Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wednesday's Words for June 29, 2016

Every generation experiences shifts in attitudes and “sea” changes, the results of which seem, at the time, more than our human spirits can possibly bear. When I was little more than a child, I sat and watched events taking place in Dallas, Texas in 1963 as they unfolded in black and white on television—after having been sent home from my little three-room country school because of the crisis. Yes, here in Southern Ontario, Canada, kids were sent home when President Kennedy was shot.

I can still recall Miss Ritchie, who’d been my teacher from first to fourth grades, in tears, announcing the tragedy. And even though I was only 9, I’d already lost my father just months before, so the death of a man about the same age my dad had been affected me profoundly. I couldn’t at the time articulate it, but I wondered: was this the end of the world?

Just a few years later, two more assassinations rocked my 14-year-old existence. I remember thinking, as I watched the news after Bobby Kennedy was shot, that I would never get married or have kids. What would be the point? The world was too unstable, too fractured, and going to hell in a handbasket (whatever that was). Surely, this was the end of the world.

There’ve been other moments just as traumatic, just as mind boggling, and just as frightening to many of us. The war in Vietnam; Kent State; The Munich Massacre at the 1972 Olympics; and of course, more recently, 9/11. All of these events left some of us feeling as if the world was changing, hurtling toward something even more horrible, and more damning than humanity had ever known. They left us wondering if it was truly the beginning of the end.

My point is, and to put it in the basest of terms: crap keeps happening, and yet humanity is still here.

I know of a lot of people who no longer watch network news. They find it too depressing, too scary or flat out, too disgusting. They figure if it gets bad enough out there, someone will call them and let them know. We do watch some network news, my beloved and I, because we like to be informed. It’s also a good outlet, to be able to shout invectives at the TV. Reduces the stress levels if you don’t carry it too far.

It’s very easy in today’s society to feel hopeless, and fearful. It’s easy to despair that things are never going to be “normal” again. I get that, and the fact that some people do feel that way breaks my heart. Have you noticed that there’s so much anger in the world today? That anger really does seem to be world-wide. I’ve seen it on the nightly news during the primary season in the US, when on-air reporters would talk to “the person on the street”; and I saw that same thing again very recently, during the same type of coverage of the historic vote in Great Britain.

The following is strictly my opinion, for you to take or leave as you will. Here’s the thing: people are good and caring, but they can also be very self-serving. And in any given situation, those who are self-serving will find a way to profit when others are in pain, or in suffering, or are in grief. They will, without hesitation or remorse, exploit the emotions of the people they want to influence. And lately, their tool of choice has been to feed the fear we all experience when our world is in turmoil. Yes, fear is the greatest, and I believe only, real weapon in their arsenal.

I’ve said it before in my column, and I’ll say it again now: Franklin Delano Roosevelt is famously quoted as having said “the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Those were wise words, prophetic words, that speak to us here, more than 80 years later as truly as they spoke to that generation wondering if their world was coming to an end.

There is, in my mind, and in my heart, only one way to combat fear, and that is with another “f” word—faith.

We must believe in the basic desire of most people to strive for excellence, to do that which lifts up, rather than tears down. We must believe in the basic desire for most people to live good, positive lives, in their desire to raise their children and reap the benefits that can be theirs through hard work, and the peaceful yet principled pursuit of the common good. We must not only believe in these things, we must behave as if this was a spiritual law written in stone. We must do good and uplift others and deny the fear mongers our time, and hence their reward.

Despite all appearances to the contrary, there really are more good, decent people in the world than there are rabble-rousing self-serving ones. One person’s efforts to give increase matter.

We just really, really, have to have faith, and then we must act on that faith.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wednesday's Words for June 22, 2016

My beloved has been on “holidays” since last Friday at 2:31pm. He’s always called this booked time off work holidays as opposed to vacation. I’m not really sure why. And holidays always begin immediately after the clock has been punched on that final day.

We hadn’t planned to go anywhere this time. He decided to have a “staycation” and that was more than fine with me. I’ve be writing a bit slower than I like lately, and it just so happened that his last day was the same day I learned I had a deadline for submitting my work-in-progress, and that deadline is fast approaching.

David’s ideal staycation consists of completing one, maybe two jobs around the house, having a couple of excursions out, and a whole lot of reading and relaxing. Well, today is hump day, and so far, so good. I can report that we are both reasonably content and happy, which means he’s meeting his objectives and not interfering with mine.

He’s counting down the months to retirement. At the end of June, I believe he will be down to 16 months to go. He never believed he’d be looking forward to the end of his career in the aggregate industry this eagerly. I attribute this attitude of his, an attitude of joyful anticipation to being free from the place, to a couple of the “bosses” he’s had in recent years. Not that either of them set out to destroy his ability to draw pleasure from his job. That was just collateral damage caused by having their eyes focused solely on themselves and their own goals, and the very real lack they had when it came to people skills.

I used to get really angry just thinking about that, and what they did so unthinkingly. But I’ve considered the situation over a period of time, and I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re still reasonably young men—and already some future karma bus has their names and numbers and a ride on tap for them. I will leave the anger where it belongs.

The first couple of days of David’s staycation were simply too hot outside for him to do anything. You know, as timing goes with regard to some things, ours is stellar. We’ve lived on this earth for more than 60 years without the luxury of central air. Now we have it, and I thank God for it. Neither of us should venture out when it’s as hot as it has been—him, because of COPD and me because of my ongoing heart issues—not to mention my arthritis.

David has always been good with tools. When cars were less complicated (in the days before computer chips) he could fix our vehicle when necessary, doing everything from changing the oil to replacing the brakes. He has a fair hand as a carpenter, too, and in the last couple of years he’s laid a new floor in the kitchen and in the entrance hallway. Yesterday, because it was cooler out, he built a small deck in the back yard. It’s a simple structure, just a few inches off the ground, and the purpose of it is to keep the outdoor grill off the ground, and to make the area look tidier.

Today’s agenda involves breakfast out. That’s our favorite meal of the day to enjoy at a restaurant. Breakfast is comparatively inexpensive, and breakfast out together gives us a nice start to the day. We don’t do that as much as we used to, a fact I attribute to our getting older. It used to be important to us to eat out on a regular basis. Now, I, for one, could care less. After breakfast, he has an appointment with the people who supply him with his hearing aids, and I have blood work to get done. How typically “old folks” of us! After that we’ll run some other errands, and hopefully be home in time for an afternoon nap.

The dog, of course, has to go to the sitter’s while we’re gone—aka my daughter’s house. No longer able to be left alone as he has severe being-alone anxiety, Tuffy nonetheless enjoys a small break from us every bit as much as we enjoy that break from him. He loves going over to our daughter’s house, because she has Chihuahuas, and they are his great good buddies. He also loves coming home again.

Like us, he will be very happy, once he has returned to our air conditioned house, to indulge in nap time in the big comfy bed.

And since during the last several days he’s had both of us all to himself, he’d likely even agree with his daddy that holiday time is fine time, indeed.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wednesday's Words for June 15, 2016

I’m grateful to all of you who by reading these essays, week after week, allow me the freedom to express my opinion. Thank you for understanding that these words come from my head, and they also, very much, come from my heart.

