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Friday
Jan032014

Not your grandma's PBS

I have my English tea K-cups at the ready, beside my beloved Keurig.  I have a recipe for crumpets and will be shopping for the ingredients tomorrow.  I’ve been toning up my British accent for days now and I’m getting bloody good, if I do say so myself.

Why am I doing this stuff, you ask?

Well, if you have to ask, you won’t understand. But try to keep up. I’m only going to say this once.

Downton Abbey Season 4 looms on the horizon. 

What?                                                                                                                                                                         

The 1920s and flapper-fashion are the next big thing, and PBS is the new guilty pleasure for many of us.

But let me back up just a bit and explain to you non-believers.  Let me enlighten those of you who never ever ever click on the PBS channel for fear of being cursed with terminal boredom.

PBS is not like it used to be.  PBS carries amazing, quality viewing entertainment that will not only exercise your brain, but also lubricate your senses while seamlessly transporting you to other times, places and cultures. 

Downton Abbey is a prime example of superior, quality television.  From the writing to the characters, costumes and drama, Downton Abbey will spin its magic on you and leave you begging for more.

If you don’t believe me, just try out Season 1.  You can find it online, perhaps Netflix and/or Hulu Plus.  I can almost guarantee you won’t be able to stop after Season 1. In fact, I’d love to be a fly on the wall to see your delight and anticipation for each and every episode. 

If you decide to give it a view, let me know what you think. 

And, you’re welcome.

Those of you already hooked on Downton Abbey can relate to my obsession.  Some folks even have Downton Abbey viewing parties, in which everyone dresses up as his/her favorite character on the show.  My favorite character is Lady Violet, played by the amazing Maggie Smith.  I won’t be dressing up like her, but I will most certainly be toasting her entrance with a big gulp of my English tea.  Hell, I may even get up and curtsy. The possibility is not out of the question.

The premier episode of Downton Abbey Season 4 is but two days away.  I don’t know if I can wait that long. But I need to make it!   I hope I can!  As Lady Violet would so aptly put it: “Don’t be defeatist, dear, it’s very middle class.”

Lastly, just to whet your appetite and get your curios juices flowing; I’ve provided a few tidbits of info on some of the characters:

  • 4th from the right is Lady Mary.  Everyone she sleeps with seems to die. Reminds me a bit of the black widow spider who mates, has hot spider-sex, then kills her lover. 
  • 2nd from the right is Tom Branson.  He used to be the family chauffeur, but married the youngest daughter, who promptly died in childbirth, leaving Tom to raise their daughter alone. So, now Tom and his daughter are forever upstairs instead of downstairs.  A fairly tale story within a story.  This is good stuff, people.
  • 3rd from the left is Thomas Barrow. An ambitious, scheming footman, Thomas is the one you love to hate. He’s a schemer and a dreamer. He’s also gay which adds spice via a few steamy love scenes as well as heartbreaking rejections.  Thomas will annoy you, but you won’t forget him.

**************

Okay, that is enough teasers for you.  So, what are you waiting for?  For you unfortunate souls who have yet to journey through the Downton Abbey experience, go forth and binge watch the first 3 seasons.  You won’t get much sleep, but you will thank me for leading you into temptation.

I love it when that happens.

 

*Images from Google Images

Monday
Dec302013

I hereby resolve 

Hello to all my beloved readers out there!  Both of you must have missed me terribly.  I’m tough to get out of the system.  It takes some people years.

But I’m back.  I have seriously considered closing down my blog because I haven’t had the inspiration or motivation to post on a more regular basis.

However.

That seemed a bit extreme.  After all, where would I display my beautiful book covers if not here?

So you are stuck with me.

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas or Hanukkah. Or is still enjoying Kwanzaa. I just hope everyone’s happy.  And I hope you have an exceptional New Year, as well.  We could all use one of those. Am I right?

I’d like to report that I have been productive lately, but that would be a lie.  I have been a lazy bum, only getting off my easy-chair-shaped ass long enough to stumble to work, which is in my bedroom. 

But behold!  It is time for resolutions!  I am very good at making New Year’s Resolutions.  I am not as good at keeping them.  But I really rock at making them.

This year, I decided to make resolutions I might actually be able to keep. How is that for forward thinking?  I even impressed myself with that ground-shaking idea.  I’m awesome and I know it. Amen.

So, here’s my list of New Year’s Resolutions for 2014.  Check them out.  Then leave me some love in comments, along with some of your resolutions.  This is gonna be fun.

