Monday, December 26, 2011

Seriously Lafcking

I see I have been seriously lacking where this blog is concerned. Sorry about that.

Christmas was OK.Rick decided to have a little tantrum on Christmas Eve because something didn't go his way. Under laying reason most likely is that he's homesick.He won't admit it though. I don't want to apologize, but I'm not. I am sad that the kids did not come down for Christmas but that's just life happening while we were making other plans. Anyway...Rick is looking for me to make it all better. One would think he would figure it out by now. That has never been my strong point. He's on his own with this one.

We did get to watch the kids open presents Christmas morning via Skype. Not exactly like being there but it was fun. Everything changes, you can either change with it or be a jerk. I'm trying, for once, not to be a jerk.

Catch up with me at the other blog. For some reason I'm more diligent about posting there on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Also, on 12/28 WEDNESDAY, I'm a "Guest Blogger" over at Stop by on Wednesday December 28 to see what I have to say. Support Sommer, she's one courageous lady. After all she turned her blog over tome for a day.

Hope your Christmas was bright and your New Year will be Merry.

Keep your thinking optional.

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Yesterday, the 11th of December we broke one of our long standing Christmas Traditions. We put our Christmas tree up. From the first year Rick and I were together we have not put the tree up and decorated it until Christmas Eve. His idea, not mine. But it kind of grew on me. We always cut our own tree around the 22nd or 23rd, so it was nice and fresh.Then we usually left it up until our birthdays in February.

This being our first Christmas in the Tropics (we lived here last year but flew to Idaho for Christmas, so I escaped having to decorate), we needed some encouragement to get in the mood. Also, it would be weird here to leave the tree up until mid-February.

I have a lifetime collection of beautiful ornaments and other Christmas decorations in a storage locker in the States. I purchased everything new and decided to go with a blue and silver theme. It's pretty but not as nice as my homespun tree of yester year. Oh well someday, maybe. See what you think.

There it is up close.

This shot got Rick's vote. He likes that seaside boat picture on the wall and our tropical print furniture in the background.

And there are the stockings hung with care, on the railing to the downstairs. No chimney here. No snow. Temps in the low eighties, and lots of wide open blue sea. We be ready for Santa.

Tomorrow over at we behavin' a Cruzan Christmas. I'll post the pictures from the 'Boat Parade and Party on the Wharf" It was extraordinaire! See you there. Remember to 'keep your thinking optional', this Christmas season.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Just Another Caribbean Experience

The condo complex where we live has a fancy Italian restaurant right on the property. We can walk to dinner. Unfortunately it has been closed for about eight months. Tonight was the grand re-opening under new management. Unfortunately, we were there.

Rick and I had discussed going for dinner, when a friend of ours invited to take us out to dinner. I'm thinking what a wonderful treat. Dinner out and someone else is paying. Our friend is a doctor who is a part of a traveling docs program. He has been down here in the VI for a few months and will only be staying until the end of January. Dave, wanted to go to the gym after work so we made the reservation for eight. When we got there, they had our table ready but the place was total chaos. Sadly, Dave was starving.

There are a few things you need to understand about the Virgin Islands.

1. We drive on the left, in right drive cars.
2. A 5 star resort in the states is not the same as a 5 star resort here.
3. We live at a slower pace than most other places, especially the States.
4. Even at the best restaurant, the service is deplorable by standards set in
   the States.
5. Rum is made here. It is cheap. It is king.

I'm used to it, I don't let it bother me. When I go out to eat, I also go to have a good time. I try to never go when I'm starving. 

Tonight our waiter was obviously new. He was so nervous. He messed up bad. The service was worse than deplorable. I was talking (are you surprised?) and visiting (shocked?) and generally having a good time (Oh my!). Dave was going nuts. Rick was pretty calm. He's used to it here also.

The waiter came back after about forty-five minutes to confirm what we had ordered (not a good sign). Rick and I had ordered salads to go along with our entrees. The salads came after about an hour. We ate. Dave got up a few times to check with the waiter, hostess and anybody else who would listen about our food. After almost two hours Dave's entree and mine were served. Rick's did not come out at the same time. He told us to go on and start. He sat there patiently waiting. When the waiter came to see if everything was OK. Rick kind of lost it about his entree. When the waiter said,"sir, you had the Cesar Salad, right?" he went berserk. He told the waiter to take his entree off the check and bring it right away.

The poor waiter never offered any compensation. He did ask if they (Rick or Dave) wanted to talk to the manager, but when they declined he just gave Dave the check. Rick and Dave decided to stiff him(leave no tip). 

I put myself through college working restaurants. I worked them in the Ski Areas. I know what goes on. I told Rick I would support his decision to stiff the waiter, but then I would never come back to this particular restaurant. I told him to decide, if he thought he wanted to come back sometime, he should leave a tip. He did.

Paradise has a downside. Be prepared to take it easy, real easy here. I have learned the hard way when we have guests to warn them and encourage them not to go out to eat when they are starving. I hate the negative vibes at the table if everyone is grumpy and complaining. Don't you?

Not very clever or entertaining tonight. Just a slice of my life.

Here enjoy this song.

Best tokeep your 'thinking optional' tonight.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Oh,Just Shoot Me!

Oh, just shoot me. I've been remiss (I love an opportunity to use that word, but not an opportunity to be that word)in keeping up this blog. I feel ungrateful. There are 39 followers here, some maybe more loyal than others, but none the less, each and every one of you had no reluctance to click that follow button. Are ya wondering why?

I could make a raft of excuses. NaNoWriMo in the month of November.I bit off more than I can chew trying to keep up two blogs. I have more to say about my writing than in my personal Journal( oh yeah, then why is the writing blog, getting so personal), Tuesday and Thursdays are better days for me to blog. At the end of the day they are all just excuses. I hate excuses. Don't you? So... I'm going to try to get better. I'm going to post here on Friday and Monday. I'll be at on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I'm going to take Wednesdays off. I do have to say I get a lot more comments at Far Away than here, so maybe y'all have just given up on me.

Anyway...Let me tell you about what we did last night. Last night we went to the Miss Alfredo Andrews Pageant at the Alfredo Andrews Elementary School. One of the little 8 year olds that we go to church with was vying for the title with four other little girls. I've been to my share of Rodeo Queen Contests, but nothing like this. Holy Moly it was something to be hold. There were two 8 years olds, two 9 years olds and one 10 year old in the contest.These kids were so polished you would not have believed it. When our little contestant, Helena, answered her 'question' on Social Media, I about fell out of my chair.

