Four Weddings…

 

So, next week will be our third wedding in eight months. I feel like I did when I graduated from college and all my friends got married at once. Now, it’s the younger family and friends who are getting married.

In August, my nephew got married in Toronto. In October, our best friend’s daughter got married in New Jersey. In February, my girlfriend’s daughter got married here in Texas the day before we left on vacation.

Now, we’re headed to Chicago to see our cousin, my husband’s Goddaughter, get married. He will participate in the wedding by performing a reading.

In April, we’re headed back to New Jersey for my cousin’s Granddaughter’s wedding. With the exception of my daughter’s wedding (who knows when that will be), I’d like to take a break for a while.

And no funerals either. I know what you’re thinking….Four Weddings and a Funeral, right?

Cats versus Dogs

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Happy Mothers’ Day to all the moms around the world!

I’m ‘cat sitting’ for the next couple of days while my girlfriend and her family go on a cruise. I’ve watched these cats before and they know who I am. I’m the one who feeds them. They no longer run away from me because I’m a stranger. As a matter of fact, every time I go to the house, the cats immediately go their food bowls waiting for Lois to feed them!

I go twice a day. At seven in the morning and around five at night. That has been their schedule their entire lives. (Well, not really. My friend gets up at four to feed them and then goes back to bed, but there’s no way in hell I’m going to do that so seven it is.)

The reason I bring this up is because my husband is not the animal lover that I am. We had our dog for thirteen years, so he is aware of the care needed for a pet. But, he’s never had or liked cats before. When I leave to take care of them, he rolls his eyes as if to say, “I can’t believe you’re doing this.” But he doesn’t say it, but I know!!!

We are having some major storms in Texas today. We’re flooding like crazy with lightning, thunder and funnel clouds. On Mother’s Day, I dragged myself out of bed and drove through the flooded streets to feed the cats. It was really bad out there and I was scared. Fortunately, there was hardly anyone on the road. The cats rubbed along my feet while I prepared their meals. When they were done eating, as only cats do, I was dismissed.

I left and it looked better. I went home a different route, where I know the streets have a better drainage system. When I got home, my husband was waiting in the garage, glaring at me. He was livid! He heard me leave and got up and turned on the news to watch the weather. A funnel cloud had been spotted about five miles from my friend’s house, didn’t I know that?? Uh, no. There’s storms all around us. I tried to explain that these kitties needed to eat. They’ve known this routine since they were young and both have sensitive stomachs. Once again I was treated with the eye roll.

Let’s just say, but husband doesn’t get cats…

Exciting News!

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What an exciting week! First off, my nephews and nieces from Toronto, came to visit for a whirlwind of two days. It’s been two years since we’ve seen them and it was fun. Granted, they are only thirty years old and filled with vigor but since we are young at heart, we were able to keep up with them!

They are on a journey across the states, which they love. My sister, who lives in Canada, made sure they have dual citizenship and they love this country!

Their first stop was Phoenix. Then drove straight to our house for thirteen hours (there are four drivers to split up the time). Next stop was Austin. Then New Orleans for the Mardi Gras. Of course they couldn’t skip Nashville since they love the television series. Pittsburgh is next and then home to Toronto. What a trip! Of course the weather is not good, so I wish them safe travels.

The other exciting news, is that my next book, Intercepted, has been accepted! Also, my publisher is now offering audiobooks which I signed up for. But the best news is now they will be offering printed books!

I don’t know about you, but I have lots of aunts who just cannot accept the digital age when it comes to reading books. They love to read, but are not fond of the Kindle or Nook. They are anxious to read my books and I even have printed them out for them, but it’s not the real thing as reading a book. Hopefully, this will solve the problem!

Funeral for a Friend

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This has been a whirlwind of a week. On Monday, we learned of my husband’s childhood friend dying of a stroke at the tender ager of sixty-five. He had lived his entire life in the same house in Chicago, on the East Side, bordering Indiana.

