Study Day

Morning everyone!

Photo credit: Pixabay

With all that is going on in my life right now, I decided I need to wrap up several unfinished courses and figure out what I’m going to do. I have studied the subject of copywriting to death and it’s time to do something with all this learned material.

First I have to finish up two or three courses though, then devise a plan, then implement it.

Easier said than done, right? What would be really nice is a proper office set-up, so I can collect my thoughts and not have material scattered all over the place. It’s no wonder I can’t think straight.

Anyway, I was lucky enough to get courses for bargain rates, from experts in the field like Nick Usborne and Len Smith. Today’s studies are by an English writer, Kirsty Stuart, and the course was $10 down from $150 and is on the Udemy platform!  It’s called The Complete Freelance Writing Online Course: Beginner to Pro, so I hope I gain all the necessary knowledge to start a writing business from home.

It looks like home is where I’ll be working from soon since my family and I are going into some pretty serious trials. I have already begun the process of stabilizing my knee so I can put that surgery off, helped Stephanie secure a full-time caretaker to take my place, and soon I will have surgery on my neck (since I’ve begun to lose feeling in my hands), but not until we get my mother-in-law going on her chemo and find out how she will feel afterwards. We will both be going through a tough six months or more and need rest, recovery, and lots of prayers!

If any of you bloggers out there want to turn your writing into a freelance business, any one of these courses I have taken should help you in that endeavor. The course before this was Web Content Optimization-Building An Audience of True Fans by Nick Usborne and has extremely useful information. Just check out Udemy and all the courses they have on sale at the moment. You are sure to find something to help you figure out your goals if writing for the web is what you are passionate about.

As for me, it’s back to study time after a quick snack, pray I get all these courses finished soon and learn how to make the most of my writing skills! Thanks for reading and following my blog!


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Who'd Like A Beneficial Recipe?

Alright! If I’ve done nothing else today, and I’m sure I will (get other things done) I made my own before-u-go spray, otherwise known as poo-pouri. Ha, you thought this was gonna be a food recipe right? Well…fooled ya!

This recipe is super simple and you can use several different items you have on hand. Surely by now most everyone has some brand of essential oils laying around the house, right?? If you don’t, you have no idea what you’re missing. They are sooooo beneficial.

Anyhoo-take a 2 oz glass spray or mist bottle (you can get them in-store or online from Amazon) and add to that:

  1. 1 Tbs alcohol (rubbing or vodka)
  2. 5 drops each of peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils
  3. Water

Slap a label on the bottle saying what it is and that you need to spray it into the toilet 5 times before you go!

Here’s mine:

Home made Poo-Pouri

I say it’s a beneficial recipe cause the person entering the bathroom after you will be so glad you used it!!


Now for something completely different:

Yesterday, we took my husband’s mom to the dr to find out if she would need chemo to continue her fight against the T-cell lymphoma she is dealing with and yes, sure enough, he said they are going to try a milder type called Bendamustine instead of the harsh one normally used for lymphomas called CHOP. Chop has adriamycin in it and is very hard on your body. We are glad he is doing this kind for two reasons: it is milder and she may get less nausea and less alopecia (hair loss) and the second reason is that she only has to do the treatment once a month for four to six months. It is given through a port in her chest which will be surgically placed this week sometime, over a two-day period and then she’s done for four weeks! I think she is relieved to get something going that will make her feel better too.

When I got home, my brain was swimming and I had no real desire to do anything productive (I don’t know why, feeling overwhelmed? Lazy?) but I did go to the store and while there I decided to treat myself to a small, fall bouquet. Know why? Cause flowers lift you up and make you feel a little bit better by brightening up your space.

My sweet autumn bouquet from Aldi

Just a cheap bunch of flowers from Aldi but man, they sure made me feel…special? Accomplished? Idk, but better.

