Category Archives: Women

Kicking Back in Kissimmee ~ a writers’ getaway

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The resort train which Dalyn and I rode to get to the miniature golf course on the grounds

Florida Christian fiction writer Dalyn Woods and I took off to relax for a week in central Florida. It was my first vacation since my husband passed away, nearly one year ago. We had a terrific time, yet it felt strange being there without Joseph. Daylyn and I stayed at Westgate Town Center and Resort in Kissimmee. [Disclaimer: this is a time share resort and I know they are somewhat controversial, but my husband purchased and paid for a time share thinking he and I would use it.]

 

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Moi in front of the glof course

 

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Dalyn put-putting on the golf course

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Westgate Waterpark Then it was off to the on-site waterpark where we floated in the lazy-river, had lunch, then lazed in lounge chairs watching children playing in the water.

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Moi at the kiddie pool

The resort is affiliated with Disney. While we were there we watched at no charge (in their little theatre) two Star Wars movies and Alice Through the Looking Glass.

 

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Sophie the wonder-dog travels with moi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A word about FOOD…

 

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Drafts is a sports bar on the resort and the food is great. Here I had a turkey club on multi-grain bread. Dalyn had a Philly cheesesteak

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Dalyn’s Philly cheesesteak. The beer-batter fries were to die for.

We also went off campus to eat at Giordanos for Italian and the Wildside Barbeque and Steakhouse. I took photos at Giordanos but we were so hungry when we went to the Wildside we just dove in and I didn’t get any shots. The food was real good in both places. BTW, we got coupons from the resort for both.

 

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Cheesy garlic bread. Each slab has four slices. You dip them into the sauce (which is e frin scratch)

 

 

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I got the spaghettie with meat sauce. As you can see, they’re generous with the meat.

 

 

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Dalyn had Linguine with Alfredo sauce, which she said was yummy.

 

 

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6 Car Sounds NOT To Ignore ~ women listen up!

woman driving

Girl, with warmer weather here, if you’re hearing strange sounds coming from you car there’s something wrong. Period.

1. Hissing under your hood

If this happens wile driving, or after turning the engine off, the odds are this is NOT snakes trying to get out from under the hood, venomous or otherwise. Your car could be overheating. Do not pop the hood and try to take the cap off the radiator. It could pop like a hot champagne cork. Don’t do that. If you have roadside assistance, make the call. Another cause could be damaged vacuum hoses and leaks. Over time hoses wear out and must be replaced. Bring the car in and get it taken care of.

2. Metallic scraping, squeaking, squealing, grinding or growling

If you hear a squeaking or squealing noise, or a high-pitched grinding, your brake pads or shoes might be at the end of their life and must be replaced. And you didn’t know your brakes had shoes. Stilettos? If they’re whining, grinding or growling (sounds like something you hear at the dinner table, doesn’t it), get your brakes checked out immediately. It could be a sign the pads are so worn that metal is grinding on metal—a problem not to be ignored. It could lessen braking efficiency. This is dangerous.

 3. A sound like a quarter, or a dollar in coin in a clothes dryer

Women know this sound. If you hear that sound rattling around inside a wheel at low speeds (and then not so much, or not at all as you drive faster) it could be a loose lug nut inside a hub cap. That might mean your wheel wasn’t tightened properly the last time it was removed and replaced. Woman! Take your car to a mechanic ASAP!

4. A rhythmic squeak that speeds up as you accelerate

If you have rear-wheel or four-wheel drive (read your manual if you don’t know, seriously) and hear this sound, the culprit could be one of the universal joints or both (U-joints), which are found in pairs and are components of the driveshaft. Get it checked by a mechanic IMMEDIATELY. I’ll bet many women know the universal joint is important. It sounds important, doesn’t it?

5.  Shrieking, howling, whining or even “singing”

If it’s howling, we know this is bad, but why? It’s usually a sign your bearings (tiny metal balls that help parts rotate smoothly) aren’t working right. If you have front-wheel drive (again, check your manual if you don’t know), and the sound changes as you turn from side-to-side and back again, it could be your front-wheel bearings. A gradually growing, but steady howl might mean rear-wheel bearings. If you have rear-wheel drive and the whine gets louder as you accelerate, it’s likely to be your differential, which allows your wheels to spin at different rates when needed. Yup, could be your differential’s leaking fluid. That pesky differential. Get it fixed immediately. Squealing under the hood could come from loose or worn or accessory belts that drive things like your power steering pump, air conditioner compressor, and alternator. In newer model cars, it could point to the serpentine belt, which drives multiple accessories at once, and is relatively easy and cheap to fix. Okay, if you DON’T GET all that, just take the car in if it starts shrieking and howling at you. Got it?

