Life | Love, Death & Sickness

WARNING: I don’t usually do this, but I felt the need to include this little warning for anyone who can be triggered by the events that have happened recently. It involves a death of a beloved pet.

Hello!

This past month has been a freaking roller coaster! There were so many random things happen that were bad and good that they’re starting to blend together. For today’s post, we are going to go back to the very beginning of the chaos and weed out the special things that happened.

We start at the last day of March. It was a bittersweet kind of day for my whole family. I was able to get on the floor early in the day to go outside and visit with the cats, and after I came back inside I decided to hang out with my mom and ChiChi The last few days, Chichi had been feeling like crap. She was having issues breathing and my dad had noticed her heart was running a lot faster than normally, to the point where my mom was having to monitor with her nursing equipment. Anyways, while I was in the living room and actually leaning up against her “step” onto the couch and as I was doing it, the little dog decided to scare the crap out of me by coming out behind me and licking half of my face until she was ready to get down on the floor again.

She was enjoying lying on her blanket basking in the sun by the front door. I had been told to not play with her because of how she’d been feeling the past couple of days, so I gave her some of her toys and we enjoyed looking at our neighborhood for a little bit. After a few minutes, she decided that it was too hot and she curled up next to mom on the couch. After a few minutes I asked my mom to help me back on top of my bed, and then all hell broke loose. Chichi had collapsed at the bottom of her step and had a seizure, which resulted in my parents taking her to the vet immediately where they made the ultimate decision to put her to sleep so she didn’t have to suffer anymore.

The best thing about this story though was what happened when they arrived at the vet’s office. He was just about to close for the day and was probably looking forward to going home, but ChiChi wanted to make sure she left this world on her own terms. She tried to bite the bastard, so they had to put her in a muzzle but I have to say, I hope when it’s my time to go, I want the same amount of spunk in my veins to do something like that!

We are still healing after her loss. The house is definitely quieter without her high-pitched barks at the poor neighbors that enter the house or yard. I’ve had the operatic J. G. Wentworth commercial eight times and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve wanted to ask my parents where ChiChi is, and I know she can’t be anywhere on the couch because my mom doesn’t keep a blanket out for her. The food bowls and pee towels are put up and her step has been fixed to match with the rest of the couch. The only thing that is still out are her toys and none of us have dared to move them yet. I actually sleep with her blanket she used to soak up the sun to cover my feet at night.

Two days later, we left home to start our road trip to visit my mom’s side up north. We hadn’t seen anybody since late September I think. The drive went pretty good, we were unable to visit our favorite Starbucks in Martinsville because they were working on the road and GPS took us on another route that really messed with us. My brother-in-law Brandon was driving and I sat in the passenger seat with limited space for my legs and feet but as we reached Indy, Brandon and I were more than uncomfortable at that point. I had to literally remind the both of us to be patient as we attempted to shift positions in our seats. Our destination couldn’t arrive fast enough for us!

Once we got there, I heard Brandon’s back pop like four times. After my sister opened my door and removed the pillows that were shoved underneath my feet for the whole ride; I was so happy to bend my legs again and they were somewhat sore for like an hour later. As we went into my aunt and uncle’s house and hugged everyone, I was busy observing my nephew have an absolute blast with my Aunt Laurie and nana. He showed them his cars and played with Myla a couple of times too. It wasn’t long before we ate pizza and had even more family come over for the evening. My cousin Amy and her wife Danielle and their kids came over. Nolan had playmates and was thoroughly enjoying himself! He was a flirt and a mooch at the same time.

However, once we began nighttime, either we were delirious after the long day with driving, playing and talking our heads off, Nolan wanted nothing to do with sleeping and he became a complete goofball. We all slept in the living room and Nolan is used to having a fan and nightlight, and as we were inching towards sleep, he wanted to argue who he wanted to sleep with and at that point, we had the lights off but one cell phone light that shone brightly on the wall and Nolan was like Peter Pan and found his shadow and we just erupted with laughter! Suddenly everything he did in those couple of minutes were hilarious and I mean, I had tears coming out of my eyes and I knew I wasn’t the only one! Thankfully, he figured out the best position was in between his mom and dad and we all drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, Laurie and Mike made breakfast of both cinnamon and orange rolls! It has become a great traditional and is the only time I get to have my favorite orange rolls because neither one of my parents like them!

