Category Archives: family

It’s been a while…

Wow, I haven’t blogged in ages…since September of last year, and I really do want to start post regularly. My hope is to start doing weekly posting, if only to list the things I do or share my thoughts on stuff.

redcross donationI gave more blood the other day. I got a free long sleeved t-shirt and free Dunkin Donut coffee! I realized after donating, they have an iPhone app, so you can store you donor card as well as track your donations.

Sadly, I can no longer give the double red because of losing weight. You have to be a certain height and weight to do that. Since my doctor mentioned an issue with my weight (and I’m pre-diabetic), I felt I best just lose the weight. I intend on donating a pint gain in a couple of months (56 days). Red Cross FAQ

The writer’s meetup group published another anthology for 2016. The theme was fairytales. Whatever deadlines we had were shifted to accommodate later authors’ submissions because the book would be too thin, otherwise.

While editing, I realized I no longer wish to edit another anthology for the group. It’s a lot of work, a lot of editing, and my vision doesn’t catch things like they used to. I feel the members should be publishing their own writing for themselves.

For 2017, my goal is to get them to learn how to do that, through Kindle Singles (they publish short stories in eBook format). There is no cost to do this, and you get your short stories out to the public.

I published two short stories through them;



Xmsa TV 2016Christmas went by so fast this year. Each year I stress myself out,promising that next year I’ll be more organized, plan in advance. Christmas cards went out late and I didn’t send that many this year. Cookie making was kept to a minimum- who needs all that sugar to tempt me, right? And decorating was slightly different since we have a very large TV now.

short hairI got my hair cut short.  I decided to just embrace getting old since I’ll be 50 this year, and go gray. I had all the color cut off. The bed-head is worse in the mornings, but I use less shampoo and conditioner. No more hair in my eyes either.

2016 new year

New Year’s Eve we splurged and got snacks, bubbly grape juice. No, Daniel is not drinking wine. I served the bubbly grape juice in a wine glass for him and he decided to pose for the photo.

We watched the ball drop via YouTube live streaming because we don’t have cable TV any more. We had a bit of lag, but otherwise, it went pretty well.

Goals for 2017 are simple:

Look weight. I have about 30 lbs. to drop this year, but I also want improve my fitness. I’m already tackling diet, going no-sugar again (except for holidays), and trying to more more.

Write and publish regularly. I decided to not include specifics here but I want to write and get things published on a regular basis. This could be monthly…not sure yet.

Publish ecourses. I want to assemble some courses online for writers and small business, using the workshop information I have on file.

Have adventures. This doesn’t mean jumping out of planes or anything, but to me, adventures are learning new things, exploring, experiences. I’ll post when I do them.

“The distance between dreams and reality is called action”…


After the storm

WP_20160123_18_10_16_ProEnduring the winter storm doesn’t worry me too much. I grew up in upstate NY, and remember The Blizzard of ‘77. Ever since, most storms barely cause concern. But this month, there were other worries.

My father had a min-stroke. That was a scare, and the hospital he went to was 2 hours away. I meant to visit but there was some waiting to see which hospital they would send him to, when something else happened.

WP_20151215_17_06_45_ProPepper started going down hill. She’s had issues with arthritis. Being an older dog, I expected that, but last Sunday, I found her with labored breathing and not able to get up. She hadn’t eaten much at all, so we rushed her to the vet.  Sadly, the vet suspected some sort of issue with her liver and we decided to put her down rather than let her suffer.

I also found the Rimadyl prescribed for her by the one vet for arthritis pain could very well be the cause of her death. By all accounts, she only had arthritis. The first vet said she saw no tumor or other issues. The second vet found her blood work and xrays did show problems.

She’s gone either way, and I miss her terribly. She was a constant companion, and little things remind me of her (and she’s gone), so it’s been a very rough week.

Meanwhile, my father is home and better, but scans found the stroke did cause some brain damage. They found some other issues that they will keep an eye on, but that, too, lends to a week where I feel this oppressive weight of loss and worry.

