Tuesday, December 28, 2010

“Dark Lover” by J.R. Ward

I have read many vampire series of late, enjoying every one of them in their own way. One day, I was about to read the next book in another series, when friends who follow me on Twitter insisted I read J.R. Ward’s “Black Dagger Brotherhood” series. On several occasions, whispers of this series came across my timeline but were ignored, simply because I had so many other books slated to read. One day, I finally broke down, bought the first six books of the series, and began to read.

Many series novels that I have read, take more than just the first book to hook you into the story. Not this series…no, this series sucked me in on the first book! Drama, fighting, friendships, and just all out romance sucked me right in and catapulted me into the next book.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood series, written by J.R. Ward, is about an ancient order of warrior vampires who defend and protect their race from vampire slayers known as lessers. These lessers are de-souled humans recruited by an evil supernatural being known as the Omega. There are six warriors in the Brotherhood who stand between the extinction of their vampire race and the Lessening Society.

Author, J.R. Ward, creates a different type of vampire in these novels. These vampires are a separate species from humans. In fact, to be a vampire you must be born carrying vampire DNA in your blood. Ms. Ward’s vampire race begin their lives as human and are unaware of what lies ahead of them until their mid-twenties when their bodies go through a dangerous. Surviving the transition, they must now drink the blood of vampires of the opposite sex in order to survive and stay strong.

This book, “Dark Lover,” centers on Wrath, the only pure blood vampire known to exist on the planet, and Beth, a half breed, half human-half vampire, who is on the verge of transition. Wrath is asked to help with Beth’s transition when her time comes by feeding her from his vein. Wrath hates humans, tries to live a loners life, never desiring a mate. However, when Wrath’s long-time friend and the father of Beth is killed by car bombing lessers, Wrath takes on the responsibility of protecting Beth and introducing her to her vampire heritage.

The attraction between Wrath and Beth is tangible and quite erotic. The chemistry between them makes it impossible for them to deny their love for each other and for the first time, Wrath is hopeful to end the loneliness in his long life. All is bliss until the baby powder scented vampire-slaying lessers kidnap Beth.

Throughout the book we see the beautiful choreography of all the warriors as they work together to battle their race’s nemesis and later find and free Beth from her captor.

If vampires are your thing, as they are mine, then this series is a must read! Do what I did, lay down that seventeenth book in the series you are currently reading and begin the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Spirit Bound" by Richelle Mead

“Spirit Bound” is the fifth installment to Richelle Mead’s “Vampire Academy” series, of which I have been a dedicated reader since the beginning. It is not my top rated series, but it holds its own luster. After reading this book, it may have lost some of its shine with me.

I will not say that “Spirit Bound” was a bad book; on the contrary, it carried on the saga, if you will, of Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir. If you have read Ms Mead’s other books in this series, then you must read this one. Perhaps your feelings on this will differ to mine. I hope so.

Many things happened in this book. Rose and Lissa graduated from St Vladimir’s Academy. They both broke into a high profile, well-protected prison and broke out a high profile prisoner. Through information gathered by Rose, Lissa saves, or heals, Dimitri from being Strigoi. Lissa’s courage and gift continue to grow. Relationships develop. However, with all that happens in this book, I felt like there was something missing.

As I read this book, I felt as if I was reading a report, something that Rose may have had to write for the guardians. The story held a fluidity of facts, which allowed you to follow the lives of each character. However, it did not draw me in by my emotions. The only thing keeping me turning the pages were the facts. I wanted to stay connected as best I could, to the characters in this story.

As I said, this read like a report or a retelling of a story. It lacked emotion in parts. There lacked any build up of tension or angst that we are so used to experiencing in this series. Some of the fight scenes seemed to lack description or follow through. There was no strong emotion relayed in the love triangle created with Rose, Adrian, and Dimitri. I kept wondering what kind of a pansy ass Adrian was to take a back seat with Rose. I also wondered why Rose and Dimitri did not either break down into a knock down, drag out fight between each other or a forgiving passionate love affair. Their passion seemed lost. All you really experience is a teen who must deal with rejection. Boohoo. Yes, I did cry when Dimitri spoke out some harsh words to Rose, leaving her to feel his rejection. And. yes, I really hoped that Rose and Adrian would just get it on and have sex. Instead, she did the one thing we have heard her say repeatedly that she would not do … “She would not become a blood whore.” So, instead of sex, she lets him drink her blood.

