Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Won the Liebster Award!

WOW!  Today is my lucky day!

I had a guy come over from a local lawn care service.  I won a free lawn treatment at a community event a couple weeks ago, and now...

Gossip_Grl presented me with the Liebster Award today!  Thanks Gossip_Grl!

The Liebster Award is for "the best kept secret"  blogs with less then 200 followers. It's a great way to find new blogs and help others get discovered.  I feel honored to be chosen for such a prestigious award!  "The word liebster is German for "dearest"

To accept the award you must do a few things:
1) Thank the person that nominated you on your blog and link back to them.
2) Nominate up to 5 other blogs for the award.
3) Let them know via comment on their blog
4) Post the award on your blog

So here are my 5 winners:

The Armchair Squid  A Better Life Through Blogging (movies and more)

Tracy Jo  Brand New Day (she has a GREAT story!)

Jay Paoloni Actor (Full of culture)

Jungle Mum A mum, cat lover, and poet

Stephsgrn Reader of paranormal YA, Stephen King, etc

I've Been Tagged

The Armchair Squid  tagged me with the ten questions below. Now, I must answer, then tag seven more people. Here we go...

1. What is your dream vacation? 

      Kayaking with whales in Alaska or Australia

2. Are you spontaneous or do you like to plan ahead?
     I like to plan ahead but my job calls for spontaneity so...oh  

3. Tell us one thing you want to do but don't dare do it.
     Go back to school.  I don't know what I would study

4. What's your biggest phobia?
     Roller coasters and bungy jumping (I have a heart condition)

5. If you were stranded on a desert island-what three things would you want with you? (Not including your laptop or family)
    A fishing pole
   A kayak

6. Name three blessings in your life.
    My friends/family
    My house
    My dog
7. What was your nickname in High School?
     Depending on the haircut, either Joan Jett or Cher (It was the
       80s and I was a rocker)

8. If you could meet the President of the United States, what would you say to him?
    You have handled a bad situation with grace under pressure

9. If you could be any literary character, who would you be?
     Jo from Little Women (a little rough around the edges)

10. What is your favorite quote?
       "Be the change you want to see in the world"    -Ghandi
       There are so many but this is a good one

I am tagging the following people:


Linda Fischer

Jo Jo

Lady Bluestocking

Tracy Jo

Susan Fields

If I didn't tag you and you want to play along, please feel free.  I think I a might have tagged some duplicates.  Thanks!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

PLAY TAG...for the A-Z Challenge

So here's the thing… Jenny Pearson, a co-host of the 2012 A to Z Challenge, has come up with a fun way to promote the challenge…
If you play the game… she will add your blog to her TAGGED BY PEARSON REPORT Blog List – where everyone will know you are a team player who's kickin' it with the A to Z team. The goal is to see 1,000 participants, on the sign-up list, by March 1st…so here’s your chance to pitch in and show your support by playing TAG (THE ANSWER GAME).
Are you signed up for the A to Z Challenge?
Yes!  I signed up on the first day.  I am so excited!!!  This is my first challenge
Read my post here to find out why...
What is your sign-up number?
Lucky number 130!
Are you ready? If yes…explain yourself.
Getting closer.  I have my theme, words and a rough draft of each post written
If you’re not ready…what’s your excuse?
I want to be prepared so that I can enjoy reading everyone else's posts, but I work full time so it takes me a while 
Just copy and paste these questions in your post and go for it. Let’s see what makes you a Blogging from A to Z participant!

If you  haven't signed up, do it here:

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Oscars

I am a little bleary eyed and tired today so I'm posting a little late.  I stayed up waaay past my bedtime to watch The Oscars. 

In general, this is what I learned

1.  The special effects of Hugo must've been REALLY good

2.  Viola Davis was robbed (although I do like Meryl Streep too)

3.  I guess I need to see The Artist

It was a good show overall.  Billy Crystal was classic as usual, everyone looked good, and it seems like the winners were all deserving and gracious.

