Archive | December 2014

New Year’s Eve



Happy Birthday to The Story Reading Ape!

Happy Birthday to one of the supporters of writers there is.

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

When I discovered it was Chris Graham’s (aka Chris The Story Reading Ape) Birthday today, a simple greeting from me on Facebook just wouldn’t suffice! I knew I had to make my wishes that much more special, because this isn’t any ordinary Ape, you know! Chris has been a terrific support to me and many other Authors and Bloggers in the Internet-o-shpere, so I wanted to be sure he knew exactly how much I appreciate all that he does.

So I recruited the help of Snowy, one of the gardeners who works for Dennis, to help me make this video for you, Chris (or Mr. Ape, as I like to call you) and am sending Big Birthday Greetings your way and all the best from Bequia for the New Year!

A Bunch of Birthday Bananas from #Bequia!

Also, in lieu of the usual singing of “Happy Birthday to You”…

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2014 Life Recap

First of all, Happy New Year! I hope 2015 is a year filled with nothing but good things for you. It is definitely going to be a year filled with promise, hope and opportunity. Make every minute count.

Second, I want to recap my year a bit.


I was absolutely miserable in the winter. I am already a summer girl, but add in a brutal winter like we had last year, and I was miserable.


But Spring did arrive. In May, I ended up in the hospital for a severe potassium deficiency. I was out with a girlfriend at a winery and felt funny. I decided I needed some fresh air but on my way out the door I evidently passed out. Fortunately I just crumpled and didn’t hurt myself. The bad thing is that a similar thing had happened the prior December. I added those two together and decided a trip to the ER was probably a good thing. Well, they kept me overnight so they could give me a potassium IV (which ended up being two). When they released me, my potassium was finally in the normal range (barely). It seems the water pill I took with my blood pressure medicine was the culprit. I decided that I needed a new doctor since the one I had been going to could have killed me.


Let’s jump ahead a month. Mid-June my dad’s caregiver (dad is totally dependent on someone for nearly everything) became ill. So ill that dad ended up calling for help in the middle of the night because his caregiver had passed out. He was rushed to the hospital where it was determined he had sepsis. Another few minutes they said he would have been dead.

Poor dad. All he could do was lay in bed and worry. So, I moved in. It started with what I thought would be a few days of sleeping on the couch and ended up being two months of sleeping on the couch. We ended up telling dad that we couldn’t take care of him (I was there 12-15 hours a day on top of my actual job). We looked around at nursing homes and found one that everyone agreed would be the best. Do you have any idea how expensive nursing homes are? About $200 a night – that might be okay for a hotel room for a week’s vacation, but on a permanent basis, it is not affordable for most people.

I worked with the best elder law attorney (who was worth every penny) and worked to get dad on Medicaid. It became my third full time job (remember, I already have a full time job that pays me money and then I added taking care of dad and living with him). I did everything the attorney told me to do. But then, dad decided that he should do some things – things that ended up costing us time and money. It was truly a case of too many cooks in the kitchen. I was absolutely stressed to my limit I think.


Finally, though we got him moved into the nursing home in August. He settled in quite nicely and we wish we had moved him after mom died instead of waiting. Dad is an introvert by nature, so sitting in his room alone with just his tv and computer was perfect for him. Really, that’s all he did when he was living at home anyway. He asked me to do some other things for him though – his laundry and keeping his room dusted. He has an extensive eagle collection that is quite fragile and I am the only one he trusts to take care of it. So, since August I have been picking his laundry up every three days and taking it back. And I dust his room once a week. I also am still dealing with Medicaid and getting all of that straightened out. I go see him nearly every day. I enjoy that. I don’t have to stay long because he doesn’t really talk much. But I sit and watch whatever ballgame he has on tv with him. Since he can’t write, I have to fill out his weekly meals for him. I do enjoy our time together.


But I can’t seem to sell his house. Once all the furniture was out of it and the house was empty, it looked really tired. Plus, since he couldn’t do anything around the house, nothing had been done since mom died over two years earlier. We tried the auction route – we got one big of $65,000. That was not even close to being acceptable. Our first realtor wanted us to list it at $135,000 – we said $117,000. There were several showings but we never heard a word from the realtor. She knew I wasn’t happy with her, but since dad was the one who hired her, I had to keep my mouth shut.

I hired the current realtor. We have had a lot of showings, but the feedback has been that it needs too much work. We lowered the price to $89,000. Keep in mind the house sits on four city lots with an in-ground pool – the house isn’t very big, but it has an attached one car garage and a detached two car garage. There are some nice things about the house, but like I said, it looked tired.


Fast forward to Christmas break – I’ve been painting dad’s house. I know that I have no money to replace the carpet, but the house is priced to sell and the buyer can replace the flooring (dad’s power chair ruined all the flooring). So, the living room and ceiling and hallway and one bedroom have all been painted. I am going to start the kitchen tomorrow. Then I think I am going to quit – the other two bedrooms aren’t too bad. Then I’m calling the realtor back and telling him to look at it and get it sold.


Now back to December – December 23 I woke up at 2:00 am with an elephant on my chest. No idea where it came from, but it was heavy and pushed through to my back. I woke Warren up and suggested that perhaps I should go to the ER again. Now, you have to know that Warren never ever will be accused of moving too fast. This was no exception. I knew I was probably 20-30 minutes from the closest hospital. I finally asked if he could drive a little faster since there were no other cars on the road at that hour. When I got to the ER no one was at the registration desk. Not wanting to wait, I found my way back to a nurses station and said I was having horrible chest pains and didn’t no if I was having a heart attack or not. That got some action.