Finally, about the last few chapters, I felt some emotion, some angst. The ending did leave me wanting more.

I hope that in Ms. Mead’s next installment, “Last Sacrifice”, due out December 7, 2010, that she brings back more of the tense emotion and angst that the whole series holds.


Monday, July 5, 2010

"Samson’s Lovely Mortal" by Tina Folsom

When asked to read and review this paranormal romance, “Samson’s Lovely Mortal”, I took the time to read the synopsis about the book as well as the author’s website. At first, I was skeptical and uncertain that I would be interested in the storyline. However, the thought occurred to me, there have been many books I have read with just as much or less information about them, but took it upon someone’s word that they were good. I had friends who had read those books and could give me a play-by-play if I need it. This time, this book had not been release yet. I was a first time reader, so to speak, and I would potentially be a first reviewer. I appreciated the challenge set before me.

Samson is a vampire and has been a bachelor for a very long time. Never in his life, or undead life, has he ever had trouble getting it up. He has never had trouble in the sex department before but now it’s a problem. Upon advice from a friend, he seeks the help of a shrink, only to realize not even a shrink can help. However, it all changes when fate brings a beautiful mortal named, Delilah to his doorstep. Delilah is an auditor who is hired to audit a company in a city she is unfamiliar. Chased by a would-be mugger, Delilah happens upon Samson’s doorstep seeking refuge. Opening the door and inviting the now soaked from rain, scared human into his home, and through several misunderstandings, Samson realizes that his equipment has begun to work again.

I am not one who cares to read or watch gratuitous sex. When I began reading this book, that was my first thought. In fact, I even set the story down for a couple of days because I was not impressed on the first chapter. I will admit, I am very hard on books. If they don’t capture my attention in the first chapter, I usually get rid of it. Had I done that with this book, it would have been my loss.

Author Tina Folsom did an excellent job of developing her main characters for this story, the good, the bad, the happy and the sad. Did I really want to start out the gate reading of a man with erectile dysfunction? No, not particularly. However, to capture the beautiful love story, you have to see where the main characters were before they fell in love. You get an idea of the inner workings of fate in this story.

After getting past the first couple of chapters, this story became an excellent page-turner! I found myself wanting to get back to the story to find out what more would happen. As I approached the end, I found myself asking questions, questions that only the author could answer. Perhaps she will in her future books. However, with all that said, I enjoyed every emotional, erotic, and sexy second of this story. It’s a beautiful love story with just a little intrigue added to keep all interested. I recommend you grab a copy. You can purchase and download your copy available on Amazon.com and Smashwords.com

Check out the link on my sidebar for Ms. Folsoms’s web address where you can find more information of all her books. In addition, you can follow her for on Twitter, @Tina_Folsom.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

"Her Vampire Husband” by Michelle Hauf

I cannot say that I am the fastest reader of book reviewers, but I do love to sit and enjoy a good paranormal romance book. Michelle Hauf’s book, “Her Vampire Husband” was exactly that.

In this story, Vampires have tribes and Werewolves, packs. Each is bloodthirsty and has had centuries to wage war against the other. Both nations have laid claim to numerous losses between them. In an attempt to bring peace between the rival nations, a Council comprised of both Vampires and Werewolves agree to an arranged marriage between Blu Masterson, Princess of the Werewolf nation and Creed Saint-Pierre, elder of the Vampire nation.

Peace is the overtone to this marriage but as you read through you find that nobody believes this marriage will bring peace at all. Blu insists that she will never allow her new husband the opportunity to mark her with his bite. Creed insists he could never love a werewolf, but would keep up appearance for the sake of peace. As the story unfolds, both Creed and Blu fall in love with each other and find they do not understand why there was so much hatred between them. With their new found love for each other, they work together to bring peace to their nations. This was not an easy task.

Overall, I found this to be a fascinating story. I must admit that at first I had my doubts about the storyline. However, it completely maintained its “page-turner” status with me. I looked forward to returning to it each night to find out what would or could happen next.

Michele Hauf develops her characters very well, which makes them easy to fall in love with. I found myself completely enamored with both Blu and Creed as they fell head over heels in love with each other. I love books that grab your emotions and pull you in. This story is has its dark undertones and is deliciously sexy!