I hadn't seen about half of the movies nominated but I did see The Help, War Horse, Ides of March and Moneyball.

On my "To See" list now is The Artist, The Descendents, and Hugo.

Did your favorites win last night?  What were your favorite movies of the year?

Saturday, February 25, 2012


As expected the 110th anniversary of the Georgefest was a lot of fun.  The parade was preceded by a "Dog run" where dogs of all shapes and sizes made their way downtown.  It was a perfect day for them with 60ish degree weather and a breeze.

The main event was an hour and a half long full of politians, pagent queens, policians, bands and local businesses promoting themselves.  All of them had candy!  Even the children around us were tired of running into the street after their bags were already full.  It was good to see the dentist giving out frisbees and the school board giving out pencils ( I wonder if they were #2???)

The parade was followed by the rest of the festival, which all took place on the water.  Great fun and great crowds!  It seemed as if a fun time was had by all.  They did it again!

Here are some parade highlights...

It's George himself!

And Abe was there too!


Tonight we will return to rock out to the 80s with a local band.
What is your hometown famous for?


Friday, February 24, 2012

Small town fun

When I was in high school I couldn't wait to move out of town, have my identity and get lost in a crowd.  I grew up in a small town where my dad had taught for over 20 years so everyone knew who he was and in turn knew who I was.  I HATED it!

After living out of state for 10-11 years, I moved back to my hometown to be with my mom who had terminal breast cancer.  I wasn't sure the long term plans when I moved back, but I thought eventually I would move away again.

Here I am 10 years later and I bought a house a year ago that is about half mile from my childhood home, where my dad still lives.  The funny thing is that the town and I have both changed (compromised) and I love it here now.

This weekend is their famous George Washington Fest.  It is the longest running celebration in the country.  There will be fireworks tonight followed my a parade and festival on Saturday.  Music, food, baking contests, eating contests, art booths and everything else you would come to expect from a small Southern town festival.

I am home :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My Happy Place

When I thought about what to blog about today, I was petrified by how pessimistic I was.  Yikes!  I think I need a vacation...Thankfully I have one coming up soon.  Until then, I will just post a picture of my happy place.  This is Looking Glass Falls in Pisgah National Forest in NC and it is one of my favorite places ever.  Beautiful!

You can actually walk down to the bottom of the falls also but I don't have any pictures of the bottom.  If you are ever in the area, you should check it out. 

Where is your happy place?

Monday, February 20, 2012


My job seems to be moving at a fast pace these days.  I had two people in my office quit last week, one leaving at the end of February and one leaving at the end of March.  Since I am the office supervisor, I spent the last part of the week in interviews.  I am not fond of this part of the job.  It is stressful and time consuming.  I would much rather be working with the individuals on my caseload.

Since the week had completely wiped me out, both physically and emotionally I spent all day Sunday working on my A to Z blogs.  Time seems to be flying by and I want to be prepared so that I can spend my time in April visiting other blogs.  It has been good therapy :)

I have chosen the theme of musical instruments for my April blogs and I was able to make pretty good progress in the day.  I am so excited about this challenge!  I can't wait to read everyone else's posts.

Have you signed up for the A to Z Blog Challenge?  Have you chosen a theme or are you going to wing it?  Have you started writing your posts?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Reading style

I have noticed lately that when I start reading a new book my pace is veeerrrrryyyyy ssslllooooooooow!  After I get about halfway through, the pace picks up a little.  Then by the end of the book, I am reading as fast as I can, and the pages are flying by.  I can feel my pulse quicken as I find out what's next.

Part of the reason for this is that i have such a limited amount of time to read.  Since I work all day, my "reading time" is usually before I go to bed.  This could be part of the problem too.  By that time in the day, I am tired and it takes me a while to get to the "meat" of the story.

I'm sure I am not the only person who has stayed up too late to finish a book or wait to see what happens in that major conflict that you find yourself in the middle of. 