The judging was based on : Introductory Speech, Casual Wear, Talent, Semi Formal Wear and Question/Answer.  I have to admit the clothes were age appropriate, if not extravagant. The talents were extraordinary. The Casual wear competition primarily revolved around cultural themes (Madras plaid is big here).In the Semi-formal category they all wore little princess party dresses. The polish and maturity shown in all of the Q/A's was phenomenal. Of course, Helena's was the best, but she probably also drew the best question.

Culturally we are out of our element. The island people come from an African culture. They were slaves on the island working the plantations until the revolution. Everything here is based around that. Something that is so foreign to me and yet somehow familiar. Don't ask me to explain that one. The music is wonderfully raucous and loud. Gives Rick fits, but I love it.(that surprises no one, right?)

Alas, Helena did not win the coveted title.She did place as the first runner up, you know that all important title because you take over if the queen cannot (that rarely happens, but they try to make you feel good).She also won the title of Miss Intellect (as a parent that one would make me proud)and Miss Popularity. There were a lot of tears all around. It's hard to accept not winning when your 8, 9 or 10. But there was also a lot of very mature congratulations for the winner.

The world of beauty pageants,something new and different for us. Something that is big here in the islands.There are all kinds of Miss this or that. The island is also gearing up for festival. Ah,if you haven't experienced Festival you have not lived.

In the Caribbean it's any excuse for a party. Oh it's Tuesday,let's party. Festival encompasses the weeks before Christmas and goes through Epiphany or Three Kings Day, at which time we have Carinvale. Carnivale is generally reserved for Mardi Gras, but here in the islands each island wants their own Carinvale so they pick a holiday (or make one up) and choose to celebrate Carnivale in connection with it. It might not be quite as big and extravagant as the Carnivale in Rio, but not for lack of trying. It's a two day event.One day is the Children's Parade and the next day is the Adult Parade,but the end of the parade is very Adult.

Last year we were in the states for Christmas freezing our butts off. We were back in time for Carnivale, but we missed the other festivities. This year we will be here for the whole deal. It's already beginning, look out your window on a clear night, maybe you can see the lights.

Tomorrow, I'm going to be telling another Ghost Story on the Far Away Series. This is the one that inspired my NaNo project.See you there if your so inclined.

Especially during the Holiday 'thinking must be optional'.

Here's a song to get you in the mood.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Procrastination my daily ritual!

Believe it or not I started at 4 this morning. Long time friends and relatives are scratching their heads about now. I'm still hard at it on the NaNoWriMo Project. Total words at this very minute 75,709. I've decided I'm going to send it in for verification tomorrow if I've finished the novel or not.  After an earlier brush with the NaNo site's technology, I don't want to risk any last minute snafu.

I will finish this one, but I have got to get back to some semblance of what passes for normal around here. This puppy has cost me $75 in late charges this month (I let three different due date for bills pass right by while I was 'writing'). Other than Thanksgiving, I haven't cooked a really good meal and Thanksgiving only happened because Rick tricked me into inviting guests. I have done the laundry (that was one of my crises') but it's been a weekly pick your things out of the 'clean basket' cause the drawers are empty kind of deal. I'm lucky I don't find myself sleeping on the beach somewhere.

I have to admit, I am married to the best guy around. He puts up with me. He puts up with all of my hair brained schemes and supports me completely. He was leery about this NaNo thing and it turns out rightly so. But, all the same he reads the daily's and adds the commas. What a guy! I don't say it often enough or public enough, but I love You, Honey. You are my better half. As a side note,he claims to be waiting patiently for that 'best seller'. He's even picked out his sailboat and promises to name it after whichever book pays the bill. I love that he has that kind of confidence in me.

This story has taken so many twists and turns it is nothing like the one I planned to tell. It's way better and closer to my heart. I will get this one published. That's a promise I make right here, right now to you and myself. Superstition be damned, I said it out loud.

You may have lost patience with me. I really have neglected this blog. I've been a bit more diligent about the Far Away Series,so if you really want to catch up with me go here. Also,if your interested in the real ghost story that inspired my NaNo Project, check in there, because I'll tell it next Tuesday December 6. If you don't have that link it is:

Remember 'thinking is always optional'.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Just checking in for a quick rant. I promise.

I've been posting updates on my NaNo project, well last night when I went in to update my word count the site wiped me out and posted a 0 word count for me. It's November 21 and I have a 0 word count in NaNoWriMo.

If your not a writer or not doing NaNo this year that probably doesn't mean a thing to you but I am seriously disturbed about this (Yeah,more seriously disturbed than normal).

Oh well, I've got to get back and write more words that NaNo refuses to count.

Maybe what disturbs me most is that I really do not think of myself as a head hunter/number chaser in any sense of the word. If that's really true why is this making me so nuts? Probably better if you don't try to answer that.

You know what I always say...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Week Gone By

Realized yesterday that I have been silent at this space for over a week. If you have missed me, sorry about that. I have been trying to shut up. I have been trying to write. Trying to finish up NaNoWriMo.

Here are some of the basics:

NaNoWriMo: Crossed a finish line of sorts. I passed the 50,000 word mark. New goal is to finish up the novel by the 30th of November. That will be a miracle because right now I'm stuck. I figure it's going to take me about another 40k words to finish this story up and I have written 0 in two days. Oh well, I'm thinking.

Rick hurt his back over a week ago and is still limping around. Then he caught a terrible cold which he gave to me in the form of a sinus infection. I'm not very good at the Florence Nightingale thing and normally he doesn't want any fussing, but this time he's been a pain. I know that's terrible to even think, let alone say, but he's driving me crazy. Yesterday both of us slept all day long. I hope we're better soon.

Yesterday, I realized that Thanksgiving is next Thursday. We invited some people over for dinner. Rick's idea. I think we was buying insurance that I would stop writing long enough to make a nice dinner. Anyway,now I wish we were not having guests. I'm sure it will be good for me.

That's it. I'm trying not to rant and rave so much. Actually this sinus infection and the accompanying headache have me wanting to go lay back down. Lucky you. 

I've been keeping up the bog at so if you really want to hear my 'voice' stop by over there. Some really lovely person actually gave that blog an award. Go read all about it.

That's it from a place where "thinking is optional' thank goodness.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Law of Attraction and All That Jazz

Do you believe in the Law of Attraction? I do kinda, sorta(talk about a vague ambiguity). Anyway, I have got to change something about my life.

