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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Here's to a happy and prosperous 2012 for us all.  Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Dilemma...

Okay, okay, I know, opposites attract.  I get it.  For years Frank and I have marveled at the fact that we are so opposite and yet things just work.  

Until now.

So I made the mistake of asking what we were going to do for New Year's.  Keep in mind that for the most part, we are home-bodies on New Year's.  We never got the babysitter and went out; if we went anywhere, the kids came with us.  It's always worked and when we weren't out somewhere (which, in itself was rare) we were home and made a nice little party just for us with all of our favorite snacks.

Anyway, one of the first options was to see what the band was doing.  I think we were both hoping for just a small get-together with JUST the band and our families.  That is not going to work out.  In fact, one of the guys already has a big shindig planned and extended the invite to all of us but to be honest...that is so NOT going to happen.  

I have issues.  HUGE issues.  I have good reasons for these issues and because of them, in the past, it was decided that we NOT go to one of these shindigs ever again for the sake of our marriage.  It was bad.  This led to a discussion of what we could do, what we should do, blah, blah, blah.  I am not one of those people that feels that we need to be joined at the hip all night on New Year's.  If he wants to go and hang out with his friends for a little while and I go and hang out with my friends for a little while and then we are home together at midnight, I am A-OK with that.  

He is not.

It's hard to make compromises in situations like this.  We have each bitten the bullet and gone to a social function where we were uncomfortable and I think we are finally at the point where we can comfortably say to one another "You know what?  I'm not going to do that anymore."  It sounds cold, I know, but there it is.  I don't want him to be uncomfortable and while I know he doesn't (STILL) understand my discomfort, he begrudgingly accepts my discomfort and doesn't want any issues that will cause harm to our marriage arise again.

So where does it leave us for New Year's?  I still don't know.  I hate to see him miss out on something where all of his friends are, but not enough that I am willing to subject myself to things that I find repulsive and behavior that I am against.  Not anymore.

If I could, I would gladly just stand firm and sing "Should old acquaintance be forgot..."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I Want to Finish 2011 Strong!!!

Okay, I'm not going to lie to you, I really had some very unrealistic dreams of what my book sales would be.  To say that I fell short of them would be a severe understatement.  So what I want to do is to just remind all of you, my faithful readers - who just might have gotten an e-Reader for Christmas - that my book "Jordan's Return" is available on Kindle and Nook along with other formats on Smashwords and then, of course, in paperback on Amazon.  Here are all of the links:
 
Kindle

Nook

Smashwords

Amazon.com

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see some sale action this week like I did in that first week of release so if you got a new eReader or know someone who did who is looking for something to read, "Jordan's Return" is a good place to start and it's still only $1.99!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Round Up

It goes by way too fast!  For all of the plotting, planning and preparations, Christmas, itself, comes and goes too fast.  All of the shopping and wrapping and whatnot all comes to a head in a frenzy of flying wrapping paper and within 30 minutes, three months of work is done.

Crazy.

We had a wonderfully relaxing Christmas Eve with a quiet dinner for just the four of us.  Then we opened our doors for our annual Christmas Eve dessert open house.  In years past we've had over 30 people come by and say hello and this year we had 20.  I realize it's an open house but it would have been nice if those that weren't planning on coming could have at least replied to my email reminder to let me know that they weren't.  Bad manners, people.  I now have enough dessert to feed all 20 people again two more times!  Luckily we have some friends coming from out of town tomorrow that I can share some of the sweets with.

Christmas Day found me and Frank up before the boys.  That's two years in a row that that's happened!  Actually, funny story here, when I went to bed the night before, Frank was sitting on the couch watching some TV; it was after midnight and the bike my mom had got for Michael still had to be put together.  I reminded him of that fact and he was like "I'm just going to watch a little TV and then I'm going to do that".  I woke up somewhere around 2:30 and found him sound asleep on the couch and no bike in sight!  So I woke him up and out he went to put it together.  THAT is dedication!

Presents were opened, pictures were taken and honestly, I spent the rest of the day in my jammies and loved every moment of it.  The boys fought at one point, then Frank and Michael fought and then I got annoyed and yelled at everyone...ah, Christmas...

I hope that all of you had wonderful Christmas' and spent time with people that you love because really, that's what it's all about.  It's not the presents and the shopping and the money, it's about the birth of a Savior who loved us and passing that love along to those around us.

Even the ones who DON'T RSVP when they should...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Christmas Specials - Day 2

Okay, I'm not going to lie, this movie is my absolute FAVORITE Christmas movie.  I watch this one year round but as a family, we make sure that we watch this one when we're all together and we can quote the whole darn movie!  Don't even get me and Nick started!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Christmas Specials - Day 3

I had lost track of this special for years and then I stumbled upon it somewhere and now it's part of our annual Christmas movie marathon.  LOVE MR. MAGOO!!! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Christmas Specials - Day 4

This one is a long standing tradition in out house but can you believe that I didn't see it for the first time until I was 18???  That's just wrong, isn't it?  Now, it is a Christmas Eve tradition and although everyone loves the ending, this is one of my favorite scenes.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Christmas Specials - Day 5

Okay, I know it's not a Christmas special or movie, but I absolutely LOVE this song!  Crazy, I know.  Plus, this was before Mariah Carey got completely annoying. Feel free to sing along!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Christmas Specials - Day 6

This is still such a sweet little movie.  I'm not a huge Tim Allen fan but this was when he was truly funny in this one.  And the boy that plays his son is just so darn adorable that I just want to hug him!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Christmas Specials - Day 7

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch...but who doesn't melt when the Gringe's small heart grew three sizes? Sorry, Carol, but this is still one of my favorites!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Christmas Specials - Day 8

I do love the classics!   Today, Frosty.  This is one of my favorite scenes from this special.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Christmas Specials - Day 9

Oh, come on now... who doesn't find themselves singing this a time or two during Christmas??  It is still a classic even if the claymation technology is a little rough.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Christmas Specials - Day 10

Christmas movies and specials are all in the same category to me.  "Elf" is actually a favorite of my son's and it's okay, but there are definitely some funny parts in it!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Christmas Specials - Day 11

You know, you just can't beat a good claymation special and I have three that I love, including this one - Santa Claus is Coming to Town.  And really, who doesn't love and remember Fred Astaire?  Classic!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Christmas Specials - Day 12

I LOVE Christmastime.  I am telling you, Christmas is definitely my favorite holiday and one of the things that I love the most is that there are so many great Christmas specials on TV to watch.  For the next twelve days, I'm going to pick my favorites to share with you!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Tale of Two Soldiers...Part Three

They are two young men who never met and yet they keep coming together in my life without knowing it.  Back in July I had written two posts on them; one was killed in action and the other had just won the right to join the Marines.  