But on the other hand, does anyone ever slow down at the end of a book because you don't want it to end?

What is your reading style?

When writing, do you ever take these things into consideration?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Story of "Lisa"

First of all, I want to thank everyone who stopped by and supported me the other day at the A to Z Blog Challenge.  I hope you all have signed up for the challenge and I can't wait to read everyone's posts!

Yesterday I had a "moment" at work.  These moments don't come around very often so I think it calls for a celebration.

I have worked with "Lisa" for the past 10 years.  I have been priveledged to watch her grown from a rebellious teenager (we think) to a blossoming young woman with TONS of potential.

When I met Lisa, she was angry.  She was living in an extremely restrictive facility where she was not able to do anything without supervision.  She rarely ever got to go out anywhere and if she did, she was closely watched.  She didn't have access to the simple things in life that we take for granted every day.  She couldn't take a walk, call a friend, go for a ride, or simply go in her room if she needed to get away from it all.  (Don't we need these moments???)

Somehow she managed to rise above and move to another home where she could be a part of society.  She held a job briefly, has a cell phone, goes shopping, to the movies and has somewhat of a normal social life now.  She has come so far!

Now, here is the problem and the moment that came with it...
Lisa was put into foster care as a young child.  She thought that the family she was taken from were her biological family but they weren't.  She did not find this out until about 2 years ago.  Now can you see why she an angry teenager???  She was moved from place to place until moving to that facility.  By then, she did not trust anyone.

She is trying to update her ID so that she can find employment, attend school, etc. BUT she has no birth certificate.  Noone knows who her parents are, where she was born, how old she really is, or what her name is for that matter.

As we were talking about it yesterday to try and figure out a way to help her, she started telling me about some of the things that she remembers from her childhood.  What a story she has!
All of a sudden she said, "I want to write a book."

What a gift I have been given to work with her and to help her realize her dreams!  If I can foster her desire to pursue her book, can you imagine the stories that she has to tell???  I am so excited for her and I can't wait to be a part of her future!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Guest at A to Z Blog Challenge

Happy Valentine's Day!  How will you be celebrating?  I will be working, getting my taxes done, AND...Guest blogging at A to Z Blog Challenge!

  I am SO excited about this challenge!  It has given me new inspiration to write.  If you are looking for some inspiration or just up for a new challenge, I encourage you to head over there for a visit, and to join the challenge, if you dare. You'll find lost of useful info on the site so peruse some of the recent posts for the official guidelines and helpful hints, and check out the links to all of the host team's own blogs while you're there. They have two polls going, and there's even a contest to make a video advertising the challenge that you can enter if you're the video type. It's even got prizes! So head on over and check it out. Be sure to tell them I sent you!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Book Review of A Marked Past by Leslie Deaton

A Marked Past (The Mercer Legacy #1)

Book Review of A Marked Past by Leslie Denton

After the sudden, tragic death of her father, Lyla Mercer and her mother move from their comfortable home of Chicago to cold and dreary Salem. Lyla is not happy about leaving her old life behind as she starts over in Salem. She and her mother move to an old family home left to her by her father. She doesn't understand why her father would want them to live in such a dreary house in such a dreary place. All she wants is her old life back.

When she arrives, she soon meets her uncle (her dad's brother), Nathan, and her cousins, Hanna and Sage, whom she never knew she had. As she gets to know them, she is shown her family history and brought to the realization that it lives on through her. Lyla wishes that she could live a normal life as she did in Chicago, but is quickly shown A Marked Past that demands that she help prevent further destruction of her family.

When she meets Caleb, she is immediately drawn to him as the rest of the community is. He is well liked by all in the community and has been adopted by the Pastor of the oldest church in town. As Lyla learns more about her family's tragic history, she worries not only for his safety but also that he might be mistakenly part of the problem. Is the Pastor really who he is protrayed to be or something more? Can she, Hanna and Nathan break the cycle of family tragedy? Can she live a normal life with the boyfriend that she has fallen so deeply for?

