Saturday, December 31, 2016

AI, robots, and androids? Bring 'em on!

Image courtesy of Pixabay

I'm intrigued by artificial intelligence (AI), robots, androids, etc. In fact, I want an android RIGHT now. One like Data from Star Trek, or even better.

I'd probably feel more comfortable and relaxed around an android than I do most human beings these days. Hope to see and/or own one before I shuffle off this mortal coil.

Before you ask, I'm not afraid. Are you kidding? Humans are terrifying and could end the entire human race at any moment. I'm just not afraid of technology or the possibilities of future tech as much as many people are.

Obviously, there are concerns and warnings we should heed in the development of such technology, but I DO NOT want to go back to the dark ages. Those weren't the 'good old days' for me. Not at all.

I prefer to be a forward-thinking person who is open to brand new worlds, amazing technology, and infinite possibility.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

[Dream] Kate & Dean Rickershaw

While I'm at it, my propensity to dream names, addresses, and the like still occurs. The night before last I dreamed about the names 'Kate and Dean Rickershaw.' I do not know anybody by those names, but I saw those words written out in my dream.

Once again, I have NO idea why I see names, addresses, and random words written out in my dreams. However, I've made it a point to try and tell Paul about it when it happens and to write it down somewhere should I have to refer to it later.

Dutch/Rotterdam connection?

Many months ago, I had a dream where such a ship appeared and I was on that ship, watching as it was sailing near a big city. I blogged/journaled about it and may have posted about it here as well. Now I'm glad I did write about it because the other night I had the STRANGEST experience where I had a FLASH memory of me in a past life (at least that's how I understood it).

Out of the blue, I saw myself wearing a medium blue linen dress, along with a blue hat that had a strip of white along the edge. The hat fabric had triangles folded up on each side. I 'saw' myself dressed like this and knew I'd seen that type of hat before, but couldn't immediately place where I'd seen it because I was almost ready to fall asleep myself and in a hypnogogic state. Which, of course, is when fantasies, hallucinations, and all sorts of mind-altering stuff can occur.

After Googling images, I found the hat I saw in the sudden flash in my mind -- turns out I was in traditional Dutch dress, and the hat was a traditional Dutch hat (!!). I knew I'd seen it before, but it didn't connect at the time what kind of hat it was or who would wear it. Color me shocked! I also found images of people wearing the SAME clothes I 'saw' myself wearing in that flash memory.

Then I remembered that this past year I'd dreamed about the ship with 'Rotterdam' written across the side of it. That past dream was suddenly triggered. I Googled images and found a ship with 'Rotterdam' on the side of it. BINGO! There it was. It was all too weird.

In addition, I then remembered that I'd signed up to take a course on Dutch. I signed up for no apparent reason; it just seemed interesting. With everything else going on at the time, I'd abandoned the course because my load was too full and I'd decided to take it on a whim with thoughts of completing it later.

The other night it all came to me. I tried to tell Paul, but he was half-asleep and as I was telling him, he fell off into slumberland. So I texted Britt about the entire thing so I could remember it later to post here and on my blogs. I didn't want to forget everything, and once I fall asleep, I'm apt to forget things when they're pushed out of my head by new dreams and thoughts.

Now, I cannot say this was a past memory. I have no proof of that. The image flashed into my mind and the thought that came with it was that it was me in a past life. But we all know our minds are cunning things, don't we? Regardless, what an amazing, living computer our minds are!

I'm not sure what this was all about, but it was cool as hell and I don't know what to make of it. But I did go and sign up to take that Dutch class again!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Rest in peace, Isis

My 52nd year hasn't started out so well, but it will get better. Today our 15-year-old black cat, Isis, died. She was old, cranky, and quite a diva. She died the same month, four years later, that our other black cat, Osiris, left us.

I'm incredibly sad, but we knew her time was coming. I've been in bed most all day, just like yesterday, but with a raging headache.

I'm feeling out of sorts, so it's going to be a bit before I'm up for conversation and regular tomfoolery. Right now I'm having a huge sad. But, as usual, I'll get my head straight again and dive into regular activities in short order. At least that's the plan.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Lovely birthday art made by friends

Thank you to my wonderful friends Chandra Wilkins and Laura Brown for making me these lovely birthday greetings. They're beautiful and I am grateful that you thought to make them for me <3.

I'd also like to thank all the wonderful family, friends, and colleagues who made it a point to wish me a happy birthday as well.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Quick update

Ten short edits in my queue for today, 1,347 words written (so far, 'cause I'm not done yet), and an important tarot reading completed. Just started my night, too! Definitely in the mood to write, create, and blog this evening.

In other news, my sciatica is much better. The past couple days I've had a few tinges of minor pain, but overall I'd say I'm 95% better. The Baclofen and Meloxicam have done wonders.

We are the lucky ones. For now.

I'm getting ready to make dinner and I can't stop thinking about Aleppo. To paraphrase my daughter, she said she's in her comfy apartment, watching movies with her fiance, and these horrific things are happening in Aleppo (and elsewhere, I might add).

You know, Paul and I live in a 30-ft RV. We don't have a permanent home and we don't know what the future holds for us. And right now, it's pretty damned scary for some of us in the United States of America, and on a global scale. Any of us could be part of what's happening in Aleppo in the near future.

Things can and do change in an instant, and big, holy-shit! events can happen when you least expect it -- or even when you do. This is not news, as it's always been that way. But lately, I've had a lot of things on my mind. And lately I've been thinking how it's best to appreciate the small things, the good things, the hopeful things as much as you can because nothing is guaranteed and nothing is set in stone.

This, again, is nothing new. But sometimes you have to have your country, your world, and your mind rocked out of its sockets to remind yourself of that. To remind yourself that one night you could be making dinner and watching Netflix, and a year from now you may have no dinner at all -- and you sure as hell won't have Netflix, because that would be the last thing on your mind.

I don't know what the future holds for any of us. But I do know that it's up to all of us to bring about a country -- and a world -- we all want to live in TOGETHER. And I don't know where any of this is going because this is a stream-of-consciousness post. Except that maybe I wanted to tell you all that, no matter what does happen to any of us, I want to thank you for your presence in my life, even if it's been through Facebook. Maybe you've made me laugh, cry, get pissed off, or whatever...but you affected me in some way, and that has made me grow as a person.

I don't know about you, but I have more life to live and more goals, ambitions, and dreams to pursue. Like you, I want to spend more time with my kids and I am looking forward to holding my first grandbaby. I'm not done here yet, you're not done here yet, this country isn't done yet, and this world damn sure isn't.

So this is a reminder that it's up to us to make the world a better place, in whatever way we can, and even if it's a small daily thing...because small acts add up and influence events and people. There is no 'us' and 'them.' The truth is there's only *us*, and we've gotta find a way to make all of this work out for the present and the future. If we don't, there's no going back.

Now I'm going to walk into my small kitchenette and make dinner. And my thoughts won't be on dinner, but many other things instead. I don't have a big home, a huge kitchen, or any property to call my own save for this RV, but tonight I am in a relatively safe place with food and shelter, which is a lot more than others can say.

Paul and our family are not being massacred by Assad's forces or burned alive, as some reports are saying. The feeling of helplessness is overwhelming. Women and children are NOT being spared in Aleppo. And all for what? For what, I ask you? I KNOW the so-called reasons...but ALL FOR WHAT?

