Posted in Mondays

I Saw You; What Will You Pay Me to Forget?

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! I was thinking about it and realized that though I talk about my pet business considerably on here, I’ve never actually given out the information. I have plans to put up a web page for it, both on this blog and on Facebook. Once I’ve done that, I’ll be posting some pictures of some of my clients so ya’ll can see who I’ve been working with. If ya’ll are in the DFW, Texas area, look me up and we’ll see if we can work together to care for your pets. Rover is for dogs but I am absolutely not limited to dogs. I’ve sat for cats, I have a client with a horse and am willing to sit for reptiles, hamsters and fish.
My profile link:

This week’s question: Would you consider a non-traditional occupation?
My answer: Technically, what I do for a living is a non-traditional occupation. It’s only been the least few years that pet-sitting and walking have taken off. Hence the fact that Paula’s Pet Paradise is doing so well. It may be non-traditional but I love what I do and that I’m able to run my own business, being my own boss.
What’s your answer?

This week’s baking and cooking: I don’t have anything this week but I have a few days at home and have plans to bake dog biscuits that I’ll be selling through Paula’s Pet Paradise and to try my hand at some candy.

This week’s writing:
He froze, blood still dripping off the knife, looking at the shadow in the doorway. He backed into the darker part of the room, muffling his footsteps as the shadow grew larger. A young woman stepped into the room, pausing just inside the room. She looked down at the dead body. He was surprised when her face remained completely still. There was no surprise, no horror, no fear. He couldn’t understand it.
She looked up, he could’ve sworn she was looking right at him. In the dark, he couldn’t see her eyes, he couldn’t tell if she was simply suppressing her emotions.
“Pay me enough and I didn’t see a thing.”
His jaw dropped, she did know he was there and that he killed the woman laying on the floor.
He wondered if she actually saw him or if she was bluffing.
“I witnessed the entire murder. I have this room monitored as it’s my personal study. She wasn’t supposed to ever be in here. Pay me enough and I didn’t see a thing.”
He realized this was the housemate his employer had warned him about. The two women didn’t get along and were only rooming together under the orders of the non-target’s parents. Apparently the target’s parents had known her parents for years and needed a favor.
Seeing that she likely did have this room monitored, he stepped forward to silhouette his body against the moonlit window but his face was still shadowed just in case she didn’t actually know what he looked like.
“How much are you demanding?”
“Half of whatever you were paid to kill her.”
“A quarter.”
“Fine. You’ll mail me the cash from a public location in a week once you were paid. I will find you if you don’t pay me.”
She turned and vanished back into the shadows as quickly as she’d come and he finished his job. He vanished into the night as quickly as he’d entered the house, leaving no mark.
© Paula Crofoot

Writing Prompt: I think I’m starting to understand you.

My Book of the Week: Blood Kissed: a Lizzie Grace novel by Keri Arthur. It’s a book I happened upon, walking the fiction aisles of my local library. It’s in the supernatural genre but it has a twist. I haven’t finished it yet but it is a fast read. I recommend it.

Monday Motivation: Sorry… Out to Live… Be back soon!

Music I’m listening to as I’m posting this: Poison: Groove Coverage-Greatest Hits. I have mentioned I have a wide listening variety, right?

Posted in Mondays

Happy Anniversary, PEP!!

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! Happy Anniversary, Paula’s Eclectic Paradise! We are now one year old as of July 17, 2018! I can’t believe it’s already been a year since I began this blog. I am thrilled with my followers and how well it’s done. It’s not in my budget for what I was thinking about for the one year anniversary so I will come back to that, perhaps for the holidays instead. Things happen when you’re self-employed no matter how well you’re doing.

This week’s question: How far would you go for fashion?
My answer: Not very far. I wear what I’m comfortable and confident in. I’m not going to wear what’s fashionable just because it’s fashionable. I’m not a follower. I’m not going to wear something I can’t breathe in, something that makes my feet feel like the soles are being stabbed with hot pins every step, something I can’t sit in, or some ridiculous hat just because it’s ‘in’. I refuse. So, you can see, for fashion, I won’t go very far.
What’s your answer?

