Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

            Not long ago I wrote about St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah. I wasn’t in the city for the actual day, but it was very close. Close enough that they’d dyed the water in the fountain at Forsyth Park. Close enough they hung all green Christmas lights on trees. And close enough to change the color of lights shining high on buildings from white to green. Savannah has the second biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the nation. But Savannah is known for something other than that. They are known for being one of the most haunted cities in America.

            Ironic it is that I am here during the week that houses Halloween. J I didn’t plan it that way, but as soon as we knew we would be here on Halloween, we booked a Haunted Ghost Tour. Unfortunately for you guys it is on the 31st, Halloween Day. I’m writing this the day before so I can’t share my stories with you. Ah, maybe next year. It is kind of exciting though being here at this time of year.

            Walking through the city you not get only get cobblestone streets and great architecture you get a mix of fall and Halloween. Some people have their doorsteps decorated.

            Some businesses have heads from horror movies hanging in the windows, or this nice spider I had the pleasure of eating dinner with the other night.

            Another pleasure I seek while here is taking a peek behind the wrought iron to check out the gardens. I was thoroughly amazed at the good humored nature of this garden. It brings a smile to my face every time I look at this picture.

            Now I’ve given you a taste of Halloween from the city I love. No, I won’t be dressing up, but I will be learning about the orbs and spirits that visit here. I’ll be doing this learning in a vehicle that looks like this…

            Happy Halloween everyone!

            How do you plan on spending your Halloween? Do you believe in ghosts? Where’s the most haunted place you’ve visited? Are you tired of my Savannah stories?

W.P.I.- To grow pumpkins so they are ready at Halloween plant them at the right time. If you live in a colder northern climate plant seeds in mid to late May. If you live in warmer southern climates plant seeds in June. Make sure they get plenty of water and sun. They need a lot of space. Squash bugs will demolish pumpkin vines so be sure to plant companion plants with your pumpkins. Catnip, mint, marigolds and petunias will keep the bugs away. And finally, leave a longer stem when cutting from the vine. This will help to slow the rotting process.

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Fun Halloween Facts

            It’s hard to believe retail stores here in the U.S. already have Christmas decorations out. Well, it is, but it isn’t. Every year retailers push the season, seeming to forget that after, oh, Labor Day, there is Halloween and Thanksgiving to celebrate first. Trust me when I say that I am a huge fan of Christmas, but I don’t like skipping over other special days. So this week, my peeps, I am giving you a Halloween spectacular!

            I visited the fine folks over at and to come up with some facts you may or may not have known. (Keep my Irish roots in mind here!)

 Ø  More candy is sold on October 28th than any other day of the year.
 Ø  Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas.
 Ø  Ireland is believed to be the birthplace of Halloween.
 Ø  The first jack-o-lanterns were made from turnips.
 Ø  Americans buy over 20 million pounds of Candy Corn. (Yuck!) J

 Ø  The #1 candy choice is Snickers, followed by Reese’s, Kit Kat’s, and M&M’s.
 Ø  Halloween has also been called All Hallows’ Eve, Witches Night, Samhain, and Snap-Apple Night.
 Ø  Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.
 Ø  Dressing up as ghouls and other spooks originated from the ancient Celtic tradition of townspeople disguising themselves as demons and spirits. The Celts believed that disguising themselves this way would allow them to escape the notice of the real spirits wandering the streets during Samhain.
 Ø  Scottish girls believed they could see images of their future husband if they hung wet sheets in front of the fire on Halloween. Other girls believed they would see their boyfriend’s faces if they looked into mirrors while walking downstairs at midnight on Halloween.
And finally:
 Ø  Harry Houdini (1874-1926) was one of the most famous and mysterious magicians who ever lived. Strangely enough, he died in 1926 on Halloween night as a result of appendicitis brought on by three stomach punches.

            There you have it! Some fun Halloween facts. Did you learn anything?

            Do you celebrate Halloween? Are you samhainophobic? Do you dress up for Halloween? Do you like Candy Corn?

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Whatcha Watching?

            Summer has left us without even a goodbye, and fall is in full swing. When this happened is beyond me. As a matter of fact my father texted me today to say it was snowing where they live. Brrr. So while nature’s seasons changed so did television programming. Gone are the shows that filled the slots of the big shots. The little shows are out, and the big ones are back in. Or are they?