Life is short and precious. All of this -- THIS -- goes away. Your big house, your food, your possessions, your...THINGS, countries, ideologies. Your body ceases to exist. As for your soul...well, we all know we can't or don't agree on that. But the pain, suffering,'s too much to wrap one's head around. And it seems so needless in the end. Doesn't it? It does, at least for me.

And here we will sit, eating dinner soon, but there will be a lump in my throat and tears welling in my eyes because we are the lucky ones. At least for now.

Timing is everything.

Pulled a card today: Maiden Moon from The Enchanted Oracle tarot deck. Enjoy!

Oracle Interpretation:
"Whatever you are thinking of doing, pay attention to when you plan on doing it. The matter at hand is particularly sensitive to timing. This may either be lunar timing or circumstantial timing. Whatever it is, do pick carefully in order to assure the best possible success."

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

"Did someone say, 'Burrito'?"

Our son Jon sent this photo of him eating a luscious burrito from Taco Garcia in Chicago. Check out their dog Jack's expression. Cracks me up!

Monday, December 12, 2016

One of my crow babies came to visit us today!

Look who came to visit Mother of Crows (me) today. Our friend Tom took these pics! Thanks so much, Tom. This is crazy cool.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Thumbs-up for Baclofen (so far)

Update: slept well after taking my first dose of Baclofen for my sciatica. I did get a headache and was nauseated, so I hope those side effects won't happen all the time.

Maybe I'll get used to the Baclofen. I hope so, because it helped with my sciatica. I was able to walk around, sit, and stand without hardly any pain.

I was also able to turn over and sleep on my right-hand side, which I haven't been able to do for about a month (ever since I had the first pain hit me).

So, it's a thumbs-up for Baclofen, except for the headache and feeling nauseated. It also made me snoozy, but I can take it when I'm done with work and ready to relax this coming week. Being out of pain? Priceless!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Choose wisely

I want to believe in my fellow Americans. I want to believe the majority of this country won't allow a misogynistic, narcissistic, bigoted, homophobic, xenophobic, psychopath to take control of the White House.

I want to believe that my family and friends won't TRULY support a man who speaks so disparagingly of women or makes fun of disabled people.

I want to believe the people I am related to or friends with aren't really that mean, cruel, or insensitive deep inside, especially the ones who sit in church pews on a regular basis, all while extolling the virtues of Jesus Christ.

I want to believe the people I grew up with or went to school with don't secretly hate or disparage me and Paul – or the rest of my family – because we are liberals, and that they don't truly believe we are 'retarded' or stupid (because we aren't).

I want to believe people will think rationally and realize this election is more than about us alone; instead, it's about the country we leave to our children and grandchildren. It's about the entire world (because, yes, we are PART of the world, but NOT the only country in the world.)

I want to believe people will stop and truly think before casting their vote and consider the consequences of their actions. Because this election, more than any other election in my lifetime, could mean the difference between surviving as a country or even surviving as a human being.

The wrong person in office, with the wrong temperament in this current world of turmoil, could mean dire and deadly consequences. Your vote could be signing not only your death warrant, but everyone else's, too. This is NOT a drill.

Your choice could, in fact, help bring about the end of the world. And while I know some of you may WANT that because you're trying to consciously or subconsciously bring about armageddon, the rest of us want to LIVE and LOVE for as long as we are able. We, just as much as you, deserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I don't want to die. I want to live.
I don't want my children to die. I want my children to live.
Make no mistake: tomorrow's choice could very well be a choice between living and dying.

My daughter is pregnant and I want to see my first grandchild and hold him/her in my arms and kiss his/her chubby cheeks. I don't want YOU or YOUR children or grandchildren to die premature deaths – especially not due to making an ill-informed choice fueled by misdirected hate, ignorance, and revenge.

Think CAREFULLY about what future you're actually choosing when you vote tomorrow. Don't think just about yourself; think, instead, about all the lives you will be impacting with your choice – not just the human beings you know, but those you don't know.

Reach down inside and revive the compassion you still have inside. Remember that we are all in this together, and we must take care of one another. Before you check that box for president, honestly ask yourself if that person has the temperament, emotional maturity, intelligence, and experience to hold the office of president of the United States of America.

Be honest with yourself. If your candidate cannot be trusted to use Twitter in a responsible way without his handlers stepping in, then why on earth would you think your candidate should have control of the United States?

You will get what you ask for, America. I can only hope you ask for the right thing tomorrow, because if you do not, disaster and chaos will ensue and you will be sorry later. But by then it'll probably be too late.

Choose wisely.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Guess who's gonna be a grandma? Yep, it would be me!

Guess who's gonna be a grandma?! Daughter is preggo!

Now you guys know me and Paul are going to be grandparents. Can you imagine?! We will be awesome grandparents, too!

Britt has Rh-negative blood, so she has to take the RhoGAM shot. I have NO idea where she got Rh-negative blood. I sure as heck don't have it!

We joke with her about being Reptilian, of course. We tell her that her home base -- where her people are -- is beneath Denver International Airport (DIA). Those of you from Colorado will totally get that reference ;-p.

Friday, September 23, 2016

More (birth) family mystery to unravel

Received a nice, long e-mail from my first cousin

More info came out about my birth father...but it's info I had an inkling of a long time ago.

My first cousin, Debra, doesn't know much about my birth father, but she did mention a few things: he was a lawyer, he was a jerk to my mom (this much I knew because it's why she left him), and he was a witness in a murder trial.

My cousin found it interesting that I have an interest in forensic psychology and said it does make sense given that my father was a lawyer. Like Debra, I do believe many things are encoded into one's DNA, and those things get passed down to future generations. In fact, there have been recent studies on that very subject.

I'm pretty sure I know which trial, because for a small town of fewer than 5,000 people, it was a BIG DEAL. If I'm correct, the trial had to do with a music teacher who was murdered back in the 1960s...mainly because she was a lesbian and that was the reason why she was murdered (how awful is that?!).

If I'm right, my birth father was a witness in that trial. I'll need to confirm that by researching, but I am betting that was the trial she was referring to.

When I first mentioned to my adopted mom, Shirley, that I wanted to find out more about who my birth mother and father were, she strongly advised against it, telling me there were things I might find out that I wouldn't want to know. She used the term 'bad blood,' matter of fact. Naturally, this only intrigued me more.

So, in 1999, it took me all of two weeks to locate my birth mother and birth brothers, and then I began asking questions, trying to piece together who my birth father was and everything about who I was and where I came from. It's been a long journey and it's not over yet, but I'm not giving up. There are more mysteries and unknowns to be solved.

Intro to Win Prizes, Grab Freebies, and Earn Ca$h

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Oh, the drama!

Ever notice how, when you mind your own business, other people—and sometimes even strangers—can't stand the calm and feel compelled to start drama? I'll never understand it. It's like some people cannot stand to have a calm atmosphere, so they take great pleasure in stirring up shit just to get a reaction or to annoy others.

Example: late last night, Paul and I left Britt's apartment and headed over to where we are currently parking our RV while we are in town. It was late, and I was tired. All I wanted to do was go to bed. We crawled into bed, talked for a bit, and settled in (with our dogs) to go to sleep. Next thing we know, there's a woman outside our RV yelling. I couldn't make out what she was saying. Turns out, she was griping and intentionally antagonizing our dogs—AT 5 IN THE MORNING! She returned to her RV, which was parked to the left of ours and across the way, but then a little while later, she came back over to where we were and began yelling again. This time, she started yelling, "RUFF, RUFF, RUFF!" to get the dogs stirred up.

