really, online playing Literati in Yahoo Games several years ago. I had been playing that scrabble-type game for many months when she first joined to watch one of my games in progress. I welcomed her to the room and she said very little. The chat box was fairly empty at the end of that game and I invited her to sit and play. She passed saying she had things she needed to get done, but asked if she could look me up another time for a game. I had no idea who she was, where she was, her age, her intellect nor her intentions.

The next night she did in fact, find me and ask to join my game when the one I was playing ended. I agreed. We started to get acquainted through the chat box and the game took a long time to play. We actually talked more than we played and I closed the room to other players or viewers so we could talk privately. She told me a bit about herself. She lived in Oahu, Hawaii and was a high school student. She had recently moved in with her brother because her step-mother had not wanted her in her home. She didn't give many details, though I asked. She was stingy with details but gave me enough information to know she had some issues and I thought she was in need of an ear. I had two of them, so I lent them. She told me English was her second language and playing scrabble or any other word game, helped her learn more and feel more confident. She was of Mexican and Hawaiian decent. Her first language was Spanish and her Hawaiian was fluent, she felt her English was adequate, but needed more development. She asked the definition of a lot of the words used in scrabble. Some were easy enough and some I would look up and dumb down the definition for her. It was a fun way to spend a few hours each night.

Yes, each night. She and I talked and played for a few hours almost every night for over 4 years. She became my very dear and very close online "granddaughter". I can tell you, I loved this girl. She sent me drawings that she had done and they hang framed in my office still.

My kids were and are, very skeptical that she was real or anything like what she said she was. They think it was just someone messing with me and ultimately hurting me. I will never know. I will never think she was anything less than I believed at the time and I have absolutely no reason to hold on to those beliefs. I just do. If the kids are right and she never was, I loved and cherished the girl I believed she was. If I was right, I lost a valuable and precious friend.

To summarize, I learned and lived her life with her for the four plus years that she was able to type and communicate with me. She was as real as any friend I have ever known. I cried many nights with her and for her and I prayed for her, always.

I chatted with her boyfriend, eventually husband, and became friends with him also. I liked him a lot and as she grew sicker and sicker, I talked with him even more.  When she was gone, we continued to talk. I sent him the first draft of the story the day after I finished it. He gave me his blessing to continue with it and publish it, if I wished, and assured me she would have loved that I did this.

He has disappeared from my life now. He remarried a couple years after she passed and he kept in contact with me until that marriage dissolved and I cannot find him. I have reached out to him over and over and get nothing in return. This could tell me something. It could mean he doesn't want me in his life for any number of reasons or that he made the whole thing up for over 7 years and is tired of the game. I will never know, unless he contacts me at some point. I have no address or phone number for him only email, which is now closed and the yahoo messaging we used to use returns nothing to me.

My book, The Island Princess, is all about this girl and her family and my relationship with her. She called me "Abuelita" which I believe is Spanish for "Grandma" or more literally "Little Grandmother" and is used as a more endearing form of Grandmother. Perhaps like we might say, Grammy or Nana or any of the other names we use for the Grandma that is special.  

My problem now is that I have decided to re-write parts of the book and republish it. Good decision because although I love the story as it was, I think it could be better. I asked someone I respect a great deal to be honest with me about the book and she was. I thought about what she said and mulled it around and reread the book and aside from the fact that I may have accidentally published the draft version, rather than the edited one, which I did, it could be told better. The story is a great one. The telling could be improved. I took her ideas and put them in my brain and started earnestly to make the changes. I haven't gotten very far. I keep stopping to cry or remember or just evaluate what I want the reader to see as I am writing. 

I have discovered that I cannot think about the reader as I write. It stops me in my tracks. I keep thinking, "I can't tell this story. It's too close. It's too painful. It's too hard. I can only tell it the way I originally did. I can't change the format. I can't think of who's reading. I can only tell the story as it was told to me."  I realize now that whether this story ever gets its due, meaning someone out there reads it and is moved, or not, it is finished. I cannot rewrite this particular story. I am cleaning it up. Removing some errors. I will do what I feel good about doing, but this story is not mine to change or embellish. It is her story whether she ever existed or not. It is my job to share it as she shared it with me. 

So my head is all full now of doubt. I don't know if I have been on the wrong track all along or if I just don't have "it"  or if blog writing is for me and I should just do this and stop with the grandiose thinking...

I wonder if all the people who have encouraged me all these years after reading my manuscripts are just people who are being kind to me because they love or like me a lot. I wonder if the stories I have written are just plain blah. Did I somehow let my loved ones encourage me toward something I am just not capable of doing? 

I know we all work so hard to get just the right words, just the right scene, just the right colors in our work and I'm no different. The truth is, though, that none of that matters if the ability to make the story feel real isn't there. If you don't know and care about the characters, the story doesn't matter. I don't know that I have that ability. I don't know.