Check out the link on my sidebar for Ms. Hauf’s web address where you can find more information of all her books. Also, you can follow her for on Twitter; @michelehauf.

Ms. Hauf, I so look forward to reading more of your books in the future.


Friday, June 11, 2010

“The Host” by Stephenie Meyer

I had just finished reading Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga when I came across her adult novel, “The Host.” I really like Stephenie Meyer’s approach to writing so I picked up a copy and began reading.

In “The Host”, the author paints another beautiful story where aliens invade our world and humans become hosts for these alien "souls". These “souls”, as they like to be called, are inserted in human minds where they completely erase any past memories the human once had and begin a new life. Melanie Stryder is one of the few remaining humans captured by the aliens. Believed to have vital information about other rogue humans, a "soul" named Wanderer is inserted into Melanie to retrieve all memories that would lead them to the various clusters of human hosts. What Wanderer finds out is that Melanie doesn't want to succumb to all of this... Melanie never gives up. Therefore, Wanderer ends up sharing Melanie's body with... well eh, Melanie.

Melanie and Wanderer journey away from civilization in an attempt to locate Melanie’s little brother and the love of her life. In order to do this, Melanie must allow Wanderer to see memories that would reveal the location of other humans. This is now easy task.

Now, I could go on telling you more, but I will not. This story turns into a love triangle with Melanie completely intact and in love with Jared, but Wanderer is also intact in Melanie's conscientiousness and she is in love with Ian. With Melanie and Wanderer both in Melanie's head, Melanie is faced with a difficult task of holding onto her life. Wanderer’s experiences on other planets never prepared her for humans and their emotional makeup. She learns very quickly how dear humans hold their individuality.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and look forward to it becoming a movie.

Go get the book... it is a good read!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

“Burned” by P.C. Cast & Kristen Cast

P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast pull it off again with the next installment to the House of Night series. “Burned”, appeared on bookstands May 6, 2010 and sadly I was not one of the first to get my copy. However, excited as usual to get my copy, I quickly read to find out what happened to our heroine, Zoey Redbird.

As you recall from my book review of “Tempted”, I was all too eager to find out how our vampyres and fledglings faired in this series. We left Stevie Rae holding secrets from everyone about the imprint she had with Raven Mocker, Rephaim. Zoey witnessed the death of her childhood sweetheart by the hand of fallen warrior, Kalona. She used all that she had within her, and threw the full power of the element spirit at Kalona, attempting to kill him. The combination of all this caused Zoey’s spirit to leave this realm and move on to the Otherworld, shattering her soul in hundreds of pieces. Her body still lives but her spirit is not in her. With her soul now shattered and in the Otherworld, her circle of friends must find a way to bring her back.

“Burned” is a continuation of this specific adventure. Zoey’s friends pulled themselves together with the help of the vampyre council and found only one way to rescue her. Doing what they all do best, they each take on the responsibility of learning the history of vampyres and their warriors. Our hero warrior, Stark takes his vow as warrior to a completely new level as he learns what he must do to protect his priestess in the Otherworld.

I can continue from here and describe to you all the various adventures found in this book, or in this series, but I will not. This series is one I would definitely put on your “To Read” list. Although this is a Young Adult series, I feel it still holds enough intrigue and excitement for any adult. It is packed full of angst, friendships, honor, and love… not to mention vampyres and magic.

Each book in this series, in my opinion, cannot really stand up all on its own. You must read the whole series to follow the storyline accurately. I like the Casts’ vampyres very much. They are not your typical bloodsuckers that you read about in other novels. You find yourself hoping that this band of misfits actually lives on and succeeds. The writers do a good job of introducing you into the lives of teens you normally would hate to know, only to find you need and love them. Many are the emotions tapped as you read into the lives of these teens.

“Tempted” left me full of suspense, anger, and sadness whereas “Burned” quashed all that and brought relief. However, as is usually for this writing team, you are left with not so much a cliffhanger, but the apprehension of what is to happen next.

The next installment for The House of Night series is, “Awakened”. Although I have not heard of a release date yet, I will keep checking their website, http://houseofnightseries.com for any new updates.


Friday, April 30, 2010

This Just In!