No…I’m not drinking.  At least not yet.

Terri’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2014

  • I resolve to lose 50 pounds by July 4th.  Unless I happen to drive by the In-N-Out Burger.  Then I resolve to feel really sad when my tummy aches from the Double-Double.
  • I resolve to cut way back on Diet Pepsi. I will drink only water every fifth Thursday and any month that ends on the 29th.  I’m nothing if not dedicated. So what if I quit Diet Pepsi 99 times already? I can quit anytime I want. Really.
  • I resolve to write more and complain less.  Unfortunately these two things go hand-in-hand, with the complaining usually coming out on top.  But it sounded good in theory.
  • I resolve to watch every episode of American Idol.  Jennifer Lopez is a judge this season. ‘Nuff said.  This is a gimme.
  • I resolve to never ever (and by never ever, I mean never ever ever) watch an episode of Duck Dynasty.  As if..

(This resolution stuff is too easy)

  • Lastly, and most importantly, I resolve to laugh every chance I get.  It may seem hard at times, but it is not impossible.  I have figured that out through some tough times as of late.  When I laugh, I feel better. I resolve to laugh.

So that’s it, my new and improved approach to making New Year’s Resolutions.

Now it’s your turn.

Oh yea, Happy New Year!  Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy 2014 full of love and prosperity.

XOXOs all around!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Dec042013

No Shop Wednesday. It could be a thing

Well, I made it through Thanksgiving, virtually unscathed albeit a couple of minor burns on my fingers and that all-too-familiar bloated feeling.  I hope all of you enjoyed your turkey day and managed to stay away from those horrible stores who dared to open their doors to bolster their bottom line and fleece America of yet another chance for quality family time.

Black Friday is not something of which I care to participate, either.  The possibility of being trampled by a greedy shopper juggling a 40% off flat screen on one hip and a screaming toddler on the other is not my idea of a good time. I’m appalled that people out there haven’t figured out by now that most of those big sales are merely discounted markups. Discounted Markup?  Oxymoron much?

Small Business Saturday, however, is a shopping day worth the effort.  There are so many good things about this whole concept; I cannot begin to list them all. Buying from small, local businesses not only helps our local economy; it also keeps the big guns such as Wal-Mart and Sears from taking over completely.  Unfortunately, those retail giants do seem to be building up steam.  I worry about the future of small business and those precious ‘Moms ‘n Pops’ establishments that are truly the foundation of our country.   Please keep frequenting small businesses and encouraging your friends and families to do the same.  And, buy “Made in America” products whenever possible. 

Cyber Monday is my very favorite of all the ‘special’ shopping days before Christmas.  I am a huge proponent to buying online.  I have mobility issues, and being able to purchase online has given me back some of my freedom.  If you’re not careful, however, you can end up spending more on delivery fees than the actual items purchased are worth.  Keep that in mind when you absolutely have to have that life size nativity to make your neighbors jealous or that 60” flat screen TV when your living room is only big enough for a loveseat and standing lava lamp. 

You need to keep things in some semblance of perspective, people.

Shopping can make or break your holiday, which is really sad because it takes away the real reason for the season.  For me, the Christmas holidays are all about being the person you should be all year round. This time of year, you remember those you love with gifts and pledges of your love.  If you are anything like me, you sing Christmas tunes, you smile more often, you watch silly Christmas cartoons classics with your kids and/or grandkids, and you overlook relatives’ short-comings and instead, welcome them with open arms.  You even manage to choke down some of Auntie Gertie’s home-made fruitcake while wondering what that was you just crunched down on, and whether or not you’ll lose that tooth.   It’s a small price to pay for family, don’t you agree?

I joke around a bit, but I am serious when I say the holidays need to be less commercialized and involve less social media.  They need to be experienced in person, with hands-on, featuring real-time conversation and hugs and kisses that are not represented by Xs and Os and smiley faces. 

My sister is very worried that the world has forgotten the Christian side of Christmas.  I understand why she feels this way.  Prayer is being taken out of schools and people are greeting others with “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”.   But not to worry, my sweet LIL Sister, the believers are still out there, and Christmas will be what it is meant to be to each and every one of us, if we just let the wonder and beauty of it in without reservation and with an open-mind and, most importantly, an open-heart.

I think we should proclaim today as No Shop Wednesday. No shopping.  No pointing fingers. No doubt. No worries. 

Just enjoy this season in your own unique way, and let others do the same.  Embrace the freedoms and bounty that we all have if we just take a moment to reflect.  

