#BeWow Wednesday – What Makes Me Happy

More than a blog post, this is a series of photos of what makes me smile. I hope you enjoy them!

flashlight feeding sunset Renn Fest Baileys travel Cafe Du Monde kids Crabs Rumby Friends books Food Dumplings Ballet Sweeties2pool

Advertisements

A Love So Big It Hurts and The Gift of A Dream

One of my granddaughters fell ill over the weekend. REALLY ILL.

What Matters Most

Saturday night I received a frantic call from my daughter that one of the twins, Harper, who had just been to see the pediatrician on Friday for a mysterious fever and an unusual bout of lethargy, lack of appetite and not wanting anything to drink was much worse. Unable to find an obvious issue, the doctor diagnosed her with an oncoming cold.

He was wrong. REAL WRONG.

By the time my daughter called me Saturday night, my granddaughter was pale, screaming in obvious pain, barely able to focus or function at all and was in dire need of immediate attention. I stayed with the other two girls while she and her husband rushed this terribly sick fifteen month old baby to the emergency room. I’m going to name the lousy hospital emergency room too – Harbor Hospital in Brooklyn, MD. It’s the closest one but by far their emergency room fucking sucks!

My seriously ill granddaughter and her desperately frantic parents sat for THREE HOURS waiting to see a doctor! How do you leave a baby as sick as this sit in a waiting room for three hours?! You fucking assholes all need to go jump in the Baltimore harbor! I hate you and I wouldn’t take my cat to you if you were the last emergency room on earth!

To be honest, I’ve always hated this emergency room. I have been there twice now with one of my granddaughters and both times have waited no less than three hours. The hospital itself is not my problem, just the ER. I gave birth to my son there and had an excellent experience. I’ve known others who have been admitted there who have had good experiences but they can shove their emergency room right up their asses.

My granddaughter was so severely dehydrated that she required three IV’s before she could even wet a diaper. She was misdiagnosed with a bladder infection according to the house pediatrician who saw her this morning and claimed her tests for bacterial infection came back normal. Apparently, they never did find out what was wrong with her and labeled it a virus of unknown origin. However, my daughter will follow up tomorrow with her pediatrician because a baby who was perfectly healthy on Thursday night, somewhat sick on Friday morning and completely dehydrated, lethargic, disoriented and screaming by Saturday evening needs a fucking diagnosis!!!

Thank GOD she’s better. She was released this afternoon as her fever was gone, she was eating and drinking and had wet her diaper several times. Could the three rounds of antibiotics have cured her? Could her little body have cured itself? Maybe one of these so called medical professionals who will send out an exorbitant bill for her care will magically figure this out.

Oh, and please don’t come at me with how wonderful the medical profession and physicians and nurses are. I KNOW how wonderful they are and have far more great experiences with them than bad. I’m speaking on this one emergency room and this one situation with one of the loves of my life. I’m sorry but you can’t touch this.

My opinion is this: If you can’t figure out what is wrong with a child who cannot tell you what hurts, go back to medical school or send her to a pediatric specialty hospital! A virus of unknown origin is NOT a diagnosis! If anything like this ever happens again, we are going straight to Johns Hopkins!

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

The gift of the dream is something directly related to this but a supernatural experience I will never be able to forget.

You can believe me or not. As you can tell, I’m in an “I don’t really care what anyone thinks” mood tonight.

Saturday night I was up very late. Harper’s twin, Scarlett and my eldest granddaughter, Esme were wound up and wide awake until after midnight due to the chaos and stressful evening prior to my arrival and my daughter rushing out to ER. They’d heard their sisters cries and seen the pain in their mother’s eyes and were difficult to settle down but somehow my grandmother magic kicked in and I had them both tucked in fast asleep by 1:00AM.

They conveniently live right next door so my husband had checked in on us allowed me to run over and make a coffee and grab my phone charger so as not to miss any updates from my daughter. Once he went home and the children were sleeping, the house fell silent except for the purring cat near my head on the back of the love seat.

