What goes around

When I graduated from high school, one of the things that I was given was a Lane cedar mini-keepsake box. I know this because, unlike other things I might have been given that day, I still have my Lane cedar mini-keepsake box. One of the reasons that I was so excited to receive it was because my mother had one. It had been on her bureau for as long as I could remember, and she kept who-knew-what in it. I didn’t know, because she kept it locked.

Darn!

Anyway, I keep important keepsakes in mine, like childhood memorabilia (my pet rock!), photos, a scrap of paper with my grandmother’s writing on it. That’s mine on the left. My daughter’s is on the right.

Fast forward to 2017, and my own daughter has graduated from high school. Lane stopped this practice of bestowing the boxes in the 1980’s, I believe, but I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if I got her one? I have seen a few here and there over the years, but they were in abysmal shape. Two days ago, I spotted one at a Flea Market on my way to Boothbay. When they saw my interest, the very nice couple behind the table started to tell me about the history of it. Hey, these were people who loved the story as much as the object! My kind of people!

Alas, the key was missing. In the past, this was a deal breaker for me. This time though, I decided to trust my gut and buy it anyway.

We presented it to my daughter today. My husband told her he would get a key for hers, making it truly a gift from both of her parents that I hope she will tell her own daughter about someday, as she presents her with one of her own.

What if Tiffany Stayed with Ezekiel?

I was listening to the news today, which I generally go out of my way to avoid, when I heard about an NFL player being suspended for alleged violence against his now-former girlfriend.

Good, I thought. Stop enabling domestic violence perpetrators to perpetuate violence against women by hitting them where it hurts: in their wallets.

It’s a start.

Part of the problem with keeping women safe is this: it so often deteriorates into a ‘he said, she said’ situation that casts the events in a gray area for the purposes of pressing charges.

I read the New York’s Post account of what she had to say, as well as what he had to say. Read it here: Ezekiel Elliott justified choking ex as ‘tough love’: accuser

You can also read about the NFL’s decision for suspension here: The NFL Has Suspended Ezekiel Elliott For Six Games On Domestic Violence Charges

Bottom line: I’m so glad that Tiffany didn’t stay with Ezekiel.

The outcome might have been so much worse.

I write about partner violence in my new book.

Find it here: What if Bebe Stays with Steven? 

 

The BRAVE Interview #13 August 2017: Jennifer Davies

Please enjoy this month’s interview with Jennifer Davies!

INTRODUCTION

Hello everyone, I’m thrilled to be here as a featured guest in the Brave series. Thank you Karen for inviting me! A few facts about me; my name is Jennifer Davies, and I’m a fifty something mom with four boys, two cats, a dog, and a husband in tow. I have been married for twenty-one years this August to my best friend and strongest supporter. I’m originally from Wales in the UK which is why I have a funny accent, but I now reside on the East Coast of America in New England.

I have lived in North Andover for the past 14 years, and it’s a perfect distance from the city of Boston, the coast, and the mountains which I love. Living in New England has been a huge source of inspiration for me, but I find inspiration from many avenues, my family, my life, traveling and my persistence to keep writing. As a result, I always have ideas for future books.

I’m a former registered nurse/midwife. I am always battling my weight, but as I’m addicted to chocolate, it’s not a fight I will win anytime soon. I adore Grey’s Anatomy. I love yard sales and get excited at the purchase of old furniture that I can recycle. My goal is to be a NY Times best seller—one day!

MY BRAVE STORY

Well, it’s actually hard to choose which piece of my life to reveal that would showcase something BRAVE that I have done! I believe to be BRAVE you have to face something that is painful, fearful or difficult, and my life has contained many instances that would fit that definition.

