Posted in Mondays

Trust in Your Heart

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! Not too much to write about today, Paula’s Pet Paradise (PPP) has been keeping me busy. Not that I’m complaining a bit about that, Thank you God and knock on wood! It’s paying all of my bills, allowing me to be around animals and outside, both things I love, and allowing me to be my own boss. I think over the next few weeks, I’ll be home about three days, the rest of the time at three different client’s homes for pet-sitting along with a steady walking client. I’ve met so many new canine friends and even a few feline friends as well. This is what I enjoy. Something I do plan on doing is starting another container garden. I had one the year before last but couldn’t afford it last year. This one won’t be quite as large as that one but I have an idea to help that, plus I have all of the equipment already so that’ll save me some money. I have a green thumb and enjoy gardening. I’ll post pictures as the garden progresses. Maybe, that’ll be May’s Friday posts. April suffered due to PPP and Camp NaNoWriMo but I’m going to do better. I enjoy PEP and want to boost it just like PPP.

This week’s question: What Motivates You?
My answer: Happiness, a feeling of accomplishment when I achieve something I either didn’t think or was told I couldn’t do, and a sense of peace within. I’ve been happier the last few months than I had been in a long while, even if I didn’t realize it at the time. Yes, there’s the same stress as working a ‘office’ job or a retail job but working for myself and staying in the black as well as simply starting new hobbies, pursuing the same hobbies and inching closer to goals that are either new or I’ve had for years, reigniting dreams that I hadn’t realized I’d lost sight of, just feels right to me. I don’t really know how other to describe it other than it just feels right, feels like it’s what God’s calling me for.
What’s your answer? Even if you don’t post down below, think of your answer to yourself. You never know what looking within yourself might help you discover.

This week’s baking and cooking: I did make Pea salad this last week. I grew up on a Pea Salad at a restaurant my childhood best friend’s mother worked at that was delicious. Time passed and things have changed and I haven’t eaten Pea Salad in a long, long time. I found this recipe and a bit of nostalgia prompted me to try it since April’s theme was sides. It was just like eating that Pea Salad again. So, needless to say, it’s now in my repertoire. It was so easy and only about 4 ingredients that served at least four. I did bake but it was an utter disaster. I cringe thinking about so that’s where I’m going to leave it. I’m not going to list the name of the recipe or where I got it. I’m still learning, mistakes are allowed. I’ll remember this, perhaps try it again at a later date but for now, we’ll just be moving on. I do plan to bake this next week on my one full day and 2 ½ days I’m at home so we’ll see if I have more for you next week.

This week’s writing:
I loved her, but love doesn’t stop bullets. That was a lesson I’d learned the hard way when this hell on earth began months ago. I don’t even know how long ago it was nor can I see any end to this torment. Even dying doesn’t give relief. If you do die, you don’t stay dead. Instead, you resurrect as one of two monsters. If you die, either by suicide, bullet, or by one of those things, you come back as one of those things. I hate using the word, as I always thought it was just movies but there’s no other word to describe these things than zombies. But they’re not our only enemy. This might be over if they’d been our only enemy, or at least we humans would be winning. But no, those diseased blood-suckers are also around, preying on those of us that don’t fall to the zombies. If they drain you completely, you’ll get relief, you’ll actually die. But those sonuva’s don’t let anyone die, they want to create an army of themselves, declaring that being a vampire is the only way to not succumb to the zombies. That may be but what are they going to do when they run out of humans and animals to feast on, huh? They’ll go even madder than they already are, efffin’ beasts. Worse than not getting relief of death? You can’t get any rest, you can’t recover from even the smallest injury. In the daytime, zombies hunt, making you have to be on the move. But you need to get somewhere secure before night as while the zombies go dormant, the vampires come out, having been kept at bay by the sun. The only thing that’s been discovered to keep them at bay is getting in a secure place with four walls and a roof and declaring it your home. Even if they’re not around to hear, something keeps them from coming inside. But the destruction leaves secure buildings far and wide between, difficult to find. Even then, you have to either pray you can find one to yourself or that you can come to a truce with whoever might already be inside. Some humans have taken to the pack mentality and they’re surviving, they’re strong. But it’s difficult to find one and the rest are loners, survival of the strongest mentality. They’re nearly equally a danger to us few humans left. Me? Currently, I’m a loner but I’m looking for a group that’ll let me in. I’m not made to be alone, she’d taught me that too.
© Paula Crofoot