This weekend, I was on Facebook on Saturday and saw this picture:
And it was Saturday night when I got to talk on the phone to my nephew as he was preparing to leave for boot camp.  I've been encouraging my sister for months that this is a GOOD thing, that this is an amazing accomplishment for her son.  He overcame cancer, he beat the odds and instead of hitting the easy button, he chose to join the Marines!  She should be proud!  She should be happy!  I have to admit that now that the time is here, I'm having a hard time being upbeat.  I mean, look at this face:
I'm just the aunt/godmother and I don't see him hardly ever but I miss him already.  Boot camp is not an easy thing and even though he has battled cancer and it was horrible, this battle is something completely different.  I could not love him anymore if he were my own and I hate to think about all that he is going to endure over the next three months.

The bottom line, though, my own personal misery aside, is that there are two mothers that won't have their sons with them for Christmas.  For one, there will be phone calls and Skype and eventually, they will have their Christmas's together again, for the other, she will never have that.  My heart breaks for both of them.  

It isn't just the individual who is in the military, it is their family as well.  I have so many friends who have children serving in branches of the military all over the world and I never understood even part of what they go through until recently.  I pray for my boy's safety.  I pray that he perseveres and finishes well and that it is all that he wants it to be.

I pray for all of the mom's out there with children serving...you are the bravest of them all.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Boy and His Frog...

We went to see The Muppets this weekend - just me and my boys.  Nick has always had a "thing" for Kermit the Frog and so when this photo of Kermit was in the background of one of the scenes, we both laughed because of the similar one we have of Nick.  

 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Backpain, blogging and books...

It's been a rough week for me around here.  That's why I haven't posted in a few days.  Last week I did something to my neck and shoulder and I have been in chronic pain ever since.  Finally on Thursday a dear friend who is also a physical therapist took pity on me and came over to help me out.

I'm sorer than I was before.

Honestly, it felt GREAT when she was doing all of the massaging and stretching but the next morning I felt like I had been hit by a mack truck.  I'm not sleeping well and I'm really starting to get rather crabby about the whole thing.  Although I have to admit, the soreness is different than it was before; like this soreness I can live with whereas before I would just cry from the pain.

I want to thank those of you who have sent suggestions on how to get started with a blog tour.  I am looking at a couple of different options and I think that by January, I should be good to go.  I honestly need a week-long writer's retreat to get it all done but that is CLEARLY not going to happen.  Although, this coming week we were supposed to be in Florida visiting my in-laws and we had to cancel due to finances.  I already had gotten approved for the time off at work so technically I could have had the week off but again, due to finances, I really need to be at work.

Bummer.

Book sales have slowed a bit and that kind of makes me sad.  I know, though, that I am largely responsible since I haven't been doing a whole lot of promo stuff for it due to back pain and misery and a busy schedule.  We went and had dessert with some dear friends last night and we were discussing the whole book thing and I was saying how it's been interesting how the response has been to the book in general.  For example, some really good friends have not bought it.  They've not congratulated me, they've not offered to buy the book, nothing.  Then there are people that I know who I wouldn't have expected to get excited about the whole thing who have gone wild over it.  It's bizarre to say the least!

So here I sit, in pain, looking forward to a weekend where I can actually accomplish something and achieve some books sales, too.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Anyone know how to organize a blog tour?

So in my attempt to become a "known" author, I have to get my name and book out there to the masses.  Merely having it for sale on Amazon, Kindle and Nook is not enough; I have to market it.

I have talked to several other self-published authors like myself and they recommended doing a blog tour.  Not wanting to push my luck or annoy them with my constant questioning, I did not ask how they got theirs going.  Probably not my smartest moment but there it is.  

From what I understand the premise is that my book and me are the topic of a blog post on a different blog every day of the month for a month.  That means that I have to come up with 30 blogs (that actually get decent visits/traffic) who would be willing to help me with this.  It means sending out 30 PDF copies of my book for free for review, it means really opening myself up for critique.

I had researched a couple of book review sites and they were all backlogged until in to the new year.  It's not that it's SO far away, but I'm not even sure how to approach them about doing it.  There is still a bit of a stigma about being self-published.  What I thought was a good thing, isn't embraced quite so much yet.  And speaking of that, I have been a little shocked and disheartened by people that I know and am close to, who share that sentiment.  I'm not a real author; it's not a real book.  For the sake of protecting the insensitive, I won't expand on it but suffice it to say, it hurt.  I worked for years on this book and it took a lot of courage to step out of my comfort zone and do this.  I may not be on TV or be in the newspapers but I'm still somebody who is following my dream.

But enough self-pity; anyone out there know how to get a blog tour started that would be willing to help me get started?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Amazing Race Outrage!

Okay, so MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT!!!  If you did not watch last night's episode and DON'T want to know who was eliminated, stop reading now.

So my Sunday night TV show is "Amazing Race".  I have to admit that in the beginning of the season, I really wasn't overly impressed with anyone.  I had plenty of teams that I did NOT like from the get-go, but it took a few weeks before I was actually cheering for a team.  Snowboarders Tommy and Andy became my favorite team because they were Christians who weren't afraid to discuss their faith and they were just fun, lighthearted guys who were really quite enjoyable to watch.

Last night was the final four.  Tommy and Andy were in the lead.  Well the other three teams, at some point, all ended up with cab drivers who decided to work together.  So when they were all racing to the "pit stop" for this leg of the race, TWO of those teams were going to the WRONG place!  Tommy and Andy had made a mistake but with two teams heading in the wrong direction, they could have recovered.  Well, the cab drivers all talked and the two teams going in the wrong place, ended up in the RIGHT place!  

