Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Waiting ----

I'm not the most patient person in the world. In fact, some might say I'm the most impatient. But God is teaching me patience. Recently - actually several months ago, my husband and I decided to buy a house. The time was right - or so we thought. We got pre-approved, which went quite smoothly and our search began.

We found the first couple of houses we wanted to look at, made an appointment with a realtor to show them to us, and the waiting began. We made the appointment on a Friday to see the houses Monday. Big mistake - at least I thought so at the time. More on that later.

Since we had a limited budget, houses in our price range were few and far between, especially in the area we wanted to live. Just a month earlier, there were an abundance of them.

Come Monday morning, the realtor sent a message, one of the houses sold over the weekend. Day late and a dollar short. Okay, we went to look at the other one.
Can you say small? I mean small. It was a 2 bedroom house with closed in porch. All newly remodeled. I found out why it was in our price range, not only did it not have a garage - which we knew going in - but the 2 bedrooms together would have made a small one bedroom. I've seen closets bigger than the smallest bedroom. I don't think a twin bed would have fit in there.

So back to the drawing board. Hubby and I both loved the other house from the pictures and drive by - well actually, I got out of the car and looked in the windows. It needed some TLC - anything in our price range would - but nothing we couldn't handle. Of course this drive by was before it was sold.

We found few other house over the course of a several weeks, but there was always something wrong that we couldn't go see them. We were going FHA so that limited how much work we'd be allowed to do. Either it wouldn't pass FHA standards, was a short sale, or sold before we had a chance to look at it. One house, that we really loved, was being shown to 30 perspective buyers. Realtor said there'd be a bidding war and wouldn't even show it to us. About that time, we were totally frustrated.

Coming up with an idea to increase our down payment, and therefore, increase the price point, I called the lender. He upped our price point and wouldn't you know it, not one house came on the market in that price range, everything was higher. Signs of an improved economy and seller's market in the area we were looking. Seriously, one would no more come on the market and be snatched up within a day or two.

Then we found it. The perfect home - or so we thought. A manufactured home in a 55+ community. Sounded like the solution to our problem. Best part was we could pay cash. Okay, it was old and needed updating and a lot of elbow grease and TLC. That was okay, we'd own it outright and only have to pay the maintenance fee. The community had a lot of activities and I hoped to get my hubby off the couch and involved.

There were a couple problems, though. They only allowed two dogs and they could only weigh 30#s together. Or you could have one dog up to 30#s. We have two dogs and I'm afraid they're both overweight. One of them was very close to the 30# limit. Would we have to get rid of one? Which one? How to make that decision? Of course, we only found this out after we put in an offer on the house, and it was accepted.

There was a stipulation to our offer, though. It was contingent on an inspection. We'd never buy something of that magnitude without one. So, $300 later, we rescinded our offer. There were some concerns about the electrical and he couldn't check the furnace because the gas was turned off. Also, a neighbor came over when we were outside talking and mentioned the skirting around the home. It hadn't been updated and the homeowners were supposed to do that. This was an estate sale and it was being sold As Is.  They weren't willing to spend the money for it and the community wouldn't approve our residence if it wasn't done. The cost - upwards of $1000.00.  

So, back to the drawing board. Talk about frustrated. But, I had faith. God had something in mind for us. I prayed about it right from the beginning, for Him to show us where He wanted us. We honestly thought it was the manufactured home. Everything seemed ideal and went smoothly. The owners accepted our offer without hesitation. No back and forth counter offer. And we loved the location of the home, right across from woods, met two of the neighbors who were really nice. We really looked forward to moving there. But alas, it was not to be.

Fortunately, for us, the first house that we liked came back on the market.  Funny thing was, I told my hubby we'd probably end up with that house even after it sold. Something about it felt right. I was drawn to it right from the beginning.

I called the realtor who was handling the deal and made an appointment ASAP. It felt like home the minute we went inside. After we walked through it, hubby said, "Buy me this house." LOL We put in an offer contingent on the inspection and called the same inspector who did the manufactured home. He was very thorough.