Most recently, the one I still process is the loss of my mother. Even now, six months later I miss her. My mom, lived with Alzheimer’s, and had for the past almost five years. Living overseas made it difficult to provide the care I wished to, but in the early stages I could help by having mum visit through the summer and stay for several weeks at a time. As the disease progressed, even that wasn’t an option. Feeling frustrated and needing to do something, I started a support page on-line called ALZHEIMER’S SUPPORT, which still provides help to those going through the painful and heartbreaking experience.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/291824310860629/
In December 2016, my mother entered full-time nursing care and shortly after her renal disease deteriorated to the point that we knew we were entering the final stages of her life. At Christmas, my wish and prayer was to be able to care for mum in her final days. God answered in a strange way that enabled me to spend four weeks with my mum in the UK until her passing on the 29th January. Even now, I have tears as I write this because knowing your loved one is dying is devastating no matter the age or the situation. Being a former nurse, I knew what to expect to a degree, but I wasn’t prepared for the emotional trauma and loss as I watched my mum slip away.
The memories of her final four weeks are ingrained on my brain, good and bad. I remember the days that she slept, and we weren’t sure if she would make it through the next twenty-four hours, to standing next to her in the make-shift church singing hymns in shock at her complete turnaround, to holding her hand as she took her last breath. Those final hours were heartbreaking, and I have no regrets. In life, mum had always been there for me, and this was the least I could do no matter how hard or painful it was to ensure she wasn’t alone as she made her final journey onward to my dad.

All through the night there was a panic that I wouldn’t be able to face the end that I wouldn’t be able to find the words of comfort as her condition changed. In the early hours when the built up fluids became noisy, “death rattle” I lost it. Tears poured, and an overwhelming sense of panic and futility washed over me. I wanted to leave, but as I watched mum, I couldn’t let her down. I needed to be strong and to be there for her right until the end. I hated the thought of her being alone, and now, it gives me comfort to know she was surrounded by love, and her death was peaceful. My mum enjoyed a long and happy life, she was a brave woman loved by all her daughters and grandchildren. She is missed every day.

MY LIFE

My mum was always a strong supporter of my dreams to become a romance author, and her encouragement kept me going. I’m now a multi-genre author, and I’ve been writing full-time for the last eight years.  Every good and bad moment of my life has helped shape me as a writer. Throughout my life, I have always been an avid reader, and from that stemmed the desire to create my own stories.

My Latest Release THE WITCH’S HEART is the second book in the Rise of Orion series.

I love to hear from readers and these are the ways you can contact me…

FB Author page https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Owen-Davies-YA-J-M-Davies-Adult-1421409368089313/

Website            http://www.jenniferowendavies.com/
Email                 Jendaviesuk@gmail.com
Twitter              https://twitter.com/jendaviesuk
Instagram        Jengal124
Blog                  https://welshjensblog.blogspot.com

Thank you, Jennifer!!

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If you would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites@gmail.com!

There’s nothing for lunch!

Okay, I am home and supposed to be writing, but I need to eat. I want something that I have here already so here’s what I’ve got:

Egg salad (Here’s my recipe)

  • 2 eggs, hardboiled  (I like to cut my eggs up with a slicer. It looks purty that way)
  • Mayonnaise (I am currently using Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise *subject to change without notice*)–just enough to  hold it together (unless I am making it for my husband, then it’s “Hey, have a little egg with your mayonnaise!)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • SECRET INGREDIENT: Celery salt.

Mix it all up.

Eat it with some chips (I am currently eating Cape Cod Salt and Pepper Kettle Chips *subject to change without notice*).

Back to writing.

Bands with husband

This week we were very happy to get to see some of our favorite bands from back in the day. In general, I am not a big fan of going to Boston (especially if it involves driving) for bands, but in this case, there were no Maine or New Hampshire options (at that time) so it was Boston or nothing.

For the first show, my sister- and brother-in-law helped make it less painful by offering to drive, and my mother-in-law let us stay over at her house (MUCH CLOSER TO BOSTON) so we didn’t have a two-hour ride home to Maine in the wee hours. For the second show, we took the Downeaster ($70 or so round trip with the meager-but-appreciated AAA Discount) that took us practically door to door. NOTE: One thing about the train…the phrase, “Hell is other people” kept coming to mind on the way down. ‘Nuf said.

With these deal-breakers taken care of, we were off.

 

The first show was at the Blue Hills Pavilion. The line up was Jason Bonham, Cheap Trick (my husband’s favorite band) and Foreigner (their 40th Anniversary Tour).

The second show was at the TD Boston Garden. The line up was Peter Wolf (of J. Geils Band fame) and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (coincidentally, also their 40th Anniversary Tour).

We decided to rate the bands in order of how much we liked their shows.

He:

  1. Cheap Trick (She: No surprise there! It’s been his favorite band since he was, like, sixteen  years old!) 
  2. Foreigner (Surprise! I didn’t think that was going to be number 2.)
  3. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Tom Petty was a little uneven. Sometimes you just gotta give the people what they want–like Foreigner did.)
  4. Peter Wolf (I would have liked to have heard more from him.)
  5. Jason Bonham (He was really good!) 

