Posted in Mondays

Happy Memorial Day!

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! To my fellow Americans, Happy Memorial Day! Hope ya’ll enjoy your barbecues, picnics, family day, whatever it is ya’ll are doing to celebrate. Even if you’re visiting cemeteries to honor those lost while serving our country. I’m not visiting this year as not only am I currently on a dog-sitting job but I’m also taking the day to relax but I have a grandfather, and grandmother, in the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery. Both of my grandfathers on my father’s side, long story as to why there’s two, served as did my GrandPapa on my mother’s side, his brother and two uncles on my mother’s side. My Great-Uncle was actually KIA overseas during WWII; my GrandPapa also served during WWII. My Grandfathers and one uncle served during peacetime, my other uncle served during the Iran war and after 9/11. As such, I always respect the services of those fighting for our Country; even if perhaps I don’t always agree with why or where our men and women are being sent.

Memorial Day

This week’s question: Do you like being alone?
My answer: I consider myself an Ambivert. I enjoy socializing with friends, being around other people. But I equally enjoy being by myself, recharging my battery. It’s all really in what mood I’m in. Sometimes I enjoy being in a crowd, other times I hate it and want to be by myself.
What’s your answer?

This week’s baking and cooking: I made Grape Salad. It was good though really more of a dessert than a side salad. I also made Frosted Drop Cookies, which I don’t have pictures of as while the cookies turned out really well, the frosting didn’t. I also made Memorial Day Mint Chocolate Brownies. I baked and frosted those for a baking competition on Pinterest. This is my first one on Pinterest so I’ll see how it goes. It looks good and tastes delicious.

Memorial Day Mint Chocolate Brownies

This week’s writing:
She crouched down under the blanket with her little brother, making certain they both stayed quiet. She peered through the slit she’d long since cut into the blanket, watching her mom and other adults. They peered through the windows, making certain to stay out of sight. They couldn’t be seen. They were all tired and if they were drawn into another fight, there was no guarantee they’d all make it out alive. She saw the other two blanket huddles remaining just as still. They’d all learned quickly the children had to stay quiet and still during the day when they weren’t on the move. It was a matter of life or death. Any that couldn’t follow the survival rules would be abandoned. She’d seen it happen too many times already.
This was all her little brother knew, as well as the two youngest children. She was old enough to remember the world the way it had been. At night, when it was safe to talk, she and the other three older children would sometimes talk about things they missed. Rarely, they’d talk about the dreams they’d had once. Dreams of what they wanted their future to be like, dreams of changing the world. Those dreams were useless now and they were all better off not speaking of them. Especially not to the adults nor to the little ones that had never had the chance to have dreams.
After all, what are you supposed to dream for when there are monsters outside your window?
© Paula Crofoot

Monday Motivation: Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. -Mark Twain

Writing Prompt: He could make anyone follow him anywhere.

My Book of the Week: I’m currently reading Morrigan’s Cross by Nora Roberts. It’s book one in the Circle Trilogy. I’ve found that I enjoy the trilogies better than the solo books. The single books are good, I just enjoy the longer and more in depth plotlines the trilogies bring more. I also enjoy the ones that have at least a hint of something supernatural or fantasia over those that are solely mundane. But that’s also what I enjoy writing and reading overall, along with some thriller and horror, so it doesn’t surprise me.

Music I’m listening to as I’m posting this: The Green Glens of Antrim: Various Artists-Pure Irish Air and Melodies.

Posted in Mondays

The Undead or Bridezilla? Which foe would you rather face?

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! I’ve had a fairly relaxed week; especially after the majority of April. I also caught up with chores at home; a full house cleaning and attempted to mow the yard. I got most of it done but a piece of the backyard isn’t mowed as my lawnmower ran out of gas and I haven’t had a chance to refill the gas can that I use to fill the mower. I’ll take care of that this next week. I did manage to do some baking this last week though!

This week’s question: Why do you write?
My answer: Hmm. I write because it soothes my soul. I enjoy creating worlds completely from scratch. My characters are, in a way, my children. If I reach even just one person that my novel, eventually to be published, makes a difference in their life for the better, I’m happy. Would I mind being rich off of my novels, not at all. I’d love that! But having fan(s) of my books and characters, my worlds, will be great.
What’s your answer?

This week’s baking and cooking: Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies. I have finally found the perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie base to play with. I have another one that’s really good but it’s really moist and chewy, not really good to add nuts, candy or any of the like. But this one, is delicious, chewy but not so chewy that they fall apart if you add anything else. I want to try my hand again at homemade caramel. I made some b ack at Christmas time when I made homemade turtle, they’re my mother’s favorite candy. They were good but the caramel never truly set right so Lord, it was messy. I want to try it once more. I think it’ll be next time I make these.