My first reaction: WTF?! Was she drunk? High? What the hell was her problem at FIVE in the morning that she would intentionally try to antagonize our dogs?!

Paul and I prefer to dodge conflict if we can, so we didn't engage her and got the dogs back into the back of the RV, into our bedroom. They'd gone up front to react to the stupid shit she was yelling and the RUFF RUFF sounds she was making. Finally, we fell asleep. I still felt uncomfortable because I had a feeling she wasn't done with us yet. I was right.

In the morning, around 11:45 a.m., Paul and I are sleeping—as were the dogs—and guess what happened? Yep, you probably figured out that she walked over by our RV and started raising hell again, talking loudly and intentionally trying to stir things up again. *sigh* What in the hell did this woman want, and what was her motivation for disturbing us and antagonizing our dogs?! I must admit, I was trying to figure out what her motive was, but then I became annoyed...and later on, angry.

Basically, Paul and I want to be left alone to do our thing, which is primarily our jobs, studying, gaming, reading, or watching movies/shows. We are pretty simple people and we like our peace. Now here we had a complete stranger who decided that, for whatever reason, we were going to be her target. Just great.

You know, I don't understand most people. I haven't for most of my life, though I've tried my level best to figure them out. But often, I feel like I'm an alien from another planet and that most of society is speaking another language or something. Might be why I'm so interested in psychology and why I've thrown myself into my Social and Forensic Psychology studies. Human beings are like exotic animals to me at times, even though I KNOW that I am a human being myself.

Long story short, I told Britt what was going on and she said, "I'll be right over." My first thought was, "Oh, shit." Mainly because Britt is a lot like me when she gets riled up. Once she's there, she doesn't take anybody's shit.

A few minutes later, Britt and her fiance, Tack, arrived. They went over and talked to the woman's boyfriend (who was embarrassed about the whole ordeal) and to the woman herself. Turns out the woman and her boyfriend were having serious issues, and he'd already thrown her stuff out of the RV and was going to break up with her and leave her after 6 1/2 years.

The woman, whose name is Lisa, shook my hand and told me she owed us an apology, that she'd projected her anger over her personal situation onto us. I felt compassion for her and told her that Paul and I didn't like to have conflict with people unless we had no other choice. We chatted for a few more minutes and left to walk back over to our RV. On the way back, her boyfriend indicated that he was sorry for the drama she had caused us. And I'm glad it was resolved—permanently, I hope—but as I sit here, I wonder how things will turn out for them. I saw the expression on her face and on his face. My heart dropped to my stomach because I knew it was a trying time for both of them, exacerbated by her acting out toward us and the dogs due to misplaced anger.

I've mentioned this before, but one unexpected side effect of living full-time in an RV is that you are THIS MUCH CLOSER to humanity and you're face-to-face with the real nature of human beings and society in general. It's unpleasant, it's often shocking, and it's a wake-up call. When you're in a house or apartment, you might get exposed to these things for a short time as you run errands and the like. But when you live in an RV and your home is wherever you park it, you SEE the pain, the trials of life, the layers of hurt, the disappointment. You also hear the tales of hard times and heartbreak. And you can attempt to steel yourself against all of this as much as you want, but in the end, you can't help but be affected in some way.

I would've never had some of these experiences otherwise, and it's added a dimension to my compassion, my mercy, my tolerance. I'm realizing that we're all just trying to make it on a daily basis, and for some people, it's damned hard to wake up and face another day. I've been there before, and I understand how they feel. And no matter how good my fortune gets in the future, I will never forget the things I've seen and heard so far, or the lessons I've learned. With everything in me, I truly hope Lisa and her boyfriend reconcile and they have a better life together than they could've ever imagined. No more pain, no more suffering.

Drama is so uncomfortable to me and is becoming more so as I become older. There are times when you cannot avoid conflict and you DO have to speak your mind, stand up for your rights, and set or reinforce boundaries. But I guess it's all about choosing your battles, and some are so trivial and basic that communication can usually resolve the problem. My first reaction was to leave and not even address the issue with Lisa because confronting or talking with strangers can lead to hair-trigger reactions in this day and age. You never know when someone will pull a weapon or do something off the charts in a fit of overreaction. But to my daughter's credit, as well as Tack's, they took the bull by the horns and addressed the issue in a direct, non-threatening manner.

Today I was the student and my 24-year-old daughter was my teacher. How cool is that?

Friday, September 2, 2016

A couple things of note

Just a heads-up that Paul and I are both going back to school. This means we will have reading, assignments, and homework on top of our jobs. As a result, our time will become even more limited for social activities. I know that's a bummer, but we are committed to our current goals and dedicated to achieving them.

If we aren't available to socialize, either online or offline, this will be why. We are excited to get back into an academic routine and our jobs and studies will take priority over anything else. Thanks for your understanding and encouragement. ;-)

In other news, my Smashwords author interview just went live. Pop over and give it a look:

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Happy birthday, Bill.

Today would've been my stepfather William "Bill" Thayer's 84th birthday. He passed away many years ago. I had two stepfathers, but Bill was the only one who counted. The first one was nothing short of evil.

Anyway, I wanted to post this in remembrance of Bill. I wish you could see Jon and Britt now that they're grown up. Love and miss you!

The Nocturnal Editor

You may or may not have noticed, but I have renamed the Abraxas Writing & Editing Services FB page to The Nocturnal Editor. If you haven't dropped by and 'liked' my page, please do! If you need writing or editing services, PM me or e-mail ~Bev The Nocturnal Editor

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Life gets in the way

Lyn and Nate had planned to move back to Colorado Springs and were in the process of getting everything set to do so. That's when Lyn died on August 8, 2016.

Both Paul and I want to remember and honor Lyn's memory, but we can't leave town and drive four hours, total, to go to La Veta for only an hour or two this coming Saturday for her memorial. I feel awful about it. We were trying to go, and had actually canceled out on being volunteers for Colorado Springs Comic Con, but life is such that things just aren't going to work out.

I have a full work queue this weekend (which I am GRATEFUL for) and we can't drive the RV all those miles until we get our fuel pump and brakes fixed. People have offered us rides, but we can't do that because they want us to ride down on Friday, spend the night, and stay on Saturday for the memorial, then drive back here. With the dogs, we can't be gone that long. Britt can't have them in her apartment, and she can't leave her dogs and stay in our RV for all that time.

To find an alternative to honor Lyn's memory, I talked with her daughter, Angie, and the plan is to have a small, casual get-together at Britt's apartment sometime over the next week or so where we can all come together, remember Lyn, light candles and incense, and share stories and memories of her. I'm sure Lyn would be happy with that.

No matter what we plan here, all I know is that she will never be forgotten and I am grateful for her influence in my life. She left far too soon, but she will always be remembered fondly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ten things we've learned while living, working, and traveling in an RV full time

Lamia at Pike National Forest 

Nine years ago I wanted to get a recreational vehicle and travel more often. On December 19, 2015, two days after my 51st birthday and facing a move-out date in January once the house sold to a buyer, Paul and I decided we didn't want to go back to living in a house or apartment that required a huge chunk of money to pay for, plus all the hassles that came with it. So Paul and I took the step of getting rid of about 90% of our possessions, storing the other 10% in a storage unit, purchasing an RV on January 22, 2016, and embarking on a full-time mobile lifestyle. 