Today my heart is hurting. It’s not about gays, and it’s not about the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States. It’s not about politics, or political correctness, or any number of things I’ve heard spouted lately that pundits say it’s about.

It’s about the basic nature of human beings, and that eternal struggle between good and evil.

Basically, and yes, in my opinion, there are two kinds of human beings. There are leaders, and there are followers. Now, as is typical of creatures who for the most part live in a “herd” or a “pack”, there are far fewer leaders than there are followers.

Most of us are followers. My authority for saying this? Most people are law-abiding. Most of us follow the rules. Most of us may not agree with a law, but we obey it, anyway. A lot of us don’t feel cheerful filing our taxes every April, but most of us do just that, as well. It is the norm. If it weren’t the norm for us to follow the rules, the laws—in short, to follow the leaders, we would constantly be in a state of rebellion, and “they”, the leaders, would not therefore be able to lead us.

So, since we do tend to follow our leaders, that means we take our cues from them. We use them as our examples, and we emulate them. Now, as long as our leaders have our best interests at heart, this is fine. And really, to exist and survive together in modern society, we have to make that assumption, that our leaders have our best interests at heart. That they are motivated by a desire to serve, and they want the world to be a better place for the children, and grandchildren, and unto the third and fourth generations.

But what if our leaders don’t have our best interests at heart? What if instead of serving the greater good, they are only interested in serving themselves?

Because, it’s about the basic nature of human beings, and that eternal struggle between good and evil.

We’re capable of both good and evil. Both can find room to grow within our hearts, but here’s the codicil to that: they can’t both grow there at the same time. It’s true. If your heart is filled with good, you really can’t do evil things; and if your heart is filled with evil, why then, you really can’t do good things.

So on the one hand we have leaders who stand before us, whose words compel us to follow them because they are, or would be, our leaders. And on the other hand, we have this fertile battleground in our hearts, where either seeds of good, of love, or seeds of evil, of hate can grow.

In the sixties and the seventies and the eighties, by and large, while individual people would from time to time feel frustration, and anger, overall, they tended to supress it. They tended to keep on doing what was expected, and what was acceptable, because it was expected and acceptable. They wanted to do good, mostly, because it was good. They wanted to make life better for others, because that was what our leaders, by and large, extolled us to do.

We really are, most of us, followers, but here’s the thing, and it’s absolutely the most important thing of all: we can choose who and what to follow. We can choose good or evil. We can choose whether love grows in our hearts, or hate does. We are followers by nature, most of us, and we will follow the path that makes us feel good. So if we have ceded our hearts to evil, if we allow those deadly sins, of which anger (wrath) is one, to take root, then we are likely to follow the voices calling out to those ugly and evil attributes within us.

Yes, the choice is ours and the responsibility is ours. It is ours who follow and choose; and it is ours who lead and extol—and also choose. Responsibility lies with our leaders and would-be leaders, whose choice of words and whose message culls the followers that feel good about what they have to say.

Because, you see, at the end of the day, it really is about the basic nature of human beings, and that eternal struggle between good and evil. It’s about which side of that battle we the followers follow. And as to the leaders and would be leaders?

To a certain extent, the blame for the slaughter of the innocents can be laid directly at the feet of every one of them who has, in this century, stood up at the microphone and preached words of hate, who’ve stood in the spotlight and encouraged acts of violence against others. Who by their words, and their acceptance, and their exhortations, tell us that it’s okay to be evil and to hurt others. It’s okay to hate.

But the truth of the matter is, to hate is to be evil, not Godly. Hate is the most prescient form of evil, and it is not okay, it can never be okay.

This is not just my opinion. This is my truth.


Thursday, June 9, 2016




AVAILABLE: Thursday, June 16th

[Erotic Alternative Fantasy Romance, M/M, demons, HEA]

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Being summoned was not one of them. Isaac Braden was used to being summoned. He was a demon after all, but the night he was called to service a master in a satanic ritual, he knew his night was not going to end well.

Isaac Braden spends most of his time being a rich recluse, but every so often he's introduced to someone new when he's summoned… a blood sacrifice. And tonight Jory Daniels has been chosen to be that sacrifice.

In a satanic ritual summoning gone wrong, Isaac finds himself eternally bound to Jory. He has to have the man's blood in order to survive. But when Jory wants something in return, can Isaac submit enough to allow it, or will his demon nature take over and cause him to lose the best thing that ever happened to him?

Note: This book was previously published under the title Blood Sacrifice with another publisher. This updated version has been extensively revised and expanded an additional 18,373 words.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Wednesday's Words for June 8, 2016

When I was a growing up, I would sit down almost every evening with my family, which after my 11th birthday consisted of just my mother, my sister and me, to watch television. I suppose the medium was new enough in those days (1965) that the hobby was considered quality family time. Of course, I watched whatever program my mother wanted to see. There was no choice because she decided the agenda, and that was that. I was her remote control, responsible for changing the channel when she needed it changed, and also for pouring her a fresh cup of coffee as required.

Even if, at the time, I was upstairs in my room, reading.

Most of the programs she watched I enjoyed, too. She was a fan of Raymond Burr, so there was “Perry Mason”, and later, “Ironside”. My mom always put an “s” at the end to that title. There were westerns—“Rawhide”, “Paladin” [the show’s actual name was “Have Gun - Will Travel” but to Mother it was “Paladin”], and “Bat Masterson”. She liked “Star Trek”, and “Voyage To The Bottom of The Sea”, the latter being my favorite show when I was a kid.

My mother didn’t just pick dramas to watch, either. She liked some variety shows—Carol Burnett and before her, Milton Berle. She also loved comedy. Her favorite comedians were Berle, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, and Lucille Ball.

 We used to watch episodes of “The Lucy Show”, and I credit that program with helping me to discover something very important about myself: I was capable of being completely mortified on behalf of total strangers. Seriously, there was something about Ball’s comedy that more often than not made me cringe, made me even at times cover my eyes so I didn’t have to see what was happening, or about to happen next. Why? I have no idea. What I can tell you is that I still have that propensity today. I will still feel extreme embarrassment for others—and not just when they’re on a television or movie screen, and not just for comedians, either.

I don’t know what that says about me. You know all those headlines on the Internet such as, “Person X’s most embarrassing moment”, or “Watch what happens when a moment goes horribly wrong”? Yeah, I don’t go there. I really don’t go there.

I suppose having such a highly empathetic sense has been a bonus in my career. I do hear from readers that they always feel as if they’re right there in my books, with my characters. They also tell me, when one of my characters is dealing with a situation that for them hits close to home, that they believe I really get what they’re going through.

I like to think I do, and so I am grateful, even if that sense was developed in part by sitting through some, what was for me, excruciatingly painful early TV shows.

Lately though, I’ve had that sense of wanting to hide my face again as I catch some news clips involving certain political candidates. I honestly don’t believe that some people actually willingly flirt with personal humiliation they way they do, but it’s true. Sometimes, lately, it’s been very cringe-worthy.

Maybe that’s just a sign that I’m getting older.

