Sunday, July 6, 2014

Saying Goodbye

Most of my childhood memories are filled to overflowing with times spent with my enormous family. I only have one brother and one sister, but I have more than a few aunts and uncles and ten times as many cousins. Believe it or not, we all interacted and enriched each others lives as if we were all in one small household. Every holiday celebrated together at my Mamaw&Papaw's house. Countless sleep-overs camping out, making blanket forts in the living room, playing sports, Christmas mornings opening presents together, Christmas mornings at 4am drawing straws to see who would be chosen to "wake a grown-up", playing "Pink Ladies & T-Birds", building secret clubhouses out of cardboard, hiking as top-secret explorers in the woods, and so many more things I don't have room to list.
 My Aunts and Uncles were really secondary parents and my cousins were really just more brothers and sisters. No matter how much time has passed or how little we get to talk or visit now as adults, I still love them all just as much. They know me because they were all a part of making me who I am today.
 It doesn't matter how much time goes by because our hearts stay the same. Whenever we are together, our love for one another shines bright. We share in each other's joys and pain and are always there no matter how large and scary the world might become. We don't expect more from each other than each is capable to give. We just love each other. It's always been that way in my family. Even with tempers flaring occasionally and trust me everyone in my family can list the "hot-tempered" ones, the love is still there.
 I miss those days of carefree laughter with my best friends aka cousins...aka my brothers and sisters. My heart hurts more than I can bear to know there is one less of us. I've never been one to over-share and I'm not a fan of a lot of attention. I usually keep silent on the difficult things I go through. I just wanted to remind you all to love your families with all you've got for as long as you're able. It will be the most important and rewarding thing you will ever do. It has been and continues to be for me.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Many of us have extensive To Be Read piles of books and for many of us the pile keeps growing without ever diminishing. For me the book trilogy Divergent by Veronica Roth has been in my list for as long as it's been around. I've always found the story premise intriguing and let's face it...any YA dystopian plot is going in my pile regardless. Having been busy with life and my own projects, I had nearly forgotten about buying and loading this series onto my kindle. It wasn't until I watched the trailer for the movie that it sparked my memory and I felt the need to read it immediately. I'm what you call a moody reader. I may find a particular book interesting and want to read it, but I won't read it regardless of any other etc, until I feel ready to do so.

This series is different from any previous YA dystopia's in that the factions that are now in control of society are segregated by natural personality impulse. These virtues or instincts are how you are separated. At the age of 16 you are given an aptitude test neurologically. In this "mind game scenario" your choices determine what your natural instincts are. Everyone must fit into one of these factions. If you do not...faction-less (homeless)...if you fit more than one or all equally?? You are DIVERGENT. You are a threat.  

It is no wonder they wanted to make a movie about this book and possibly the other two in the trilogy. It is unique and it delves into what we all really want: to belong and to be accepted for who we are. I loved the book and look forward to watching the movie. I'm currently reading the second in the trilogy and will let you know how that goes!

To purchase this book: Barnes and Noble Book Store or Amazon Books

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Read the Warning LABELS!