I received a text from @PurpleBrina17 today!

Her message read:
Ronald McDonald's crazy ass just killed Burger King in front of Dairy Queen over that bitch Wendy. The funeral is at Churches. U goin'?
Of course I had to do some research and then ask other friends the same question...

In my research I found that this feud started some time ago. Apparently, Burger King thought he shot Ronald McDonald last year. So you can imagine his surprise when Ronald McDonald showed up and told him that a clone was killed instead. Shortly after this astonishing news, Ronald McDonald pulled out what some witnesses believed to be a .45 caliber semi-automatic and emptied the clip into the Burger King.

I also heard that Captain D's is actually pulling all funeral arrangements together...

However, I didn't know how I was to get there, IF I were to go.

Shortly after sending this information on, I received a text from @TwiSisterhood. She she said that you take the Subway by KFC Street to get there. She was going to ask Jack, but he's currently in a Box... somewhere.

At this point, I'm not sure I'm going. I really was spooked by that fucking head transplant that King had... He was just really creepy and such a perv (in a bad way).

Let me know if YOU are going!


Email HuMoR -- Retirement

Ok, as said before, people send me the most hilarious emails so I can laugh, because laughter really is good medicine. So without further ado, enjoy!


Yesterday I was at my local COSTCO buying a large bag of Purina Dog Chow for my loyal pet, Biscuit, the Wonder Dog and was in the checkout line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

What did she think I had, an elephant? So since I'm retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, I was starting the "Purina Diet" again. I added that I probably shouldn't, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pants pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again.. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.) Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stepped off a curb to sniff an Irish Setter's ass and a car hit us both.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard. Costco won't let me shop there anymore.

Better watch what you ask retired people.. They have all the time in the world to think of crazy things to say.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Why Women Can't Sleep

I love to receive humorous emails, especially when I need a really good laugh. I received this the other day and it explains so much...don't you think?

Have you ever wondered how a woman's brain works?

Well, it's finally explained here in one, easy-to-understand illustration:

Every one of those little blue balls is a thought about something that needs to be done, a decision or a problem that needs to be solved.

A man has only 2 balls.

They consume all his thoughts, and he sleeps like a baby.

More later... after I sleep.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"Divine Misdemeanors" by Laurell K. Hamilton

I woke this morning with several subjects on my mind. I found myself full of enough material to pontificate through several blog posts. Of course, this is my blog, nobody else posts to it, except in comments... which means I could blog about ALL the shit that's on my mind.... but I won't. Not today, or at least not now.

Today, it is time for me to post my review on a book I just finished reading, "Divine Misdemeanors" by Laurell K. Hamilton. 

First off, let me preface that Laurell K. Hamilton has made it into the "Author's I love to read" category. She is very descriptive and creative in all the books I have read of hers. She is also on my list of books that I can't wait to read.

I have read all her books in this series about Meredith Gentry, Private Eye and Faerie Princess. All of them seemed to flow right into the next. However after her last book, "Swallowing Darkness," I wasn't exactly sure where she could go in this latest, "Divine Misdemeanors." There was no Prince Cel to continuously attack her... there was no Queen Andais to be frightened by... There were no secret assassination attempts on her life in this book. In fact, there almost was no lemons at all in this book. 

As I began to read through this book, I had a lot of mixed feelings. Where is the author going with this series? All the other books lead to Princess Meredith becoming Queen of the Unseelie Court, yet we don't see that. In fact, she's now back in Los Angeles being a private dick...er detective. We see faint instances where the demi-fey acknowledge that she is or may be a queen. I mean, she is King Sholto's Queen... *shiver* but nobody wants to acknowledge that kingdom! Right? Everyone seems to know that the Faerie mounds acknowledged or crowned her Faerie Queen, but we've seen her give that up for Frost. Well, let's just say, she believes she's given it up.. I on the other hand think otherwise.

Of course I was interested in the murder scenes and trying to find the murderer... but by about chapter 17, I'm wondering if this was just going to be another detective novel. I mean, where's the sex, where's the relationships, where's the faerie magic that we all love to read? 