The storm, oddly enough, provided some time away from people and things, to mourn and deal with those feelings. I’m not crying any more, but little things still remind me of her not here.

I’ll be so glad when spring gets here.

Snow–Kid vs Adult experience

trailer-newSchools are closed today due to the few inches that fell last night, and icy roads. Here in Maryland, people panic over an inch or so. I grew up in Update New York where we dealt with Lack Effect Snow, where winters often have several feet on a regular basis.

shoveling snow

I also remember being a kid during the Blizzard of ‘77. As a kid, such disasters were so much fun. No school for a month and we get to sled off the roof. I remember tunnels of snow we can explore, and lots of snow ball fights. We had a double decker snow fort with a snow tunnel, which included arm holes where my father would try to grab you as you slid down the slide.

Adults, however, get to worry about getting to work, having enough supplies, keeping the home warm, and the other concerns with disasters. It’s also shoveling and snow removal. Not as much fun, in my opinion.

Luckily, any snow here in Maryland, even after blizzard conditions, the snow melts. I’m also in walking distance to stores and even a Sheetz convenience store. Even my work can sometimes be done through the Internet by email or text. As we homeschool, we even keep up with lessons, despite school closings. So we’re pretty good through storms.

I’m so ready for the warm months. I miss hating the summer heat.

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Adventures in and homeschool parties

005This month, I’ve been welcomed into the local chapter. And what is Score, you may be asking. Well. it is a small business group comprised of business owners and retired business people who volunteer their time and skills to help other business owners. They mentor on things like marketing, or if you need help with accounting, or designing a web site.  I highly recommend to any and all who have their own business. Score provides helpful mentors and networking opportunities, and it is for free!

For Christmas, Dave bought our son Daniel a flight lesson at the Hagerstown Flight school at the airport. As my son hopes to be a pilot one day. The ‘Discovery flights’ was a fun-filled adventure for him. As his mom, I remained on the ground, watched him take flight and fervently hoped they wouldn’t crash.

He came safely back, sharing he got to experience zero g’s when the instructor, for fun, let the plane drop a bit. He had so much fun. I’m sure the experience fired up this want to be a pilot even more.

Here is the video I took- (part of the video is screwy because of trying to stabilize with Youtube settings)

Afterwards, we headed out to the PHLC co-op Christmas party. We joined this month for socializing with other homeschool families, and Dan met some other kids his own age.

It’s funny how often we get the socializing question, (How do you socialize your son if he’s homeschooled?) when in fact, local homeschoolers I’ve met are some of the most socialized, and -dare I say it- friendly kids. When I talk to the teens and other kids, they are well spoken, enthusiastic, gregarious people. As are the parents.

Every time I’ve joined in a homeschool group I found someone eager to share a resource or tip, and I gain the validation that I am not screwing up my kid. Winking smile

I was so glad they accepted Daniel, even introducing to him to others. He said he had a good time- as did I, and we have a New Year’s Party we might go to as well.

Some updates


I’ve been re-vamping my personal site at, and since using the Blogger platform for my blog, I might shift everything to WordPress. There’s some benefits to using WordPress for me, with using tags and other features.

I’ve joined They voted me in last Friday, and they members were very welcoming. I’m working towards being a ‘mentor’ where I’ll help others with my skills in technology consulting and office help. They might have me take over their web site as well.

Re-working my business site to be user friendly. I still have a Downloads page to add and polish up the kinks, but I think the design works better for tablets and phones.

Wrestling with a planner. I originally had this small Filofax, but didn’t have inserts. I made my own, thanks to the little paper punch. I found, however, that the pages are too small for my needs. It is not as though I want to carry around a planner anyway since I use the iPhone for most appointments.

The planner’s function has more to do with all the projects for writing and crafting, and even blogging, organize my squirrely brain and get things done. A regular sized binder works for what I need. (And I can SEE it better)

Daniel turned 15 on November 30th. Do I really have a teenage son? God, it makes me feel so old. He’s taller than me (and loves to point that out). It makes our tussles a bit more challenging as I try to hug him. Its not unlike a rodeo where he tries to buck me off. Winking smile

The passing of my cousin, Brian

My cousin Brian died over the weekend, after days of ICU, machines, and defibrillation. He was only 45 years old; two years younger than myself, and I’m still shocked to think he is actually gone.