A second one for today, just cause:
Emma swallowed as they came to the item on the list she’d been dreading. She’d quickly picked up on the fact that every item on this scavenger hunt list was personally connected to someone in the group of old friends. Something painfully connected, nothing yet had really led to good memories. It’d been good for closure for a few people and for others, it’d opened up wounds they’d been fine leaving alone. That’s the line of thinking she fell on when it came to this time, this item she knew was here for her. A ball of yarn wouldn’t mean anything to anyone else. Even to the her that they knew, it wouldn’t mean anything. But she knew that yarn had given her the escape she needed from this town. The escape she’d needed from her abusive and neglectful home, a home that no one else had ever noticed. In part due to her efforts and in part to their purposeful blind eye. She actually hadn’t been back to this town since they’d graduated 10 years before and hadn’t intended to come back now. But her best friend had convinced here to come, had promised to come with her. She was here now, concerned and had offered a couple of times for them to go back to the hotel. But that wasn’t enough, the only thing that would make her happy was if they went back to the hotel, packed and left. She’d managed to avoid her family thus far and wanted to keep it that way. But right now, she knew when they found the ball of yarn, her old friends would want to know what it meant to someone and she’d have to explain. She couldn’t not, not when everyone else had dug into themselves, even if reluctantly, to explain the painful memories behind the knife, the book of poetry, the bottlecaps, and the stuffed tiger. There was only three items after hers and they could all go back to the hotel, leaving in the morning, and return back to their lives, all having left this town, and each other to be honest, behind.
© Paula Crofoot

Monday Motivation: Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.

Writing Prompt: Write about the color of pain and the taste of happiness.

My Book of the Week: I’m going to start a new piece for PEP. I’ll post what book I’m reading as I’m writing this, or what series should it be a series and what I think of said book(s). More than often, I’ll likely be reading more than one book each week but I’ll write about the one I’m in the middle of as I write this. I want to hear from ya’ll, though. What books are ya’ll reading that you think should be read by someone else. If you’re an author yourself, you can put your own books down in the comments. I can’t promise that I’ll read them all, I’m pretty eclectic in my choices for literature but I also know what I like and don’t like. But anyone can see the comments so you might help someone else find a new book they love.
Currently, I’m reading the Three Sisters Island Trilogy by Nora Roberts. I enjoy most of her trilogies. I don’t usually like romance but her books have enough of another plot, whether it be mystery, fantasy and the like, that the romance seems more like a sub-plot or a secondary plot. Just enough that it’s not in your face sugary sickness, sorry, ‘sweetness’. I just finished Dance Upon the Air that I started yesterday and started Heaven and Earth. They’re a quick read, plus they suck you in, putting you in another world; exactly what I’m looking for when I’m reading. If you’ve read them, or any other trilogy by Nora Roberts, post below but do warn for spoilers if you’re going to give them. Again, give any recommendations you might have.

Irish Blessing

Just a little blessing for you this week.

Music I’m listening to as I’m posting this: White Reflection: I Love You! Project- Anime Collection Vol. 2 (Gundam Series)

Posted in Mondays

What’s in the Suitcase?

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! I don’t have too much to write about this week. While I’m coming and going with pet-sitting and walking jobs, nothing too much has actually happened lately. Which I am not complaining about, I’m actually glad Murphy’s taking a break, knock on wood.

This week’s question: Do you have a signature clothing item?
My answer: I wouldn’t really say I have a fashion signature except I typically am wearing either tennis shoes or boots. Very rarely do I wear sandals, typically when it’s a special occasion. Then I’ll wear sandals or dress shoes. I’ll wear flip-flops to the beach or if I’m just stepping out for a minute to the yard. I also usually wear pants, I really dislike skirts and dresses. I wear what I want but I will admit that I’m overweight so the preferred styles that I like don’t really come in my size. I like darker colors, not necessarily black, but darker colors with pops of bright color. I am working on losing weight and toning up, for my health and personal preference more than anything. I’m doing well so far.
What’s your answer?