For good or bad, my television viewing habits were formed early and played a role in my character development. So it’s no surprise that when our kids were smaller, we watched television nearly every single night, just as I had done growing up. The major source of family entertainment for us and our kids, in those days, was our VCR and movie rentals. Some weekends saw us rent as many as three or four movies, which we would then sit down with the kids to watch Friday and Saturday nights.

There wasn’t a lot of communication between us as the movies played, true. But there was something to be said for the time we spent together. And I do believe there was a connection between Friday and Saturday movie nights, and Sunday mornings spent reading and snuggling and hanging out together in Mom and Dad’s bed—all five of us.

Sometimes I miss the good old days—when TV was free, popcorn was cheap, and the open discourse of our leaders, and would-be leaders, was civil and quote-worthy, not cringe-worthy.


Monday, June 6, 2016

Punny on Porpoise...

Yes, I love puns. So shoot me. LOL

The latest installment in my Placida Pod series, Dual Porpoise, is available for pre-order at Siren-BookStrand. This is book five in the series, and it is Wyatt and Marisela's story. It overlaps events that happen in books three and four, and it also fills in some details and backstory about events in my Triple Trouble series. (Did you know books eight and nine are now available in that series?)

Click here to pre-order!

[Siren Everlasting Classic: Erotic Interracial Paranormal Romance, shape-shifters, HEA]

Wyatt Belaforte’s an expat gator shifter from Louisiana. He considers southwest Florida home and the Placida Pod his adopted family. That’s why he doesn’t hesitate to help them out of a jam. He never expected to find a mate in the process. Especially a dolphin shifter mate.

Marisela Esparza’s brother was evil. Fortunately, the Placida Pod doesn’t hold his misdeeds against her, since she was another of his victims. And she doesn’t care about Wyatt being a gator shifter. All she knows is that he’s her mate and she feels safe in his arms.

But heading to Louisiana for the holidays to meet Wyatt’s family stirs up a whole mess of trouble in the bayou. Wyatt’s technically in line to take over the congregation, but his uncle has other ideas. And with Wyatt’s little sister now missing, Marisela is determined to help her mate save his family from the ancient evil trying to infiltrate the alligator congregation’s home territory.

The other books in the series are:

  1. Accidentally on Porpoise
  2. Porpoiseful Intent
  3. Without Porpoise
  4. Porpoisefully Yours
You can find out more about my Triple Trouble series on my website.

And Switchy (Suncoast Society 34, MMF, BDSM) just released last week! :) Book 35 in that series, Rhymes With Orange (MMMF), will release on 7/4. 

Tymber Dalton can be followed through her Siren-BookStrand author page, her Facebook page, Twitter, or her website.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wednesday's Words for June 1, 2016

It’s that time of year when flowers abound—especially at the Ashbury’s. You may recall that after several years of pleading for some blooms, my beloved, our daughter and our son finally got the message, so that I now have gardens once more. I can’t tell you how much this means to me. Of all the things I can no longer manage to do, gardening is the thing I miss the most. Something as simple as no longer being able to get down on the ground and back up again without help has had a tremendous impact on my life. And while I still do a lot around the house, that whole up and down thing you do when you garden isn’t one of them.

I wanted perennials, because this property as a whole is a challenge. If you stand at the very back of our lot, you are actually on the same level as the top of our roof. That “hill” takes up the lion share of our land. That part of our property has been inaccessible to me for ten years, and just lately, has become that way to my husband as well. The best we can do there is have our youngest grandson cut the grass, keeping it neat.

Our tiny front yard is very uneven for walking on, and not very wide from the edge of our front porch to the sidewalk. However, we have spring bulbs planted along the walkway and in front of the porch. We also have a couple of peonies, two lilacs that are very slow growing, and a smattering of lilies-of-the-valley. This year along with the hanging baskets our kids gave me on Mother’s Day, we have not three, but five oblong flower boxes hanging in two tiers off the porch itself. These are filled with pansies. We’ve put a few annuals along the walkway, and once the tulips and narcissi die out, we’ll put some asters there as well. And that rose bush my husband gave me three years ago is still alive, and currently in bud, outside my bedroom window.

But there is one area of our property that we can work with, and that we really have improved upon from a few years ago, and that is our small, fenced-in and relatively flat back yard. My beloved admits that small area is really the most he can manage on his own anymore. He cuts the grass—the lawn is an area not even ten square feet. He’s planted various annuals that we picked up on the Victoria Day Weekend in an ell-shaped garden along two sides of the yard. That same weekend he also planted some perennials: two trilliums that I searched and searched to find, and about 8 gladiola bulbs. He resurrected our gazebo, and put the table and chairs out beneath it.

He’s even wired the gazebo for electricity so we could have a light at night, and so that, if the day is not too hot, I can take my laptop out and write in the fresh air amid nature’s beauty. We also have a barbecue in this small back yard, perfect for those “family dinners” our second daughter loves so well.

I think back to the days when we were starting out, when we lived in the house that had been my mother’s, out in a rural area. We had tree-quarters of an acre, with a couple of dozen trees, big flower beds in the front, and a veggie garden big enough that the neighboring farmer came in the spring with his tractor to plow and then disc it for us.

I miss that place, sentimentally. I miss the umbrella-like canopy of the weeping willow, the sound of the breeze rustling the poplar leaves, and the sight of my laundry stretched out on the clothes lines secured on the poles driven into the very flat land. I miss going out to that veggie garden and plucking a luscious tomato to make a sandwich for lunch, or harvesting fresh beans for supper.

I miss the perennials—daffodils, narcissi, and tulips, the lilacs and the lilies-of-the-valley that grew in such rich abundance that when the breeze came from the north in the spring you could step out onto the verandah and inhale that marvelous bouquet. I miss the tiger lilies and the smoke bush that my mother planted, and the flowering crabs we’d bought her one long ago Mother’s Day.

I miss all that keenly—but it wouldn’t be the same, even if we could go back to that place, because we’re not the same.

So in reality, what we have now is better than those memories. Because what we have now is real, it’s here, and it’s what we can manage.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday's Words for May 25, 2016

I have discovered, since heading back to the gym/pool complex in the next city, that five years when you’re talking 56 to 61 is a whole lot bigger difference in age, than when you’re talking 30 to 35—or even 40 to 45.

I was 56 when I had to give up my daily trips to the pool. At that time, I was swimming 50 lengths of 25 meters for a total of 1,250 meters. Five days a week. It took me roughly an hour to do this. I had to pause briefly at the halfway mark. Otherwise, I just swam. Up and down, up and down, always on my back because I am too ill-coordinated to swim any other way. I loved it then, that time in the pool. I felt younger. I believed this was the secret to getting more fit, easing my arthritis, and guaranteeing my health. I devoted two hours all told out of my day to this endeavor, usually very early in the morning. 

I still love it, but it’s sure not the same experience as it was. First, I’m going later in the day—mid morning. I have no choice in this, because I have to give my body time to wake up, to ensure I won’t have any plumbing issues that day. Yes, I still have a few of those, although they’re nowhere near as severe or debilitating as they were.

I’m aiming for three days a week, not five. I really have too much on my plate to go every day. So Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are my target days. My first day was February 29th, and it completely shocked me that I was only able to swim 100 meters. Now, in my defence, that was after 10 minutes on the treadmill and 10 minutes on the recumbent bike. But still. 4 measly lengths of 25 meters? What a wimp!

