Friday, November 11, 2016

Hairy Situation Nov 2016 #UseYourWords

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works, participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phrases, for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That is the challenge, here is a fun twist; no one who is participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:
shave ~ no ~ razor ~ furry ~ mountain man ~ legs
They were submitted by: Sarah of Not That Sarah Michelle
(Thank you for such awesome words!! I needed that giggle!!

Originally, I had planned on writing a new chapter of Stable Layne for y'all, but then Tuesday happened, and I just don't have it in me. I want to have it in me. I want to feel normal, but I don't. I feel sad.

I feel like hate has won. A man that spoke about committing heinous acts, who doesn't pay taxes, who has lied countless times (about ridiculous things), who has preached hate against nationalities and religions, and who has proven himself to be incompetent, is our President. I am just shocked. There were far better options, and they didn't succeed.

There were options that weren't based on waging a war against nationalities, religions, and women, and they lost. Since he won, I have seen such hate crimes spreading like wildfire. The common thread? The perpetrators are calling on his name, as their excuse for why they can do what they are doing.

I am a woman who loves love. I love acceptance. I love kindness. I want more of that. I want more equality. I want more kindness. I want more hope. 

I want less talk of walls and hate. I want less judgement. I want less tearing down of the very foundations our country was built on. We were built by imigrants, on the grounds of religious freedoms. Not just for one religion, but for all. We were a melting pot for all different cultures. We should be an all inclusive country. We should be putting our hearts and best feet forward. Yet, instead, we are talking about the opposite.

I am constantly seeing the reactions around the world, to our election, and they are not good. I cannot even blame them. It directly has an impact on me, and I am hurting. I am not naive to the fact that the impact can, and most likely, will be felt around the world.

I am sad.

I am sadder than the razor which was chosen to shave the furry legs, of a woman who chose to say no to shaving for ten years, and is hairier than a mountain man.

I am sad. I am not hopeless. I have faith that we will rise above this hate. I have to believe that hate will not win. Hate will not destroy all we have worked to achieve. We will rise up. Love will win. We will be the fantastic country we are. We will not turn bad. I have to believe.

Do not forget to go read all the other Use Your Words posts!! I am so sorry that this post was less than my best. I am sorry that it was not another installment of Stable Layne. I promise I will heal, and I will start back to writing. I just need a few days to heal. To find my hope. To overcome this feeling up sadness and disappointment. I will come to terms with our flawed two party system. I will be back. I can only hope you will all still be here. Please, do not hesitate to reach out to me, if you need someone to talk to. We are all in this together.

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Blessings Overflowing Nov 2016 #PoetryCollaboration

This is our monthly Poetry collaboration. I will awaken in the morning. I will suck it up. I will write. For now, I'm too depressed. I just watched a man get elected, who terrifies me.

Our theme is blessings.

I will do it justice tomorrow. For now. . .

Poem 1:

My life has been full of blessings.
Blessings in the form of family I love.
Blessings in the form of friends I cherish.
Blessings in the form of children I adore.
I was blessed to receive an education.
I was blessed to be taught the love of God.
I was blessed to live in safety, nearly always.
I was blessed to have freedom of choice.
I want the same for my daughter.
I want the same for my daughter's children.
I'm scared. I'm worried. I'm nervous.
I fear the future.
I fear that the blessings will be gone.
I fear they'll be unavailable to my daughter.
We are supposed to pay our blessings forward.
I fear we've done the opposite.
I fear we took them for granted, and now they're gone.

Poem 2:

Boundless opportunities .
Limitless options.
Excellent choices.
Smiles unending.
Streets paved in gold.
Intellectual advancement.
Nurtured endlessly.
Grounded in success.
Strong bonds with loved ones.

Check out the other poetry this month:

Blogger and Blog: Karen of Baking In A Tornado
Name of Poem: Blessings

Blogger and Blog: Diane of On the Border
Name of Poem: Blessings

Blogger and Blog: Lydia of Cluttered Genius
Name of Poem: Hidden Blessings

Blogger and Blog: Joy of Evil Joy Speaks
Name of Poem: Blessings of Change

Blogger and Blog: Dawn of Spatulas On Parade
Name of Poem: Thanks

Blogger and Blog: Candice of Measurements of Merriment
Name of Poem: Life Blessings

Friday, November 4, 2016

A Day in the Life Nov 2016 #SecretSubjectSwap

Welcome to November's Secret Subject Swap. This week twelve brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject of their own. Today, we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is: Tomorrow is the start of a new day. A change for you in whatever way you want. You can try out a new profession, a new city, a new you. The catch is it's just for a day. What do you do and when tomorrow is over are you going to be happy to be back where you started.