This week’s baking and cooking: I spent this last week away from my house in a pet-sitting job so there is no baking or cooking recipes to post. I will keep practicing my baking and will keep doing a new recipe for the 52 weeks of this year, just not every week. I enjoy baking, I want to eventually make baking my career in addition to my writing and my pet company. So I will keep at it, it’ll just need to be around my sitting jobs.

This week’s writing:
“We should burn the evidence.”
“We can’t.”
“What do you mean, we can’t?”
“If we tried to burn the evidence here, everyone would see it. We have to destroy the evidence somewhere we can’t be seen.”
“Okay, point. But how do we get it out of here?”
“I don’t know, we have to do something. If we stay here, we’re going down. But if we run without this, we’re still busted. We’ve got to get out of here unseen with this.”
“Ideas?”
The second boy shook his head but the first boy had a brain spark.
“Come on, help me here.”
They pulled a dusty suitcase out of the alley and stuffed the evidence in, not worrying about the cracks appearing. It was necessary.
“Okay, come on.”
“Ugh, this thing is heavy.”
“I know. That’s to be expected though, considering the size. Let’s go.”
It took considerable time but the two boys managed to get the really heavy suitcase through the streets and outside of town, into the woods.
“Now that we have it out here. Should we burn it or just bury it?”
“I’d say bury it except we don’t have a shovel and it would need to be really deep to keep the animals from digging it back up.”
“Yeah, but we can’t really burn it without either city-folk seeing smoke wafting from the woods, where no one is supposed to be or catching the woods on fire.”
“Now what, then? We can’t just leave it here. It’ll start to smell soon. They’ll find it and we could still be caught for the crime.”
“It was an accident.”
“So, we’re street rats. Not like they’ll believe us.”
“Point.”
The second boy had another idea.
“Come on. It’s not the best but it’s all I have.”
“Let’s do it, then. What is it?”
He pointed, “Look. There’s a cave there. We can drag it in deep enough and leave it in the suitcase. The suitcase should keep anything from getting to it, for a while at least. The cave will keep any stench from reaching the city. It saves us from breaking our hands trying to bury it and no trail that would be left with a fire.”
“Sounds good to me.”
The boys dragged the suitcase to the cave, taking it as deep in as they dared. They didn’t want to enter too far and get lost themselves. They didn’t want to die over this anymore than they wanted to be sent to jail.
“Come on. While no one is missing us, we should get back to town. We don’t want to run any more risks than we already have.”
The first boy nodded.
“Do you think anyone will miss what’s in the suitcase?”
“Probably. We just have to be careful we’re not connected to it.”
“So never talk about it again?”
“That’d be best.”
The two boys entered town once again, resolving to never speak of the suitcase in the cave again.
After all, they didn’t want to end up like the body inside the suitcase.
© Paula Crofoot

Monday Motivation: Shoot for the Moon and if you miss, you will still be among the stars.

Writing Prompt: “He’s right behind me, isn’t he?” “Actually, he’s right in front of you.”

Music I’m listening to as I’m posting this: Gone: Switchfoot-The Beautiful Letdown

Down the stairs

I’m not going first. You can if you like.

Posted in Focused Posts

Is This Real or Is It a Trap?