6. Rhythmic clunking, tapping or banging from under the hood

There could be a serious problem with valves, connecting rods or pistons. Get to a mechanic ASAP. Don’t wait for it to get to clunking. If you didn’t change your oil when you were supposed to, pull over and DO NOT DRIVE. Your engine could seize up and that will be the end of your car, unless you replace the engine. If you changed the oil, take it in when it’s just tapping. It’s not likely to get better with time. The sound will only get louder and your engine could seize up. Ladies, that’s bad, real bad. If you have roadside assistance, the best thing to is is call them immediately.

Tips: 1) Pay close attention to changing your oil. You mechanic will have placed a sticker at the top of the windshield with the mileage when it needs to be changed. 2) As stated above repeatedly, read your car’s manual. Seriously! That’s why the manufacturer provided it.

 

 


For a Christian Woman Over 50 ~ things profitable

woman, of the worldI hope, as a seasoned Christian woman over fifty, I’m at peace with myself and others. From time-to-time in my pondering moments, I’ve wondered what are a few benchmarks, standards, norms a Christian woman over fifty should have attained, or be shooting for in her life. Below is a list I’ve compiled, and it’s by no means exhaustive.

1. Have a healthy, intimate relationship with God. ~ Knowing the Lord can’t be tamed, managed, or manipulated, we should be willing to intentionally follow His direction on the faith-journey He is laying out before us. We should we willing to hear the personal “word” He has for us.

2. Be in possession of a good Bible, not only a preWWI family heirloom you can’t write in, except to record births and deaths, and one you’re almost afraid to open lest a page tears. Make sure your daily-use Bible is in a translation that speaks to you.  And don’t be afraid to write personal notes in the margins. According to a recent survey, the King James Version (KJV) is still the most popular Bible and the most used by Christians. The New American Standard Bible (NASB) is a more literal translation from the ancient texts. The Living Bible (TLB) is making its way into many homes because although it’s not a word-for-word translation, it tries to say exactly what was meant by the ancient texts.

3. Don’t lead a cloistered life. As the Bible tells us we are not to forsake the assembly of the saints. Also become part of the community at large. We should shine our lights, bring peace to situations in our neighborhoods, at work, where we recreate.

4. Have a pretty good idea what our emotional baggage is and where it came from. But instead of picking lint out of our navels and analyzing it to death, we should invite the Holy Spirit into the mess so He can heal it. After all, Jesus is the healer.

5. Forgive everyone we can think of who has done us wrong. And when our fleshly-self starts murmuring about them again, unleashes bitterness and resentment aimed at them, once again, determine to forgive on purpose…and we’re free. Also, don’t forget to forgive ourselves. Jesus died so that we would be forgiven. So, it’s important and biblical to forgive ourselves…and go free.

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Christmas Eve in my family has traditionally meant a meatless meal.

6. Have at least one tantalizing recipe, you’re known for, to hand down to your kids, your friends, or offer to your church cookbook. Better still if if came from your mom, and she got it from hers. All these little things are a part of a positive legacy women can create.

7. Have a few things in your home that document and/or attest to memories. Photos, shots or video of an abfab church activity, conference or a vacation. Curios, knickknacks, or a fine piece of furniture picked up on that awesome vacay. Women say having these things around the house makes them feel happy when they take a small trip down memory lane.

8. It’s really important to keep dreaming and to have a few dreams so big it will take God to bring them to fruition.

 

 

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What to Call a Young(ish) on-the-go Grandmother

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Right now this is the most important issue in my life. Somehow “Grandma” doesn’t do it for me. And I don’t want any of the boring aged-sounding ones like Granny.  And Grammy sounds like an award.

I found out east-coast Italian-American grandmothers are being called Me-Me, the French Canadians spell it Meme (pronounced with a long ‘e’). That has a certain elan to it. I’ve also heard southern grandmothers called that. Italian grandmothers are also called Nona. Oma and Opa is of German descent. Baba and Lala has Eastern European roots. Yaya is Greek. Mummers sounds oh, so British.

I’ve heard one little boy couldn’t pronounce ‘grandma’ and the family wound up with ‘Mega.’ I’ve also heard toddlers can spit it out as ‘Mawa’ or any way they want.

Then there’s Nonnie,  Nonny, or Nandy.

GRANDMAS STILL WANNA KICK UP THEIR HEELS AND MIX IT UP A BIT…

I think Mumzie is cute. Though I don’t think I could be  Mumzie. Could I? Maybe. It’s cute.

I’ve heard there’s a trend toward words: Happy, Huggy, Lovey, Peaches, Punky, and the like. Things they are a changing. At one time I might’ve been called ‘funky’. It had a whole different meaning waaay back then. It meant ‘cool’ or ‘admirable’. Trust me. It did. Could I be called ‘Punky’? That makes me think of Punk Rock. There’s a problem when words mean different things to the different generations.

Where would a list be without a few celebrity grandma names. Debby Reynolds: Aba Daba. Joan Rivers: Nana New Face (speaks for itself). Goldie Hawn: Glam-ma. I’ve heard Glamma (glamorous grandma) is popular in Hollywood.

