Pop-Tart appetizers, a bed, a roommate and music

I finally got a room with a bed. I also got a roommate who is more tech savvy than me and showed me how to listen to music videos on my phone. I also met someone who loves brown sugar Pop-Tarts. She didn’t watch “Gilmore Girls” when it was on, so I told her about Lorelai and Rory Gilmore’s love of Pop-Tarts and how they were mentioned frequently in the show. This all makes me happy, although I have to take everything a minute at a time.

Here is my playlist to get me through this. There are so many songs that I had to include some honorable mentions on my list.

  1. “Wake Me Up” by Avicii — If this is a bad dream, wake me up when it’s all over. This is my favorite song.
  2. “Hey, Brother” by Avicii. I love the sentiment of this song and it’s how I feel about my pretend family.
  3. “Let It Go” from “Frozen.” I love this movie, and the song has been me for a while, and especially now.
  4. “You Gave Me a Mountain” by Elvis. I heard this song a couple of weeks ago, and started crying because after all the other things I’ve been through, I don’t think I will make it up this particular mountain on some days.
  5. “I Got You Babe” and “All I Ever Need is You.” Not only does my friend, Greg, kind of look like Sonny Bono, this reminds me of my junior year of high school, when a friend’s parents had tickets to see Sonny and Cher in person. It was a really big deal for me–first they took us out to eat at a fancy restaurant, and then to the concert, which was a lot of fun.
  6. “I’ll Be There for You” (Theme from “Friends”) by the Rembrandts. I never got into the show or characters. There were only a few episodes I actually liked (I never liked the “Smelly Cat” one–I just thought they were making fun of that poor kitty, but that’s just my opinion. The sentiments expressed in the song are what I love.
  7. “The Lady is a Tramp” by Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett. First, I love Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett’s duets. They are great together. Second, several people where I am staying made some remarks about me and other people and I was referred to as the equivalent of a tramp. Although it hurt me a lot, taking me back to my elementary and junior high school days, I tried to consider the source, and adopted a Lady Gaga attitude.
  8. “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter . I’ve liked this song since it first came out. I always tried to cheer people up if they had a bad day. I’ve told this story before, so if you know me and you’ve seen it on my blog or heard me tell it, you can skip this or read it again–it’s my favorite story about my friend, Greg…I sent a novella I had written with a character in it who is loosely based on him to an e-pub, and he was going to pick me and my parents up to drive us to the store. I checked my e-mail before he was supposed to get there and the story was rejected. Not only that, the e-mail had typos in it and the editor referred to the scene I wrote where the heroine makes a toast at her brother’s wedding as “tasteless.” I cried to my mom about it–how could they reject this book that I worked to hard on–a book that had characters based on my wonderful friends in it? I got into Greg’s cab and read him my rejection e-mail. I’ll try to set the scene for you in case you haven’t heard this story (a fictionalized version of this anecdote appears in my e-book, “Mr. Short, Dark…& Funny). Greg leans back in the leather seat of the taxi. He’s got a handlebar mustache and he wears a baseball cap, and he gave me one of his crooked smiles and says, (drumroll or “Ta Da”) “Just send her an e-mail and say, “I may be tasteless, but you can’t type. And then send her a picture of your finger.” Well, I cracked up. To make a long story short (which I didn’t), the song “Bad Day” was playing in the grocery store when we got there.
  9. “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor–this just makes me feel stronger whenever I hear it. I heard it at the Social Security office where they were showing “Rocky III” when I went to get my husband’s benefits (not much) after he passed away.
  10. “Hit the Road, Jack” by Ray Charles. After a fire in my condo in 2005, my cat, Jack Funelli (Jackie) had to move in with my parents for eight months. Jackie was a very large, playful tom cat who thought he was a kitten his whole life. My mom’s three cats, Babe, Tootsie and Cutesie were very laid back and wanted no part of being chased around by Jackie. So when Jackie and I got ready to move back to the condo, my mom put the Ray Charles CD in her player and sang “Hit the Road, Jack” to Jackie.  Those are my ten go-to songs. And the honorable mentions go to: “Karma Chameleon” by Boy George–it’s just fun. “Walk Like an Egyptian” is fun, too, and somehow, I keep picturing myself in the cafeteria line at the shelter walking like an Egyptian. But somebody will probably make some comment about how silly I look. “Happy” by Pharell Williams. I didn’t really like this song when I first heard it. Now it’s growing on me. “It’s in His Kiss” by Cher–I want to sing along with this one, but I keep imagining one of the women at the shelter yelling “Shut up!!!!!!!!!!!!” as soon as they hear my singing voice. I’d better just lip sync. “The Twist” by Chubby Checker. This brings back memories because this was the first dance I learned. My ballroom dancing skills suck, but I can still do the twist.  “Accidentally in Love” by Counting Crows is just a fun song that makes me feel better when I listen to it. I also like “Gone Gone Gone” by Philip Phillips–this is how I feel about my friends and my mom–I would do anything for them and more if I had the means. What music do you listen to to get you through a very stressful time? Do you have any other ways of coping?