All either of us needs to do work is an Internet connection, so we could live and work from anywhere we chose. And when we wanted to travel, either near or far, we'd have that ability as well. We would live this lifestyle for as long as we wanted, and one thing was for certain: it would be an adventure that most people thought about, but never got around to actually doing. We wanted to actually DO it. 

We had all of 30 feet in our 1987 Ford Mallard Class-C motorhome, so paring down to the essentials was necessary. We also brought along our four dogs (Cosmo, Loki, Panda, and Freya) and our elderly cat who has an attitude, Isis. Our pets are like children to us—except they have fur, which my two adult children do not. Throw in our must-have items, like clothes, cooking supplies, dishes, food, bedding, our computers, books, and personal essentials, and there's not much else you can take with you. 

Here are ten things I've learned since February 2016 when we began living, working, and traveling in our RV, Lamia, full-time: 

1. No matter how much you think you've pared down for living in an RV, you'll find out there will be two or more passes you'll have to go through AGAIN in order to truly pare down your possessions to a manageable level. 

2. One of the worst smells in the world is a full black tank! 

3. The second-most worst smell in the world is a full gray tank. 

4. So far, Verizon Wireless has the best signal reach for Internet usage—even when you're at the top of a mountain out in the middle of nowhere. 

5. You're so used to city noise that, once you're out and away from people in the woods, the silence will almost deafen you. But you'll get used to it. 

6. The John Steinbeck method of washing clothes while traveling actually DOES work. Try it! 

7. Your stress levels go down to nearly zero when you're dry camping (boondocking) and away from society and noisy humans. 

8. All food tastes better when it's cooked over a campfire. Especially s'mores! 

9. You can do most cooking with a microwave, crock-pot, grill, and rice cooker/steamer. I have yet to use our gas oven or stove. 

10. If you're weird about your privacy, don't go on the road with people you don't like or aren't comfortable around. You will have 30 feet of space—if you're lucky—or maybe more if you can afford to own a Class A). Thankfully, I like and am comfortable around my husband! 

There are more than ten items overall, and I'm sure the list will expand in the coming months, but for now these are the ones foremost on my mind ;-).

Friday, August 19, 2016

[Genealogy] Clusters of maternal ancestors in Virginia and West Virginia

Up to 5 generations on the maternal side, the vast majority of my direct ancestors lived in Virginia and West Virginia. I was born about 25 miles from the West Virginia border, in fact. Out of this cluster, most of them lived in Pocahontas County, West Virginia.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Colorado Springs Comic Con!

We still have to take another step and attend an on-site meeting, but Paul & I both have initially been accepted as volunteers for Colorado Springs Comic Con.

I'm not going to get excited. Really and truly I'm not.

Okay, I fibbed. I AM excited about it!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Over a decade later, he's still got me.

And now, ten years later, he STILL has me. This is a look back at my burgeoning relationship with Paul, back when we were boyfriend/girlfriend. This entry from the past makes me smile, just as I thought it would when I wrote it a decade ago ;-). 

Paul and I will celebrate our original anniversary on November 5th of this year. We met 11 years ago and were married 8 years ago as of the 17th of this month. 

He's got me.

Mar. 19th, 2006 at 4:59 AM

Yes, this is a mush-filled entry again...but I figure this is my journal and, dammit, if I'm happy about something in my life when there's so much to be stressed over the rest of the time, then I'm going to give the positive stuff equal time.

My partner paulzuzu bowls me over more and more as time goes on. Often there are moments so intense between us that I think I'm going to forget to breathe. Like tonight when, after watching movies, I let loose with some pent-up fears and emotion, and tears began to fall. He knows just what to say and when to say it. He holds me close, showers me with kisses and helps dry my tears with his reassurances.

He loves me. Me...just how I am. No pretenses, no contingencies. He is present and available in my life, and he is supportive beyond words. Last week I didn't see him until Friday because I was under pressure to finish up some tasks and I needed solitude and concentration (this happens on occasion when I'm in the midst of a heavy-duty writing project.) Whereas other men (and I've dated them and been through it) would gripe and moan or put a guilt trip on me that I didn't love them or I was choosing writing over them, Paul understood completely and quietly supported me through the whole week with phone calls and e-mails every now and then. By Friday we were mad to be in each other's arms again and it was difficult to keep our hands and lips off of one another -- not merely from sheer lust (although lust did make its presence known!), but from the need to wash away the ache of longing for one's companion and mate when one has had to endure an unwelcome, but necessary, absence. Next week, I shall be gone to visit my mom and in-laws in Oklahoma and, once again, we will be separated for nearly a week. *heavy sigh* Being so far away from him fills me with fear and loathing.

Night before last we once again talked about how easy and preferable it would be to elope and get married -- just the two of us -- and then have an official handfasting ceremony later with family and friends. Several life considerations prevent us from marrying right now, but as soon as those situations are taken care of, the next day I'm ready to hop in the car, drive to an undisclosed destination and tie the knot with him.

Tonight he took my face in his hands, gazed intently into my eyes (which melted me to the core) and said words to me that no man has EVER said to me like that before. Caressing my face in his hands and staring at me with deep intensity, he made sure I heard every single word he said. No man's ever been that direct or intense like that and said THOSE words (which I shall keep private for now). Before I left after 4 a.m., we kissed and he once again held my face in his hands and gazed deeply into my eyes, his blond hair falling down around his face and shoulders, causing my insides to shiver. He called me his "beautiful bride," and I nearly cried. I'm not that yet, but I will be. Legally, I'm not; emotionally, I already feel that way.

He's got me; I mean, really got me. I didn't plan to fall for him like this. When did it happen and why didn't I fully realize it? This whole thing fills me with joy and fear at the same time. My heart is vulnerable and my soul is open and exposed. He reassures me...tells me he's not going anywhere. "Please don't," I whisper. "I cannot bear to hurt anymore...I've been hurt enough," I've told him in so many words and through so many tears. In the past, I've put so much into relationships that never came to full fruition or that turned abusive and cruel. There are deep scars that have scabbed over and I cannot bear to have them ripped open again. You know what I mean, though -- most, if not all of us, have these deep scars from long-term or intense relationships. He reassures me he won't hurt me. I believe him more than anything I've believed in a long time. I trust him -- implicitly. He is accepting, patient, understanding and gentle.

He loves me:

* Even though I'm not (and never have been) a tiny blonde Barbie-doll type
* Even when I'm being silly and unreasonable
* On bad hair days (which there are a lot of!) and without make-up...he swears he prefers me without make-up, which I find VERY hard to believe
* When I'm ranting and bouncing off the walls...he's the one who calms me down and helps me see things more objectively
* On days when I feel like I'm no more than a pile of feces and I can't do anything right (these days occur often)
* When I'm in my grouchy, prickly, smart-mouthy, sarcastic moods. That, my friends, takes sheer tolerance

The rest of the list could be endless...with all the crap that has come and gone lately in my life -- from friend and family illnesses to deadlines to endless to-do tasks to everyday irritations and expectations -- all I know is that I have two beautiful, wonderful children whom I adore and I also have a man who loves me wholly and without reservation or restraint. He is not afraid to give himself open up and take that chance on love. Likewise, I am truly, madly, deeply in love with him on a level that surprises even me. We speak of traveling together, of working on creative projects together, of growing old together.