This is my public service announcement for the month. Learn from my mistakes. I failed to act quickly because I didn't read the warning labels and precautionary literature accompanying my prescribed medication. You know that thick stack of paper that nobody reads? They give it to you at the pharmacy with your medication and you laugh in their face and choose to live vicariously free from worry of side effects. Well, considering the Bradley Cooper movie coming out and my current ongoing situation, I thought I would share my story. Here's a picture of Bradley Cooper just for fun.
      I haven't posted much lately because I really haven't felt well. In the last 4-5 days I have increasingly felt worse. I went to the neurologist a couple of weeks ago for migraines. No biggie. I get aura know the ones that make your vision go all wonky? Well they gave me some meds as a preventative measure to try. I thought to myself that this was kind of nice. I take somethng at night before bed every night and no migraine.....right? Well...I still had migraines, but the doc insisted this particular medicine needed to build up in my system and that once there had a long half-life. I shrugged. No big deal. It wasn't like I was dealing with anything new. I have a fairly high tolerance for pain and with my migraines, it's not the pain that gets me, it's the wonky vision and feeling of being hung over with light and sound sensitivity that bother me. Like I said...nothing new. I kept feeling worse and worse. I thought I may be getting the flu. That's what it felt like except I wasn't nauseated. I didn't have a huge appetite. I had chills and was lethargic to the point of being distracted and zoned out. I wasn't sleeping well so I blamed it all on that.
      Everything became exhausting to do and still is at the moment. I became weak-feeling. Then...I noticed I had a rash. Well, I had recently switched fabric softeners. Thought I was having an allergic reaction. I stopped using the softener and took benedryl and applied hydrocortizone creme per my husband. Thing didn't improve. It got worse. I called my allergist....YES I HAVE AN ALLERGIST. Did I forget to mention I happen to be allergic to fire ants and dogs? Depending on the area, I'm allergic to various plants and trees as well. ;) Anyways, they had me come right in and told me I was not having a typical allergic reaction. I was like HUH? The allergy doc who did not know much about my new medication and who proceeded to mispronounce it 3 times told me he thought it was either a bad reaction to the new medication or a virus. And.....that's all. Uh....yeah....OK.
      I went to my primary doc today and also called the neurologist as well to clarify and be diagnosed with something....anything....because holy crap batman I am itching all over and now my skin HURTS! So here's what I found out: I AM having a reaction to my new medication. I have been poisoning myself with this medication for weeks now and since it has a long life span in the body, it will take 3-4 days for me to feel better. I may have done damage to my kidneys. I go tomorrow for lab work to check that out.I can't wait for MONDAY! Never thought I would say that! The "sulfa" which is a primary part of the drug and the part I am allergic or sensitive to should be mostly out of my system by then.I only wish I had paid closer attention to the paperwork that came with the medicine warning about a rash and that the time frame could be anywhere within a 4 month window of starting the drug. I did not connect the drug with the rash because it had been 3 weeks since beginning the drug.Had I paid attention I would have stopped those meds sooner and may not be worriying about wheteher or not I hurt my kidneys. I didn't though and I am...

This is the literature on the medicine they had me taking to prevent migraines for people who should NOT take it.

What is the most important information I should know about ZONEGRAN? ZONEGRAN may cause serious side effects, including:
Serious skin rash that can cause death.

Cautions before Use Zonegran Tablets

If you are allergic to sulfonamides, you should not take Zonegran.
The medication can cause life-threatening skin rashes, which may cause a loss of large sections of skin resulting in disfigurement or even death.
Zonegran can affect the ability of bone marrow to make blood cells.
Zonegran has been reported to cause cases of decreased sweating accompanied by a fever. This can be dangerous and can lead to heat stroke and even death.
Zonegran can increase your risk of kidney stones.
Zonegran can cause metabolic acidosis, a condition in which there is too much acid in the body.
Zonegran can cause concentration problems, speech problems, drowsiness, and problems with coordination.

Zonegran Tablets Side Effects

The side effects which may arise due to the usage of Zonegran are as follows:
Abdominal pain Flu-like symptoms
Indigestion or heartburn
Dry mouth
Weight loss
Coordination problems
Unusual eye movements
Unusual sensations, such as burning, tingling, or numbness
Speech problems
Irritated or runny nose
Double vision
Changes in taste

Who Should Not Take Zonegran?
You should not take Zonegran if you are allergic to Zonegran, zonisamide hydrochloride, or any inactive ingredients used to make Zonegran. Your healthcare provider or pharmacist has a list of the inactive ingredients. Also, you should not take Zonegran if you are allergic to sulfonamides ("sulfa drugs").

Zonegran is a sulfonamide ("sulfa" drug). If you are allergic to sulfonamides, you should not take Zonegran.
The medication can cause life-threatening skin rashes, which may cause a loss of large sections of skin (resulting in disfigurement or even death). Let your healthcare provider know immediately if you have an unexplained rash. Your healthcare provider will decide if your rash might become dangerous and may recommend stopping Zonegran.
Fast breathing
Fatigue or tiredness
An irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
Feelings of a rapidly or forcefully beating heart (palpitations).
About 1 percent of people taking Zonegran report experiencing extreme weakness. This usually goes away in a few days once the medication is stopped.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Day 8 on the 17 Day Diet