I had intended to make up for not going every day by making it a full workout. During my previous regimen, I didn’t even visit that workout area, called the “weight room”. So going forward from my new beginning in February I defined a full workout to mean treadmill and bike, maybe even eventually the elliptical, as well as swimming. However, my arthritis did not like those first two options at all. At the one-month mark, I gave up the treadmill. At the two-month mark, I gave up the bike. It just hurt too darn much to continue. After visiting my doctor this past week, I am going to go back to the recumbent bike for just 2 minutes per visit. It doesn’t sound like much, but I’ve been assured that just two minutes of that different motion from swimming will benefit me. We shall see.

It’s nearly three months since I began this process, and I haven’t gone every single Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Aside from the vacation we took last month, I’ve missed a few days due to being under the weather. But I decided I wasn’t going to fret about the occasional missed day. If I do, I’ll just end up focusing on what I haven’t accomplished, instead of celebrating what I have.

I’m up to 28 lengths of 25 meters, or 700 meters per swim. And that’s taking me more than forty-five minutes to accomplish. I’ve just increased my lengths from 26 to 28. I need to hold to that new benchmark for a few visits before I’m not really straining hard to achieve the goal. So it’ll be another week before I increase the length count to 30.

The most frustrating thing in all of this is that when I get home I have to rest. Like, lying down and closing my eyes kind of rest. I had hoped it wouldn’t take all that long for my body to adjust its level of stamina to the new activity. That’s actually a partial lie. I was certain that it wouldn’t take long for my stamina to increase, to get to the point that I could just do this little thing, then come home, and buzz around like usual and perform my daily “multi-tasking”—that unique blend of housework and writing that is so me.

Unfortunately, it’s looking like I’m going to have to completely restructure my days. Go to bed extra early the night before, and get up extra early the day of, so that I can be certain to get some writing done before the pool. If I don’t do that, the chances of my getting any writing done those days are slim to none, and yes, Slim just left town.

This whole getting older business sure as hell isn’t for the weak of spirit—but it does, truly, beat the alternative. 


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wednesday's Words for May 18, 2016

I’m at that point in my life when I realize that some of my perceptions may be skewed by my age. Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason: they reflect aspects of reality. So the image of the older person mumbling “I don’t understand young people today! Why, back in my day…”

Ah, the power of that “dot dot dot”. Back in my day, a lot of things were different than they are today. I’ve been trying to figure out what the major difference is—could those differences really be nothing more than my own perceptions, or are they real?

That’s a serious question, because one of the things that’s not as sharp as it once was, is my memory. I’ve unloaded a lot of stuff from my mental main frame. Some of that unloading was deliberate. It made no sense to me to hang onto memories that left me stinging. It’s truly a waste of time reliving hurtful moments, when they are over and done with and there is nothing that can ever be done to change them. Except, of course, taking away their power to hurt me over and over again by getting rid of them.

So I want to ask y’all, is it just my perception that people don’t seem to care anymore about the quality of the work they do for the wages they’re paid?

My daughter has a continuous hassle with her employer. They keep making mistakes on her pay check. Aside from putting in a full day seeing clients, she is also “on call” nearly every day from about 5:30am to 9 am—one of the places she goes in the community is a long term care facility for the aged. Inevitably co-workers will call in sick on any given day. Whether she fills in for others or not, the on-call is a bonus that she’s to be paid on every pay check. There is also a mileage bonus, because she is a PSW (Personal Support Worker in Canada, Nurses’ Aide in the U. S.) in the community and must use her vehicle to get from client to client. On a regular basis, one or both of these are missing from her pay, because the one person who’s in charge of forwarding the payroll information to head office repeatedly forgets to include them.

When I worked in payroll, if you screwed up a person’s pay, you made it right on pay day with a check. That was people’s rent, and their groceries, and shoes for their children. They counted on that money and if I screwed it up, I was expected to make it right.

The reaction my daughter gets is a shrug, and “oh well”, and she has to wait until the next pay day to get what they missed on the last pay day—oh, and yes, that makes that week’s tax deductions higher which of course, they say, will all balance out, eventually, at tax time in the spring…

Y’all recall the fiasco of my television repair a couple of years ago? I forget how long we fought for that (I let most of that stuff go, see above). Now we’ve had a similar experience with that new furnace/AC unit we got last winter.

When they installed it all in December, they discovered they brought the wrong breaker for the power box for the air conditioner. The furnace was good to go, and has done a wonderful job keeping us warm for less money, just as advertised. The installers said they would be back the next day, two at most, with the right part, to finish the installation of the Central Air unit.

They didn’t come back. Not that week, not the next…

I called in February and the person to whom I spoke was SHOCKED that no one had gotten back to me. She put me on hold and then came back on the line, and assured me the service manager himself was going to order that part today. It would either come here, or there, at the office. If we received the part, I was to call immediately and they would send someone out to install it…

On April 19th I called and relayed the activity to date with regard to that missing part that had never shown up. They promised to send someone out on April 21. They did. That gentleman went downstairs and took pictures of the panel, so that the office would know what part to order. He assured me the service manager (and here he actually gave me the man’s name) would be in contact with me. I informed him at the time that the next week we were going out of the country for a few days. “Oh, don’t worry,” said that service man. “He’ll contact you tomorrow, the next day at the latest” …

When we returned from Vegas, I checked my phone messages, and nada. So I called them immediately, and they apologized, and promised to send someone out Monday May 9, between 8 and 11; at 11:10 I called because no one had shown up or called, they apologized, said the service team was running behind, but someone would be there shortly. However, ten minutes later when I checked my e-mail I found a confirmation of my appointment in a new time window: 8 am to 5 pm (this was just after noon hour).

I got a call an hour later from the service manager himself, apologizing and promising to be out next day (Tuesday May 10th) between 2 and 4 pm…

This story has a happy ending. After no shows and no calls to me on Tuesday, and my calls and their assurances on Wednesday for Thursday with again, a no show, the technicians finally arrived…on Friday, May 13th.

Note the date. It’s always been a relatively lucky one for me. And yes, the a/c is in working order. Now, if only the weather would co-operate so I could enjoy it.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wednesday's Words for May 11, 2016

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything, anywhere, like the wildfire eating it’s way across the northern part of the western Canadian province of Alberta. Approximately 90,000 people were evacuated from the city of Fort McMurray and its surrounding area. Thousands of homes and businesses have been destroyed.

The videos taken by those passing through what was the Beacon Hill neighborhood of the city are surreal to watch. Streets are lined with concrete driveways leading to nowhere and ending in unrecognizable piles of charred debris. Some vehicles left parked along the street in this residential neighbourhood are nothing more than burned out shells of metal. Later videos show a line of demarcation of sorts—houses on one side of a street virtually untouched while on the other side of the street, lays complete devastation.

Families fled, most with only the clothes on their backs. To escape the conflagration, residents had to run a fiery gauntlet along Provincial highway 63—the only route south out of town—the trees and grass ablaze on both sides of the road. I can’t imagine the terror they experienced as they started out on their quest for safety. Some cars and trucks were abandoned on the side of the road, because they ran out of gas. The fire is still burning, still enormous and out of control, although it appears to be moving away from the city. The temperatures have dropped and some rain has fallen, both of which are blessings. It’s still too soon for people to be allowed back into the city of course, so for now Fort McMurray—which had been completely evacuated—resembles the abandoned set of a disaster movie.