It was submitted by: Joy of Evil Joy Speaks (Thank you, for this awesome prompt, Joy!!)

I sat down to write this post, and I had an answer in my head, then I took a break. I wasn't feeling well, and I wanted to stretch out on the couch for a few. The next thing I knew, I was waking up two hours later. It was after 10 pm, and Chad was still up with Gigi. He let me sleep. He has to be awake at 3:30 in the morning to work, but let me sleep. So, I got up and let him go to bed, and then I stayed up with Gigi until she fell asleep. I then relaxed and procrastinated for a little bit, and then sat down to write this. I also made a quick trip to the 24-hour Starbucks, but who is keeping track? 

So, now I am sitting here ready to write, and after some thought, I had a different answer to this awesome prompt. Don't get me wrong, I still love my first answer, but I think this second one is just an all around better answer. So, before I spell it out to you, let me tell you my take on this prompt. In my mind, if I decided to be President for a day (I did consider this), I would only be President Jules for one day, and then it is back to being boring Jules. I think (in my opinion) that the changes I made as President would still be in place, until changed. So, yes, I think my life goes back to normal, but any changes I make, any lasting effects of my choices/actions that day, are still present. For example, if I killed someone, they would still be dead. No magical reincarnations. I could be completely wrong. Maybe this isn't what Joy had in mind at all. It just seemed weird to me that life would go back to normal AND any effects would be voided as well.

With all that in mind, I have decided to spend my day wisely. I think. I would be sending Chad and Gigi to Disney with complete VIP status and enough funds to do anything and everything. I want them to have VIP status, so they can do as much as possible in a day. I know there is SO MUCH to do, and I think a day is not enough, but we only have one day, and I think VIP status, would help allow them to do the most possible. I honestly do not know which Disney. I am thinking Disney World in Florida, but I would honestly have to see what is offered where. I would choose the one with the most things they would love. 

I had considered doing something entirely different for Chad. Giving him an awesome day to himself. Just him and some awesome activities. Things like a massage, a private concert from his favorite bands, access to all his favorite foods, diving with sharks, and possibly a date with Katy Perry. I finally decided on Disney, because even though he won't get rest, he will get to make awesome memories with Gigi, and I think he would LOVE that. If he hated it, I think Gigi would love it, and let's face it... that matters more. (Sorry, Chad!)

You are probably wondering why I am not with them. Great question. I would give anything to go to Disney with them, but I have some stuff I would like to get done at home, and so I would stay to oversee that. Also, with my health, I would probably only hold them back. While here alone (alone without Chad and Gigi, not alone alone), I would have all needed changes and repairs done to our home. I would have a huge work crew here, do everything I want done. New kitchen (cabinets, counters, appliances, sink- basically so much more storage and function), changes to the bathroom, painting, deep cleaning, a laundry enclosure built, a garage built complete with storage and a paid in full second car, a security fence installed, new windows, landscaping, security system installed, and anything else we could need done. It is a lot, but I have 24 hours, and I think I could hire enough people to get it done. I am not sure where the funds are coming from, but it is magical day eh? Endless possibilities.

Seeings as I would have endless funds, I would also have workers up at the front house, finishing up all the remodeling my landlord has been doing. I would get it all finished up for her. It is nearly finished already. I would have them even put a security fence and security system up there. I would have them make the garage into a studio area for her. I would also pay off her mortgage. She has cancer, and is in the process of selling the houses, but I think what she would really want is to just stay here. So, I would enable that to happen. I would have complete landscaping done. Her yard, our yard, I would just get everything done I could. Make it so she has no worries.

Since things would be crazy around here, I would send our landlord's dogs (Sasha and Little Bit) to a doggy spa, and my landlord to a spa with her best friends. I would make sure that they all had a fabulous day, complete with plenty of fun and treats. Spa and shopping and yummy food and movies for the ladies. Spa treatments, grooming, and plenty of fun for the doggies. Plus, this kinda benefits me. It means I don't need to give Bit the cut she is due for soon.