Sharing My Photos of a Lovely Wedding

My boys childhood friend and my youngest son’s very best friend married the love of his life yesterday in a simple ceremony at a lakeside park in Lake Worth, Texas. We had fun visiting with other friends of the boys we hadn’t seen in a long time and catching up on what is going on in their lives.

I give you some photos from Ryan and Jenna Lasanta’s wedding:

The dessert table I stayed far away from
My son Chris all dapper and dressed up
Mother of the groom Arlene with her son Ryan
One of the beautiful bridesmaids
The sun setting on the lake was a wonderful backdrop and I loved the jewels hanging from the tree
Ryan’s son Marcus being asked if he approves of the union
Chris and Ryan’s dad in the lovely sunset
Ryan had just kissed Jenna’s belly after the seal the deal kiss!
Happy, relaxed and relieved it’s all over, I’m sure!

There were some more, but you get the idea. Sad to say, my oldest boy missed the whole thing due to work (shouldn’t have taken a vacation when he did) and they will be talking trash about him for months to come. Good news, everyone made it to the reception, behaved and made it back home safe. Bad news, several of the people who stayed at the La Quinta overnite had their cars broken into. Good news: no money or jewelry was taken. Bad news: the thieves took little Marcus’s tux and a gym bag that one of the patrons brought back from Germany. Sorry people. God will get them for that I’m sure.

Flash Fiction Friday-A Call To Action

Morning everyone! I want to start today by thanking all the peeps that checked out my blog yesterday and commented on my new “do”, it was much appreciated and I was happy to see that my blog is starting to reach some of my friends in the real world as well as the blogosphere! I got some sweet feedback and even some helpful advice, thanks again to everyone who visited and commented.

It’s been a pretty good week for writing and I notice my followers increase when I write more frequently. Sorry, I have been absent so much, it has been pretty busy around the Smyth house lately but things are settling down for the moment. I appreciate your patience. With that being said, welcome to another edition of Flash Fiction Friday, I hope you enjoy what gets conjured up from my imagination this morning.

A Call To Action

The phone rang, waking Jerri’s one-year-old daughter Sasha. She made her way down the hall, propping Sasha on her hip after lifting her from her crib, snatched the phone off the wall in the hall and plunked Sasha unceremoniously into her high chair all at the same time. “Hello?”

“This is the city of La Port’s Office of Emergency Management with an emergency message regarding Hurricane Steven, do not hang up.  Based on current predictions and forecasts, the following actions are in effect for the citizens of La Port: City officials have declared a state of emergency and a MANDATORY evacuation…”

Jerri dropped the phone and turned on the local weather, eyes widening as she realized the storm was almost upon them. No time to get to her sister’s house in Austin, she would have to make preparations to go to the city shelter. The roads were already congested, according to the news crawl under the weather map on tv, what was she going to do? She needed to think a minute.

Calling her husband Bill while giving Sasha a snack on the tray of her high chair, Cheerios keeping her little fingers busy while Jerri waited for Bill to pick up the phone, her mind was a mad jumble trying to think of what all she could grab before dashing off to safety. “Hello?” Bill answered finally on the fourth ring, “Listen, Honey, I know you’re probably in panic mode, but this thing isn’t as bad as they are saying.”  “BILL! I just got a MANDATORY evacuation notice and we can’t get out of here! I’m freaking out a little, and I need some help. I am taking Sasha and going to the shelter, grab your stuff and meet me there, I only have room for mine and the baby’s stuff in my car! I don’t care what you think, I am not gonna be stuck in this house alone while the roof gets blown off!” “Ok, calm down Jerri, I’ll come home for lunch and assess the situation. If I feel we need to get out, we will all go together.” Jerri relaxed slightly and blew out a sigh, “Ok Honey, sorry I got so upset. It’s just that they are serious this time and I think we should listen. I’ll go ahead and get everything ready, see you when you get here, love ya!”

