Monday, December 19, 2016

[Dream] Kate & Dean Rickershaw

While I'm at it, my propensity to dream names, addresses, and the like still occurs. The night before last I dreamed about the names 'Kate and Dean Rickershaw.' I do not know anybody by those names, but I saw those words written out in my dream.

Once again, I have NO idea why I see names, addresses, and random words written out in my dreams. However, I've made it a point to try and tell Paul about it when it happens and to write it down somewhere should I have to refer to it later.

Dutch/Rotterdam connection?

Many months ago, I had a dream where such a ship appeared and I was on that ship, watching as it was sailing near a big city. I blogged/journaled about it and may have posted about it here as well. Now I'm glad I did write about it because the other night I had the STRANGEST experience where I had a FLASH memory of me in a past life (at least that's how I understood it).

Out of the blue, I saw myself wearing a medium blue linen dress, along with a blue hat that had a strip of white around the edge. The hat had triangles folded up on each side. I 'saw' myself dressed like this and knew I'd seen that type of hat before, but couldn't immediately place where I'd seen it because I was almost ready to fall asleep myself and in a hypnogogic state. Which, of course, is when fantasies, hallucinations, and all sorts of mind-altering stuff can occur.

After Googling images, I found the hat I saw in the sudden flash in my mind -- turns out I was in traditional Dutch dress, and the hat was a traditional Dutch hat (!!). I knew I'd seen it before, but it didn't connect at the time what kind of hat it was or who would wear it. Color me shocked! I also found images of people wearing the SAME clothes I 'saw' myself wearing in that flash memory.

Then I remembered that this past year I'd dreamed about the ship with 'Rotterdam' written across the side of it. That past dream was suddenly triggered. I Googled images and found a ship with 'Rotterdam' on the side of it. BINGO! There it was. It was all too weird.

In addition, I then remembered that I'd signed up to take a course on Dutch. I signed up for no apparent reason; it just seemed interesting. With everything else going on at the time, I'd abandoned the course because my load was too full and I'd decided to take it on a whim with thoughts of completing it later.

The other night it all came to me. I tried to tell Paul, but he was half-asleep and as I was telling him, he fell off into slumberland. So I texted Britt about the entire thing so I could remember it later to post here and on my blogs. I didn't want to forget everything, and once I fall asleep, I'm apt to forget things when they're pushed out of my head by new dreams and thoughts.

Now, I cannot say this was a past memory. I have no proof of that. The image flashed into my mind and the thought that came with it was that it was me in a past life. But we all know our minds are cunning things, don't we? Regardless, what an amazing, living computer our minds are!

I'm not sure what this was all about, but it was cool as hell and I don't know what to make of it. But I did go and sign up to take that Dutch class again!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Rest in peace, Isis (Nov 2001-Dec 2016)

My 52nd year hasn't started out so well, but it will get better. Today our 15-year-old black cat, Isis, died. She was old, cranky, and quite a diva. She died the same month, four years later, that our other black cat, Osiris, left us.

I'm incredibly sad, but we knew her time was coming. I've been in bed most all day, just like yesterday, but with a raging headache.

I'm feeling out of sorts, so it's going to be a bit before I'm up for conversation and regular tomfoolery. Right now I'm having a huge sad. But, as usual, I'll get my head straight again and dive into regular activities in short order. At least that's the plan.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

We are the lucky ones. For now.

I'm getting ready to make dinner and I can't stop thinking about Aleppo. To paraphrase my daughter, she said she's in her comfy apartment, watching movies with her fiance, and these horrific things are happening in Aleppo (and elsewhere, I might add).

You know, Paul and I live in a 30-ft RV. We don't have a permanent home and we don't know what the future holds for us. And right now, it's pretty damned scary for some of us in the United States of America, and on a global scale. Any of us could be part of what's happening in Aleppo in the near future.

Things can and do change in an instant, and big, holy-shit! events can happen when you least expect it -- or even when you do. This is not news, as it's always been that way. But lately, I've had a lot of things on my mind. And lately I've been thinking how it's best to appreciate the small things, the good things, the hopeful things as much as you can because nothing is guaranteed and nothing is set in stone.

This, again, is nothing new. But sometimes you have to have your country, your world, and your mind rocked out of its sockets to remind yourself of that. To remind yourself that one night you could be making dinner and watching Netflix, and a year from now you may have no dinner at all -- and you sure as hell won't have Netflix, because that would be the last thing on your mind.

I don't know what the future holds for any of us. But I do know that it's up to all of us to bring about a country -- and a world -- we all want to live in TOGETHER. And I don't know where any of this is going because this is a stream-of-consciousness post. Except that maybe I wanted to tell you all that, no matter what does happen to any of us, I want to thank you for your presence in my life, even if it's been through Facebook. Maybe you've made me laugh, cry, get pissed off, or whatever...but you affected me in some way, and that has made me grow as a person.

I don't know about you, but I have more life to live and more goals, ambitions, and dreams to pursue. Like you, I want to spend more time with my kids and I am looking forward to holding my first grandbaby. I'm not done here yet, you're not done here yet, this country isn't done yet, and this world damn sure isn't.

So this is a reminder that it's up to us to make the world a better place, in whatever way we can, and even if it's a small daily thing...because small acts add up and influence events and people. There is no 'us' and 'them.' The truth is there's only *us*, and we've gotta find a way to make all of this work out for the present and the future. If we don't, there's no going back.

Now I'm going to walk into my small kitchenette and make dinner. And my thoughts won't be on dinner, but many other things instead. I don't have a big home, a huge kitchen, or any property to call my own save for this RV, but tonight I am in a relatively safe place with food and shelter, which is a lot more than others can say.

Paul and our family are not being massacred by Assad's forces or burned alive, as some reports are saying. The feeling of helplessness is overwhelming. Women and children are NOT being spared in Aleppo. And all for what? For what, I ask you? I KNOW the so-called reasons...but ALL FOR WHAT?

Life is short and precious. All of this -- THIS -- goes away. Your big house, your food, your possessions, your...THINGS, countries, ideologies. Your body ceases to exist. As for your soul...well, we all know we can't or don't agree on that. But the pain, suffering,'s too much to wrap one's head around. And it seems so needless in the end. Doesn't it? It does, at least for me.

And here we will sit, eating dinner soon, but there will be a lump in my throat and tears welling in my eyes because we are the lucky ones. At least for now.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

"Where there is a will, there is a way"

I have the Ingwaz/Inguz rune tattooed on my right forearm.

"On your spiritual path you may feel isolated, but within you burns the fire of inspiration urging you onward and upward. Feed the fire by perseverance. Seek answers but don't get encumbered with irrelevant questions. Live one day at a time, knowing that the past is just a memory, the future just a dream, and the here and now is what matters."