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

This week’s writing:
“You were supposed to stop me,” he whispered.
He dropped to his knees before her, unbelieving this had happened. She was never supposed to be hurt like this, she was supposed to stop him before it came to this end.
Of course, no one knew he was responsible. As far as anyone knew, he was missing as he had vanished without trace, and whoever had made him vanish had done this to her. He knew the truth. What happened to her was a side effect of his work, his work that she was supposed to have stopped him before it got this far. His work, in his mind, was to better the world, not destroy it.
He stood up, preparing to leave; his world as it was has been destroyed with the death of his life source.
He turned and walked away from her gravesite, never to return.
As such, he won’t be around when her grave shifts the next night, bringing a nightmare to life as never has been before.
© Paula Crofoot

Monday Motivation: If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.

Writing Prompt: This one is insanely creepy: let’s see what ya’ll can do.
Mary had a little lamb,
it’s heart was black as coal,
it crept into her room one night,
and ate her very soul

My Book of the Week: The Unwelcomed Child by V.C. Andrews. I have actually not read any of her books before. But someone recommended her books to me as they’re reading through one of her series. I decided to try a stand alone book before I got sucked into a series in case I didn’t like it. I’ll let ya’ll know.
I should probably tell ya’ll about the previous books. I haven’t finished Apocalypse Cow just yet but I’m always reading more than one book at once. I have finished Face the Fire, it left it on just a little bit of a cliff-hanger. More of a leave the happy ending to your imagination cliff-hanger, the actual plot itself was solved.

Do you see it?

Creepy Bride 1

“Are we sure we should be here?”
“Why not.”
“I don’t know. This place is creepy.”
“Come on. That’s why we’re here. This place has been abandoned for years. I want to see why!”
“Haven’t you heard the legends?”
“Oh, come on. You can’t believe those!”
“If you don’t, then why are we here?”
“I want to find out the truth.”
Sally sighed, she didn’t know if she believed the legends about this event center and why it was haunted. But she believed it enough to not push her luck with it. If only her friend Lizzie was more cautious.
“Did you hear that?”
Lost in her thoughts, Sally hadn’t heard anything.
She shook her head.
A moment later, she heard it.
“Are those footsteps?”
“Yeah, but who else is here? This place is abandoned.”
“It’s probably one of the ghosts around here.”
Before Lizzie could respond, a soft eerie light filled the hallway from their left.
Both girls turned, mouths opening in screams, as a dark haired woman appeared in the light, shadows filling where her eyes should be, wearing a wedding dress, covered in shadows and blood.
The last thing either girl saw was her mouth filled with razor sharp teeth, dripping with crimson blood, soon to be joined by their blood.
© Paula Crofoot
(Can you tell I like the darker things in life just as much as I enjoy the light?)

Music I’m listening to as I’m posting this: Black Velvet Band: Bakerloo Junction-Irish Pub Songs

Posted in Focused Posts

Food’s Coming!

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! My garden is growing very well. The cherry tomatoes, garden beans, onion, corn, and jalapeno plant are growing bigger. The second kind of tomatoes have sprouted seedlings, as have the bell peppers and pumpkins. I’ve also added a bell pepper plant, cilantro and another cucumber plant that’s stronger than the first one. I’ve added some small fencing in hopes of keeping leaves and the like out. It’s worked so far as we’ve had a couple of breezy days since putting the pickets up. The only thing that haven’t come up is the catnip. I’ll keep an eye on them.

 

Slán.
Paula

Posted in Mondays

What’s Living in the Dark?

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all the mother’s visiting PEP. I spent Mother’s Day with mine, having a big breakfast, going to a park, having a picnic and reading; working in my garden and playing video games.

This week’s question: Which is more important: Talent or Hard work?
My answer: In my opinion, Hard work is more important. Even if you are truly talented, if you don’t hone the talent, develop the gift, then you’re wasting the talent. Even if you may not be as naturally talented as someone else in say, art; if you work hard enough, you can become equally talented.
What’s your answer?

This week’s baking and cooking: None this week, I’m afraid.