Then there's this dream that Merry has where she's transported back to the Black Coach, which we all know comes to the ruler of the Unseelie Court... Merry is shown this battlefield which reminds her of the previous battle in  "Swallowing Darkness." Through this dreamscape, she sees Brennan and finds him trapped in battle... She hears how Brennan calls her to him with blood, metal, and magic... As her dream begins to fade, she orders the Black Coach to take him and his men to safety and the she wakes.

I'm sitting there in goosebumps wondering what's to become of this dream... All we know is there is some kind of war going on, but we're not taken any further into why this happened. We're brought back to the mystery at hand... 

Finally, around chapter 21, the lemons start. But I begin to feel like it is all quickly added in by the author. Like... "OMG I forgot to include some sex into my story." I found myself actually feeling sorry for Merry because I felt like every time she walked through a door, she was getting banged. I was puzzled at first that she was having sex with men who were not the babies' fathers... I thought there was a law against that or something... but then I began to see that Merry is starting to make her own rules. She's creating her own monarchy or dynasty. So rules seem to be changing.

We also begin to see the true colors of Barinthius. He struggles to want to be a god once again and begins to defy Merry.

Where is the author going with this book? What is she building up too? It seems to me that this book is pivotal to something else, something huge. Perhaps a new faerie mound? Will there be a faerie war? What of the babies? How will they factor in? Also, I'm left wondering if somehow Merry's 'humanness' is fading with her faerieness...(that's not a word, but still) as her magic grows, it seems that perhaps that human factor of frailty is leaving.

Overall this book was worth the read, however there were parts to it that I felt were contrived or perhaps artificial. I definitely felt this book is pivotal in whatever course the author will begin next. I look forward to her next installment to the Meredith Gentry series!

...more later!


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Signs of the Modern Woman

As you are aware, I receive some very hilarious emails just about everyday. Some stuff gets a chuckle then tossed, but other stuff, even though labor intensive to share on this blog, is worth more than one chuckle.

I do not know where these images come from...but if they belong to you, it is not my intent to leave these anonymous... Just drop me an email and I'll give credit where credit is due!!

Signs of the Modern Woman

Leave me some comment love!! I'd love to hear from you! *mwah*


Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Medications for Women Only!

Apparently there are a few new drugs out there for women that I have just found out about. I felt you might benefit from these as well. 

Here is an advertisement for the newest one available.

There are some other drugs that I'd never heard of either that I found... but each sounds just as helpful as the new drug Fukitol®.


Take 2 and the rest of the world can go to hell for up to 8 full hours.

Suppository that eliminates melancholy and loneliness by reminding you of how awful they were as teenagers and how you couldn't wait till they moved out!

Plant extract that treats mum's depression by rendering preschoolers unconscious for up to two days.

Liquid silicone drink for single women. Two full cups swallowed before an evening out increases breast size, decreases intelligence, and prevents conception.

When taken with Peptobimbo, can cause dangerously low IQ, resulting in enjoyment of country music and pickup trucks.

Increases life expectancy of commuters by controlling road rage and the urge to flip off other drivers.

Potent anti-boy-otic for older women. Increases resistance to such lethal lines as, "You make me want to be a better person."

Injectable stimulant taken prior to shopping. Increases potency, duration, and credit limit of spending spree.

Relieves headache caused by a man who can't remember your birthday, anniversary, phone number, or to lift the toilet seat.

A spray carried in a purse or wallet to be used on anyone too eager to share their life stories with total strangers in elevators.

When administered to a boyfriend or husband, provides the same irritation level as nagging him, without opening your mouth.

I am real excited to give some of these an honest try. I think the next time I see my doctor, I will find out which of these medications best fits my particular needs. Perhaps you see something in this list that might interest you. Leave me some comment love and tell me all about it.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

In Case You Missed Sunday's Sermon

Lately, I have missed out on Sunday sermons. So when I received this in my email, I thought... I have to post this for others who may have missed their Sunday sermon.

"Four Worms and a Lesson"

A minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon.

Four worms were placed into four separate jars.
The first worm was put into a container of alcohol.

The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke.

The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup.

The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following

The first worm in alcohol

The second worm in cigarette smoke

Third worm in chocolate syrup


Fourth worm in good clean soil

So the Minister asked the congregation, "What can you learn from this demonstration?"

Maxine sitting in the back, quickly raised her hand and said,

"As long as you drink, smoke, and eat chocolate, 
you won't have worms!" 