Monday, November 21, 2016

Imaginary party guests

If I could have a big, blowout party and was able to invite anybody at all (and they'd accept), here is my list of must-have attendees (so far):

Snoop Dogg
Joe Biden
The Obamas
Bernie Sanders
Amy Schumer
Adrianne Curry
Russell Brand
Jay Mewes
Kevin Smith
Trae Crowder (The Liberal Redneck)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
A resurrected Heath Ledger
A resurrected Jim Morrison
A resurrected Carl Sagan
Stephen Hawking
Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Bill Nye
Chelsea Handler
Jon Ronson
Stephen King
Neil Gaiman
Amanda Palmer
Anne Rice
A resurrected Christopher Lee
A resurrected Peter Cushing
A resurrected Vincent Price
Evan Peters
A resurrected Michael Crichton
Christopher Moore
Johnny Depp
John Cusack
Marilyn Manson
A resurrected Phil Burns
Haruki Murakami
Annie Lennox
Gloria Steinem
Ronnie James Dio
A resurrected Einstein
A resurrected Baruch Spinoza
The Dalai Lama

The MC would be Richard Cheese...because why not?

Now...could you IMAGINE the conversations at that party?!
Who else would be a good addition? Comment below.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Choose wisely

I want to believe in my fellow Americans. I want to believe the majority of this country won't allow a misogynistic, narcissistic, bigoted, homophobic, xenophobic, psychopath to take control of the White House.

I want to believe my family and friends won't TRULY support a man who speaks so disparagingly of women or makes fun of disabled people.

I want to believe the people I am related to or friends with aren't really that mean, cruel, or insensitive deep inside, especially the ones who sit in church pews on a regular basis, all while extolling the virtues of Jesus Christ.

I want to believe the people I grew up with or went to school with don't secretly hate or disparage me and Paul – or the rest of my family – because we are liberals, and that they don't truly believe we are 'retarded' or stupid (because we aren't).

I want to believe people will think rationally and realize this election is more than about us alone; instead, it's about the country we leave to our children and grandchildren. It's about the entire world (because, yes, we are PART of the world, but NOT the only country in the world.)

I want to believe people will stop and truly think before casting their vote and consider the consequences of their actions. Because this election, more than any other election in my lifetime, could mean the difference between surviving as a country or even surviving as a human being.

The wrong person in office, with the wrong temperament in this current world of turmoil, could mean dire and deadly consequences. Your vote could be signing not only your death warrant, but everyone else's, too. This is NOT a drill.

Your choice could, in fact, help bring about the end of the world. And while I know some of you may WANT that because you're trying to consciously or subconsciously bring about armageddon, the rest of us want to LIVE and LOVE for as long as we are able. We, just as much as you, deserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I don't want to die. I want to live.
I don't want my children to die. I want my children to live.
Make no mistake: tomorrow's choice could very well be a choice between living and dying.

My daughter is pregnant and I want to see my first grandchild and hold him/her in my arms and kiss his/her chubby cheeks. I don't want YOU or YOUR children or grandchildren to die premature deaths – especially not due to making an ill-informed choice fueled by misdirected hate, ignorance, and revenge.

Think CAREFULLY about what future you're actually choosing when you vote tomorrow. Don't think just about yourself; think, instead, about all the lives you will be impacting with your choice – not just the human beings you know, but those you don't know.

Reach down inside and revive the compassion you still have inside. Remember that we are all in this together, and we must take care of one another. Before you check that box for president, honestly ask yourself if that person has the temperament, emotional maturity, intelligence, and experience to hold the office of president of the United States of America.

Be honest with yourself. If your candidate cannot be trusted to use Twitter in a responsible way without his handlers stepping in, then why on earth would you think your candidate should have control of the United States?

You will get what you ask for, America. I can only hope you ask for the right thing tomorrow, because if you do not, disaster and chaos will ensue and you will be sorry later. But by then it'll probably be too late.

Choose wisely.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Also completed -- The Addicted Brain through Emory University

Also -- I completed a course on The Addicted Brain through Emory University back on August 8th. Even though the course was over, I checked to see if I could get financial aid to obtain the official certificate post-completion and they approved my request! So I also got an official certificate for THAT course as well :-). On a roll here, folks!

Final grade: 94.7%

Psychology of Popularity -- finished two weeks early

Yay! Finished the course almost two weeks EARLY! :-)
Final grade: 94.1%

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Guess they didn't deserve a burger or a future day in court, huh?

Too bad Terence Crutcher, Keith Lamont Scott, Michael Brown, and other black men shot and killed because police *thought* they were on PCP, reaching for a gun, carrying a gun, stealing cigarettes, looking at them the wrong way, acting funny, [insert excuse here], etc. weren't Dylann Roof (the white guy who murdered 9 black parishioners at Charleston's AME Emanuel Church) OR Robert Lewis Dear (the Planned Parenthood killer) instead.

If they had been Dylann Roof, then maybe they, too, would've been taken alive and driven to Burger King for a burger like Dylann was before he was transported to the police station. Gotta feed that murderous asshole, right?

Or maybe they would've been taken alive, just like Robert Lewis Dear was. He was the murderous asshole who took over a Planned Parenthood office here in Colorado Springs, killed a UCCS officer, injured other officers, and killed two innocent people. That son of a bitch is still alive, isn't he?

Now, what if Dylann Roof and Robert Lewis Dear had been black? Any bets on whether a black perpetrator would've been taken alive in those two scenarios? I guess allegedly stealing items from a store or walking with your hands up in the air both merit being shot to death right then and there as opposed to committing cold-blooded murder and being given the chance to remain alive for a future day in court.

And no, I'm not against cops, so don't start that bullshit with me. I used to work in a police department and I know how hard and risky being a police officer is because I've seen it firsthand.

However, I am against badly trained, psychologically unfit, or trigger-happy civil servants with bad judgment. Cops are human beings; therefore, not all cops are good, and not all cops are bad.

And yes, police officers' lives do matter. I never said they didn't and I never will. To assume such a thing is ludicrous and shows a lack of critical thought.

The entire system needs an overhaul because there is systemic failure occurring throughout the country. The more the issues are ignored, the worse things will become. Let's save lives -- both police officers' lives and civilian lives -- before more are needlessly lost.

Need I say more? I don't think so.

Sit or stand. It's your right as an American.

I see a lot of people upset over Colin Kaepernick. Here's the thing: even if you don't agree with him or his method, this is America and he STILL has the right not to stand for the national anthem.

Remember, FREEDOM of speech, expression, and religion are all at the CORE of the ideals this country was founded upon. So you can be pissed off, disagree, and outright livid about it, but if you understand America and its history at all, you will understand that him exercising his right to express himself in that manner IS an outgrowth of what this nation was founded upon.

I come from a military family. I was a military brat. I wanted to go into the Air Force to be a pilot but was too short. I am a proud American and I come from a long line of proud Americans who fought in the Revolutionary War AND who helped found this country in the first place (I'm a DNA relative of President John Adams and President John Quincy Adams -- two presidents).

So, here's the thing: all the people who have fought for our country and are fighting for our country? Three things they fought and died for include the RIGHT to freely speak, express, and practice any religion you want. You can be as pissed off as you want and disagree with what Colin Kaepernick did; however, this is freedom of expression and speech in action.

