You Knew he was a Snake

The votes from Tuesday’s election are still being counted in some races, but Republicans have seen enough to know their party is in deep trouble. For months, conservative and mainstream media have touted a Republican takeover of Congress. Some predicted thirty to forty seats flipping in the House and three to four seats in the Senate.

A red wave, they said.

A tsunami large enough to engulf an entire coast, like an apocalyptic scene from a movie, they prophesized.

But reality opened its door and smacked the Republicans right in the face. They didn’t get the cinematic tsunami that drowns large cities and washes away tall buildings.

They instead got a tiny splash in the kiddie pool. A mere ripple in the current made by a small kick in the water.

Republicans watched the movie Rocky believing they were the Italian Stallion, the heavily muscled champion of the world, with the sculpted biceps and rock-hard glutes.

But on election night Republicans looked in the mirror and saw Donald Trump, because Republicans are the party of Donald Trump. No matter how much they try to distance themselves from him, Trump is the man they bowed down to six years ago. He won’t let them stand straight again without setting the entire party on fire.

Keep bowing, Republican Party. Donald Trump is a ruthless, bitter, petty, and vindicative person.

Donald Trump cares only for himself. He sacrifices nothing for anyone. Loyalty is one-sided. You scratch his back, and he will shoot you in yours if it benefits him.

In 2016, before the presidential election, Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted, “If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed….and we will deserve it.”

The Republicans got destroyed on Tuesday. And they deserved it.

They embraced a man who started his campaign by stating all Mexicans are rapists. Mocked a disabled reporter at his rallies. Instructed the people at his rallies to punch protesters in their face, stating he’d pay their legal fees. (Of course, he wouldn’t. Trump doesn’t pay for his own legal fees.)  Was accused of sexual harassment by twenty-five women. Accused of rape by one. Caught on camera claiming he could grab women by their pussy because he’s a star and they let him do it. Paid 25 million dollars to students he scammed at Trump University. His “charity” was shut down because he misused (stole) money, resulting in a two million dollar fine. Sued by contractors for money owed for work on his now bankrupted casino hotels. The smaller contractors who couldn’t afford lawsuits and couldn’t absorb being stiffed by Trump, lost their businesses.

Trump openly expressed his love for Vladimir Putin, someone who has never been a U.S ally. He spewed white nationalist rhetoric. Attempted to withhold congressionally passed military aid to a foreign country, unless they did him the favor of announcing an investigation into his political opponent. Claimed, without evidence, a fair election he lost was stolen. Attempted to extort a U.S. Secretary of State into finding him over 11,000 votes. Incited an insurrection at the U.S Capitol in an attempt to keep power.

Americans voted against Trumpism. They voted against hate. They rejected Republican ideologies. America instead voted for candidates who stand for healthcare for all. Clean renewable energy. Women’s healthcare rights. Gay rights. Trans rights. Livable wages. Lower Medicare costs. Social Security. Affordable education. Higher taxes on big corporations and wealthy individuals. Gun control, because why do civilians need weapons designed for war? Guns capable of spraying hundreds of rounds of bullets in seconds, made to produce mass casualty in little time.

Democrats have retained the Senate. We’ll know next month if they’ll gain a seat. The House is up for grabs. Republicans certainly didn’t imagine this scenario. But here they are, and they need to own this.

At his hateful rallies, Trump often referenced The Snake to vilify immigrants. A poem written by Oscar Brown Jr. about a woman who nurtures a sick snake back to health, only to have the snake bite her in her bed.

“Oh, shut up, silly woman,” said the reptile with a grin. “You knew damn well I was a snake before you let me in.”

Trump is yours, Republican Party. You let him in. He showed you who he was, yet you let that snake in anyway.

No givebacks.

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Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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Author Carol Browne Writes about a Shapeshifter Called Harper.

A Shapeshifter Called Harper

from Carol Browne

You’re expecting to read about a shapeshifter called Harper now, I know, but it’s why this character is called Harper that is the reason for me writing this blog. The name was originally Tyler.

Tyler was the MC in a sci-fi novella entitled The Star Attraction, which I wrote in 2016. In May 2019, I was offered a contract for the book by my publisher. Said publisher closed down a few months later and that was that. Following this, I found myself dealing with a multitude of life problems, not to mention my other books and the demise of my third publisher. Hence, it was only in July 2022 that I found time to submit this book elsewhere (no verdict as yet!). Meanwhile, I am writing a sequel.