We grew up in upstate New York, where I have fond memories of the games we’d play. Shooting guns in the back yard, playing war, wrestling, running around in the woods of my grandfather’s land.

There was sparring with padded swords (Brian and his brother made), or playing a modified game of dungeons and dragons, or card games. I remember once Brian and his brother Jaimie tied a sled to the back of a snowmobile and was running it all over the hills of the woods. I swear those boys were speeding to try to throw the other off, but slowed down for their cousins. It was probably dangerous, but it was tremendous fun.

When my mother moved us to Maryland, Brian eventually moved south as well. As grown ups I remember getting rides on his moped, his fixing my car headlight, and going out drinking when we were of age. He drank beer. I don’t think I ever saw him drink anything stronger, but he drank a lot of it.

That’s when I realized he had a drinking problem. He drank incessantly and consistently.Mutual friends commented on his driving dangerously, to where he lost his license, and as he got older, I started to worry. I’d mention it to him, to which he brush it off in his usual goofy grin.

I can only imagine he held some unspoken pain he didn’t care to share to salve.

I haven’t seen him lately except a brief moment at my brother in law’s house. We exchanged pleasantries, promising to connect later. Later never came.

I understand Friday he collapsed. His mother said he hadn’t felt well days before but didn’t want to see a doctor. He collapsed, hit his head, and they had to defibrillate him several times. I understand he lost oxygen to his brain.

They put him in an induced coma, put him on machines. The doctors said he had brain damage. His drinking damaged his heart his mother told me. She didn’t have much hope of him coming out of this.

We knew he wouldn’t want to be on machines. When they pulled him off, he didn’t respond. His mother decided to pull care- no food or fluids. He passed on yesterday at the age of 45 .

I often wondered if he’d die because of some accident, of some stupid, recklessness because of of his drinking. But now, it feels unfair. He was a good person, always ready to help others and asking little in return.

I will truly miss him. The world seems less bright without him…

Halloween 2014 and blog posts


I ended up not dressing up this year. I tried to work on a costume but got so frustrated with the number of mistakes and mishaps, I figured I’d just be me (which is scary enough).

Daniel, meanwhile, selected to make a candy dispenser. He did this before, but this version is updated to be larger. Kids loved it- parents were impressed, and Daniel seemed to enjoy the attention.

Next year, we’ll add lights, glow-in-the-dark paint, and glow sticks or something.

David dressed up as a zombie. I didn’t see him most of the evening, as he walked through town (to scare kids).

Halloween was cold. At least this year, it didn’t rain.

For a scout Halloween party, Daniel made another costume where he wore a sign that was labeled WEATHER. When asked what he was, he’d reply “I’m under the weather”.

009David picked a costume easy to make and easy to wear. I made it with the Silhouette Portrait die cut machine and the material you iron onto clothes.

I bought two 3 lb bags of candy, which was gone half an hour before Trick-or-treating ended. I guess next year, we’ll need to get more.

In this town, Halloween is a big celebration. We live close to ‘downtown’, and they seal off a block to have a party there. Meanwhile, folks from all over the county visit and enjoy the festivities. Its so much fun.

I invited folks to attend a party but pretty much only family joined. That was fine. It was fun to get together for a holiday. I suspect many people may not be able to make it on such short notice.

The writer’s group Horror Anthology: 2014 took most of my attention, but it got published. We picked ‘horror’ for the genre, so not as many authors joined in this year. I was okay with that- it was still enough to have a printed book so we went with Createspace to publish. lets you self-publish with print-on-demand and kindle, at no cost.

The cover design is mine- its my cat, Max, who enjoys joining the writer’s meetings. So far, he was the popular choice.

I seriously need to add more stuff to this blog. I keep forgetting to post, to update general things.

I should also post the posts from my other blogs-

Samhain: Honoring the dead

NaNoWriMo and Published Anthology

My Zazzle Design Store