This week’s writing:
“It is what it is, it ain’t what it ain’t, and don’t make it into what it isn’t.”
She turned at the familiar voice, “What?”
Her older brother sat next to her in front of the grave, “I can hear the wheels turning in your mind. It is what it is, it ain’t what it ain’t and don’t make it what it isn’t. It’s upsetting but there isn’t anything you can do to turn back time. It was an accident, not a murder, don’t make it into more than it is. Don’t let their death consume you or twist their memory into a battle you don’t need.”
She scowled, “So, what. I’m just supposed to forget about them, about what happened?!”
“No, of course not. Never forget about them, but don’t let their untimely death suffocate you, draining your life. You and I both know he would want you to live.”
“But I shouldn’t be here without him!”
She stalked off into the rain, leaving her brother staring at the gravestone belonging to her fiancé.
© Paula Crofoot

Writing Prompt: Once upon a time, there was a happy little girl. Then she grew up into a monster.

My Book of the Week: The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott. It is wonderful! It’s a historical fiction, set in 1914, dealing with the Titanic. But the ship sinking isn’t the primary focus but rather the mystery surrounding survivors. I definitely recommend it if you enjoy historical fiction.

Monday Motivation: I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings.

Music I’m listening to as I’m posting this: Heal the World: Michael Jackson-Dangerous.

Posted in Mondays

Who’s Drawing Blood Now?

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! It is certainly the dog days of summer here in Texas. It’s reached a constant stream of 100 degree days and doesn’t look to be getting cooler. We had to have our air conditioner fixed last week, the fan motor had burn out on it. Fortunately it didn’t take long but we still reached 85 in the house before it was fixed and it got cooler. For the moment, my baking has taken a break except for any no-bake recipes but I’m so busy with my pet business- no complaints- that it will be some time before I can truly focus on it again. But it’ll be some time before I can do what it is I want to do with my baking as it is. So I’ll take some time expanding.

This week’s question: What’s your comfort food?
My answer: I would have to say any flavor of ice cream or tator tots. Any time I eat either of those helps makes me happy again. Particularly Sonic tator tots or ice cream with candy or cake inside, such as moose tracks or birthday cake ice cream.
What’s your answer?

This week’s writing:
Alice walked up to the gathering outside the Country Hall, head tilted curiously.
She lightly grasped the arm of one of the women in the back, “What’s going on.”
Instead of verbally answering, she stepped aside, allowing Alice to see for herself.
She barely held in her gasp of shock. It was another corpse. This makes the fifth. But there was something strange about this one. She couldn’t see from this distance what it was but she saw her brother closer.
She pushed her way through to Edward’s side.
“What is it, Edward? Everyone seems so concerned. It’s just another body, isn’t it?”
He drew her aside, shaking his head gently.
“There’s a symbol carved into the corpse’s chest.”
“Like our custom with our deceased?”
“It isn’t one of ours.”
She drew her hand back to her chest, “Not one of ours?”
He pointed, now that they had a clearer view, “take a closer look”.
He had reason for her looking closer. He had hopes she might recognize the symbol.
Her eyes widened as she did indeed recognize the symbol on the corpse’s chest, though she didn’t recognize the man.
© Paula Crofoot

Writing Prompt: She smiles like an Angel but she lives through Hell.

My Book of the Week: Lost Boy: the true story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry. It’s actually quite fascinating. I knew there were may points of view on the myth of Peter Pan but had never thought about the point of view from Captain Hook. This book has opened a new point of view of the myth and is fairly interesting. I haven’t finished it yet but highly recommend it.

Monday Motivation: We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.

Music I’m listening to as I’m posting this: Riverdance: Countdown Orchestra And Singers- Celtic Favorites Collectors Edition

Posted in Mondays

My Wolves, My Children

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! I’m still looking into something for the one year anniversary of Paula’s Eclectic Paradise. It all depends on budget as I need something big for my pet business as well as something for the blog itself. It may be that it has to wait.

