I cradled your hand.
He cradled your head.
We’ll cradle your heart.
When I laid my head on my pillow Saturday night, for the first time in eighteen years, five months and twelve days I didn’t know exactly where you were. Revisiting the final moments before I left you at college for the first time brought tears to my eyes and the watershed would go on for hours that night and bleed into the next day.
Intellectually I knew there were other short periods of time, times when you went to sleep away camp or leadership camp, when I didn’t know where you were at any given moment. During those short experiments, I knew you were coming back. This time I had to accept that you were on a road of your own making, enveloped in the first phase of your own life journey. An excursion filled with dreams and decisions that are rooted in a story we started long ago but that only you get to write the important chapters too.
I cried some more, feeling as if I’d lost you. I mean, I knew physically where I’d dropped you off. I had the empty boxes, the leftover bedding wrappings, and the dwindling bank account to prove that it really happened, that you were living on your own. It was as if by depositing you in that tiny room the size of a walk in closet that I’d given you to the world.
Continue reading “Holding On & Letting Go”
There is one bookshelf, more than any other, that I’d love to see my books on. A shelf at the Chicago Public Library. My love affair with libraries started when I was a child growing up in the Chicago and continues today because every city I visit I try to check out the library. The library was a refuge for me. It was a place where I could go and not only feel safe, but I was surrounded by worlds and dreams that at that time I felt out of my realm of possibility.
The Chicago Public Library is the public library system serving the City of Chicago. It consists of 79 branches, including a central library, two regional libraries, and branches distributed throughout the city.
The American Library Association reports the library holding 5,721,334 volumes, making it the 30th largest library system in the United Statesby volumes held. The library is the second largest public library system in the Midwest, after the Detroit Public Library.
Continue reading “BEST BOOKSHELF IN THE WORLD”
I think everyone should have…
…one person you can always count on. The person you can turn too in a time of trouble or loss. The person you know will always be there for you. This isn’t a ‘just in case’ in the sense of a back up plan, but JUST IN CASE as in the real deal. A person who’ll do anything for you no questions asked. It’s the kind of just in case that’s a daunting responsibility and requires the person to be solely committed to another person’s happiness.
But the question isn’t more complicated than that, the question is who can you always depend on? Who is the one person in the world who’ll always be there for you?
Who is your JUST IN CASE? Continue reading “I THINK EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE ________???”
Sandy toes and salty kisses….
You might think a Windy City writer doesn’t know much about the beach, but you’d be wrong. Chicago is on the Great Lakes and we have wonderful beaches along both the north and south shores of Lake Michigan. I grew up in the city and the place everyone wanted to be was at North Avenue Beach. Now I live about a mile from Sunrise Beach and Park on the North Shore.
The beautiful thing about Sunrise Beach is that it’s very quiet and peaceful. There is a huge bluff that overlooks the beach and traffic and cars remain above and you have to walk about two stories down to the beach. It’s nestled into this lovely little cove.
Continue reading “THE BEACH, BEACH READS & A GIVEAWAY!”
Ever suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia? Me neither, but friggatriskaidekaphobia is a fear of Friday the 13th. Frigga is the name of the Norse goddess for whom “Friday” is named and triskaidekaphobia
meaning fear of the number thirteen.
Records of the superstition are rarely found before the 20th century, when it became common. So why do people think Friday the 13th is a fateful day? It’s probably the combination of two older superstitions: thirteen is an unlucky number and Friday is an unlucky day.
In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, the twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock, twelve gods of Olympus, twelve Apostles, etc. Whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, breaking this rule of completeness. Another superstition, thought by some to derive from a Norse myth is that having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners.
Continue reading “??? Friggatriskaidekaphobia ???”
When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
’tis near Halloween.
I wanted to do something a little different for my front stoop this Halloween. I’ve done more traditional fall pumpkin topiaries in past years but this year it’s witches. The directions for building a standard topiary is located below.
SUPPLIES: You’ll need 3 pumpkins in large, medium, & small sizes, wooden/bamboo kebab skewers, mallet & decorative accents, i.e. fall leaves, beads or garland.
Make sure the bottom pumpkin, or the largest one is large enough to fit into the bottom of your urn tightly, at least part of its weight should rest in the soil. Place this base pumpkin in the urn, you do not have to cut or gut this pumpkin and do no remove its stem or it will mold.
Select your middle pumpkin, make sure you have one with a nice stem, cut a circle in the BOTTOM of the pumpkin large enough that it can fit over the stem of the base pumpkin, remove all the seeds and guts from the pumpkin. Now place this second pumpkin on top of the base pumpkin and hammer the long kebab skewers into the second pumpkin until the skewer reaches the base pumpkin. Take your time and hammer the skewer all the way in, it will secure the second pumpkin to the base pumpkin. I usually use about six skewers around the perimeter.
Now repeat the same process to secure the top pumpkin as you did for the middle one, cutting out the BOTTOM and gutting it before securing this top pumpkin to the middle one with skewers. Now you can decorate for fall, Halloween or Thanksgiving. Use plastic leaves, cattails, branches, candy corn swags, fall colored garland or Halloween tinsel around the base and for the in between layers.
Instructions to complete the witch topiary.
Once you have the topiary built you can decorate it. The first step was to add the witches hair I used the purple/glitter spray with spiral ends from the floral department. The spray comes about 3 feet long so I had to trim them down to about 10-12 inches.
I used these greening pins to attach the hair to the pumpkin. You can find greening pins in the floral department of any craft store. It was easy to press the greening pins into the pumpkin most of the way and then you can use a hammer to secure them all the way into the pumpkin.