On the agenda for that Saturday, once Uncle Rick came over the younger kids were going to hunt eggs all along the front yard and it was so precious to watch all three of them search for the eggs. Amy and Danielle had made Nolan special eggs and they were full of different goodies like candy (he likes gummies the most!) and little toys, but the most popular were the confetti eggs! He had so much fun and was sweet enough to share his treasures with his mommy, mimi, and his favorite bestie: Danielle.

After the eggs, we went back inside to have some lunch and I wasn’t able to eat very much but I figured it was because of the rolls I had a few hours ago. Now there was something very different about this visit, because Easter finally landed on my nana’s birthday. So, once most of the guests were finishing with their plates, the cake was brought out and it was so good! My Aunt Laurie made array of cupcakes in both carrot cake and vanilla batters. I had a vanilla cupcake and it was really good, but my eyes were still glued to my nana’s as it much larger than anyone else’s and I knew she would make it last for a while as she has her own freezer for this exact purpose! She’s smart like that but really, she just has a bad sweet tooth!

The next thing we did was make our way into the garage to paint Easter and spring-y scenes. My nana and I each had a different thing, she had this beautiful bumblebee windmill that she did very well on and I got this beautiful sign that is of a mason jar of flowers with the words “Hello Spring” at the bottom. I took my time on it, because I was working with something I don’t usually do and I am still shocked how good I was able to do the lettering, because I was going to have my sister do that part because she can do various things with this sort of thing but Danielle and I were the last ones to finish our masterpieces. I was thoroughly impressed with what I was able to do with it!

Unfortunately, I don’t remember a lot that happened after that. My uncle David made a late appearance and I remember seeing him and enjoying his voice and laughter again, and then I wanted to go on the couch and Nolan also went to lay down on the lounge chair on the opposite side of the living room, and we both passed out. I’ve been known to crash early but usually I show symptoms of it like crankiness or just being uncomfortable and since I was just painting and having a great time like not even 15 minutes before this, it was a bit of a shock for everyone. The next day I felt fine again but I just thought it was from the pain I had and took medicine for while in the garage that afternoon. We didn’t leave Sunday until probably noon but we hugged everyone and I made sure I had enough for any movement in my seat because I refused to be stuck in the same place for a 4 hour drive back home!

Sunday night, I felt pretty good overall. I allowed myself to relax and watch some TV, but honestly all I did was binge watch Criminal Minds on Netflix and had a good sleep that night. As far Monday, it was absolutely beautiful! I was able to go outside with my current Harry Potter book, journal, and camera to hang out with the cats on the deck. We have found out that sitting on a rug helps my bottom a lot especially for multiple hours! It has been somewhat odd to sit like on the wood without being in my wheelchair mainly because I am up close with our cats again and they are clearly loving this just as much as I am and really hope I get to continue to do this as we go into summertime!

And then, everything changed and time seemed to go faster than any other time, including the three day visit I just did basically, because the same day I have a steady knowledge of was the 7th of April 2021, after that, everything is a blur. In the matter of two days, I came down with the stomach flu. I hadn’t had it since possibly late 2008 or early 2009. In the thick of it though was probably the worst because I was so depressed as I was sick. I despise being sick in any form but stomach flu has to be the worst in my opinion because I was basically attached to my commode for 72 hours at best. I wouldn’t eat anything other than applesauce, popsicles, and ice cubes. I drank Gatorade and water like they were nothing and tried so many pills to make everything stop flowing out of my body. I was having to call my mom every 20 minutes or less and would have to call her in the middle of the night for the same reasons. It was so much and I just wanted out of there emotionally and mentally, and then as suddenly as it came into our house, it went away.