Upon arriving home, I called him to let him know I made it home safely. One day there will be no need for a phone call. One day I'll already be home -- with him. One day we will hold hands, bind ourselves together with words and cords, and pledge to spend the rest of our lives together, he as my husband and I as his wife. I cannot wait for that day. In fact, I wish that day was tomorrow. But alas, that tomorrow will come soon enough. For now, I am already bound to him, heart and soul, as he is to me.

With so much hate, strife and discord in the world, today I will use my journal to celebrate love. A love that is real and that doesn't taunt me like promised whispers on the wind, but one I can reach out and touch with my bare hands.

Tis a beautiful and rare thing indeed. In the midst of stress and sadness, this brilliant spark lives. I want to remember this time -- put a permanent record of it in my journal so years later I can look back on this entry and smile as I squeeze my husband's hand and bask in the memory of how our love was born.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Hi, everyone. I talked to Nate today, who was Lyn's fiance. If any of you would like to send sympathy cards in the wake of Lyn's sudden passing, here is the mailing address (*please note that the name of the town in the graphic is incorrect. The town is spelled 'La Veta.'):

Nathan Juhala
PO Box 943
La Veta, CO 81055

Thank you for all your kind thoughts and wishes for Lyn's family during this time of grief. There is no info on a service at this time, but when and if that is made public, I will post here.

Monday, August 8, 2016

[Deaths] Journey well, my beloved friend. You will be missed.

Our good friend Lyn Goodnight passed away unexpectedly this morning. She had gone to the doctor on Friday because she had severe stomach pains. Her blood pressure got really high and they admitted her to the hospital. Turns out she had a stomach blockage, which caused a rupture. She had internal bleeding and died.

Lyn and Nate were the ones who had us come out to Falcon, CO, and stay for a while in our RV earlier this year. I've known Lyn 15 years...I'm in shock.

Paul and I are still trying to process this news and I am devastated -- especially concerned about her fiance, Nate, and her kids, who are in their 20s, and her granddaughter, who is only 4 years old. 󾌣

Lyn was more than a garden-variety friend to me. She was also my mentor and a lifesaver for me and the kids when my first husband, Gary, passed away unexpectedly in May 2001. Lyn was also my first High Priestess (HPS) and we were both in the same coven many years ago. I'd known her for 15 years.

This just doesn't seem real...I'm so sad. What a loss.

Here is what I posted on her Facebook wall:

"Words cannot properly convey how your passing has affected me and Paul. We are still in shock and disbelief. You have returned to the stars, my friend, and you left many behind who love you and whose lives were enriched by your presence. Thank you for everything you did for me, Paul, and the kids in the time we knew you. Thanks for everything you taught me, both mundane and otherwise, since I met you 15 years ago. Your mentorship and wise council had a large impact on my life. Rest in peace, Lyn/Butterflye."

Friday, August 5, 2016

A closer pic of my great grandparents, Wilson Washington Dilley and Lucy Anetta (Ray) Dilley, who was Tuckahoe Cherokee. She is smiling in this photo, but he seems more serious.

The family historian/genealogist, Norma Gray Ellis, used to live with them when she was a little girl. She said back in the day, it was hush-hush about my great grandmother's ancestry because people looked down on anyone who was Native American. Then again, there are plenty of people to this day who still make hurtful remarks. It's a shame, isn't it?

Meet my great grandparents!

Last night I put a crow feather into my hair. Forgot to take it out while I slept and it was still in my hair when I woke up. My hair was all mussed and I mentioned how I forgot to take it out of my hair last night. Tara said, "You look Indian!"

What she said made me smile, because my great grandmother on my birth mother's side, Lucy Anetta Ray, was Tuckahoe Cherokee (as confirmed by Norma Gray Ellis, the family historian/genealogist).

The vast majority of my DNA is Northern European, but at least someone sees the Tuckahoe Cherokee shining through, even if it's a little bit. :-)

Below is a pic of my great grandmother and grandfather. You can definitely see the Cherokee/Native American in my great grandmother's facial structure (high cheekbones)—and her neck looks long, too! Their daughter, Mary Dilley, was my grandmother (my birth mother's mom).

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Tonight I held a dead snake. I'm still in shock.

Daughter brought home a dead snake (!!!!). After much cajoling and "Stay away from me!" responses, I got tired of fighting it and gave in to touching the snake. Then I decided to face my fear and hold the damn snake. Oh, it was missing its head. It appears someone cut it off. Ugh.

My husband used to catch live snakes. If he had been here (he was back at the RV), he would've held it. He said he would've held a live snake, too. Good for him, because HELL NO to a live snake. Yes, I held a boa constrictor once when I was in 9th grade at a pet store in Security, Colorado. But NO way I'd do it now. Not my thing.

Tomorrow she will give it a proper burial.

I'm sitting here, ready to drink a beer and shivering. I can't believe I did that. Yes, I have a pic to prove it. *shiver* Yes, I washed my hands—thoroughly.

Man...I can't believe I did that. And might I add that I don't ever want to do that again.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

[RV experiences] A cry for help in the middle of the night

Oh my gosh, I need to post about this before I forget! This morning, close to 4 a.m., I was finally ready to drift off to sleep. All of a sudden, a man starts yelling, "HELP!" in a frantic, desperate voice. You could tell he was running toward where we were parked in the RV. Paul looked out the window and grabbed his phone to call 911 if it came to that.

Surprisingly, five people appeared out of nowhere to help—at 4 a.m.!—and Paul saw another guy laid out on the concrete on a traffic island near Fountain Blvd. Since five people were already attempting to help, we stayed in the RV.

A little while later, the guy was sitting up. We saw flashing lights, so an emergency vehicle had arrived. We don't know what happened, but I know that I have never heard a man yell that loudly or frantically. Took me quite a while to get back to sleep. I hope everyone involved is okay and all is well.

One thing about living in an RV is that you are closer and more involved with humanity and its wounds and ills when you're in the city than you would be living in your house or apartment. It's both startling and humbling. Definitely food for thought.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Boo! Hiss! Achilles tendinitis :(.

So, turns out I likely have Achilles tendinitis.

Over the past month or so, I've increased my walking to almost every day (and twice a day, most times) for four or five days a week. As a result of the sudden increase and duration in physical activity, my body—and in particular, my Achilles tendon—went, "Whut?! I'm not ready for this!" So now I have a very painful, stiff, and sore Achilles tendon on my left leg.

The last thing I need to happen is for it to rupture, so I gotta focus on making sure I don't blow it out completely. I'm not going to stop walking, that's for sure. It's doing great things for my body. Who knew it would be a problem?! Didn't count on this happening!

On the upside, I've lost weight (my son and his GF actually commented on my face being thinner when we Skyped the other day) and I was able to fit into another pair of jeans I hadn't been able to wear for quite a while.

Guess you could say there's a good side and a bad side to all of this. Then again, that's life in a nutshell, isn't it?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Half a year of full-time RVing!

This Friday it'll be SIX months since Paul & I purchased our RV, Lamia, and prepared to launch the full-time RV lifestyle. A little more than a month later, the end of February, we began living in our RV. I cannot believe it's been half a year already! Where does the time go? ;-)

Are we glad we made the decision? So far, it's a resounding, "YES!"

Freelancers and Job seekers: check out my You Should Work at Home FB page and follow on Twitter, too!

Attention writers, editors, transcribers, and other job seekers:

I post leads for freelance writing jobs (and other remote jobs) on my You Should Work at Home Facebook page. Go check it out and throw me a 'like':

In addition, you should also follow the You Should Work at Home Twitter account as well

Monday, July 18, 2016

Just for fun

Participating thanks to Shawna Kimble:

Okay, this was cute to think about...
Tell us about your SENIOR year of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be!!!