Remember I told you a few weeks about about the fact that we were having 'current' (electrical power) problems and somehow this ate my fridge. We spent some time living in 'hunter/gatherer mode' living in one condo and storing our food in another. Well this past week we had another 'current' problem. We had a serious interruption of power for about twelve hours. This is not supposed to happen, because the condo project where I live has monstrous generators that kick in automatically when the power goes off. 

Anyway...something went kerflueey and the generators never came on and it took twelve hours to fix. When it came back on I started a load of laundry and promptly forgot about it. A few hours later, when I went to put the clothes in the dryer, the washer was full of water and my soggy towels and nothing else was working.  Yippee! Apparently,the big bad 'current monster' ate my washer.

I waited until Rick got home that night hoping he could figure out what was wrong. Rick re-injured his back (initial injury occurred when we were in the DR)and was no help at all. I was going into Christiansted with some friends the next day, and stopped by the Property Manager's Office to ask them to get the repair man out and they said they would. This was on Wednesday. Today, Friday, with a load of soggy towels still sitting in the washer and not smelling too good (remember, I live in the Tropics) I decided I had better walk down to the condo office for some tokens (they have a laundromat here,but the machines take tokens not coins).  Well it is Veteran's Day and the condo project was closed. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I mean I understand Banks, the Post Office and other Government Services, but the Condo Project. 

In the VI we take our Holidays seriously.

OK, now I'm getting a little crazy. That happens when I feel helpless. I try to call the Property Manager and see what's up with the repairman, to find that the phones on the island are not working. I take my cell phone up into the parking lot to try to call and can't get service where I normally do. HAS THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE MOVED OVER A FEW DEGREES OR WHAT?

Calm down I tell myself. Your a grown up. You can handle this. No I cannot. I'm a writer in the middle of NaNoWriMo and I have no clean clothes. I am losing it. This is what happens to me when I'm completely sucked into my writing. Normally, it's not this bad, but this thing with trying to write a novel in thirty days is a little over the top. Add to that, all of a sudden this book is writing itself. I have to go into the NaNoWriMo site and take down my synopsis, because the book that is being written does not look much like it.

Do not get me wrong, I'm having a good time, but I really stress about the clean clothes thing. After all, the laundry is the last vesture of domesticity that I'm clinging too during the month of November. If that goes, who knows what will happen. I could be left open to all forms of insanity and wildness.

Long story made short. I decided to go to the pool and think this laundry thing over. My motto; when in doubt go get neck deep. The President of the Condo Association happened to be there visiting with some other folks. I went and asked him, if he might have any laundry tokens. A pleasant conversation later one of the couples there, who are owners of a condo here, down for the month of November, invited me to bring this load of laundry over to their place and wash it. I had met these people a few times before but did not know their names. Do you think I took my laundry over to their condo. You better believe it. No one ever called me shy and I really needed clean clothes.

The end of this story. I have clean clothes. We spent the evening visiting with these people.They are from New Jersey. I now know their names. We all had a pleasant time. 

I have got to stop being so crazy. I have got to stop attracting some of this stuff from the lunatic fringe to me. I have got to get back to my book and tell this story.

When I was posting Ghost Stories on my other site people kept asking me; Are these really true stories? Yes they are. This story above is the truth and nothing but.
Would I lie to you or worse make something up? Actually, I might make something up, that's what I do, but I would tell you it was made up.

Living in the VI, you have to adapt. I think I'm doing pretty good and then something like clean clothes (I value my washer/dryer more than my fridge and stove) completely throws me. No matter where you live, you will do better if you learn to think outside the box. Do something like going to a complete strangers condo to do a load of laundry. Hey what better way to make friends. Right?

Some people might even call it crazy. Then again...

I love this commentary, actually it's an Apple Ad. No matter, it's coming from a place where 'thinking is optional' and it's all about the doing. Go ahead call me crazy, I don't mind.

Enjoy your weekend. I'm going to the beach. Neck deep in salt water, my favorite place.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thunder on the Water

More storms moving through the Territories today. Big deep blue clouds, flashes of lightening and thunder rumbling over the ocean. Kind of spooky, but I do love that sound. Of course, every so often there is an 'up close and personal' strike with a crack of thunder that lingers for about three minutes, and rattles the filling in your teeth. Scares the crap out of me, but I love to be scared. Unfortunately, we're not getting much rain.

The old phrase "water, water everywhere," has new meaning when you live on an island this small. No rivers here. Oh every gut turns into a rushing turret when the real rains come, but it runs off into the ocean or soaks into the ground pretty quick. The water we use is 'collected' water. Even the fanciest places have cisterns. The condo project that I live in, has a sophisticated system for collecting water and recirculating their 'grey water' to flush toilets and the like. Gives a whole new meaning to "Don't drink the water". Yeah, I learned that one the hard way.

As we head into winter, our normally dry season, if the cisterns aren't full most folks will end up buying water and it ain't cheap. Unfortunately, the folks most likely to encounter water problems are poor. A lot of folks here are poor. I love the storms, but the dry storms don't do us any good. Among other things, pray for rain. Nice gentle rain here in the Caribbean. No mud slides please.

As most of you know (if you reading here and not skimming, you know) that I am currently consumed in NaNoWriMo. This is my first time and I am having a ball. What a way to write? Sorry my posts here are not as clever and entertaining as usual, but you know, I gotta save it for the book.

I do want to mention that I watched an interesting movie last night. "Limitless". It was a freak show. Now, I wish I could write something like that. Rent it sometime. You might like it, or you might see how warped I am. Either way.

I'm probably not going to post here on Wednesday. It's hard keeping up and writing something worthwhile for you to read. Know that I AM writing somewhere.  By next week I'll try to post something from The Ghost's Story on  http:/ Rick says this is my best one yet. Of course, he is still dependent on me for food, so you can't really trust his judgement.

I'm going to try to add a link for a song here. This is on my writing playlist. I'm missing my horses as I write this one. I'm feeling homesick for the ranch in Colorado and the ski town we used to live in. Unfortunately, the place I'm homesick for doesn't really exist any more. Only in my mind. Ah change.

If the song doesn't show up you will know I'm still blond, still cyber-challenged and still live where 'thinking is optional'.

I'm practicing my French,so Bonne chance for today.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

a Day Late and A Dollar Short ~ Just more of the usual!

Ok, I'm a day late and a dollar short with my Friday post. Nobody is too surprised, are they? I did mention to y'all about NaNoWriMo, right? Well I am driven, consumed, obsessed and having a really good time. 

The story is one inspired by an experience I had in an old house we lived in on a Colorado ranch. This place had it's own ghost. Yes,I did see him. When I questioned the family history about the place,I found out who he was. I'll tell you that story in December when I finish NaNoWriMo. I don't want to taint the novel I'm writing by getting into the real story. Does that make sense?

