Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Even Bigger Picture...

Alas, my 55th birthday is almost upon me. My daughters are excited because I now qualify for a discount at many of the stores they shop in. Yea, me.

With the birthday, comes the ominous signs of rapidly approaching old age. Not much I can do to stop it, but I guess I could try to slow it down a little. I have many options to chose from. Number One would be to quit smoking. Again. Soon. Yes, soon. I am officially committing to plan to quit. There. I feel better already. That wasn't too hard. Number Two. Lose weight. I'm sure that won't be as much fun as gaining it but, I need to do it. 

Some people would say I am procrastinating by sitting here writing an entry in my Blog instead of working out or planning a calorie diary. They would be right, but I have a very good reason. Even though I 'm not actively losing any weight at this particular moment, I'm not actively gaining any weight either. I'm making progress already! 

Personally, I find it extremely annoying when I hear one of my anorexic friends say that they have to lose 5 pounds. How hard is THAT?

So... just to keep this interesting, let me tell you what trials and tribulations I feel lie ahead of me. I have to lose a minimum of 30 pounds despite being a born again, totally committed, outrageously zealous, fanatically loyal carbohydrate addict and chocoholic. Reducing even a fraction of fat, calories, and carbs would be physically painful for me. ELIMINATING them will be nearly impossible. 

I'm currently on hormone replacement therapy for menopause symptoms. They do help, but I am still suffering from borderline terroristic mood swings and hot flashes. Why this extreme rise in body temperature doesn't increase your metabolism, is beyond me. These hormonal fluctuations make me ravenous most of the day, and regularly wake me up at night. As for exercise, there is no chance that I can develop, find or purchase any amount of stamina, endurance, physical strength or coordination. I have tried bicycling, skating, tennis, jogging, swimming, and golf. Unfortunately, each activity proved to be personally challenging to me. I am a klutz with no sense of balance, who has the uncanny ability to fall over at any given moment. I have always missed every ball in every sport I ever attempted to play and I have a phobia of wasps, bees, and great white sharks. I have 3 slipped disks in my back so I'm always in some degree of pain. My cholesterol level is 340... and that's AFTER taking medication to bring it down. 

So, although I clearly have a lot of reasons to get myself into better condition, those same reasons are going to make it a lot harder to get there…  (stay tuned)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Lee!

It seems like only yesterday that I brought my oldest daughter home from the hospital. I was barely more than a child myself, but I was determined to be a good mother.

Today, my baby girl stands before me, as a 35 year-old woman. Where did the time go?

She is everything I always hoped that she would be. Beautiful, kind, caring, thoughtful, creative and funny. She has fought many battles, but none have crushed her spirit.

I am so proud of the person she has become. I truly don't know what I would do without her. She is so much than she thinks she is. I wish she could see herself through my eyes.

Happy Birthday, Lee! May your life be filled with happiness and love. You are more than my daughter... you are my Best Friend!

Friday, March 26, 2010

On Death and Dying Part 3 of 3

So... after the Obituary is in the paper, the Viewing is over and your eulogy recited, where are YOU going to spend the rest of eternity?

I'm still undecided. It's forever you know. It's not like you can change your mind after you're there. I think I'm definitely against burial. It's cold, dark and wet. There are bugs. Plus, I know my family will feel compelled to traipse out to the cemetery to visit me, and I don't want any of their holidays to include a trip to the grave yard.

I guess that leaves cremation, but where do I want my ashes? I always loved the movie, 'The Bridges of Madison County'. I thought it was so romantic when Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep had their ashes mingled together and scattered off a local bridge so they could be together forever. Unfortunately, there is no leading man in my life at this time. I suppose there's still a chance that I have yet to meet my geriatric knight in rusty armor, but what if I don't?

The idea of being scattered in an exotic place is intriguing, but there's no guarantee where you're going to... land. I'd hate to spend eternity on the windshield of an old truck that just happened to be driving by at the time of the toss.