I know it would be a super boring day, and I would mostly spend it making choices for things that are getting done, and making sure everyone knows what to do, and making sure everything possible was getting done, but I still want to be slightly selfish. I have a few people I really want to see. So, I would have them all come here. Some for the whole day. Yes, a totally boring day, but sometimes the best part is just being around each other. A few, I would just spend a short time with. Now, for the few people I would keep with me the whole day, well, that would be their day. For those I just want to see briefly, I would make sure that after they were done with visiting me, they got a nice rest of the day. Spa, meal, shopping, whatever they wanted. Now, if there is a clause that I could pre-arrange something for the next day, for the ones that get stuck with me the whole day, that would be awesome. That way they would also get to see me, and still get to have some fun.

I also feel a tad guilty over this part. I would keep Andrea, my mum Rosemary, and my sister Phoebe with me the entire day. I know for a fact that Gigi would do anything to visit with them too. I just have to hope that Disney would be good enough, to keep her from being upset, when she finds out who I spent the day with. As you all know, my mum is fighting breast cancer. So, I would just take the entire day with her. I have no idea when/if I would get that chance again. I know Andrea would have my back, and keep me emotionally strong for the day.

Once the day is over, I think I will be happy with my choice, and I will be fine with going back to the normal. I thought about making more of a lasting change. Buying a home or something, but I am just not sure how that would work. I don't mind staying here. Yes, I would love some changes, and definitely want a completed laundry space. So, waking up the next day, and getting to hear about their Disney experience will kinda stink, as I was not there, but at least I would no our home was way better and our future more stable. I worry with the sale how long we will be able to stay here, so getting that worry alleviated would be awesome. Plus, I think I would have a professional photographer follow them around Disney, so we would have those pictures, and I could *almost* feel like I was there.

I would also make sure to get a massive amount of food delivered to our local food banks, including plenty of Thanksgiving turkeys and hams. This is something I REALLY wish I could do for real. My day would not be fully successful and complete without doing this. I think I would also send along some warm winter coats and blankets, as well as some toiletries and school supplies.

Would it be a day well spent? I honestly think I could choose so many AMAZING things to do, and maybe I should have chose something different, but this choice seems kinda perfect to me. I feel like the day itself would be lovely, and that the positive changes going forward, would improve our life so much. I would also like to add, if paying off all our debts is possible within the limits of that day, I would definitely do that too. I don't see why it wouldn't be, but eh.

For anyone wondering what I had thought to do to begin with... I would have gathered together ALL of my favorite people, in a super comfortable mansion, and we would have had a fabulous day. I would have spa staff on site, as well as plenty of chefs. We would spend the day being pampered and fed well. The most important part for me... I would have Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton and Charley Pride and Reba and Garth Brooks sing for us. Listen, there are a MILLION other artists I would want to hear as well... Okay, not quite a million, but a lot. The reality is that time is limited, and I just need to be selective. The reality is, these are the ones I most NEED to see in person. I have never seen any of them live, and it is probably my biggest regret. I should add, though I am sure some of you already guessed... Matt Damon would be there with us. I would get to talk to him, like I have wanted to for nearly two decades. Yes, this option would have been AWESOME.

How would spend a day, if you could do anything?!

Here are links to all the blogs featuring this month's Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Fashion Diva October 2016 #FunnyFriday

Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write five captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they have come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.

Here is today’s picture. It was submitted by Candice of Measurements of Merriment                 

33 - Measurements of Merriment - October 2016.jpg

1. The moment when Dad fully understood why mom highlighted "Do not let her dress herself, without parental input", on the list of While Mom is Away instructions.

2. Daughter: Why are you looking at me like that? It's the shoes, isn't it? I knew I should have worn my Princess Elsa flats.
Mom: Yeah, sure, it's the shoes.

3. Daughter: Mom, why doesn't this swimsuit fit me? I wanted to wear it for my fashion show, but it just isn't cooperating.
Mom: Well, that is probably because it isn't a swimsuit.
Daughter: What is it?
Mom: My underwear.
Daughter looks down in horror.
*A minute later*
Daughter: You know, I can see it now. How about we tell nobody about this? Wait. Is that your camera?

4. Mom: This is not how this works. It is not how any of it works.
Daughter: What? It looks fine to me.
*Dad walks in, looks at daughter, and slowly backs out*

5. Side story, that this picture reminded me of... So, when I was younger, we played a game called get dressed poker. We all started out with out regular clothes on, and we had to keep adding them on. Whoever could no longer get more clothes to fit on, was the loser, and had to walk down the street and back. It was especially embarrassing, because usually underwear were the easiest things to get to fit on over many layers, so we tended to do the walk with underwear/bras on the outside. We would occasionally play it with Rummy also. I am happy to report I very seldom lost.

Thank you for the super adorable photo, Candice!!! 