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! Here is the latest piece of Cheryl’s Adventures as I promised.
They walked down the left tunnel for what felt like ages. The tunnel came to a sudden dead end.
Nica asked, “Now what?”
“Scan the walls for any carvings similar to that diagram above us.”
Beams of light bounced around the tunnel as the teens searched for another entrance to the next step.
“Here! I found it.”
Cheryl moved to Scott’s side, scanning where his flashlight had the wall lit up.
Running her hand over the wall, she translated what next step was necessary.
“X, come over here.”
Once he was beside her, she guided him in shifting puzzle pieces previously not visible until he touched the diagram on the wall. He continued moving until there was suddenly a loud echoing click.
X jerked back, “Was that right?”
Cheryl remained calm outwardly, refusing to show her nerves, “Yes, that’s right. Now the wall should open up.”
The tunnel began quaking once more.
“Oh, here we go again.”
“We better not be going lower!”
Kenny shouted, “Get Down!”
Before anyone could ask, he shoved Nica to the floor just in time to avoid her being beheaded by a stone falling off the diagrammed wall.
The others wasted no time in diving down and covering their heads as the diagrammed wall exploded rather than simply lowering or opening a hole.
As their hearing returned, they all gingerly sat up.
“Everyone alright?”
Scott helped his brother and Cheryl stand up in the rubble, “We’re alright.”
Kenny, Nica and X were next to stand up.
“Anyone see Lori?”
“Lori??”
“Lori?”
“Lori!”
They all immediately began shifting the rubble, looking for Lori.
“Anyone find her?”
Everyone shook their heads except Kenny.
“I didn’t find her but look…”
His flashlight highlighted a smear of blood trailing off the direction the tunnel had just opened.
“Oh, God!”
“Oh, geez!”
“Well that means only one thing.”
“What’s that?”
“Let’s go. Something obviously took Lori as we were all diving out of the way. We’ve already lost Izzy, we have to find Lori.”
As they traversed over the rubble into the clear newly opened tunnel, X asked, “Has anyone else noticed it’s the girls that are disappearing first?”
Everyone exchanged glances before Sam, Scott, Kenny and X all gathered tightly around Cheryl and Nica.
Cheryl was wondering if any of them would in fact survive beyond X. She knew he had to survive as his ancestor had when he did this before. But she didn’t know if he’d had any friends when he entered and if any of them had survived. But it was too late to turn back. She took a deep breath as the six left continued on. None realizing that as they got out of sight, the wall reformed itself, trapping them.
© Paula Crofoot

Cave Collapsed

So, we’ve lost two now. Will they survive or is this a wild goose chase put into place by a rival of Xavier’s family generations before that will only end in tragedy?
Slán.
Paula

Posted in Mondays

She Won the Fight, but Survival Isn’t Guaranteed.

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! On a separate note from PEP, Paula’s Pet Paradise is taking off! Which of course, I’m thrilled about and thankful. I have a steady walking job as well as several dog-sitting jobs through the middle of May and then much of June is booked already. I’m ecstatic that it’s going so well and will be doing my best to ensure it continues to do well.
I will do better about posting on Fridays. The problem is not only am I busy with Camp NaNoWriMo, which is going very well, but PPP is taking off and my schedule is fairly sporadic-not that I’m complaining. I’m actually enjoying it as every day is different. Also, I couldn’t decide what to make the focus of April as I did writing last month. I think I may continue Cheryl’s Adventure for the last few Fridays this month and do a new Focus come May, maybe animals. If ya’ll have any request, I’m happy to read and consider them.

This week’s question: Things you’ve done that you never thought you could do?
My answer: the first item off the top of my head is climbing Dunn’s Waterfall in Jamaica. I did it as I was with someone who wanted to do it, I hadn’t even heard of it before the cruise we were on. Looking at it, I had no idea if I could do it or not. But I took my chance and gave it my all. I have video proof that it really did happen, that I really did climb the waterfall from the bottom to the top. It was exhilarating and I will continue to try and do other things that I don’t know if I can do them or not. If you don’t try, you never will.
What’s your answer?

This week’s baking and cooking: This week I baked Lemon Yogurt Muffins and Three Layer Brownies. They were delicious! I also made Spicy Hot Corn for the new cooking recipe: Sides. This month is Salads. Now, however, I’ll be moving from place to place over the next few weeks for dog-sitting so I can’t be sure when I’ll be doing more baking or new cooking recipes. I do promise that I will update this with pictures and details when I have new recipes. Also, you can watch my Instagram, I always post the new baking there.

