Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Celebrating Christmas

Hello, everyone. I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, what with DH’s surgery and the new job.

Our tree

With Christmas knocking at the door, I feel like I was caught in a whirlwind. The past seven years we’ve spent Xmas wherever our trucking happened to take us, mainly out on the road. A couple of years we landed in Las Vegas, another time in a hotel in Grand Island, NE, where we had a White Christmas with blowing snow at 60 mph. My fingers still tingle when I think of how many times we had to brave the ice and the cold to start the truck to keep the batteries from dying. We took turns and it was hard to warm up afterwards. Other times, the date just went by between truck stops and one shipper and another.


This year is special. Even though we don’t get to spend it with all the family, my DD2 is coming up with the 5 month old grandson. I’m very excited. Haven’t done Christmas shopping in forever (and after dealing with some of the crowds, I definitely do NOT miss it!), unless you call a quick tour of a truck stop to check out sales or, if really lucky, plan a stop at a truck-friendly Wal-Mart along one of the interstates we traveled.

Love the fireplace!

Family traditions, sharing and giving are an inherent part of Christmas celebrations. And I don’t mean the commercial part. Life choices have led me down a path where these traditions and times of togetherness have been few and far in between but cherished, nevertheless. DH always finds a way to make these times even more special, but then, he does that all the time. I’ve been blessed, and I believe counting your blessings is something we should do every day, not just during Christmas.


I plan to have a blast this Christmas. I know the only constants in life are change and death, I learned this year how sudden and without warning things happen, how they turn your world around and reshape you, and how you have no control over them.


My commitment is to be a bit kinder, more patient, smile a lot and focus on the positive; spread a little cheer around while baking cookies and wrapping gifts and spending precious time with loved ones.


Do you have family traditions or plan to start new ones? I love to hear from you so drop me a comment.


Merry Christmas and God bless!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Being Thankful

Hi, everyone. Hope you guys had a wonderful Memorial Day Holiday.


Today I wanted to talk a little bit about thankfulness and second chances. My husband, Richard, went to the doctor for a regular follow-up visit. Next thing we know, he’s in under the knife and needing four bypasses. Crazy, right? Tell me about it. The blockages in his arteries (all the main ones) was so severe that the odds were not good at all.

My better half

It was a pretty scary time. Looking back, those uncertain hours are like a blur in my mind. The hardest part, though, was that last hug, right before they took him away. I wanted to somehow convey my love and hope and fears through that touch and not breakdown so he wouldn’t see how terrified I was. The way he held me, like he would never let go, broke my heart.


So five days later, back at home, there are so many things I’m grateful for. I’m grateful that family came to share those black moments with me. Their love and support made me stronger to be the rock my husband needs at this time. I’m grateful God guided the hands of the surgeon and Richard is not only alive but his recovery is going great. I’m grateful that we were at a hospital where the nurses and the techs and everyone else were committed to giving him the best possible care. I’m grateful for all the friends that called, messaged and/or texted to see how he was doing and offer help and support. One of the many positive uses of Social Media.


I am thankful that the road ahead stretches as far as the horizon and then some more. That I have a second chance with my soul mate and I intend to make sure it lasts as long as it can. Of course, this means a lot of hard work on many levels, his recovery being the main one right now. I think we’re up to it.


What about you? Have you had a close call with a loved one? What are you thankful for? I’d love to hear from you.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Nano 2012 Update

So far so good. Four days into the month and I find I'm keeping up with the word count.

Don't know for how long, though, as the roads get bumpier and we're go, go, go, non-stop until after January. But I'm hanging in there, hopeful. Got a plan and so far I'm having a blast.

Smiling me
But it's only the beginning, so I'm sure somewhere along the line my poor hubby is going to scream for help, for someone to save him from the dragon lady I'm sure to become.

Pretty tame, isn't it? Ha!

So I'll leave you guys with the thought that one should never, ever give up on one's dreams.

 Happy writing!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Nano 2012

I did it! I really did! I signed up for Nano 2012!

Nano stands for National Novel Writing Month and the goal is to write a 50K novel (of course you can do more!) in 30 days.

Here's a link in case you would like to join me in such a crazy endeavour: National Novel Writing Month. Oh yes, I know it's crazy. Specially with our schedule. But I'm looking forward to the experience and the craziness and the results.

I've been reading quite a bit on how to prepare for it. There is tons of advice out there for newbies and even experienced Nano participants. From what I've gathered, between the dire predictions of 30 sleepless nights and completely alienating one's family, it's a good thing to have as loose an outline as one is comfortable with, some character development and all the provisions required to hunker down for 30 days of absolute madness. Sounds like a jolly good time, doesn't it?

So how about it? Are you planning to participate? Why or why not? And if you are, are you a newbie? Do you have any tips to share with us?

I love hearing from you guys!

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Crocodile in the Living Room!