Dennis was eight years older than my husband but influenced him in so many ways, especially in music. Dennis and his brother Joe, formed a garage style rock and roll band and called themselves Wet Sunday. My husband ran the sound board for the group and when I met him, I too got wrapped up into the band family. I was the only one who had classical training as a musician but they had way more talent than I ever did.

As we grew older, we went our separate ways. The guys argued and quit. Some got real jobs or like us, we ended up in Pennsylvania and now in Dallas.

Just recently, some of the band members got together and Dennis, who was now older and wiser, ran their sound board with amazingly new technology. They had just wrapped up a performance about three weeks ago which we missed due to a conflict of work schedules. We wish we would have taken the time to see them perform, not knowing it would be Dennis’ last time.

On Monday night, we made arrangements to fly to Chicago to attend the Friday night wake and the Saturday morning services.

Tuesday, my latest book, Not Just an Act, was released. I’m very excited about this, so my emotions are like a roller coaster; down with the loss of a friend, but then again up for the release of this work.

At the crack of dawn on Friday, we leave for Chicago from the Dallas Fort Worth area to Charlotte. and then to connect to a flight to Chicago. We learn that some disgruntled employee has purposely set fire to the control tower in Aurora, IL causing O’Hare to cancel flights for about four hours. We waited and waited trying to think of options of how to get to Chicago. Do we fly into Milwaukee and drive down? Or do we fly into Indianapolis and drive in?

Finally, our flight is released to go to Chicago. We were only delayed by twenty minutes. However, when we tried to pick up our rental car, there is no car. Why? Because of the flights being cancelled, everyone has decided to rent cars to drive to their destination. After about forty minutes, we have a vehicle.

The roads were unbelievably packed. What should have been an hour drive, turned out to be over three hours. We didn’t get to the funeral home until eight and it closed at nine. We barely had the chance to say good bye to Dennis.

At the next day services, we were able to have a private moment with the family and headed back to O’Hare. The traffic was just as bad as everyone returned their cars. We barely made our flight.

People ask me where do I get the material for my next story and I tell them. Live in my shoes and you will see where.

Dysfunctional Families

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Went to a family wedding in New Jersey over the weekend. The last time I’ve been to a family wedding was when my nephew got married up in Canada three years ago. It was great to see everyone after six years of being in Texas. I know every family has their unique relationships and it gets kind of hard to explain it to people, so where do I begin?

This was my mother’s side of the family. My mother was the youngest of five children; two brothers and two sisters. The brothers hated each other and never spoke again. The three sisters only spoke to my mother but not to each other. Lots of internal fights my mother didn’t know about. It’s the same way in my husbands family with the aunts and uncles. You know, ‘back in 1953, she/he said this about me and I’ll never forgive her/him’….and they don’t!

The oldest, Grace, was much older than my mother. Grace married first and had a son, Paul and daughter, Grace. She later divorced, remarried and had a son, Robert.

Grace named my mother, Estelle, Grace’s god mother. My mother was only three years old at the time. So the wedding was for young Grace’s grandson, Andrew who is thirty two years old. Grace is ninety and refuses to admit it. She is as sharp as a tack and in great shape. She religiously walks five miles a day. Her husband, Chuck, is a deep sea diver. He finally gave it up three years ago at the young age of ninety.

Other than my sisters and their family, I don’t really keep in touch with the rest of the families on my mother or my father’s side. I have tried, but most of them want nothing to do with me or the rest are after a hidden agenda better left alone.

After listening to all of the family stories, I have tons of materials for upcoming books!

Fathers Day Plans

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I just want to take today and look at the photographs of my dad. I love him and miss him so much!

That is before I watch the men’s US Open for my upcoming book I’m working on. Since I missed my husband’s tee time yesterday, he insists we watch this together to make sure my book is accurate. I try and explain it’s about relationships involving a woman golfer, but the selective hearing only hears the word golf.