This week I saw a promo post on Facebook for a new release and, lo and behold, the male protagonist is a shapeshifter called Tyler. What are the odds? I might have been the first person to use this name in this way, but the other author got published so Tyler is damned and has morphed into Harper (which seems apt).

In this same week, a fellow author was distraught when she found that her latest manuscript, which she was about to send to her agent, has the same theme as another recently published book. I won’t reveal the theme, but it is such a novel, specific and original concept that it beggars belief that someone else came up with the very same idea. I hope she and her agent can find a way around this dilemma.

Last year I had an idea for a crime thriller, and I believed that the crime and the reason behind it was so outlandish and original that the chance of anyone else coming up with the idea was remote. More fool me. Yet another of those promo posts on Facebook was to show me the error of my ways as a concept I had deemed so unusual and unique was there for all to see in someone else’s stylish new book trailer. Meanwhile, as I toyed with the idea of an epic fantasy involving women with magic powers, I found that my story had already been given its marching orders by The Wheel of Time.

When there’s nothing new under the sun, it’s a challenge trying to create original concepts, and even more difficult to avoid accusations of plagiarism even though you had no idea that your ideas duplicated someone else’s. In the same way, it’s not possible to be aware of every book that has been, is being, or will be published. The fact that there’s no copyright on titles is a small crumb of comfort!

So, what is going on? Is it the Collective Unconscious that causes so many people to have the same ideas at the same time? How often does this happen to other authors and what do they do about it? Would any author reading this blog have changed Tyler to Harper or kept the original name? I’d love to know.

For now, my shapeshifter is called Harper. I lay claim to this in writing in the hope that there aren’t any other shapeshifters called Harper out there already! If there are and anyone has any objection to mine, speak now or forever hold your peace!

Once upon a time a little girl wrote a poem about a flower. Impressed, her teacher pinned it to the wall and, in doing so, showed the child which path to follow. Over the years poems and stories flowed from her pen like magic from a wizard’s wand. She is much older now, a little wiser too, and she lives in rural Cambridgeshire, where there are many trees to hug. But inside her still is that little girl who loved Nature and discovered the magic of words. She hopes to live happily ever after.

Stay connected with Carol on her website and blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Fantasy author Carol Browne is a published author who is currently seeking an agent.

Going Out to Eat

Going out to eat was a rarity when I was young.  Most of our dinners were homecooked by my mother. She made delicious meals, so it wasn’t a disaster to eat at home but going out to eat was special. An exciting break from mundane evenings.

I could sense a night out was coming, when, as suppertime approached, and nothing was in the oven, either we were ordering take-out (which was another welcomed rarity), or we were going out to eat.

I preferred going out to eat. I’d alert my siblings. “We’re going out to eat tonight! We’re going out to eat.” I can’t remember if they shared my same excitement, but I’m sure they did because eating out was a treat.

Though I hated getting dressed up, I loved going out to dinner, so I wore whatever my mother pulled from my closet, without much fuss. We dressed up. No jeans. It was nice pants, sweaters, blouses, dresses, or skirts attire. As much as I loved my jeans, especially the ones with holes, I knew better than to even think I’d be allowed to wear jeans when going to a restaurant.

But I don’t remember even wanting to wear everyday clothes. That’s what made going out to dinner special. You wore the clothes you didn’t normally wear. You did your hair better. You wore your nice shoes because you were going out

My favorite places to eat were steakhouses. The ambiance was very distinct to steakhouses. Almost mysterious. They were darker than other restaurants, lit by candles in red-glass candleholders on every table.  The tables were dense and sturdy, made of dark wood. The air was thick with the aroma of seasoned meat and homemade biscuits.

The biscuits were thick and buttery, and Mom always had to warn us not to fill up on them the moment the server placed the basket on the table, but we couldn’t resist. Our little hands dug right in.

My favorite dish was the basket of breaded fried shrimp and French fries. Every good steakhouse had them on the menu. I remember the fries looking enormous to my younger self, who was used to thin fast food fries. But everything was big at steakhouses, especially the baked potatoes they served, cut down the middle and fluffy on the inside, wrapped in foil, with sides of butter and sour cream.