Three days later they emerged from the shelter, grabbing their child and what precious little they managed to take in the rush to leave their doublewide mobile home, Bill still not believing it was serious and Jerri trying her best to convince him otherwise. Wading through water up to their butts, they looked up and down the streets at the devastation left by the storm. Cars were overturned, trees uprooted and roofs no longer existed on most of the buildings. Making their way to Bill’s truck, thank God it was lifted, maybe there was a chance they could still get into it and drive back to the house.

People were literally passing them by in canoes and other watercraft, looking to get back into their own homes or looking for anyone needing to be rescued. The area was a complete mess and Jerri wasn’t holding on to much hope they would find their house in tact. They plodded toward Bill’s jacked up Chevy Avalanche and luckily, the doors were above water. They made the decision to throw their belongings in and lock it up, then turned to see what they could do to help their neighbors. Bill was six foot two, so he grabbed Sasha and Jerri’s free hand. In the other hand,  Jerri had her bag, she wasn’t going anywhere without the security of her essentials, phone, wallet, smokes, diapers and wipes, a bottle of formula, and Sasha’s beloved pacifier.

They spotted the Clarks, Doug, and Betsy,  rowing by and asked them what they could do to help. “Nothing right now” Doug replied, “No one can get in their houses with all this water. Do y’all need a  ride somewhere?” “Nah,”  Bill said, “We haven’t been back to our place yet, did you see it on your way over here?” Doug looked at Jerri and back to Bill, “I’m so sorry guys…” Jerri knew then they were probably homeless. She figured when the water receded they would see what was left and try to pick up the pieces after that. Bill was in total shock, never believing the storm could really do all this damage. He looked at Jerri and Sasha and thought, “I was supposed to protect them and I didn’t even believe the forecast was right” as he trudged through the dirty, disgusting water and watched his fellow neighbors trying to help each other get out of their submerged homes. “Note to self,” he thought, “sometimes the weathermen actually get it right.”

Seeing their friend and neighbor Tina, who was struggling to wade through the water with her six-year- old and her bag held high above her head, Bill hollered for her to stop and he would lend a hand. Reaching her side, he snatched the bag and handed Sasha to Jerri while he told Tina’s son Jade to get on his back. He piggy-backed him to the bed of his pick up and told him to wait there and watch the bag while he went back for Tina. It felt good to do something productive and soon they were all safely secured in the vehicle, warm and safe, if not dry. As he looked around at his shivering, depressed family and friends he said, “Where to?” It took them a moment to realize he was trying to be funny and they all burst out laughing at the nature of their somewhat comical situation.




My New "Do"- What Say You?

Ok peeps, time for some brutal honesty here! The question is: if you didn’t know, would you think it was real?

Looks like I’m modeling my phone, lol!

I will be modeling more as I get them and maybe I’ll hold a contest to find out the favorite. I’m thinking I will enjoy them during the winter since they do warm your head a bit. Paula Young has some she calls Feather Lite, so I don’t know if they are cooler or what, but I may order one. I know the cost is about a third of what this one cost. I should be getting a short one from Wish that was really inexpensive. Why, I could be someone different every day! What’s the difference in changing my “do” or wearing a hat or scarf? I teased my husband and said, “Ooooh, I could be ‘the other woman’ ha”

My main “issue” with this one is it has an adjustable cap, when tightened to fit my head, it bunches in the back (you can’t see it but I can feel it) and maybe I should stick to wigs that have sizes available, since I have a small head.

Would you be willing to wear a wig if your hair was thinning? Some may have the idea that it’s a vanity thing, and that’s ok. I’m trying it because it makes me feel better to have options. I am not really a hat person and I don’t know how to wear scarves.

I used to work at The Cancer Center in Arlington, I saw people that wore them when they lost their hair and they had such marvelous attitudes about wearing them. Then again for some it was very personal and difficult and I loved that the center provided wigs, hats and scarfs for our patients to choose from. I’m blessed that I don’t have cancer (that I know of) and my hair is just very thin for reasons I don’t know. It seems to be getting worse and so this is my solution.