            One show that I looked forward to coming back on was Castle. I love the twists and wit associated with that show. Or should I say I used to love it? I don’t know what happened but the first couple shows of the new season had me pulling my hair out. What a complete turnaround. It went from first to worst. (On my list at least!)

            How about The Good Wife? The first season I loved. Then it seemed like the plot was on a turntable going round and round. The same thing happening season after season. I can say the same thing about The Mentalist. Can you people please catch Red John already?

            Okay. Grey’s Anatomy. I know this is based on doctors in a hospital, but it has gotten gory. And it seems every show someone dies now. I want more romance! (Imagine that.J) I will say, however, that I’m glad that Meredith and McDreamy are still together, and they seem to be going strong. The only way I would like to see that relationship go awry is if they brought me onto the show to be McDreamy’s new love interest. (We can all dream, can’t we?)

            While I’m pointing out my views on some shows I would like to add one more, Revenge. *sigh* I want it to go places, but it seems to be stuck in a rut. The same thing show after show.

            Is it just me? Am I being too critical of our “entertainment” industry? I’m sorry. Maybe I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. So let’s turn it around and look at what is new and upcoming.

            Grimm starts Friday night, and although the subject content is usually not one of my favorites I like the show a lot. Speaking of not normally one of my favorites I’ve been watching one about witches. The Witches of East End has captured me. I love that is has a split between funny and serious. Every Sunday I find myself looking forward to that show.

            Sleepy Hollow, Once Upon a Time, and Blacklist seem to be doing well. The Voice gets talked about a lot. Of course I haven’t even spoken of The Walking Dead, or Sons of Anarchy.

            I have many shows on my DVR to catch up on, including Modern Family and Elementary.

            It sounds like I watch a lot of television, doesn’t it? Eek. Might I add that throughout a lot of these shows I read too!

            What kind of television shows do you like to watch? Do you like comedies? Reality television? Educational shows? Modern day fairy-tales? Dramas? Which ones did I forget to mention? What shows are on your DVR?

Weekly Planting Information- Fall is a good time to clean up your garden. Here are some tips to help you with your landscape.
§  Remove all rotten fruit from the ground around trees—infestations last through winter.
§  Mulch to maintain soil quality, using weeds (but not those with seeds), cocoa hulls, grass clippings, leaves, and straw.
§  Plant cover crops after harvest to correct soil compaction.
§  Confuse pathogens by mapping out a garden plan for crop rotation.
§  Protect perennials from frost heaving by mulching after the ground freezes.
§  Protect ornamentals such as azaleas and berry bushes from bud-eating deer with deer netting.

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Let's Talk About Books

            Today is the day I steer it back. I’ve strayed for too long, now it is time to reel it back in.

            Let’s talk about books, shall we? Come on, that is part of why I write this rant, right? One day maybe I’ll actually have a book published that we can talk about. One day. One.Day. Until then we can talk about what we’ve read recently, what we’ve loved, what we didn’t.

            I’m trying to get into a habit of reviewing books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads. Reviews help authors-in rankings, in developing their craft, and many other ways. I’m not going to do a real review here. I just like to let you guys know what I’ve been reading, and hopefully hear about what you’ve read lately.

            I did read a bad one recently that I am still trying to recover from. Unease crept into me as soon as I opened the book, and it didn’t get any better throughout. Let’s just say it was a piece of New Adult that bit me because the hero died in the end. I’m not going to name the book. If you want to know contact me and I’ll tell you. Let me just say that I will NEVER buy another book from that author. It still haunts me to this day.

            If you know me, or come here often, you know that I love to read and write Romance. I love a happy ending. I need happy in my reading. Fortunately for me I’ve read a few great books after that one fiasco. One book that had all sorts of happy in it was The Bridesmaid, by Julia London. This contemporary romance is a fast paced novella that brought a smile to my face throughout. You can find this book at Lunch Hour Love Stories website, B&N, or Amazon. (If you like romances I urge you to check out

            My friend Barbara Samuel has a short story out now you can find at B&N, Amazon, etc. You know, the usual places. Her new contemporary romance is a very quick read that pulls you in and leaves you wanting more. Of course I say that about all of her books, no matter what the length. Let me just use a few words. Military man, PTSD suffering man and dog, dog whisperer ex girlfriend. Come on, go get it! J