What I thought
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this story since I typically don't read books like this. I thought it was a perfect combination of the life of a typical teenager and her adventures of learning of her Atypical past. Lyla leads a "normal" life of friends, school, prom, and a boyfriend all while developing into the person that she was destined to be through her past. As she learns more about her past, she also learns that the story of her family history continues through her and she must take over where others have left off. The conflicts of the story are fast paced and completely unpredictable as she tries to learn about her gifts and fight to keep her family's future from being destroyed, all while dealing with school and the love life of a teenage. The end left me wanting more and I look forward to reading A History Renewed coming out later this year. I give it 4 out of 5 stars

For More Info and to view the Trailor, visit:

Check out Leslie's Goodreads page at:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Beat Goes On

I have had this song going through my head for the past two days so I figured if I wrote it down, maybe it would go away!

The human heart is an amazing thing, both physically and emotionally.  It works when we are awake and as we sleep to sustain life by pumping blood through our veins.  This is highly underrated unless something goes wrong.  This past week, mine has not been working quite as well as I would've liked.  Now that it seems to be getting back to normal, there is nothing left to say except:

The beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da

I have to say that I haven't heard of this song in years so it was it was comical when it popped in my head.  I'm not usually a Sonny and Cher fan, and frankly after the past couple days, I am ready to move on to a new soundtrack for my life!  I wonder what will be next???

At least it's good to know that my heart is "in shape" for Valentine's Day!  Is yours? 
What will your soundtrack be?

Friday, February 10, 2012

I'll Tumble 4...

I am proud to say that my 80s crush has remained constant through the last twenty-something years. 
Yes, my 80s crush was and still is BRET MICHAELS, lead singer of Poison.  Still HOT after all these years!
Who knew that Bret would end up to be such a long lasting figure in Pop Culture?  Besides his work with Poison in the 80s, he has also had a very successful solo career.
He has also been in the spotlight with his VH1 show "Rock of Ages" and his new reality show.  He got notariety from those who were maybe not as familiar with him by winning "Celebrity Apprentice" last year.  He has done extensive work to raise awareness for diabetes research as well.  Before the Apprentice finale, I was so upset to hear about his near death experience after having a brain aneurysm.  What a relief when he pulled through!

When I was in high school, I was consumed with hair bands: Bon Jovi, Cinderella, Def Leppard, Europe, Guns and Roses, Bullet Boys, Motley Crew, Extreme, Whitesnake, Skid Row, White Lion, Warrant, Slaughter, and the list goes on and on.  I was the girl in the black tee shirt and denim jacket with buttons plastered all over the front.
I was lucky enough to see most of these bands in concert since I lived near Orlando and the original Orlando Arena opened in the 80s (Now it has been rebuilt and renamed Amway Arena)
However, when Poison came in concert it was exam week.  With my parents both being former educators, there was no way they were going to let me go. 
This was one of those events that I will NEVER forget!  Did they realize this was "THE CONCERT" for me?!?!?!  I was devastated!  The worst part was going to school the next day and hearing all my friends tell me how great it was.  UGH!

Last year when I read that they were going to be at the Hard Rock, I HAD to go!  Not only was it the original line up and in a relatively small venue, but it was also to raise money for the Downs Syndrome Foundation.  It was a win win situation for me and I couldn't resist.
All of a sudden I was 17 again.  I went with my best friend from high school, we got there hours early and ended up in front!  (See pic below)


Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Balance is something that I always strive for but seem to have a never-ending struggle with.  This week has been particularly challenging.

After my glowing appointment at the cardiologist last week, my blood pressure completely tanked over the weekend.  Saturday I thought maybe I was just tired after a busy week but after a 6 hr nap on Saturday afternoon, I had second thoughts.  When I was ready for bed at 9:30 that night AFTER the nap, I knew something was wrong.  Yep, my blood pressure was extremely low.

