Tag Archives: love

Shalilly by Elizabeth Gracen

It has been a long time since I shared any book reviews. I took a serious hiatus from my reading habits but I am happy to report that I am exploring new material. As a result of the current pandemic, I went looking for a good fantasy to read. In my search, I came across a book written by Elizabeth Gracen, Shalilly. This is Elizabeth’s debut novel, an adult fantasy novel, about a “sixteen-year-old mystic with unusual gifts”.

The 1st page captured my attention and pulled me into the world of Fippa and Ision. A story about a battle for Love, defeating darkness, and fulfilling a prophecy, While reading the story, I was able to reference how this fictional fantasy could be translated into the real world’s everyday struggles with love and darkness. There is a strong intensity and relief felt throughout Elizabeth’s writing. In my opinion, Shalilly was well worth reading.

The book is 271 pages long and has easy-to-read font and spacing. Click here to order your autographed copy of Elizabeth Gracen’s, Shalilly. She personally signed my book with a little note. I’m not sure what I was expecting but I was pleasantly surprised by her message. Additionally, she dated the message. I received the package within 5 days of placing my order.

Flapper Press

In addition to writing a novel, Elizabeth has created Flapper Press. An international team of talented artists and writers. “With a goal to make this site a useful and entertaining ‘go to’ portal for original ideas and observations, FLAPPER PRESS offers authentic expression, useful tips, and a platform that promotes wild imagination, daring leaps of creativity, and the compassionate, mindful ‘giving back’ that we think is necessary for a peaceful, productive, meaningful life. Visit the site, I think you will see she is fulfilling her goals.

check out my 1st blog I wrote for Flapper Press, Negativity.

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Married 33 Years – 33 Reasons Why

Always up for a Party
Weekly Date Night
British Columbia Trip

Married for 33 years:

This month, Frank & I will be celebrating 33 years of marriage.  There have been many ups and many downs but, our love has proven the test of time.  People always ask me; “How do you do it? or, What is your secret?”  There are no secrets, only actions and love.  I am an emotional, reactive person by nature.  So, over time I have learned to stop, and think about things before I let my emotions drive my decisions, and believe me, my emotions drove a lot of bad decisions over the years.  My only regret is not figuring that out in my younger years.  I cannot control the past so, I move forward to the future with a better understanding of myself and our partnership, which makes it work.  In honor of our 33 years together, I have put together 33 reasons why I love and cherish my husband.   

All the reasons why:

  1. Love
  2. Passion
  3. All the “I Love You’s”
  4. Good Morning Kisses
  5. All the “I’m Sorry’s”
  6. All the “I miss you’s”
  7. All the “Will you Marry Me’s” (I took him up on that twice-original and renewing our vows in the Church)
  8. Weekly, dinner date nights
  9. Trips to support my hobbies (there have been many hobbies :>) )
  10. Encouragement to do what makes me happy
  11. Sticking with me during tough times
  12. Working his butt off to support our family
  13. Serving our Nation
  14. Forgiveness
  15. Millions of hugs
  16. Nursing me back to health 
  17. Sleeping on the sofa for 3 weeks when I couldn’t lay down in the bed due to 6 broken bones
  18. Giving up his recliner for 4 months while I recovered from those broken bones (I knew it was true love at this point!!)
  19. Taking care of our children nightly when I worked the late shift
  20. Being there for my family and friends
  21. Protecting me
  22. Introducing me to Country Music
  23. Always open for an adventure
  24. Kindness 
  25. Understanding
  26. Giving Nature
  27. Laughter 
  28. Holding me
  29. Letting me cry
  30. Attending every Baseball game and track meet for our children
  31. Taking care of my cars (and all of the “traditional, husband chores”)
  32. All the “Hey Beautiful’s”
  33. All the Family Vacations

What are your reasons why?

How long have you been married and what reasons do you stay in love?  Leave a comment, share your stories so I can share in your success.

Catherine Bares


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What has “being a grandmother” taught me?

What has being a Grandmother taught me?

  • There are extra rooms¬†in my heart ūüôā
  • I loved my children with all of my heart but didn’t fully appreciate the joy that brings
  • As a young parent, I was caught up in chasing my dreams,¬†working¬†to become the person that I am today and overlooked enjoying the little¬†moments on a deeper level.

What did I learn from my first grandchild?

  • I wasn’t too young to be a grandmother.
  • I was in the middle of the “circle” of my life.
  • A¬†greater appreciation¬†for being a mom
  • The heartbreak when he moved away.
  • Joy when he came back.
  • I have¬†a¬†weekend buddy to hang out with that never cancels.

What did I learn from my second grandchild?

  • I can love him as much as the first.
  • This is fun!
  • Mickey Mouse Rocks!
  • How my mom felt when I had my 2nd child.
  • My patience level is still tested.

What have I learned with my 3rd grandchild?

  • My youngest son is having kids; I’m getting old (NOT-I’m still in denial on this one)
  • We are a “boy” producing, family. (All boys)
  • The rooms in my heart are getting bigger, not smaller.
  • Mickey Mouse Rocks at 2 months old.
  • Life kicks into high gear and keeps on rolling.
  • I love my Boys!

Advice for my Boys!

  • As George Strait once said,¬†“Hold on to your hats, it’s going to be a wild ride.”
  • Seek the reasons behind their behavior; the behavior is usually a symptom.
  • Boys will be boys-you were there, remember?
  • They are children. ¬†They will misbehave, do silly things, and get on your nerves-don’t take it too seriously.
  • Hug them; they are boys but, still need hugs.
  • Praise them when they do good.
  • Teach them to say “yes Ma’am”, “no Ma’am”, “yes sir”, “no sir”, “God bless you”, “please” and “thank you”
  • Teach them how to hold a door open for a lady.
  • Never tell them you are tired of them.
  • Last but not least, just listen to them.¬† Even when they are babbling and making no sense, give them your attention and just listen.

Update: Grandchild # 4. Yep, It’s a Girl!

What am I learning with my 4th grandchild (granddaughter)

  • As Sean Connery once said, “Never say never”. It’s a Girl!
  • Yep, I keep adding onto the rooms in my heart.
  • Time flies.
  • A 1-week old baby’s smile is the cutest thing ever.
  • Even dogs get excited about the birth of a baby. He becomes alert and concerned whenever he hears her cry.
  • I don’t know how to buy girlie, baby clothes.
  • My worry level has no ceiling.
  • My desire to be a better person for my kids and grandkids keeps growing.
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