I do know, am certain about this one thing, if a writer ASKS you for an opinion on their work, give it. Be honest and kind. It isn't that hard, but it does take a few moments. I suggest you wait to be asked, it will be accepted more openly. I have asked several people and I have only gotten one negative reply. I believe that one showed me more than all the positive ones by making me accept I may have limitations in talent. I may have bitten off more than I can chew and I may have to store the left overs. Perhaps if I freeze them, I'll develop or discover a new recipe that will make them more palpable to others.

Reviews are very helpful and very instructive when they come from honesty and kindness.  Please give both when you are asked.


Friday, March 9, 2012

My Wandering Mind: Love Song

My Wandering Mind: Love Song: When I think of Love Songs,  I always think first of  ♥ Elvis ♥ singing  The Hawaiian Wedding Song from Blue Hawaii.  It is so beautiful ...

Love Song

When I think of Love Songs, 
I always think first of ♥ Elvis ♥ singing 

The Hawaiian Wedding Song from Blue Hawaii. 

It is so beautiful and no one, that's right, NO ONE does it as well.  
I can see him singing to his brand new wife on the raft floating on the blue Hawaiian waterway.  

We have been in Hawaii for four of our anniversaries and have had this song played and/or sung for us at three of those. It is the single most romantic song I have ever heard. Although Elvis sang many romantic tunes better than anyone else, this one has always been my favorite.
I can believe he was singing it to me for us on our wedding day. "Blue skies of Hawaii smile on this our wedding day."  We were married in March and the blue skies of Hawaii were no doubt smiling on our wedding day. Here in Michigan, as I recall, it wasn't sunny or bright. Then again, I was severely hung over as was my groom, so maybe the sun was out, maybe not.

We are just a few days from our 30th (March 12) and again I will remember what it was about this man that made me so certain he was a keeper. I will again wonder why he fell in love with me. I brought so much to the table! Two kids he would help me raise. A house in much need of an update, which I had purchased from FHA after a repo. It was not in good cosmetic condition, but structurally, it was sound and big. I loved that house right up until our kids all moved out and we were empty nesters in an 1800 square foot house. Way too much cleaning and heating and cooling for two people and a dog. But I digress, how unusual for me, huh?  I had a pretty good job, but didn't make a ton of money. I had a car and a car payment. I didn't have much debt and I was paying all my bills on time. He came with kids, unpaid bills, a good job that paid well, a lot of love and the kind of devotion you usually only get from your dog. The man, inexplicably loved me unconditionally. I have a much better mate than he has. I am a much better organizer than he is. He is so easy to please, it takes no effort. I am a far better cook. He is a far better eater. 

Life has handed us many hurdles and many blessings. We have lived through all of those and laughed a great deal, cried a little and been grateful for it all. We are not always happy. We argue, now and then. Rarely. We disagree about stupid stuff and agree about important stuff. He is bull headed and I am...well, um, ahhhh, errrrr, bull headed. That can be a problem. It isn't. If it's important to him, he wins. If it's important to me, I win. If it's not really a big deal either way, I win.  Works for me.

We seldom watch TV together. He loves sports, westerns and a few cop shows. I like sitcoms, reality TV and all the cop shows.  We watch Blue Bloods, NCIS, Hawaii Five-O and Law and Order together. The occasional western movie because I do enjoy them now and then. He has a man cave, sports arena, whatever, in the downstairs family room. A big TV and 5 reclining chairs. I have a big screen and 4 reclining seats in the living room. Seems fair and it works for us.  It's all about fairness and equality, right?  

I know why I married him and I know why it has worked all these years, but I still don't really know why he chose me nor do I know why he stayed through some of the tougher times. He sees no reason to talk about those things and I guess I'm okay with that because I'm still here waiting for him to come home each day. Yep, I'm a talker and he's a listener. That might be the key, except he doesn't really listen. He's a man. He appears to be listening, but no, he hears very little. Maybe that's best. I say a lot, but maybe only a minuscule amount is worth hearing. He knows that apparently. 

Happy Anniversary to my big ole hunk o' love, Mikey. You really are the best and my last chance for romance! Oh, yeah! That's another thing we have in common.  :)

Thirty years of marital bliss!  That man is a saint, or thinks he is, anyway.  I just think he's my roomy.  ♥

"Now that we are one, Clouds won't hide the sun. Blue skies of Hawaii smile on this our wedding day.
I do, love you, with all my heart."