The year was: 1983 (damn, that long ago?!)
1. Did you know your spouse? No, but I knew of his sister. She graduated the year after me
2. Did you car pool to school? Just me and my bestie, Tim Barr
3. What kind of car did you have? Silver 1982 Camaro Berlinetta. It was brand new and some people were jealous of it
4. What kind of car do you have now? An RV -- no car! My last car was a white 2005 Saturn Ion named Jade
5. It's Friday night...where were you? Hanging out with friends either going to movies, cruising Nevada Avenue, skating at Skate City, attending a h.s. dance, going up to party at Gold Camp Road, or hanging out in Garden of the Gods
6. What kind of job did you have in high school? Worked at Baskin Robbins, Kwik-In in Security, CO, wrote articles for The Colorado Springs Sun's Tempo page, and was an English tutor for a while.
7. What kind of job do you have now? Professional writer and editor for the past 19 years (thanks to Mr. Martinez at Sproul Jr. High, Bill Richardson at Sproul Jr. High, and Lana Smith, my h.s. journalism teacher)
8. Were you a party animal? I could be, depending on the company. I threw an EPIC Halloween party in 1982 and got in big trouble for it. But hey, it WAS worth it ;-)
9. Were you a cheerleader? Not in high school, but I was in 1st and 7th grades.
10. Were you considered a jock? Definitely not! I was editor of the school newspaper and president of the French club. Oh, and a member of National Honor Society, too!
11. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? I was in choir for a couple years during middle school, but not in high school
12. Were you a nerd? A cool one, yes. I was a word nerd and still am
13. Did you get suspended or expelled from school? No
14. Can you sing the fight song? Yes..I think so
15. Who was/were your favorite high school teachers? My journalism teacher Lana Smith
16. Where did you sit for lunch? Usually a nearby fast-food joint
17. What was your school's full name? Widefield High School
18. What was your school mascot? The Gladiators (Charlie was our mascot's name)
19. If you could go back and do it again, would you? Definitely! One of the best times of my entire life!
20. Did you have fun at Prom? Yes! I went to prom all three years
21. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with? I used to, but then we lost touch. We were engaged and I broke off the engagement
22. Are you planning on going to your next reunion? We just had one and I wanted to go, but was unable to attend
23. Are you still in contact with people from school? Yes, quite a few of them
24. What are/were your school's colors? White, Blue, Silver

Copy and paste. Let's hear your story

Friday, July 15, 2016

It's simple: do what makes YOU happy!

If you like Pokemon Go, play it.

If you don't like Pokemon Go, don't play it.

I'm sure some of you enjoy hobbies other people don't enjoy.
Leave people alone and allow them to do what makes them happy. In a world that seems to grow madder (as in insane) by the minute, people need to have pastimes to take their minds off of other stressors.

Football might make you happy, but others may find it stupid and a waste of time. And you can insert countless other hobbies/pastimes as well.

Don't like reading about Pokemon Go? Do what I do when I see people posting about subjects I don't care about—scroll on by or ignore the posts. It's that simple, folks.

Allow people some joy and recreation in their lives, even if YOU don't like or approve of it.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Time to move along...and new puppies!

From the files of our team, Colorado Springs Paranormal Association (C.S.P.A.) Case # 09 0801

Out of 100+ investigations over the past ten years, this is the only video evidence we haven't been able to debunk. Please note: under our night shot cameras, the color black looks grey. For instance, Paul's clothes, which were black, will appear grey. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

The wedding hair incident

In yet another version of, "I can't believe that shit really happened to Bev & Paul," I submit the latest fiasco:

On May 7, on the way to Mike and Julie's wedding, we are tooling down the road in Mike's car. I'm in the backseat while Mike and Paul are in the front. The windows are open and wind is whirling about. My hair, which is down to my waist now (longest it's ever been), is whirling about, too. We meant to braid it, but time got away from us.

I reach behind me and grab the seatbelt, pulling it forward and across to latch it. It gets caught and won't pull completely forward, so I release it so it can go back into its holder so I can try again. Except the wind blows my long hair back, the hair gets rolled up into the seatbelt mechanism...and suddenly, my head can't move forward and my long hair is CAUGHT in the mechanism.

Trying not to panic, I pull at it, trying to do so without mentioning it to Mike or Paul. Nope. Won't budge. Try again, thinking, "Oh SHIT!" Still can't get it out. Can't move my head forward past a certain point, either. Realize I have to tell the guys about this stupid predicament. Because *of course* this would happen on the way to a wedding!

Mike pulls the car over. Lets Julie know that we have a situation with my hair caught in the seatbelt mechanism while Paul tries to free my hair. He pulls and cannot get it out. My hair is firmly installed in there, along with the seatbelt.

I ask Mike if he happens to have any scissors in his car (because hey, that's something most people carry in their car, right? /sarcasm). Nope, he doesn't. Paul usually carries a multiplier, but he didn't bring it with him this time.

Suddenly, I remember I probably have at least one, maybe two, pocket knives in my purse. I can't move my head past a certain point, so I grab my purse and fumble through it blindly, not able to fully look down and search in the bowels of my purse. AHA! There's a knife!

Paul saws at my hair with the knife, which happens to be a dull knife at that. It isn't successfully cutting my hair! SERIOUSLY?! This is the type of weird shit that has happened to me my entire life, so why shouldn't I be surprised that the knife is too dull to free me from this seatbelt mechanism?! Holy crap.

Minutes later, Paul is finally able to cut off a small amount of hair with the knife, but not much. Still, it's enough to manipulate the seatbelt mechanism so it'll release. The small bit of hair he's been able to cut out, maybe an inch if that, is enough to free the rest of my hair. Whew!

Crisis averted, we continue to the wedding venue, although we arrive late. I'm embarrassed, yet amused at how stupid the entire fiasco was. I mean...what are the chances? Well, if you know me or Paul, you'll know we seem to attract the weirdest damn people and situations into our lives. Events that seem so random and implausible that you'd question them. In this case, however, you are welcome to verify with Mike, who was probably thinking a whole range of thoughts we aren't even aware of! wink emoticon

Thanks to Julie Salisbury Estabrooks and her husband Mike for having a sense of humor. Then again, if I could think of another person this randomness would happen to, it would be Julie. She, too, seems to attract strange events and people into her life! She's a kindred spirit in that way. Love ya, Julie!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Remembering both my mothers on Mother's Day

Today I thought of my two mothers with fondness and love. My birth mother, Fay (Rider) Sizemore Seay, and my mom, Shirley (Schumaker) Walton Thayer, who raised me from the age of six days old.

My birth mother is 81 years old. Sadly, my mom passed away from Alzheimer's a couple years ago. I think of her daily and wish I could pick up the phone and call her again. But I know her energy is out there, somewhere. I carry her picture in my purse and have photos of her in our RV. When I crochet anything, I think of the times we spent crocheting together and talking. I miss her so much!

My birth name was Starlette (Star) Dawn Ferris. At the time of adoption, my legal name was Beverly Renay Walton. I love both names and write under both of them. They are both a part of who I am.

I have a birth family and an adopted family. This means I've been doubly gifted with an interesting life and an abundance of relatives/family members.

All of these interesting combinations and experiences have made me who I am today. I am full of love and gratitude!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Personal interests: forensics, crime scene tech, psychology, and all manner of related subjects.