            Finally the last book I read was one of the best books I’ve read in a while. It is not a romance. I guess it is classified as women’s fiction-friendship, genre fiction-historical, or genre fiction-coming of age. This book is based on true events and depicts what life was like for one girl originally from Ireland who lost her family in a fire, leaving her an orphan. Intertwined in the story is one of a modern day teen-aged orphan trying to learn to make it in life. When the two are brought together the whole story unfolds. There are parts that will make you laugh, parts that will make you cringe, and parts that will make you cry. Again, this is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I highly recommend it. You can find it at any major book retailer.

            What have you read lately? Do you have any good recommendations? What genre is your favorite? Do you review books on any of the major sites? Do you prefer ebook or hardcover/paperback?

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Just Because

      I posted a blog last week. It was a rerun, but I was extremely busy, and I had no choice. Later on that day I went to one of the normal blogs I visit regularly. The author, who is one of my favorites, told of how she totally forgot to post a blog and put up a pic of a very good looking shirtless man. It was her way of asking for forgiveness. I read through the comments and got a little perturbed at one that thanked her for posting a pic of a non tattooed man. Out of fairness, this author barely posts pics of tattooed men, so I was a little shocked to begin with. Working on a lack of sleep and just having a short temper in general I wrote my response to her and stated I wasn't going to say anything about the tattoo comment above. Then I threw the following rant together in about ten minutes in hopes of said person reading my response and maybe clicking on my name to direct her here. Childish much, Kel? Yes. So this is the blog I created. I'm sorry if tattoos are not your cup of tea, but I have a couple, and I don't see anything wrong with them. It is an individual's right to do what they want with their own body. I find myself a little fond of the following bodies. Without further ado...
       I'm writing this just because. Sorry if you don't like it, but this is the fun of having freedom, and your own blog. 

Thanks for fighting for our freedoms, Mr. Alex Minsky. You Sir, ROCK!

      You see, I see more than tattoos. I see body beautiful. Nobody is perfect. Everyone has flaws. 

      Do you like tattoos? Do you have any? If you could have one tattoo what would it be, or say? 

W.P.I.- For us in the south the best time to plant is Fall. If you plant when the ground is still warm from the summer's sun the roots will grow and start to take hold. Normally winter will produce more rain/wet weather than summer, which will help nourish your plants when they need it. What is the best time to plant where you live? What zone do you live in?

Monday, October 14, 2013

I Met Antonio Banderas... Sort of!

            I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed. Or the brightest crayon in the box. I may be a couple fries short of a happy meal, too. Most times I think I’m just a couple steps away from the “special” house. J What can I say; I’m smart, but at times unfocused. I’m sometimes too naive, and occasionally in my own little world. Often I’m inattentive on the things, or people, right in front of me, or the world revolving around me.

            Just wait, I’m getting to the point here.

            Many times while visiting my favorite city, Savannah, people will stop us and ask if we are from there. Many times they are surprised when we say no, since we are toting two dogs with us. Let’s face it, I’m spoiled, and so are they! We try to take them everywhere we go. And Savannah is a very pet friendly city. I digress. Usually people are looking for directions to somewhere, and quite often we can tell them where to go because we have visited so often. I think it’s neat they think we are from there, and I like to try and help people out.

            The last visit was no exception. Except it was. Enter me being stuck inside my own head.

            Charmed and I were walking the dogs thinking about finding a place to eat. Our walk took us to the front of one of the nicer hotels in Savannah. People were hustling about. A horse and buggy eased by. Suddenly a man and woman appeared before us. The man, good looking despite a weathered appearance, had a drink in hand. The woman, beautiful in her own right, toted a drink as well. (Savannah is an open container city.) The following conversation ensued.

Man: “Excuse me!”

Us: “Yes,” both of us wearing smiles.

Man: “You are from around here?”

Us: “No.” He questions us with his eyes, looking us both up and down, then to the dogs.

Man: “You’re not from here?” (Almost accusing us of being liars!)

Us: “No. But what do you need, maybe we can help you. We visit quite often.”

Man: “Oh. We were looking for a good place to eat.”

Us: “What kind of food do you want to eat?” (Savannah has an array of great restaurants.)