Anyway, as I write this story everything is so vivid,I can see these places, because I actually know then. I'm having a great time, if not making myself a little homesick. The truth of the matter is that whenever I get homesick, it's for that ranch and that little (what used to be little) ski town in Colorado. The incredibly sad part of this is that what I'm homesick for doesn't even exist anymore.  Most of our friends have left, it's now a big mega dollar ski resort, and the ranch we lived on has been bought and sold several times by rich investors, who by the way have been rumored to never be able to stay in the old homestead house where we used to live. This ghost has got to like you or you are outta there real quick.

Enough of a stroll down memory lane. I'm having a really good time with this story.I'm enjoying NaNoWriMo even though it is kind of grueling. There is so much support and encouragement on the 'net' from other writers,that it makes you feel like you are part of a real community. For old 'loner' me that's an accomplishment in and of itself. 

Hang in there with me. These posts might be short and far and few between, but know that I'm writing. I may even post some excerpts to see what you think. When that happens they will be on I post there on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so check it out and see if a bit of 'The Ghost's Story' goes up. It will probably be a week or two before that happens.

Well guys, it's the weekend. Go out have some fun. Spend at least a few minutes of your weekend where 'thinking is optional'.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Insecure Writers Support Group - Who Me?

I'm such a loner that it doesn't occur to me to look for support. Looking or not it seems to come. You know that old saying about "mad dogs and Englishmen", most days I'm both. What I'm trying to say is that so many of you take such good care of me, even though I don't have the good sense to ask for help. 

I write goofy things on this blog, of course, it's like my Journal so what ever is in my head that day shows up here. That's not always good. This would be the reason I started the Far Away Series Blog where I try to sound a little more sane and promote my writing. At either site it feels good to write and write I do. Often I post something and think; 'oh, this will really mean something to so and so'. I can't wait to see what they comment. Well most often so and so never comments, but someone completely off the wall will say the sweetest thing or be touched by something I've said. That's what makes it worthwhile. That's why I write.

I stated in an earlier post how we all live for the applesauce (applause-old theater joke), those comments are the applause, whether good bad or indifferent (BTW - there is no such thing as an indifferent comment, if you cared enough to say it, you cared enough.). Keep them coming. They keep us alive. They keep us in touch with each other and with our own reality.

I am such a loner that sometimes I don't even recognize that I am outcast. No matter. If I do not know it, I am not it. Likewise; if you do not tell me that you love me, I will not know it.

I was speaking to a friend from Idaho last night who is still astounded to hear I have written two novels and am working on a third in this month of November. Ahh, the things we assume we know about someone, but forgot to ask. My husband says that I like nothing better than the sound of my own voice. While I do love that sound, I like even better the sound of your voice telling me about mine.

NaNoWriMo is working out good for me so far. I have to keep reining in the muse, it likes to get ahead of me. (Bird by Bird, I keep reminding myself). It's important to tell the whole story, in the right order. I knows what's in my head, but you don't. Well,maybe some days even I don't know.

When the in securities get to big, scary, dark, overwhelming, nerve wracking, about to gobble you up, get yourself in some water. That's what I do. I know it sounds crazy, but it works. If you are lucky enough to live at the beach, salt water is my favorite. If you have a pool nearby, go there. If nothing else take a shower or bath. Let that velvet flow of water wash over you and rinse all the scary stuff away. Your muse will thank you. You will thank you. Try it, you'll like it.

OK,I admit maybe this is the craziest advice you will find in any blog on this support group, but it's practical advice, something everyone can do. You don't need to wrap your head around it, just wrap some water around yourself.

OK, maybe I'm more than a little crazy. Remember I live where the commas don't, and thinking is optional.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Republique Dominicana

We are home safe and sound from our weekend in the Dominican Republic and I want to tell you it was awesome.

I'm sure if you went to one of the may wonderful resorts in the DR everyone would speak English. We did not. We spent the weekend in what I would call downtown Santo Domingo, a city of about three million people. Almost no one spoke English. I did get to speak Spanish and French. Was I intimidate? You bet. But if you wanted to eat, sleep, get anywhere, you had absolutely no choice.

When we first got to our accommodations where no one spoke English, we found that they had given our reservations away and there was no room for us. OK. Rick was polite but persistent in both English and Spanish. Finally, they found us one room, we needed two. There was another woman traveling with us. They had big comfy chairs in the lobby, so Rick told me to take the room with our friend Rosa and he would sleep in a chair. If I learned one thing this weekend it was ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE. We had some other friends from Puerto Rico staying at the same place, when I started asking around we found that there was a room with four beds with only two women in it. Our friend Rosa was happy to stay with these two women and Rick and I had the last room left at the Inn.

I will tell you about the Dominican Republic, but first I want to tell you a little bit about our friend Rosa. It was most important that she go on this trip and do some important work. Her path was filled with obstacles. When we finally got to the airport in St. Croix, ready to leave, we were a little late. (Yeah, you guys know me) Anyway, Rick and I had only carry on luggage. Rosa had a bag that needed to be checked. TSA would not take it, because we were late. They told her she could board but she could not take her luggage. She did not know what to do. I looked her in the eye and told her I knew it was important for her to go, I suggested she leave the bag. BEFORE THIS; I had plead vehemently with the A/A check-in clerk to the point where she told me not to say another word or they would not let me on the plane. She told me not to talk to the Customs Agents or anyone else, but to shut it and go through the boarding process. (I wanted you to know that I did not tell Rosa to leave her bag behind without a fight.) ANYWAY...Rosa exercised more faith than I have ever seen before. She walked away from her luggage and boarded that plane with the clothes on her back. Once in your life I sincerely hope you can experience that. It is to stand in the presence of greatness.

In the Dominican Republic I had the opportunity to speak Spanish and French with a little bit of English thrown in. I got so used to speaking Spanish, that yesterday when we were coming through Customs in Puerto Rico, they were trying to redirect us and I asked something in Spanish, the agent let lose with a whole paragraph in Spanish. When he saw the bewildered look on my face, he apologized and said that after I spoke he did not realize that I was not fluent in Spanish. Are you kidding me? I was raised in Chicago. I'm barely fluent in English. Anyway it was a compliment.

We didn't make it to the beach. The ocean there is very different that on our little island. It is of course beautiful and just as blue, but the swells are enormous 5 - 6 ft. These are not white cap waves, just the ocean swells. That was intimidating.