I’m excited, and a little nervous, to see your responses. Have a happy Thursday and I’ll see you later, on the patio!

Stories of Love

So I have just a bit of exciting news, I just penned a story for Chicken Soup for the Soul concerning love stories, it will take some time before I hear if it was accepted. I’ll know when or if I receive a check in the mail plus ten copies of the book. They do not send rejection letters. I wrote about my love for David and the coincidental way we met. Wish me luck!

Yesterday I took my sweet Dad to his ENT for a hearing check and an inspection of his troublesome right ear. It has a tiny hole in it he has had since childhood, making it difficult to keep fungus and wax buildup out of. As usual, they had to manually remove some sticky wax off of his eardrum-good news, no infection this time!

Dad in the testing booth

Next week we will go back for another appt to make sure his hearing aids are set properly and working well. He still has trouble with his speech but does not want to go to any more doctors than he already does, nor will he try speech therapy again. He is frustrated that the first time didn’t work and says he’s done with it. I told him to try reading aloud but I don’t know if he does it. 😉

Today we have to go to the dermatologist for his skin check up since he had some skin cancer about a year or two ago. He gets frequent check ups on his head and face, if the doc sees anything, he just zaps it with some liquid nitrogen and sends him home!

I love my dad and just want him to live the rest of his life happy and not be so frustrated, he is too shy now to go out in public unless he is with family. Luckily he has a wonderful friend and pen pal (hi Ethelyne!) that he writes nightly on the computer. What a joy she is and he is blessed to have a friend like her! We’ve met and she is a doll.

Dad’s friend Ethelyne


For anyone concerned with the outcome of my refund for the cruise I had to cancel, Royal Carribean sent me a $177 refund back to my bank account and so far, that is all that has happened. I don’t know if I will get a cruise credit or what, but let me just say, that is nowhere near what my ticket cost me. I do not feel like I should be penalized for canceling my cruise due to the circumstances at the time, plus my inability to get there because the roads were impassable. I will check with my travel agent and see.



What To Name This Post?

Good morning everyone and how are you today? I hope you all had a pleasant weekend and my prayers are going out to all those affected on the east coast with Irma and also those in the northwest dealing with forest fires.

We have not been back to work on the house yet, preferring to visit family and friends, some day we will get on with our remodeling. Friday night I was visited by a tickle bee

See the tiny bee on my fingernail?

You can also see my nails needed to be redone, which my sister-in-law, Connie took care of for me on Saturday.

Fabulous work!
Nails by Connie

Saturday night we finally got to go see our friends Kerry and Michelle in their new (temporary) home in an RV community in Grapevine. We had a great time and I took a few pics but they were kind of dark.

Michelle and Kerry’s RV
The view from their spot on Lake Grapevine
Back into the park

Life is calm and quiet here, with most people chilling inside their mobile homes, walking around the park or down by the water. We hung out a while, Michelle took me around the park on her new golf cart and showed my their more permanent spot they will move to in a couple of weeks. Then they will stay until mid-December, leave the park for 2 weeks and after that, they can return to their spot. That is life in an RV campground for a while until they decide they want to live in a house again. There is a playground, washer and dryer’s, a restroom and even a small store inside the park. I figure I could last a month, tops!

Yesterday I grabbed the ideal dress to wear to church, noticing right away what a perfect match it was to my nails!

Like I planned it, really I didn’t!

Way to go Cowboys by the way! We had my dad and Dave’s mom over for dinner yesterday, but they went home before the game. I hate late games for that very reason. My boys evidently celebrated the event at a friend’s house, hopefully, they were on their best behavior!

Please keep us in your prayers as my mother-in-law has yet another procedure this morning to drain the fluid from her lungs. Keep our friend Billy in your prayers as well…he was hurt in a motorcycle accident after striking a deer, broke both legs below the knees and could possibly lose his left leg. Pray the doctors can keep that from happening and continue to pray for the victims of Harvey and now Irma.