This is how I remember the dining-out experience as a child. It was fancy. Special. You dressed up for it.

I don’t have the statistics, but I’m certain the stats will show families go out to dinner more often now than they did in the early 80’s, when I was a kid. Casual dining has been on the rise for decades, the proof is in the abundance of chain restaurants that have flooded this country’s landscape.

Sure, I’d have wanted to go to restaurants more as a kid if asked, but I’m glad it wasn’t a regular, casual thing. There would have been nothing special about it. I’m able to write this blog forty years later because the excitement I felt going out to eat as a child is still palpable.  You don’t get that from casual experiences.

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Photo courtesy of freedigitaphotos.net

 

Helen Carpenter Shares a Delicious Pear Recipe to Bake the Perfect Pie.

by Helen Carpenter We like to bake here in Carpenter Country, and we love to eat what we bake. Today we want to share one of our favorite recipes with you. Hope you enjoy as much as we do.
Photo by rakratchada torsap
3-2-1 Pear-Up 3 pears, peeled and sliced 3 tbsp. sugar 3 tbsp. oatmeal 2 tbsp. pecan pieces 2 tbsp. flour 2 tsp. lemon juice 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon, if you prefer) 1 tbsp. butter 1 spritz nonstick cooking spray Preheat oven to 350°F Spritz the bottom of a 9″ round pie pan with nonstick cooking spray. Toss the pear slices in the lemon juice and add them to the pie pan. Measure the sugar, oatmeal, pecan pieces, flour, and spice into a plastic baggie. Shake to mix. Add the butter and knead the bag with your fingers until the mixture resembles soft crumbs. Empty the bag of topping mixture into the pie pan on top of the pears. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pears are soft. Tips and tricks Add a tablespoon of butter on top of the pears if you like a syrupy juice. Experiment with different types of nuts for different flavors. Raisins or dates add a sweet touch. Top each serving with sweetened whipped cream for extra yum. The last one is my personal favorite. Helen Once upon a time there was a mother/daughter author duo named Helen and Lorri, who wrote as HL Carpenter. The Carpenters worked from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, was unreal but not untrue. Then one day Lorri left her studio to explore the land of What-if, and like others who have lost a loved one the magical place lost much of its magic. But thanks to family, plus an amazing group of wordsmiths named Authors Moving Forward (AMF), the magic is slowly returning. Helen Carpenter loves liking and sharing blog posts from other authors. She lives in Florida with her husband of many years and appreciates every day, especially those without hurricanes. Stay connected on her blog and

Annabel and the Boy in the Window

 A Penny on the Tracks was the last book I published and that was back in 2017. Five years ago. Compared to my life now, those five years feel like years lived from some long-ago time. A life lived by some other person because nothing about the life I’m living now resembles anything of the days lived in 2017.

In 2017, I didn’t even know the word covid existed and health issues I thought were forever behind me were not even a consideration. But then 2020 thrust covid onto the world and 2021 ushered in health implications for me that 2022 is maybe, finally, hopefully, beginning to mend. 

But through all of that, after five years, I finally have another book coming out. Annabel and the Boy in the Window is a story I’d been writing on and off since 2013. For some reason, it was always the book I’d set aside to finish other stories. Until, finally, I said, “no more.”  No more procrastinating. No more pushing aside. Complete this book or never write another story again.  It took some time, but I finished. 

Annabel and the Boy in the Window is a story based in the 1950’s that centers around a teenage girl named Annabel. Unlike her friends, Annabel has little interest in marriage or having children. She desires an education and a career, but her alcoholic father stands in her way. 

Annabel sneaks out of her bedroom window at night and walks the streets of her quiet suburban town, while dreaming of a different life. She peers through people’s windows, eager for a glimpse of what a normal and happy family look like.

On one of her nightly walks, she sees Danny through his window and is immediately captivated by him. His soothing smile and gentle demeanor give her the safe and secure feeling that living in her own home fails to provide.

Danny, the popular high school quarterback, is two years older than Annabel. He and Annabel run in very different social circles, so when Danny approaches her in the school hall one day, no one is more surprised than Annabel that a simple conversation about schoolwork would lead to football games, dances, and affairs of the heart Annabel only read about in books.

When Danny is set to leave for college, he asks Annabel to wait for him. Annabel knows Danny can provide her with the blissful life she deeply longs for. It would be easy to let Danny save her. To wait for him and become the docile wife she resents in her mother, but Annabel has dreams of her own.