This week’s writing:
They exchanged glances as they heard it again. A low, dark, rumbling noise is coming from the room across the hall. It certainly didn’t sound friendly and last they knew, there weren’t any occupants of the dorm room. There shouldn’t be anything in there.
Lonnie furrowed his brows, “Should we go check it out?”
His roommate immediately shook his head, “No way, man. Whatever that is, is def not friendly. I don’ think its anything we should get mixed up in.”
“Should we report it, then?”
Scott tilted his head, “We can do that. Perhaps there’ll be some answers about it.”
When they returned back to room 109 from reporting the strange noises to their R.A. they did indeed come away with more knowledge.
Lonnie’s face was pale, “Why did no one ever tell us that before we moved in.”
“Probably because if everyone knew that room 112 is haunted, no one would move in.”
“But seriously…”
Scott sighed, “I know. Something this huge shouldn’t be hidden from everyone. Maybe we can find more information on the beast that supposedly lives in there.”
“I wouldn’t say it’s supposedly since we can hear it.”
“Yeah, but who says that isn’t a prank. There could be a recording set up in there, on a continuous loop.”
Lonnie paused, “I hadn’t thought of that.”
Scott hummed in thought.
“Let’s keep an eye on the room and do some more research on it.”
Scott agreed.
Neither realized that they would run out of time if they didn’t get protections in place. Protections they didn’t know about, at the urging of the R.D. to soothe the beast in room 112, against the wishes of the East Floor 1 RA. HE remembered the year before and didn’t think it was right that whoever lost the lottery of being placed in room 109 was sacrificed.
© Paula Crofoot

Monday Motivation: Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.

Writing Prompt: Do not forget. I am Royal, I am Ethereal, I am Monstrous. When I find you, you will PAY for your disrespect.

My Book of the Week: Apocalypse Cow: Book 1 by Michael Logan. I enjoy destruction of world, thriller, zombie books. I haven’t gotten very far into the book so I’ll have to see what I actually think of the book.

Music I’m listening to as I’m posting this: That’s What I Think: Cyndi Lauper-Twelve Deadly Cyns… and then some.

Posted in Focused Posts

Seedlings have Appeared!

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP!
As some may remember, May’s focused posts are on my current garden. Well, there’s been progress. My Cherry Tomato plant, black diamond watermelon plant, and Jumbo Jalapeno plant have grown bigger and my jalapeno even has a couple of blooms already. I have seedlings from my squash, garden beans, big boy tomatoes, and corn. Nothing’s come up from the bell peppers, catnip, or pumpkins but they have 10-14 days on seedlings so I’m not worried about them. My cucumber, however, due to leaves falling on the bed while I was away, is gone. It may come back but I have yet to do well with cucumbers. Everything else generally does well but I lost the first cucumbers a few years ago due to my Labrador, Astro, peeing on them and the second batch a couple of years ago blossomed but nothing ever grew. So this is nothing new as far as cucumbers go. My onions don’t show any change but they’re bulbs I’ve planted so it’ll be a while before any change for them. I’ll likely have jalapenos, tomatoes and onion by the end of the month. I’m not expecting the pumpkin for a long while yet, nor the corn. The squash and bell peppers are in the air at the moment and the catnip is as it grows and I can harvest some before the neighborhood cats.
This is also a different kind of gardening than I’ve done. The very first was a garden in the back of the yard at the house where my family lived at the time, I was five. The second garden was a raised bed garden, in the kit you can buy at Sam’s, in the backyard of that house, I was in my 20s. The last garden was a container garden as I thought we’d be moving again that year but I wanted a garden. Now, this one is in a flower bed that was already there and fertile by the weeds growing but there wasn’t any flowers. This is a rental so I can only dig up so much of the yard so I’m using the already placed flower bed. It gets plenty of sun due to the direction the house faces. So I’ll keep you updated.
Pics are below, you can see the difference in some areas.

Slán.
Paula

Posted in Mondays

Be Kind to All, You Never Know Who Might Have Your Back Someday.

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! The weather here is so nice. Which is great considering half of last week was gloomy and wet. It wasn’t even cold would have at least made it worth it. Instead it was humid and muggy, making it miserable. Today it’s sunny without being too hot, it isn’t summer in Texas just yet. With my business, I’ve already got a start on a tan from being outside so much even though it’s just May. Of course, I’m darker skinned so I look tanned all year around. I’m just even darker in the summer.

This week’s question: Do photo-shopped images make you feel bad about your own looks?
My answer: No. I’m old and mature enough to realize they’re fake and to be comfortable in my own skin. If something doesn’t look real, then chances are good that it’s photo-shopped. Photo-editing programs are good when you’re making something completely new, such as artwork, or when you’re working on an ad-not involving people. They’re not good when it involves people as it can easily damage self-perception.
What’s your answer?

This week’s baking and cooking: I made my own creation this week. Orange Butterscotch Peanut Chocolate Chip Cookies. They were really good. The orange, cinnamon, butterscotch, and peanut played well together. I’ll be experimenting more. After all, I’ll need my own recipes if I’m to open my own Tea Shoppe someday. I’m gone on more jobs for most of this next week so I can’t guarantee I’ll have a new baking recipe for next week. But I do need to catch up on my weekly cooking recipes. I have a couple of weeks in May without sitting jobs so maybe then. But June’s completely booked so who knows then.