I was pissed!!!  

I'm sorry, but that was just wrong.  Those teams did not get the "clue", they had wrong information but were rewarded with the finish line!!!  

I don't know if I'll be able to watch the finale next week.  I may still be too mad.  

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Great Birthday Weekend!

You know, I never would have guessed it but turning 43 has been pretty darn good.  I have had a great weekend and even as it is winding down, I'm still feeling really good about it.

So I went to breakfast with a friend Friday morning and sat and talked and laughed until it was time to head to work.  And other than the very YOUNG cashier guessing an age that was a little too close for comfort, I had a great time.  Thank you, Cathleen!

Once I got to work, my desk was covered in all of my favorite vices - chocolate and Coca Cola!  There was Dove Dark Chocolate, two six packs of bottled Coke, Mint Milano cookies (bless you, Fran!) and an adorable Mickey Mouse Christmas sign and the biggest treat was a gift certificate to go and get a pedicure!  Thank you, my sunshine!  You know who you are!  There was a double chocolate cake and everyone sang and it was just a wonderful time that it was all okay to be at work!  LOVE my office!

Got home and Frank and the boys got me Chinese food (which I ate in my jammies!) and another chocolate cake and we just hung out and watched TV and laughed.  It was wonderful.

Saturday night was the company Christmas party which was just fabulous.  I don't think that I've ever gone to an official company Christmas party like it before and I was pleasantly surprised.  We had a lovely room at the local country club and the food was fabulous and we all laughed and had a great time.  I got to dress up and even though Frank fussed, he got dressed up, too, so we had a really nice date night.


Sunday isn't so great...Michael isn't feeling well and I had to go and do the cleaning gig but it's still all good.  I had some dear friends buy my book and so that makes me happy and appreciative of the support. You guys ROCK (and again, you know who you are!).


So I might now have been in Disney World, but it was a pretty magical weekend just the same!  Thank you for all of the birthday wishes!

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's My Birthday!!!

You know, I've spent quite a few birthday's at the house of the mouse and it has spoiled me!  I wish I was there today.  Sigh.  But even though I am not, I am blessed to have time to have breakfast with a dear friend, cake with some awesome co-workers (who are now also friends), dinner with my family and a lifetime of amazing memories thanks to the people God has blessed me with in my life.  

While I'm sure I'll have trouble just sticking to one wish when I blow out the candles, my list of things that I am thankful for is much, much longer. 

My main wish for today is book sales.  I am so close to hitting my goal of 50 sales that I can almost TASTE it!  If you haven't had the chance to purchase your copy of "Jordan's Return", click HERE for Kindle, HERE for Nook, or you can even click HERE for paperback.  

Thank you!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Birthday MeMe...

Welcome to The Queens's Meme
7 Royal Questions

Someone in the castle is having a birthday today. Homer says it's not him. Who, oh who, could it be?!  Whether or not it's your birthday, you should be able to answer these age-related questions. Sounds like fun, eh? Or not. I'm going to talk to the birthday girl. She needs a good talking to.

1. If you could turn back the hands of time, where would you go?

In my own life?  I'd probably go back to the age of 20.  Purely for vanity reasons.  I was in really good shape back then!  

2. What was your favorite age and why?

There were two points in my life that I really enjoyed my age.  I'd have to say the first was 19 - my friends were my whole world and every day was fun - and then again at 30.  Different friends but life was still full and fun.

3. Travel into the future 10 years. How do you picture your life?

Right now I'm dreaming of being a famous author who has a real publisher and agent and I see my kids having direction in their lives.  Nick would be married, Michael would be in college and Frank and I would be celebrating over 30 years of marriage.  It's a good picture.

4. Did you ever take part in a birthday surprise? Tell us about it.

I threw a surprise party for a friend once.  I think she knew.  Personally, I hate surprises.  I've had several thrown for me on my birthday or for my first baby shower and I always felt ridiculous.

5. Pretend it is your ultimate birthday party. What five people, living or dead, would you invite?
 
Ooohhh...I LOVE this kind of question and hate it at the same time.  When you list the fantasy people, all of the real people in your life get all huffy like "Why wasn't I on the list?" and then I have to remind them that it's not REAL!  So five fantasy "Famous" people?  Okay, first would be Susan Mallery (author) because I love her work, next would be Walt Disney (no explanation needed), Neil Patrick Harris (because he makes me laugh), Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin - because together, they also always make me laugh!
6. Let's have cake!  Forget about candles and flavors and balloons. Who jumps out? 
It's a toss up between Jon Bon Jovi or Roger Taylor of Duran Duran.  Both yummy and worth sacrificing the cake!  Plus, they'd get to add to the whole "fantasy" birthday guest list!

7. And finally, make a wish but not just any ole' wish. Make it count.
Done!

Actually, my birthday is tomorrow but I thought it would be fun to get in to the spirit a little bit today!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Websites, worries and wonders...

So I was blessed this last weekend.  Actually, I am blessed on an everyday basis but this was an extra blessing.  We had some friends come over Saturday night with their family and the husband designs websites.  He graciously agreed to design websites for both me (my alter-ego) and for Frank's business.

For six hours (yes, six hours!) they were here and he worked on my site from getting my domain name and then actually designing the site.  Let me tell you, I thought I did okay with my little blogs, but clearly, I am but a wee-novice!  I have always used Blogger and am very comfortable with it, but as a tech-guy, he set up my new site in WordPress.  So far, I am NOT a fan.  Once all of the design aspect is done, he will hand the reigns over to me and I will maintain the site but for right now, I am just playing around in it because it doesn't feel natural to me.

I've heard the debates before - Blogger vs. WordPress - and I guess it's all a matter of what you are comfortable with.  I have relatively few complaints with Blogger.  Over the years there have been issues but they were minimal.  In the few hours I was on WordPress yesterday, at times I wanted to kill myself.  Okay, maybe that was a bit dramatic but it felt like that.

In the end, I have a sparkly new website for the book and it's wonderful and just a little bit "spicy" (thank you, Danette, for introducing me to that word - I love it!).  The goal continues to be to sell books and I'm hoping having a professional looking website will help in that matter.