Thursday, March 8, 2012


Woke this morning to silence. Total silence. No ticking, no humming, no power. No coffee. No computer. No TV. Not the way I like to start my day, for sure. Could be worse, I decide. I have a gas stove so I put on a small pan of water and search my cabinet for a coffee filter, locate one and pour some grounds in. When the water is just short of boiling, I put the filter on top of my coffee cup and slowly pour the very hot water over the grounds. My pioneer version of the drip coffee maker works, sorta. Not a great cup of coffee, but coffee nonetheless.

Our power company is called Consumer's Energy.  

Point is, I was without ENERGY this morning. The electrical kind and consequently, the self-induced kind.  I decided to wash windows, since that doesn't require electricity.  It does require energy, but I thought I could muster up enough with just one more of those cups of coffee. I made another, drank it up and checked my phone and made a couple of comments and then got busy.

Our sump pump (a pump in the basement used to keep the basement from flooding, for those who don't have these issues) has a battery back-up. If our power is off, the back-up will just take over. It does, however, beep!  Annoying! I shut off the alarm and it is supposed to stay off for 24 hours while still pumping out water. Today, it stayed off for about 30 minutes at a time. So, the window washing was interrupted by me running down to push and hold the "silent alarm for 24 hour" button every 30 minutes.  That used up a lot of energy. The windows I chose to wash, are not in the basement!  Up and down, up and down.  JEESH.

The computers started beeping to inform me the power was returning and I quickly finished the window I was working on and ran for the coffee pot!  Oh, my beautiful Keurig was glowing blue with delight in just a few seconds.  I lost myself in my first REAL cup of coffee and finally came to life along with the electronics in my home.  

The windows can be done another day. I'm over that for now. I am going to take my new found energy (Keurig induced) off to the office and get some more work done on the rewrite of my Princess book.  I have not been very disciplined about working on it and I feel like this is as good a day as any to sit myself down for a few hours and accomplish a few chapters, at the very least.

I will be refilling my cup before moving away from this laptop and into the seclusion of the office.  I'm not secluded from anything while in there, though. The furbabies will follow me in and find their own favorite spot to keep an eye on me. I could have treats hidden in there and they don't want to take a chance on missing out. AND Dad isn't home, so might as well follow the mom.

Ya know, my energy level is in direct proportion to my caffeine intake, do ya think that's a concern?

*shuffling off now to fix my coffee and my book*


Sunday, March 4, 2012


I suppose, if given the choice, most of us would prefer to go through life never having a confrontational moment. Who needs the stress, right? If the world wasn't full of arrogant a$$holes who are intent on bullying the rest of us nice people, that would help thwart a lot of confrontation. But, alas, the world does have a huge number of these thugs  hanging around taking their pot shots or spewing their venom all around and often at the least able to defend themselves or even to walk away. If you choose not to confront a$$holes just because they don't matter to you, don't warrant your effort, well, good for you!  Me? Yeah, not so much inclined to ignore bullying.  I'm way more inclined to confront. I'm way more inclined to just say what I think needs to be said and I appoint myself to the position of bully-bullier because they need to be told and for some reason, I think I am the one who needs to do the telling.  *sigh*  It's a tough job, but I cannot stop myself from spewing back at someone who is just hateful.  No reason EVER to be mean. (My sister's favorite quote.)  I try not to be mean, just to be honest and straight.  Tell the ignorant one in the nicest possible way, just how ignorant they are behaving and how very little will come from their actions. In other words, "You might as well step in front of a mirror and say those things because the only person you can change with your hate talk will be looking back at you. 
Ignorance breeds ignorance and hate breeds hate. If you speak with hateful words, you're only going to get hateful words and thoughts and deeds thrown back."

Okay, I would never be that calm or that sensible. I would say, "You need to shut your big pie hole and stop with all the shit talk. You need to get the hell out of my space and take your hateful and hurtful ways with you! Seriously, stupid is as stupid does and you, simply, are stupid."

Not very classy, not very nice, but true and most likely what I would say (maybe or maybe have not actually said that in the past).

Confrontation is not one of my favorite things, but I won't back down if I'm insulted or treated unfairly. I won't back down if someone is being pushed around or being made to feel inferior by someone who is clearly not superior. I would hope that if I needed someone to have my back, I would not be confronting anyone alone, but if need be, I still think it's the thing to do.  If you aren't willing to stand your own ground, don't expect anyone to stand with you.

As uncomfortable as it can be, confrontation is unavoidable for people like me. But I must say, a lot of the confrontation I see and hear around me, could be left undone. There are many people who just go around looking for someone with whom they can fight or argue. Please don't be one of those. Please try to ignore or move past slight statements of disgust. Save up your "attack words" for someone who really deserves them. They lose their effectiveness if used too freely or too often.

Maybe it would be an easier life if we all just got along. Sorry, just slipped into my polyanna mood again.  I do so like it there.

:)  and big giant (((hugs))) to all!