Well it's been over a week now on the 17 Day Diet. I've lost 10 pounds. Now before you get all excited, let me just say that this diet is really difficult to stick to if you like sugar and carbs. I suffered a little over the Easter weekend, but stayed strong in spite of the Easter bunny. I'm counting the days until I hit day 18. I love the results of this diet. It is loaded with delicious healthy foods. My blood pressure has even improved some as a result of following the food list. The most valuable thing I have gained from this diet so far has been getting back into the swing of consistent exercise. I took a few pictures of the dinners I prepared over the last week. Let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Day number 1 of 17 yesterday was day number one of the 17 day diet for me. With the 17 day diet you can have lean meats like chicken and fish with a variety of fresh vegetables. You can also have 2 servings of fresh fruit and 2 servings of a pro biotic cottage cheese or yogurt per day. For breakfast I had egg whites and blackberries with a cup of green tea.
For lunch I had a salad of baby spinach with matchstick carrots, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and light tuna. I had a snack of cottage cheese and then later yogurt with blackberries as well. I seemed to be hungry all day and I don't know if it was because I was used to eating more or because I wanted to eat because I knew I couldn't. Damn brain plays tricks on you at the worst times...
Anyways...I grilled some chicken strips and flavored them with one of my favorite spices and used smart balance cooking spray on the grill. I also steamed some fresh broccoli and green beans and used a tiny bit of sea salt.

I had a cup of green tea with each meal and drank water the rest of the day. The diet insists that you drink plenty of water. I also exercised on the elliptical for 30 minutes. The plan makes you stay away from processed sugars and carbs. The food was delicious and easy to prepare. There is a lot of flexibility as long as you only eat lean meats, vegetables, and fruit. The added 2 servings of pro biotics helped alleviate the hunger in the middle of the day. I weighed myself the day before I started as well as yesterday and today and I have already lost 3 pounds. I didn't starve, nor did I run myself into the ground. I ate healthy and exercised. I exerted some discipline, but other than that it was simple. I'll report more later in the week.

Monday, April 2, 2012

SYKOSA! A new YA novel now out!

Please enjoy this excerpt from Sykosa, a YA novel (for 18+ readers), by Justin Ordoñez. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $550 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

First period. American history.

Who knows which is worse. At this hour, it’s too early to care. Luckily, it’s never too early to bitch and moan. And she would do so, save her teacher is already on it. He’s up at the board—in shock that not a pupil noticed how his cuff smudged all his bullet points. Like wrist trajectory were her problem. That’s a math problem. And math problems aren’t her problem for another two hours. Yawn. He’s still going on—something about full attention being on…

Her fingernails.

Fingernails, you see, are better than lectures.

Particularly these lectures. Particularly this class.

She wishes nail polish didn’t break the Academy’s Personal Code, then her fingernails could be pretty colors, and she’d feel like a pretty girl. They should let her do her nails in class. It’s no different from doodling. It also increases hygiene, and in high school, that’s nothing to scoff at. She may paint her fingernails this afternoon, just for fun, then remove it and—

Hang on. Her teacher said something will be on a test.

Never mind, she already knows it.

Anyhow, if she does do her nails, she has a problem. She doesn’t know what to do. However, she does know she doesn’t want to do something she’s already done. If she’s gonna do her nails for one night, then it’d be nice if it were a departure of some type. Alas, her brain has no ideas. Being pretty is hard! Yet, she likes it so very much. That does it. She needs to talk to Niko. For one, Niko’s her best friend. Two, Niko’s gifted in the department of being glamorous. And luckily, Niko’s her neighbor, so she drafts a note that she passes across the table.

What should I do with my fingernails?

Niko reads the note in delight, then dies of boredom.

I thought you were gonna share good gossip or something.

No, I want to do my fingernails.

<em>Do something slutty. That’s always good for a thrill.</em>

That’s a good idea.

Niko always has good ideas. Niko’s brilliant!

She wishes she were Niko.

And Niko wishes she were Sykosa’s breasts. <em>That’s me, Sykosa! Well, technically, it’s my breasts.</em> Breasts are an urgent topic for Niko, seeing as her prime puberty years have passed, and to Niko’s horror, she’s all As in the bra and all Ds on her report card. That’s harder on a girl than people think. And it’s why Niko collapses her cheek on her hand, then inconspicuously stares at those far-bigger boobs. Niko thinks she does it for a second or two. In reality, it’s seven or eight. Now, before anyone makes any assumptions, Niko’s not gay. She’s about as boy-crazy as a girl gets. To the point that she collects boyfriends as if they were Girl Scout badges.

And to be fair, this breast-staring is harmless.

Though every girl has her limits.

