Thursday, April 24, 2014

Emu Oil? Rook Piercing Follow Up

So check this out...many of you read my nightmare piercing story about the rook I had done over a year ago. I hadn't done a follow up, but the stupidity continued.

My sister-in-law finally got fed up and took hers out. My sister battled with her helixes, and finally switched to a smaller gauge, which helped. They finally healed. My best friend's helixes also continued to give her trouble until she switched her jewelry as well.

Me? My rook would not heal. No matter what I did, it continued to look red and irritated. If I didn't clean it every day with saline, it would get infected again. If I didn't like it so much, I would have taken it out, but I'm stubborn that way.

After fighting with this piercing for over a year and a half, I decided to try moving to a smaller gauge, like my sister did. I went to a body jewelry place with the intention of buying the jewelry there and taking it to my regular piercing guy to have him change it.

While I was at the body jewelry place, the sales lady suggested I talk to their piercer. After the trouble with my rook, I don't trust anyone but my usual guy. However, I figured it couldn't hurt since she wasn't going to do any piercings on me. When I met her, I was happy to see she looked like my piercer guy, like she'd been hit in the face with a shotgun blast of pellets. She had more piercings than I could count, and that was only the area I could see. That's a very good sign.

She took one look at my rook and said "It's crooked." What? Not that I was surprised, mind you. It just pissed me off. Sure enough, my rook piercing is not straight, so the hoop is constantly rubbing on the edges, which is why it is always irritated and won't heal.

I asked her what she would recommend, even though I knew the answer would be to take it out, let it heal, and get it pierced again. Still, I needed to hear her say it. She surprised me by saying that I had one other option before starting over...Emu oil. What? Emu oil? As in, the bird? Yep, that emu. Apparently, I'm behind the times. It's the latest and greatest first aid thing. It has natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties.

I tried not to laugh. I figured they stored it next to the snake oil (wink, wink). Still, she had a point, it was cheaper and less of a pain than taking it out and starting over, so I bought it. She said to use it twice a day for at least three weeks, but that I would be able to see a difference in a few days if it was going to work.

I have to say, I'm shocked. It's actually working. I don't know if the piercing will totally heal and stop getting irritated if I quit using it, but I'll see when the bottle runs out. The redness, discharge, and irritation are gone. Emu oil? Who knew?

Here is the website for the emu oil she sold me. I paid about $16.00 for the 1 ounce bottle at the store, but it's much cheaper online (of course), running $7.95 for the one ounce bottle. When I looked it up, they were also offering free shipping. On the website, they claim that it can be used for dry skin, sun burns, inflammation, scars, burns, and muscles and joints. I don't know about all that, but I can definitely say it has helped with my piercing. I've also started to see some emu oil products in drug stores, and the pharmacy sections of other stores, but I don't know how effective those products are.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Trailer Trash With A Girl's Name by Stacey Roberts

I just started reading Trailer Trash, with A Girl's Name by Stacey Roberts. I love the way his mother gives everyone titles. This book is cracking me up. Stacey found a way to take his troubled childhood and turn it into something positive by using humor. The following is an interview he did with Donna Cavanagh on that they have given me permission to share. Links to buy the book and connect with Stacey are at the bottom of this post.

1.Tell us about Stacey Roberts: Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in New Jersey, in a little town called Garwood. We lived there for nearly ten years before we moved into the famous Winnebago and traveled the country. We went from New Jersey to San Diego, California, to Lake Tahoe, California (where my stepfather Ted the Drug Dealer began his life of crime) to Hollywood, Florida (where he perfected it).

2. How would you describe your family life growing up?
My mother, my grandmother, and my aunt all lived pretty close to us in New Jersey, so we got to see family all the time. My parents got divorced when I was five, and after that we moved into the basement of our house like we were hiding out from the agents of a totalitarian regime. My mother needed the living space to start a business. For the next ten years, I lived in spaces that weren’t much bigger than my bed. I also remember being very poor; there was never money for anything, but it didn’t stop my mom – we took vacations and things like that, just always on the cheap. We went to Washington, DC once and slept in the car at the Washington Monument. The DC police enjoyed that.

3. A lot of people have “dysfunctional” childhoods and grow up bitter. You went the funny route. How has humor helped you? (not trying to be insulting here but trying to show that it was not all fun and games for you.)
Humor was a surprising side-effect. I had been telling these stories for years to my friends, expecting sympathy, a hug, or maybe some edible food (since my mother can’t cook). I was looking to share my pain. But all my friends just kept laughing. That was my first sign that my dysfunctional childhood was not as tragic as I thought (or hoped). Once people whose opinion I trusted told me that my childhood was hilarious, I started looking for the funny instead of the sad. Perspective is everything.