When her abusive father becomes a threat to wreck those dreams, all seems lost until a secret from his past comes out and changes everything. 

Annabel and the Boy in the Window will be released this fall. 

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Author, Linda Lee Greene, Visits my Blog.

COMING IN ON FLIGHT 79 From Linda Lee Greene, Author/Artist “You know what the trouble is, don’t you?” the man in the aisle seat in my row said to me. My head on its stiff neck cranked in his direction, an enquiring eyebrow lifted in irritation. It had been my habit over the years to avoid airplane conversations. I used such occasions to let loose full-bore my intrinsic reserve. “It’s all that heavy baggage stuffed top to bottom in the hold,” the man went on to explain. “You’d think that people would learn by now that if they want an easier takeoff and a smoother flight, they’d pack lighter than before. Seventy-nine of these flights and nobody seems to have learned that lesson—nobody but me that is. This is the extent of my gear,” he said as he placed a small leather pouch no larger than his open hand on the empty seat between us. “Cheeky fellow,” I said to myself and then turned my face back to the window. All of a sudden, fuming, black clouds split open and barraged the airplane with a torrent of rain. The vessel rose and dropped, rose and dropped like a rollercoaster car. My knuckles white on the armrests, I nearly lost my breakfast. I stole a glance at my seat companion and was astonished at his utter composure. His hands folded softly in his lap and eyes closed, his chest expanded and contracted in gentle, easy breaths. It appeared that his experience of our journey was the opposite of mine. Moments that seemed an eternity passed by, and the plane leveled and found its balance for a while. I thought it expedient to discover the source of the man’s serenity. “What’s your destination?” I inquired. “As far as the plane will take me,” was his reply. “Further along than last year,” he added. “I never seem to get very far at all from my starting point,” I admitted. “There have been trips where I even went backwards.” “Same here,” he confessed. “What’s different this trip?” I asked. “I had a dream. I take messages in dreams to heart. In the dream, a voice told me flat out that I had to lighten my load if I expect to ever get where I’m supposed to go, and especially to get off the ground for my very last trip, which the voice told me is still far in the future. So, I started unloading my enormous suitcase.” “Unloading it of what?” “The voice told me to begin by dumping outworn regrets and then pointless guilt; childish resentments and envies and jealousies and grudges; unspoken apologies; unattended amends, and pernicious unforgiveness. Getting rid of those things alone would lighten the load a whole lot. But that wasn’t enough—not nearly enough. There is this thing called ‘yearning,’ that wistful longing for things that will never be. Do you know what I mean?”
Pastel and acrylic painting, “Coppers” by Linda Lee Greene
“Do I ever!” I answered. I pushed back into my seat, closed my eyes and thought about all my companion had said. Without a doubt, unforgiveness would continue to stick to me like glue. And must I accept that I will never live in that villa-of-my-dreams in Tuscany; that I will never know if so-and-so really loved me; that I will never be sure that my children will be okay without me? Hardest of all will be to give up agonizing over those unfinished things: the paintings I will leave undone; the poems, essays, blog posts, and books I won’t complete. If I rid myself of all those things, I guess my suitcase will be pretty empty—probably not entirely empty, because I’m quite sure nobody gets out completely clear and clean. But maybe I can get it down to a small pouch like my companion’s. If I keep chiseling away so that by the end of this spiritual journey known as ‘my life,’ maybe, just maybe I will be as weightless as a butterfly, and who knows how wonderful my final flight will be and where it will take me? “Happy 79!” my companion said to me. “How does he know I’m 79?” I asked myself. Just before I drifted off to sleep, I remembered that nobody boarded Flight 79 any other way. Outside the window, the storm raged again, and I was no longer afraid. Linda Readers were introduced to American Nicholas Plato in multi-award-winning author Linda Lee Greene’s A Chance at the Moon, which is available for purchase on Amazon. In Garden of the Spirits of the Pots, A Spiritual Odyssey, Nicholas boards a plane for Sydney, Australia with bags that are stuffed full of anger and heartbreak and other life-defeating issues. Little does he know that he is arriving at the time and place to empty his baggage, and to risk himself to love. Here’s a peek at multi-award-winning author and artist Linda Lee Greene’s latest book, Garden of the Spirits of the Pots, A Spiritual Odyssey. It is a blend of visionary and inspirational fiction with a touch of romance. The story unfolds as ex-pat American Nicholas Plato journeys into parts unknown, both within himself and his adopted home of Sydney, Australia. In the end, the odyssey reveals to him his true purpose for living. The novella is available in eBook and paperback.