Hers have been exceeded. Not by Niko, but by Tom. He also has his cheek in hand, his eyes overcome by her chest—for what is maybe ten or eleven seconds.

Unlike Niko, he’s thinking of her as if she were some toy.

He may be right.

In the only snowstorm of the year, as the Academy froze under the sickly sweet smell of a dysfunctional oil furnace, she retreated behind the two bell towers of the Academy chapel. And on that very day, this very boy—in his ski jacket laden with those sticky tags they put on bags at airports—stumbled onto her smoking self and put his tongue in her mouth. It was a bold move. And it impressed her. They didn’t need to “talk.” Besides, it woulda fucked up the moment. <em>I get shy fast.</em> Accordingly, she kissed him until her heart beat so hard she became faint. It meant something. This feeling. She caught her breath. They sat beside each other. Seconds later, she wished they hadn’t stopped, so they restarted, then kept at it.

This time without the tongue.

Niko steals the note, then writes a new one.

Why is he looking at you like that? Only I’m supposed to look at you like that!

Niko’s the type who admits her faults shamelessly. While it’s slightly backward, Niko does so not as a deterrent from such behaviors, but to enable them. She rarely complains. Because that’s Niko. And somehow that excuses everything Niko does. That said, she supposes she’s predisposed to Niko’s jealously over her body, perhaps to the point of flattery. You see, this Tom-thing is nothing. Or if it is something, it’s certainly not enough of something. Not enough for her to buy a prom dress.

Why do you think he is looking at me like that?

Because you *

Not to delve too far into the well of note-passing dynamics, but she—and the Queens—use secret codes in case of confiscation. “*” means fuck, in all forms and conjugations. She has not * Tom. She has not * anybody. Her lips quiver at the *. It feels like something she’ll put off until she is thirty. Simultaneously, she also feels like it could happen in the immediate future.

Sometimes she just “knows.”




But, she is afraid. Everything is too complicated. It should not have to be. She goes behind the chapel. He goes behind the chapel. They make out. Simple, right? It’s not. Regardless, if even that must be complicated, then certainly the concept that she wants to go to Prom, thus he should ask her to Prom and then they should go to Prom is simple, right? It’s not. You see, he has this best friend, this confidante, this main focus, this everything—and her name is not Sykosa, but Mackenzie.

Or as you will soon find out: “M.” That’s what he calls her."><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-11075" title="Sykosa Tour Badge" src="" alt="" width="235" height="572" As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the<em> Sykosa </em>eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.The prizes include $550 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is" RIGHT HERE! Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:" Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity

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<strong>Leave a comment, win $100:</strong>

One random tour commenter will win a $100 Amazon gift card. Just leave a comment on this post, and you'll be entered to win. For a full list of participating blogs, check out" the official tour page. You can enter on just my blog or on all of them. Get out there and network!

About the book: YA fiction for the 18+ crowdSykosa is a sixteen-year-old girl trying to reclaim her identity after an act of violence shatters her life and the lives of her friends. Set at her best friend’s cottage, for what will be a weekend of unsupervised badness, Sykosa will have to finally confront the major players and issues from this event, as well as decide if she wants to lose her virginity to Tom, her first boyfriend, and the boy who saved her from danger.
About the author: Sykosais Justin Ordoñez's life's work. He hopes to one day settle down with a nerdy, somewhat introverted woman and own 1 to 4 dogs.
Visit Justin on" target="_blank">his website!/sykosanovel/" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a" target="_blank">Facebook

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The 17 Day Diet

 So Spring is here and I've been noticing that I've put on a few pounds over the Winter. I don't feel all that amazing about it ...ya know what I mean? The other day I was watching the show "The Doctors" and they happened to be talking about weight loss and covered this book "The 17 Day Diet". Now since so many of my friends have been discussing weight problems and health lately I thought I would look into this book some more to see if it was just another gimmick or if this 17 day diet could really work. "The Doctors" seemed to think it was a good diet that included a healthy lifestyle change and not just a quick way to lose a few pounds. I bought the book yesterday and here's what I plan to do. I am going to start this plan next week and will blog everyday to tell you how it's going. I will share any success or failure I may incur and then you can judge for yourself if this is a good book/diet. I am crossing my fingers and hoping it will prove to be everything it says that it is and I hope it helps any of you who are looking for a plan that works and helps you get healthier!! It's only 17 days....anyone can stick to a diet for 17 days right??!!