If you are interested, you can see all of the magic for yourself over at www.samanthachaseauthor.com.  Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This is Exhausting!

The life of a poor, unagented author is rather exhausting.  Besides working my three other jobs, I can now add author to the mix and marketing the book takes up a decent amount of time and it would probably take up a lot more if I actually HAD the time to give to doing it.

I was fortunate that I had the opportunity to work with New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Mallery this year on marketing and promoting her books so I was mentally prepared for the kind of stuff that I would need to do but the only difference here is that everyone knew her and wanted to promote her; the places and websites that I am hitting have no idea who I am and a lot of them don't want to deal with self-published authors.  Kind of discriminatory but whatever.

I have posted the book on close to a dozen different sites and now it's a matter of getting those sites to have members read it and review it.  I believe it is KEY to get reviews and ratings up to generate interest.  

I sold 24 books my first week and I think that's pretty good.  My goal was to sell 50 by this Friday because that's my birthday but I'm not so sure that's going to happen.  I'm keeping logs of my sales and where it's selling the best (Kindle) and I've had a lot of positive feedback from people who have read it.  That's a good thing, too.  I think I am most interested in getting feedback from people that I don't know. I'm scared of it, don't get me wrong, but I think I can learn a lot from those people on where I need to work on my work.

I need another 4 hours in the day; I need work for my husband so that I don't have to work 6 days a week.  I need a personal assistant to do all of this promotional stuff for me and just present me with great results at the end of each week.

That's not too much to ask, is it?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Okay, BIG favor to ask...

Okay, it is now officially, official.  That makes sense, right?  Anyway, my book (which I worked YEARS on) is now out in paperback!!  YEAH!!!  That's right, "Jordan's Return" is now available in paperback on Amazon.com.

So what is the favor that I need to ask??  Well, for starters, you can buy it!  That's a biggie, I know, but believe me, it's a good book for those of you who enjoy a good contemporary romance and since it is the holidays, think of those on your list who also enjoy a good contemporary romance. 

But really, what I want right now almost as much as the sales is to generate action on the Amazon page.  So if you go to the book's page HERE, and click on like or even write a generic review (you do need to have an Amazon account), that would be awesome!!!  My goal is to sell 43 books by December 2nd.  Why?  Because that is my 43rd birthday.  I've already sold 20 eBooks in less than a week is awesome so I'm hopping that selling two dozen paperbacks will be a bit easier and, I think, more excting.

So help a first-time author out!  Please!!!  I have great friends and followers here.  Let me know if you order!  Thanks!!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

How Walmart Ruined Black Friday

I have to admit, I am one of those crazy people who go out shopping on Black Friday.  As the kids have gotten older, there has been less on their list that were hard to find or big on the "must have" list, but I enjoy going out and hunting down a bargain.

Part of the fun was going out in the wee hours of the morning, meeting up with friends and hitting Walmart first, at 5 a.m., then Target at around 7 a.m. and then the mall.  Well this year, Walmart decided that they were going to be open all day and night on Thanksgiving so that there would be no waiting outside in a line (or mob) and sales would start at 10 pm on Thanksgiving night.  Okay, fine, I'm on board.  I have to work today so going out shopping at night seemed like a good idea.

It so was NOT.

I arrived at the Walmart at around 9:20 pm.  I was parked at the very back of the lot.  Not a good sign.  When I got to the door, there were no carts.  I searched around inside near customer service and finally found one.  My main goal was a bike.  So, back I go to the bike department.  It took me 20 minutes to get from the front of the store to the back.  Once there, I looked for the bike that was on sale, and it was not there.  Okay, fine, I was mentally prepared for that.  It was 9:50 and so I decided to go and position myself for some of the other minor items I wanted and let me tell you, I have never in my life seen a mob scene like I witnessed at that time.  For whatever reason, people started tearing down the black plastic that was wrapped around the "sale" items - it wasn't supposed to happen until 10.  Employees just stood back and watched because the mentality of the crowd was insane.

It took my 45 minutes to reach the front of the store!  

I did eventually find the bike - in the PRODUCE department!  I was fortunate to find two gentleman (shoppers, not employees!) who helped me get the large box in to my cart.  I went directly to check out because there was no way I would be able to continue shopping like that.  I paid and walked out, walking passed about a dozen Walmart MALE employees who saw me walking out alone with this giant box, and not one of them offered to help me!  At my car I was struggling to get the darn thing in when a fellow lone female shopper came and helped me.  Thank GOD!  

Then stupidly I went BACK inside to attempt to get a few other items.  I spent another hour there, got four things, and then headed over to Target.  And let me just say that other stores (ie - Walmart) should learn from Target.  They did not open their doors until midnight.  There was a line that wrapped around the building.  They only opened doors on one side of the store and the entire story front was barricaded.  You had to be on the line to get in, and they let people in in 30 people increments to keep it from being a mob scene.  There were security and police on hand to keep everyone in control.  The store was set up NORMALLY with a few random "special item" displays set up in other departments.  I bought a LOT there.

I was home by 1:30 a.m. and in bed by two.  

I think that opening the stores at midnight (or before) is a horrible idea.  It was insanity.  It's not fair to the employees.  And mostly, it just makes people mean.  This will be my last Black Friday endeavor.  It's just too much of a hassle.  I think that had Walmart not said that they were opening early, most of the other stores would have kept to their 5 a.m. schedule.  

Greed is not a good thing, Walmart, and for all of my own stupidity, the experience was totally not worth it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

And yet more places to find it...

Okay, so I promise to calm down in a few more days but really, I'm new to all of this and each and every thing that happens is exciting!

So I am in full-blown promo mode, getting my "brand" out.  Brace yourselves. You can now find author Samantha Chase and "Jordan's Return" in the following places:

Twitter (and I'd love some followers!) - HERE
Kindle (go and click "like") - HERE
Nook (would love some ratings!) - HERE
Smashwords (this one's new to me) - HERE
Goodreads (thank you, Dot!)  - HERE
Facebook (follow or like me!) - HERE
Amazon Authors - HERE
And finally, the Blog (Samantha Chase author) - HERE

So as  you can see, I've been busy.  How I'm going to keep up with all of this, is beyond me.  If I make enough sales, I can hire someone to keep up with it all for me!