I held my breath and prayed while he went through the house. A few minor problems later, that we could take care of ourselves, we sealed the deal.

So...now I wait yet again for the financing to go through. We're supposed to close in Sept. and move in Oct. Seems like such a long time away. In the meantime, I've already packed everything I could possibly pack, as well as gotten rid of a ton of stuff. And I'm making lists. I'm a list maker from way back, and as I get older, I make even more lists. I have a list of cleaning supplies we need to take over, a list of stuff I need to buy for the cleanup and, of course, lists of stuff I want. My wish list - like a new stove and carpeting.

I'm definitely learning patience. It's not easy, but I'm learning to live with waiting. Not that I  have a choice. But I've become less anxious. I did lose 14#s through this whole thing so far. I figure it's all the packing and moving boxes I've done, because I'm sure still eating the way I always did. Stress might have something to do with it, but since I was pretty much a couch potato, I'm crediting it to the activity.

I can't wait to move.

Our house:

Check out my books at: Books We Love

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Memorial Day/Decoration Day

This is a repost from 2014.

As we celebrate Memorial Day this weekend with cookouts and picnics, I'd like to take a moment to remember our Vets and talk about how Memorial Day started.

Originally called Decoration Day, it's a day of remembrance for the men and women who died serving the United States. More than two dozen towns claim to be the originator of Memorial Day. In 1996, President Lyndon Johnson officially declared Waterloo, NY as the birth place, but it's impossible to prove the origin of the day. It was originally started to honor the dead of the Civil War. 
That being said, Memorial Day became a National Holiday and celebrated on the 30th of May in 1868. Its purpose was to decorate the graves of our men and women who died in defense of their country. The date of May 30th was chosen because it wasn't an anniversary of any particular battle. 
General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery on the first Decoration Day and more than 5000 participants decorated the graves of 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.
By 1890 Decoration Day was recognized by all of the northern states, but the sout refused to acknowledge the day until after World War 1. 
Congress passed a bill in 1971 changing the date from May 30th to the last Monday in May. 
Let's all take a minute from our celebrations to remember the true meaing of the day.
Thank you to our men and women who serve our country in the past, present and future. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Aunt Beatrice Lulu is back

Here she is, the lovable, zany, nosy busybody. And she's involving Ed in her crazy adventures.  Not that he's an unwilling participant. At least not after he agrees. Investigating the local dog rescue shelter to see what's making the dogs sick involves volunteering. Ed loves dogs, so not a problem for him. Besides, he has an ulterior motive.
Trying to figure out who's stealing food, is a little more involved. Add in a new neighbor and as usual, Beatrice Lulu is off and running.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Coming Soon

Nothing Ventured - Nothing Gained  (Book 3 of the Family Affair series)

Beatrice Lulu is back creating more havoc, but this time she’s involving Ed. From testifying in court to investigating a dog rescue shelter, she’ll keep you on the edge of your seat. When teenage orphans enter the picture, things really get chaotic. Beatrice Lulu adventures of mystery and humor take on new meaning when a new neighbor finds a note about hidden money and gems.


Beatrice Lulu couldn’t get out of that courtroom quick enough. Once the judge said she was free to go, she hightailed it out of there and hurried past the defendants without looking at them. No doubt their faces were forever imprinted on her mind.  She leaned against the sink in the lady’s room, fighting back nausea.
They didn’t get it. Not Ed, not Ethel or Lottie. None of them did. They thought it was all cut and dry, but they weren’t there. They didn’t see how those guys worked. Didn’t see the evil. Easy for them to say she had to testify. No skin off their noses. All she wanted was to go home, live her life, and forget this ever happened. She’d become a recluse, that’s what she’d do. She’d never become involved in anything again. Her days of snooping were over. Callie could handle it from now on, that’s what they paid her to do.

Read Book 1 - All in the Family 
Taking over the police chief's job in her hometown should be easy for Callie Johnson. At least that's what she thinks. After working in a big city, small town crime should be a breeze. What a surprise when she arrives to find her grandmother, the judge, accused of murder. As if that isn't enough, someone attacks her while walking to her car.
Between criminal investigations, her nutty family's antics, and her Aunt Beatrice Lulu's matchmaking, Callie has her work cut out for her. Will her grandmother be exonerated? Can Callie ward off her aunt's unsuitable suitors?  What other surprises are in store for her? 