Not that I slept. I was worried sick. I woke to every sound. Scarlett was fighting a cold and coughed a bit and whined. The cat leaping down and then her subsequent crunching on dry kibble in the kitchen. The occasional car driving by…you get the picture. Scarlett awoke at 4:30am for a bottle and At 5:00am, I received a text message from my husband asking me if I needed anything. He came over and checked on us and then went out and brought me breakfast and a well needed coffee.

I could see he hadn’t gotten any sleep either so I whooshed him back out the door and within minutes, that delicious sausage, egg and cheese bagel, a text from my daughter that Harper was resting in her room with medical attention, the knowledge that the other girls would most likely sleep until 10:00am, and the coffee, dropped me into dream land at last at around 6:45am.

By 9:15am, I woke, sobbing.

The dream started out horribly. I was in my daughters house and I opened the front door and a strange looking animal was trying to come in. At first, I thought it was a skunk as it appeared to have the while stripe down it’s back. I tried pushing it with my foot and closing the door but it got past me. I was screaming “No! No!” and suddenly behind it, chasing it were all kinds of cats. All different colors, racing past me so fast I couldn’t stop them and behind them were my children and some other people, chasing the cats!

I turned around and joined the chase but I was screaming at them to get the animal. My son yelled out, “Mom, it’s a big rat!” and I screamed back, “Well get it!” I turned back to the front door which I had finally managed to slam shut and the wall started to crumble away at the front of the house and a giant hole appeared and through the hole came more animals! All kinds, shapes and sizes and I screamed to run for the girls to get them out of the house and was shouting, “Help Me! Someone please help me!” when suddenly, everything went white.

I was sitting up on the love seat I was sleeping on and standing there in front of me in my daughter’s living room, was my husband’s grandmother. She was the matriarch of our family. We lost her last September. She was 93 years old. She was our rock. She was our light in the harbor, our adviser, our revered and precious elder. Her word was the gospel in our family and her loss was felt so deeply we are all still recovering.

Granny June Bug

Oldest Baltimore Ravens Fan!

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I have had no dreams of her since she passed. I think of her every day. I remember how she would scold us and discipline us and then take us in her arms and hug us and kiss us and make it all better.

She was wearing one of her signature light blue sweat suits with the flowery embroidery on it. Her hair was perfectly coiffed as it always was and she glowed. She looked so pretty. That’s what I told her.

I stood up and said, “Gran! Oh my God Gran! You look so pretty!” She held out her arms to me and leaned down and hugged her. She looked like she did the first time I met her over twenty years ago. I could feel her hands stroking my hair like she used to. She held me back away from her and said,

“Everything is going to be alright.”

I replied, “But Gran, we miss you so much. We all miss you.”

I grabbed her again and hugged her tight.

“She stroked my hair again and said, “I know honey I know. I miss you all too. Give them all hugs and kisses for me will ya? And tell them I’m wonderful. My beautiful girl. Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be alright.”

She started to pull away from me and I held onto her.

“No Gran, please don’t go!”

“Honey, I promise. Everything is going to be fine. Now I have to go.”

I was sobbing. She was gone. I was standing there in the middle of my daughter’s living room, sobbing.  I kept saying to myself, “This is a dream but everything is exactly right.”

What I meant was the room was EXACTLY as is really was. I can’t remember having a dream where the room was perfect. The stockings hanging on the mantle. The cat sleeping on the ottoman. The light on in the kitchen. The Santa clause on the ledge in the foyer. The baby socks on the floor. The blanket balled up on the love seat. It felt so real it scared the living daylights out of me.

My eyes flew open. Tears were running down my cheeks. I sat up and could barely catch my breath. I got up and opened the front door and stepped outside to somehow snap out of it but I was shaking. My hands were trembling and I started sobbing again. I texted my husband but he didn’t answer so I called him and told him I needed him right away. I told him immediately that my sobbing wasn’t about the baby so that he wouldn’t worry. Then, I told him about the dream.

I know she was there. She was there either as her soul, her spirit, her energy or some inexplicable image from my subconscious, that just happened to be able to replicate my daughters living room down to the baby socks on the floor.

The day before, my husband and I went to a fabric store because the eldest granddaughter decided she wanted her bedroom at our house completely redecorated in Disney Frozen, so I needed to make her all new curtains. When we were looking for the fabric, a family was picking out some fleece and the mother said, “Oh look at this. Granny June will really love this.”

