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Archive for the 'Real Life' Category

Happy Easter!
Sunday, April 21st, 2019

I was up early today. First, my dd messaged to ask if I was dressed. Her hubby forgot his wallet and needed it dropped in town. Now, usually, I’d send her a rude emoji but it’s Easter, and I knew she had to help the bunny deliver goodies, so I ran into town to give my policeman SIL his wallet. *smh*

Then it was back to my dd’s for coffee as we waited for the kids to stir. Everyone awoke to my dd’s hand-decorated buckets filled with edible goodies and gifts. Everyone got things they wanted—the oldest girl got makeup and jewelry and an expensive mixed media sketchpad (she’s a budding artist—how could I, er, the bunny not indulge?), the baby got sidewalk chalk and glitter clay (also, a budding artist, so again, we have to encourage!), and the boy got lots of cologne and shaving stuff (because he’s very vain 🙂 ). We’re spiritual with a mixed bag of beliefs but not religious, so no church morning for us.

Next came the annual photos my dd takes in her yard. She lets the wildflowers take over every year until they go to seed. Her hubby hates them. Calls them weeds. But it’s hard to argue with the butterflies and bees that are attracted to her yard! Not much crimson clover this year, but we do have these pretty purple blooms… Oh, and the kids are darling, too!


Cathleen Ross: How to avoid dying…
Monday, April 15th, 2019

Cathleen Ross

This post is more cheerful than the title suggests because it does have a happy ending, but it’s important reading because most of us have at some time done a long-haul flight. Cathleen Ross interviews author Enisca Hasic about the time a Deep Vein Thrombosis nearly cost her…her life.

25 December 2017

One Christmas Day forever embedded in my memory.

It’s common knowledge that cancer kills, that heart disease kills. No one warns you about blood clots, how life-threatening they can be.

Stealthily forming in your leg (or your arm) when you remain seated for long hours, the blood clot is a ticking time bomb you don’t know you have inside you until the moment you stand.

That upright movement is like a signal for the clot to break into pieces, each piece travelling at speed towards your lungs, filling them with blood so there is no room for air.

And there is the real danger then — the risk of heart attack, of stroke, of death.

I am intimately acquainted with blood clots. One settled in my right calf as I sat through a 15 hour flight from Dubai to Sydney. I felt fine through the flight, no inkling of what was about to happen. Half an hour before landing, I had an urge to use the toilet, but decided against it as the passengers beside me were sprawled in their seats fast asleep. I learned later from the doctors my decision not to go saved my life. I would have collapsed in the toilet, and with the plane still on the air and no immediate medical intervention available, I would have died.

Scary, sobering thought.

The plane landed. I got up, collected my cabin bag, and immediately felt a shortness of breath. My heart began beating fast. I was now gasping as I walked down the aisle. My head was dizzy. Nausea attacked my stomach. I wondered if my blood pressure was playing up, thought to stop for a moment to catch my breath.

Next thing, I was on the floor with an oxygen mask on my face and a voice repeatedly asking, ‘Can you hear me?’

I was in pain, unable to do more than gasp out answers before the paramedics arrived. Unconscious again, I woke up in Emergency at RPA hospital. I’d had a sub-massive bilateral pulmonary embolism, the worst they’d seen, needing riskier than usual emergency treatment (riskier, as the treatment itself can cause massive bleeding). I was, they said, very, very lucky to survive both the PE and the treatment. And I was, because many, many people die from it.

If I’d known about blood clots, how dangerous they were, I would not have sat for hours, I would have walked up and down the aisle and drunk more water to keep myself hydrated. The blood clot would not have appeared then.

I hope by telling my experience that others will be aware and know how not to get acquainted with blood clots.

Rough and Ready
by Cathleen Ross

Before special ops soldier Hugo Boudreaux can move on, he has one last thing to do–fulfill a wartime debt to the friend who saved his life. He must infiltrate a vicious Louisiana MC club to stop their next illegal weapons shipment and send the president to jail. What he didn’t plan on was ending up an unwilling bodyguard to the man’s daughter–innocent and attractive nurse Alice Kaintuck.

Alice wants a normal life with a nice guy. But her rough-edged bodyguard is the sexiest man she’s ever met. Suddenly she can’t stop thinking about just how hot he makes her. Before she knows it, she’s tumbling into his muscular arms…though she’ll be damned if she’ll fall in love with a man as dangerous as her father. Only Hugo doesn’t make love, he consumes her and turns her life upside down with his carnal, erotic sex. Dreams of nice guys vanish when her enemy becomes her obsession…

Get your copy here!