Book 2 - All's Well That Ends Well

Aunt Beatrice Lulu is back and creating more havoc than ever. When a body falls out of a chimney in their newly purchased cabin, she takes it upon herself to investigate. Just because her
niece is Chief of Police doesn't mean she should mind her own business. Even her husband can't control his busy body wife. It doesn't end there, too many things happening for Beatrice Lulu to overlook. She's bound and determined to figure things out on her own.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Another Christmas

Here it is - another year gone by. The years seem to fly by now. I mean seriously, I'm still waiting for February 2016. They say time flies when you're having fun. (Whoever "they" are.") I've got news for them. The older you get, the quicker time goes by no matter how much fun you're having.
Not to say life isn't fun. For the most part it is. Or at least as much fun as you make it. But let's face it, life's complicated. It's full of ups and downs, peaks and valleys. You're rolling along and things are good. Suddenly it changes, Life's not always easy.
It's full of conflict. How we react to it is what's important. Me - I have my faith. With God all things are possible.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phillipians 4:13
Sometimes I forget.. But I know deep down - ....All things work together for good.... Romans 8:28.

Okay, I didn't mean for this post to sound preachy.  Back to how time flies. Seems like just yesterday  I was putting up the tree and suddenly it's a year later and time to put it up again,
So much has changed this season. For starters,  I didn't put up my big tree. There are several reasons.
One - and the one I use most - I added a rocking chair to our living room. In order to put up the tree, either I or my husband would have to take the chair up or downstairs.
Since he has COPD, I knew he couldn't do it, and I just didn't have it in me to do it. It would have been a struggle, but I would have managed. Of course then I would have to bring it back after Christmas. I didn't relish the thought.
I could have asked one of my sons, but they have their own things to do. I didn't want to bother them. Besides that, I'm not a patient person. When I want something done, I want it done now. I hate waiting for things or someone. LOL
Usually I put my tree up right before Thanksgiving because the kids all came to our house either for dinner or later for dessert, and we do Christmas at someone else's house. Hence, if I wanted everyone to see my tree (not sure why that's important) I put it up before.
Another thing that changed this year, my youngest son hosted Thanksgiving. That was fine, I didn't mind.
Of course I made my own turkey the day after just so I could have leftovers, and I really did miss cooking. It's the first time in probably 30 years that I've not made Thanksgiving dinner.
Anyway, back to the tree.  I sat here and thought about it for a long time. I finally told my husband we were going with a little tree this year. I really wasn't keen on it, but it beat the alternatives. One of the stores had a 3 ft tree on sale, so off I went to purchase it. I came home, opened the box, and set it up on the table in front of the window. I wasn't all that crazy about it, but it was inexpensive and would serve the purpose.
Of course, I had to haul down the boxes, no easy feat, but hubby grabbed them about half way down so I didn't have to do a lot of running up and down. I didn't bring everything down. It was just too much and my heart wasn't in it.
I put 2 strings of lights on the tree - one white, one colored. I love  the combination. I had several boxes of smaller ornaments - remnants of my pencil tree days (that only lasted a couple years. Give me a big tree any day.) Of course that meant my star didn't fit on this small tree, so it remained without a topper. No problem, I knew I'd pick one up eventually.
A week later, I found the perfect star at the dollar store. It was actually an ornament, but the perfect size for the smaller tree. I wired it on and pulled a couple white lights behind it to shine through.
And then I lit the tree.
I stared at it, unbelieving. The bottom half of the tree looked great. White and colored lights sparkled. However, the whole top of the tree remained dark. Neither white nor colored lights were lit. Okay, if it was just white lights I could understand it. I'd pulled on them a bit and maybe loosened a bulb. Of course, I searched for a loose bulb and couldn't find it. Besides it made no sense at all that the colored lights weren't lit.
Thoroughly disheartened, I wanted to throw the whole thing out the window. I wasn't thrilled with it to begin with. I really wanted to cry. Silly, I know, after all it was just a tree, and there was an easy solution, get new lights. Right?