No one would take dollars. We had to exchange our money and the exchange rate is not good. There's a little wake up call America. There were military types armed with automatic weapons as interesting places. Like a toll booth. I mean the toll on the highway was less than a dollar. They must be pretty serious about collecting. Interesting for me that after three days, the armed military presence ceased to bother me.

Rick and I ate out in a very posh restaurant on Friday night. Nobody in the place spoke English. Our poor waiter was very intimidate. We managed to have a wonderful dinner, and we got what we wanted. He understood my Spanish. We even had Chocolate Mousse for desert. It was in this restaurant where  I learned my most important Spanish word POSTRES ~ yeah, you guessed it that means desert. When the check came I though I was going to have to put my CPR skills to the test. Rick was hyperventilating. See a copy of the charge receipt at the bottom. NOT TO WORRY, that's in DR pesos. About $69US. We knew that, but just the sight had Rick's heart stop for a minute.Hopefully our credit card makes the right exchange, that should be interesting.

Both TSA and Customs were either on High Alert for some reason, or I look like a terrorist. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that Rick hurt his back and on the way home every time he had to take his shoes off, I had to tie them up for him (he could not bend over).  All that messing with his shoes made them nervous. They kept telling me to step away from him and then he would get the once over again. I told him to wear the flip flops, but would he listen?

This turned out to be one of my most favorite "road trips" ever. I will be going back. Bad news from our kids is that they probably won't be able to come for Christmas. We are looking for cheap rates to St. Martin. We will try to go between Christmas and New Years to distract ourselves from missing the family. Hey, they speak French there. Who's up for a road trip.

Nanowrimo starts tomorrow. I can hardly wait. We'll have to see what it will be like and adjust the posting schedule accordingly.I know your waiting with baited breath.

Happy Halloween.I hope you can spend the day somewhere where "thinking is optional". I'm gonna.

Friday, October 28, 2011

TGIF and the Big Bird

It's Friday already and so I'm back here. I have to admit it has been fun going back and forth between this blog, which BTW is my personal Journal (rant) and which is supposed to be more about my writing and my books. Lately, I'm not so sure I can tell the difference.

I started the second blog because I was afraid I was too Politically Incorrect and often sounded a little crazy on this one. Sure I could have just toned this one down a bit, but then where would I go to get it all out. Also,I really want to be prepared to promote my books and my serious writing. Now I'm really sounding crazy. when I  opened up my 'dashboard' for this blog, the title for one of the blogs that I follow was "How Much Should a Writer Blog". ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Maybe all writers are not as crazy as me, but I have to write. OK, I'm saying this out loud. It's a compulsion. Can't you tell? 

The past few weeks I have been waiting (not so patiently, I might add) for my editor to get me the second round of revisions on my first book "Far Away Eyes". The second book is done. Ideas for the third are running through my brain. I have done all of the research for "The Ghost's Story", the project I'm working on for NaNoWriMo (do I really need to tell you again, to google it) which won't start until 11/1, so this is it. Blog 1 and Blog 2. This is where I have been writing.

Starting on 11/1, I will have to cut back if I intend to put in 2,000+ words a day on "The Ghost's Story". I'm not sure what I will cut back to, but I'll let you know as soon as I figure it out. 

The first time I went to college(trust me the times I have gone to college are numerous) I was a Theater Major. In that department everyone lives for the applesauce. (Theater joke,you get it right? It's applause, but of course, Theater Majors are known to be horrible spellers among other things.) Well nothing has changed. I live for the feedback. What writer doesn't? OK,maybe there are a few. Not me. So... I want to say right here, right now, how much I appreciate each and every comment made on either of my blogs. Some days, all I do is check back looking for a comment or two. THANK YOU ALL.

That's it for today, nothing too clever, your're not surprised are you? I've got to run and go jump in the pool and workout. Then finish packing. Then head on over to the airport. Today we are getting 'off island' for a few days. Going to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. I am so excited. I'll tell you all about it on Monday(did you have any doubt). Maybe I'll even have some pictures.

If you are into "Horror" for Halloween,checkout this blog He has had 'guest posts' of some of the most horrific short stories, that you are compelled to keep reading, this past week. Be warned it is horrific. The blog has a disclaimer about adult content at the beginning. No visuals, just pure scary stuff. 

Have a great Halloween Weekend. Remember to keep 'thinking optional".

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Moral Dilemma

I like to give my characters a moral dilemma and see what they will do with it. I'm not too crazy about the idea of having my own. It's great when everything is going great and you can just blah, blah,blah your way through, but when the going gets tough and you are called on to put your money where your mouth is, look out.

On Monday I went on and on about how lucky I am to live where I do and I even had the audacity to state that if anyone heard me complaining they should slap me, please. I can't believe I said that out loud. I am the most superstitious person you have ever met. My husband calls me the resident gypsy. It is most assuredly "bad luck" to say out loud "how lucky you are". There you have it, I brought the current moral dilemma on myself.

When we lived in Florida we were very fortunate to live for one year right on the water. The second year we lived in a large house with a swimming pool in a cage, in a great neighborhood, with good schools. (I neglected to mention this Monday in my 'Room with a View' post, possibly because fate knew what was waiting for me and that I would need to bring it up today.) We, of course, were tenants in both places. That's me again, no strings. (Also fortunate, because I hated Florida and couldn't wait to get back to the Rocky Mountain West.) Anyway...back to my fortunate in Florida story, when a good friend stopped by our second house ,on the way home from closing on a nice little house they had just purchased in Bonita Springs, (without all the fine accouterments of my big rental house) she gave me these words of wisdom.

She said,"At first I wanted to be jealous,but then I realized how hard it is for you here and all of the terrible things you have to deal with and this house is payment for those sacrifices. You have here a sanctuary to come home to and get away from the nastiness you deal with on a day to day basis. I don't have that in my life, and I am grateful.  My little house is a fine sanctuary for the tranquil life I am able to live". 

I was not sure what to make of that. We were dealing with some ugly issues during that time in Florida. Issues a lot bigger than my cry baby attitude of "I don't like it here. I want to go back to the mountains. I want to live with four seasons. I miss the snow. Blah, blah, blah. (Hard to believe,today I live in the Caribbean and love it. What a difference a decade makes.) I was asked to Pay It Forward. I have been blessed. I have lived a 'charmed' life. I have lived in beautiful places, that  provide incredible sanctuaries. I live in one right now,if you don't believe me checkout the previous post. I'm not being asked to leave. I am being asked to make a sacrifice. Probably a minor one at that, but for right now it seems kind of major. Will I make the right decision? I hope so. Will I learn something? I hope so. Will I expect some thing in return? I hope not, I have already been paid in full.