Orange Butterscotch Peanut Chocolate Chip Cookies

This week’s writing:
She never killed the spiders in her home. She just whispered, “Today you, tomorrow me” as she set them outside. Today, the tomorrow has come. Three large men have broken into her home, not realizing anyone was home. They were simply looking for a home that looked like it might have some items make money off of. But since she’s here, they’ll have some fun. But just as she thought it was over, bleeding and right leg unable to hold her up, she’d refused to go down without fighting, there was a loud rustle in the next room.
“What’s that? A dog?”
“I don’t have a dog. I hadn’t gotten one yet. But I’ll certainly be investing in one after today.”
“Liar! What else is that?”
“No clue. But it’s not a dog.”
Just then, the door opened, revealing a huge hoard of black spiders.
One man shrieked, “Spiders! I’m terrified of spiders!”
“Straighten up! They’re just spiders!”
She realized what they were, they were every spider she’d ever saved and put back outside.
They descended upon the three men. The one that was terrified of spiders screamed once more and ran out the door, spiders still crawling all over. The leader started swatting at them, refusing to be intimidated by a few spiders.
The spiders, naturally, weren’t pleased with his actions. They started biting everywhere they could reach and he changed his mind about swatting. Instead, he followed the first man, not realizing he wouldn’t make it very far from her home before the poison from a couple of the venomous spiders kicked in.
The second man froze, not wanting to be bitten and not quite brave enough to run or flick them off. As such, when the police finally got there, he was still standing there, now completely covered.
“Please, get them off me!”
The spiders easily crawled off when she asked them to leave him so the police could take him.
They gathered behind her, maing the police leery about getting too close to her. Not that she was complaining. She wanted to file her statement, have him arrested and have everyone leave. After what she’d just been through, she wanted them gone. She put herself through the EMTs that came with the ambulance and once she’d been patched up, she ordered them to all leave. They all left, one officer offering to stay outside in case one of the two that had escaped returned. She denied him, her spider friends would provide protection if necessary.
© Paula Crofoot

Monday Motivation: When you have a dream, you’ve got to grab it and never let go.

My Book of the Week: My current book is Isabella Moon by Laura Benedict. I haven’t actually started it yet, it’s next on my TBR pile. I always have a pile of books to read, either from the library or if I don’t have any from the library, I have a few in my own personal library I haven’t read yet. I can’t stand being without at least one book I haven’t read. I’ll be starting it after I finish Face The Fire, the third in the Three Sisters Island Trilogy I started last week.

Writing Prompt: He first saw her sitting on the steps, patiently weaving the intricate patterns into the hair of the child on her lap.

This is the first Monday post of May so here’s the Monthly Chain:
“I love you,” he whispers under his breath as the love of his life walks down the aisle to the man he is paid to assassinate. He hadn’t known his name when he’d taken the job and there was no way he could back out now. Not only was there the assassin code of honor to uphold, but clearly his client had no issue with hiring assassins. Who was to say that if he didn’t take him out, his client wouldn’t hire another assassin to not only take him out but also send after himself. Perhaps he could’ve chosen another day to do this, but his target apparently knew he’d made enemies and this was the first time he’d been out in the open.
He aimed through his silence rifle and pulled the trigger.
What happens next? Does he hit his target? If he does, what’s the fallout? Does she realize he was behind it even though he vanished. Or does he manage to disappear? If he doesn’t hit him, who or what does he hit instead? What’s the fallout from that? Post below in the comments.

Music I’m listening to as I’m posting this: Sign Of The Times: Harry Styles- Harry Styles.

Posted in Focused Posts

Gardening: Good for the Heart and Soul

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! Fridays in May will be about gardening, in particular my garden. But I will likely write about some research at some point. I’ve just planted my garden so there won’t be updates that quickly.
I’ve planted onions, tomatoes, both cherry and big hybrids, corn and garden beans. As well as cucumbers, sweet bell peppers, jalapenos, watermelons, and summer squash. I’ve even planted pumpkins in preparation for the fall. I do love Halloween after all. I own two cats as well as there’s a few neighborhood cats so I’ve also planted catnip.
I did catnip for use in my cat toys that I make as well as in hope that when the neighborhood cats come visiting, they’ll snack on the catnip and leave the rest alone. We’ll see. I’ll keep you updated on that. I planted just what we would actually eat in my house, as well as space requirements of my small area I have. Corn, onion and beans take up quite a bit of room. Well, as I said, I’ve just planted the garden so that’s all I have for today. I should have some seedlings by next Friday so I’ll post some more pictures then.

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The leaves weren’t there when I finished planting but it was fairly windy that day. That’s obviously something I’ll have to keep an eye out for.
Slán.
Paula