4. Your book  is funny and poignant.  How did it make you feel writing it?  What about your family?  Did you consult them writing it?
Dysfunctional or not, you only get one childhood. One of the symptoms of growing old is that you forget what it was like to be a kid, with all the wonder and helplessness that comes with it. Writing this book made me remember incidents and even people I had forgotten. The next door neighbor who kind of took my father’s place after the divorce – the guy who could fix my bike or teach me to throw a baseball, the kids my age who I ran around the neighborhood with, etc. Stephen King once wrote that you never have friends as good as the ones you had when you were a kid. I was glad that writing this book made me remember them.
Some of my cousins read these stories in blog form. They were the best sounding board, because they told me that I had nailed the characters of my mother, my brother, Ted the Drug Dealer. They never knew about some of the stories, particularly the ones after we moved into the motor home and left the east coast. The feedback from my cousins could be distilled down to, “Well. That explains a lot.”

My mother hasn’t read them. She doesn’t have Internet. My brother read a couple and took issue with them – he never thought he was the favorite son. It is important for him (and the readers) to know that this book is not a memoir – I took events from my childhood and added a few things for humor’s sake, and exaggerated some of the characters. But the people who know my mother recognize her easily in the book.
Finally, one of the things I gained from writing Trailer Trash is a whole new appreciation for my mother. I may have disagreed with her methods, but she did the best she could after her divorce with two small kids.

5. Besides the humor, what is the one thing you want a reader to take away from this book?
Family matters.

6. Tell us about your writing? You have another career as well, so what made you decide to be a writer as well?
I always wanted to be a writer. I was carrying around a notebook at 11, making up stories.  I went to college to get a history degree – I have a masters in European History, but I started an IT company while in grad school. The career I have now is the side job that’s lasted 20 years. If I could write books and teach full time and still be able to maintain the lifestyle my daughters have become accustomed to, I would do that.

7. What are your future writing plans?  Where would you like to go from here? Would you stay in humor or do you want to try other genres as well.
I have a series of four Trailer Trash stories called The Fall of Ted the Drug Dealer – the story of the cop who pursued him and put an end to his life of crime. After that, Trailer Trash, With a Girl’s Name Book 2. I am also working on a novel called Rain Songs about the Kennedy assassination that is due out this November. Mark Gosson, creator of the Xombee Guy webcomic and I are working on a zombie novel unlike any in the genre that we hope to have out in 2014.

When the author was born, his mother did the unthinkable. She gave him a girl’s name—Stacey. But Stacey’s name was just the first hurdle he’d face in his uphill climb from birth to manhood. He also had to deal with an entitled older brother, the hodgepodge of different men his mother was involved with, and the nomadic lifestyle he was forced to endure for five years. And to top it all off, his mother couldn’t cook a decent meal to save her life. Trailer Trash, With a Girl’s Name is Stacey Roberts’ lighthearted, often hilarious account of growing up in an unstable household during the 1980s. Full of humor, history, and hope, it follows Stacey from the hospital room where he was born to the Winnebago that carried him across the country, filling in the gaps with a wit and humor that anyone with a dysfunctional family can appreciate. So go ahead and start reading. Once you hop aboard the Winnebago with Stacey and his quirky family, you’ll find that you’re in for the ride or your life, where what you learn along the way is not only entertaining, but also enormously enriching.

Get a copy of Stacey's book on Amazon

 Connect with Stacey on 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Release! Unsurpassed by Charity Parkerson

Charity Parkerson


Book 1 in the No Rival series

Aubree is infatuated with two men, Max and Ryan. The two former Marines have been her close friends ever since she made her first misguided attempt at joining their kickboxing classes. When the pair invites her to join them at a weekend party thrown by Drew, a famous MMA champion, she has no idea what they have in mind. After spending one hot ménage night with the pair, Aubree learns the men’s intentions are not all about her. Feeling betrayed, Aubree turns to Drew who is also tugging at her heart. She must choose between the two men who have been the center of her fantasies, and the one man who could make all her dreams come true.