CRAZY and LOVING IT!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

And now we are LIVE on NOOK!!

Okay, I have to admit, I am having WAY too much fun with this!  I want to stay home from work and just search the internet all day long and get the word out that I have published a book!  

So for those of you who are Nook people and not Kindle people, "Jordan's Return" is now available through Barnes & Noble's Nook.  You can click HERE to go to the page and purchase it.  Please do.  Please, please, do.  It's only $1.99 and you would be helping me fulfill my dream!  

Plus, while you are there, please click "Like" to help me generate some action on the page.  THANK YOU!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

And we are LIVE on KINDLE!!!

Oh, my goodness!  This is so exciting that I can barely stand it!  My book went LIVE on KINDLE this morning!  I mean, there it is, clear as day, on Amazon's site!  I feel a little bit sick, but in a good way!  I am hoping that the paperback will be out there on Amazon by Friday.

But for those of you who are interested, here is the link to Jordan's Return on Kindle.  It's only $1.99!  I'll have it up on Barnes and Noble by tomorrow for those of you with a Nook!

Have a great day!  I know I am going to!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Here's What it's Gonna Look Like...

Okay, here is your "Sneak Peak" at my book!  EEK!!!  This is such a bizarre feeling!!!  I have submitted everything to CreateSpace and as soon as everything is approved, we will be live on Amazon, Kindle, Nook and hopefully, eventually on iTunes bookstore!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

This is Why I Look Ten Years Older...

In case I haven't mentioned it, my young son has slight OCD.  It comes out in weird ways and we've managed to work through the worst of it but sometimes his thought process is a little bit out there.

This is the first year that we've had him take the bus TO school.  We felt that he was older and could handle the whole thing and to be honest, I was just tired of the whole carpool thing each morning.  So, we got in to the routine of taking the bus.  It was touch and go for a little while mainly because the bus was not consistent in its pick up times.  For a little boy with OCD, this was HUGE.  We managed to convince him to STOP going out 20 minutes early and I studied its arrival time for a month straight and narrowed it down to a two-minute time span.  

Not too shabby.

So the other morning, he leaves for the bus.  It was still 9 minutes early but I call that progress.  He leaves, he shuts the door.  I then walk over to the door and open it up so that I can see when the bus goes by.  Now this is a huge step for me because for that first month of school, I would almost stalk him in the bushes while making sure that he made it to the bus stop okay (it's two blocks away and cannot be seen from the house) and got on the bus.  

Three minutes after he left, I see him running like an axe murderer is chasing him - in the OPPOSITE direction of the bus stop.  Now keep in mind, I'm in my nightgown and robe - no shoes or socks - and now I am on the front porch yelling "Where are you going???"  to which he replies "I can't talk now, mom!  The bus!"  I know for a FACT that the bus has NOT come and I'm screaming now for him to come back.  He doesn't.  In fact, he crosses the main road next to our house and is running down the other side of the block.

I am freaking out at this point.  

I run in the house, get Frank, who then gets dressed, gets in the car and goes in search of the boy.  I text a friend whose kids ride the bus with Michael and ask if Michael is at her bus stop.  Then I call the transportation department and ask them to please get the driver on the phone and see if Michael is on the bus.  

The driver won't answer.

Frank comes home like all is well.  He's sitting in the car, finishing his cigarette, rolling up the window, turning down the radio and I am on the porch ready to peel my own skin off because I want to know where my son is.  Turns out, Frank never found him.  So I'm like "GET BACK IN THE CAR AND DON'T COME BACK UNTIL YOU KNOW WHERE HE IS!!"  

He leaves.

My friend texts and then calls because she didn't go to the bus stop with her kids.  Now I hang up and call the school.  I am in tears right now because I have no idea if someone picked him up, is he on a school bus or did some freak take him.  My mind was running wild.  I tell the lady at the school to have him call home as soon as he gets to homeroom.  Now I have no choice but to sit and wait.  

I was sick to my stomach. 

Finally, the transportation department called and Michael was, indeed, on the bus.  PRAISE GOD!  I was able to relax and breathe a little easier but I felt like I had gone ten rounds in a boxing ring!  I went to take a shower and Frank was home and the phone rings.  It's Michael.  Frank lost it.  He held it together for me all that time (the whole thing lasted 20 minutes but it felt like an eternity) and when he heard Michael's voice he was like "What were you thinking!  You don't run after the bus, the bus comes to you!"

Honestly, we were both torn between wringing his neck and hugging him.  It's not a feeling I ever want to feel again!

Friday, November 18, 2011

SNL Kardashian Fairytale Divorce Parody

It's been a while since I've had anything to say about all of the celebrity nonsense going on because really, why indulge them even more?  But this skit on Saturday Night Live making fun of Kim Kardashian getting divorced was just too funny not to share. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Sister!!!

I'm younger so I can still act immature.  I love you and hope that you have a wonderful day where you are spoiled rotten - while I'm here slaving like a dog.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

When does it get nervy?

Facebook is an amazing thing.  I love catching up or keeping up with friends and family, I enjoy playing games and I really like keeping up with favorite authors or musicians in a more personal environment.  

What I don't like is people that seemingly have an "agenda" that they use Facebook for.  I had one friend who was EXTREMELY political and most of his posts were just nonsense rants.  I'm still his friend, I just block his posts.  when I'm curious about what's going on in his life, I can drop by his page and find out.  

Tonight, however, I noticed something that really kind of enraged me.  An acquaintance is posting how many friends she has and currently she is trying to adopt internationally.  Her original post was her asking for $20 from each of her friends so that she can book her flight and bring her babies home.  Then she lowered it (quite a bit to $2 per FB friend).

Don't get me wrong, I do not begrudge someone that is looking to adopt children; if that's what they want to do, more power to them.  But while we were nearing eviction and were putting out prayer requests, not ONCE did we blatantly ASK for money.  That just seems a little crude.  I mean, maybe I'm the one who's looking at this the wrong way but what would it sound like if my status read "I have 684 friends on Facebook, if each of you hired Frank to paint a room in your house, I wouldn't have to work three jobs...or then Frank and I could get out of the hole that 6 months of him not working has created".