Driven by a deathly thirst, he stops. A strange little brown man materializes out of nowhere and introduces himself merely as ‘Potter,’ and welcomes Nicholas to his ‘Garden of the Spirits of the Pots.’ Although Nicholas has never laid eyes on Potter, the man seems to have expected Nicholas at his bizarre habitation and displays knowledge about him that nobody has any right to possess. Just who is this mysterious Aboriginal potter?

Although they are as mismatched as two persons can be, a strangely inevitable friendship takes hold between them. It is a relationship that can only be directed by an unseen hand bent on setting Nicholas on a mystifying voyage of self-discovery and Potter on revelations of universal certainties.

A blend of visionary and inspirational fiction, and a touch of romance, this is a tale of Nicholas’ journey into parts unknown, both within his adopted home and himself, a quest that in the end leads him to his true purpose for living.

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Multi-award-winning author and artist Linda Lee Greene describes her life as a telescope that when trained on her past reveals how each piece of it, whether good or bad or in-between, was necessary in the unfoldment of her fine art and literary paths. Greene moved from farm-girl to city-girl; dance instructor to wife, mother, and homemaker; divorcee to single-working-mom and adult-college-student; and interior designer to multi-award-winning artist and author, essayist, and blogger. It was decades of challenging life experiences and debilitating, chronic illness that gave birth to her dormant flair for art and writing. Greene was three days shy of her fifty-seventh birthday when her creative spirit took a hold of her. She found her way to her lonely easel soon thereafter. Since then Greene has accepted commissions and displayed her artwork in shows and galleries in and around the USA. She is also a member of artist and writer associations. Visit Linda on her blog and join her on Facebook. Garden of the Spirits of the Pots is available in eBook and/or paperback on Amazon.  

What’s This Life For?

Ribbons wrap around trees that line the streets of the subdivision I live. I didn’t know why until yesterday.  A 21-year-old woman who lived just blocks from me, away at college for her senior year, was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

Just minutes before, the young woman had been out with friends on a Friday night. None of those friends could know that that night would be the last night they’d hear that woman’s laugh. See her smile. Hear her voice. Feel her hug.

The goodbye they shared was their last goodbye. But none of them knew that until they got the call.

The sudden call that confirms you will never see a person you love ever again.

The call that changes lives forever.

The call every parent prays never rings for them and then is shattered in disbelief when it does.

But all you can do is pray because one can’t control the erratic car, they didn’t see coming, racing toward them while crossing a street at night.

One can’t control which classroom, which grocery store, which concert, which movie theater, or which parade a gunman will choose to spray his bullets.

Our fate is not always in our hands. Even the most obsessed control freak has to concede to that. There is no guarantee to a long life no matter how healthy a lifestyle you live.

You can eat right. Exercise daily. Limit risky behavior. But if your day brings you to the exact spot where a car will run a red light, or a bullet will pass with no warning, what can you do? What chance do you have?

Nobody lives forever. Death is certain. We all know that. But everyone wants a timely death.  To die with a wrinkled face, silver hair, and a hundred years of memories lived, instead of just a couple decades.

How some people live long enough to see old age is a combination of good genes, self-care, and having the good fortune of never being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

When lives, especially young lives, are taken in such tragic, unfair, and nonsensical ways, it is easy to wonder what this life is for. Is it worth it? To live and love when your life and your love can be ripped away from you any minute of any day?

Our personal life experiences may answer that question for us.

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Photo courtesy of freedigitalphoto.com

Are Experiences, Knowledge, and Wisdom Inherited? Author Linda Lee Greene Explores this Phenomenom.