Not so easy. In order to string new lights, I had to take all the ornaments off (not that there were many, after all it was a small tree) then remove the lights, then restring new lights - which I'd either have to dig through all the boxes upstairs or buy new.
You'd have to see my stairway to know how difficult going upstairs is. It's just an attic for storage and I seldom go up there. Lacking storage in the kitchen, I use the steps as shelves for potatoes, onions, paper towels, crock pot, dog food, etc. Yeah, about six steps are full of stuff.
So, I sat and stared at the tree, debating about what to do. I got up and played with it a few times, wiggling the lights, hoping they'd work. No such luck.
Finally, I opened my laptop, put Home Depot and then Lowes in the search engine and found 4 1/2 ft pre-lit trees. They happened to be on sale at Lowes. Perfect solution! Still not my big tree, but I wouldn't have to move any furniture and I wouldn't have to fool with this tree. Like I said I wasn't overly thrilled with it. Since hubby didn't want to take me, off I went by myself.
Of course, when I looked at the trees all I could find were the big ones and had to ask at the service desk. A nice man took me right to them - on a shelf that I couldn't reach. I picked up a string of colored lights since it already had the white lights and headed home.
It didn't take long to move the little tree (decorations and all) and set this one up. I added the string of colored lights, took the ornaments off the little tree, and decorated the new tree. I was going to add more ornaments, but after I sat back and looked at it, I decided it looked fine. Hubby agreed, of course he agrees with most things.
I felt much better with the new tree and my mood lightened.
I know Christmas isn't about the tree or the gifts, but for some reason the tree really bothered me. Maybe it's the fact I'm getting older and can't do as much as I used to. I even cancelled our traditional Christmas Eve dinner that I make the week before Christmas (everyone can't get together on Christmas Eve and there's too much going on that day anyway).
After almost falling down the basement steps,  and there would be so much running up and down just getting the room ready for everyone, I decided not to risk it. The basement was a mess and needed a good cleaning before I even set up the tables. Plus,  I'd have to borrow chairs again. It was just too much.
It saddens me to have so many changes this holiday season, from not having Thanksgiving dinner to not having our traditional meal. Last year, I had Thanksgiving, the traditional dinner, and Christmas Day. It's probably the last time I'll be doing any of it.
I'm not really ready to give it up. At least not mentally and that really affected me. I didn't even decorate the whole house, my heart wasn't in it. But I feel better now with the newer tree. God's given me the peace to deal with it. I'll celebrate the real meaning of Christmas - the birth of Christ.
Wishing every blessed and Merry Christmas - Happy Holidays (whatever you celebrate) and God's richest blessing to all, or as Tiny Tim said, "God bless us, everyone!"

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Did you ever have a feeling something bad was about to happen?

 Kind of a premonition, intuition, omen or whatever you want to call it? I’m sure at some point in your life you’ve experienced ESP. I mean we all have, haven’t we? Especially with a spouse or sibling. I bet sometimes you even finish each other’s sentences. Nothing unusual in that, is there? Not at all.

But I experienced something even stranger. Oh, I’m Rebecca Brennan. Can’t expect you to read my mind, can I?  I have this rare connection with someone’s mind. I feel what he feels, hear what he hears, and even know what he’s thinking. Not all the time, just sometimes. Thank God for that. I’d hate to know what he’s thinking all the time.  I even feel his pain.  Trust me, that’s not good. In fact, none of it’s good. I mean seriously, how would you like to wake up in the middle of the night, screaming in pain and there’s absolutely nothing physically wrong with you? Trust me, you wouldn’t.
That’s exactly what happened to me in Entangled Minds. I have these strange visions about someone else’s life. Some might think it’s a unique gift. Believe me, it’s not. Determined to find out who shared my mind, I visited a parapsychologist on the advice of my best friend. We finally resorted to hypnotism to see if that would reveal the answer. Problem was, once I discovered who it was, my life
became endangered too.
Entangled Minds is available from Amazon and only 99 cents for a limited time,  Get yours today, makes an excellent Christmas gift.