Perhaps, the 'wall' in a columbarium is the way to go.  If I choose one now, before I actually need it, I could check out my future 'neighbors'. Get a head-start on my eternal social 'after-life'. Plus... I could pick out a really beautiful urn for myself. The kids would probably still feel obligated to visit, but at least the columbarium is heated and air-conditioned.

I just hope they remember that my new neighbors may be watching when they do. I'd hate to over hear, "Oh my GOD! Did you see what her daughter was wearing? To visit her mother's GRAVE!? Good thing she was DEAD already!"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

On Death and Dying Part 2 of 3

So... what DOES one wear when hosting your own Viewing? I guess it doesn't matter if you've worn it before, or even if someone else is wearing the same exact outfit. You can't really die of embarrassment since you're already dead. However... whatever you're wearing, you going to be wearing it FOREVER. So you better like it. A LOT.

I'm still undecided between cremation and burial. This is a decision one must make ahead of time. Mausoleums are a nice idea, but you have to worry that yours might become the hangout for the local teenagers on the weekends. I've seen many caskets exhumed on forensic television shows and it appears that water frequently seeps into them. A leaky basement is bad enough. I couldn't stand being cold and  wet.

If I'm cremated, I'd like my ashes placed into a columbarium. That's a building in the cemetery where the walls have slots to house urns. I don't want my kids to be burdened with my ashes, or if I'm married at the time of my death, have to worry that his new wife will suck me up with the vacuum. The columbariums look like condos for dead people. I'm sure that there must be all kinds of activities planned for the dearly departed residents. Week-end picnics for the relatives. Easter egg hunts for the grand-kids. Contests for the Most Festive Holiday Decorations on a Tombstone. Ghostly Tours on Halloween... Yeah.

I've always wanted a nice Viewing. A really fun one. With live music, good food, imported chocolate, decorations, drinking, singing and dancing. I envision a band escorting me to the cemetery like they do in New Orleans with saxophones and trombones playing old gospel hymns. I want everyone to have such a good time that they look forward to going to the next funeral like mine, even if they have to host their own.

Stay tuned for Part III...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On Death and Dying Part 1 of 3

With my birthday looming up, I'm starting to accept the fact that not only am I over the hill, I'm sliding down the other side of it pretty quickly. I'm not really a morbid person by nature, but I do think we should all have some sort of a plan for what lies ahead.

Since I got married when I was 16 years old, I not only missed out on a wedding, I never got to go to the prom either. So, I guess the one day in my life, where I will shine, where I will be the center of attention, where all eyes will be on me, will be at my... funeral. It is rather irritating to think that on my glory day I'll be DEAD, and I probably won't look so good, but I'll do the best I can.

I may require a little help at that time. Could somebody find me a make-up artist who doesn't use a spatula to smear it on for heaven's sake? And give the hair dresser a picture of me on a good  hair day. There MUST be one somewhere. I'm sure I won't like my profile any more after I'm dead, so tilt my face to the side. False eyelashes would be a nice touch. And a manicure. Whatever you do, make sure I'm wearing a BRA. I do NOT want to look saggy in my casket. Replace my high-heeled shoes with fuzzy slippers before you put me under.

I'm a Team Player so I'll do my part, too. If I have any say in it whatsoever, I will try my very best not to die when it's bitterly cold outside. Or swelteringly hot. Actually, I'll try not to die at all, but if I have to go, I'll try to be weather conscious. I'll aim for a day that isn't anyone's birthday, anniversary, graduation, wedding, or annual holiday.  If I do go on someone's important day, please try your best to make light of it. You know a good sense of humor has always been one of my best qualities and it would be nice to always be remembered that way, too.

Stay tuned for Part II...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Guest Author: Angela Kay Austin

Please welcome Angela Kay Austin,
author of 'Love's Chance'.
1) Tell us a little about 'Love's Chance'.
'Love's Chance' is an idea that came to me based on a lot of what I saw and experienced while living in Central Pennsylvania. The characters, I believe, are at that time in their lives where they have to begin to think about that next step in life. The story follows them as they search their hearts to determine what they are willing to do for love. What is the balance between work, love and family?