The real CSI: what happens at a crime scene?

Many of you know I am fascinated by forensics and psychology, and I have read extensively about sociopaths and psychopaths in particular. Why would someone be interested in such things? Here's why (for those who might care, that is):

I used to work in the Enid, OK, police department before I became a full-time freelance writer and editor nearly 19 years ago. No, I was not a police officer or a dispatcher. I worked in back records, handling things such as incident reports, arrest reports, fingerprint cards, CFS (Call For Service) tickets, mugshots, pawn tickets, and the like.

Working at the police dept. was fascinating for me; I got to see the side of human behavior that I sometimes didn't want to see. It wasn't unusual to be in close vicinity to inmates. I got an up close and personal tour of the jail as well. Working in that atmosphere and reading incident and arrest reports, it certainly made me more cautious of people and, unfortunately, not as trusting as I was before.

While working at the police dept., I got to see police officers as people, not just authority figures. My supervisors, Captain Hood, Captain Goodpasture, and Sergeant Shriver were interesting and funny people -- they were human, just like anyone else. My favorite was undoubtedly my first captain, Jim Hood. I really liked him a lot, and he made me laugh. Something about his personality cracked me up (when he let his guard down, that is). He was the one who hired me.

I knew the detectives who worked there, and I was fascinated by their jobs and how they did them. Undoubtedly, that's when I first became interested in forensics as well as the psychology of the criminal mind. The science behind investigating a crime scene, such as how blood spatter can tell a tale about how the crime was committed, was fascinating.

Now, years later, I still take online courses in forensics and psychology (my second major was psychology when I attended Phillips University in Oklahoma). Human behavior puzzles me, infuriates me, amuses me...the list goes on. I cannot wrap my head around heinous crimes that are committed and how anybody could be responsible for such acts. Hell, I can't even fish because I feel bad for the worm being put on a hook! Too much empathy is what it comes down to.

My daughter became interested in forensics and the like all on her own. I found out she shared these interests with me, and I think it's cool. Although I do not believe I would've had the disposition to work in such fields, Britt does. She has a sharp mind and doesn't get as queasy over stuff like I do. In my view, I think if she ever went into forensics or a similar field, she would be amazing.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Proud mama: meet my talented son, Jonathan T. Porter

For those who may not know, my son Jonathan is also a professional writer. He graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (with honors) in Dramatic Writing. He lives in Chicago and is a Policy and Procedure Writer for Ceannate Corporation.

Jon can write CIRCLES around me on any day of the week. Not kidding. He's written many scripts, and I'd like to share a link to a preview of a feature script he wrote entitled "Smiling Hilt." While you're over there, check out his resume and portfolio. ;-)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

A bit of random fun

Thanks to Lyn Benoit Goodnight for sharing this. It was fun!

Everything is so serious these days. Let's have a little fun... (And I'm genuinely curious to read other peoples' if they fill it out).
Four names I go by
1. Bev
2. Mom
3. Honey (Paul calls me this)
4. Star (my birth name, before adoption; my birth mom calls me this and I write women's fiction under this name as well).
Four places I've lived:
1. Colorado
2. Germany
3. Oklahoma
4. Virginia
Four places I have worked:
1. Freelance writer and editor since May 1997.
2. City of Enid, Oklahoma
3. General Electric Capital Corporation (GECC)
4. Sovran Bank (before it became Bank of America)
Four things I love to watch on TV:
1. Biographies
2. Documentaries
3. Series (Vikings, GoT, Better Call Saul, OITNB, AHS, Orphan Black, Transparent, etc.)
4. J-dramas like "Ghostwriter," but these are online via
Four places I have been:
1. Edinburgh, Scotland
2. London, England
3. France (but not Paris. How lame is that?!)
4. Holland
Four things I love to eat:
1. Pizza
2. Tacos/Burritos/Nachos, etc.
3. Schnitzel
4. Katsudon OR Tonkatsu
Four people I think will respond:
1. Chandra
2. Carly Dew
3. Mary Meek
4. Not sure who else.
Favorite drinks:
1. Dr. Pepper
2. Pepsi of any kind
3. Coffee (hot or cold)
4. Horchata
Now here is what you're supposed to do. Please don't spoil the fun...copy and paste this in your status and update it with your responses. To copy this, just hold your finger down on this text, and it will highlight this entire post. Select copy, then go to your status, tap in the message. Have some fun!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Improved outlook...

Finally starting to feel a little normal again—not by a great amount, but at least my body isn't stiff with stress and worry as much as it was over the past several years. So today, for the first time since things got really hectic and down to the wire, I pulled out my crocheting! I have TONS to complete, both for friends and ourselves, so it's a good sign when I feel steady enough mentally and psychically to grab my yarn and hooks again.

It will likely take years for Paul and me to recover from the hell we've been through and the physical, mental, emotional, and psychic beating we've taken since 2011, but day by day, we shall recover.

Thank you again, friends and family, for being so kind, supportive, and encouraging through this long, arduous life journey. We can never say thank you enough. Please know that without all of you who supported and encouraged us, we likely couldn't have made it and we may not have lived to see this day. That is truth, not an exaggeration.

We want to give a special shout out to Brittany Elizabeth, Trevor 'Tack' Falana, and Rasputin Meraki Toska. These are three amazing young people who busted their asses and helped us in so many ways that we couldn't list everything. We love you guys, and Key West is in our future—plus anywhere else you wanna go! smile emoticon

Onward, one step at a time...

Friday, February 19, 2016

[RV lifestyle] Loving my new Boffice

Typing this from my RV boffice (bedroom+office=boffice). I love my new boffice, by the way. It's quite cozy. Not much room, but that's fine by me. Easier to keep things in order!

Friday, February 12, 2016

In case you missed it...

In case you missed it (ICYMI):
Paul and I have sold our house, put stuff in storage, and purchased an RV. We will be traveling full time and documenting those travels (including visits to spooky places!) at our page listed below. Go give us a 'like' so you can get updates from our travels

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Mark your calendars! I'll be on The 'X' Zone Radio Show on March 16, 2016

Okay, here are the details! I will be a guest on The ‘X’ Zone Radio Show out of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 from 9 pm - 10 pm Eastern.

Here's how you tune in mid-March if you want to listen to my interview with Rob McConnell: The ‘X’ Zone Radio Show –

Prior to the broadcast, you may also want to check out:
- The ‘X’ Zone TV Show –;
- The ‘X’ Chronicles Newspaper (sample edition) –
- The ‘X’ Zone Radio Show Past Guests –
- The ‘X’ Zone Radio Show Guest Comments –
- The ‘X’ Zone –

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Whoa! Here's what's happening!

Whoa! This new year has already brought some surprising life shifts our way.

We sold our house and car. Bought an RV. We are hitting the road to live, work, and travel full time.

New year, BIG changes! To follow our surprising journey, visit our Ghouls on the Go travel blog and our official website, located here:

Monday, January 18, 2016

Life is for living in the NOW

Words of wisdom today from esteemed author Raven Grimassi. Hit the nail on the head this morning with his post about living for today and not banking on tomorrow. Paul and I aren't promised tomorrow or even years into the future. We have today. That's it. And today we know how we want to shape our lives and what will make us happy. Having a home base here, in the form of an RV, with the ability to travel and even go on paying travel assignments, is what we want.

