No inflamatory, defaming remarks allowed here.


it's okay to be angryA few days ago WordPress notified me that I had a comment from a new commenter that needed to be approved. I have my settings like this so I can make sure the person is real, and I can see what sort of website/blog, etc. they have to know if I can trust them to comment on my blog. While WordPress does a good job catching a lot of spam, sometimes they do get through.

In this particular case, this commenter wrote her comments about a book I reviewed. No biggie, right? Except it was. The few short sentences she wrote were rude, defaming, and inflammatory, and I’m glad I have the power to ‘not approve’ the comment.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with allowing comments on my blog that don’t agree with mine. It certainly allows for conversation and debate, which is always good. But when the comments are nasty, are not focused on particulars of a topic, but more of an attack on someone, that’s where I draw the line. I simply will not allow such hurtful comments on my blog.

I’m wondering who else out there feels the same way I do. I mean, I’m the first to stand up for free speech and allowing people to speak their minds and express themselves and their opinions, but I have a problem with direct insults, bullying, and rudeness, especially on a public forum.

thumper-cant-say-something-nice

I wish I understood why there is so much bullying and hateful words floating around out there. What and whom does it serve? I was a ‘victim’ of bullying when I was young, the receiver of hurtful words. Even my own family members have said terribly hurtful things about my weight or my looks in general.  Folks, these words cut, and let me tell you, the verbal wounds last much longer than any physical wound, especially when they are repeated over and over again. I simple can’t and won’t allow my blog to be a vehicle for those with hurtful comments.

I beg everyone to please think before you speak or write, otherwise Karma has a way to come back around a bite you in the butt. No one deserves this sort of stress in their lives. We already have enough to deal with that life dishes out. If you must disagree, please be respectful. Treat others the way you want to be treated.  You’ll go a lot further in life with love and sincerity than anger and hate.

3c4498fce48c7b0c2dbd5b5e6d8db81a

 

Vintage Halloween Cards


Happy Halloween all you ghouls, goblins and other creatures of the night.

Halloween is a multi-billion dollar business with costumes, especially those for dogs, being a HUGE item.  It’s so commercial, everyone vying for the best costume, the most absurd foods (like kitty litter cake, which is actually quite tasty), and bizarre decorations.  Universal Studios and other big theme parks go to elaborate extents to make scary ‘stages’ where people pay good money to go and get scared.

But it used to not always be like that.  While people now send cards to others during the season, it’s not the BIG thing to do, but once, a long time ago, it was.  Take a look at these awesome Halloween cards from the early 1900s.  I just love this stuff, don’t you? (all these pics are in the public domain, by the way).

Eat like the Boxtrolls!


Attendees at the San Diego Comic-Con this coming weekend will be in for a treat.

On behalf of the animated feature, The Boxtrolls, Focus Features and CinemaBlend will be hosting an “Eat Like the Boxtrolls” event at Petco Park.  Attendees are invited to stop by the Boxtrolls food truck to taste Bug Chef David George Gordon’s edible insect creations.  Yes, you read that right.  Bug treats.  For humans.

The food truck event will be held on Friday, July 25, and Saturday, July 26.  And, if you stop by the location on Saturday, July 26 from 2 – 3 PM, be sure to take a photo of you and your tummy-yummy insect treat, and share it via Twitter using the hashtag #EatLikeTheBoxtrolls for a chance to win tickets to the L.A. Premiere.

Read more about the event on the  CinemaBlend website.

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Always Look On the Bright Side of Life


Are you sitting there today worrying about your problems? Are you wishing things in life were better? Do you wish you had some dough to buy some food and gas to go?

Well, I hear you and I get you and I wish I had some answers. All I’ve got is this motto to get me through this life.

The car may not run.
The baby may be sick.
The spouse may be driving you insane.
The washing machine might be broke.
There’s no money in your coat.
But thanks to Monty Python you can sing…

Happy Sunday everyone!

Rejection spawns reflection, spawns inspiration


Rejection hurts.

For the umpteenth time in the past 4 years, I was rejected for yet another job.  The reason: I’m over-qualified.  I don’t understand what that means but there it is.  I don’t know what we’re going to do as a family.  There is no money to pay the bills, just what little my hubby brings in on disability. There is no doubt my faith is being tested, my sanity is frayed, and my heart and soul are in pain.

This may be true, dear Wesley, but we all need something to make us feel worthwhile, to feel needed and special. And like it or not, we all need money to pay the bills so we don’t end up living on the streets, which is where my family is heading if I don’t land a job soon.