I have been extremely lucky at avoiding different sicknesses, except for what happened at the start of 2020. Other than that, I have not experienced anything else and I do not understand how it came about because we only had two other members come down with similar things but nothing was hardcore as mine. The first three days I started getting better, I was so hungry and would literally ask my mom if she was going to the store to look for this , this, and that. I would wake up in the middle of the night wanting food but as my body began to center again, the cravings subsided and I am not as worried about how much movement I do that could produce bad consequences for everyone!

Okay, I think I am finally done talking about everything. I hope everyone else was able to enjoy their Easter weekend and to anyone who has the stomach bug or who had it recently, I really hope you start to feel better sooner rather than later.

Book Review: “Highland Blood” by Melanie Karsak

Hello.

This April has been absolutely crazy for me but there was one thing I did not expect to do and that was finish reading the second book in the Celtic Blood series by Melanie Karsak. This past month has not been a great month to read any of my books so the fact that I managed to complete this one was an interesting feat altogether!

If you haven’t checked out what I had to say about the first book in the series, Highland Raven, click here to be directed back to that review. If you haven’t read the whole series, and still want to without reading spoilers, you might want to ignore this post as there may be some spoilers included with this review too.


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Scotland, 1032—When a marriage contract calls Gruoch away from Ynes Verleath, she leaves with the hope she’ll be reunited with Banquo. But fate has different plans. Lies, betrayal, and violence await her. Set on a collision course with destiny, Gruoch soon finds herself thrust into the arms of another man. Her dreams shattered and rattled by unexpected brutality, it becomes more than Gruoch can handle. The raven, however, is no stranger to carnage. Fierce power grows inside Gruoch, and more than anything, it craves bloody revenge.

Fans of Outlander and The Mists of Avalon will relish this sweeping Scottish Historical Fantasy that tells the tale of Gruoch, a woman struggling to escape her fate without blood on her hands.

taken from Goodreads.


I was pleasantly surprised by my overall judgement of this story.

We continue on the journey of Lady Gruoch’s life as she comes back from the otherworld and is transported back to the harsh reality of her life. The entire story is based around a very significant part that happens while walking away from Ynes Verleath and into the coven’s grounds and it will become a big thing for Gruoch as a whole. Although the events that happened at the end of the first book hinted at what could be coming, once this situation appears at the reader’s feet, you know that everything was definitely change.

In the first book, Cerridwen had married her druid by the Gods, but she was still at the mercy at her cousin’s King Malcolm and he has finally found her a suitor to hopefully align him closer to the throne of Scotland. She is forced to marry the lord of Moray, a man by the name of Gillacoemgain. Even though Cerridwen isn’t happy about the arrangement, she has no choice in the matter and weds her new husband and swallows the lie growing inside of her. Even though Gillacoemgain has a particular reputation as a difficult and hard man, they seem to really get along and as the reader, you are hopeful that Gruoch could enjoy this man and the people of Moray.

Be a raven amongst doves.

Since nobody is suppose to know about her time in the coven and her Goddess name, she is generally called Lady Gruoch around the people both at court and out in public, but she is affectionally called Corbie for the majority of the book. You have a good amount of the characters featured in the other book come back like the ladies of the coven plus Grouch’s aunt Madelaine at the very beginning and end of the story.

I generally enjoyed seeing the raven make her presence known, especially against men who are used to telling women to do this or that. Grouch is not like this in any way shape or form, so I was very happy that even though she was a different place, her fierce personality was still awake and well throughout the narrated because this was one of my favorite things about this series. Well, in generally speaking, I enjoy reading about strong women in their various situations. Grouch is a human being and is just learning to accept her role as both a woman in the line of the Scottish throne and as a warrior for the Dark Goddess too.

Have you checked out the second book, Highland Blood by Melanie Karsak yet? If you have, what were some of your thoughts about it?

April Playlist

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope you were able to enjoy the month of April, and you might be a little confused as to why I didn’t blog last week. I am hoping to explain more on Friday but I honestly needed an extra week to not only come up with content but take one heck of a break as well. At the beginning of this month, I got really sick with the stomach flu; unfortunately it is making its rounds in my home town so we have been dealing with the lingering side effects for at least a week after I got better and since I always take a nice break for a number of weeks, I thought you wouldn’t mind if I didn’t publish anything last week. If you or someone you know has been going through the cycle, I am so sorry and hope you start to feel better soon!