Lemon Yogurt Muffins and Three Layer Brownies

This week’s writing: A continuation of last week’s:
The branch made its connection with a *Wham*! He went down, grasping at his neck where the branch had hit on the upswing she’d had. She didn’t stop to make sure he stayed down; choosing to take off while she could. She didn’t know where she was headed, she just knew the woods had to end eventually.
Pushing her way through the trees, she didn’t realize she never heard his footsteps behind her. She’d managed to crush his trachea, depriving him of oxygen. He wouldn’t be getting up again.
Not realizing she was now completely alone, she stumbled through a crop of trees, feet suddenly hitting a dirt road. She stumbled over the different ground and fell to her knees. Her hands gripped the dirt, mind scrambling to catch up with the fact she was now on a road. Roads had to lead somewhere, now she just had to pick a direction. She pushed herself up to her feet, stumbling to her left, hoping it would lead somewhere safe, that he wouldn’t catch up to her.
© Paula Crofoot

Monday Motivation: Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality.

Writing Prompt: They taught me to fear the dark. They forgot to mention what happens in the light.

When-you-see-it---Dog and Cat

When you see it, comment below.

Music I’m listening to as I’m posting this: Feilim’s Little Boat Pbelims (Baidin Fbeidblimi): Spailpin, Column MacOirea-Celtic Favorites Disc 2

Posted in Mondays

I Wouldn’t Stand There and Take a Picture!

 

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! This week was very monumental in my family. My mom’s car, the faithful steed, a 1999 Forest Green Ford Escort Sport finally gave her all. She has been retired and my mom now owns her dream car she’s wanted for years. IT’s not the color she wanted, nor necessarily the year but it’s the closest, a 2015 50th anniversary Pony edition fully tricked out Ford Mustang, competition orange. It is gorgeous and rides smooth. She’d considered buying a Ford Escape like I own and drive, but my Escape is a 2008 Silver Ford Escape Limited; yes, we keep our cars for 10+ years; and the 2018 Escape did not drive nearly as well. It was jerky and it had the energy saving ability of turning off after 20 seconds before restarting when you step on the gas, this one at least didn’t function well. That did not make either of us comfortable. So she went with her dream car, figuring she could always get it painted later if the orange color doesn’t grow on her.

This week’s question: This one was sort of deliberately picked: What’s your dream car.
My answer: My next car, likely to be my first brand new car, my current SUV was bought used when my Ford Ranger was wrecked(Not my fault!); will be another truck. It will be a Ford Super Duty F-250 King Ranch Truck; color is debatable. Currently the color is blue jean but previously it was red. My Ford Ranger, which I got lucky in that it was fully tricked out, side-step package, one owner previous to me, was a bright red. Having to total him still makes me sick as he was paid off and was a great truck-also 10 years old. I wouldn’t mind having another Ford Ranger Truck; they’re coming back in 2019! Yes, we’re Ford loyalist in this family. It’s all I’ve ever driven and will likely be all I ever drive.
What’s your answer?

This week’s baking and cooking: Due to a sitting job, when grocery shopping was done, a new recipe was planned but not executed and no baking was planned. I can promise that there will be a new cooking recipe this week as well as a couple of baking. I have a few planned so I’m not sure what I will be baking. I’ll keep you updated.

This week’s writing:
She hid in the shadows, attempting to muffle her panting. Her chest was heaving but if she couldn’t quiet her breathing, she would be certain to die. Her mind raced, attempting to find options But they were few. She couldn’t hide, it wouldn’t last long, running wouldn’t get her far on her sliced leg. He’d managed to trap her in the middle of nowhere so there was nearly no chance of help so she couldn’t wait. So, she couldn’t hide, couldn’t run and can’t wait, what option does that leave. Too many endings nearly guaranteed to end in her death, only one left that was unexpected. She had to attack him to kill, she had to take him down before he could take her down. Even if she failed, she was headed for nearly 90% chance of death now as it was. She might as well go down fighting til her last breath. She scrabbled among the forest floor for a weapon, hearing his footsteps crunching through the dead leaves and broken branches. Any minute now… She struggled back up onto her feet, holding the largest branch she could feel in the dark, stifling the sharp jolts of pain shooting through her shredded left leg.
“Here, little girl. Where are you… I know you’re here. You can’t run…”
He grew closer and closer, footsteps growing louder and louder, and she braced herself.
Flashlight lit up her form, “Ah, there you are…” and she swung with all her might.
© Paula Crofoot

Monday Motivation: What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.