To keep myself from feeling like a complete and utter failure, I did a little reflecting and thought about things that would make me happy instead of sad.  When I left the hospital the other day from seeing my mother-in-law (who I love dearly and is suffering from dementia and C-Diff), hubby and I drove around looking for things to inspire me and my writing.  There just happens to be this awesome affluent neighborhood near the hospital so we took an hour tour.

Here are some places and things that lifted my spirits and set my dreams in motion.

Hulk Hogan's house

If I’m not mistaken, the above house was once owned (or is still owned) by Hulk Hogan.

Gargoyle overlooking Willadel Drive Gargoyle overlooking Willadel Drive2

Willadel Drive is a big horse shoe drive.  There are two of these gargoyles poised at both entrances to the drive.  So cool.

an expansive home that took my breath away

Down the road a ways was this sprawling mansion that looks directly out onto the bay. I’m standing in the narrow (not for sale) lot across the street and still couldn’t get the whole picture.

pretty little Victorian homeAnd check out this sweet Victorian home.  Love, love, love.

Staircase - love the reflection of the clouds in the window

A mile or so down the road, I stumbled upon this beauty.  Look at that amazing staircase to the front door.  I think it was the reflection of the sky and the clouds in that amazing front door that inspired me the most when I took this shot.

A royal view

We then took a ride out to the beachside.  I wanted to see how baseball’s Ryan Howard’s house was coming along.  We turned down a short cul-de-sac where we spotted this beauty.  It’s for sale.  I fell in love with the upstairs balcony.  I can imagine sitting there and looking out onto the Gulf of Mexico, watching the sunset.  *sigh*

Happy Dolphins
Not too far away were these happy dolphins smiling and leaping away in a front yard.  They made my heart happy.

And then, there was Ryan Howard’s monstrous creation:

Ryan Howard's home Ryan Howard's home 2I posted about this home a year ago.  You can read it here.  I would LOVE to take a tour of this place when it’s completed. Breathtaking, huh?  And the Gulf of Mexico is just behind that house.

I am in awe. I’m inspired. I have faith that someday I will have a home as big and wonderful for all my friends and family to come stay.  I have faith someday I will have enough money that I will never have to worry about losing my home, or deciding between food or medicine.  I have faith that someday I will have enough money to take a family with nothing and put them in a home, help mom/dad or both find a job and give them and their family peace of mind.

Someday, I will be able to care for and provide for those I love. Until then, I will do my best to brush off the rejections and take time to reflect on those things that are important while striving to reach my goal.  I will continue to seek inspiration and lend it when I can.  Life is too short to be sad.

What is your inspiration?  What do you do to keep constant rejection from getting to you?

 

 

 

Kill the Tree Frog! Savor the Lemon Trees!


I am super excited!  My Meyer lemon trees are doing fabulous!

On May 14, 2014 I told you about my attempt at growing three Meyer lemon trees.  You can read all about it here.

After three weeks of my little sweeties in the dirt, I am super stoked to share this little lovely with you:

meyer lemon trees 6-7-2014

They’re so happy!  Look at all those pretty leaves.  Once they get a little stronger, I’ll put them in terra-cotta pots.  The great thing is they don’t need a lot of room for roots. In fact, their roots freak out if they have too big of a space to spread out, so I’ll keep them in pots about 2 inches bigger than their root base.  I’ll keep you posted on their progress but so far, I’m thrilled.

I’m not too thrilled about this little guy.

cuban tree frog 6-2-2014

 

Normally, I don’t mind frogs but this is a Cuban Tree Frog and he is an invasive species to Florida.  They actually kill cute little Florida tree frogs like this one:

green frog - florida
“Creative Commons Green Frog” by inajeep is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Recommendation from the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation on how to deal with Cuban Tree Frogs:

“Cuban Tree Frogs should be captured and humanely euthanized by applying 20% benzocaine gel to their skin and then freezing the frog.”

Yeah, right.  Me.  Deliberately kill an animal that is not a cockroach, mosquito or palmetto bug (because those, of course, must die), especially when they look like this:

cuban tree frog 2 - 6-2-2014

 

I guess if I come across one again, I’ll have to freeze it.  They are a nuisance to our local habitat and are killing the natives.

Anyone else ever had to euthanize wildlife?  Could you do it if you had to?

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


OMGosh, I hit 100,000 views on my blog today!

I can’t believe it!  This is big!  It’s a milestone.  It’s taken several long years to get here but, it’s not how long it takes, it’s the journey that matters, right?

When I started this blog in 2008 I had no idea what I was doing.  I still don’t know what I’m doing, but don’t tell anyone. Appearances are everything.

