ProWriting Aid Editor

Writing Improvement Software

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Pet-Tribute: How I dealt with the loss of my furry family member.

Spooky in the garden

For many of us, our pets are like our children. They bring us joy, companionship, good times... and unfortunately, break our hearts when they leave us for a greater place. I just lost Spooky... aka Spooky Bear, Spookers, Fat Daddy, Spooky James this past Sunday. My heart is breaking, but I did make choices that are helping me cope with  my loss and heal, and as hard as it is to share my personal and precious last time with my little buddy, I thought it was worth sharing if it might help someone else deal with the pain of their loss.

Spooky was nearly 15 years old. This automatically makes some choices for you. Pretty much any required surgery is not an option because they aren't likely to make through a surgery, especially if they are already weak. Spooky probably weighed 25 pounds at his prime. He was a huge, fluffy long-haired boy. He died of chronic kidney failure. Organ transplant was out of the question, and as much as I loved him, I would never do that with an animal anyway. Over the past three or four years, he has dropped significant weight at times, but until this last time, always managed to make a come back. He truly had 5 or 6 lives. Once he disappeared for 5 days and we thought we lost him-turned out, he was hanging out underneath the neighbors bungalow. About 6 years ago, he lost a ton of weight in a short amount of time, started hiding and stopped eating. Luckily the vet was able to hydrate him and give him antinausea and he was back to the old Spook, eating everything in sight. This time was different and I knew it right away. So, I had to make a decision. Natural or euthanize. He never appeared to be in pain and the poor guy hated vets from the beginning. He would howl all the way...I didn't even know cats could make that sound. He would also pee in the car. I couldn't bear making his last moment in a loud vet office with barking and crying dogs and chaos going on, unless he was in pain. So I chose to let him go in his peaceful surroundings at home. For three weeks, I watched him barely eat but he continued to drink water and he also continued to appear to enjoy our time together. This was about a three week process. The last week, we had so many special times. One night we just hung out on the patio, one of his favorite places with the tiki torches lit. He sat on his chair and I sat one mine and we listened to music all night. One of Spooky's things was that he always had to have his paw on top of my hand. If I put my hand on his paw, he would always move his to the top-over and over again. The night he died, I held his paw and rubbed his head and he still insisted on putting that paw on top. It was bitter sweet and I did this until he took his last breath.

Spooky in his favorite chair on the patio.

One of the main things that is helping me deal with my loss, is that I prepared ahead of time for what I would do once he finally did pass. This is why people make their plans ahead of time, why not do the same for your furry family member? Being artistic, I decided to make him a Pet-Tribute. I realize some of you might think this is morbid, but for me, it was a beautiful way to pay tribute to a member of our family. Spooky had been with us since my daughter was 6. She is almost 21.

I made him the Pet-Tribute about two weeks before he died and I am so thankful that I had it ready and knew exactly what to do with him once he passed. This was the first animal I had ever had to deal with dying. I didn't want to have to handle this after the fact. I took some old boards and sanded them, stained them and bought a beautiful hinge and latch and built him his Pet-Tribute. I put pictures of our family inside and wrote him a letter with so many of my fond memories of him and put it inside a glass jar to preserve it. I made a copy of the letter so anytime I miss him, I can read it. And if in 50 or a hundred years someone happens to find his Pet-Tribute, they will know how dearly he was loved.

I am sorry for any of you out there that actually might need this post, but if you do, I hope it brings you some help in dealing with your loss.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Steak Journal: Episode 1

So was bonus time at work and I decided to reward myself with a little treat...okay a big treat! My poor old grill had seen its last days. I had kept it going with replacement parts for maybe 6 years, but it was Sweeps time and it had to go to the curb. I was absolutely ready to buy the exact same replacement grill for around $270 plus tax, but to my surprise, it had been discontinued, along with every other model that was close to it. Hmmmm.... Not sure why they had discontinued it as I really enjoyed the grill, but moving on. Did my research. First thing, I went and looked at the Green Egg. I had friends that had bought it and loved it so though it was worth looking into. Oh and Green Eggs and Ham was the first book I ever learned to read by myself :) ha ha!... Then I found the Nexgrill-6 burner, plus side searer, plus rear burner, plus rotisserie and fell in love! I had to have it!  Check out the cool blue LED lights below!

Yes, it cost double what I originally planned to spend, but this is my happy place! I love to grill I cook more on the grill than I do on the stove. Funny story, but I actually had a second chance to think about whether or not I really wanted to pay the freight when my credit card flagged my initial purchase as a potential fraud or stolen card, so I had 24 hours to rethink. YEP I BOUGHT IT!  I LOVE IT!  

So, as most people know, when you get a new grill, you do have to get to know it. I was so excited to get that first steak and test out the searer so I go to my local butcher. "Hi! Just got brand new grill. What do you think I should break it in with."

He gives me that smile that a parent gives to a naive child. "Well, I wouldn't go expensive because you always have to get to know the grill so the chances that the first one you cook are going to come out exactly like you want it are slim. DAMN! He was sooo right.