You have choices. You can be Scrooge and be unhappy and ruin the holidays for those around you.  Or, you can let people live their lives without judging them for their religious beliefs, political affiliations, ethnic background, sexual orientation, or financial status. 

Life goes on. Time goes on. Things change.  For now, enjoy the fact that there is no special shopping day proclaimed for Thursdays.  Before you know it, they'll be calling it The Future of Shopping Thursdays, and a little drone will be dropping off your packages in the driveway.  Of course it will happen just when you are leaving for the mall, and you will back over said package with your SUV, smooshing all the contents inside.

I'm excited about the future, aren't you?

Now, if you will please excuse me while I indulge in a few of my favorite holiday traditions.

  • A nice cup of coffee loaded with Bailey’s. 

  • Watching A Christmas Carol.  The one with George C. Scott.

  • Enjoying my partner's smile when she hears her favorite Christmas song, I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.  Pure joy.

  • Packing the Christmas boxes for my kids and grandkids.

 

  •  Daydreaming of Christmas wishes that may be a little bit out of reach!

Sing it to me, JLo!

*********

What?  You celebrate your way.  I'll celebrate my way. 

Merry....er, I mean, Happy....er,

um...

Cheers!

 

Wednesday
Oct302013

NaNoWriMo is not for the squeamish

 NaNoWriMo 2013 begins in just two days. I signed up, but quite frankly, I’m mortified.  NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it challenges the multitudes, including the strong, the stubborn, the delusional, the experienced and even death-wish junkies.

In other words, if you think you can write 50,000 words within 30 days and live to tell the tale, you’d better be wearing your big girl knickers or you will die a slow, excruciating and embarrassing death.

I kid you not.

Why do I put myself through such torture, you ask?

Well, think of it as you would a rock climber:

“Mister, why are you climbing that enormous rock?”

   “Because it’s there.”

“What the fuck kinda answer is that? That rock is 50,000 feet high and it’s gonna take you 30 days to get up to the fucking top.”

   “I am a rock climber. I will climb. I will fight through the pain. I will be victorious! Any more   questions?”

“Uh, yes, just one more.”

   “Okay, shoot”

“Are you fucking crazy or did your Momma drop you on your head when you were little and you just don’t know any better?”

   “Yes.”

***********************

Okay, so just go through the above scenario again, only this time, replace rock climber with writer. It might go something like this:

“Terri why are you participating in NaNoWriMo?”

   “Because it’s there.”

“What the fuck kinda answer is that?  Terri, NaNoWriMo requires you write a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days.  Who does that?”

   “I am a writer. I will write. I will fight through the pain, the writer’s block and the nay-sayers. I will be victorious!  Any more questions?”

“Uh yes, just one more.”

   “Okay, shoot.”

“Are you fucking crazy or did your Momma drop you on your head when you were little and you just don’t know any better?”

   “Yes.”

***************

So, if you see strange postings on my blog, face book, or twitter, please don’t be frightened.

It’s just me plowing through an average of 1667 words per day.  And if I get behind, you may witness my self-destruction right before your eyes.  Just ignore my whimpering and shameless cries for help.  It’s just part of the experience.

And so the journey begins.  I hope you wish me well.  And if any of you are participating in NaNoWriMo, please be my buddy.  I promise I won’t call you at two in the morning asking if you know a good metaphor for cronuts.

And furthermore, in order to cement your faith in me, I’ve made my official declaration and provide it below. 

Let it be known by all who read this page, as well as those who were sent here by doing a Google search on old bitches with butch tendencies.  I hereby, herewith, henceforth and forthwith (and a bunch of other legal terms) do declare that I will write 50,000 words in 30 days. I will not quit.  If I get behind, I will not cause any bodily harm to innocent passers-by.  If I get chronic writer’s block, I bequeath all my worldly goods to Hillary Clinton so she can sell them to help finance her upcoming campaign for President.”



Thursday
Oct242013

Autumn brings out my crazy

 

I haven’t blogged in quite awhile. I have no excuse. Unless you call pure laziness an excuse.  However, I have been busy.  I have been watching television. After all, the new fall season has arrived. That means new episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, Nashville, Scandal, Parenthood, The Middle, Modern Family, Two Broke Girls, Castle, and Hawaii 5-0. 

However, there is one thing about the fall that totally lifts me up and makes me feel alive again. Denver Broncos Football.  I am a die-hard Denver Broncos fan, so there are certain rituals that command my attention this time of year.