MAGICAL HANDS from Linda Lee Greene, Author/Artist Kay, my lovely physical therapist, received me most graciously on my first appointment, and then she led me to a private consultation room. One of those perpetually youthful, mature women, she also appeared as fragile as a feather, better suited to ballet than physical therapy. But appearances can be deceiving, as I was soon to find out. Following the question-and-answer session, she instructed me to lie down on her little couch, and then she went to work scrutinizing my body. It was then that I got the strong feeling that Kay is living her calling. Her immense strength and wisdom are in her hands. Her hands tell her things about her patients that go unrecognized by some medical professionals. For instance, mere moments into her exploration of my body, she said to me, “You are very strong, Linda. Did you grow up on a farm?” “No,” I replied. And then I thought to myself, “Does she feel my history, my ancestry in my body?” I recalled then Carl Jung’s theory of the collective consciousness, which suggests that our experiences/knowledge/wisdom are inherited. Scientific experiments have revealed this phenomenon to be possible, and that the information is stored in the form of nucleic acid codes within cells. There is speculation (some call it evidence) that certain sensitive types can tap into this pool of material, person to person. Maybe Kay is one of those sensitive types. Of course, while I technically did not grow up on a farm, I was born on my maternal grandparent’s farm, spent the first two years of my life there and was a frequent visitor during the rest of my childhood and into my adolescence and far beyond. While I have always been aware that I carry my farmer ancestors in my heart and mind, I didn’t understand until Kay’s inquiry the extent to which I also carry them in my body—how they are etched in me, blood, muscle, sinew, and bone. Further into the hands-on examination, Kay found and then probed certain hot spots on my body and proclaimed, “Ouch, that hurts!” Here I was trying to be all stoic and brave, and she voiced my pain. You have to appreciate a person like that. This set my mind awhirl about Kay’s story, as well. Maybe I’m reading too much into her, but I’m wondering if she is a bona fide medical intuitive, like Caroline Myss. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Kay sees into my soul and knows how unmindful I am of my body most of the time. I bet she sees so clearly the love affair I have with my brain with its sparks of spirit that set it on fire so often. My brain keeps me company. It comforts me. It talks to me like a best friend, whereas my body delights in jabbing me at every turn with aches and pains and has been relentless in that pursuit since I was sixteen. No wonder I turn away from it whenever possible and romance my brain. By way of Kay’s instructions in therapeutic exercises and meditation on the here and now, I have high hopes of easing into a healthier relationship with my body with its own brand of magical hands that are at the ready in the formidable gene pool of my ancestors. Every Thursday morning through hot June and July, I have and will continue to trudge along to my physical therapy session. It is hard work and afterwards, I have been tempted to reward myself with a stop at Dairy Queen for a hot fudge sundae. However, I have come up with a better, healthier treat in the form of a refreshingly simple, cold soup sitting elegantly on a shelf in my refrigerator. It has been referred to as a smoothie masquerading as a soup. I like to think of as a soup topped off with sweet toppings such as sugar-free whipped cream, sugar-free vanilla custard, low-fat vanilla yogurt and the like. I often swirl in a scoop of Slimfast’s Rich Chocolate Royale Powder©. Cold Strawberry and Yogurt Soup 1 lb. fresh strawberries or 3 packages (10 oz. size) thawed frozen strawberries in syrup 1 ¼ cups vanilla yogurt, divided 3 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar or equivalent amount of stevia sweetener 2 tbsp. orange juice concentrate ⅛ tsp. almond or vanilla extract, or ½ tsp. lemon juice In a food processor, combine the strawberries, 1 cup yogurt, confectioners’ sugar or stevia, orange juice concentrate and extract, cover and process until blended. Garnish each serving with a dollop of remaining yogurt or other toppings. Multi-award-winning author Linda Lee Greene’s GUARDIANS AND OTHER ANGELS, which is a blend of historical fiction and memoir of her ancestors, receives rave reviews:

5 stars Wonderfully Written!

“This was a thoroughly enjoyable book. I loved the Americana. [It] reached out and touched my heart, mind and soul. [It] provided tremendous insight into what many American families endured during the first half of the 20th century. It captures you and draws you in. This is most certainly a five-star novel.” GUARDIANS AND OTHER ANGELS is available in eBook and/or paperback.