In a news release yesterday, the fire chief reported that about 85 percent of the city was intact. While there has been no fire related deaths or serious injuries, two young people were killed in an automobile accident, as the pair were driving to flee the area. The young woman who lost her life, a ninth grade student, was the daughter of a firefighter, a man on duty battling the flames.

It really could have been much, much worse, and I guess until that fire is out, it still could be.

Eventually the time will come for people to return to Fort McMurray and then the real work will begin—and the reality will settle in for some that all they owned, all they’ve spent their lives building, is now gone.

The Canadian Red Cross has sent out an urgent appeal for donations, and people here have responded in a magnificent way. I believe it is important for everyone who can, to give something. You might not think your ten dollars or even five dollars can make a difference: but thousands of people who can only give five or ten dollars, together contribute millions. Already more than 30 million dollars have been raised, but much more is and will be needed.

The Canadian government, led by Prime Minister Trudeau, has pledged to match donations dollar for dollar, which means your five dollars immediately becomes ten, and your ten, twenty.

I happen to know that Americans who are so inclined can also contribute to the Canadian Red Cross, because several of my friends south of the border have already done so. One friend reminded me that she’d been aware of Canadian donations in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and she said she wanted to return the favor.

Cynics would have us believe that during apocalyptic events, humanity shows itself at it’s worst. That has never been my view. Yes, in moments of crises, there might be some people who take advantage, who steal and loot, but that’s not the most of us. It’s only some of us. Most of us, if given the opportunity, will reach out to our fellow human beings and offer a hand up. Most of us respond when asked to help, knowing that all of us are at risk of being in need. Fate is capricious and no respecter of gender, age, or environment. None of us can state with any kind of assurance that tragedy or crises will never happen to us.

Please keep the people of Fort McMurray, and the firefighters—some whom are now there from other towns and provinces—in your thoughts and prayers.

Prayers work, and are as necessary for recovery and survival as are donations.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wednesday's Words for May 4, 2016

We’re back home from our five-day vacation in Las Vegas.

My husband had warned me before we left that I wouldn’t recognize the place when I got there, and boy, was he ever right. I’d expected the city to be more than it had been the last time I was there, in 2002. I hadn’t realized that it would also be less.

The first more, of course, was the airport. The last time I was there, it was a much smaller enterprise. It only makes sense that if the city had grown, the airport would have had to grow, too. Without a doubt there are more hotels and casinos in Vegas than I’d imagined. The first time I ever walked down Las Vegas Boulevard, there was actually space between the hotels, and empty lots to boot. We watched them building the Mirage and the Excalibur—the latter looking like a real palace set on majestic grounds. I remember telling David that I so wanted to stay there, next time.

That beautiful hotel, so unique, seemed dwarfed by all the massive structures surrounding it.

We rented his and her matching scooters and went up and down the strip a few times. We could have been in nearly any tourist city in the United States, except for the very occasional glimpse of the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains in the distance.

Our first visit there, you could view the mountains all around you. To me, who’d never seen a mountain before, it was a stunning sight, far more stunning than the neon lights could ever be. It was one of my best memories of that trip, mountains in every direction. I’m so glad I have that memory, still.

The casinos were a lot less noisy than they used to be since the advent of modern technology. I was told there were a couple of old style casinos down on Fremont Street that still used coins, but we didn’t check it out when we were down there. Along with being less noisy, the casinos on the strip were a hell of a lot less busy. There was no searching and searching for a 25 cent slot machine that was available. They mostly all were.

When we visited Fremont Street, to take in the Fremont Street Experience, my sensory receptors were overwhelmed. But what an amazing time! The overhead light show, the pounding music, the overhead zip lines with people soaring past, the street performers, and yes, the crazies! I was so glad we went there. Those casinos, by the way, were a lot busier than the ones on “The Strip”.

I don’t want you to think even for one minute, that these less crowded hotel-casinos aren’t making money. The price of the food and sundries surely made up for whatever gaming revenues might be lacking.

We found only one casino where they still had live Keno, although we heard there was a second. It was a nice blast from the past to sit there, my beloved and I, for a couple of hours, just as we had done on that long ago honeymoon trip. Turned out to be profitable for us, too. We left that lounge with more than we’d spent there.

The biggest “less” I discovered could likely be considered subjective. As we roamed here and there it struck me that Las Vegas was less charming than it had been. Oh, the staff of the hotels and casinos tried, but how can you give a personal touch, in such an impersonal, and blatantly commercialized environment? The slots and table games were always there to take your money with no apology—but you felt you were a winner when you could grab a 99 cent breakfast, morning, noon or night. In today’s Las Vegas, everyone and everything is there to take your money, and not only that, they want you to say thank-you for the experience.

If you’re older and planning to go to Sin City, do get yourself a mobility cart. We rented ours right at the hotel, and they make going up and down the Boulevard, or even navigating your hotel, much easier. And by the way, I meant up and down, literally, as there are several pedestrian “bridges” to navigate along Las Vegas Boulevard, accessible thanks to the many elevators.

I was able to meet with the readers I’d promised to meet, and that was pure joy for me. I cherish that more than anything else we did here, and as that was the main reason we traveled to Nevada in the first place, I feel this vacation was a resounding success.

Will I ever go back there? At this moment, as my head is still reeling with the people, the sights, the sounds, and the smells, I’m inclined to say, probably not. Las Vegas may indeed be touted as a city for people of all ages, and that’s true as far as it goes.

But this 61-year-old woman really believes it’s a destination meant for a younger generation.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wednesday's Words for April 27, 2016

Las Vegas, here we come!

We leave tomorrow for five days in that city in the desert. This will be our first trip this year, and my first trip since undergoing surgery last fall. We were supposed to visit Las Vegas last year, as I had every intention of attending a readers’ event in the spring that was being held there. Unfortunately, it became clear by mid-February that I wouldn’t be able to travel just yet. If it weren’t for the medication my doctor put me on at the beginning of April, I wouldn’t have been able to make that all-important trip to Texas in May.

I was disappointed to miss that reader’s conference, of course. I cherish any opportunity to attend where readers may be, and that’s especially true when I plan to meet with a member of my street team, as I planned to do last April.

But life happens and sometimes plans fall through. I promised the lovely woman I was hoping to meet that I would visit Vegas this year. I try very hard to keep my promises.

This will be my third trip to this city, and David’s fourth. The first one was in 1989. It was our honeymoon which we took on our 17th wedding anniversary. We only had a weekend at a local hotel when we got married, and that had been a gift from my brother. Our Vegas better-late-than-never honeymoon was also the occasion of my first flight. I remember, that when the plane touched down at McCarron International Airport and I got my first glimpse of palm trees, I cried. I’d never believed I would ever see a palm tree, or take a flight, or travel, period. I certainly never imagined I would go on to travel as much as we have. Growing up, I was taught that a vacation trip was something that happened every few years, if you were lucky.