That would sound heinous and nervy, wouldn't it???

 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Remember when Customer Service actually MEANT something??

I have not made it a secret how much I despise Time Warner and their services.  Unfortunately, the price is right for our bundle but here is a time where the ol' adage is true - you get what you pay for.  

I have their "bundle" of service - home phone, cable and internet for one low price.  The internet is the slowest speed they have and still be called "digital or high speed", the cable package is essentially the same 100 channels that I had before except now they are repeated three times and one of them is in hi-def and the rest of the channels just mock me with their "Upgrade now to see this" screen.

My biggest problem that I am having with them is their email.  This is quite possibly the WORST email system ever created and believe me, I've dealt with bad email service before.  I switched to TWC because they had a good reputation, big name, blah, blah, blah.  So the email issue, just keeps getting worse.  First, there is the issue that at 8:00 EVERY night, I cannot get in to my email account.  By 9 pm I'm usually okay, but what in the world is that?  I am paying for service 24 hours a day and essentially, I am not getting it.


Then there's the "sending an email" issue.  I type up and email, I hit send, all seems well and then, some time later, that email shows up in my draft file.  I don't know about you but I don't sit in front of my computer with it open to email 24 hours a day.  Most of the time I send something out - sometimes a very important something out with the expectation that it will get there.  Last week, I ended up missing something important (like a teacher conference) because I could not get to my email and because my response didn't send.  What am I supposed to do about that?


I have done the "Live Chat" thing about a dozen times with a TWC rep in the last three months and each time, my issue has not been resolved, I have not gotten a copy of our transcript and this last time I was so out and out aggravated with the guy that I cut the session short.  I had explained all of my issues and he asked what browser I used, I said Firefox, he said "Go in to IE and do it."  Now, I don't know about most of you but I do not have multiple browsers set up and I use Firefox for a reason.  Seeing this email in IE wasn't going to help me because I was not going to use it.  Tell me why it isn't working with Firefox!  Is there a known issue?  Have other customers had similar complaints?

Then he asks what security I have on the computer.  I tell him and he says "Shut it down so I can test".  Um, I'm sorry, but no.  Again, this is the security system that I use.  Does TWC have a known issue with it?  I am not going to change my security system so why do I need to shut it off for you to do a test?  



I'm telling you, I was livid.  I cannot get a customer service person to actually GIVE any customer service and I am to the point that I want to cancel my home phone (even though I love it, believe it or not), cancel the cable (TV nowadays is like the black hole of time) and just find some sort of bargain basement internet provider because basically, I'm getting crap service now, how much worse can they be?


All I want, is an answer as to why this is happening?  If you cannot answer that, then don't work in customer service.  That's all I'm sayin...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Magic, Memories and You...Except, Not me

If life was fair, I'd be seeing this live and in person a month from today, but NOOOOO...stupid unemployment, car breakdowns and life sucking in general has me watching it on the computer rather than from a spot on Main Street while eating a giant salted pretzel or perhaps some ice cream.


It just doesn't seem fair...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

And then my hands stayed like that...

Okay, here's a writing update...

Last weekend on my writing retreat, I wrote non-stop.  I went in to the weekend at 11,000 words and by the time I got home Sunday afternoon, I was at 38,000 words.  By Monday night, I hit my 50,000 word goal.  Actually NaNoWriMo is thirty days to 50,000 words but I was in such a groove that I wanted to hit that goal early on in the month.

Then I had the last three chapters of my book to finish editing thanks to my critique partner and then had to re-format the file and submit it again to Create Space and order my proof copy.

I had to then edit three chapters for my critique partner's book and get that back to her and correct 8 assignments from the online dialogue class that I am teaching PLUS critique/correct a research paper that one of my former students sent to me and asked for help on.  My fingers feel like they are both super-glued to a keyboard and permanently bent to the "home row" position.  

This week I need to come up with four Disney-related blog posts to submit to a site that I've been working with, while writing and editing and teaching, and cleaning and working my job.

Can we all say hand cramp?

 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Riddle Me This...

So Michael brought home his progress reports last week.  One from each class.  Now I know that I am not very good with math (I admit it, Cathleen!) but this makes NO sense to me whatsoever!

These are his scores in one of his classes:
100
93
98
0
88


He has a 95.5 on his project 
but a 47 on his classwork


His average in class?  A 62.9%.  Which, using the STUPID 7 point scale, means that he is failing this class!  


So to answer the question plaguing us all, no, I am NOT smarter than a fifth grader (or in this case, a sixth grader).

Friday, November 11, 2011

I hear bicycles are making a comeback...

So Nick's car died; it's in the shop being worked on but he has been without it for two weeks.  With my work schedule, my car basically just sits in the parking lot not doing a whole lot of anything and so it really made sense to let the boy borrow the car while I was at work so that he could get things done.

What kind of things, you ask?  Well, let me give you a little backstory.  He has had a job at a local supermarket for about three years.  They suck.  They jerk him around, they don't give him a steady schedule and basically, he cannot support himself on that job.  So a friend of mine heard of a temp position at her company (a nursing home) that was a three-month thing.  It was a 40 hour work week at $10 an hour.  Score!  He went, he applied, he got the job and took a leave of absense from the supermarket thing.

Well, after a couple of weeks at the nursing home, they were telling him how much they loved him, how great of a job he was doing and that when the three month gig was over, he had a job if he wanted it.  He was totally psyched.  He was making more money than he ever had, he bought himself a laptop, he was living large.


(insert doom-inspired music here)


So two weeks ago, they offer him a legit job.  They let the person go who he was covering for and offered him the job.  He was thrilled.  No more supermarket, no more struggling, he was going to make some serious money and not have to rely on anyone for anything.  Well, two days later they call him in to the office and were like "Um...we need someone with more experience.  We're going to hire someone else BUT if you want to work in the dining room, you can talk to that department.  It's half the hours and $2 an hour less but hey...you'll still be working for us."