 

Rituals such as:

  • The hanging of the Broncos flag.
  • The prominent displaying of my John Elway bobble-head doll.
  • The drooling over the cheerleaders.
  • The wearing of the lucky Broncos t-shirt.
  • The concocting of the wickedly potent beverage, which may or may not be legal in all 50 states.
  • The preparation of the much anticipated nachos. In my official Denver Broncos chip bowl. Yes I have a chip bowl just for Denver Broncos games. Don't judge. You're lucky I don’t list the Broncos paraphernalia that’s in my bedroom.

What? Oh yes I did!!

Tradition must be upheld, people!   Do you honestly believe Peyton Manning would be nearly as awesome if I didn’t arrive at the game (in front of my TV) wearing appropriate celebratory attire and having performed the vital fanatical rituals? 

I think not.

There are also important rituals that must be performed during the games, such as:

  • Throwing my arms in the air to mimic the “uprights” sign after every Broncos touchdown or field goal.
  • Screaming at the TV which play should be next, and offering the appropriate profanity when my play is not chosen.  The nerve!
  • Waking my partner with “Babe did you see that? OMG!”  knowing full-well she is sleeping in her easy chair beside me, and could care less whether they do a quarterback sneak or one of their famous reverse plays. 
  • Trying to hold my pee until a commercial because I just cannot miss a single play.  This is not an easy task for anyone in my age demographic.  It’s a sacrifice made by anyone who is a true fan.

So...

In order to keep Peyton and the Broncos on the right track, and so as not to disappoint the multitudes, I do my part to keep the Denver Broncos on their game and kicking ass.  This last game against the Colts notwithstanding, my record speaks for itself. The Broncos really should be paying me royalties.  It’s a good thing I’m a charitable kinda girl.

Just doing my part for the love of the game. No apologies. No regrets.

At least not until the playoffs…

Then I turn from a harmless, slightly crazed Broncos fan to a scary gambler at the nearest Sports Book.

Shit just got Real, Yo.

 

*Some images from Google images


Sunday
Sep292013

It's the little things

Life has brought some challenges to me over the past four years.  I lost a job that paid very well.  My mobility issues got worse, to the point that I currently use a walker. Finances have been a constant worry.  I could go on and on.

However.

Through all of this, I have learned so much about myself.  Yes, even an old broad of sixty can learn new things. 

Before I lost that job, I had never really worried about securing gainful employment.  I went about my days living in the moment, spending money, and enjoying myself. I didn’t give much thought to the future.

I had my head up my own ass, if you will.

Before my mobility issues worsened, I didn’t take care of myself. I ate all the wrong things, rarely exercised, and didn’t manage to control my weight.   Over the years, all the signs were there but I refused to acknowledge them, much less do anything about them.  At first, I just had trouble walking after I had been sitting a long time. Then it became very painful to walk any longer than five minutes at a time. Slowly, over the years, it became worse and worse.  Now I shuffle through the apartment with a walker. 

Head up my ass?  Oh yes. Still.

So what am I doing about all this?  As for the job situation, I pretty much started over.  I consider myself very lucky to have found any job at all in today’s economy. I am working full-time from home, with benefits. The pay is small, but it covers the bills, and for this I am very grateful. 

Recently, my partner and I went from a two car family to a one car family, due to not being able to afford repairs on the older car.  We got rid of it but now I’m stuck at home most of the time.  It gets me down, but I know it won’t be forever.

I’m using my royalties from the sale of my books to save up for another car.  It may take a couple years, but I’ll get there.  So please help me out and spread the word about my books.  Every little bit helps.

I’m seeing another specialist about my mobility problems tomorrow.  I’m hoping treatment will be in my very near future.  At this point, all I can dream about is crossing the living room floor without assistance.  That sounds like heaven to me.  It’s such a little thing that most people take for granted, but for me it would represent freedom, however brief.

So, why did I title this post “It’s the little things that count”?

  • Little things, such as a sales clerk at Wal-Mart remembering my name.
  • Little things, like the garbage man chasing me down to grab my trash bags as I try to drag them to the trash bin with one hand, while holding on tightly to my cane with the other hand.  And he always has such a big smile for me. 
  • Little things, like being able to use the car once a week and driving along with the music blaring.  Freedom from the invisible bars around my apartment.  Fresh air.  People. Life still happening whether I’m a part of it or not.
  • Little things, like the kindness of strangers. Most recently, a woman who professed to be 76 years old helping me put groceries in my car because she saw me walking bent over the grocery cart.  She praised me for not giving up on walking.  I cried all the way home. 
  • Little things like a call, text or even a mention on Face Book from either of my sons.  They have no idea what that means to me. 
  • Little things, like the pride in my little sister’s voice when she praises my writing.  She really is my number one fan.  I’m humbled by her beautiful spirit.
  • Little things, like hearing the voice of my best friend over the phone, and thanking God every day that she is okay.  Her courage and grace inspire me and give me renewed resolve to move forward.