Thinking back, I believe that was because (aside from priorities of the day), travel was relatively more expensive then that it is now. It took far greater of a percentage of your wages to pay for a family or even a couple’s vacation than it does today.

Our second trip to that city happened in the spring of 2002, just a few months before my heart attack. The quarry where my husband works was still family owned at that time. One of the bosses always attended the ConAggExpo which is held every three years in Las Vegas. They had previously taken an employee or two with them, usually senior people. This time, the boss’ oldest son, Randy and his wife were going, and they invited David and me to go with them. That was simply amazing and very generous, for them to pay the whole tab. And I thought it spoke volumes when they got choked up that we insisted on treating them to dinner while we were there. I would imagine even rich people like to be treated from time to time. The other very clear memory I have of that trip was seeing Cirque du Soleil. I was sitting beside Randy, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone as awed as he was.

On both of those previous trips, I did gamble some. It was, after all, a part of the experience. Having seen the original Ocean’s Eleven (made in 1960 and which I’ve only seen in glorious black and white), I’d imagined the Vegas casino as a place of glamour and glitter. We did dress up one night on that first trip because I had brought a couple of really nice outfits and even though most people were just in resort wear in the casinos at night, I had to have that one night of long-held dream fulfillment. 

I’m not much of a fan of gambling anymore. Between those two excursions and a few red-eye jaunts to Atlantic City, I think I got it all out of my system. I may buy a lottery ticket, but I haven’t even visited our local casino in more than three years. There are games on line that I like to play, and most don’t cost a cent. We’ll likely gamble some while we are there this time, as we both like keno, and I may even indulge myself with a spin or two at the roulette table. But it’ll be under the heading of entertainment, for both of us. I’m past the age where I expect or even want to win a fortune.

This trip mainly will be for meeting good friends for the first time, and for taking time, just the two of us, to recharge our batteries.

That is, after all, what vacations are all about.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wednesday's Words for April 20, 2016

With me, what you see is what you get. That’s right, I am probably one of the original WYSIWYGs. Forgive the caps. My computer grammar program insisted upon them.

I don’t put on airs. I don’t cheat, I don’t lie—well, sometimes I lie to myself, but I’m working on that; and sometimes I might not tell you the truth if I’m trying to spare your feelings, but that will be about something totally superficial. If you feel really good about how you look that is far more important than my subjective opinion.

I don’t know how many times I have been told, through my life, to “not tell other people my business”. I never could get a really good answer as to why I shouldn’t let people see where I screwed up. I believe in being transparent, because…well, because I do. I always let people see me, warts and all. I’m past 60 so I’m not likely to change. And I hope that if I do change it is for the better.

I’ve been through enough crap and lived through the consequences of enough bad decisions (my own) in my life to have come to the conclusion that honesty, humility and kindness were the best traits for me to aspire to have. I’ll tell you quite plainly my choice to do so was selfish. I wanted to be the best me I could be.

I knew I would never be beautiful; I knew I would never be skinny, or rich, or exceptionally clever. So going after any of those goals would have been a waste of time. I could never have achieved them, so all I’d get for my efforts would be constant disappointment and unrelenting frustration. Who needs those two negatives dogging them everyday?

I don’t really need to be any of those things, anyway. I need to have a roof over my head, and I do. I need to help provide for my family, and I do. I need to help others, and I do that when I can. I’m blessed because as I look around I know I have all that I need to have—and I even get a few extras, things I don’t need but thoroughly enjoy. I am blessed and highly favored!

And I am still working on being the best me I can be, because I am not there yet. I stumble, and sometimes fall hard on my ass, leaving ego bruises that take a long time to heal. Now, I don’t want anyone to get the idea that I am perfect, or even that I aspire to be so. I am still capable of making the most colossally stupid mistakes you could ever imagine. And there are days when I have the worst attitude of anyone you’ve ever met!

 My bitchiness is legendary—but fortunately, not on display very often. When it does rear its very ugly head, and I feel really awful because of it, I recall words my mother once said. At the time we were a household of three females. I couldn’t have been more than 13. My sister, six and a half years older, was at that point in her life when she was in possession of all of the secrets of the universe, and was never wrong. She liked to prod me, and she liked to nag me because even at 13, I was overweight. On this one particular occasion I thought I was going to get punished by my mother—and get it good. I don’t remember what my sister said or did, but I’d apparently had enough, and told her, in an exceptionally loud voice, to shut the hell up and leave me alone. I stomped up the stairs to my bedroom. If my door had been capable of it, I’d have slammed it.

I stewed for a couple of minutes, and then I just had to know how much trouble I was in, because in our house you didn’t talk like that. I could hear my sister complaining to our mother. I slinked out of my room, and got down on the floor beside the air vent that was just a grate between the upstairs and the downstairs. Just in time to hear my sister demand: “Well? Aren’t you going to do something about her?”

I’ll never forget my mother’s response. Her voice very matter-of-fact, she said, “No, I’m not.”

My sister clearly didn’t like not having her request/order ignored. “Why not? You can’t let her get away with being so rude!” In case you were wondering she was one of the people who taught me how to be bitchy—but I digress.

I heard my mother sigh, and then those very understanding words—words that from her were rare, indeed. “Everyone is entitled to be in a bad mood from time to time.”

Words of understanding from my mother that I held dear then, and now. And a lesson in acceptance that took me longer to learn than it should have.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER: Seeing is Believing

True Blood Mate 6
AVAILABLE: Thursday, April 21st

[Erotic Alternative Paranormal Romance, M/M, vampires, shape-shifters, HEA]

“I need you, Ian” ... Those words haunt Ian Kline, mostly because he has no idea who whispered them. Ian has been dreaming about him for weeks. Each night the dreams grow stronger, more alluring, and yet Ian can never quite see his lover's face...until someone arrives to challenge Ian for leadership of his coven.

Billy spent the majority of his life as the pet of a coven leader. At night, he entered a fantasy world where his mate kept him safe from the horrors of his daily life. When his master challenges Ian Kline for leadership of his coven, Billy knows his duty and attacks, but it's a death offense to interfere in a challenge and that's exactly what Billy does when he kills the man that had held him prisoner for nearly twenty years

Recognizing that mating bond between them, Ian acts to bind them together and save his mate from execution. Keeping Billy out of trouble quickly becomes a full time job when someone from Billy's past tries to break that bond. With misunderstandings and a new threat around every corner, Ian and Billy have their hands full just trying to hold on to each other. Staying alive might be impossible.

Wednesday's Words for April 13, 2016

There is nothing on this earth harder for us to deal with than the death of a loved one. Losing family members is the worst among human experiences, and these losses stay with us a lifetime—some of the holes left in our hearts will never be filled. Having a best friend die can rock your world. It’s really hard to lose pets, too. What all these losses have in common of course, is love. We love others, and in so doing, we make ourselves hostages to their fortunes. We risk great emotional pain when we risk our hearts. We know that every living creature will die; we will die. We know this and yet the reality of death always hits us hard. We are never truly ready for that kind of heartache.

But how could we do anything else but love, and therefore, mourn when our loved ones die? A life devoid of attachments, of friendships, of family, even of pets—such a life is barely worth living, is it? You may protect yourself from pain by living in a bubble, but you also deny yourself joy, and that soul deep heavenly manna of loving, and being loved.