This week’s question: Would you rather attend a public or private high school?
My answer: Well, for one, I’ve been out of high school for several years so this is really a moot point for me. But if I had to choose… It would depend. I attended public school for elementary and middle school. The only reason I didn’t attend public was that in my city: one high school was too big for me and the other was too dangerous. But I didn’t attend private either as in my school, I’d looked at a few when it was time for middle school and they were very cliquish and I didn’t like the curriculum; they didn’t really offer anything more than the public schools, just cost more. So it depends on the student body as well as what they teach. Both are just fine despite what many tell you. But I’m long out and a long time from having kids in high school so this is no concern for me anytime soon.
What’s your answer?

This week’s writing:
The woman smirked, “You don’t have to throw me to the wolves…”
Before any of the villagers surrounding her could respond, growls sounded from the shadows outside the building.
As they focused their flashlights out of the windows, she continued, “They come whenever I call.”
Just then, the power in the entire village went out. The growls grew louder and screams began filling the air. The men tried to remain surrounding the accused witch, not wanting her to escape.
But as one young man recognize the voice of his newlywed wife in the screams, he was the first to break rank.
The sheriff shouted, “Stop! You won’t make it!”
He ignored him, running to his bride. He never made it, taken down by three wolves just outside of their home where, unknown to him, she was already torn to pieces, feeding two young cubs. His body made a snack for the cubs’ parents.
The supposed witch laughed, her dark voice filling the sudden void. The few men still surrounding her peered around nervously.
“You don’t realize it, do you? You’ve already lost. You’re the only ones still alive in the village, my wolves have had their feast.”
Sure enough, the screams had died off, leaving the village silent beyond the growls surrounding accused and her accusers.
“Now, they will finish the job.”
The sheriff fired his weapon but the bullets were ineffective. Before too long, the accused witch chuckled as her wolves surrounded her, calm, peaceful and full, all covered in blood.
“To the next feast, my children.”
© Paula Crofoot

Bloody Wolf

Writing Prompt: Her smile was a bit too wide, a bit too cheerful, considering the blood on the walls.

My Book of the Week: Duplicity Dogged the Dachshund by Blaize Clement is the book I’m currently reading. I’m really enjoying it as it’s along the lines of my usual mystery genre and the main character in it is a pet caretaker like I am. That makes a special connection to me with all of the animals and her job. This is the second one and I’ve not read the first one yet but it’s understandable without having read the first as it refers back to the first with self-explanatory information without confusing you.

Monday Motivation: There is nothing impossible to him who will try.

Music I’m listening to as I’m posting this: You & I: One Direction-Four

Posted in Focused Posts

Demon For Sale

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! In honor of Camp NaNoWriMo, Friday posts this month will be writing pieces.