So, now I take off on the amazing journey to grill the perfect steak! I will come back and post my notes each time I make a new steak with the critique and recipe of the version I made in case you want to take the journey with me!

Check back soon for the latest most awesome steak.

OKAY guys. I have made two versions now and have two great stories but I need to craft them so look back soon for posting and I will try version 3 journey toward the perfect steak!

All for now! Hopefully, your life is one iota easier now :)


p.s. If you enjoyed this post, please click the g+1 button below or reshare so that others may enjoy it too! Thanks!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Another tip to save you a bundle! I cut the cord to cable!

I don't know if you are like I was, irritated as hell at my cable / internet provider who delivered to me a lovely present each month: their bill for over $185! Guess I was bored - or maybe it was raining outside, but I started looking at the detail of the bill and realized that $23 were for fees and taxes, including a $7 or $8 sports network fee, on top of the monthly subscription fee. I also saw the monthly rental of $11.99 for a box that I had now probably owned and paid for 3 times over. Then there was the $30 for the ever-so-annoying house phone that I didn't even have plugged in, but it cost more to not have the phone line than to have it. I never could understand that one.

Anyhow, I read this wonderful article about cutting the cord that described some of the other options available. I think most of us are familiar with Netflix and Amazon Prime by now. You may or may not know that you can buy Showtime and Starz subscriptions to watch any of their shows, anytime you like for $8.99 per month each, cancel at anytime. I love this part! It keeps them producing amazing shows. I had also just purchased Apple TV so that I could get HBO Now, which allows you to watch any HBO produced show anytime you like for $14.99, cancel at any time. Perfect!

Now, all I needed was AMC because yes, I love Daryl, too! This was from Walker Stalker in Atlanta 2015 - total blast and going again this year. If you go, make sure to do a set tour around Senoia, GA. Total blast and you can do it for free just by Googling on your phone.

But, back to this amazing article, they also mentioned an app I had not heard of yet (forgive me if I am a dinosaur here) but Sling TV! I felt like I had crossed a finish line! For $20 a month, I could get not only AMC, but also HGTV, History, H2, Disney, ESPN, ESPN 2, Food, CNN,and a bunch of others! I could have my cake and eat it too!
Here's the math:

Last Year (2015)

$186 x 12 = $2,232 per year Verizon FIOS Triple bundle and entertainment pack


$55.00 x 12 = $660 Brighthouse Internet 150
$20 x 12 = $240 Sling
$8.99 x 4 = $35.96 HBO
$8.99 x 3 = $26.97 Starz
Total = $962.93

Savings per current viewing interest: $1,269.07

That is a lot of extra stuff I can choose to purchase to watch if I am so inclined, but based on the current shows that I am interested in, this schedule serves my purpose! I did spend an initial investment of $298 for two Apple TV devises. I got my Amazon Fire TV Stick free because I had earned points. Now I own these devices and have activated 3 TVs in my house, where before, I only had two at the Verizon $186 per month. There are no more monthly rental charges!!!

So, I canceled Verizon and they have owed me $80.20 since November 19 when my cancellation took effect. Just sayin'... Cut the cord!

Hopefully I can help save you a dime or two as I figure things out.


p.s. If you enjoyed this post, please click the G+1 button below or reshare so that others may enjoy it too! Thanks!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Try this to treat a pet's abscess.

So, I thought this was worth sharing as it saved me potentially $800. My dog Arnold came up with an abscess on the flap of his left ear that grew to about the half the size of a golf ball, maybe a little smaller. There were no obvious wounds or scabs that I could detect. He also wasn't bothering it, but obviously it needed some sort of treatment to go away.

Well, a few years before, my cat Spooky had an abscess about the same size. I promptly took him to the vet where they recommended and ultimately knocked him out to lance and scar his ear so it wouldn't come back. That bill was over $800.

So, this time I turned to Google and did some research, and one of the remedies I found to try was to apply a warm compress to the abscess. I tried this for a couple of days, and nothing changed for the worse or better. Then, I remembered a remedy that my daughter Taylor uses for an oncoming stye on her eye that makes it go away before it really even starts: black and green tea bags!

I tried the black and green tea bags for Arnold's ear, heating the tea bags in a cup of water for about a minute and fifteen seconds, making sure it wasn't to hot, and then applying one to each side of the flap for about 5 minutes, and within two evenings, I noticed a decrease in the size. I continued to apply the tea bags once per day and after five days, the abscess is almost gone.

I would like to note that if your pet has obvious pain or severe infection, you should seek a veterinarian's assistance, but if your pet is like Arnold without the pain or infection, give it a try! It might save you a bundle!


p.s. If you enjoyed this post, please click the g+1 button below or reshare so that other people can enjoy it too!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Should I write Dark Days #5 or let it die?