It’s those little things that put the sweetness back into my life and give me hope for a better tomorrow.

I sincerely hope that I will never take life for granted again. 

Instead, I will continue forward and face my challenges with the courage and strength I know in my heart that I possess.

Right now, I think I will enjoy another one of those special little things…a really good cup of coffee. I hear today is National Coffee Day. How cool is that?

What little things count in your life?

 

 

Monday
Sep162013

Monday Listicles - Ten things on which I crush

Hello Monday people! I'm linking up with the lovely Stasha over at The Good Life for  Monday Listicles.

From the moment I came out of the womb and saw light, I am quite sure I began crushing on something. That particular moment, it was either the nurse or the doctor…..or maybe a breast.  That would have been a natural crush, I guess. 

From there, I moved on to favorite blankies and pacifiers to stuffed animals and strained spinach. I’m totally lying here as I have no idea but needed a segway to my next crush era.

As a pre-teen, I crushed on red licorice, Sweet Tarts, The Monkees and Paul Revere and the Raiders.  Oh yea, and that boy in the back of my class who sat slumped in his chair and slept half the time.  He was too cool for school.

As a teen, I crushed on the captain of the football team who didn’t even know my name and had never even looked at me.  But I had a hard crush on that guy.  I would have been his love slave, if I had any idea what that meant back then.

OK enough about past crushes. You get the idea. I am a crusher. I crush. It is what I do.  Don’t judge. It keeps me from completely accepting my mundane existence.  There’s always that little sliver of hope that some of my celebrity crushes might someday become a reality.

When hell freezes over.

And Vegas gets a blizzard in July.

And  Detroit wins a Super bowl.

Bwahahahaha. 

Anywho.

Here are the Ten Things on which I have a crush:

  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Vanilla Latte coffee
  • Writing.
  • Downton Abbey
  • George Clooney
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Diet Pepsi
  • Wine
  • Chocolate
  • The Denver Broncos

So there you have it, my list. Nothing weird.  Oh, I could make a weird list, but I don’t want to scare anyone away.  So I present my regular list.  I crush on each thing differently.  For example, my crush on  chocolate is not the same as my crush on Jennifer Lopez.

Wait, maybe it kinda is.

Never mind.

Have a great Monday.  What’s your crush?

 

 

 

Sunday
Sep082013

Birthday hangover

 

Good Sunday morning everyone!  And Happy Grandparents’ Day to all the Grandmas,Grandpas, MawMaws and PawPaws, Nanas and PopPops, etc, out there.  I’m sitting here in my easy chair, sipping some amazing coffee from my new Keurig coffee system, and feeling the afterglow of having survived a birthday milestone.

So far this being sixty business ain’t so bad.  I had visions of instant wrinkles on top of the ones I already had, along with wiry, uncontrollable grey hair that wouldn’t take color, and a severe craving for pureed vegetables and soup through a straw.

Ah, but it was not to be.  Thank goodness.

I still crave nachos and margaritas.  I still have a sex drive. TMI?  I still like my loud classic rock music  and If I had any idea where to get weed, I would be higher than a kite right now.

So, basically, nothing has changed.

The last two years have been real eye-openers for me, however. I have earned a Masters degree and had two books published.  That’s the good stuff. I’ve also learned how to live with a whole lot less than I had before as well, thanks to the fucking economy.  Ah, but we’ve all learned about that, haven’t we?

If I had one piece of advice (and don’t I always?) for anyone and everyone out there (especially you younger folks) it would be to get off your bums and start living your life.  Put the video games down and get out there and make your own adventure.  Stop living vicariously through your favorite TV program. 

YOU are your own best character in your own life’s novel.  How will you proceed through each chapter? Will you stomp bravely into each day, rolling out of bed and seizing every moment and opportunity?  Will you take the more holistic approach to life, and enjoy each delicious second of the sights, sounds, and smells around you?  Will you seek out your loved ones and not waste another precious minute with them?  Or will you incorporate all of these scenarios into your life’s pages?

How will you write your novel?

How will I write my life’s novel?

One precious, amazing day at a time.

Images from Google Images