While waiting for her coffee to be called, Catherine was gazing at the bulletin board that was often used as an advertisement board for this and that. She blinked in shock at a ragged index card and had to pull it off to get a closer look at it.
‘Demon, free to a good home. House broken, pet friendly. Ask for Jill.’
Turning it around, she saw a local number scrawled across the back of it. Just then, “Catherine.”
She retrieved her coffee from the barista, absently tucking the card in her back pocket, no one noticing.
That night, as she was changing into lounge clothes, it fluttered out of her pocket and she picked it up, “Oh, yeah…”
Out of curiosity, as she curled up on her loveseat with Princessa, her Persian, she dialed the number on her cell phone.
“Hi, Is Jill there?”
“Calling about the ad?”
“uh, yeah.”
“K, hold on.”
The guy clearly set the phone down with a thump before Catherine could just hear him yelling, “Jill! Phone’s for you. Please get rid of the thing this time.”
Catherine was baffled, this was real…?
“Hi, is this Jill?”
“Yep, calling about Haz?”
“Uh, Haz? I found your ad on the board at Sleepy Beans.”
“Yep, Haz, short for Hazelethus. I don’t know if it matters but he’s an elemental demon, very affectionate but needs a human that’s willing to put up with mistakes as he is young and very prone to emotional outbursts.”
“I’m sorry, you’re serious? Demons don’t really exist, do they?”
A pause.
Then Jill chuckled, “New to this world, huh? How about we meet tomorrow, your choice of meeting place, and you can meet Haz and we can talk.”
Deciding to go for it despite her doubt, “Sure. How about Green Acres?”
“Sure. About noon?”
“Works. See you there.”
Even though she didn’t have a dog, Catherine was often at Green Acres, the local park that included a skate and dog park, and knew that it would be fairly populated, ensuring her safety.
She showed up about an hour early wanting to get some work done, Princessa safely bundled in her halter and leash and a book, notebook, her laptop and Princessa’s travel bed in her travel duffel. She settled on a comfortable bench in the middle of the park, safe distance from the dog park, and set Princessa’s bed in the middle of the bench. After sniffing around the bench, Princessa hopped up and settled in her bed. Regulars to the park didn’t even blink at the two anymore as they were there three-four times a week as Catherine enjoyed getting out of her apartment while she was working and Princessa enjoyed the air and view.
“Be ready, Princessa. We’re meeting some people today and I don’t know about one of them.”
Princessa simply mewed in response as she watched the skaters in the skate park. Just then, Catherine’s attention was caught by a short blonde urging an insanely tall guy along with her. She wondered if this might be Jill and Haz. The blonde looked up, her light yellow-green eyes lighting up when she spotted Catherine and Princessa.
She came closer, “Catherine?”
“Yes? Jill?”
“That’s me.”
She urged the tall guy behind her closer and Catherine realized his height wasn’t the only unusual thing about him. Not only was he at least 7 feet tall but his hair, to his shoulders, was a perfect shade of aqua blue and his eyes were a gleaming ruby. He was handsome with golden skin, but she’d never seen anyone. The hair could be dyed but she didn’t think there were contacts that could make someone’s eyes that shade of red. Now she was beginning to believe this wasn’t a hoax.
Jill came around and sat on the other side of Princessa while Haz came to a stop in front of the bench and shyly waved at Catherine. She waved back with a small smile and he seemed to be more comfortable.
“So, this is Haz, short for Hazelethus. He’s an Elemental Demon and really nice though most people are immediately afraid of his red eyes. Being an Elemental Demon means that he has control over all the elements, including some magic. He has a little different moral compass than we do, being a demon versus our humanity. But still really cool.”
“And you’re trying to give him away? Does he not have his own right to freedom? And even if not, if he’s so cool, why are you giving him away?”
Jill perked up, “You’re the first to ask about his right to his own freedom! Normally, yes, Demons have the same rights as we do. However, much like we must be 18, a demon has to be 21 and Haz is only 17.”
Catherine blinked, only 17?
“Is he going to get any taller?”
Haz grinned shyly and Jill chuckled.
“No. Demons mature through ‘puberty’ faster than we humans do. He’s already reached his max height. I’ve recently changed jobs and have to move. Where I have to move to doesn’t allow demons and my roommate doesn’t want to keep him. I’ve managed to put off moving for a little while until I can find Haz a new home but the deadline’s coming up and I know if it’s left to my roommate, he’ll be given to the government to find a home.”
“That won’t be good. They’ll just give him to whoever qualifies, whether it’s a good home or not.”
Catherine had never heard of demons before now but even she knew the government’s habit with finding homes for refugees and the bad history.
Looking at Haz, “I don’t have a guest room, but my couch folds out. Will that do?”
He spoke, voice a rolling bass, “That’ll be more than fine. It’ll be better if I’m in the living room anyway as it’ll be easier to protect from there.”
Catherine’s eyebrows rose, and Jill smiled, “Yeah. He’s going to be your guardian, whether you want one or not, if he moves in with you.”
Catherine couldn’t deny that wasn’t a plus as she did live alone.
Deciding to jump in with both feet just as she had with moving to a new city and taking a new work-at-home job a couple years before, “Alright. He can move in with me.”
Jill bounced in her seat, “Yay! You won’t regret it! Ya’ll will be great friends!”
Jill handed over a duffel bag that clearly had Haz’s belongings in it, explaining that his diet needed more meat than most but otherwise was very similar to a human’s. With that, Jill departed, and Catherine packed up Princessa’s bed and her laptop before leading Haz to her loft that was his new home as well.
© Paula Crofoot

Posted in Mondays

Happy 4th of July!! Happy Independence Day, America!