Short, Broke…& Homeless

I usually try to write funny things for this blog, but the things that have happened to me since August 2017 have been anything but funny. I try to keep my sense of humor, but this is ridiculous.

This is hard for me to talk about to close friends, let alone share on my blog, but I need to get this out in case of my friends been wondering where I’ve been for the last six months.

In August 2017, I lost the condo my husband and I bought 30 years ago. I also had to give up my cat, my sweet Jay, and send him to the SPCA. I was promised that the SPCA has had a bad reputation, but they try to find homes for all animals. Jay is so cute that I’m sure he found a home but I don’t know and it broke my heart to lose him, as well as my condo. I couldn’t take care of the place due to health problems and couldn’t keep up with condo fees and taxes due to my job being seasonal and only working sporadically.

I stayed in motels (one was great, the other was not) until money started to run out. Now I’m in a shelter and have a team trying to get me back to where I was (which would be nice). I would like to thank everyone who is helping me (and you know who you are) as well as my friends who I love like family, especially Karla and Greg (Greg, you’re still making me laugh even when there’s not much to laugh about).

The first four nights in the shelter, I didn’t have a room with a bed yet, so I slept on a mat on the floor with five other women. I have arthritis, so I had to have people help me up from the floor every morning. On Friday, we were awakened by the fire alarms going off and had to evacuate and stand outside in the sub-freezing temperatures — they’re still not sure what happened, but everyone got out and things seem to be okay now.

I can’t promise that any of the blogs I write in the future will be funny (I don’t even know if the ones I wrote in the past were that funny). Read this blog to see what happens next on this journey,





In Memory of Daniel W. Dover






I’m sorry I haven’t been online for a while. In addition to  other problems I’ve been having my friend and co-worker, Daniel W. Dover passed away on Sept. 5th at the age of 64.

I met Dan when I went to work for the government in 2006. He was funny and a good friend. He was always helping other people, including me. He loved trains and I learned that he had worked for his parents for twenty years publishing a magazine about railroading. He loved going to yard sales and thrift stores. He liked to give advice, which sometimes I listened to and sometimes I didn’t. He made me mad once in a while, but all in all, he was a great friend and will be missed.

He did a lot of things for me, including driving me back and forth to work, and saving my life, but there are little things that I remember most of all. On Monday nights, he played trivia in Mason, where my mother is in a nursing home, so sometimes, he would drive me up there and drop me off so my mom and I could visit. Once he took me there before Christmas and afterward, we drove around and looked at holiday light displays (I’m Jewish, but I love those displays).

Once he asked if I had ever made him a character in one of my books. He’s a secondary character in my alter ego, Vi LaNance’s book, Nutsie in Disguise, and now that I think about it, Carson Finney, the hero of “Devil in Disguise” is a younger version of Dan.

I’m having a hard time getting used to him not being at work, but the memories live on!


Snippet Sunday 7/16-“Do you love me?”

Continuing on from 7/2 with my sweet historical romance, “Daisies from Duke.” This is still in Duke’s POV, Emma is about to wake up…This is also raw and unedited–any comments will be appreciated. I missed last week because I had trouble getting on the computer.

Mr. Stansbury face Duke with a wild gleam in his eye, making him feel even more protective of Emma. He wanted to get the sheriff, too, but he had no intention of leaving Emma alone with her “husband.”

“Emmy,” the man said, leaning closer and rubbing up against her like a tom cat on the prowl. “Wake up now.”

Duke edged toward them. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

“Why not? She’s my wife!”

Emma’s green eyes fluttered open. “Theo…what are you…”

“I’m alive! I’ve come to take you back to Denver so we can be together as husband and wife!”

“You’re drunk!” Emma said. “Just like you were on our honeymoon!”

Theo took her hand, but look like he had intentions of doing more than that. “Are you still mad about that, sweetheart? Do you love me?”

Before she could answer, Clara burst into the room with Dr. Aaron Huntsberger, and Duke’s best friend, Wes Galloway.

“Holy Moses, Duke!” Wes exclaimed. “Looks like you’ve got all kinds of trouble here.”