It doesn't matter if you agree or like it. You have to defend ALL speech, not just the speech you don't like. Doing so is at the core of what it means to be an American. If you don't believe me, go back and brush up on United States history.

Friday, September 23, 2016

More family mystery to unravel...

Received a nice, long e-mail from my first cousin

More info came out about my birth father...but it's info I had an inkling of a long time ago.

My first cousin, Debra, doesn't know much about my birth father, but she did mention a few things: he was a lawyer, he was a jerk to my mom (this much I knew because it's why she left him), and he was a witness in a murder trial.

My cousin found it interesting that I have an interest in forensic psychology and said it does make sense given that my father was a lawyer. Like Debra, I do believe many things are encoded into one's DNA, and those things get passed down to future generations. In fact, there have been recent studies on that very subject.

I'm pretty sure I know which trial, because for a small town of fewer than 5,000 people, it was a BIG DEAL. If I'm correct, the trial had to do with a music teacher who was murdered back in the 1960s...mainly because she was a lesbian and that was the reason why she was murdered (how awful is that?!).

If I'm right, my birth father was a witness in that trial. I'll need to confirm that by researching, but I am betting that was the trial she was referring to.

When I first mentioned to my adopted mom, Shirley, that I wanted to find out more about who my birth mother and father were, she strongly advised against it, telling me there were things I might find out that I wouldn't want to know. She used the term 'bad blood,' matter of fact. Naturally, this only intrigued me more.

So, in 1999, it took me all of two weeks to locate my birth mother and birth brothers, and then I began asking questions, trying to piece together who my birth father was and everything about who I was and where I came from. It's been a long journey and it's not over yet, but I'm not giving up. There are more mysteries and unknowns to be solved.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Find a way

The older I get, the more I feel this way:

I don't want to hear WHY something can't be done or WHY an idea won't work, etc. Find a solution...somehow. If you can't get through an obstacle, go around it, over it, beneath it, or forge a different path that might take you on a detour but will ultimately lead you to your goals.

Throughout my life, I've had people tell me why this, that, or the other won't work. I was told I wouldn't make it as a freelancer for more than a year or two, mainly because few freelancers last past that time. I just celebrated 19 years of being a full-time freelancer. It's not been an easy road, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. It's FREEDOM for me. I DO NOT miss working in a cubicle, surrounded by office politics and corporate bullshit. Nope...that scene isn't for me.

Second, I was told SUN SIGNS FOR WRITERS probably wouldn't sell to a publisher because it was a hybrid book, and one combining subjects that hadn't been done before. Glad I didn't listen, because I sold it to the FIRST publisher I pitched it to—Writer's Digest Books, an imprint of F + W Media, Inc. I got a nice advance (for a first-time author) and snagged the agent I wanted, too.

I could give numerous other examples, but you get the gist of what I'm saying. It may take me a long time -- years or even decades -- to reach goals that I have set for myself; however, I'm tenacious and determined to soldier on despite naysayers or critics. I simply DO NOT CARE what they think.

So I leave you with this: when you make a decision or set a goal, you'll usually have a bunch of naysayers or critics who will tell you WHY you shouldn't do it, HOW it cannot be done, or WHY it would be easier for you to give up and go back to being an obedient lemming. Don't listen to that bullshit. Smile, nod, and do whatever you wanted to do in the first place (like Robert Downey, Jr. claims he does).

It's your life. You hold the cards. Play them any way you damn well please! After all, (eventual) success is the best revenge, isn't it?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Crucial bit of info about my birth father—finally!

Holy crap! I'm sitting here and my mind is blown. I just found out a crucial bit of info about my birth father that has taken me since 1999 to find out.

For those who don't know, I was adopted at the age of six days old. My birth name was Starlette "Star" Ferris, but my adopted family (my mom and dad) named me Beverly Renay. In 1999, I began searching for info on my birth family because I was driven to fill in the blanks about my past and who I was.

I've gotten lots of info (and even met) my birth mother, Fay, and my two birth brothers, Jan and Van. But hardly any info about my birth father, save for his name and what my birth mom told me. They were never married. They were engaged and then she broke off the engagement.

Anyway...I digress.

My first cousin Debra, who contacted me last week (I think it was) just sent me info I didn't have before. Cut to the chase is that my birth father, Richard Ferris, was a LAWYER. Holy crap!

In a strange coincidence, my cousin has her MS in Psychology, which is the same thing I am pursuing! And she's a teacher, something I plan to do after I get my MS. It also turns out that the two of us are probably the only cousins on that side who have gone to college. Wow! There's more info about ancestry, too, like the fact that my great, great, great grandfather came from England and was a judge. That makes sense because my birth mom told me there were judges and law people in that side of the family.

Here is her e-mail to me. It's long, but given all that I've shared about my search for info about my birth family (both sides), I'm going to post it. I tell ya, each time I find out more info, it fills in more of the blank holes that I've wondered about my entire life. Each time I find a piece of the puzzle, my eyes well up with tears. I am grateful that 23andme helped me connect with my first cousin, Debra.:

I have a friend who is adopted, and so I understand the "wanting to know more". Like I said before, I did not know about you until a couple of years ago when Van told me. My mom did not know about it either. Back then things were handled differently than they are now.

I can tell you anything you want to know about the Rider family history. I have searched census records online and found all the information I could without paying any money to and other such companies. I do not have it organized in a good way to send it all at once, but that is on my to-do list for someday.

I know the Dilley family (Fay's mother) came to the US in the late 1600's from Germany. Fay's father's family came from England. Grandpappy told me that his grandfather came from England and was a judge. I found him, Otho Wade, in the census records, so I am only back to early 1800's on that branch of the family.

There is a cemetery in WV near Sherwood Lake that has most of the old family burial places. The Rider family used to own Sherwood Lake in WV but the government took the land to make the lake and camping area. They let Grandpappy live on the land for the rest of his life, but they tore down his 2 story log cabin and other buildings and split rail fence as soon as he died.

I live in Charlotte, NC. I am 63. I was married 22.5 years, but now I am divorced. I have 2 sons who are 36 and 38. They also live in Charlotte. I am a teacher. I am the only one of the cousins who went to college as far as I know. I have a BS Math and BA and MS in Psychology. I teach at a Community College. Right now I am teaching Math because they do not need a Psych instructor.

Grandpappy went to William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va and majored in pre-med. He did his residency, was a medic in WW1, and then never practiced medicine. I do not know why because no one ever told me about it until much, much later, so I never got a chance to ask questions.

He was a hermit and lived at Sherwood Lake the last 23 years of his live in a cabin, no elec. or running water. Granny took the 7 kids and moved to the town of White Sulphur Springs. I know they were poor and lived in a converted chicken coop which she fixed up as nice as she could. There was a bathroom with a sink and a commode, but she never did have a bathtub or running water in her kitchen. She made do all of her life.

My son has a flat tire. so he needs a ride. I will type more later. I am full of information that I do not mind talking about. My email is xxxx You can ask me anything.