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! I can’t believe it’s already July! Not only that, but come July 17th, it will be a year of Paula’s Eclectic Paradise! I have a couple of things planned but I’m still working out some details so I’ll tell ya’ll more as we grow closer. I’m not only sitting for quite a bit this month but I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo for July, continuing April’s novel as I didn’t get as far as I’d wanted. So I already foresee a busy July for me which in no way am I complaining.

Now, I have to mention, being American, Happy Fourth of July!!

July 4th

This week’s question: How should you handle the end of a friendship?
My answer: This is a tricky question. It evolves into a few sub questions. Number one is, of course, why the friendship end? Was there a fight or did you two just grow apart. If the answer is number one, then another sub question is: is it a good thing the friendship ended, was it toxic in itself filled with nothing but negativity and fights? Or was it simply a bad fight that got away from the two of you. If it’s the first one, let it go, you’ll likely both be better off for it. If it’s the first, give you both some time to cool off then work on making it up. If the answer to the first sub question was that you two just grew apart, then ask yourself if you truly want to be friends with them again or if you’re just nostalgic for the old friendship. If the answer is number one, then reach out again and see if you can’t establish new common interests if the old ones are no longer enough. If the answer is the second one, then perhaps you should let it go on the good note that it’s currently ended on rather than destroying good memories by trying to recreate them. I’ve have my share of all of the above as well as witnessed them quite a few times.
What’s your answer?

This week’s writing:
‘Now it’s back to the way we started. Strangers. To think we were once brothers by all but blood and now we don’t even acknowledge each other on campus. Sometimes, I really wish things didn’t have to change as we grew older. Honestly, I don’t even understand why we suddenly stopped being friends. Well, it really wasn’t sudden. He grew more involved in the baseball team while I still sucked at sports and was more interested in books and art. I began experimenting with more mediums, including spray-painting while he grew more interested in bettering his hit speed and attracting the eyes of the cheerleaders. Eventually, the gap grew so large that we stopped even trying to eat lunch together as we’d promised when we were 12 that we would always do together, no matter what. I guess I might be alright with us having grown apart as we grew older, except as he’s made more friends, I haven’t. Instead, my bullies have grown in numbers instead.’
Adam shook his head, there was no point in getting sucked into old memories or wishes when he needed to focus on avoiding the baseball captain and his lackeys, thankfully not counting his old best friend, Nate.
© Paula Crofoot

Writing Prompt: “I love it when someone insults me. That means that I don’t have to be nice anymore.”

This is the first Monday post of July so here’s the Monthly Chain:
“You have to go, you have to run away!”
“Run from who?”
“from me.”
“That’s stupid!”
Her breath caught in her throat as he snarled in her face, shoving her against the wall before he stumbled back.
He groaned, clutching his forehead, “I said run! NOW!”
She didn’t dare argue any longer.
What happens next? What is he morphing into that poses such a danger to his friend? Are they friends or is she just in the wrong place at the wrong time with someone she considered a nerd. Does he catch her or does she manage to escape?
If ya’ll don’t want to continue but would like me to, let me know below in the comments.

My Book of the Week: Happy Ever After: the fourth in the bridal quartet by Nora Roberts. I’m actually happier with this series than I thought I would be, I’ve really enjoyed them. I wasn’t sure about them as romance is not my go to genre. However, they’ve actually been inspirational. In fact, a new character is knocking at the door of my muse, wanting to tell his story. I’m not entirely sure what his story is just yet but I know who he is as a character already. I’m going to work on plotting it around the other novels, for both July and others I still need to finish and have it ready for November. Normally I don’t work on more than one novel at once but these four won’t leave me alone and they’re working well enough so far.

Monday Motivation: Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.

Music I’m listening to as I’m posting this: Starts with Goodbye: Carrie Underwood-Some Hearts