Crap. Moral dilemma's are fun to write. (I enjoy making the characters stretch.) They are a pain in the butt to live. I guess someone wants me to stretch also.

I have a headache. I need to get back to a place where "thinking is optional".

Monday, October 24, 2011

Room with a View

I've been having a good time reading other blogs tonight. Everybody is creepy with Halloween coming. More Ghost stories on tomorrow.

For today,right here, right now, I want to show you the view I roll over and wake up to every morning. Yeah that's it right over there. Is that spectacular or what?

Our condo is a two story job. Living room dining room and kitchen combo upstairs and two bedrooms with two baths downstairs. We rent the place furnished. Very little here is actually ours, but no matter. I own that view.

Upstairs in the living room and then again downstairs in the master bedroom there is a wall of windows, floor to ceiling with gigantic patio doors. We throw those patio doors open and  never close 'em. There is a galleria(deck) on each floor that is covered,so rain only comes in during a hurricane when the wind is really howling. It's like camping out every night, with a nice comfortable king size bed underneath you. We can hear the surf all night long.

Believe me I know how lucky I am and yet luck has nothing to do with it. I moved here from a ranch in the middle of nowhere Idaho. We lived in the middle of 800 acres. You could not see another house from ours. About a mile and a half of the main road and the county did not plow for us. If it weren't for a good neighbor with a big tractor we would have been snowed in until spring. It would not have bothered me a bit. More than once we snow shooed out to the highway. I was a tenant there too.

In Colorado we lived on a 400 acre ranch about a mile and a half outside a famous ski area. We lived in the old homestead house. It was about a hundred year old place. This was the homestead of a wealthy man, two stories and a great place. Compete with it's own ghost (not telling that story until December). Tenants there too.

I've been blessed beyond my capacity. We have had the good fortune to live some incredible places. These are all properties that sold for,or were on the market with a price tag in the millions. Now I'm not that rich or that clever, but I am willing to 'think outside the box'. The bottom line is that we're all tenants, ain't none of what we think we own, goin' with us in the end. 

Because we have been willing to 'think outside the box' and sometimes live 'off the map' we have lived some incredible places and it is not over yet. It's true I don't have the security of home ownership, but I am also not trapped, like so many of our friends have been the last few years with the current economy in the US. I also don't live in that little starter ranch style 1000 sq ft home we bought when we were first married. Of course, even that place was in the highest (in more ways than one) incorporated town in North America at 10,300 ft above sea level. That's Alma,Colorado, for those of you wondering, so I guess it wasn't so ordinary after all.(as a side note my husband was the mayor there. What a trip!)

I'm not posting this to brag or anything like that. I know what we do and the way my husband and I have and are still living is not for everybody. We did this when we had kids at home too. I'm grateful Oprah went off the air, because I'm sure one day one of them might show up to complain.  For me it's a great ride. I wanted to post this so that the next time I get on a self pity jag and start complaining, particularly about life in the islands,somebody slap me, please.
This is where I have breakfast every morning.

Lovin' livin' where 'thinking is optional'.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Audacity and Living Out Loud

Yesterday at I started talking about an experience up in Montana at the Little Big Horn National Monument. If your interested go there and check it out. Here today I want to talk a little bit more about the weekend at the horse sale in Billlings, Mt.

A few weeks before this trip to Billings the monthly copy of Western Horseman Magazine showed up. On the cover was a reprint of a painting done by an artist from Cody,Wyoming. It was a picture of a young Montana Cowboy. My traveling companion (daughter)on this particular trip was seriously enamored with this guys portrait. The artist recognized him on the cover. I remember his first name was Nate,but that's all I can remember.

Anyway...we're sitting at this sale, catalogs in hand,not really interested in the next ten or twelve horses coming up,when my daughter says. Oh my gosh, that guy from the cover of Western Horseman is here. Sure enough. After the gavel fell on the last sale the auctioneer mentions him and his recent fifteen minutes of fame. Daughter says, I'm gonna meet him. Now I've know this woman for all of her years. She has no trouble talking to horses, dogs, cats, even squirrels, but people, men people, are more a crash and burn situation. I'm trying to be supportive,but... Well, she gets up goes over to him, introduces herself, shakes his hand (That's a scary thing in itself. Have you ever shook the hand of a horse trainer?) and invites him to go have a drink or something like that.

Before I go any farther and tell you the outcome,I want to be sure Bubba knows what happened next. What happened next the Encyclopedia of Life under the word Audacious her picture popped up with those little track lights running around it. That should happen to every woman, at least once in her life. She should be in a situation, especially a situation with a man, where she says "it's now or never". "Nothing ventured,nothing gained." Where she decides life is for living out loud. Hey Bubba, I applauded you that day and I applaud you now. Never forget that. Never let those lights go dim. You are meant to be AUDACIOUS. Life is meant to be lived OUT LOUD.

The rest of the story...Ole Nate is flattered (he should be Bubba is a pretty little blond Rodeo Queen - it's true,even if she hates that description) and married. I think he might have introduced Bubba to his wife and son. No mater. It's not about the out come,it's about the process.

Everyone of us is a work in progress. Keep moving forward, keep progressing,that's the goal. The only way you can coast is downhill and who needs that.

I am a proponent of Audacity and Living Life Out Loud. I also Hope You Dance.

Happy Weekend! I hope you spend it some place where "thinking is optional".

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dreams or Maybe NIghtmares

Today I was agonizing over what to blog about. So, instead,I started working on my Blogfest list. I can only devote so much time to it. I decided I would checkout five new blogs a day. I also decided to just start at 1 and work my way down, but then you know me. I did my five and saw one more that I just had to look at. HOLD THIS THOUGHT FOR A MINUTE.

Now, I have been going on about NaNoWriMo (don't ask,just google it),probably more on my other site, but, I know I have mentioned it here. Anyway, this is a month long writing project, where you write a novel in a month. The month of November in particular. I have been chomping at the bit to do this. The story idea is making me crazy. So crazy in fact I have been dreaming about the place where it takes place for over a month now. It's a place where I used to live. A very special ranch in Colorado.

When I sat down one morning to make some notes about the story, I wrote the last chapter of the book. I posted that on the above mentioned blog.  It's a few days old now, so if you want to look at it you will have to scroll down. the version posted was NOT edited,so be warned. I can't get this story out of my head and I keep thinking about this place and all of my time in Colorado.