I hope I was able to make you giggle!!! Be sure to check out the captions everyone else gave the photo!!! 

Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Boo #TopTenThursday

Welcome to this week's #TopTenThursday. This is a fun writing challenge, that is hosted by Tamara of Confessions of a part-time working mom. Her, myself, and other bloggers, come together and post weekly Top Ten lists, which we create based on a chosen topic. I hope you enjoy reading my list, as much as I loved creating it.

As many of you have probably noticed, I've missed the last few Top Ten Thursday posts. I have not been feeling well. I have the corresponding lists for those weeks, and I plan on sharing them. I just need to write the posts. I'm still not feeling great, but I'm determined to share this week's list. We are sharing our top ten Loves/hates of Halloween. 

1. (love) All the costumes. Getting to see everyone dressed up. I especially love dressing Gigi up. This year, she is going to be a shark. Chad and I are going to be pirates.

2. (love) Giving out candy. I love you seeing the joy on kid's faces, when I give them candy. Sadly, in our current house, we get no trick-or-treaters. Luckily, we have been out with Gigi the last few years. 

3. (hate) The temptation of leftover and super cheap candy. I always buy too much candy. Even though I give lots of candy to each kid, there is always leftover. 

4. (love) Sending leftover candy to work with Chad, then him telling me they enjoyed it. 

5. (love) I love scary movies. Love them. This time of year, they're all over the TV. Yay. 

6. (hate) Spiders. Ugh. Terrified of them. Terrified. This time of year, they're everywhere. Ugh. I wish they'd quit making fake spiders, and that real ones were extinct. 

7. (love) The homemade goodies. Cookies, bars, Caramel apples, popcorn balls... So many yummy treats get made this time of year. 

8. (love) Haunted houses. Love love love them. I really love scary things. 

9. (love) The Monster Mash. It's silly, but this song makes me SUPER happy!!!! 

10. (love) Parties and social gatherings. I just love chances to get together with friends and family. 

11. (Bonus- hate) Candy corn.

Well, there you have it. What would be on your list?! Are you a fan of Halloween?! 

Make sure to check out all the other Top Ten Thursday lists this week!! 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Stable Layne Pt 3 Oct 2016 #UseYourWords

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That is the challenge, here is a fun twist; no one who is participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: 
dessert ~ weight ~ scary ~ domesticate ~ husband
They were submitted by: http://www. thediaryofanalzheimerscaregive (Thank you so much for such great words!!)

If you would like to catch up on the Stable Layne tale, you can read part 1 here and part 2 here

Layne was starting to feel the burn in her calf muscles and abs. Well, she assumed it was her abs. Did she have abs? She was sure did somewhere under her tummy flab. She had never really had any problems with her weight, but she was not one to ever turn down dessert, so she had never exactly been skinny. She could use to lose a few pounds, tone, and tighten, but the truth was she was happy. She did not have a perfect body, but she did have a good body. With the exception of the last few months since her accident, her body had always done well by her. She was a decent athlete, an excellent jockey, and could hold her own in the marathons she did twice a year. She just always seemed to have a little extra padding, which in the Winter was a benefit. Now, during the Summer, when she was at the beach, maybe it wasn't such a blessing.

"I think that is enough for today," Damon said, his voice breaking through her thoughts. "You did really good. Much better than I had expected for your first session."

Trying hard not to blush, she smiled at him. "Thank you. It was actually nice getting a workout in."

"Oh," Damon said, his voice barely holding off the laughter bubbling up in his throat, "That wasn't a workout. That was just an assessment. Next time you come, you will get a workout."

"Is that a promise?" she asked, before she could stop herself, looking away quickly to hide her blush, she walked over and returned her weights to the rack.

"As a matter of fact it is," Damon said, as the laughter quietly got the best of him. "I do promise to give you a workout! To be honest, you did really well today. Based on the injuries listed in your chart, I had expected you to be much more limited. You seem to be healing very well."

Layne turned back and faced him, a giddy smile covering her face, unable to hide her excitement. "Really?! Does that mean I will finish therapy fast then expected, because that would be great!"

"Well," Damon said, a fatherly look settling onto his gorgeous face. "I wouldn't go that far. You did great, and I think you will progress quickly, but the reality is, no matter how well you do, you would definitely still benefit from a few months of therapy. You will just be able to accomplish more in that time, than previously anticipated." He smiles warmly at her, and her heart sank.

She reached down and took her coat off the bench, her disappointment written all over her face. She was really going to have to go weeks more without riding. Weeks more without her normal life. Weeks more maintaining the sad existence she had been since her accident.