We were created to love. We were created to feel. We were never meant to live our lives in isolation, apart, lonely and alone. We were created to live with others, to connect with others. When you meet that one person who reaches you, touches you, and who you believe you’re meant to spend the rest your life with—a miracle happens. Two people unite their hearts and minds and souls, and become so much more than just two individual human beings. The whole they create truly is greater than the sum of their parts. Even just the two of them, together, they become a family.

The family is the basis of our societal structure for a reason. Any kind of human creation be it physical or otherwise, needs a strong, unshakable base. That, in essence, is what the family is to society. It is the base, it is the foundation, and yes, it is also the beneficiary of the society and the institutions it braces.

We create our institutions to serve us—to serve people, and most usually, people living in families.

No matter how many times you suffer the loss of those you love—be they family or friends or yes, even pets, it never gets easier. And I think it really shouldn’t get easier. People should matter to us, relationships should matter to us, not only in the day to day of living—their passing should matter to us, too. But it still hurts. The pain of loss cuts deeper than any other emotional pain we can suffer.

Knowing this, we could avoid that pain. We could choose to live a more sterile existence. We could keep our walls high, and some people do just that. They close themselves off from making new friends, or even from forming closer attachments to their family members so they can’t be hurt so badly when they die.

I know a lot of people who refuse to have pets for the simple reason that pets die. I understand that choice, but it makes me sad. You deny yourself the unconditional love a dog will give you when you don’t allow yourself to have one. You deny yourself hours of contentment you receive from cradling a purring cat, when you refuse to have one, just to avoid the pain of losing it.

That is, as I said, one choice you could make on how to live. But there’s another, and in my mind, better way to live.

You could say to hell with being cautious. You can choose to live a full life, rich with experiences and love, rich with every emotion under the sun. Laugh with your whole body; cry when your heart breaks; celebrate when you win some of life’s battles. Breathe deeply, savor the flavors, live your life as if every single day is the most precious gift you will ever receive.

Because, guess what? It is.

Seize the day. There will be tragedy, but also triumph. There will be sadness, but also great joy. And really, experiencing the former allows you to recognize and cherish the latter. Sadness and tragedy make joy and triumph all that much sweeter.

Life is for living and laughing and loving. Work hard. Do what’s right. Live with no regrets.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

New Interview at Fiona McVie's Blog!

I'm pleased and ecstatic to announce my latest interview is now live!
Check out Fiona McVie's blog here to read in its entirety:

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Wednesday's Words for April 6, 2016

Mother Nature is definitely menopausal. All you have to do is look around to know that. I don’t know if anyone’s keeping a journal, but it seems to me that there have not been too many days in the last two years when violent weather of one kind or another wasn’t striking somewhere in the United States. Each night we watch one of the U. S. national newscasts, and each night we shake our heads and try to make sense out of the constant pounding y’all are taking down there. The same system that is spewing snow and ice in one part of the country is also generating record rainfall and gale force winds in another. High winds, hail and even snowfalls have become commonplace where they never have been before. It’s enough to make you want to curl into a ball and pull the covers over your head, isn’t it?

On this past Monday morning we woke up here to about 8 inches of snow. April snow is not unheard of here in southern Ontario. Heck, we’ve had snow in May in past years, and I know that. I remember that. And really, with the wacky and somewhat wimpy winter we’ve had this year, I guess we should have expected it. I’m not complaining, though, because so many others have had it so much worse over the last several months. My part of the so-called frozen north has been downright temperate in comparison to areas that generally truly are temperate. But hell—I had to put the ice claw back on my cane, which makes the cane heavy.

Personally, I don’t understand how anyone can doubt the science of climate change.

Everything seems to be different from a decade or so ago. Not just our weather, but our technology, and our political landscape have all changed. Reality has changed and the result of all these changes is that our illusion of safety has been ripped away from us. Yes, I said illusion, because life has always been fragile and uncertain, but being the kind of creatures we are, we manage to find ways to fool ourselves that it’s not. We create routines and patterns in our lives, so that they become our way of life, and for the most part we skip along blissfully unaware of the turmoil that lives just blocks away from us.

We’re moles who find nice little hidey-holes to hide in. That is, until someone comes along with a big excavator, changes our scenery—and then we have to scramble to find new holes to hide in all over again. That takes time and energy and in the interim, we shiver and shake with our insecurity.

Because of the uncertainty that plagues us during these times especially, we need some things in our lives that are constant and don’t change. We need anchors in our lives, something to hold onto, something to ground us while we have our faces turned into the storm—or maybe our backs braced against it.

For me, the one thing I cling to are my relationships with other people. My family comes first in this regard, followed by my friends. I’m going to stand center stage here and tell y’all that it’s always been so, and I’ve always been aware, that my friendships often are far more important to me than they are to the people I am in those friendships with. That doesn’t bother me overly much, because we’re all different, with different priorities and different ways of seeing the world. People matter to me very much, likely because I was so young when I lost my dad.

I’ve been chided by my family for putting too much faith in other people, and told, in fact, that doing so will only lead to disappointment and heartache. And I have been reminded of this by them especially when, as should be expected, from time to time those friends I’ve been invested in have let me down—or unexpectedly simply walked out of my life.

My family members are not being mean to me when they say this, they just wish to protect me from getting my feelings hurt over and over again. I appreciate that, but what they don’t quite get is that the value to me in these relationships is not what I get from them.

It’s what I give to them that defines and grounds me.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesday's Words for March 30, 2016

I don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for my vibrant and yes, somewhat offbeat and often quirky sense of humor. Life is hard, and if you couldn’t laugh at yourself and the way you end up on your ass from time to time, how would you get through it? I’ve heard it said that the human body cannot produce laughter and ulcers at the same time – that it’s chemically impossible for it to do so. I don’t know if that’s true, or not. But it sure sounds as if it should be.

It’s hard not to be tense in these times. It’s also hard to, as they say, “not let the turkeys get you down”. Like everything else in life, keeping a good sense of humor, and exercising it on a regular basis is a decision.

But it’s a decision well made.

My daughter and I are in our fifth week of our fitness regimen. Most days we go together, but some days because of her schedule, she meets me there. The facility is beautiful, and though we have missed a couple of days due to being under the weather, we don’t either of us let that bother us. A missed day does not a regimen break. And trust me, over the last few weeks we’ve each had plenty to chuckle about as we’ve tried to get back into the swing of things. Even self-depreciating laughter helps.

On Monday, when we’d finished the last element of our routine—the swim—we were relaxing in the hydro-therapy pool, which we do every time we go there. This is a hot tub with jets, and is about twice the size of any one I’ve seen at any hotel. It isn’t as hot as a regular Jacuzzi, just warm enough to help sore and recently worked muscles. A father was bringing his small daughter, complete with water wings, into the pool. The child’s mother was already in the water, so daddy lifted her, intending to hand her over. The moment her small body cleared the edge of the pool, the toddler began to pump her legs, mid-air, for all she was worth.

Jenny and I burst out laughing, because we were both reminded of our puppies being lowered into the bathtub.