I’m sorry but again, not a coincidence. You can say hearing her name in the store the day before triggered the dream but I believe in signs. Had we stopped to eat first like we’d planned, we’d have never heard that woman say what she said.

Last night, I was reminded of a similar dream I had…again, over twenty years ago. Almost the exact same situation. I was going through a terrible traumatic time in my life. My sister Barbara was always my rock prior to Granny June. She died very young at only 53. She was 19 years my senior and was like another Mother, as were most of my older sisters. I could always turn to her when something bad happened. She too came to me in a dream. Again, I woke up sobbing. Again, the room was exactly as it really was. Again I was embraced and told everything would e alright, which it was. The only difference was when I woke up from the dream with my sister, My clothes smelled like her.

Yesterday, after my dream about Granny June, I instinctively smelled my shirt. However, I only smelled a clean, fresh smell for a few moments and then I smelled like me. Then I thought…

My sister was known for her perfume. My Dad used to say you’ll smell Barbara coming in the house before you’ll see her.   I don’t even think Granny wore perfume but she always smelled fresh and clean. 🙂

Our little angel Harper is home safe and sound. Smiling, giggling and although she’s definitely not herself after having been through such an awful ordeal, everything turned out alright…again.

Goodnight my lovies.

Sweet dreams.

 

It’s the #Holiday #Season So You Know What That means….

Really cute children doing really adorable things!

If you’ve been with me at least since this time last year, these two cookie monsters might look familiar. Two of Baltimore’s finest little cooks are at it again for the 2014 round of cookie baking! I give you Granddaughter #1 (the eldest) and Great Nephew Ryder, ready for some cookie baking!

This is definitely a bit of a mixture of holiday cheers. I hope you enjoy them!

I’ve also thrown in a few unrelated bonus baby photos because…well…my grandbabies are so awesome!!! 

Es and Ry

2014 Baking session 2

2014 Baking sessionMy coworker is a Lego Maniac…we certainly don’t mind his decorating style!
2014 legos3 2014 legos2 2014 legos

Breakfast with the family and with Santa! Breakfast santa 2014 2014 Breakfast santa

Crazy and cute cousins!Kiddies 2014 2014 Santa tree Santa breakfast 2014 Santa
Babies in the bubbles…just because they’re big brown eyes will steal your heart.
Bathies2 Bathies1

We adults like a little party time too…

Partytime

And a yummy breakfast for the morning after a night out…shared of course with two of my favorite people lol

Anna and Kristof breakfast

Lunch Time Rambles and Brain Scrambles – I Know I Know I Know

I know I started a new page today but as always, there are a lot of irons in the fire and I’m doing my best to keep up.

I advertised a contest the other night but I’m going to share it again because I seem to have this knack for posting blogs at all of the WRONG times of the day. So much for my amazing marketing training and experience. Sometimes I still fly by the seat of my pants with a great idea when I should be more strategic in my choices and times to share.

FREE STUFF CONTEST!!! CLICK HERE!!!

gift cardSWAG

 

As of right now, NanoWrimo is a bust. I’ve tried so hard to stay on track but with so much of my free time (what little of it there is after my other obligations) spent on marketing my current novel, The Blue Diamond – The Razor’s Edge, I can’t for the life of me remember why I even agreed to do this damn writing contest. Every time I sit down to write it’s a contest to be able to put words in a row without something distracting me or someone entering the room to tell me something that just can’t wait–like “Hey, what’s for dinner?”

So like, now I have to feed you?! Didn’t you eat yesterday?!

Speaking of yesterday…

Since yesterday I’ve been having an all out battle with these new book ideas when I’m currently ALREADY writing three. This pushy beast won’t leave me alone. I already have the title, a few of the characters and even the damn synopsis in my head and get this…IT’S A CONTEMPORARY, THRILLER, SUSPENSE ROMANCE! 

island

Just between us, I may need some serious help or at the very least, an intervention before I just run away somewhere and hide for a year and write all of this out of my head. 80 words a minute just isn’t going to cut it–3 hours a night or not. This just cannot be done because well, the whole “I have a real life too,” thing.