AMAZON BUY LINK

Multi-award-winning author and artist Linda Lee Greene describes her life as a telescope that when trained on her past reveals how each piece of it, whether good or bad or in-between, was necessary in the unfoldment of her fine art and literary paths. Greene moved from farm-girl to city-girl; dance instructor to wife, mother, and homemaker; divorcee to single-working-mom and adult-college-student; and interior designer to multi-award-winning artist and author, essayist, and blogger. It was decades of challenging life experiences and debilitating, chronic illness that gave birth to her dormant flair for art and writing. Greene was three days shy of her fifty-seventh birthday when her creative spirit took a hold of her. She found her way to her lonely easel soon thereafter. Since then Greene has accepted commissions and displayed her artwork in shows and galleries in and around the USA. She is also a member of artist and writer associations. Visit Linda on her blog and join her on Facebook.

How Did We Get Here?

Maybe there has never been a time since the television was invented where stressful and turbulent, and sometimes just downright depressing, news stories weren’t reported.

The 60’s had its protests and riots over Vietnam and Civil Rights, as well as the assassinations of three of its country’s leaders– John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King.

The 70’s had Watergate, a gas crisis, and political protests over racial and gender equality, and some gay rights activism too.

The 80’s had the AIDS epidemic, the Rodney King beating, Iran-Contra, and Ronald Reagan’s assault on the “welfare queens” while he lowered taxes on the wealthy and big corporations (corporate welfare, but Republicans were always fine with welfare that went to the top, but not the bottom. Never the bottom.). The 80’s represents the decade of corporate greed and will always be synonymous with the movie “Wall Street.”

The 90’s had Columbine, a school shooting that, though we didn’t know it then, was only the beginning of what would be known as mass shootings. My twenty-one-year-old self, sitting in her college library, reading the local paper about the school massacre, had no inkling that such a macabre occurrence would someday be as tantamount to America as apple pie.

The 90’s also had Bill Clinton abusing his power for a blowjob, the stained blue dress, and grunge. Oh, how much I loved those flannel shirts. It was cool to dress like a lesbian in the 90’s. But what kind of lesbian would I be if I talked about the 90’s without mentioning Ellen’s monster “Yep, I’m gay” coming out in Time magazine, as well as how much just the existence of Melissa Etheridge singing songs about loving a woman during the decade I was coming to terms with my own homosexuality?  Those two women made this midwestern girl feel not so strange, after all. 

The 00’s had 9/11 and the war on terrorism that included two wars, the Great Recession, and the historic election of the United States’ first Black president, Barack Obama.

The 2010’s had the inception of the Tea Party, more mass shootings, including at Sandy Hook Elementary School where 26 people were killed, including 20 six and seven-year-olds. As gruesome as that is, Obama still wasn’t able to get Republicans to agree on even a most basic gun control bill. Simple background checks were a bridge too far for Republicans because this is ‘Merica, the Land of Freedom and Guns, Guns, Guns!

The 2010’s was also the decade that saw the election of a self-proclaimed “Real Estate Mogul” and one of the country’s most popular philanderer to the U.S Presidency.  The U.S will feel the burn of having such an inept, self-serving corrupt conman as president for a long time.  It will take decades to get the stench of that piece of shit off our country.

The 2020’s started off with a global pandemic that would go on to kill over a million people in the U.S alone, and over six million worldwide after two years, and counting. The 20’s also saw for the first time in U.S elections the denial of a peaceful transition of power. The former corrupt president lied about the results of a fair and legal election that he lost and tried to implement a plan to retain power. When that failed, only because there were some decent politicians who put Country over Party, the conman incited a coup to invade the U.S Capitol and literally try to kill the Vice President and Speaker of the House.

What a time to be alive. But the crazy doesn’t end there. Said former corrupt president is currently being investigated because he stole top secret classified documents regarding nuclear weapons and nuclear intel and stored them at his golf resort. He’s being investigated for violating the Espionage Act. The FUCKING Espionage Act! We had a traitor in the White House!

But the sickest part about all of this is there are people who call themselves Patriots and wave the American flag while defending said traitor. What a truly fucking time to be alive.

I admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of history class when I was in school. I didn’t understand why it was important for me to know about the Puritans and the Quakers, The Industrial Revolution, or anything that happened centuries before I was born, but I remember being extremely interested in learning about Richard Nixon and Watergate. It was closer to my time of birth and what I knew about Nixon was that he did a very bad thing and that intrigued me to know more. I thought what I learned about Watergate was bad. Future history classes are going to blow future generations’ minds when they learn how the previous criminal in chief tried to destroy our democracy.

Of course, the conman’s actions will only be shocking to future generations if we are able to stop them from repeating. If we elect more politicians like him, his crimes will become the norm. Obviously, we can’t let that happen.