Your father was Richard Ferris, and he was a lawyer in Covington, VA. More later because I have to scoot now!"

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Oh, the drama!

Ever notice how, when you mind your own business, other people—and sometimes even strangers—can't stand the calm and feel compelled to start drama? I'll never understand it. It's like some people cannot bear to have a calm atmosphere, so they take great pleasure in stirring up shit just to get a reaction or to annoy others.

Example: late last night, Paul and I left Britt's apartment and headed over to where we are currently parking our RV while we are in town. It was late, and I was tired. All I wanted to do was go to bed. We crawled into bed, talked for a bit, and settled in (with our dogs) to go to sleep. Next thing we know, there's a woman outside our RV yelling. I couldn't make out what she was saying. Turns out, she was griping and intentionally antagonizing our dogs—AT 5 IN THE MORNING! She returned to her RV, which was parked to the left of ours and across the way, but then a little while later, she came back over to where we were and began yelling again. This time, she started yelling, "RUFF, RUFF, RUFF!" to get the dogs stirred up.

My first reaction: WTF?! Was she drunk? High? What the hell was her problem at FIVE in the morning that she would intentionally try to antagonize our dogs?!

Paul and I prefer to dodge conflict if we can, so we didn't engage her and got the dogs back into the back of the RV, into our bedroom. They'd gone up front to react to the stupid shit she was yelling and the RUFF RUFF sounds she was making. Finally, we fell asleep. I still felt uncomfortable because I had a feeling she wasn't done with us yet. I was right.

In the morning, around 11:45 a.m., Paul and I are sleeping—as were the dogs—and guess what happened? Yep, you probably figured out that she walked over by our RV and started raising hell again, talking loudly and intentionally trying to stir things up again. *sigh* What in the hell did this woman want, and what was her motivation for disturbing us and antagonizing our dogs?! I must admit, I was trying to figure out what her motive was, but then I became annoyed...and later on, angry.

Basically, Paul and I want to be left alone to do our thing, which is primarily our jobs, studying, gaming, reading, or watching movies/shows. We are pretty simple people and we like our peace. Now here we had a complete stranger who decided that, for whatever reason, we were going to be her target. Just great.

You know, I just don't understand most people. I haven't for most of my life, though I've tried my level best to figure them out. But often, I feel like I'm an alien from another planet and that most of society is speaking another language or something. Might be why I'm so interested in psychology and why I've thrown myself into my Social and Forensic Psychology studies. Human beings are like exotic animals to me at times, even though I KNOW that I am a human being myself.

Long story short, I told Britt about what was going on and she said, "I'll be right over." My first thought was, "Oh, shit." Mainly because Britt is a lot like me when she gets riled up. Once she's there, she doesn't take anybody's shit. A few minutes later, Britt and her fiance, Tack, arrived. They went over and talked to the woman's boyfriend (who was embarrassed about the whole ordeal) and to the woman herself. Turns out the woman and her boyfriend were having serious issues, and he'd already thrown her stuff out of the RV and was going to break up with her and leave her after 6 1/2 years.

The woman, whose name is Lisa, shook my hand and told me she owed us an apology, that she'd projected her anger over her personal situation onto us. I felt compassion for her and told her that Paul and I didn't like to have conflict with people unless we had no other choice. We chatted for a few more minutes and left to walk back over to our RV. On the way back, her boyfriend indicated that he was sorry for the drama she had caused us. And I'm glad it was resolved—permanently, I hope—but as I sit here, I wonder how things will turn out for them. I saw the expression on her face and on his face. My heart dropped to my stomach because I knew it was a trying time for both of them, exacerbated by her acting out toward us and the dogs due to misplaced anger.

I've mentioned this before, but one unexpected side effect of living full-time in an RV is that you are THIS MUCH CLOSER to humanity and you're face-to-face with the real nature of human beings and society in general. It's unpleasant, it's often shocking, and it's a wake-up call. When you're in a house or apartment, you might get exposed to these things for a short time as you run errands and the like. But when you live in an RV and your home is wherever you park it, you SEE the pain, the trials of life, the layers of hurt, the disappointment. You also hear the tales of hard times and heartbreak. And you can attempt to steel yourself against all of this as much as you want, but in the end, you can't help but be affected in some way.

I would've never had some of these experiences otherwise, and it's added a dimension to my compassion, my mercy, my tolerance. I'm realizing that we're all just trying to make it on a daily basis, and for some people, it's damned hard to wake up and face another day. I've been there before, and I understand how they feel. And no matter how good my fortune gets in the future, I will never forget the things I've seen and heard so far, or the lessons I've learned. With everything in me, I truly hope Lisa and her boyfriend reconcile and they have a better life together than they could've ever imagined. No more pain, no more suffering.

Drama is so uncomfortable to me and is becoming more so as I become older. There are times when you cannot avoid conflict and you DO have to speak your mind, stand up for your rights, and set or reinforce boundaries. But I guess it's all about choosing your battles, and some are so trivial and basic that communication can usually resolve the problem. My first reaction was to leave and not even address the issue with Lisa because confronting or talking with strangers can lead to hair-trigger reactions in this day and age. You never know when someone will pull a weapon or do something off the charts in a fit of overreaction. But to my daughter's credit, as well as Tack's, they took the bull by the horns and addressed the issue in a direct, non-threatening manner.

Today I was the student and my 24-year-old daughter was my teacher. How cool is that?

Friday, September 2, 2016

Two mentions

Just a heads-up that Paul and I are both going back to school. This means we will have reading, assignments, and homework on top of our jobs. As a result, our time will become even more limited for social activities. I know that's a bummer, but we are committed to our current goals and dedicated to achieving them.

If we aren't available to socialize, either online or offline, this will be why. We are excited to get back into an academic routine and our jobs and studies will take priority over anything else. Thanks for your understanding and encouragement. ;-)

In other news, my Smashwords author interview just went live. Pop over and give it a look:

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The meaning of life

I wrote this back in December 2005 (except for a few words I added just now), and it still holds true for me. The meaning of life could be something entirely different for you, but for me, I think it is this:

Do the best you can with your circumstances, try to love others, and care for them as best you can (even when they're being assholes) and choose to live as authentically as you can in the process. Nobody gets an instruction manual and no one gets a guarantee when you're born into this life. How you play the game is up to the individual and many factors/variables go into the playing of the game. You must straddle doing what's best for you versus what's fair and right for others. It's not easy and you won't always make the right decision. When you screw up, apologize if it's warranted. And sometimes—just sometimes—you have to love people even when they don't deserve your love. And sometimes you might have to forgive them even when you'd rather stick your foot up their ass.

Life can be hard, cruel, and unexpected. It can also be joyful, surprising, and amazing. You can't control life; you can only control your actions/reactions in the framework of this short period of time we call a lifetime. Our charge is to be present and aware—a tall order indeed. And a mission I've yet to master since I tend to live in the future ALL the time and, more often than not, skip over the present. The truth is, we only have NOW. Make the best of it.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Happy birthday, Bill!