NOW, BACK TO THAT THOUGHT YOU ARE HOLDING; today in my blogfest searches I click on this blog and there is a picture that looks familiar to me. It is a view of one of my AHA moments. That point when you reach the crest of Kenosha Pass and look into the beautiful basin that is know as South Park (Yeah,it is the same at the totally irreverent TV show by the same name. I lived there. I can identify all of their original characters with real people. This is the truth.) I was stunned. I thought Holy Crap. This is like straight out of my dreams or nightmares. When I scrolled down,it was even more incredible. Go there. Take a look. You will have to go to the right hand side of the blog and click on "My Memory Box". There is a beautiful story behind this trip. Read her blog and check it out. Leave her a comment and tell her I sent you. By the way this lady lives in Norway. Are you kidding me?

If you know me at all, you know I do NOT believe in coincidence. I have got to tell this story. I almost can't wait for November 1. I'm wondering what is up with all of this.

On a more sad note, today my wireless mouse died. This is a major bummer. I'm losing my mind trying to use that screwy mouse pad on the laptop. Ah, how quickly we forget.

On a happier note, we are going to get off island for a few days next week.  We are going to the BIG island in the Caribbean, Hispaniola. The Dominican Republic half, actually. I can hardly wait. Caribbean equivalent of a road trip. It will only take two planes.

Can't wait to see what's in store for me tonight when I close my eyes. Hopefully, a few new chapters for "The Ghost's Story".

Monday, October 17, 2011


Is it Monday already? What happened to the weekend? 

I learned a few things this weekend. 

First; on the island where I live there are two types of cars. The first type is the 'standard' and the second is the 'mash and go'. I learned to drive a standard when I was thirteen on the farm, in central Illinois. On the farm you could drive at whatever age. I didn't live on the farm. I lived in the city, but Daddy being a cop in the big city sent me to my aunts and uncles on the farm for the summer, once I was old enough to earn my way. On the farm everybody works. Did I ever mention how much I hate chickens? Due to my time on the farm, I rarely eat eggs. But, due to my time on the farm, I learned to drive 'standard' at thirteen, ride a horse and other things that farm kids learn, that I won't mention here.  Thank you Daddy.

I was in my thirties when I learned that the farm families were not really related to me. (For various reasons that's probably a good thing.) These people were good friends of my grandmother's and I was raised calling them aunt and uncle. All of the cousins were not really my cousins. Daddy was no dummy. I spent a lot of my teen years there with the 'cousins'. It was probably a good thing we all thought we were related.

As usual, I digress. I wanted to talk about driving. For years I drove a 'standard',wouldn't mind having one again. Lately I have become a mash and go kind of girl. That is probably not such a good thing cause I have a lead foot and that mash and go thing is bound to get me in trouble. I do like to turn up the rock music and 'mash and go'.

This whole mash and go thing was inspired by a Cruzan lady who was talking about buying a car at church. I love the Cruzan way of putting things. Of course, this particular lady is from Trinidad, so she refers to herself as a West Indian,not really a Cruzan, but you live here long enough "we are all Cruzan".

Tonight Rick and I went to see "Real Steel". "Rocky" for the twenty-first Century. It was fun. Everybody could use an -underdog, feel good movie- and what's not to like about Hugh Jackman.

That's it "thinking is still optional",but this post has gotten me to thinking. I may have to tell you more about my time on the farm.

Listening to Amos Lee and Willie Nelson. That's a little bit of Heaven.

Friday, October 14, 2011

If this is Friday, then this is where I'm supposed to be. I knew I would be getting a little nuts trying to keep up two blogs. Heck,I'm a little nuts trying to keep up. Anyway another blog that I follow introduced me to something unusual it's called a Blog Hop. I could try to explain it, but since I'm a little dazed an confused at my best,I'm sure I would make a mess of it. instead go to my friend Donna K.Weaver's blog and get the details. find her at:

The point of this BLOG HOP is to list three blogs that you follow and enjoy.  

The first is Donna's. I met her on Twitter. She's funny, interesting and once a month hosts a "grammar blog", yeah I need that. Check her out at the link above.

Second up is by Kendall Grey. I enjoy Kendall because she is HONEST. Sometimes a little profane so be warned,but for her that's a part of her honesty. I think I found her through Twitter also.

Both Donnal and Kendall are writers,so I can relate and get some good advice.

Third is by Elizabeth May. This is where I go to relax and find inspiration. One of the things I do when I write is to try to visualize things, especially my characters. Other writers say to cast you book,like a movie. Sometimes that's hard for me. On Elizabeth's site it's easy, she has some models that work great for the characters in my head. Her scenery is beautiful and relaxing. Enjoy.

That's it for today. Check out these blogs and check out the entire Blog Hop list on Donna's site. Sorry, I couldn't get it to work here. But you know me "thinking is optional" and today is no different.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It's Wednesday, I'm back. Let's hope.

I spent yesterday on the fringes of lunacy. Why do I let myself go there? I could make all kinds of excuses,but truth be told sometimes I like it. I feel like I need to apologize to everyone I came in contact with yesterday.

First, my daughter. She called and sounded awful. She and her youngest are sick, really sick. I just got mad. I get mad that she doesn't take care of herself they way she should. I get mad that she has to work so much and so hard. I get mad that we don't live closer together so I can help her out and take the kids when she's sick. I'm really mad because I feel bad for her, but I'm sure she feels that I'm mad at her. I'm sorry, honey. I just want you to feel better. I want your life to be easier. I want you to be happy. I want your children to be healthy,happy, and safe.

Then Rick came home from work in his usual negative state. Things at work are crazy. Things at church are crazy. Last night he had a Presidency Mtg at church and I had an activity with the girls. We were out late the night before with the Missionaries. Neither of us was excited about going back and "herding cats". I deal with that type of thing by ranting and raving for a few minutes and get it out of my system. Rick deals with it with extreme negativity that can last for weeks. We're going on a couple of months now. Even my ranting and raving (I do more and more of it here, because he obviously does not need one more thing to deal with) isn't getting it and there I am at "the fringes of lunacy".

I did sit down and write the last chapter of a new book I want to write. Starting from the end and working backwards. If that's not the "fringes of lunacy" I'm not sure what is. What happened was I woke up with this idea in my head, maybe I dreamt it (I don't sleep well, so I never remember dreams, if I even have them),I wanted to get a few of the ideas down on paper in the form of notes so I didn't forget them. Instead, I sat down and wrote 2,000 words, a complete chapter. It seemed pretty good to me. When Rick read it, he told me he thought it could stand alone as a short story. That was an interesting concept to me. I'll have to think about it for a few days. I have so many more ideas for the rest of the story. From the start, I mean.