Inside Scoop: This sexy tale includes a ménage and male/male encounters that may leave you wishing for an alpha male fighter of your own.
A Romantica contemporary erotic romance from 
Ellora'sCave Publishing

Buy Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Leaning against the cool wood of the hotel room door, she met his stare trying hard not to smile like an idiot.
“This was fun.”
Drew’s eyes flashed. “If you ask nicely, I’ll let you take me to bed.”
She shook her head at his antics. “What if I’m not feeling especially nice?”
Drew brushed his hand over her hip. “You’re right. You do feel naughty,” he agreed. Holding her stare, he bent closer, giving her time to protest his advance. The door opened at Aubree’s back. If she hadn’t hit the solid wall of Max’s chest, she might have ended up sprawled across the floor. Tilting back her head, she took note of the angry expression on Max’s face before switching her gaze back to Drew. His eyes danced with humor as he mouthed, “Denied,” and Aubree slapped her hand over her mouth to smother her giggles.
“Have a nice night, Drew.” Drew ignored Max’s snarling words.
“May I see you again?”
“I’d like that,” she answered without hesitation. Max growled. At the sound, Drew flashed him a cocky grin before giving her a wicked version of it and turning away. As soon as he moved out of the doorway, Max slammed it closed, focusing his ire on her. She’d never seen him truly angry before now. She laughed nervously.
“Are you drunk?”
“No,” she answered, incredulous. “I’ve had two glasses of champagne all night.”
“Your face is flushed.”
Aubree shrugged. “I’m happy. I had a good time.”
Max prowled toward her. The hard set of his jaw caused a flutter of desire to run through her. “Did you forget who you came here with?”
Unable to think of a single retort, she shrugged again. “I’m young and single. Why shouldn’t I enjoy myself?”
Max’s eyes flashed dangerously. His tone had a bite to it when he spoke. “You are not single.”

Author Bio:

Charity Parkerson is an award winning and multi-published author with Ellora's Cave Publishing. Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it in her characters.
*2013 Readers' Favorite Award Winner
*2013 Reviewers' Choice Award Winner
*ARRA Finalist for Favorite Paranormal Romance
*Five-time winner of The Mistress of the Darkpath
*Named one of the top 10 best books by an Indie author in 2011- Paranormal Reads Reviews
*Best Paranormal Romance of 2012- Paranormal Reads Reviews

Connect with her online:

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Navigating Nursing Homes

I hate nursing homes. I'll just say that right off the bat. Of course, I don't know anyone who loves them, but unfortunately, many of us will struggle with placing a loved one in nursing care at some point. I understand they serve a purpose, but I have rarely seen the care match the cost. The basic rate in California is currently $250.00 a day (some cost more), which works out to over $7,000.00 a month per person. I realize there are costs involved in running a facility, but there is no excuse for poor care.

Recently, I was forced to put my grandmother in a nursing home. She has been staying with board and care operators who have treated her like family for the last few years, but I knew her money would run out eventually, and it has. In addition, her health has declined, so board and care is no longer an option. She needs around the clock care, and she doesn't have enough money to pay privately.

The information in this blog is about nursing homes in northern California. I can't speak for other states or countries, although, with the internet, it's easy to do research on nursing homes (long term care facilities) in your area.

Many of the nursing homes here have both short term rehabilitation care and long term nursing care. My grandmother has been in several nursing homes for short term rehab while she was recovering from bladder infections and a fractured hip. What I've learned from those experiences is what I want to share with you.

1.   Do your homework: A simple Google search for long term care facilities in your area will often give a listing of nursing homes in your area along with other basic information (address, phone, number of beds, etc.). Some will also offer a star ratings based on things like staffing, health inspection, quality measures, etc. I found this one from Medicare that was really helpful. Also, make a list of the top three facilities, so you will have alternatives, since they may not have openings in the place you want to use when you need to move your loved one in.
2.   Visit the facility: No matter what it may say on the internet, it's important to see for yourself. Talk to the staff and other residents. Does the place look clean? Does it smell bad? Are the other residents clean and dressed appropriately? Go around mealtime and see what they are feeding the residents. Ask for a tour of the facilities. This isn't a guarantee either. The last place I had my grandmother in was beautiful and looked fabulous, but they were horrible when it came to care, but it needs to be done.
3.   Personal belongings: The short answer - don't take in anything you don't want to go missing. The first time I had to put my grandmother in a nursing home, just about everything she owned disappeared, including her cell phone, her glasses, her dentures, and almost all of her clothes and shoes. For short term rehab, only take the necessities. Most places have phones, so don't bring a cell if the patient isn't aware enough to keep track of it. For clothing, label everything! I used iron on tape near the factory labels and put my grandmother's name on it in big letters with a permanent marker, so it can be easily seen by staff. I did the same for her blankets. Take pictures of everything you take in. Facilities have a personal items inventory list that they have you sign. Make sure it's accurate. This last time, I did my own inventory list, cataloging everything in minute detail along with pictures and the cost of each item. I had the staff initial each one and sign the bottom. Overkill? Maybe, but my grandmother's been burned too many times. Her stuff may still come up missing, but at least this time, I have the proof I need to make the facility reimburse her. They also want you to sign the personal items inventory list on the way out. Don't sign for anything you don't have on the list.
4.   Visit often: This is a must if at all possible. They are more likely to care for your loved one if they know people are watching. I definitely have experience with this. Trust me, the care will be different if you make sure they know you will be checking on them.
5.   If you think there is a problem, or you think your loved one is being mistreated, don't hesitate to talk to the facility administrators. If you don't feel like the problem(s) has been resolved, or you think there is true abuse, contact your local state licensing agency or your state's Ombudsman. Every facility my grandmother has been in has had me sign a paper saying that we can't sue them. However, that doesn't mean that complaints can't be made. I did make a formal complaint to the California state licensing department over the care my grandmother received in the last nursing home. I was really relieved to see that the licensing people followed up and called me back with the results. The nursing home was at fault and was cited and fined for over $10,000. That didn't really help my grandmother, but hopefully, they will try to improve their care for the other patients they have.
6.   If you don't like the care your loved one is receiving, and your complaints to the administrators have not been resolved, move him/her to another facility.