That pretty much ended the sermon.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Visit to the Eye Doctor

I've not been real consistent on my blogging lately. I do apologize for that. In my defense, I have been extremely busy with RL... Yeah, I know... excuses... Well, get used to it.

I am one of those people who hates to go to the doctor, but more importantly, I hate to have to find NEW doctors. I've been in Arizona now for just over one year and still haven't found dentists, doctors, or eye doctors. My health has seen better days but I've ignored all tell tale signs that would indicate that I might need to see a doctor. However, recently I began having more frequent migraines and it has been more difficult to focus on small print. I would say my arms aren't long enough. Well, perhaps its time to see an eye doctor.

My eyes have gotten bad enough that reading has become difficult and not fun. My frustration left me struggling with my work and no desire to read anymore. Well, that just won't do.. SO I had to find an eye doctor.. *yippee* I did the "close your eyes and point trick" to finding an eye doctor. Actually, truth be known, I picked the first on the list because she was closest to home. Same diff tho, right?

I was dreading the day... today... day before my dreadful birthday. I expected to have my eyes dilated, which meant 4-6 hours of guarding my eyes against the light, because I'm light sensitive, and having extra blurry vision during most of that time as well. This meant, a non-productive day for me. Ugh!

Apparently, technology has grown over the past 3 years. They have this new machine that does what dilation did. They blind you with a strobe like light and take a picture of the inside of your eyeballs. The flash is instantaneous, the spots in your eyes after, not so much. So, I was blinded for about 20 minutes... remember, I'm light sensitive.. So the blindness was so much 'blind' as it was me trying to adjust back to normal so I wouldn't trigger a migraine. Trust me the technician really felt for me, but she felt that 20 minutes of spots and the potential a migraine was better than 4-6 hours of the same. I agreed.

This eye doctor, in my opinion was the best I have ever had. Of course this doctor was a woman. I love having women for my doctors. They listen, they talk. She showed me my eyeballs too! That, to me, was really cool!

Part one of the eye appointment was excellent!! Next, explaining to the optician why I have to have my glasses the way I have them... Ugh!

Every time I visit an optician for new glasses, I have to explain that I am light sensitive... Therefore the best that I have found for my eyes is glass lenses with photo grey, anti-glare, and lined bifocals. (Yes, I wear bifocals...) Anyway, I always, always get grief about the photo grey and the anti-glare. I also get grief over the lined bifocal rather than the "progressive" lenses.

You guessed it, we argued for the better part of 2 hours over just those subjects I just mentioned. Finally, I realized he might be right on the "transitions" instead of "photo grey" and he understood my argument about the bifocal lines instead of progressive lenses. Yes, you read that right... 2 hours! He thought he knew everything so he was trying to get me fitted quickly so he could go to lunch on time or something. Finally, after much deliberation, he realized he was going to need to wrap is brain around my dilemma if he was ever going to get rid of me. He finally told me that he was glad I came in because he loved his job, but lately, it had gotten boring. There weren't many challenges for him. He considered me a challenge. Hmm, is that a good thing? I hope so...

I have about a week to ten days before I get my new specs... I'll be able to see better. Yay!! 

... more later


Monday, January 25, 2010

Working Toward a Better Me ... I Think...

Over the past year, my stress load has been extremely high, with our 2 moves, kids’ school, my workload, the holidays, etc. I've had to take my pain killers more often & my eating & sleeping habits have gotten pretty bad.

In talking with a couple of friends, and their coercion to get myself better, I took on a bit of a challenge. Well, I suppose I’ve made it a challenge, perhaps because just the right person who for some strange reason, I feel competitive toward (you know who you are *wink*), suggested I workout with her. Her idea was to workout with our Wiis together… except, since the move, I can’t find my Wii. Trust me, I’m still looking. However, until then, my friend suggested that I walk instead. She said, “You only need 20-30 minutes to start.” Since I already knew this, I figured, in my tiny little brain, that she was still challenging me and that the excuse of not finding my Wii wasn’t going to work. Damn! Ok, fine, you win my friend. I accept your challenge!

Today marks my first day of walking for 20-30 minutes before I begin my day. I'm skeptical about this commitment. It means I have to exercise! Ugh! I hate exercise… but admittedly, I hate feeling like a slug, being overweight, and being in pain even more.