As far as talking about music for this month, it was a bit slow obviously, but it wasn’t until the 18th that I actually started to listen to a bunch of music again. It was very odd when I went to make my list to post on here, I literally had less than 15 songs on the Spotify playlist! Honestly I wanted food more than music in the first three weeks than anything else. Once I was able to get over the hurdle, I was really looking for my Discover Weekly playlist that Spotify creates for me every Monday. If the list is really good and practically spot on to the aesthetic I am vibing at the moment, I will listen to the whole thing multiple times a week and of course include any great tunes to the monthly playlist.

Here are the Top 20 songs for April 2021! If you would like to check out the rest of the playlist on Spotify, click here to be transported back there.

Animals by Architects (Orchestra Version)
Numb by Carlie Hanson
Strong by Amaranthe featuring Noora Louhimo
Think Of Me by Verite
Save You by Manafest featuring Redlight King
Heavy Is The Crown by Daughtry
Forget Me Too by Machine Gun Kelly featuring Halsey
Goddess by Xana
Idol by Lauren Babic
Better Without You by Evanscence
Shameless by Biometrix featuring Bolshiee
Like You Love Me by Luna Vexa
Wildflowers by Ava
The Skeleton Key by Epica

Song Of War by KSHMR
Dancing With The Devil by Kitty Antix
Underneath by Zahna
Lay Low by Amy Guess
Genie In A Bottle by Oshri
Better Than You by Caroline Kay

I didn’t mention this last month, but we went up north earlier this month and surprisingly, I don’t remember the music we had playing in the car. However, in my defense, we had the volume low for Nolan but nobody really wanted to listen to anything special–I figured we’d be listening to Demi Lovato’s new album as we drove up there and going back home, which was the reason why I was going to wait to hear it because my sister wanted to hear it too, but now it’s been a while and I’ve only heard one song. I am hoping that I will be checking it out soon though because I am almost done watching the new documentary on YouTube and I will probably be gravitating towards it afterwards!

What were you listening to this month?

Book Review: “Say You’ll Stay” by Corinne Michaels

Howdy!

For once I have the perfect reason to use this greeting, because the review you’re about to read, is as country as I’m willing to get in life, well maybe. I came across this book while watching Chelsea Palmer on her YouTube channel. She had recently listened to the Audible of this book but went on ahead and purchased it and the other books in the series. She said they were really good, but gave everyone a warning that it is a bit rough in the beginning. Funny thing is, the day I found it (for free!) on Kindle, I must’ve forgotten about the caution because she wasn’t kidding about it, that’s for sure!


a4a0408f964df6626c269150ccdc5092One word.

Stay.
It was all he had to do. Instead, he got on that bus and took my heart with him.

That was seventeen years ago.

I moved on. Marriage. Kids. White picket fence. Everything I ever wanted, but my husband betrayed me and I was left once again.

Alone, penniless, and with two boys, I had no choice but to return to Tennessee. He wasn’t supposed to be there. I should’ve been safe. However, fate has a way of stepping in.

This time around, the tables are turned. It’s my decision. Second chances do exist, but I don’t know if we can repair what’s already been broken . . .

taken from Goodreads.


This is my second book set in a country fictionized place, full of horses and gorgeous men. However, this isn’t full on erotica at all. It definitely contemporary, but with lots of raw emotions mixed into the theme. Our main character is Presley, who is a youngish mother, who basically gets the rug pulled out from under her when her husband dies; leaving her with not only two children but to clean up the mess he left them in. When she realizes she can’t find the right resources, she has to go with her last resort which is moving back to her family’s home and ranch and face her worst fears, the one that got away.

Despite the fact that there are parts in the book, where you feel absolute sadness for her little family, in about two or three paragraphs you will be laughing out loud because of the silliest things the characters will do and say. I think that was one of the main reasons why I kept going back to the book at all hours!