There is a certain corner of hell reserved for people like this.


So his car dies, he's looking at almost $2000 in car repairs (yes, it's mostly the whole engine) and he goes in to work on that Monday and at 3:30 they tell him they hired someone and his services are no longer needed.  Bye-bye.  Freaking out, he goes to the dining people and they're like "Oh, we didn't know you were going to be available so quick; we offered the job to someone else."


So to recap, he's got no car and now he has no job.


Then there's me and my car.  Now remember, I taught the boy how to drive.  I'm a fairly good driver.  He is a very cautious driver (now) but there is still something to be said about giving the child who drove through red lights and stop signs because, hey, nothing happened when he did, that makes me want to cringe just a little bit.


If his car isn't fixed soon, I'm buying him a bike and a warm coat and wishing him well...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Only Us: A Fool's Gold Holiday

So I have not mentioned my author/BFF Susan Mallery in a little while but I wanted to let you know what she's been up to.

Out on ebook format (Kindle) is "Only Us: A Fool's Gold Holiday" which is part of the Fool's Gold series she's been doing and that I have been cheering for these last four months.  This is an ebook exclusive novella and believe me when I say, it makes a great addition to the series and helps get me through until the next trilogy comes out.  You can click on the title (above) and go and order yours from Amazon.  If you don't have an e-reader (like me) you can download a Kindle for PC for FREE for your home computer.  Sweet!

But the absolute BEST part??  I am part of the dedication!!!  How cool is that???  Susan dedicated this book to her cheerleaders.  I have to admit, it was very cool to see my name in one of her books.  


YOU ROCK, SUSAN!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Male Pride = Female Rant

So I have a new part-time job.  Lucky, lucky me.  I am now cleaning my office once a week.  Seriously, I'm not complaining because the extra money has most definitely been a blessing and I know that I am lucky to have any job right now.

Part of the reason I took the job was because Frank had been out of work for so long.  When the opportunity presented itself, I grabbed it.  I told Frank, however, that he needed to help.  

Sigh...

He was really not as, shall we say, appreciative of the opportunity and has come along and helped me...kicking and screaming and grumbling and griping the whole way.  

For the most part I can deal with his nonsense and just let it go.  But Friday night when I was trying to get the cleaning done (we normally do it on a Saturday) because I was going on my retreat and did not want to have to come in on the weekend, and so he met me there at five with a MAJOR attitude going on.  Let's just call it "Bitch Factor".  He brought Michael with him and if everyone just did what they were supposed to, it would have been done in 90 minutes. 

Well, Friday's are a completely different beast because there were still people in the office and this equaled (in his brain) a MAJOR problem.  I guess pride-wise, he did not want anyone to witness his doing the office cleaning and although every single person there was super friendly and polite to him, he was just in a mood.

After about an hour I was like "What is your deal?" and yes, I was snippy.  He went in to the whole schpeel about how he doesn't want to do this, he hates the whole cleaning gig, blah, blah, blah, and tops it with "And I worked all day".  So I reminded him that so had I.

BBIIIIIGGGGGG Mistake.

He looked around the office and was like "Yeh, that chair looks like it's real uncomfortable to sit in while in this nice air conditioned office".  Suddenly he's acting like he climbs mountains in the arctic or in the jungle somewhere.  That was it.  The gloves came off and I "reminded" him that I would not have had to TAKE the damn job if HE had gotten off his butt ONCE during the last six months and put in a REAL effort in to finding a job.  I "mentioned" that this cleaning gig will help us to have Christmas this year.  

And yes, those quotation marks do signify sarcasm.

I was so annoyed with him that I almost beat him to death with my Swifter!! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What a difference a second pair of eyes makes...


So I have had a GREAT time with my critique partner.  Her looking over my book has been such a blessing.  She had some great ideas on how to tighten up some things and found some errors that I had missed. 
One of the greatest things that she gave me was confidence.  You know, I had two friends read my book in various stages of completion and because they were my friends, they gave me the “good friend” response when I asked what they thought of it “It was really good!”  But having a stranger read  your work and tell you that they love it??  PRICELESS!!!

She has boosted my confidence like you cannot believe.  The best thing that she said to me was that the book wasn’t long enough because she didn’t want it to end.  She loved my characters and wanted to keep on being a part of their lives.  LOVED that!  

So as of now, with all of the edits complete, I have to re-submit the file to Create Space and read the proof and then we are a GO for publication!!!  YIPPEEE!!!  It should be out on Kindle by Thanksgiving.  How exciting is that???  When that happens, I will put a link to it up here on the blog so that you can go right to it and buy tons of copies so that we can make up for Frank being out of work for months!!!

Remember, it's almost time for Christmas!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Running Screaming from the Building!


Sometimes it just seems like by the end of the day, no matter where I am, I feel battered and worn the heck out!  Work has been crazy lately; there just seems to be crisis on top of crisis on top of crisis to the point that when 5:00 hits, I am running from the building!

Then there is the literal need to run from the building because there are a hundred things to get done once I leave the office.  With Nick having no car, he is using mine while I’m at work – and THAT is SOOOO going to be a blog topic in the future, believe me.  But he’s here, pacing, talking, yammering and I feel the need to get him out of the building as quickly as possible.  Then there’s the speech therapist that comes to the house once a week that I have to rush home to, and small group/bible study, and picking up Michael from ping pong club…I mean, I am in a perpetual state of rushing around and it is exhausting.

But I think the most precise moment of running screaming from the building came Friday night when I was trying to get going to my writing retreat.  I had worked 12-5 and then cleaned the office from 5-7 and by that point I was like “Stick a fork in me, I’m done”.  Time seemed to crawl.  As I mopped my way out the door, I was practically coming out of my own skin in my rush to get going.

I long for the days when 5:00 didn’t mean escape.  I long for the days that whenever I get home, I get home.  Slower days, that’s the dream.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Acapella Medley of Disney Songs.

A friend and fellow Mouseclub-er's husband sent this to me via Facebook and I just thought it was amazing.  Even if you are not a Disney fan, the musical talent of these young men is just mind-blowing!


Enjoy!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Friday Countdown Is On!!!