So, what then do I write? Should I share where I walked? Or how far I walked? Or perhaps, how miserable or thrilled I was to walk? How about why am I choosing to do something I loathe so much? Hmm… there are some possibilities.

As stated, I’m not one to exercise. If a walk takes me to a destination, like from my truck to the store door, then fine, I'll walk; but to walk just because? I don't do 'just because'... I have too much on my plate to take time out to walk. Or do I?

First off, I've learned something… You are the one that makes your own schedule. No one else can. I’m not very good at this, I'm what you would call, 'organizationally challenged'. Yeah, that’s it! I’ll probably find that either family, friends, or even clients may become upset that I have trouble juggling my time. However, I have that problem already and the only way to correct this problem is to figure out another way to organize myself. The only way to learn to better one’s self, is to try. So, this is me trying.

Here are some goals I have:
  1. Create a more positive me
  2. Lose weight
  3. Get out of pain
  4. Relieve stress
  5. Unpack my home
  6. Get lots of work done & get caught up
My list seems short, but it isn't really. Each point has sub points that I won't bore you with, yet. Nevertheless, in order to accomplish these goals, I have to create a schedule that works. I used to have one and somehow, I became derailed. I let other things get me distracted. Well, here's me putting my derailed self back on track.

Let's begin with a schedule. This schedule is not yet in stone, so there's no reason to become upset at myself if I fall off course. I tell myself this, but in reality, I get very negative and upset with myself if I don't keep up. There is a way around this negative part, but first, here's my schedule.
  1. Get up by 8 a.m.
  2. Walk 20-30 minutes in the morning.
  3. Hit the shower! Eat! Get coffee! (The 3-musts to get my brain functioning.)
  4. Take time for me. (This is my quiet time for my devotions.)
  5. Make sure boys are on track for their school. (By now, they should have had breakfast and should be ready to conquer their day. (This could take all of 10 minutes or a couple hours, depending on what they need.)
  6. Begin with work.
Well, so far today, I am off schedule.
  1. I woke THIS morning at 10 a.m.
  2. However, the first thing I did once up was go for my walk. I walked 45 minutes, not 30.
  3. I did hit the shower, I ate & I consumed coffee.
  4. My 'me' time wasn't what I wanted it to be, however, I used it to write this post which I felt, was important to help me with my goal of creating a more positive me.
  5. I checked in with my boys and found they had their social studies underway and they were writing their required assignments.
Therefore, I am currently at a juncture. Now, I must focus on work. So, for now, I will finish this post so that I might begin to organize my work routine.

I'm not much with challenges, but if you would like to work with me and challenge yourself to get into shape, or perhaps you just want to encourage me, post a comment.

I'll post again with my progress later.

Here's to good health!


Friday, January 8, 2010

Life As I Know It

October marked the time when life, my life that is, turned upside down. Well, o.k. not really upside down, but it sounded good in my head. Can't you hear the symphony in the background? Music is swelling... *looks around* You can't? Oh dear... Well, turn your volume up! ... still can't hear it... er... it must be in my head then. Oh GAWD!

Ok, actually let's step back in time just a little tiny bit more. We had a BIG, MONSTROUS move back in December of 2008. We moved, or were moved, from Idaho to Arizona by my husband's new company. I must admit the move package was awesome! They packed us, moved us, and unpacked some of us. We figured the home we were renting would be very temporary so we only unpacked what we thought to be essential.

There are pros and cons to this method of moving. First, if you don't unpack everything, then when its time to move again, you don't have so much to pack. However, if you don't unpack, you end up either buying what you need, even though you know that somewhere in one of the hundreds of boxes, you own said item, OR you end up digging through said boxes trying to find that one item... and then another item... and another. Ok, I think you get the point.

A 6-month rental turned into more & more. Finally, in September of 2009, our house in Idaho sold! Yay! We lost money overall in that sale, but we were able to pay the loan off with enough money to buy a cup of coffee when all was said & done. Ok, ok... Coffee is not that expensive! However, the amount of change we received was not enough to put a down payment on another house. So, I tucked it away for another day.

Now, we roll into October 2009. My Realtor here in Arizona takes me through about 5 different homes to chose from here, encouraging me every step of the way... assuring me that she is confident that even though we have NO DOWN PAYMENT, we can still buy a home. *Yeah, right* What are you smokin' Wendy?! Ha!