2) Do you have a favorite genre? Is there one you'd secretly like to try?
Honestly, I love Contemporary Romance. Why? Because I love taking a peek into ordinary people's lives. Not millionaires living fantastically or the make believe, but ordinary people like me in everyday ordinary situations finding true happiness and love. It seems like every time you turn on the news you see another person going through pain or heartache, or there's another disaster. Just seeing ordinary people have happy lives is exciting. But I do have to admit that for similar reasons, I love Sci-Fi/Paranormal. Vampires/Werewolves, magic, other worlds. Whoa! How absolutely exciting that world seems.

3) Do you ever base your characters on real-life people?
No, but composites of things I've read, seen, heard about, imagined and experienced... sure. I think everything around us can be used to craft a story. And, I like using things that are relatable to my Readers. I want them to feel like they know the characters. They could be their neighbors, relatives, friends, or maybe them.

4) If you write a particularly moving scene, does it bring you to tears?
I have an unpublished short story I am submitting to different publishers that brought me to tears. The abuse and pain touched a nerve for me because I love children, and the hurt and loss is done to and of children. I didn't intend for it to be done, but I wrote it as I felt it, and I actually deepened the story idea based on some feeback from my mother. The results truly surprised me.

5) Are you working on another novel now?
Yes, I'm working on a few other interracial pieces, and some mainstream novels. I work full-time, and as a result, I don't always have the time that I'd like to write, but I take as much time as I can at night to sit and work on the different story ideas. I'm submitting a few different pieces; maybe your Readers will see something soon. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

    To pay back her parents and prevent the loss of their family business, Sinclair Mosley leaves her family and friends behind. Pennsylvania doesn't welcome her with open arms, but Chance O'Malley does. At the risk of losing everything that brought her to Pennsylvania, including her family's restaurant, Sinclair must decide if she's willing to take a chance on love.

Thank you, Angela! It was a pleasure to interview you today. The best of luck with your writing.

Love's Chance - Available NOW from Red Rose Publishing

 Angela can be found at:


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Guest Author

This Tuesday, March 23rd I have the honor of interviewing Angela Kay Austin, author of 'Love's Chance'. Please stop by and leave a comment, or ask a question.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I Shoulda Seen It Coming

When I first met him, he belonged to my oldest daughter. I thought he was attractive and almost... foreboding. He was quiet and kept to himself. Once my kids were grown, I never thought I'd share my home with anyone else. But there he was. Lisa didn't have much time for him, and to be truthful, she didn't keep up with his needs. Not that he had many, but the ones he did have were important to him.

One day, Lisa casually asked me if I wanted him. I was surprised. She said she was fond of him, but she didn't want to see me living alone. She knew that I would be a better match for him. Reluctantly, I agreed. I took him home with me that very day, and we had been living together ever since.

He never disapproved of anything I did or didn't do. He didn't ask much of me, in fact, the few minutes a day that I shared with him, seemed to be enough.
He was a great listener. Most of all... he was faithful. I always knew where he was and what he was doing. I'd see him glancing at my friends from time to time, but he was content sharing his life with only me.
The fact that we were from different continents only heightened our interest in each other. He was beautiful, both inside and out.

I knew he wasn't feeling well lately. I could see it in his eyes. I thought he was depressed, and tried to cheer him up every chance I got. His illness was more serious than I thought. It was physical.

I now question my nursing skills. I found him dead this morning. It was apparent that he had been dead for at least a few days. Yet, I didn't notice and kept leaving food for him. How could a nurse ignore a complete lack of vital signs?

Yes, Kahn Mahn, my beta fish is gone. His empty tank now tugs at my heart strings.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm A Guest Blogger!

Denyse Bridger, author of over 400 books and stories, has invited me to be a guest on her Blog today. Please stop by and leave a comment or ask a question. Thanks!