A crocodile where? What?
A couple of days ago I read a post by talented author Joanne Wadsworth while she was vacationing in Fiji. She mentioned how she was forced to play the hero by her young son (her husband was conveniently unavailable at that moment) to a couple of frogs stranded in a small rowing boat. Her tale made me laugh because, of course, she is not fond of frogs.
I thought I would share a tale that to this day, not only makes me smile and laugh, but I always bring up when we’re swapping stories at a family gathering. Well, okay, one of many…but I’m sure that’s normal, right?
Our house in Costa Rica (for those of you who don’t know, I was born and raised there) had a formal living room for entertaining. My Mom hosted plenty of Thursday Tea Group meetings, where the ladies would knit or crochet, and Friday Group meetings, where a different group would play card games and share anecdotes. This living room was off-limits as a kid because of all the treasures it held.
Where was I? Oh, yes! The crocodile…
One afternoon I was playing in my room when I heard screaming and a ruckus. A rushed out to see what was going on and there was my Mom, usually so calm (she’s a nurse so she handles emergencies well), screaming like a banshee. “A crocodile! There’s a crocodile in the living room!”

Crocodiles from Crestock.com

Even at the tender age of eight, I knew there was no way there could be a crocodile in the living room. Right? I mean, we do have them down there, but not in the capital. But from that to finding one inside the house. Maybe in a movie, but not in real life. Dad was at work and all my brothers were in school or out, and the maids were trying to calm my Mom. I was so curious I just had to go and see what monster lurked in the living room.

So I walked into the room expecting some huge creature to jump out and attack, but there was no animal in sight. Obviously relieved but still curious, I set forth to explore the dangerous terrain comprised by antique furniture, priceless porcelain figurines and a plush white area rug where feet had been known to disappear within the cushiony clumps of fabric.

Cute dragon from Crestock.com

It was here that I found my Mom’s crocodile. Carefully I parted clumps of fabric and scooped up a small garden lizard that had wandered into our home. I was laughing all the way back to the kitchen where my Mom waited. She hasn’t lived that one down yet.

Child holding lizard from Crestock.com

How about you? Do you have any monster stories to share? I’d love to hear from you!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Look Challenge

The Look Challenge

I've been tagged in The Look Challenge by fellow author and friend Noree Cosper. Here's the way it works: You take your current manuscript and find the first instance of the word "look". Then you post the surrounding paragraphs as an excerpt of the book on your blog. Lastly, you tag five more blogging authors who you think might be a good choice for the game.

I'm working on the first draft of Dangerous Masquerade, a historical set in England, and this is what came up:

The desk was a disarray of papers and other odd objects. Holding a hand close to the flame,she leaned over to take a better look at the papers. Notes, cargo manifests, lists and moreblank papers than anything else, all strewn in a careless manner as if to denote a busy person.

She chewed on her lower lip for a moment. It had been a long shot to think that Carter would keep any incriminating documents around, but it had been worth a try. She could only hope that John had better luck.

A squeaking door and loud voices sent her heart racing and she gasped in surprise. Instinct had her closing her hand over the candle to extinguish the flame and fanning the air with her hands to disperse the resulting smoke. She hurried to the curtains and touched along the window edges to find the latch. She mouthed a silent thank you as she pushed the window open without a sound and slipped out.

Anyway, my chosen five authors are:

Karen Einsel

Katherine Bone

CC MacKenzie

Charity Parkerson

Blue Remy

Hope you guys have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Zombie Apocalypse

Thought about it, have you?

Zombie from Crestock.com

The dead walking. Towards you. With only one purpose, which is to tear at you and eat you. Creepy, right? Scary? Mmmmm… Now, don’t smirk, but there are people out there totally prepared for a catastrophe of this type. There are even Zombie kits for sale on the internet. Not to mention the people that actually dress up as zombies and take drugs to enhance the zombie experience.

I’m a fan of The Walking Dead, a show about, you got it, zombies. Last week we got the second season and watched it. Loved it. Can hardly wait for the third season that starts in October. That got me thinking. Yes, I know, that’s plain dangerous in itself.

Cartoon Zombies chasing terrified young woman from Crestock.com

I thought: what if? What if it actually happened? Where would we go? What would we do if suddenly there were hundreds, thousands of zombies milling around looking for someone to much on? And we can’t forget those great examples of human nature that would scavenge and steal and probably kill you for a can of beans. That’s even scarier.
Zombie scout muching on human ear from Crestock.com

Weather can get crazy sometimes. Ice storms, blizzards, tornadoes, earthquakes, you name it. In the truck we carry bug out bags full of goodies to keep us alive for 5 to 6 days should we get stranded or stuck somewhere due to extreme weather or a natural disaster. We figure that is enough time for help to arrive.
Lightning by Melissa Bowersock

Bug out bag

My husband kinda looked at me funny when I brought it up. I just wanted to know the small details like where to meet if separated and have an action map to act as a guide. So the roof of the school nearby is our first choice. We go from there. It’s a start, right?
Zombie aftermath from Crestock.com

What about you? Whether it’s a natural disaster, some disease epidemic or a zombie attack, are you prepared to survive? If so, what have you done so far? What would you do?
I’d love to hear from you!