See the disappointment etched on her face, Damon reached out and gently squeezed her arm. "Hey! Don't let it get you down! You will do great, I can just tell. I may actually be able to get you back better than you were, and you may be able to obtain that, while keeping up your weekly Lucky Charms habit."

She smiled, and laughed softly. He really was a sweet guy, or so it seemed. He was probably an excellent husband, to his super hot wife at home. "It isn't that, that I am really worried about. It has just been months since I have been able to ride, and I was really hoping to get through therapy as quickly as possible, and get back on my horse."

"Oh," Damon said, cheer returning to his voice. "Don't worry about that! You will probably be back in the saddle in a few weeks. You will start back doing normal physical activities outside of therapy, before your actual therapy is over. I mean, you won't be back in the saddle tomorrow, but it will be soon. I promise. I will do everything in my power, to help you get back in the saddle quickly. I will also do everything in my power to make sure you are fully healed, and able to be back to your old self, by the time I am done, and as I said, I may even have you reach an even better self."

Layne squealed, and practically hugged him. "Thank you so much!! That makes me so happy! SO happy! I have missed riding!"

"So, have you been riding long?" Damon asked her, as he picked up his towel, and handed her one.

She took the towel and wiped her face and neck off. "Well, I have been riding since I was four, but I did start riding competitively until I was almost sixteen. I mostly just really love riding. Really, I just love horses. I guess that is why I still work on our family ranch. I get to be near my favorite horses, and it gives me plenty of time to ride. Plus, it is fun. My Dad works with wild horses, that have been rescued from wild fires. Most just get housed until we can secure a new, safe home for them. Some we domesticate though. Usually just ones that have been injured, and need extra physical therapy and medical care. It is interesting and fun work."

Damon had been watching her closely while she was speaking. "I can tell you really love it," he said, his eyes staring deeply into hers. "You eyes shine with a passion that is rare to see. I am glad you have found what you love to do."

"Do you love what you do?" she asked, as she began digging through her purse for her lip gloss.

"Physical therapy?" Damon asked, as he picked at the label on his water bottle. "I do love it. It is fun and rewarding. I love helping people. This isn't my full-time gig though. This is more of a fun part-time gig. I do this for the enjoyment of it."

Having found and applied her favorite grape flavored gloss, she looked at him, curiosity shining bright in her eyes. "What is your full-time gig?" 

"Well," he said, his eyes staring at her glossy lips, before he blushed slightly and made eye contact. "I am a member of the gang unit, on the town police squad."

"Wow," she said, surprise showing in her voice. "Isn't that scary?!?"

"It has its moments," he said, reaching out and placing his hand on her shoulder, starting to guide her towards the exit. "It is also very rewarding and worthwhile."

"Yes," she said, smiling and walking with him. "I can imagine it would be very rewarding. I just think it must scare your wife a great deal, I know if I were married, and my husband were a Gang Unit officer, I would be scared."

"Well," he replied, as they stopped near the door. "I guess if I did have a wife, she might would be scared by my job, but I would hope she would have faith in me to always do everything possible, to make it home safe."

Layne could not help but smile, at the news he was not married. "I am sure she would trust you completely. Well, thank you for a great therapy session. When should I come back?"

Damon led her out into the hall and stopped, he pointed to a small office area to the left. "If you go over there, Melissa can get you set up for your next appointment, and I will see you then. It was great working with you today, and very nice meeting you." He started slowly walking away, still facing her.

Layne smiled and waved. "Yes, same to you. See you next time." 

They both turned and walked their separate ways. She could not help but feel butterflies in her stomach. So what, if he wasn't married. Surely he had a girlfriend or fiance. She stopped and spoke briefly to the bubbly Melissa, and made her next appointment for the following afternoon. As she headed out to meet Zayne, she was actually looking forward to her next appointment, and only a small amount of residual disappointment remained, that she would not get to discover the mystery behind her brother and Gwyn. 

(to be continued)

Okay, I hope you all enjoyed part three. I will probably continue this story with each Use Your Words challenge, where I am able to utilize the words in a way that fit. I may also write some parts separately, outside of the challenges, but I will definitely link any and all parts in the new posts, so you will always be able to easily find the entire story. I hope you are enjoying it so far. I am excited to write it out, as it has been burning a hole inside my head, wanting to be told.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!! Do not forget to go check out the other blogs featuring this month's Use Your Words posts!! I will see you there!!

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Southern Belle Charm        
Not That Sarah Michelle