Next, I attached the Witch’s hat that I found at Michaels using the same pins. Then I added the spiders with webs for the witch’s eyes and another spider for the mouth.
I added this wire enforced garland in between the pumpkins layers to dress the pumpkin topiary. Adding a witches broom with a holiday message for the final touch.
I used 21″ wide mesh ribbon to make the swag for the base of the pumpkins. I gathered the fabric in my hand, twisting the pipe cleaner around the gathered fabric to make the swags. I used the same greening pins to attach the swag to the base of the bottom pumpkin.
I hope you enjoyed this DIY project.
If you love Halloween take a trip to Salem and check out the Celtic witches who’ve hidden there for hundreds of years. Once upon a time witchcraft was safe, but now something dark and sinister from the OtherWorld is crossing over and it’s up to Locke, Keleigh, and the Seer to find a long lost artifact before they plunge our world into chaos. If you’d like to learn more about the real witches I created please check out the Deadly Fairy Tales Series.
Thanks for stopping by!
This year I wanted to pick somewhere I’d never been to for my birthday dinner and I’ve been passing Carnivale’s West Loop sign on the expressway for years wondering what it was all about. Chicago’s Carnivale Restaurant is Latin infusion from the Coconut Mojito to the Carnivale Ice Cream Cake! Located at 702 West Fulton, Chicago, IL 60661, CARNIVALE has a festive, vibrant, and happening atmosphere.
The lavish interior glows red and runs the gambit from a large vaulted dining space to alcoved areas with booths and small tables for more intimate dining. The bar overlooks the expressway and is fashionably decorated with leopard print tufts and French hooded canopy chairs which is both funky and fun. Here’s my daughter in one of the fabulous chairs!
My husband and I started with Sangria and my girls had a virgin Coconut Mojito and Pina Colada. For appetizers we had the Oxtail Empanadas & the Octupus a la Plancha which had papas bravas. The papas bravas which is similar to a potato pancake but in a thicker form and deep friend, were to die for.
For dinner I had the Paella which had so much seafood I could only eat about half of the serving and the bomba rice was seasoned to perfection. My husband had the Churrasco steak & caramelized sweet plantains. The girls shared the Creek Stone Farm Prime New York Strip, which was built with two in mind.
At this point we were stuffed but with all the fabulous desserts parading by and an acute desire to have something to stick the Happy Birthday candle in we trudged ahead, ordering the Banana Cream Pie and the Carnivale Ice Cream Cake with vanilla bean, guava and pistachio ice cream. Wow!
Carnivale is certainly a carnival of flavors for your palate and we’ll be back again soon.
ATMOSPHERE 5 STARS
FOOD 4.5 STARS
SERVICE 3.5 STARS
OVERALL 4 STARS
Who’s tired of winter? Looking forward to some beach reading? Or sitting on your favorite patio and listening to the hummingbirds while you read?
I am giving away a paperback copy of all five of my titles to one lucky winner!!!
All you have to do to enter to win is:
1) GO to my FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE & give it a
like! FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE
2) Share the BOOKLOVERS post pinned to the top of my page! Look for this icon:
3) Enter the RAFFLECOPTER
This contest is open to U.S. residents, if you’re international and you’d like to enter feel free but you will get ebook copies of all the titles. I’ll select one international and U.S. winner once I reach 5500 Likes on my Facebook author page. You must still be following me at the time that the winner is selected.
Happy Reading & Reviewing,
29 Talented Chick Lit Authors have banded together to offer you a spectacular Christmas Giveaway! One lucky reader will win all 29 of these AUTOGRAPHED CHICK LIT TITLES*!
All you have to do is click on the Rafflecopter below and like one of our Facebook Author pages to be entered to win! Like more than one author page for additional entries. Please spread the word about this wonderful Christmas giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Also, I am excited to tell you that my book,
You can see my book here: Women’s Fiction for Romance Lovers. I would very much appreciate it if you could take a minute to check out my book, and share this link with your friends and family. Thanks
Wishing you all a joyous Holiday Season!
*Contest open to U.S. Residents only!
It’s cover reveal time. The very talented Laura Chapman has a debut novel coming December 11th…
Drum Roll Please . . . Hard Hats and Doormats
Lexi Burke has always been a stickler for following rules and procedures. As a human resources manager for a leading Gulf Coast chemical company, it’s her job to make sure everyone else falls in line, too.
But after losing out on a big promotion––because her boss sees her as too much of a yes-woman––Lexi adopts a new policy of following her heart instead of the fine print. And her heart knows what it wants: Jason Beaumont, a workplace crush who is off limits based on her previous protocol.
While navigating a new romance and interoffice politics, Lexi must find the confidence to stand on her own or face a lifetime of following someone else’s orders.
Who says nice girls have to finish last?
To celebrate the cover reveal for her debut novel, author Laura Chapman is sharing behind-the-scenes tidbits about the making of Hard Hats and Doormats here and on other blogs with her “Hard Hat Confessions.”
Laura Chapman found a way to mix her love of romance and humor as a women’s fiction author and blogger. A 2008 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Laura studied journalism, English and history. She traveled across the United States as a writer/photographer before settling into a career in communications. She also maintains Change the Word, a blog devoted to promoting women’s fiction and documenting her experiences as a writer. Born and raised in Nebraska – in a city, not on a farm – she is a devoted fan of football, British period drama, writing in bars and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Hard Hats and Doormatsis her debut novel.
Thanks for stopping by! Per Laura’s confession: what’s the one thing people say to you at work that drives you bonkers???