Man: “Steak.”

Us: “Okay,” we named a couple restaurants that were close since the woman was wearing high heels. High heels and cobblestone=accident waiting to happen.

Man: “Well, this BMW is mine, we could drive.” The smile lines around his eyes appear and I smile back.

Us: I think about the smell of alcohol on his breath and the drink in their hands. We suggest a cab, but that wasn't going to happen. “Belford’s and Alligator Soul have great steaks. And The Bohemian has a wonderful menu.” We gave them directions and continued on our journey.

            Later on that night while we watched the local news we saw that Antonio Banderas is starring in the next SpongeBob SquarePants movie, which is being filmed in downtown Savannah. The man’s face from earlier keeps flashing in my mind. Good looking, the same wavy dark hair, the wrinkles in all the right places, the accent. Could it have been? Was I standing face to face with Antonio and not realized it? To answer my own question, YES. I could’ve been standing within two feet of the man and not known. Sadly, I’m not a big movie person. I knew they were filming SpongeBob, but I didn’t know who was starring in it.
Mr. Banderas on set for SpongeBob SquarePants 2.

            Again, not the sharpest tool in the shed. Now, if there was a writer in town I would’ve been looking high and low!

            So there you have it. My run in with Antonio Banderas. At least that’s what I’m saying. *smirk* The Charmed One insists that it was not him. Although Charmed did admit that it could’ve been his stunt double. Hmmm.

            Have you ever accidentally run into someone famous? Do you watch a lot of movies? Who is the most famous look-alike you've met?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Splain Pleaze!

  There are days when something comes up and I just wonder to myself, “Why?” Sometimes I can figure out why it is like it is, and others make me scratch my head. I decided that I am going to start writing these things down and when I get enough I am going to blog about it…like now!

  One thing that I don’t understand is stores that sell used tires. Used tires. I’ll say it again...used tires. Need I say more? I don’t know about you, but I buy new tires when my vehicle needs them. I don’t have the money to go out and buy tires when I feel like it. How used are the used tires these stores sell? What about safety? Somebody splain pleaze!

  Another thing I don’t understand is how it became acceptable to know your disease or illness before you go to the doctor. Do we all self diagnose? Do we all search the computer high and low to find out what might be wrong with us before we go to the professional?  What happened to the day you went to the doctor and told him/her your symptoms and they came up with a diagnosis? Can someone splain how this became okay?

  I have come across some street signs that I don’t understand either. I believe if I saw some of these signs while driving I may crack up and drive off the road. Maybe some of you can help me out… 


One sign I do understand though is this one...

Thank you all for visiting the blog. Always remember you are a beautiful person!

What about you? What are some things you don't understand? Is there something maybe I can splain to you?

W.P.I.- In addition to being the best time to plant most springtime flowering bulbs (e.g. tulips, daffodils, crocuses, irises, etc.) as well as trees and shrubs, many perennial plants can be divided in the Fall. Dividing most perennials – once they're sufficiently mature – will both make them healthier and create multiple plants out of a single one, all for the cost of nothing more than a little light labor. Do your research in advance to determine which types of perennials should be divided in the Fall and the best methods for doing so.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Jolly Green Giant

            Summer is hanging on with all its got here in Podunk. The temperatures have been hovering in the 80s during the day, dropping into the 60s and 50s at night. I will admit that it has been nice. But with the good comes the bad, right?

            The grass is still growing. It has slowed down, but it grows enough to make me use at least two hours of my week mowing it. And the bugs are still relentless, attacking from every direction.   

            I came home from work the other day and decided to lie on the couch in my office, or “inspiration room,” as I call it. I like to try and clear my head before I dive into writing. After lying there for a few minutes I decided it was time to get up. I opened my eyes and looked out the window for a minute. I have a hummingbird feeder outside my office so I can watch the little wonders. My eyes almost bulged out of my head when I spotted something on the window screen. Quickly I wiped the sleepiness from my eyes, stood up, and walked to the window. As soon as I realized I wasn’t dreaming I grabbed my phone and stepped outside to get a few pictures of this creature inhabiting my screen.

            That’s right. A praying mantis attached itself to the screen. And it had its eyes on the hummingbird feeder. I have read that the big bugs can eat a hummingbird. Honestly, I didn’t want to experience nature at its worst so I had to interfere. Eh hem.