I spent the night there – had two EKG’s and multiple blood tests. No heart attack. But they weren’t sure where that elephant came from. So, they sent me home finally with a promise that I would call my primary care doctor and have her order a stress test. Oh, and a prescription for nitroglycerin. I also was supposed to rest. Well, remember the part about having a house to paint? I knew I wouldn’t have time once I went back to work. I have felt fine and the house wasn’t getting painted by itself. And I learned a long time ago that my sister wasn’t going to get anything done.


That’s right, through all of the stress of getting things done for my dad, yes, I have a sister who lives right here. She has actually found time to go visit him once a week. And my 20 year old niece offered to help paint – until she found out that painting wasn’t so much fun. She gave me 2 hours and didn’t come back the next day. In fact, there is a box of stuff for my sister at dad’s house – I have called her multiple times to get it picked up. Today, I finally texted her that it was in my way and I put it in the garage. Still no response. Why do expect one? History tells me how it is going to be. I’ve never understood how two people can be raised by the same people can be so very different.

In closing

So, that brings you up to date on my life this year. I’m only hoping that 2015 will be a better year. I don’t think I can take another year like this last one.

So, how was your 2014? Do you have any resolutions for 2015?

2014 in review

Thanks to everyone who visited/liked/commented this past year. I hope 2015 continues our relationship.

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,500 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Follow Amazon


Follow the Leader Images from Shutterstock (human icons are modified images from artist Orla).


When I first began using Twitter, I found Amazon on Twitter. I followed Amazon. And received a pleasant surprise. Amazon followed me back! (I’m not special. Thousands of others have received the same pleasant surprise.)

Obviously, when Amazon follows you back on Twitter, you shouldn’t expect this to be an active member of your audience, reading and enjoying your tweets, interested in any products or services that you offer. But it’s still cool.

If you’re a writer, you also want to follow KDP Amazon.

TIP: You can find a good variety of free writing and publishing tips on KDP Amazon’s Facebook or Twitter pages. (Note that following KDP Amazon is different from following Amazon.) KDP Amazon makes effective use of social media, so KDP Amazon’s posts provide good examples of how to tweet or Facebook effectively.


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Book Launch Tour

Echoes Banner

Donna thought there was something wrong with her. That she was suffering from a mental illness that has caused her husband to despise her, distance himself from her, and cheat on her. She blames herself for the desolate, miserable thing that is her marriage and her life. Then she comes across a book that will change everything for her, and reading it, she discovers that there’s nothing wrong with her mind at all, but that there is something very wrong with her husband instead. Marco, she realises, is a malignant narcissist. A text book case. He has a real and documented mental disorder, and that he’s been controlling, manipulating, and abusing her for decades. The sudden full knowledge of all that he’s purposely done to her enrages her. Not sure how to leave after thirty years of what she finally knows has been intentional mental and emotional abuse from him, and believing that she has nowhere to turn, being so physically isolated, she bides her time.

Then she meets and befriends a group of unusual people who share her passion for gardening, and so begins her journey to escape. She joins her new friends in their project to assist elderly people in old age homes care for their small gardens, as well as secretly supplying those suffering from painful and terminal illnesses with medicinal herb and plant remedies, including illegal plants such as cannabis. As weeks go by, she delves into her memories, relearns what it is to be respected, liked, and loved again, and slowly she formulates a plan to safely leave her dangerous husband. But unbeknownst to Donna, Marco is in serious trouble, and has desperate plans of his own, and absolutely no regard for her safety.

** This is a work of fiction, but malignant narcissists really do exist, and it is a recognised mental illness. Unfortunately, many people never realise that they are involved with a narcissist, because their actions are so demonically bad as to be unimaginable and unbelievable, and so they spend their lives in misery, depression, fear, and isolation. If only by the accidental reading of a fictional story, I hope that this book will help even one person, unknowingly suffering narcissistic abuse, to realise that they don’t have to, and that it’s never too late to start over, be happy, be fulfilled, to love and care for yourself, and be truly loved and respected by others.

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Available now from AMAZON

Jo Robinson very recently returned to her homeland, South Africa, after having lived in rural Zimbabwe for eighteen years. Her obsessive affection for the African continent, most humans, and all creatures feathered and furred are what inspire her writing. She is the author of African Me & Satellite TV, the science-fiction/fantasy series Shadow People, and a couple of short stories, which will be free to download from Amazon from 26 to 30 December, Fly Birdie and The Visitation.

To win eBook copies of Shadow People and African Me & Satellite TV, send Jo a message from THIS page.

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…10 reasons why yeez might be a Writer or a Blogger if…

Seumas Gallacher


…this ol’ Jurassic has opined on here often enuff before now that I believe that if yeez scribble just oneWURD of writing or blogging, then yeez are already a Writer or a Blogger… however, should there ever be a need to determine further that exalted condition, consider this… yeez might be an Author or a Writer if :

1. …yeez have frequent committee meetings in yer head amongst yer imaginary characters,

2. …yeez realise these imaginary personages seldom listen to, or follow, what yeez want them to do in yer masterpieces,

3. …yeez initially followed other quill-scrapers’ advice to ‘get involved in theSOSYAL NETWURKS’, and now these’ve taken over vast slugs of yer living hours,

4. …yeez can often be seen stopping dead in yer tracks in places such as supermarkets, and muttering aloud, ‘ah, yes!’, then pulling scraps of paper from yer pockets with…

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