Writing Prompt: “I’m not one for romance, but I am one for half-price chocolates. So, here we are.”

Because I don’t have any pictures of baking, cooking or any hobbies this week, I’ll add in a Creepy pic below. I enjoy them.

What the Hell!

I wouldn’t stand there and take a picture! Run, you idiot!!

Music I’m listening to as I’m posting this: Two Black Cadillacs: Carrie Underwood-Blown Away

 

Posted in Mondays

People aren’t always how they appear.

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! Happy belated Easter! It was very strange this year having Easter on April Fool’s day and, for me, my late Labrador’s birthday. He’d been 18 this year if he hadn’t run into usual big dog health issues. He was born on April 1, 2000, making it very easy to keep up with his age. I had a very busy Easter unlike most years when I simply went to church before coming home and having Easter Dinner.

Happy-Easter-Images-2017

I can foresee April being very busy for me between Paula’s Pet Paradise beginning to take off as well as Camp NaNoWriMo as I’ve set a goal of 30,000 words for my newest novel, a fantasy. I’m looking forward to it though, I like to keep busy. Too much play is about as good for you as too much work.

Just a small hint to the theme of my next piece:

Elemental Star

This week’s question: What do you love about life?
My answer: My automatic answer is freedom. I love the freedom to do as I want, to achieve my dreams, to live life to the fullest.
What’s your answer?

This week’s baking and cooking: There is, as I’d said last week, not any cooking or baking to report this week as I wasn’t home all week. I’m not sure what there will be this next week, I’ll keep ya’ll updated and let ya’ll know next Monday.

This week’s writing: She looked at her little sister, disappointed.
“What do you have to say for yourself?”
Her sister stopped looking at the wall and looked at her, disinterestedly.
“It seemed like a good idea yesterday.”
“Good? How on earth could this have been a good idea!”
Anna shrugged, considering the matter closed.
Amelia sighed before gesturing to the man standing nearby.
“I’ve paid your bail so let’s go.”
The man unlocked the cell but Anna didn’t move.
“Let’s go, Anna.”
“What about Kyle?”
“I don’t know anything about him. Besides, you need to let him go, he’s a bad influence on you.”
A pout appeared, “But I love him.”
“Leave it, Anna-Marie. Let’s go.”
She sighed, clearly put-upon but go up and followed Amelia out of the jail.
Once they were back home, Amelia left Anna to her own devices while she worked to save their reputation from what her sister had done.
She didn’t think Anna could get into any trouble since she’d taken her laptop and tablet before she’d picked Anna up and had kept her cell-phone when the bailiff handed her Anna’s personal possessions from the night before.
But she didn’t know anything about her sister. Anna had multiple hiding places within her room and within them were extra gadgets, including but not limited to another laptop, tablet and two more cell phones.
Anna made some calls and arranged new plans, including Kyle who she’d learned had been bailed by his older brother. Just as well, she knew the way Kyle worked, she didn’t want to have to take the time to break in a new accomplice.
A cold smile spread across Anna-Marie’s face as Amelia called her down for supper, her sister had no idea what went on under her own roof. She’d say what Amelia didn’t know couldn’t hurt her but as she was going to learn that night, that wasn’t always the truth.
© Paula Crofoot

Monday Motivation: Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.

Writing Prompt: You live in a world in which you can buy bottled emotions.

This is the first Monday post of April so here’s the Monthly Chain:
“Y’know… that’s not what an apology sounds like.”
“Bite me.”
“No thanks. I’m an omnivore, not a cannibal.”
In response, he simply gave him the universal sign of screw you.
“I’m still waiting for an apology.”
“I don’t owe you an apology. If anything, after what happened back there, you owe me one.”
“What’d I do?”

What happens next? What did he do?

Music I’m listening to as I’m posting this: The Foggy Dew: Richard Rossbach-Celtic Favorites Disc 3