Here’s an excerpt from my book.

“No!” Rebecca sprang up in bed. Hot searing pain bore into her shoulder. What was happening to her? A warm sticky substance flowed from her shoulder. Oh God, there was going to be blood. From the feel of it, lots of blood.  Half afraid to look, her hand trembled as she slowly brought it in front of her face and looked at it.  Dry, no blood.  What was going on? These kinds of things happened way too often lately. Okay, they were dreams but still. They were so damn real.
Rebecca eased off the bed. Her feet felt like lead weights as she walked to the kitchen and poured a glass of water. After a big gulp, she hurried back to bed. Shivers racked her body even with the blanket pulled up to her chin. A minute ago sweat soaked her skin. Now she couldn’t get warm. Someone’s life had invaded her mind. She didn’t know who or where they lived. And she sure as heck didn’t like it. These were more than dreams. Most of her visions happened while she slept, but they were real. Besides, too many occurred during the day.
The pain eased, but fear and danger lingered. Curling up, she pulled the blanket tighter, closed her eyes, and willed herself to sleep. Strange visions played in her mind. Red, white, and blue flashing lights, fire engines, ambulances, and police rushed around calling instructions, trying to control panic and hysteria at the scene.
Rebecca rubbed her eyes, trying to erase the visions.
“If only I knew how to find this person. Maybe then I’d find out what these dreams and visions mean.” Her voice startled her in the quiet room. Snuggling deeper in bed, pushing the thoughts away, she tried to sleep.
But sleep wouldn’t come. Her mind wouldn’t be still. The visions persisted.  Was she going crazy? Maybe Allison was right to force her to see a parapsychologist.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Seniors Need Love, Too by Roseanne Dowell

Yes, that’s right. Romance isn’t only for the young. My books often are about older heroes/heroines.
Not that I have a problem writing younger characters, I just thought there was a need for books with older ones also. After all I fit into that generation.
  The idea of Geriatric Rebels first came to me when my father was in a nursing home. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get out of bed, but he did refuse to eat or take meds. After years of working as a tile setter, it had taken its toll and he suffered with arthritis in his knees and back, so much so that he wasn’t able to stand or walk.
During several visits, I noticed a little old lady walking past his room and always stopping to look in. She never spoke, just looked at us for a minute and went on her way. Something about her reminded me of my mother. Maybe it was her curly, silver hair, or her slight build. Whatever it was, she stuck in my mind and years later when I decided to write this story, she naturally came to mind. This story actually had several different drafts. The original was a nonfiction assignment for a writing course I took. It was strictly about my father and his incapacity to get out of bed. From there it changed to fiction, and I brought Elsa into the story.  While Elsa is based on my mother – especially her love of playing jokes and her sense of humor, my mother predeceased my father by three years. And while Mike is based on my father, my dad didn’t have this sense of humor. He was more serious minded. While I could picture my mother doing this stuff, even in a nursing home, I honestly couldn’t picture my dad. I think that’s what attracted him to my mother. 
Where I came up with these ideas, I’m not quite sure. I think Mike and Elsa thought of them. The story just took off on its own and flowed. I love when a story does that.

Blurb for Geriatric Rebels
Mike’s in a nursing home/rehab center because he fell and has no one to take care of him. A stubborn, 72 year old, set in his ways, he won’t cooperate with the nurses, refuses to get out of bed or take his medicine. At least he does until he meets Elsa. The tiny, spunky, Elsa sparks new life into him.
Seventy year old, Elsa is left in the home while her son takes a family vacation. She joins forces with Mike, setting the home on its heels. Later they discover deception and fraud.  Will they find happiness together?

Romantic Suspense Author, Gail Roughton says,  "Who says life begins at 40?  Live is wonderful at any age as long as you're willing to live it. Elsa Logan and Mike Powell prove it. And I want to be just like them when I grow up! One of Roseanne Dowell's best, and my personal favorite.  Available from  Amazon