I found 2 homes I thought were nice enough & inexpensive enough, so I showed my husband. He felt the same way ... but he looked anyway. He liked my choices & after a very short articulation between the two of us *the amount of time that it takes to fall asleep* we'd made our decision. The following morning, my Realtor got the ball rolling to purchase a house.

Everything went so smoothly. The sellers were desperate to sell so they agreed to EVERYTHING, including repairing every little thing we asked to be fixed. I have NEVER had a deal go so fast & without SNAFUs from the seller (or buyer). This must be a gift from God, right?

My Realtor contacts the lender & tells him about our serious lack of finances. He in turn says, "HEY, NO PROBLEM! In fact, they'll end up getting change back when all is said & done." *oh boy, oh boy!*

Lender sets us up with a "Rural" loan & sends our paperwork to the underwriter of the first investor. We get turned down. Wanna know why? The company's move package put us earning too much! Yeah... I'm deflated now. My lender pats us on the shoulder & assures us that he will continue to press because he feels they are considering the package as continual income when it is only a one time thing. We press on.

In very short order, the lender sends our paperwork to a second investor. Again, the extra finances are the issue and were turned down again. At this point, we're doing the *Midas shrug*... Two down, what's left? Our lender informs us that come the first of December, his company will be licensed to do this kind of loan & he's certain he can work miracles for us at that time.

So, we all agreed, sellers & buyers, let's see what happens. So we wait for Thanksgiving to pass. December rolls in...The paperwork is processed... Yep, you guessed it... income is again the issue. But this time, the underwriter listens to my lender and agrees that the said move package should not be included. Yay! But wait... my husband just received TONS of OT at work and hey look, he's also received a bonus from his company for spending more time at work than at home.

Our lender sat in the underwriter's office explaining every penny of our "added" income. The underwriter finally agreed with my lender so, my lender sent all files to underwriter to sign. Ok... so WTH was she still not signing? WTH did we miss our closing date? Apparently, closing dates don't mean anything here. We missed our closing date! Yep... So the lender contacted seller to let them know more of what's going on! Seller, although I'm sure very uptight at this point, agrees to hang just a bit longer. I mean, what are they going to do, put the house on the market again? Sheesh!

The day before Christmas Eve, we receive an email! The underwriter has signed off, now we send to the Rural loan people to get your money! Yay?!?! Can they still reject us? Yes, they can!

Christmas was very stressful. Not only are we waiting to finalize our house, but my parents were here the whole week before Christmas. So we were trying to be hospitable as well. We waited to hear, but we were told we wouldn't hear until after Christmas. *obviously*

On December 28, 2009, we were contacted at 3 pm in the afternoon. "Get your butts up to the title company! If you sign today it will record tomorrow..." Both my husband & I take off from our separate locations to race to the title company before they close. It took 45 minutes to drive there, but of course, I'm out of gas... Ugh! I finally arrive shortly after hubby, its now about 4:15 pm... But we get in, & find they are waiting for us. Even the receptionist looks at us & says, "You must be the ..." we nod, sheepishly!

Rural loans have a lot of extra paperwork that you have to go through. It took an hour to sign all papers.

You'd think that the "recording" part would be fast... right? Maybe we'd get the keys by noon?? HELL NO! We almost didn't get the keys that next day. But my Realtor & our Lender both did a lot of pushing! By 3 pm, December 29th, my Realtor calls me... "Are you home?"

"Yes..." are respond, "of course where else would I be... I want my keys."

"I've been knocking at your door & you're not answering," she says.

OH CRIPES! I run downstairs & she's standing at the door holding my house keys up in front of me with a giant grin on her face!

We are now proud owners of this beautiful home!

4-Bedroom, 3-Full Bathrooms, about 2300 sq ft!

We are so excited to FINALLY be done with this very stressful chapter of our lives. However, this has imposed other stressors too. My business has had to take a back burner because so much was unknown. We weren't sure when we would be moving. All projects had to be delayed. So, my clients are not too happy for those delays. Thank you! Now my clients are all thrilled that I now have a new house... but they wish the move would hurry up so we can focus. I can't blame them! So, I want to thank all who have been patiently waiting on my life to settle down. We're almost there!