She:

  1. Foreigner (As I was listening, I realized that I knew the words to every single one of the songs! Okay, except for one. Also, so many of them correlated to important people and events from my past that it was like watching an episode of “This is Your Life“.)
  2. Cheap Trick (I have come to love Cheap Trick, a band I loathed in my teens. I didn’t know as many of the songs they chose to sing this time, which was a little disappointing, but they were still great) 
  3. Peter Wolf (I saw J. Geils Band many times in my younger years, and one of the things I loved best was watching Peter Wolf dance. He’s as great as he ever was! And he sang several of my favorite songs.)
  4. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Okay,I am sorry to say that TP came in 4th out of 5! What a letdown. He did sing a couple of my favorites, but many of his choices were obscure, and I could have done without the extended instrumentals and the dragged out introduction of the band members. Tom, maybe you would have had time to play “Here Comes My Girl” if you spent a little less time on those other things…Just sayin’. Reference: “Give the people what they want” said by he, above.)
  5. Jason Bonham (Wasn’t as bad as I expected. I didn’t want to leave or anything.)

That’s it! How would YOU rank these five bands? Comment below!

 

The BRAVE Interview #12 July 2017: Amanda Moore

Please enjoy this month’s interview with Amanda Moore!

I am Amanda Moore and I live in Southern Maine. I am raising three children, ranging from second grade to college. I was raised to be brave and encouraged by my grandfather early on to think creatively.

My recent “Brave Thing” is part of my continued focus to balance life and participate again in the creative parts. Writing , drawing, painting, along with reading, cooking, and gardening!

Three years ago, I began by using technology to connect with my talented group of friends. Day Dreamers Book Group opened up to me what others are creating: artists, musicians, writers, deep thinkers!

The focus of my current project is a gift to my friend that recently passed away. With the creative input of a friend of his, I hope we can write his story. Karen is a great inspiration to me and everyone who knows her.

Be Brave.

Here is the link to join Day Dreamers Book Group on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/318995978286930/

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Amanda!

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If you would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites@gmail.com!

BOOK REVIEW: YOUR NEXT SHIFT by ELIZABETH SCALA

I first heard of Elizabeth Scala when she joined RN FM Radio. I didn’t know how much I was missing a female voice on the show until she arrived (yay!). I didn’t know she was an author right away. I started following her on social media and that’s when I became aware of the breadth of her nursing activities.

I knew from watching her on Instagram that Elizabeth made fun a priority in her life (I do, too!). I started reading her book yesterday afternoon, and if I hadn’t had an evening commitment, I would have finished it last night. Anyway, it was less than twenty-four hours later that I turned the last page. This book resonated with me on so many levels. The ‘Just for today’ philosophy that I first learned to practice after my Reiki attunements was one of the first moments that I knew I was in the right place reading this book. I love that Elizabeth is so honest in her description of her experience travelling the path of refining and expanding her own nursing practice to help the rest of us know that hey, we aren’t alone! Other nurses feel under-confident and under-brave and under-decisive, too! And this: “Maybe you’re just not that happy being a nurse anymore because you actually feel like your job doesn’t let you be one!” Hello? That was one of my first “Aha!” moments after transitioning from nursing practice in school and nursing practice in real life.

For years, I have been working on integrating my spiritual practices into my nursing practice and in this book, I feel like I have found a kindred spirit, another nurse who really gets it. Another nurse who is doing this, too.

I also love the quotes that were scattered throughout the book, including Susan Jeffers’ “Feel the fear and do it anyway,” a phrase that I find myself saying over and over these days, mostly to myself.

While I was reading Your Next Shift, I felt like I was having coffee with my nurse-BFF.

One note to the author: as a former waitress, I found a LOT of similarities between waitressing and nursing! Just sayin’.

After I finished reading it, I decided to draw an oracle card for the book, and I drew the 3 of Earth from Colette Baron-Reid’s new card deck, The Good Tarot.  Here is a quick line about this card from the guidebook that accompanies the deck: “Teachers and students, we are all learning, growing, and building collaboratively.”

I know, right?! 🙂

I highly recommend Your Next Shift for anyone. Read it.