Real Life Celebration!
Saturday, April 13th, 2019

Quick news! Won’t keep you long. After all the sad news lately, we needed a reason to celebrate. Yesterday, my lovely SIL graduated from the police academy! Here he is for a celebratory pic! Congrats, Dex and Kelly! And you know, I’ll have to start a new series about small town cops in the rural South now that I have the inside track… 🙂

Getting back into the swing…? Not so much (Contest)
Saturday, April 6th, 2019

UPDATE: The winner is…Karen!

Let me tell you what I’d rather do than write. I’d much rather go junk shopping. See the “treasure” above that I found at a flea market? It has a heavy glass/crystal base with a lovely tarnished metal adornment depicting cherubs affixed to the top. Yup, a paperweight. I paid a buck for it, and I love it. I’d much rather comb through stalls for little treasures than sit my butt in a chair to write.

Here’s another couple of clues about what I’d rather be doing…

Those are both items I recently completed. I’d much rather make some more just like them. In fact, I’ve been on a whirling dervish reorganizing my very crowded, hoardery art room so I can make room to lay out a dozen projects I’m itching to begin—some painted, some beaded—all not the most important thing I should be doing, but so much more attractive to me at the moment.

I have been editing. And yes, MJ, I’m nearing the end of your story. I’m also working through edits of the stories that will appear in Stranded, which releases at the end of this month. It’s not crunch time yet, but I do need to light a fire under my ass, because I have to write a story for it, too!

And yes, I know I have a gazillion reasons, good ones, why I’m unable to commit to filling a page with new words. Grief, emotional exhaustion—all those things weigh a soul down. But it is true that for months and months I neglected my environment while I whipped through work and family obligations. I do need to restore order for my own peace of mind. (See? I’m making excuses for not writing!)

In the meantime, I’m setting little goals. Edit one short story. Edit 20 pages of MJ’s lovely novel. Then return to the art room to sort through the chaos.

So, here’s a question for you…

Is there anything you’re dragging your feet getting done?
Answer for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

A Proud Farewell…
Saturday, March 30th, 2019

The week was all about my dad. Father, Grandfather, Papa…and a proud Air Force Veteran…

Taking a deep breath…
Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

Maybe you can see it. The white fingertips on the black coffin. Those were made by one of the members of the military honor guard at my father’s funeral. The pallbearers left their boutonniere’s on top on top of the casket. The hearse is in the background. What you can’t see is the rain. This photo and the ones below are from Friday’s funeral. I’m  backdating the post, because I shut down my computer for the week, which meant I didn’t blog for all those days. But now, I want to catch up and share with you what happened in my life, and what the authors who were scheduled to appear wanted to share with you over those missing days.

All my father’s children came to the funeral. As well, all the “grands” and most of the “greats” were there to see him laid to rest. Mom couldn’t have been happier about that. Or more proud of this moment…

It was a hard week. And we let many things slide because every bed was filled in our house, and every night was spent in great company, eating wonderful food provided by our extended family. On Friday night, we had a wake at the house. There was beer and wine, a guitar came out and the living room was filled with our voices. There was a lot of laughter after a week filled with many, many tears.

Had to share this photo of the 5-year-old. No gray or black for her. She wanted to wear her “graduation” dress — the dress she’ll wear when her dad graduates from the police academy in a few weeks. She was a ray of sunshine in a sea of dreary color and a lovely symbol of our hope for the future of my father’s most cherished legacy — his family.


The funeral’s set for Friday…
Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

The funeral’s set for Friday. The family is gathering. Because my parents had a burial policy and a funeral home already selected, there’s not a lot of stress involved with the “arrangements.” It’s nice to know family is ready to converge, but at the same time, I crave quiet.

My dd and my sister have been gems. Both working so hard to get ready for company and organize dad’s “effects”. Mom’s been making lists of relatives to call and agencies to inform. My sister has already written what she wants to say at his funeral, and I haven’t been able to organize a thought about what I would say. I won’t. I’ll be there, but I don’t want to be. They’re eager to honor him, but I want to climb into a deep dark hole and sleep. And I feel guilty about that and the fact I haven’t cried as much as they have.

While everyone efficiently went through his clothing to see what family members might use and what might be donated, I wanted to shoo them all from the room, because they were moving too fast for me. I did have the thought that I wanted some of his shirts, ones I remember he wore a lot because I needed to keep something, and I thought…pillows. Just to cling a while longer, because everyone else is so eager to purge. Or that’s the way it feels to me. And now, I don’t want them to read this, but I’ll leave it anyway and hope they don’t.

All I can think is that, like with Grandma, I’m thankful he needed me at the end. I was here when shit hit the fan. I called the ambulance. I tended the sores on his feet for months, cleaning them, bandaging them. I made him breakfasts and brought him coffee. I don’t have to say words over him. I won’t. When they are all gone, I’ll be here for Mom.

Okay, so there’s a tear. Two. Three. I’m done. I just have to get through Friday.