At the time I started, I only had one short story published in a book put out by a writer’s group I was in.  It was a ‘vanity publishing’ kind of a thing, a perk I got from “editing” the book.  Since then, I’ve had two short stories traditionally published, the third, previously published piece will be traditionally published very soon (more details to come). I have a publisher interested in a NA novel, and my YA trilogy is soon to be subbed.

It’s been a long journey, one fraught with ups and downs.  Pain and sorrow.  Happy times.  Fun times.  I’ve shared many of those times with you through my blog.

I don’t really have a brand.  How does one brand themselves?  I’m all over the place.  One day I might post a review of a book.  The next, I might share with you my triumphs in growing a lemon tree.  Yes, I may be an author, but I’m also a mom to four kids and furbabies.  I’m a wife.  I’m a person without a job struggling to survive.  I’m strong, but I’m not made of steel. I’m opinionated and I frequently bite my tongue.  How does one brand that? I’ve placed myself in categories my whole life. I didn’t want my blog to be another box I put myself in. I wanted it to be a place where I could be free.

Maybe that’s why I don’t have a gazillion followers.  I do have faithful and wonderful followers that have been with me since day one.

I now have over 100,000 of you who stopped by to check out my verbal farts.  Squeeee!

Beautiful people from all over the world clicked on my blog.  100,000 people have seen my name.  That makes me want to do this…

So, thank you, thank you, thank you, all of you — past, present, and future — for helping this unbranded, down-to-earth, insane author reach her first really, really big blog milestone.  I couldn’t have done it without you.

P.S.:  A feel a giveaway is in order  More details to come soon.

Galavant ~ a new kind of silly hero


I love fantasy.  I love musicals. I love comedy.  I’m thinking I love ABC because this fall they’re bringing us:

galavant1

It’s a musical.  It’s a comedy, it’s a medieval romance.  It’s like Spamalot, meets the Princess Bride meets Men in Tights.  Check it out:

Exceptionally brilliant or epic fail?  What do you think?

 

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If a mom sang, “Let It Go”


Oh my gosh, how many times have we heard the song, Let It Go from Disney’s latest animated film, Frozen?  I love this movie along with the rest of the world, and have been caught singing this song in the shower, in the car…in fact I sing it a lot.  And you want to know the kicker?  I don’t have any young kids anymore. Mine are all grown. Two are gone.  Flown the nest.  One has a little one of her own.

Still, you can’t take Disney out of the girl, even when she’s grown and turned into a mom.

When I saw this video, I got all teary-eyed.  Of course, I’m a sentimental girly girl anyway, but where in the the heck was this song when my kids were young?  Moms across the world…take a moment and listen to this new version of Let It Go.  Can you hear yourself?  I know I did.  🙂

I think this is fantastic and I would love to see this entire performance.  If anyone knows anything about this play, the performers, please let me know.

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How to Grow a Meyer Lemon Tree from seeds


I love Meyer lemons.  They are the sweetest, tartist, most delectable lemon in the entire universe, at least to me.  I don’t find them in the grocery stores very often here, so when I do, I stock up on them.  Of course they don’t last long because I use them to make lemon water, I juice them over salad, in my tea, I make homemade lemonade, squirt on fish.  Umm, so good.

With the last batch I got to thinking how awesome it would be to grow my own Meyer lemon tree.  So, off to the computer I went.  I found out what to do and voila…low and behold, I have seedlings!!

meyer lemon seedlings May 2014  All I did was take four Meyer lemon seeds and put them on a wet paper towel.  I then folded the paper towel, put it in a Ziploc bag, and then placed the bag in a dark kitchen cabinet.  That was about 6 weeks ago.  Look at those cute little seedlings!!

I have to admit I was completely surprised to see them sprout.  I left them in the baggie for one more week until they got a little bigger.  Today I planted them.

As I didn’t have little tiny pots, I chose to use plastic cups.  I poked holes in the bottom.

meyer lemon tree pots

 

Then I put little rocks in the bottom to help with drainage

meyer lemon tree pots with rocks

 

Then some potting soil

meyer lemon tree pots with dirt

 

Then in went the little seedlings.

meyer lemon seedlings planted 5-14-14

 

They look so happy don’t they?  I have a fourth one but I have to re-pot it because I broke the side of the cup.

Afterwards, I watered them and put them in the sun because they have to have full sun for at least 8 hours of the day.  I will definitely keep an eye on them and keep you guys posted on how well they’re doing.  I’m so excited.  If these grow, I’m going to be a very happy lemon tree mommy.

And for those with limited space, one of the great things about Meyer Lemon trees is they can be grown in containers and they make excellent indoor plants, provided you have windows with lots of light.

This is what I’m shooting for:

picture courtesy of http://wetcoastgardens.blogspot.com/

Wish me luck and keep your fingers crossed.

 

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