Then there’s GG for “grace-filled grandma” or “groovy grandma” (my age is showing again) or”genius grandma” or “greatest grandma” or “gorgeous grandma” or “generous grandma”. That last one is what the grandchild will most likely say it stands for. I also like GG.

 

 


Do Women Really Want ‘Shades’ of Bondage? ~ Or do they long for real men?

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I post my book promos and blog articles to most of the large book groups on Facebook. I think it’s good form to look at what others are posting if I expect them to look at what I’m posting. A few days ago when I did that, chill bumps ran down my back ~ not the good kind.

Book covers with women in various stages of bondage graced book covers on some of the biggest book groups. Pretty models with mascara streaked faces from tears. Immediately, in my spirit, I thought women don’t want this for themselves. This abuse of women and bondage craze in fiction titillates and may even be addictive, but does it satisfy, really satisfy? I think not. Despite all the so-called political and sociological advances its touted women have made, more and more of us are living lives of quiet desperation. I sense women’s souls are starving.

The images of women in pop-culture are horrendous. On the surface women seem to delight in it, but I wonder when they go home at night, shed their work-day power-suits, and sit on the edge of their beds in their Victoria’s Secret undies, are they deeply happy? Do they feel they’ve been respected, honored, valued, that day? Or have they had to claw and fight for place? I suspect it’s the latter. They’ve had to fight like alley cats. I further suspect women are exhausted from the battle.

Honestly, I think most men are confused and disillusioned by women who revel in drinking more straight shots at the bar than they do. Yet reality TV shows depict this every day. The women cast-members drink themselves into oblivion, become disheveled, get into physical altercations with one another, and use incredible amounts of profanity. In real everyday life, I think average Joe’s don’t know if they should take the blotto woman safely home, or just leave her, hoping she’s not going to attempt to drive. They must quake at the thought of making a life with such a lush. Is this what they want for the mother of their children?

When the woman is taken home after a night of excessive drinking, or manages to get home herself, is she happy with herself? Does she feel at peace with herself? I believe we all know the answer to that is an unqualified “no”.  So why do women keep feeding on these horrid visual images of themselves in the media?

I believe women are better than that. I believe women want to truly have a high level of self-esteem that comes from a sense of inner worth. I think they want to be valued as women, not as gladiators in a sexual arena. In the two detective novels I’ve written (HARMFUL INTENT and DEADLY DESIGNS) I’ve tried to create in the heroine, private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels, a woman who deals with issues of self-worth and comes out victorious. In addition, she’s a sassy, competent law enforcement professional. Hero Deputy Dawson Hughes is a strong, capable man who’s grappled with his own pain. One reader said he gives “southern comfort” new meaning. Perhaps because of his southern upbringing, he cherishes women and treats them with deep respect.

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Deadly Babes ~ Creative Women Killers

Courtesy of Free Images ~ Scott Snyde

Courtesy of Free Images ~ Scott Snyde

 

Statistically, murder has been a man’s activity. The numbers show men are much more likely than women to murder and also to be victims of murder. Thankfully, homicide, which is a law enforcement term and includes murder, manslaughter, justifiable homicide, and accidental killing, has been shown to be a rare occurrence. Deaths from heart disease, accidents, and pneumonia are all far more common, according to Jennifer Schwartz, multi-published professor of Criminology, Stratification, Communities/Urban Sociology.

However, wading through those stats, we find that men are mundane killers. They tend to shoot, stab, and/or beat their victims. Although women are a minute portion of what is a small number of killers, they get creative, concoct elaborate murder plots, use what they think are ingenious means to stalk their prey. This could be easily explained, as women are not as physically strong as men. Their first choice would not be to engage in a fight as a means to murder. Whereas, homicide might very well be the result when two men fight. As a writer, this fascinates me.

Typically, when women do murder, they kill those closest to them (spouses, lovers, family members). It’s all about relationships for the woman killer. Jealously and revenge are often sited motives for murders committed by women. The other is the collection of insurance money and also involves a victim the murderess is close to (a spouse, parent, a close friend, even their own child).

Women rarely use a gun to commit murder. Typically, a woman’s means to commit murder are poison (with arsenic high on the list) and arson.

During the roaring 20s and into the 1930s, Vera Renczi murdered the men in her life due to a fear of abandonment. She poisoned her husbands, lovers, and a son with arsenic, then placed their bodies in zinc-lined coffins in her wine cellar.
In the 1960s, church lady and a mother and grandmother, Janie Lou Gibbs, who once ran a day-care center, poisoned her three sons, a grandson, and her husband to collect life insurance.

Smothering is another women’s method of murder. A woman killer might smother a sleeping spouse, lover, parent, or child. Many might recall the movie The Burning Bed, with the abused spouse who burned her husband to death played by Farrah Fawcett. Women have been known to burn an entire house down to kill their victim.

Courtesy of Free Images ~ Adryian

Courtesy of Free Images ~ Adryian


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