Snippet Sunday, 7/2, Duke’s POV

Continuing on from last week’s snippet from “Daisies from Duke”, my sweet historical romance set in Dannville, Colorado, in 1897. Last week, Emma fainted after her husband, Theo (I changed his name), who was supposed to have died in a mine explosion. This is the beginning of Chapter Two, from Duke’s POV. It’s pretty raw, so any comments are much appreciated. Happy 4th of July!

Duke watched Emma as she lay on the floor, beautiful green eyes closed. She intrigued him more and more, but he had no time to worry about that. A stranger stood in his restaurant who smelled like he’d bathed in a case of expensive whiskey. He claimed to be Emma’s husband, so he problems with being unmarried had only gotten more complicated.

The drunken man stared at her, and then knelt at her side. “What’s wrong, Emmy? Bet you thought I died in that mine, didn’t you? Well, I thought I was a goner, too, but I got nursed back to health. Now I’m here to take you back to Denver, and find out you’re engaged to someone else?” He gave a raspy, bitter-sounding laugh. “You’re mine, Emmy!”

“Who’s that, Uncle Duke?” He looked up at the sound of his niece, Clara’s, voice.

“This is Miss Richmond, the new schoolteacher,” Duke said.

The intoxicated man spoke. “Mrs. Stansbury. She’s my wife.”

Clara’s eyes widened as Duke spoke to her. “Go get Aunt Honey and Uncle Wes. If you can’t find Aunt Honey, get Uncle Wes to take you to Dr. Huntsberger’s. Miss Richmond needs a doctor. She fainted.”


Snippet Sunday 6/25-Back from the grave

I’m back and I see that after a bunch of other craziness, Lem (short for Lemon), my computer is giving me trouble trying to post this. I took a break for a while because of all the stuff. Not to say I won’t need to again, but for right now, I’m back. I’m posting from “Daisies from Duke”, my sweet historical WIP. (I finished “Independence Day,” only to learn that the publisher I was going to send it to is closing. So I’m not sure what I’m going to do with that one yet. Here’s a synopsis of “D from D” since I don’t remember where I stopped.
Emma Richmond is supposed to be the new school teacher in the town of Dannville, colorado, but after seeing an engagement announcement in the Dannville Citizen about herself and restaurant owner, Duke Madison, she’s afraid her career is over. She goes to the newspaper office to argue with the editor and meets Duke. Seeing her distress, Duke suggests she goes to his restaurant so they can figure out what to do now. This snippet takes place at Duke’s restaurant and it’s very raw…any comments would be appreciated.

Emma followed Duke into a red brick building with English Tudor style windows. The scent of cinnamon, apples and vanilla lingered in the air, suddenly making her hungry. Duke led her to a table, and disappeared, supposedly to get her a glass of blackberry lemonade. She had to admit that he was quite handsome, with his curly black hair and brown eyes that held a hint of laughter.
While he was gone, someone else came into the restaurant. As soon as Emma laid eyes on him, she felt a chill. The man was of medium height, stocky, and bald, though he had a black and grey beard and mustache.
“Hello, Emmy.”
The man who’d spoken was her husband. Apparently, Ted Stansbury, who should have been in the graveyard–was very much alive.
A moment later, she felt herself floating downward. Then–nothing.

Snippet Sunday-4/16-“Cilla’s surprise

Continuing on with the next chapter of “Independence Day” — back to Cilla’s POV. I did some editing to fix the line length–any feedback is much appreciated. I hope to be finished with the story soon and ready to submit it for an anthology…
The day before my birthday is a Saturday, and Ana greets me with a present and pancakes she made. The oddly-shaped pancakes are topped with syrup and red, white and blue sprinkles. She sings “Happy Birthday” before presenting me with a small box. I open it and find sparkling, dangling earrings made of red, white and blue beads.
“Ana—they’re beautiful! But it’s not my birthday ’til tomorrow.”
Ana smiles and her big, brown eyes sparkle. “I know. I couldn’t wait!”
I try them on and decide to wear them tomorrow. I’m looking forward to the festival, but I remind myself to be careful not only about the high heels, but with my heart.
I smile at Ana across the breakfast table. When the doorbell rings, she jumps up to answer it and shouts out, “Grandpa!”
“Dad? Oh, my God!” I rush through the hall and embrace him as tight as I can. Ana finds her way into the circle and we both hug her, too. “What are you doing here?”
“Can’t your old man come to Colorado and wish you a happy birthday?”

That’s it for this week…I think Ana’s dad is trying to make amends.