I've already lined up a couple travel-related resources that will pay me for my travel articles in addition to the job I got with the NYC company, plus a couple other fill-ins for income. I actually do have a strategy for things in my life that most other people don't quite understand. The questions they ask are ones I've already asked, explored, and researched.

Did the same thing before I quit my govt job to freelance FT 18 years ago. I don't talk about everything that I'm planning or have decided to do in full terms with everyone. Mainly because most people scratch their heads because they don't understand or get where I'm coming from. That's okay if people don't get where Paul and I are coming from. We know where we are coming from, and that's what matters the most.

I've spent the past nine years dreaming about this lifestyle. I grew up a military brat and traveled a great deal. I'm used to being uprooted. Though we plan to keep home base HERE because of family and friends. One day in Oklahoma in June of 2000 I woke up and decided that I didn't want to be away from Colorado any longer. Two weeks later, we were living in Colorado. Same thing happened after high school and in 1985 and 1990 as well.

Life is ever-changing, and you should be as well. I mean, if you truly want to experience life and meet your fears head-on. Does uncertainty bother me? Sure it does! Can I allow it to stop me from living life and, perhaps, having once-in-a-lifetime experiences with Paul that we may not have had otherwise? No, I cannot.

We sure as hell aren't going to get to explore Seattle, Oregon, California (we LOVE Cali!), the Grand Canyon, Maine, Upstate New York, Canada, South Padre Island, Key West, Napa Valley, visiting our son in Chicago, or visiting our friend Marti in Austin, TX unless we find a way to make those things happen. I wanna spend an afternoon at Key West or in Cali at the beach with my husband, daughter, and her fiance.

You can spend your whole damned life WAITING for the right time. Then you die before the RIGHT TIME ever arrived. Nope. I'm 51 and we've gotta make this happen somehow.

I can't wait another nine years, simply daydreaming about visiting those places. It's time to take action and somehow, some way, make it happen. Those who doubt me are unaware of my previous record of taking action in this life. When I finally decide on a course of action this big, it's not a matter of if it will happen, it's a matter of when.

The bottom line is this: Do not doubt a stubborn woman of Scottish/Irish/Finnish/Norwegian (VIKING)/Italian stock!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Thoughts on things that own you, instead of you owning them

Taking a short break from packing stuff we want to keep and hauling it over to storage.

Interesting to note: The majority of the boxes we've put in storage are filled with books, DVDs, and VHS movies. We have an *extensive* horror collection—much of it B-movie/foreign schlock. This fact should tell you much about what we consider valuable.

In other news, I'm ready to get into the car and drive away from here. I'm so damned done with this place. When you have so much crap, it turns out that you don't own all that crap, it owns YOU. Not interested in being owned by a bunch of THINGS anymore that no longer have value.

We value our computers (and related tech stuff), books, movies, and our animals. Those are the primary things that make us happy. Besides, of course, our family/friends, new adventures, new places, new experiences, and the paranormal.

All the rest of this stuff is filler that does nothing but take up space.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Colorado AAA has a sense of humor, and we love it!

That moment when you think you're e-mailing your husband, but you accidentally send it to the AAA webmaster...and you get an equally laughable response! :-)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Another trick or finally a treat?

If we didn't know better, Paul and I would think this property enjoys playing sick games with us, giving us hope and then snatching it away when we get our hopes up.

Today we received a letter from the El Paso County Trustee informing us that there was an overbid on the property when it was sold on January 6th and we MAY have funds coming to us as a result of that.

I'll call Monday to find out, but Paul and I know this property too well to get too excited over this letter. Because, hey, what we truly need is enough to purchase an RV or camper so we can move directly into one of those and set up a home base. In other words, if the overpaid funds were enough, our preferred goal would become a reality.

We've had enough cruel jokes, so we are wary that this is yet another 'carrot and stick' situation. However, deep down I always keep a spark of optimism. One never knows, right? Gotta stay OPEN to good and unexpected blessings and things.

For what it's worth, focused thoughts and intent for a positive outcome would be much appreciated. Could mean the difference between having a decent place to move in 8 days or not. We purchased the storage space today, so we are ready to haul stuff over beginning tomorrow. FREE first month's rent, so yay for that (thanks, Triple A!)

Just a reminder that tomorrow is self-imposed Cave of Solitude Sunday. I won't be answering messages except from immediate family. However, once we know more on Monday, I'll pop in and post an update. Thanks for your support. Ready for the next chapter -- and a better one, too! :-)

A final word of thanks to Chandra and Mark for the delicious food and dessert tonight. Paul and I don't think these people are real because they are far too kind, compassionate, and giving to exist in today's world. An RV/camping trip to Taos, NM, and elsewhere are the plans we have for them as a way to repay them for their gratitude and friendship -- for starters!

Wishing you all a marvelous, amazing weekend. You guys deserve it!

Our house sold. Now it's time to move!

Update: the buyer we were working with bought our house at auction. This is a relief, because we will be dealing with him and not a stranger. This property is no longer OUR problem -- thank goodness!

We now have nine days to find somewhere to live. Our first choice is a camper, RV, or something similar. We already have a place to park it, thanks to our friend Lyn. We will live on her property in Falcon, CO, for a short while we get our feet back under us and decide which RV/trailer park we will use as home base here in the Springs.

We are also looking at houses, cottages, or apartments we can lease on a month-to-month or yearlong basis. If you have info about a house/apartment or, alternatively, a camper, pop-up camper, older RV, please let us know. Everything is on the table. We have a way to tow a camper should we find one to purchase.

Right now we need an affordable place to live. Doesn't not have to be a big place since we are already downsizing. Over the coming year, we plan to take trips once we secure a camper, pop-up camper, or RV. The end goal is an RV that can be driven, but we are in emergency mode right now, so HOUSING for us and the dogs is of utmost importance.

By Monday we will begin deciding on items we want to keep. Those will go over to the storage space we've reserved. We got the first month free for the storage space, thanks to our AAA membership, plus a $20 gift card. Also got a free membership to Hertz Gold for a year, just in case we ever need a rental car (we get a free full-day rental through AAA).

All for now. If you have any leads, please contact Paul since I'm in the middle of completing various writing/editing assignments over the next week or so. Thanks.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Our new venture ~ Ghouls on the Go!

Ghouls on the Go, our new venture. 

Visit our blog here or our FRESH and NEW website at

Back of our Ghouls on the Go business card
Probably the coolest thing -- a Ghouls on the Go coffee cup!

[Bev's post] Clan Macneil's Kisimul Castle ;-)

Kisimul Castle
For those who like history and Scotland (and really, how could you NOT?!), I am descended from Clan Macneil on the maternal (my birth mother's) side of the family.

Although the Macneils claimed they were descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages, a high king of Ireland, they were NOT. Instead, recent tests revealed the Macneils had Viking DNA instead!

Essentially, Clan Macneil were fierce Viking-Scottish pirates that would take over ships that sailed by the Isle of Barra.

The Clan Macneil motto is "Buaidh no bas" (Victory or death), also translates as "Conquer or Die."

Clan Macneil's Kisimul Castle is located in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, off the Isle of Barra. I hope to see it in person some fine day!

My ancestor, Thomas Macneil, is my connection to the clan. He fought in the American Revolutionary War. These are my peeps! ;-) On the paternal side, I'm related to Clan Fergusson.

What do you get when you have Norse-Scottlish DNA? A hellion! Yep, that's me. I'll admit it. A bit too brash and mouthy for some, but at least you know where I stand on things!