Every generation had its turbulent times. But back in the sixties, and seventies, and eighties, TV was limited. We didn’t have 500 channels back then. But now we do. Between twenty-four hours news channels and endless Internet sites and You Tube channels, some credulous, while others spouting out crazy conspiracy theories, it can be detrimental to our mental health to block out the noise.

Take a break. Turn it off. Escape.

Walking in nature, sitting by the water, reading, quiet drives down remote roads, or cuddling with a pet are all great ways to ease your mind and break away from the stress of the headline news. There’s another thing that takes me out of my head for a little bit. I love looking back to the past. Maybe too much, but that’s beside the point. You Tube is a great way to find videos of a time you may wish you had lived or maybe wish you could live again.

As a kid, I loved the movie “Eddie and the Cruisers.” I wanted to be Eddie so bad. He had the voice. He had the face. He had the arms. And he had the girl. I fell in love with the songs in that movie and I remember searching every mall record store for the soundtrack. I was in high school when I finally found it.

One day, when I was in my “looking back” moods, I searched those songs on You Tube and found a video of John Cafferty (the voice of Eddie Wilson) and the Beaver Brown Band playing these songs during a 1980’s New Year’s Eve set. The video was such a relaxation for me that it is my go-to when I need a stress-releaser.

Here’s the video. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Author Sharon Ledwith Visits my Blog.

From Sharon Ledwith I discovered this healthy recipe from an online diet and exercise program I purchased last year and loved it! It packs a different punch to your taste buds while providing a healthier choice to add to your personal menu. Who said a burrito needed to be unhealthy? This easy recipe provides anti-inflammatory properties from apple cider vinegar, immune boosting benefits from garlic, and healthy, inflammation-cooling fats from olive oil. Instead of heading to your local fast-food Mex-Tex joint, try making your own burrito at home. Chipotle Chicken Wrap 1 garlic clove 1 tbsp. olive oil 1 tsp. chili powder 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar Juice from ½ lemon Pinch of salt and pepper ½ tsp. paprika 4-6 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced 1 cup romaine lettuce or spinach, chopped 1 tbsp. shredded carrots ½ cup quinoa, cooked, optional Sliced avocado, optional Salsa ½ tomato, diced ¼ onion, diced 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro Squeeze of lemon juice Note: you can use your favorite brand of salsa if you choose Make your chipotle sauce first by blending blend together garlic, olive oil, chili powder, vinegar, lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper until smooth (ideally in a blender). Use this sauce to marinate your chicken in a zip lock bag for a minimum of 30 minutes. Mix together all of your salsa ingredients in a bowl. Cook the chicken in a sauté pan until thoroughly cooked through, about 10 minutes. Serve on a bed of lettuce with chicken and salsa on top. Add cooked quinoa and or avacado if desired. While you’re waiting for your healthy wrap to digest why not put your feet up and relax on the couch with a good book? May I suggest a visit to Fairy Falls, or if you’re feeling really adventurous, a trip back in time with The Last Timekeepers? Whichever you choose, either series will transport you to another time and place, taking you away from whatever troubles you. Here’s a glimpse of the premises of both my young adult series: The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventures… Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers—legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial—five classmates are sent into the past to restore balance, and bring order back into the world, one mission at a time. Children are the keys to our future. And now, children are the only hope for our past. Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mysteries… Imagine a teenager possessing a psychic ability and struggling to cope with its freakish power. There’s no hope for a normal life, and no one who understands. Now, imagine being uprooted and forced to live in a small tourist town where nothing much ever happens. It’s bores-ville from the get-go. Until mysterious things start to happen. Welcome to Fairy Falls. Expect the unexpected. The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventure Series: The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave, Book #3 MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀ The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, Book #2 Buy Links: MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, Book #1 Buy Links: MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE Legend of the Timekeepers, prequel Buy Links: MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mystery Series: Lost and Found, Book One Buy Links: MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE Blackflies and Blueberries, Book Two Buy Links: MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the award-winning teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her spoiled hubby, and a moody calico cat. Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Look up her AMAZON AUTHOR page for a list of current books. Stay connected on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, LINKEDIN, INSTAGRAM, and GOODREADS. BONUS: Download the free PDF short story The Terrible, Mighty Crystal HERE