Today would've been my stepfather William "Bill" Thayer's 84th birthday. He passed away many years ago. I had two stepfathers, but Bill was the only one who counted. The first one was nothing short of evil.

Anyway, I wanted to post this in remembrance of Bill. I wish you could see Jon and Britt now that they're grown up. Love and miss you!

The Nocturnal Editor

You may or may not have noticed, but I have renamed the Abraxas Writing & Editing Services FB page to The Nocturnal Editor. If you haven't dropped by and 'liked' my page, please do! If you need writing or editing services, PM me or e-mail

The Nocturnal Editor

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Completed! Dog Emotion and Cognition course from Duke University

Just completed a course on Dog Emotion and Cognition through Duke University. Fascinating stuff!
As most of you know, my husband and I own four dogs, so the information I learned we can put into practice. Psychology applies to other animals besides humans, after all. ;-)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Life gets in the way

Lyn and Nate had planned to move back to Colorado Springs and were in the process of getting everything set to do so. That's when Lyn died on August 8, 2016.

Both Paul and I want to remember and honor Lyn's memory, but we can't leave town and drive four hours, total, to go to La Veta for only an hour or two this coming Saturday for her memorial. I feel awful about it. We were trying to go, and had actually canceled out on being volunteers for Colorado Springs Comic Con, but life is such that things just aren't going to work out.

I have a full work queue this weekend (which I am GRATEFUL for) and we can't drive the RV all those miles until we get our fuel pump and brakes fixed. People have offered us rides, but we can't do that because they want us to ride down on Friday, spend the night, and stay on Saturday for the memorial, then drive back here. With the dogs, we can't be gone that long. Britt can't have them in her apartment, and she can't leave her dogs and stay in our RV for all that time.

To find an alternative to honor Lyn's memory, I talked with her daughter, Angie, and the plan is to have a small, casual get-together at Britt's apartment sometime over the next week or so where we can all come together, remember Lyn, light candles and incense, and share stories and memories of her. I'm sure Lyn would be happy with that.

No matter what we plan here, all I know is that she will never be forgotten and I am grateful for her influence in my life. She left far too soon, but she will always be remembered fondly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Happy 85th birthday, Jeannie (Barbara Eden)!

Happy 85th birthday to Barbara Eden. She portrayed Jeannie on "I Dream of Jeannie," which was one of my top two favorite shows when I was a young girl.

I wanted to BE either Jeannie OR Samantha from "Bewitched" (my other favorite show). I even had a bottle that looked like Jeannie's bottle and I'd pretend I was a genie OR a witch. I also wanted a guy who was crazy about me like Major Nelson was about Jeannie, too.

The funny thing is that I became a real-life witch when I was 18 and have been ever since. Gee, I sure wish I could twitch my nose to make things happen or just — POOF! — pop inside my personal bottle when I wanted to. Oh yeah...I did end up with a man who is as crazy about me as Major Nelson was about Jeannie, so there's that, too. <3

When I think of the word 'classy,' Barbara Eden and Elizabeth Montgomery embodied that word for me. Along with Donna Reed, I might add (I also loved her, too).

Here's to great stars and fun memories growing up. Enjoy your day, Barbara. You're fabulous!

Totally psyched? Yes!

++Totally Psyched++ is a Facebook page devoted to all things psychology. This community was created by and is maintained by me, Bev R. Sninchak.

Instead of unleashing a deluge of psychology-related info, articles, and posts on my personal FB page while I'm pursuing further education in psychology (particularly forensic psychology), I figured this would be a better solution.

Since I can't always read articles when I come across them, especially when I'm in the middle of work, this will act as a repository so I can come back later and pull up what I wasn't able to read at the time I located the info.

In addition, I know a lot of you are as fascinated by psychology and other social sciences as I am. So why not delve into the subject matter together and discuss it?

Please join me (and 60 others, so far) at Totally Psyched. I hope you find interesting information there, if only for your personal edification. Post any content there that you run across, too. Just make sure it's relevant to the overall topic(s).

Hope to see you over there,


Dream a little (Trazodone) dream

Last night I dreamed about Russell Brand. Most of you know I have a crush on him. So yeah...that was a pleasant dream.

The night before, I dreamed about Michelle Obama and being part of her wedding. It was HUGE! I had an elaborate red velvet dress and my hair was styled beautifully, with lots of intricate curls and hair accents, like pearls and such. Again, a pleasant dream.

It's nice to have dreams other than those centering on catastrophe, getting lost in amusement parks and/or campuses, or exploring dark, creepy warehouses that are used for sex clubs.

My mind is a strange place, but I love dreams of all types because they are fodder for stories and ideas. I pity those who claim they don't dream (they do, they just don't remember the dreams) or those who dream but have a hard time remembering most of them.

I'm not great at always remembering mine, but if I can grab hold of bits and pieces as soon as I wake up and place them in long-term memory, then I'm satisfied.

Of course, I've been taking Trazodone for insomnia and depression for a while now. Trazodone delivers intense dreams—and often strange ones at that. Many people don't stay on Trazodone because they can't handle the dreams that come with the territory.

As for me, I LOVE Trazodone dreams. Each night I'm taken on a journey, and I never know what type of journey it'll be or where I'll end up in the complex dreamscape. It's a mystery and there's always anticipation before I fall asleep.

Trazodone dreams don't bother me, but the tragedy and senselessness of events that happen in real life often do.

For lots of cool stuff, check out the Social Psychology Network site

Are you on the Social Psychology Network as well? Let's connect! Here is the link to my SPN member page:

Chart related to my DNA raw data analysis

I'm posting about the Kalash (the brown piece of the pie chart) that's shown as part of my DNA raw data analysis, but I'll also be posting about the Afansievo_Yamnaya, which is essentially called a ghost tribe. That, too, is ultra fascinating!

The SHG stands for Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherers, but my info from 23andme already told me I had Scandinavian in my ancestry (Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish).

Uncovering my ancestral DNA connection to the Pagan Kalash people of Pakistan

Uploaded my raw DNA info into GEDmatch last night and WOW! I have a small amount of South and West Asian in my data, and I just assumed that maybe it was from India. WRONG! Turns out it comes from the Kalash people of Pakistan, which is the LAST pagan tribe (many of whom are blonde and blue eyed) that exists there! The Taliban tried to wipe them out and nearly succeeded. I had never heard of the Kalash and had to look up the word. Imagine my surprise over what I found.

Apparently, Alexander the Great's army had something to do with the Kalash, which is why their features are so different from the physical features you find in Pakistan.

I'm gobsmacked! Thanks to GEDmatch and the tools on there, I've discovered SO much more specific information extracted from the raw DNA data I uploaded into their system.

Anyway, have I mentioned how much I love, love, LOVE science?! I'll be posting more about the results from various GEDmatch tools, so be prepared.