My activity with the girls last night was presented by the sister missionaries.I was disappointed at first,because they did not do what I asked. Instead they did a short presentation of exactly what I needed. I'm trying so hard to keep these kids off drugs,out of gangs, out of some guys bed, in school, prepared for college, prepared for a mission of their own, prepared for life. Ah, there they are "the fringes of lunacy".God does know my name. He loves me even when I'm only hanging on by my fingernails. Before we left the church the Branch President tells Rick and I that he had a dream about us the night before. This is the same guy who has been mad at us for three or four months now. He has refused to shake my hand and barely acknowledges Rick (Rick is his 1st Counsellor in the Branch Presidency). I asked him if I died in his dream,because that's supposed to mean something good. He just looked at me. He did go onto tell us some bizarre dream. Either he ate something crazy before he went to bed or somebody is trying to tell him something. I almost asked him what he was smoking, but here in El Caribe that would be a real insult.

My final act of over the edgeness was last night when some guy from Twitter started a conversation with me about a book idea. I let him have it with both barrels of my "Hey Buddy,live your dreams or die" routine. I'm sure he looked at my profile and figured; "Oh yeah,she lives in a place where the rum is always gone". I already sent that apology via Twitter.

OK, apologies done. I think I'm better. I sure can't get much worse. I still haven't balanced my checkbook,it's only been six months. That is today's goal. Rick and I made a personal commitment, we need to get off island for a few days. Our choices were to go to St Maarten to just play or the Dominican Republic where we can play and get a Spiritual recharge. We're going to the Dominican Republic. Santo Domingo in particular. I have the money for one plane ticket. I'm hoping the money for the second is in the checking account. We'll see your fingers crossed.

The fridge is back working. You will love this. Within some hour or another the repairman shows up. He has a very technical looking tool box with him which he places on my counter. He then proceeds to take everything out of my freezer and puts it in the sink. I go downstairs and drag the cooler upstairs. He tells me I don't need no stinkin' cooler, he will have it fixed in a few minutes. OK. Next he pulls a dining room chair up in front of the freezer and unscrews the back panel. Now, he opens this very technical looking toolbox (I am serious about it's appearance, this is not an exaggeration), he takes our a hairdryer, YES I said hairdryer and proceeds to unthaw the freezer. I'm at my computer cracking up. The long and short of it is the heater, YES I said heater for the fridge is shot, (who knew the fridge needed a heater) so it keeps freezing up and the cold air won't circulate and cool things down. He has to order the part from Puerto Rico should be here in four or five days. This little unthaw should last that long. Before he leaves he asks to us e the bathroom. He goes downstairs and comes up to tell me the toilet is broken. OH, Just Shoot Me. I am warned. He will be back in four or five days.

For today anyway; "Thinking is optional".

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's been a crazy weekend. Woke up yesterday with a monumental headache and fire in my upper chest. Felt like the beginning of bronchitis (haven't had that in about seven years). Went back to bed and started slugging the Kyani. We had gone to the beach on Saturday and after only about forty-five minutes int he water I started to shiver,not a good sign.Somewhere in the night I had cocooned myself in the sheet and could not stop shivering. Rick got our blanket and I wrapped up in that and fell back to sleep. Long story short, I'm sure I had a fever and my body was trying to work through this mess. Slept on and off all day Sunday, went to bed at nine thirty and woke up feeling pretty good this morning, little headache residue but, not too bad.

It's a good thing I feel better, because we're back in hunter/gatherer mode. Yep, the fridge is not working. Again. Property Manager is off island. Repairman is supposed to be here within the hour (never did say what hour,just within the). Food in freezer is thawing and stuff in fridge is warm. Gotta love it.

If your interested, I started a new blog. It should be interesting to see how I keep up with two blogs. You can find the new one at It is going to be where I post thing primarily about my books. That way I won't fill up my Journal with all of that stuff. Of course, really big news, like finding representation or a publisher will probably go in both places.

I have noticed that there are still a lot of hits on this blog, with absolutely no comments. I suppose some of my rants have offended you at one time or another. This is my Journal, I am not Politically Correct here. Heck, I'm not very Politically Correct anyplace. I don't believe in name calling or hurting someone's feelings but all of this crap about Political Correctness is turning us into a bunch of liars.

I read an AOL news article the other day where Johnny Depp had to apologize because he remarked about a photo shoot for a prominent magazine had him feeling like he was being raped. I understand that maybe someone thought that was disrespectful to a person who had been raped, making that kind of a comparison, but if that's what he felt, why should he have to apologize. I can think of more than one instance where I felt like I had no control over my own body, no dignity, no privacy. Where one consent led to numerous violations of my person. All this at a time when I was too sick and weak to fight back. (Try cancer treatment).

I'm sick of watching political candidates being attacked for their religion. We all want them to have religion, but must it only be our form of religion. We expect a separation of Church and State and then we constantly bring up "their" church. What is that about? Would I like you all to enjoy the same religion as I? You bet. Would I like you to do that in name and word only and not truly live it? No way. One of my favorite things is when I lose it over something and my humanness shows through; I tend to get the comment; "and she says she's a religious person." Yeah, well, I'm a human person first. I'm still working on the better part of me and I'm sure, I will be for along time.

Racism, the next big issue. Don't even get me started. It seems to me that we have got to stop looking at the color of peoples skin, the slant of their eyes, the length of their nose or the speech patterns they use to determine who we want to be our friends, let alone who we want to led us. Whether friendship or leadership shouldn't we look at qualifications, sincerity of heart and their ability to be honest.

Honesty, this is my final rant for today. I don't care who you are, or who you think you are; everybody lies. I try real hard to be honest. sometimes the best policy for me is silence or ignoring a question all together. But, every so often I'm caught with that 'deer in the headlights"look and I tell an untruth. There are a few places where I never lie. I can honestly say that, but then there are still some of those sticky situations. Here's the thing, are you really trying to be honest? Do you think our world leaders are? Do you think your friends and neighbors are? I do know some people that I can say I do believe they are trying and doing a pretty good job of it. But on the whole I have to say; "Everybody lies."

OK,I have probably offended everyone somewhere in there today.Sorry. Not for anything I said, but I am sorry if your feel offended.

My plan is to post here Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and post on the Far Away Series site on Tuesday and Thursday. I'll leave Saturday and Sunday up for grabs. Let's see how this works out.I do have a problem posting every day. I try not to post on the days when I'm feeling really negative. Can you imagine what that would be like? YIKES.

That's all,from a place where "thinking is always optional".