            Normally I don’t mind the presence of a praying mantis because they eat bugs. Lord knows I have plenty of them. So I didn’t want to hurt the big… lug. Let’s just say it ended up on the deck without being injured. (You could say that the neighbors may have heard screams.) But something happened to its eyes. They were freaky enough as it was, but now they were beady and focused on me. Creep. 
I made it extra big so you could see the big scary eyes.

           From that point on I decided that I better get inside before it tried to eat me. I snapped another picture or two before I went in. I checked back later and it was gone. The hummingbirds can thank me. On the other hand the hero I was writing suffered death at the hands of the heroine. I had to go back and fix that oops.

            I don’t know what has happened to me over the years. Years ago things like bugs never bothered me. Now? I get squeamish. And sometimes scream a little. And sometimes run away!

            Has fall arrived where you live? Do bugs bother you? What is something that makes you squeamish?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Competitive Nature

                 “Hit me!”


                 “C’mon, hit me!”


                 “You call that hitting? You are wimpy. Hit me like you mean it.”

                 My brother’s words made me so mad back then. I remember feeling the energy run through my body until my little fist surged forward with such force that I was sure that that time when I connected it would hurt the jerk. If it ever did he never let on.

                 To say we were competitive was an understatement. I can’t tell you how many races we would run, how many coloring competitions we would have, or how many games of Yahtzee we played. I loved the highs of winning, and dreaded the sting of losing. But that is so much a part of life, isn’t it? Highs and lows. Wins and losses.

             A couple weeks ago I participated in a 24 hour writing competition. I love that competition. They run four competitions a year, and I always look forward to the challenge. The competition people email you the subject matter at a selected time. They stress they like surprise, or happy endings. You are given a word count, and off you go. Every time I’ve entered this competition I've enjoyed the subject matter. This last time? Not so much. It was the hardest I’ve had to deal with yet. Here it is…

            She wiped her hands on her apron, peering out the window.
Red and orange leaves hurried by as the cold autumn wind
battered the small cabin. The girl should have been back
from the errand by now. At that moment, she saw the flying,
fiery red braids. The devil's mark on her right cheek, a
constant reminder, was clearly visible, even at dusk. The
girl, breathless, burst through the wooden door.

"Ma! Come quickly!!"

            The rules state that you don’t have to use all of the subject matter. I dreaded this subject, and let my mind roll over different options. I finally settled in and started writing, putting my own twist on the ‘devil’s mark.’ When I sent the final copy to the people putting on the competition I was pleased. I actually used almost all of the above material. Of course, I did twist it from a dark, almost lonesome tale, into one of love and happiness. Because I need Happy!

            But that was just the beginning of the competitions. I’m writing for another one as we speak. This one is a huge competition. The story has to be 4,000 words, and I’m in the genre I love, Romance. This story was not planned. At all. While in Savannah last weekend I just sat down and started typing. And I’m into it. I usually don’t like writing by the seat of my pants so much, but I am inspired. Let’s hope the words keep flowing.

            So many times I read that the first sentence of a book should be powerful enough to suck a reader in. I, as a reader, give the book I’m reading more than one sentence before I decide if I like it or not. But that’s just me. Here’s the first sentence of my work in progress.

            “I cannot believe you broke up with me via voice mail when you knew I was flying to Savannah for a business meeting.”

            Would that be enough to pull you in? Who knows, maybe it’ll change about fifty more times before I turn it in. That’s usually the way it goes for me.

            So my early years in competition with my brother have prepared me, in a way, for life’s later competitions. I love these. And yes, I still feel the sting with loss. I’ll let you know what the feeling of winning is like when it happens. Because it will. Sooner or later!

Did you have sibling competitions? What were some things you and your brother/sister competed in? Do you decide if you like a book within the first sentence? Did the first sentence pull you into this rant?

W.P.I. - Mums are a big fall selling plant. If you decorate for fall with pumpkins and gourds, choose orange, bronze, yellow, and creamy white mums. If you have a lot of evergreen plants that provide a backdrop of varying shades of green foliage, try bright pinks, lavenders, pure whites, or reds. With such bold colors, a large grouping of mums can excite even the most drab of fall landscapes.