And again, if you haven't had your DNA ancestry done, you should absolutely get on that NOW! There is SO much more about you that you have NO IDEA about and would never know of without the beauty of the unique DNA code within you. It's one of a kind and there is NOBODY else like you. :-)

Also, once you have your test done (and I hope you do), upload your raw data to GEDmatch (it's FREE!) and then we can compare and see if we are related through a common ancestor. You just never know!

Friday, August 19, 2016

[Genealogy] Clusters of maternal ancestors in Virginia and West Virginia

Up to 5 generations on the maternal side, the vast majority of my direct ancestors lived in Virginia and West Virginia. I was born about 25 miles from the West Virginia border, in fact. Out of this cluster, most of them lived in Pocahontas County, West Virginia.

Friday, August 12, 2016

What were your first seven jobs? Here are mine!

1. Babysitting (no, I do not babysit now and haven't for years)
2. Office worker at the Provost Marshal's office on the Army post in Mannheim, Germany (I loved this job; this is the first time I read the word "fellatio" [on a report] and learned what it meant, though *laughs*)
3. Sign letterer/painter (my first freelance gig. It was for George Singer's small business in Widefield/Security, CO)
4. Waitress at Kwik-Inn in Security, CO
5. Counter help/cashier at Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream in Widefield, CO
6. English tutor for an elementary school student
7. Order taker/cashier at Arby's in Lawton, OK
How about you, Facebook friends?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Thoughts I've been thinking

Ummm...okay. So I'm going through my Livejournal posts from 2002 to present because I've had some re-examination going on inside my head since Lyn's death this past week. I realized that, while I like Facebook and I'll stay on here, I did A LOT more writing and was far less distracted (and more focused on writing) when I put my energy into Livejournal. Hell, I posted over 4,000 journal entries there. Crazy, huh?

Anyway, so as I'm tooling through the archives, I see a "Welcome, Butterflye!" subject. And I know it was a welcome note to Lyn when she joined LJ many years ago. Then I come back over here to Facebook and I get one of those "Here's a memory of yours from a year ago!" prompts from FB. And guess what? It's a post where I tagged Lyn. She's popping up over and over on so many levels.

There's a lot of things going on in my mind this week, most of it has to do with her unexpected death. I've been through this before when my first husband died and when two of my friends committed suicide. Each time it's a wake-up call. Each time I've made changes and shifts in my life. This time, I'm doing the same thing, but in different areas.

I also think that I'm done carrying the hurt, pain, and anger I've been lugging around for a number of years that's connected to people who have done me wrong in horrible ways -- or even abused me in unspeakable ways. It's too heavy to carry anymore and it's time to lighten the load. I cannot move forward with those monkeys on my back.

I'm going back to journaling on LJ. It might take me a while to get back up to speed, but I know it's something I need to do for a number of reasons.

Pulled an all-nighter and I can see I'm not used to doing it like I used to. My body hurts, particularly my back. I'm still a night person. That will never change. However, I think 'late night' will be redefined as no later than, say, 2:30 or 3 a.m., not 8 a.m. or later.

Right now I'm in my head a whole lot. If I seem distracted, that's why. The wheels are turning in my cranium, but it's a good thing.

One more thing: if you're on LJ, I'm still at If you're not on LJ, it's an interesting place. You might wanna give it a try.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

For those who would like to send condolences to Lyn Goodnight's family

Hi, everyone. I talked to Nate today, who was Lyn's fiance. If any of you would like to send sympathy cards in the wake of Lyn's sudden passing, here is the mailing address (*please note that the name of the town in the graphic is incorrect. The town is spelled 'La Veta.'):

Nathan Juhala
PO Box 943
La Veta, CO 81055

Thank you for all your kind thoughts and wishes for Lyn's family during this time of grief. There is no info on a service at this time, but when and if that is made public, I will post here.

Monday, August 8, 2016

[Deaths] Journey well, my beloved friend. You will be missed.

Our good friend Lyn Goodnight passed away unexpectedly this morning. She had gone to the doctor on Friday because she had severe stomach pains. Her blood pressure got really high and they admitted her to the hospital. Turns out she had a stomach blockage, which caused a rupture. She had internal bleeding and died.

Lyn and Nate were the ones who had us come out to Falcon, CO, and stay for a while in our RV earlier this year. I've known Lyn 15 years...I'm in shock.

Paul and I are still trying to process this news and I am devastated -- especially concerned about her fiance, Nate, and her kids, who are in their 20s, and her granddaughter, who is only 4 years old. 󾌣

Lyn was more than a garden-variety friend to me. She was also my mentor and a lifesaver for me and the kids when my first husband, Gary, passed away unexpectedly in May 2001. Lyn was also my first High Priestess (HPS) and we were both in the same coven many years ago. I'd known her for 15 years.

This just doesn't seem real...I'm so sad. What a loss.

Here is what I posted on her Facebook wall:

"Words cannot properly convey how your passing has affected me and Paul. We are still in shock and disbelief. You have returned to the stars, my friend, and you left many behind who love you and whose lives were enriched by your presence. Thank you for everything you did for me, Paul, and the kids in the time we knew you. Thanks for everything you taught me, both mundane and otherwise, since I met you 15 years ago. Your mentorship and wise council had a large impact on my life. Rest in peace, Lyn/Butterflye."

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Tonight I held a dead snake. I'm still in shock.

Daughter brought home a dead snake (!!!!). After much cajoling and "Stay away from me!" responses, I got tired of fighting it and gave in to touching the snake. Then I decided to face my fear and hold the damn snake. Oh, it was missing its head. It appears someone cut it off. Ugh.

My husband used to catch live snakes. If he had been here (he was back at the RV), he would've held it. He said he would've held a live snake, too. Good for him, because HELL NO to a live snake. Yes, I held a boa constrictor once when I was in 9th grade at a pet store in Security, Colorado. But NO way I'd do it now. Not my thing.

Tomorrow she will give it a proper burial.

I'm sitting here, ready to drink a beer and shivering. I can't believe I did that. Yes, I have a pic to prove it. *shiver* Yes, I washed my hands—thoroughly.

Man...I can't believe I did that. And might I add that I don't ever want to do that again.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

[RV experiences] A cry for help in the middle of the night

Oh my gosh, I need to post about this before I forget! This morning, close to 4 a.m., I was finally ready to drift off to sleep. All of a sudden, a man starts yelling, "HELP!" in a frantic, desperate voice. You could tell he was running toward where we were parked in the RV. Paul looked out the window and grabbed his phone to call 911 if it came to that.

Surprisingly, five people appeared out of nowhere to help—at 4 a.m.!—and Paul saw another guy laid out on the concrete on a traffic island near Fountain Blvd. Since five people were already attempting to help, we stayed in the RV.

A little while later, the second guy was sitting up. We saw flashing lights, so an emergency vehicle had arrived. We don't know what happened, but I know that I have never heard a man yell that loudly or frantically. Took me quite a while to get back to sleep. I hope everyone involved is okay and all is well.