It's Friday!  It's Friday!!  It's Friday!!!

Yes, I know, most people feel the same way mainly because it means that the work week is over and the weekend is here but for me, not only is that part true but it also means that I am heading off for my writing retreat this weekend!  I am leaving after dinner tonight and heading back to the little cottage that belongs to some friends and spending the weekend mostly in my jammies and writing until my hands cramp and my eyes explode!

Sounds fun, right?

The timing is great because this has been a particularly harsh week - Nick's car died (blown head) and he lost his job.  I don't know which one of us was on the more severe suicide watch - me or him.  Actually, he is handling the whole situation better than I am and I am so proud of him but it's just added a lot more stress to my life.


I hate that we can't help him out more.  I hate that he is going to have to struggle to get out of this situation but I also know that this will make him stronger.  Me?  It's making me want to go to the cottage and eat chocolate chip muffins and wash them down with Yoo-Hoo's all weekend long!

I'll try and not do that, but I make no promises...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Channelling Peter Brady...

So I have an eleven year old.  He's adorable.  He's growing like a weed and makes me giggle a lot.  He has the greatest laugh.

His voice is changing.

I am SO...NOT...READY...FOR...THIS.

I didn't notice it so much at first.  There was a squeak here, a gruffness there.  But lately, I'm noticing it more and more and I have to admit that it's freaking me out.  I don't remember how old Nick was when his voice started to change but this whole voice thing added to the ginormous growth spurt he's had and his interest in girls, well...I don't like it.

I want my baby back!!!

HELP!!! ENTRECARD ADVICE NEEDED!!!

Okay, so it seemed like Entrecard got the bugs out and things were moving back at a normal speed.  My stats dropped drastically because of the days that I could NOT drop but I'm okay with that.  

Now we've got a new issue.  Well, actually, two.  When ever I was doing my drops, and I was using the Entrecard toolbar, Mozilla would lock up.  I mean flat out lock up.  It would take anywhere from 5-10 minutes to get it clear again and I'd maybe get to drop on 10 sites and then BAM! it would freeze again.  

So in my growing frustration - and I knew it wasn't an internet problem because the desktop is working fine and when I'm not doing drops, we're fine.  Tonight I decided that maybe the problem was Firefox.  So I updated Firefox to the 7 version and now the toolbar is not compatible!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

So to re-cap, first I couldn't drop because Mozilla kept freezing and now I can't drop because I can't get the toolbar to load and for the life of me, I don't even know how to do drops effectively without the toolbar.  OY!

Anybody have any suggestions??? Anyone???

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

TODAY'S THE DAY!!!

So today is finally here!  It's November 1st!!  I actually sat down this morning after NOT doing an outline and started the great American NaNoWriMo 2011 Challenge and I already am at almost 1,900 words!!!  Yeah, me!!!  The goal is to write something like 1600 words per day in order to get it all done by November 30th and I plan on writing more tonight so I am totally getting in to the groove.

Come on, fellow writers!  JOIN ME!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween, Everyone!

Personally, I am not a fan of Halloween AT ALL but apparently my kids are.  So I struggle to get through it - even all of the candy doesn't thrill me.  I'd gladly buy them giant bags of candy if they'd stay home!  But if this is a holiday that you enjoy, then have fun and enjoy it!
 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gearing up for NaNoWriMo!!

It is that time of year again...thirty day, 50,000 words...it is just way too exciting!  That's right, November is National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo and I am totally psyched to get started!!!

I'm not as prepared as I was last year but more prepared than I was the year before.  Does that make sense??  So my plan is to bang out a brief outline of what I want to write about and sort of ease in to it this coming week and then next weekend, when I am at my writing retreat, to just right like a fiend.  Again, so EXCITING!!

The website is up and running, although it is still flipping out with the amount of traffic it is seeing.  I am hoping they get all the bugs out by Tuesday because it's quite annoying when you can't get on the site to do what you want to do.  

My work is untitled, my characters are sketchy at best but I am just so looking forward to just having a goal like this that I just can't even describe it!  You know, it's kind of stupid that I wait for November to do this because really, I can do it on my own at any time - you know, give myself the same goal and then do it but there is something about going to that darn website and getting caught up in all of the frenzy that motivates me.  Crazy, right?

Either way, if you don't see me around here much in November, it's is because I am using all of my words and typing skills to get to the 50,000 word finish line.  Woo-hoo!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Watching the end of a life..

So Nick got a job working in a nursing home.  You know, it all seemed like a good idea at the time - more money, more hours, close to home, all of the things that are important when looking for a job.

His first full day on the job was a bit of a shock to him.  First of all, we've not spent a lot of time in nursing homes.  He's only been to one maybe four times and that was down in Florida when we visited my step-mother.  I mean, maybe three hours MAX.  He came for dinner and was like "Did you know...?" and the list of topics was endless.  He had no idea that patients could not, shall we say, "care" for themselves to that degree.  He was not prepared for the fact that many patients wear adult diapers and go in the bed.

The smell was a big obstacle for him to overcome.  He is basically a janitor in charge of the floors and so he is all over the place cleaning.  There is one patient in the Alzheimer's ward who has taken an interest in him.  She's a large, 80 year old woman and she has cornered him in a closet more than once.  He's been called a "dirty Mexican" even though he does not look Hispanic and he has witnessed very sad scenes of loneliness - patients holding dolls and calling them their babies.

He works the third shift and for the first month there, if anyone passed, it happened when he was not there.  Well, the other night he was there and one of the patients asked him if he could please get a nurse and he asked if she was okay and she said "No...I'm dying".  She was very calm, he said, and so he ran and got the nurse and when they got back to the room, the woman was taking her last breaths.  He was profoundly moved by this.

This was not something that I thought about when we talked about him taking this job.  There was another patient who he had called his adopted grandma and she passed away one day when he wasn't there.  That's a lot of death to deal with in such a short time.  


I've dealt with a lot of death in my life - grandparents, aunts, uncles and a cousin, but there was time between these events.  My boor boy is having this happen in a very short amount of time and I just hope that it doesn't toughen him to the point that death or losing someone doesn't mean anything to him.  


Touch life lessons...