As I read each chapter, I immediately thought back to the film Sweet Home Alabama. I found it a little odd that there were so many similarities between the two of them, but there were two things that I really enjoyed and the first was the character Wyatt is absolutely hilarious! The whole time I was focused on this book, I instantly had the actor who played Bobby Ray (Ethan Embry) in my head. I couldn’t help it! And the other was the banter between Presley and Zach in the beginning brought me back to when Melanie makes her way back Alabama and surprises Jake by stopping by their old house all of a sudden. I imagined to perfect detail on the scene when Zach approaches Presley in her workspace in the barn and she throws a damn stapler at him and Zach just ducking for cover! It still makes me laugh inside because it was a perfect reaction.

If you haven’t read the series, you might want to add this to your summer reading list. It’s a perfect rom-com for the times. You’ll laugh, cry and fall hopelessly in love with the story of these imperfect characters.

Have you read this book and the rest of the series yet? What were your thoughts on it? Did you enjoy it or was it not up to par to others? Let me know below in the comments.  

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Book Review: “The Selection” by Kiera Cass

Howdy!

In 2013, my parents surprised me with taking a trip up to where my sister was attending college, and even though it was a day to spent together as the four of us, I did get to go exploring the campus Barnes & Noble after lunch. Blondie had to get back for a class she was taking so my folks and I went browsing around the store and even though I still felt happy to be surrounded by thousand of books, they didn’t have anything that I was looking for and trust me, I had both of my parents attempting to look for one book and we couldn’t find anything.

The book in question was Keira Cass’s The Selection.

Fast forward seven years later and I finally find it on Amazon as part of their Prime Reading library. I was so thrilled because it had been sitting on my TBR (to be read) list since the moment I saw the cover when it came out. Back then I knew what it was about, but I have to say last month when I got it, nothing wanted to appear in my head but I mean, I didn’t need to know anything, so it was fine and dandy!


13101912The first book in the captivating, #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series! Discover a breathless fairy-tale romance with swoon-worthy characters, glittering gowns, fierce intrigue, and a dystopian world that will captivate readers who loved Veronica Roth’s Divergent, Ally Condie’s Matched, and Lauren Oliver’s Delirium.

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape a rigid caste system, live in a palace, and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and competing for a crown she doesn’t want.

Then America meets Prince Maxon—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

taken from Goodreads.

Before I get too carried away, I feel the need to apologize for the many misspellings of the author’s name! One minute I thought I was typing it right and then the next I found out I did not, so I’m really sorry about that!

In the beginning, it was a bit difficult to imagine everything in my head. Are we in the future? Medieval times? I just remembered the royalty part, which is how I fell in love with it in the first place, but just shifting through what I was reading and attempting to build on all of that information was a little difficult. After like three chapters, I finally got a clear idea of how to see everything in my mind.

There was one other worry I had while I was reading; because I had just read Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas a couple of months ago, I had it lodged into my brain that there could be a supernatural element coming through in the next few chapters. So, imagine my face when that thought was smashed into bits. I’m not saying I don’t like that kind of fantasy, I just didn’t feel like it fit with what was going on with the plot so I was very relieved to know that this was just a royal, young adult type of story.

There were a lot of things that I adored about our main character America. First of all, her name is just gorgeous! She is a very compassionate person to everyone, and I really loved her relationship with her maids–I feel like showcasing her sweet side and treating them as regular human beings rather than their castes was very moving. I even started wanting her to be a princess! However, I loved the fact that even though she was friends with Marlee and is clearly hoping for her to win the heart of Prince Maxon, she doesn’t use it in full force, you know what I mean?

Now let’s discuss the issue between Aspen and Maxon. Honestly, I was on Aspen’s side in the beginning but on how reacted to America in the tree house made me rethink things too. So, when the friendship with Prince Maxon came about, I literally started falling for him too. I personally wanted to shake America like what is wrong with you? This guy is amazing! Of course I can’t do that, but at that point I was frustrated with her. For anyone who has read the first book, what did you think of America basically figuring out who she liked more? I’d like to get your thoughts on this part.

Have you read the first book in the series? If you have, did you make it through all of them? Please don’t post any spoilers below because I would like to read the rest someday.

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