One thing about living in an RV is that you are closer and more involved with humanity and its wounds and ills when you're in the city than you would be living in your house or apartment. It's both startling and humbling. Definitely food for thought.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Achilles tendinitis? Say it ain't so!

So, turns out I likely have Achilles tendinitis.

Over the past month or so, I've increased my walking to almost every day (and twice a day, most times) for four or five days a week. As a result of the sudden increase and duration in physical activity, my body—and in particular, my Achilles tendon—went, "Whut?! I'm not ready for this!" So now I have a very painful, stiff, and sore Achilles tendon on my left leg.

The last thing I need to happen is for it to rupture, so I gotta focus on making sure I don't blow it out completely. I'm not going to stop walking, that's for sure. It's doing great things for my body. Who knew it would be a problem?! Didn't count on this happening!

On the upside, I've lost weight (my son and his GF actually commented on my face being thinner when we Skyped the other day) and I was able to fit into another pair of jeans I hadn't been able to wear for quite a while.

Guess you could say there's a good side and a bad side to all of this. Then again, that's life in a nutshell, isn't it?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Job seekers and freelancers: check out my You Should Work at Home FB page and Twitter account

Attention writers, editors, transcribers, and other job seekers:

I post leads for freelance writing jobs (and other remote jobs) on my You Should Work at Home Facebook page. Go check it out and throw me a 'like':

In addition, you should also follow the You Should Work at Home Twitter account as well

Friday, July 15, 2016

If it makes you happy, do it!

If you like Pokemon Go, play it.

If you don't like Pokemon Go, don't play it.

I'm sure some of you enjoy hobbies other people don't enjoy.
Leave people alone and allow them to do what makes them happy. In a world that seems to grow madder (as in insane) by the minute, people need to have pastimes to take their minds off of other stressors.

Football might make you happy, but others may find it stupid and a waste of time. And you can insert countless other hobbies/pastimes as well.

Don't like reading about Pokemon Go? Do what I do when I see people posting about subjects I don't care about—scroll on by or ignore the posts. It's that simple, folks.

Allow people some joy and recreation in their lives, even if YOU don't like or approve of it.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Need help with writing and/or editing? I can help!

Creativity in a slump?

Need help polishing your prose?

Unsure how to start a freelance writing or editing career?

I can help!

Work with the one and only (literary) Mother of Crows! I'm the owner of )0( Triple Crow Publishing )0(, Abraxas Writing & Editing Services, and a partner of Ghouls on the Go, LLC.

My longtime friend and colleague, Mindy Phillips Lawrence, asked for my current writing, editing, and coaching/teaching rates, so I figured now's a good time to repost them.

My affordable (and downright incredible!) rates are located here:

If you need a freelance writer, blogger, editor, or writing coach/instructor with 19 years of experience, contact me. I'm accepting new clients once again.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

A house divided cannot stand

The easiest way to destroy a country is from the inside. Especially when you ignore the needy, the poor, the minorities, the disenfranchised within a country's midst. Unless a whole lot of stuff changes within the United States, our country will not survive. When you divide your people, others can conquer them. I'm sure you've heard, "Divide and conquer" before, right?

We have the power to address all of these problems. We are so busy propping up the infrastructures of other countries that we are ignoring our own, and it's crumbling...not just physical infrastructure, but cultural as well.

And when I say culture, I don't just mean European culture. America is, and always has been, a melting pot of various cultures, religions, ethnicities. In case you have forgotten, the words on the Statue of Liberty read thusly:

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

I say this a lot, but I'm PROUD to have one of the founding fathers, President John Adams, as a relative on my birth father's side. Same for his son, President John Quincy Adams. Now, listen to his words:

"Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it."

If we do not take substantive, meaningful action to address the serious issues that are currently tearing our country apart, we risk losing our freedom AND our country. Because when your house is divided, it can be conquered.

Our house is fractured and divided into so many pieces. There is hard work ahead, but we must commit to bringing those pieces together as best we can. We have to be brutally honest with ourselves and see the truth, not coddle ourselves with comfortable lies.

There is work to be done, not for just some of us, but for all of us. As Americans. As people who love our country and do not want to see it crumble, only to be discovered centuries later in dusty history books. Right now, the biggest threat to our country's survival is from the strife we are fighting from within. Wake up, America. Let us take a cold, hard look at ourselves and commit to doing what must be done for the sake of our country and all of us who reside within it.

We can do better. You know this, right? Let's get to work on the problems facing us and SOLVE them, together.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Remembering my two mothers on Mother's Day

Today I thought of my two mothers with fondness and love. My birth mother, Fay (Rider) Sizemore Seay, and my mom, Shirley (Schumaker) Walton Thayer, who raised me from the age of six days old.

My birth mother is 81 years old. Sadly, my mom passed away from Alzheimer's a couple years ago. I think of her daily and wish I could pick up the phone and call her again. But I know her energy is out there, somewhere. I carry her picture in my purse and have photos of her in our RV. When I crochet anything, I think of the times we spent crocheting together and talking. I miss her so much!

My birth name was Starlette (Star) Dawn Ferris. At the time of adoption, my legal name was Beverly Renay Walton. I love both names and write under both of them. They are both a part of who I am.

I have a birth family and an adopted family. This means I've been doubly gifted with an interesting life and an abundance of relatives/family members.

All of these interesting combinations and experiences have made me who I am today. I am full of love and gratitude!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Paul & I stand with our LGBT friends against homophobia

I'm hearing a lot about people threatening to pull a gun if they come across a trans woman in the bathroom. First, that makes them look like a raging coward. Second, Paul and I have trans friends AND gay friends. One of my brothers is gay, in fact. And if you say anything about my brother OR any of my gay friends, you better check yourself.

Also, if I see anybody harassing a trans man or woman, I will step up and be an ally. I will NOT allow such behavior to pass without a challenge. How dare some of you be so callous and uneducated about this issue!

Why don't you put your energies into eradicating pedophile priests from the Catholic church? Or is it God's will? Bullshit. That's a cop-out. Always has been. What a sick excuse for disgusting and criminal behavior.

Paul and I value our LGBT friends. They are some of the best friends we have. We will be allies for them against haters and homophobes.

Some people sit their asses in church on Sundays, acting like they are pious and shit. They are anything but. They are posers, hypocrites, and cold-hearted people. They use religion as an excuse to be shitty people. Christian, my ass!

I'm a staunch anti-theist and I'm more Christlike in my behavior than they are! They're fronting, and deep down they know it. I'd like to see Jesus show up and whip out a rochambeau on their asses for their hypocrisy.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Random bit of fun

Thanks to Lyn Benoit Goodnight for sharing this. It was fun!

Everything is so serious these days. Let's have a little fun... (And I'm genuinely curious to read other peoples' if they fill it out).