However, The book I have been working on for NanoWrimo is shaping up nicely and I do believe I can finish it by January. This one is a stand alone novel…for now. No promises of any future installments. This all depends of course on how much I love the characters and want them to live on…oh who the hell am I kidding? 

Next, I’d like to congratulate the winner of the Tome Tender – The Blue Diamond $10.00 Amazon gift card give-awayFelicia S. I’ve already sent Felicia her gift card and may she enjoy it!

Next Subject…are you still with me?

Last week I tried several different book marketing sites and the results were pretty okay. No, I couldn’t get past 23K on Amazon and I didn’t sell a boat load of books but for my investment, it didn’t suck.

Here is a link to one of the sites I used and so far, I really do like this one. It’s called AskDavid.

I swear I’m almost done…

I was totally out of my mind this past weekend but I had to carry on and keep on trucking, although I wasted quite a bit of time and energy on self doubt, confusion and anxiety. However, a very dear friend of mine reminded me why I am a writer and that I’m not some hack…I may actually be really good and the time is just around the corner when I can finally live out my dream full time. Sometimes I have to look at this and I feel a little better about my talent and abilities.

award-9eb9437e351cbc69a9fd9a9bec91ec12-page-001

Please do not judge those things by some of my blog posts. Here is where I blow off steam and just let everything hang out and what not.

Oh forget I said that. No matter what I write I WROTE IT. So there!

Thank you and enjoy the rest of your day!

Weekend Update – Book Signing Success – No Rest for the Weary

Yesterday I was blessed to finally have my book signing / pirate party / meet and greet for The Blue Diamond – The Razor’s Edge.

I didn’t expect a huge turnout so I only brought 20 books…I sold and signed them all. 🙂

Here are a few pics from the event. I’ll admit it was fun to dress up and play Ivory for the afternoon and I brought along my crew of cousins to lend a hand…fast forward the fabulous foursome about twenty years..lol

 

Yours Truly

Yours Truly

Pirate Party3

Setting up the Room Pirate Style

Pirate Party4

The Crew’s eatin’ good today!

Pirate Party6

All gone. 🙂

Pirate Party7

Major Booty up for grabs!

Pirate Party8

This basket was HUGE! Filled with more treasure than you could shake a dagger at!

Pirate Party9

Another happy winner!

 

My amazingly supportive family and friends. These women are the definition of soul-mates. Can you figure out who’s who of the crew?

These are what you call FRIENDS.

These are what you call FRIENDS.

If I were ever to run away and become a pirate, these are the first three women I’d sign on as crew members. They are amazing beta readers. They organized this book signing down to the decorations and door prizes. They did set up and clean up and worked as cashiers, sold raffle tickets and handled the security…well, they made me feel secure in knowing they always have my back and support my goals 100%.

After the signing, we let the good times keep on rolling and a few of us headed out for the rest of the evening to hear my brother-in-law’s band, Shaky Magoo. I ran into so many old friends I couldn’t keep up with trying to speak to each one individually but I found myself wrapped up in the arms of so many of my old pals I was warm and fuzzy from head to toe all night. Sorry for the fuzzy pics though. I guess how I was feeling spilled over into my iPhone.

Shaky3 Shaky4 Shaky2 Shaky1

Shaky5

My favorite dentist with her arm in the air. It was fun seeing her out of the office. She’s a blast!

Then it was up early this morning for breakfast with this cutie and back to the usual grind of grocery shopping and laundry.

Breakfast

Then, later, a couple of hours with these two cherubs of love and joy.

Twinnies

Not to sound like a whiner but after my usual week of work, babysitting and daily writer dream pursuits…it’s fair to say I’ve had no rest what-so-ever this weekend and there isn’t any in sight.

Nothing new here!

Thanks for stopping by…see you next time!

Tata

Thanks to my friend Bobby Duncan for taking this very nice photo of me last weekend while I was helping my husband DJ a wedding.

 

 

Harper is Walking!!!

Harper taking some of her first steps!
Scarlett is not so sure though.

By the way, I don’t know what you believe in but there was nothing flying around my house. No flies. No moths. No anything. We certainly didn’t see anything with our naked eyes and this little white ball of light is in every video I took of my granddaughters today.

You be the judge.