Okay, so now that the Hunger Games movie trilogy has wrapped up, I am pondering whether or not to continue with the Dark Days series.. I do love the characters and reviews tell me that some of you do too. On the flip side, there is another exciting series I want to write. It takes a lot of time to craft either one and I do feel love to finish The Dark Days... however, I'm totally psyched for the other one.
So what to do?

Bring it to you. You get to decide. If you care either way, you can comment below, or email me at

Would love to hear from you. Whichever project gets the most votes by Feb 28, gets my attention!

Thanks for your help!


P.S. If you enjoyed this post, please click the g+1 button below or reshare so that someone else can enjoy it, too!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Book Review Scroll Back

Flavored Reviews 
by Ginger Gelsheimer

Scroll Back
by Jay and Steven Stamatis

Click here to purchase Scroll Back!

5 Stars!!!!

Time Travel, Conspiracy and Murder! Scroll Back packs a suspenseful punch!

Brief synopsis: Scroll Back takes us on an epic journey through the eyes of anthropologist, Peter Mandes, who has been lucky enough to assist his mentor, Professor Alex Mostovolov, with what could be the most significant discovery in the history of the world. Alex comes upon a folio from the Thomas Gospel in an excavation site in Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945. Hidden coordinates lead him to the Dead Sea where he finds another scroll wrapped in animal skin. The painful deciphering process ultimately reveals Time Travel secrets imbedded in a Key Scroll hidden in Mexican pyramids.

The 20-year search culminates with a final journey to Mexico’s Pyramid of the Sun with Peter. Aware of the historic nature of Alex’s research, Nick Parseconis, an agent of a global brotherhood, is bent on acquiring the Scroll, and they will do anything, including murder in order to get it. Nick plays the good guy and funds Alex’s research, but reports his progress to the brotherhood, shaping his own agenda.

Steeped with intrigue, cruelty, deception and murder, the story delivers a heart-stopping succession of riveting scenes that cry out for a broader outcome: to reconnect people with their Creator.

Trapped between the unfolding tension for the priceless Scroll and his own spiritual struggle to discover God, Peter focuses on validating his faith as he uncovers the path to Time Travel. He launches a journey through Time that blends the unimagined with the real.

Characters: The writers did a great job with Peter Mandes, the main character who tells the story to his “nephew” Nelson, Jr., the son of a friend who had died in a terrible accident, but with time travel...could he still be alive? Because we travel through various times of Peter’s life, we really get to know him and understand him as he questions many things about his own religious beliefs versus the facts that he discovers though his travels, facts that many want to keep buried, including his former mentors from the Church, who refuse to believe the story of Jesus might have been different. I enjoyed the depth of the Nick Parseconis, a great bad guy who always manages to show up at the worst times for Peter and Alex, and who never works in their favor, throwing money at them only to beat them to the punch.

Originality: Though there are certainly other stories out there that feature time travel, scrolls, conspiracy and mystery, Scroll Back intertwines the elements into a highly original story! I enjoyed the adventure that Peter takes to find the truth of the origins, finding himself locked in a prison with John the Baptist, just before his execution; diving with man-eating sharks that disappear into the darkness of the Bermuda Triangle; and searching through the mysterious pyramids of Egypt, always seconds away from danger.

Recommendation: I would pare this with a glass of red wine for obvious reasons! Scroll Back is a fantastic story, with a concept so well written, one might even believe it. Highly recommend.


p.s. If you enjoyed this post, please click the g+1 button below or reshare so that others may enjoy it too!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Love my Nissan Juke!

I don’t normally blog about products, but I just have to spread the word! I just bought a 2015 Nissan Juke to replace my old friend Captain Jack – a 2005 black Volvo XC 90, which I loved dearly for a long time…. But Jack Black died. So now, welcome Al Capone! Why Al Capone? I think this car looks like a mafia bug, so seemed fitting!

It is so much fun to drive, and the more I drive it, the more I love it! It’s the easiest car to drive that I have ever owned-I think a five year old who’s ridden a big wheel could handle it! And driving isn’t really difficult, but I needed a football field to turn Jack Black around where this Juke can zip in and out of anywhere! Total breeze! It also gets fantastic gas mileage, claiming 28 mpg in the city and over 30 mpg on the highway!

Now, it isn’t the fastest car I’ve owned, and before I drove it, that was my main concern. Having had a Camaro, RX7, RX8 and turbo charged XC 90, I had to make sure it had enough pick up so I wouldn’t get creamed on an entrance ramp. Well, I am happy to report Al’s little turbo charge does just what it needs. No, I won’t be racing anyone off the line, but I’m too old for that anyway!

I love the blue tooth capability and hands free entry! It’s awesome not to have to grab my keys out of my purse when my hands are full coming out of the grocery store or Target! The interior is cute and fits with the style of the car and there is plenty of room for cargo when I put the back seats down.

So, if you are looking for something a little different, give it a Juke a try!


p.s. If you enjoyed this post, please press g+1 below here or reshare so that others may enjoy it too! Thanks!