Watching kids play is a good way to grab yourself some lighter mood. They are totally invested in their world, and in that world there is nothing but play. Do you still play? Maybe not in the sandbox, but do you take time to just have fun? It’s a difficult habit to cultivate, because the adult in us insists that we need to be serious and do what needs doing and not waste any time! I just love those memes on Face Book, that talk about being too tired to “adult” today. Aside from making me smile, they tell me I’m not the only one to feel that way, and that’s always a comfort.

I was beginning to fall into the trap of thinking that the time spent at the gym and the pool—about nine hours a week counting travel time—was infringing on my more serious and important “work time”. It took me a couple of weeks to convince myself that if I just stick with it for a few more weeks, then my energy will improve so that the time I do spend working will in fact be more productive. It’s getting there. Already, my daughter has confessed she isn’t nearly as tired during her work day as she was pre-exercise program. It does this mother’s heart good when her child who is not a child can admit that her mom was right, after all.

It is hard to keep your sense of humor in fit shape, just as it’s hard to keep your body that way. And like your body, if you let your humor go without proper exercise, it takes a while for you to get it back where it should be.

I have a no-fail prescription for that situation. It’s my go-to emergency plan when I feel myself falling into a bad mood, or when I am just really sad, and I don’t want to be that way anymore. Yes, sadness and even bad moods have their place and their purpose. But they’re like going to the toilet. Everybody does it but nobody wants to stay there all day, or even dwell on the experience beyond what’s necessary.

So go to YouTube and look for laughing babies. Just like laughter and ulcer formation can’t co-exist, neither can your down mood and laughing baby videos.

They’ll get you cracking up, every time.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Angelic Forecast from Volcano ~ March 28, 2016

Straight from the Carnal Cherub himself... 

Due to circumstances beyond my control, the Weekly Angelic Forecast from Volcano HAS BEEN SUSPENDED. FOR NOW. 

Monday 21, 2016 ~ Beloved Ones, these times on planet Earth will go into a rapid-fire chaos. Great deeds will be yours to do during this epic turning-point.  Know that echoes of 1776 are upon you. Grab this destiny that is freedom for ALL of humanity. ~All Love From the Between-Time Dimension~ 

Monday 14, 2016 ~ A reminder ... Dearest Humanity, Hold Tight To Your Divine Right To Be Forever Free ... Free In Mind, Free of Heart, Free To Be the Creative Spirit You Are. ~All Love From the Between-Time Dimension~ 

March 7, 2016 ~ During this powerful time of a New Moon Eclipse, look to your inner knowing. This spiritual door inside yourself opens ever wider. For, the time has come to learn how to trust yourself, and your wisdom, in much greater ways. Beloved Ones On Earth, Step into a Greater You. ~All Our Love From the Between-Time Dimension~ 

February 29, 2016 ~ Beloved Ones On Earth, May You Know Every Blessing This Leap Year. The Divine time has come to leap over those hurdles that have stopped you in the past. For, you are more than you have ever believed. ~All Our Love From the Between-Time Dimension~ 

February 22, 2016 ~ To the Beloved Ones of Earth, may the Full Snow Moon light your pathway in life. And may the moonlight grace your beloved's face. For, this is a time to know and receive love. ~All Our Love From the Between-Time Dimension~ 

February 15, 2016 ~ To the Beloved Ones of Earth, know the time of earning your freedom, and taking back your liberty from those who would steal it from you, has come. If you would be free, stand with the heroic renegades among you. 

February 8, 2016 ~ To the Beloved Ones of Earth, Stay Close To Your Families. If You Feel the Urge To Move From a Troubled Area, Act Upon It, and Know You Are Guided. ~All Our Love From the Between-Time Dimension~ 

February 1, 2016 ~ Earth Humans, Frequencies From the Great Divine Are Lifting Your Soul and Spirit Ever Higher. This Gift Is Meant To Sustain You Through the Difficult Times Ahead. ~All Our Love From the Between-Time Dimension~ 

January 25, 2016 ~ Great fearsome challenges are before you, Dearest Humanity. Hold tight to each other. Love each other, and prepare for superspeed, massive, worldwide changes. The time has arrived. ~All Our Love From the Between-Time Dimension~ 

To those who live in the land of my birth, America... May You Have a HAPPY AND EXCEPTIONAL NEW YEAR. ~All Love To You~ 

Our lives settle into a new rhythm over the following days. Dhuroth and I have decided to keep the River of Light at a minimal flow for the sake of others – and to travel back to Mars if need be. If... the rampaging evil is, or can be contained. 

With interdimensional portals we are able to watch the unfolding events on both Mars and Earth... and in the surrounding solar system. Our prayers are often, said for the good souls, for all of life – spoken for the planets, their beautiful animals and  vegetation. 

All life is Sacred. 

For now, all of us in this out-of-time dimension, must live fully and let our lights shine. That is how we will increase the goodness in the Universe at large. That is how we will win real freedom for ALL. In the great span of eternal time. 

And so our story, mine and my lion man's, ends for now...  Yet, we will always remain, ready to assist the people of Earth and Mars. 


Angelic blessings from Volcano & Sedona

Warning!!! The global elite [New World Order] does not want *you* to read this book. See ~ Powerful Dreams at my Kougar Kisses blog. 


~~~ Where angels fear to tread, 2012 Earth ~~~ 

World weary and worn out, the incarnated angel, Sedona, who believes she is merely human, has three choices after her old van breaks down.

Let the Nazerazzi squad of the North American Union capture her and force her into a FEMA concentration camp.

Walk out into the Arizona night desert, let the wildlife have a good meal with the hope her death will be quick.

Or does she dare trust the mysterious stranger suddenly before her?

Handsome as sin and all in black, he emerges out of the darkness.

Sedona wonders if the stranger on a superspeed motorcycle is her savior from the brutal endtimes.

Or, is he a roving cult member of the New World Order, hunting his next blood sacrifice?


It’s only a few days before Winter Solstice, December 21, 2012 ~ The end of the Mayan Calendar.

Sent from heaven to help Sedona save humanity, Zerr Dann knows the Divine is playing its last card on Earth.

He also knows Sedona is about to find out Christmas miracles still exist.

[Angelic Fantasy Erotic Romance] 

~~~ EBOOK & IN PRINT ~~~ a former #1 on Siren-BookStrand’s bestseller list

Author Discovery by BookStrand author, Lindsay Townsend


Kisses from Savanna Kougar...

~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Siren-BookStrand Author of ~ 

All Shades of Blue Paradise
[World of the Blue Pearl Moon, Book 1]

When a Good Angel Falls ~ In Print
[Winter Solstice 2012, Book 1]

Murder by Hair Spray in Gardenia, New Atlantis ~ In Print
[New Atlantis Trilogy, Book 1]

Her Insatiable Dark Heroes ~ In Print
[Chrontropolis, Book 1]

Stallion of Ash and Flame ~ In Print

Branded by the Texans ~ IN PRINT ~ A Siren-BookStrand Bestseller!
[Three Star Republic]

Kandy Apple and Her Hellhounds ~  What happens when two of Hades’ most mission-accomplished Hellhounds find just the right witch for Halloween? ~ Ebook and In Print.