Sunday I decided to take it easy and stay home, checking BP throughout the day and it remained low. 

Monday I got up to attempt to go to work and soon decided it wasn't going to happen.  I did not trust myself to drive, although I did manage to stay awake all day.  I called my cardiologist for some direction.  After leaving a message and waiting for a call back, I told the woman (I have no idea who she was because she wasn't my normal nurse) what was wrong.  She said she would talk to the Physician's assistant and get back to me "in a few minutes".  About an hour later she called and ....
my phone froze and I couldn't answer the phone!  AGH!  Cell phones!!!  By this time, their office was closed and the answering service would not put me through.

The alarm went of Tuesday morning and there was NO WAY I could even attempt to get out of bed.  Why did I feel so HEAVY?!??!  That was my worse day yet by far.  I left another message with the cardiologist office and at 2:45 while taking a nap from my lazy day, she called back.  The magic answer?...STOP taking one of my medicatons.  Really???  I have taken it for 12 years!

I have my doubts but I am trying it out.  So far, I feel slightly better today but I still think there is something else underlying going on.
For now, I am trying to maintain BALANCE (with my health, work, and all other aspects of life) 
What do you struggle with to maintain balance?  Sleep?  Finances? Obligations? Family? All of the above?

Monday was also going to be my big day of guest posting on the A To Z Blog Challenage site. As it turned out, that was rescheduled until February 14. Although I was trying to gear up, all things work out for the best and I am looking forward to a big day next week. So, before celebrating with your special someone, or however else you celebrate, stop by and say hi.

And I hope you all join me for the Tumble 4 Ya blogfest on Friday

Friday, February 3, 2012

Good things are happening!

Happy Friday everyone!

What a week it has been with so much more to come!

On Monday I will have a guest post on the A to Z Blog Challenge site.  I am so exciting...and nervous!
Come check it out and cheer me on.

A week from today is the I Tumble For Ya Bloghop, all things 80s.  I can't wait!
Click the link for more info

I also volunteered today to do a book review for Leslie Deaton's YA book "A Marked Past: The Mercer Legacy". Stayed tuned for that review and check out the book for yourself

Whew!  TGIF!  I hope you have a great weekend and I look forward to hearing from you all on Monday

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Crazy Cardio

Yesterday was my semi-annual visit to the cardiologist.  I was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure in 2000.  I try not to think about it other than these fun visits twice a year and taking a handful of pills every morning.  Otherwise I'm pretty much maintaining :)

My visit started with a "little debate" with the business office over my bill.  Someone should tell these people that the patients have HEART problems!!!  I know they are only doing their job but don't ask me for money that I don't owe!  At one point, I thought they were not going to let me see the doctor but after they figured it out, they put me through. 

By this time, I was late for my appointment.  My nurse, Gilbert, is awesome.  I have been going there for 10 years now so we have a pretty good nurse/patient relationship.  He called me back and asked what the hold up was so there I go, on my rant.  Poor guy!

Finally, I saw the doctor...

Bloodwork good...check

EKG good...check

Heart still beating...check

I'm all good for the next 6 months!  I probably could've saved them all a lot of trouble and told them that when I got there but it's always nice to have confirmation.  If my heart can withstand the business office, it can take anything.  Maybe that's their plan?!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Naming Characters

How do you go about naming the characters in your books?  Do you use names of friends or family or do you try to avoid names of more familiar people?  Do celebrity names influence your choices?

I personally find it very difficult to write a story with a person in mind as inspiration and try using a different name. Even if I change the name, people that I know who read the book could figure out where the name comes from.  Do you think that is unavoidable? or is it just me?

A book cover is important to me when choosing a book, but character names are too.  If they are too long or too difficult to pronouce, albeit in my head, I tend to skip over the book.

Maybe I'm just weird but I have pondered this concept for a while.   I'd love to hear your thoughts