Four names I go by

1. Bev
2. Mom
3. Honey (Paul calls me this)
4. Star (my birth name, before adoption; my birth mom calls me this and I write women's fiction under this name as well).
Four places I've lived:
1. Colorado
2. Germany
3. Oklahoma
4. Virginia
Four places I have worked:
1. Freelance writer and editor since May 1997.
2. City of Enid, Oklahoma
3. General Electric Capital Corporation (GECC)
4. Sovran Bank (before it became Bank of America)
Four things I love to watch on TV:
1. Biographies
2. Documentaries
3. Series (Vikings, GoT, Better Call Saul, OITNB, AHS, Orphan Black, Transparent, etc.)
4. J-dramas like "Ghostwriter," but these are online via
Four places I have been:
1. Edinburgh, Scotland
2. London, England
3. France (but not Paris. How lame is that?!)
4. Holland
Four things I love to eat:
1. Pizza
2. Tacos/Burritos/Nachos, etc.
3. Schnitzel
4. Katsudon OR Tonkatsu
Four people I think will respond:
1. Chandra
2. Carly Dew
3. Mary Meek
4. Not sure who else.
Favorite drinks:
1. Dr. Pepper
2. Pepsi of any kind
3. Coffee (hot or cold)
4. Horchata
Now here is what you're supposed to do. Please don't spoil the fun...copy and paste this in your status and update it with your responses. To copy this, just hold your finger down on this text, and it will highlight this entire post. Select copy, then go to your status, tap in the message. Have some fun!

Monday, March 28, 2016

The World's Longest Invoice—and why FREELANCE ISN'T FREE

"71% of freelancers struggle to get paid. The amount of income lost is astounding -- but no one talks about it."

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Terrorists and their cowardly attack on Lahore, Pakistan (and elsewhere)

My condolences go out to the victims' families of those affected from the horrendous suicide attack in Lahore, Pakistan. At least 280 injured and at least 65 killed, last I checked. Again, what a senseless act to steal innocent lives.

And yes, humans are the problem. However, religion plays a HUGE role in the majority of these attacks. Religion is a human construct and is often used as an excuse for discrimination, misogyny, xenophobia, cruelty, and violence. And yes, Christianity is JUST as guilty of bloodshed throughout history as any other religion. So it's not just Muslims. It's RELIGION that is the fuel to this fire.

The terrorist group claiming responsibility for the attacks, a Taliban splinter group calling itself Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaatul Ahrar, admits it specifically targeted Christians, particularly male Christians. They claim they didn't want to kill women and children, which is bullshit. They wanted to kill, period.

Terrorists are fucking cowards, regardless of which flag or belief system they wrap themselves in—period. I have as much distaste for Timothy McVeigh as I do for any other terrorist. We have suffered plenty of terrorist attacks here in the US, but the perpetrators have been labeled anything but a terrorist, mainly because they were white males.

I lived in Oklahoma at the time of the OKC federal building bombing. My first husband was IN that building, moving office furniture, mere weeks before the bombing. Had the job been scheduled differently, Gary might have died in the terrorist attack. A friend and coworker of mine lost a relative in that bombing, too.

Our family took a trip to OKC to see the aftermath of the bombing. Seeing it on TV is one thing; seeing a bombed-out building in person where so many died is another thing entirely. The feeling that comes over you is almost beyond words.

Here is what I will say: yes, the world needs more love and tenderness, but love and tenderness alone will NOT make these terrorists stop the bloodshed and horror. It's not that simple—at least in my view. You can meditate all you want, you can try and project love all you want. Yes, continue to do those things...but it's NOT enough. Not enough by far.

Unfortunately, there are people out there who will take your love, tenderness, and care and just as soon slit your throat or blow you up without nary a care. We cannot quash terrorism with a global love-in where we expect everyone to drop weapons, hold hands, and sing "Kumbaya." I wish it were that simple, but it most assuredly isn't.

Let us do what we can to eradicate the root cause of these attacks, whatever they might be, and regardless of the uncomfortable truths we are forced to face. Humanity and our planet as a whole is at stake.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Improved outlook...

Finally starting to feel a little normal again—not by a great amount, but at least my body isn't stiff with stress and worry as much as it was over the past several years. So today, for the first time since things got really hectic and down to the wire, I pulled out my crocheting! I have TONS to complete, both for friends and ourselves, so it's a good sign when I feel steady enough mentally and psychically to grab my yarn and hooks again.

It will likely take years for Paul and me to recover from the hell we've been through and the physical, mental, emotional, and psychic beating we've taken since 2011, but day by day, we shall recover.

Thank you again, friends and family, for being so kind, supportive, and encouraging through this long, arduous life journey. We can never say thank you enough. Please know that without all of you who supported and encouraged us, we likely couldn't have made it and we may not have lived to see this day. That is truth, not an exaggeration.

We want to give a special shout out to Brittany Elizabeth, Trevor 'Tack' Falana, and Rasputin Meraki Toska. These are three amazing young people who busted their asses and helped us in so many ways that we couldn't list everything. We love you guys, and Key West is in our future—plus anywhere else you wanna go! smile emoticon

Onward, one step at a time...

Friday, February 12, 2016

In case you missed it...

In case you missed it (ICYMI):

Paul and I have sold our house, put stuff in storage, and purchased an RV. We will be traveling full time and documenting those travels (including visits to spooky places!) at our page listed below. Go give us a 'like' so you can get updates from our travels

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The joy of canceling Comcast's services

You have NO idea how rewarding it was to call Comcast and cancel their service.

"Aren't you moving to a new address? Do you need a transfer of service?" the rep asked.

"No," I replied. "We are going to travel full time, so we will no longer need your services." Yes, I smiled as I said those words.

Almost 12 years of service with Comcast. They suck.

Whoa! Here's what's happening!

Whoa! This new year has already brought some surprising life shifts our way.

We sold our house and car. Bought an RV. We are hitting the road to live, work, and travel full time.

New year, BIG changes! To follow our surprising journey, visit our Ghouls on the Go travel blog and our official website, located here:

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New business cards for our new venture ~ Ghouls on the Go!

Ghouls on the Go, our new venture. 

Visit our blog here or our FRESH and NEW website at

Back of our Ghouls on the Go business card

Probably the coolest thing -- a Ghouls on the Go coffee cup!

Clan Macneil and Kisimul Castle

For those who like history and Scotland (and really, how could you NOT?!), I am descended from Clan Macneil on the maternal (my birth mother's) side of the family.

Although the Macneils claimed they were descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages, a high king of Ireland, they were NOT. Instead, recent tests revealed the Macneils had Viking DNA instead!

Essentially, Clan Macneil were fierce Viking-Scottish pirates that would take over ships that sailed by the Isle of Barra.

The Clan Macneil motto is "Buaidh no bas" (Victory or death), also translates as "Conquer or Die."

Clan Macneil's Kisimul Castle is located in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, off the Isle of Barra. I hope to see it in person some fine day!

My ancestor, Thomas Macneil, is my connection to the clan. He fought in the American Revolutionary War. These are my peeps! ;-) On the paternal side, I'm related to Clan Fergusson.

What do you get when you have Norse-Scottlish DNA? A hellion! Yep, that's me. I'll admit it. A bit too brash and mouthy for some, but at least you know where I stand on things!