My heart goes out to every family member who is having to deal with this right now, or who has a loved one already in long term care. Please feel free to add any tips or websites you think might be helpful. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Midnight Never Ends by Thomas Amo #horror

Horror is my guilty pleasure. I love to watch scary movies and read stories that give me the creeps. My friend Thomas Amo recently released a book of short stories as an homage to one of our favorite television shows, Night Gallery. My mom wouldn't let me watch it, so I had to wait until I went to visit my dad. I would curl up on the couch with a big blanket to hide behind, and watch, wide-eyed, as Rod Serling captivated me with his storytelling. My thanks to Thomas for stopping by my blog to talk about Midnight Never Ends.

Finally, after two years, Thomas Amo is returning to his horror roots! Always a fan of great ghost stories, haunted houses, and terrifying tales. His latest, is not only all of the above, but a tribute to one of his biggest inspirations.

On April 7th, the author launched his latest. He gives us a peek into the dark corners of his imagination, while paying homage to one of the most prolific television writers of the twentieth century. And to a show that kept a young boy wide awake at night, long after the end credits rolled. I'm talking of course about, Rod Serling, and the Night Gallery.

The Night Gallery was an anthology series created from the mind of the man who had given us the Twilight Zone, ten years earlier. This time, the show would focus on the macabre, horror, and the occult, instead of the science fiction morality tales the Twilight Zone was so famous for. In 1969 a pilot for the eventual series came in the form of a movie of the week, based on two stories from Serling's only novel. "The Season to be Wary." Originally published in 1967, it provided the perfect backdrop for a concept that would allow viewers, director and creators to go in any direction with each story they wanted to, and not be locked into the typical weekly series, where cops always get the bad guy, the space ship crash lands on yet, another hostile alien planet, and those hillbillies in Beverly Hills, still get to relax next to the cement pond. 

After the pilot, the show was picked up and aired from 1970-1973 on NBC, Wednesday nights at 10pm as an hour show for the first two seasons. Then moved to Sunday nights at 10:30, reduced down to a thirty minute show. Often, Serling was considered only as the host of the show and nothing more. However, that is simply not true, as he wrote over one third of the episodes. Having come on board as the show's creator, he didn't want the responsibilities of being a producer, like with Twilight Zone, so he allowed that job to go to, Jack Laird. A decision he would very much regret. In spite of Serling's disappointments with the show, it literally became a showcase for some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. Often considered campy at best, the show still delivered several gems based on many popular short stories of the day and adapted into original canvas paintings, created by artist, Tom Wright. 

For this author, part of the scare in the show was the paintings themselves. placed against Rod Serling's perfect presence and narrative flair, the Night Gallery wouldn't have had near the chill factor it carried without him. 

So, on April 7, 2014, Thomas Amo, takes you back to a place very much like the Night Gallery, where he not only pays tribute to a brilliant writer, but to a show that made being a kid being scared at night, fun.
Four twisted tales of horror from author, Thomas Amo, that pay tribute to master writer of the macabre, Rod Serling, and the gothic, little salon, where sinister artwork tell the stories, in a place known as, the Night Gallery. You're invited to join us as we display four new original canvases for you to observe and study, each with its own dark story to tell. We ask only that you do not touch the exhibited works. For very frequently, they touch back. RATED FOR ADULT HORROR 18+ 

HERE is the buy link on Amazon:

Thomas Amo
Author of "Forever ME"

Keep in touch with Thomas on: