Interview with Ian Probert

Happy New Year everyone!!!!  Join me this week as I post my very first guest interview. Ian Probert, a very talented author and journalist will be my guest.  He is the author of Johnny Nothing, a funny children’s book, among other stories.  He promises a few free giveaways, so don’t miss it!!! Details of how to obtain Ian’s books will be revealed during the interview!!JohnnyNothing_IanProbert

The Joshua Stone by James Barney – A Book Review

James Barney is a new author to my book collection. However, he is not a new author.  He has also written The Genesis Key and I plan to read this book, as well. Because Joshua is one of my favorite Biblical characters, the title immediately caught my attention.  I needed to know if the title had any connection to the Joshua of the Bible.  I picked up the book, scanned the blurb on the back cover, and saw the words “biblical mystery.”  I had found my answer. I read the blurb again, from the beginning, and discovered that two detectives had to “work together to solve a biblical mystery that has confounded scholars for centuries.”  Hmm, I thought.  This might be a good read.  Since I love Biblical mysteries and enjoy a good thriller, I decided to purchase the book.

 

The Joshua Stone1

I discovered that Barney is an excellent writer.  I say this because he never drops the plot.  The book is action-packed from beginning to end.  I couldn’t put it down!  Although the story plot is a work of fiction, it so believable, I found myself asking the question “What if..?” over and over again.  He created a very intriguing plot with equally believable characters.  He built the characters quickly, yet poignantly, and threw me right into the action.

This is the kind of book that deserves a second read, not because you miss something or don’t understand something the first time, but because once you understand the big picture, you will want to read it again.

Without giving the story away, I’ll say James Barney created a scenario that could actually happen, if there was any truth to the mysterious power he has placed upon the Joshua stone. This stone, when united with other stones of its kind, will cause an unstoppable chain reaction that could affect the entire world!  I believed it! So without further adieu, I gave this book 5 Stars for its incredible imagination, its well-written content, its riveting plot line, and its tasteful development.

This Is How I Do It!

Hello everyone!

While life prepares to whip me around another corner on this great adventure,  I have a special treat for you today. I have prepared an excerpt from my first baby, I mean novel, (he he) “Silver, The Dream Dragon.”296-ancient-grey-dragon

First, I’d like to share some thoughts about the day.  I woke up this morning to the smell of crisp country air, birds chattering about their morning activities, and a full dose of clear skies, blended in with brilliant golden sunshine.  I grabbed my first cup of coffee for the day and quickly took myself outside to take it all in.  The sunlight came through the trees in perfect rays that ended their journey on the soft clay soil known as North Carolina.  The smell of fresh grass and new foliage was in the air.  I knew this would be a perfect day for writing.

sunlightthroughthetrees

I don’t know about the rest of the planet, but this writer loves nothing more than a fresh blue ink pen that fits perfectly in her hand and a blank piece of paper. I usually hand-write my stories and transfer them to the laptop later.  It’s more inspirational to me to write the old-fashioned way.

In the midst of God’s beautiful creation, I knew I’d be sipping coffee and writing in no time. This is my kind of day!  Perhaps the only thing that could be missing was the soft gurgling rush of water over the rocks in a brook or stream.  I love to write by the water – any kind of lake or stream.  I’ve even written short stories next to a lighthouse at the beach.  It is so exhilarating and peaceful to me that I can stay there for hours at a time.  Unfortunately, there were no bodies of water nearby, but I didn’t let that stop me.  It was just as perfect here in the natural quiet of the woods.  Life is beautiful in its natural state.  There’s a sense of spirituality that invades my DNA and causes all kinds of creative scenes to pop into my head.

I was raised in New York City, so I appreciate this kind of country.  There’s virtually no traffic here, even on a busy day.  I can hear every sound and every chestnut falling off a tree. Every creature tends to his business, except the bluejays, who are the drama queens of the bird world. I could hear them stirring up trouble already for the cardinals. Baaaaaaddd birdies!  

cardinal bird

bluejay

 

 

 

 

 

Coffee in hand, pen in the other, I was overcome with an uncanny sense of nostalgia.  It was so strong and so familiar, I almost burst into tears!  In fact, I felt the spirit of depression attempting to take over my nostalgic mood.  You see, there is someone who joins me every morning for coffee.  Although it’s been four years since I’ve seen him, the sun, the moon, the stars, the birds, the crisp morning air, and yes, even a great cup of coffee, all remind me of this guy.  We spent many mornings together, enjoying a fresh cup of brewed coffee on a day just like this.  I have a heart full of wonderful memories.  Sometimes, I can’t breathe when these memories visualize as vividly as they did this morning.

burning heart

One of my main characters – who is named Seth – is a character that reflects the absolute best this guy had to offer.  I kept all the good memories, all of my favorite parts of this unnamed guy’s personality, and put every one of them into Seth.  Therefore, Seth is sometimes a very painful character to write, because I become nostalgic and drift away into my real-life memories of that guy.

Some would say, “Let it go, man.”  Some would say, “It’s been almost four years.  Move on!”  But I say,  “No!”  I love my memories of that guy.  Were it not for him, I would never have known what the word “soulmate” means.  That guy was my inhale, my other half, the greatest love I’ve ever known.  Therefore, he deserves a warm place in my stories.  He deserves a place in my heart and he is worthy of being a main character in any book I choose to write.  That’s my prerogative as a writer.  Besides, Seth had been created long before we broke up.

In this case, Seth is one of two main characters in “Silver, The Dream Dragon.”   Seth was born in 2006. I created him and the idea for this novel after I had a wild dream, while napping in my sister’s sun room.  In the dream, I heard a dog barking.  I heard a voice in the distance saying, “I have to save the dog.”   That voice turned out to be my own.  Then, I saw a tree in the yard.  The tree took the shape of a smoky human being with a tall hat on his head and fire in his eyes.  He looked directly into my eyes and said firmly, “This is your story.  Now WRITE it!

bluepen

When I woke up from the dream, I looked into my sister’s backyard for any signs of a talking tree, but I didn’t find one.  I wasn’t surprised because talking trees are very hard to find when you’re awake.  Usually, you have to digest, inhale, or inject some type of hallucinogen to find them.  I don’t do any of those things, so I have to wait for dreams.  Needless to say, I began writing this novel shortly thereafter.

As life will have it, things got in the way of me finishing this novel.  I won’t go into all the details here, (I may reserve them for a memoir someday), but I couldn’t continue to write this novel until recently.   I DID find the tree that was in my dream, though.

 I have provided a picture of the talking spellcaster for all to see.  It turns out thatIMG_5339 my other sister in North Carolina, where I am currently staying, has such a tree!  I was flabbergasted when I saw it!  Seth is the spellcaster-talking-tree that appeared first in my dream and then was developed into a character in my story.

Now, without further adieu, here is a very small excerpt from “Silver, The Dream Dragon.”  I hope you enjoy it!  All comments are welcome, as always.  May the world always see you in the light!

 

From “Silver The Dream Dragon” by Tricia McHugh, under digital copyright protection.

Unlike Osiris, Uluru resembled an old medieval village.  There were no towering buildings here; no flying escalators, and from the looks of everything, no buildings that were ready to sink into the ground, in case of invasion.

There were small clay homes everywhere.  The town had an old medieval feel to it.  The buildings had been constructed so long ago that some of the clay homes were weather-worn, chipped in various places, and faded in color.  They were all made of earth tones – brown, beige, rustic orange, and splashes of maroon.

The entrance to the town was made from some type of metal and shaped like an arched gate.  There were delicate angels welded into the design, as if they had been put there to protect the town.  Some of the homes closer to the gate were lined up and down the street.  Others were scattered across the hills on a variety of farmlands.

Destiny thought she had walked into a Nintendo town, much like an old Final Fantasy game she used to play. There were homes and small shops on every street.  Women dressed in long flowing gowns and men wearing strange hats strolled up and down the streets, accompanied by friends or family.

As the party came through the gate, no one took notice of Kira or Shannah.  Apparently, it was normal to see dragons walking up and down the streets.  It also helped that they had shifted their actual sizes down to people size, so that they could walk without destroying anything with their enormous wings and tails.

It was mid-morning, so all the shops were open and bustling with business.  Produce stands were scattered here and there; clothing shops and other boutiques had samples of their products placed outside for all to see and touch. The fresh smell of bread wafted through the old streets causing Destiny’s senses to come alive and alert.  Brick ovens were ripe with fresh dough and pastries.  The smell invaded Destiny’s nostrils with longing.

“All this smell of bread is making me quite hungry,” she said aloud to no one in particular.

“I know a nice cafe where we can taste the finest bread and drink the best coffee in the world,” Seth said.

“Yes, please!” Destiny replied enthusiastically.  She longed for a good cup of coffee.  She remembered brewing a pot for herself right before she found herself cantering through a foreign desert on top of the largest bird on the planet.  She couldn’t remember when she’d eaten last either.  Suddenly, she felt famished!

The cool morning air carried all kinds of fresh aromas to tease her senses.  There was the smell of sweet rolls, eggs, bacon, and peppers.  There were pies of all kinds placed on shop windowsills, as she passed various food stores.  She inhaled deeply as she passed a peach cobbler pie.  She closed her eyes for a second to savor the smell.  Suddenly, her stomach groaned loudly.

“I heard that,” Seth said with a smile, “and I agree!  Let’s get some food!”  Apparently, the fresh smell of newly baked food had gotten to his senses, as well.

Seth led the way up a short hill to an outdoor cafe called “The Shepherd’s Pie.” Destiny and the dragons found a corner table with a beautiful view. It seemed they were further up the hill then she previously thought.  It was breathtaking! Kira pointed to the western horizon.  The town was sprawled across rolling green hills that faded into the distance.  Just beyond the farmhouses to the west, she pointed to the Twisted Forest.  On the east side were two rivers – the Sedina and the Yam.  They were joined by the Rainbow Crossing – one of the two bridges that crossed both rivers.  To the south and southeast were Osiris and the desert.  On the north side, there were towering mountains named after the land she was in – the Ikula Nappa mountains.  For the first time since she had arrived, she was able to relax and concentrate on her three new friends.

After everyone was seated, Seth disappeared into the cafe to order for everyone.  While he was in there, Destiny realized how considerate he was to let the ladies rest while he handled the task of ordering food for everyone.  There was a hint of chivalry in that man that she had not witnessed before and Destiny like that bout him.   He had pulled out a chair for each of them and bowed before he left them.  She shook her head, as if to get him out of there, and turned her attentions towards Shannah.

“How are you feeling today?” Destiny asked.  She leaned over in her chair to examine Shannah’s leg.  There seemed to be no trace of the gaping wound that had been there just one day before.

“Good as new, thanks to you!” Shannah replied happily.  Her mouth spread into an enormous grin, revealing teeth that could tear a large lion in half.  Except for two top fangs that were slightly rounded, each of her teeth shot up and down from the gums about two finger lengths and ended in a very sharp point at the end.  Mind you, This was the down-sized version of Shannah! Destiny cringed and immediately attempted to hide her reaction.  She could only hope that she would never end up inside the mouth of a dragon.  She’d never have a chance against those razor-sharp teeth!

She swallowed hard at the site of those teeth.  She returned her own feeble smile and said lamely, “Well good.  I’m glad you’re feeling better.”

Shannah had gorgeous eyes that matched her enormous smile.  They were a gleaming amethyst color that sparkled in the sunlight.  Against her aqua body scales and her teal wings, her eyes were even more stunning.  There was something incredibly beautiful about a dragon’s eyes when they were smiling at you.

“Shannah, might I say that you have the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen.”

Shannah shifted in her seat and brought her body in very close to Destiny’s.  She said very slowly, ” The – better – to – see –  you –  with – my – dear.”  Then, she grinned broadly.

Destiny jumped out of her seat and stumbled back a few steps, almost falling backwards over the table behind her.  Both dragons burst into uncontrollable laughter.  The sound seemed to reverberate throughout the whole cafe.

“That’s not funny,” Destiny said angrily, as she balanced herself from falling over.  “Do you even know what you just said?  That sounds like a statement from Little Red Riding Hood.  You wouldn’t know THAT story, now would you?  Yea, well, the wolf says that very same thing when he is getting ready to eat the grandmother.  Ugh! Never mind!”  Her hands were still shaking from the vision of Shannah swallowing her whole.  She folded her arms against her chest so they wouldn’t notice that she was shaking in terror.

The dragons burst into more bouts of laughter, so loud now, that it seemed to be carried all through the hills. Their booming cackles bounced off the cafe walls, as Seth reappeared with two trays in his hands.   He and everyone else in the cafe could hear the laughter coming from somewhere outside.   All the customers had their heads turned towards the door.  Most of them were smiling.

Seth placed the trays on the table and looked from Destiny to Shannah to Kira.  His eyes continued to drift back and forth between the three of them.  The laughter was so hearty, it was contagious.  A smile gradually formed on his face, as he held out Destiny’s chair and motioned for her to sit down.

She gave him a mean look when she saw the smile, but she didn’t let on that she wasn’t serious.

“What’s so funny?” he asked as he sat in his own chair. He removed the coffee from the trays and placed each cup down in front of his lady friends.

In between bouts of simmering laughter, Kira filled him in on the joke.  He began to laugh, too.  Destiny listened to Kira’s interpretation of what had just happened between them.

“Real funny, guys! So you know the Little Red Riding Hood story,” she said half-heartedly.  The smell of the freshly baked bread was right in front of her now.  The smell of the coffee was at the tip of her nostrils, as she raised the clay cup to her nose.  She closed her eyes and inhaled its aromatic flavor.  The hunger pains exploded in her belly and she knew she needed to satisfy her bitter hunger immediately.  She took her first sip of coffee hastily.

“Oh – my – goodness!” she said loudly.  “This is simply delicious!”  She turned to Seth and smiled contentedly.

“Thought you’d like it,” he said as he sipped his own cup of coffee.  “It’s made from the finest beans in the land.”

“Where’s the trust?” Shannah interrupted while staring at Destiny.

“What?” Destiny asked, completely surprised by the off-handed question.

“You were thinking something about my teeth, Destiny! That’s why I said, “The better to see you with, my dear.”

Both dragons broke into hearty laughter all over again.

Destiny looked at both of them and shook her head in confusion.  Then, suddenly, she understood.

“Oh crap, I forgot you guys can read my mind,” she said as she rolled her eyes. Then Destiny joined her friends and burst into a hearty laughter all her own. Seth joined her.  Soon, everyone was laughing and enjoying the beautiful morning sunshine on their faces, the crisp country air, and the taste of fresh bread.

It would be the last time they all laughed together for a very long time.”

 

Four Blood Moons by John Hagee

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Rating: 4 Stars

I read this book because of my interest in books on bible prophecy.  I have never read anything by John Hagee, but I did do a little research on him before I read this book.  After learning that his book, Jerusalem Countdown, was a New York Times Bestseller and he is the pastor of a nondenominational church in Texas, I decided Four Blood Moons might be worth reading.

So that this book review is fair, you will need to know that I am a Christian.  However, I have a healthy skepticism for well-meaning people who interpret Bible prophecy.  After all, it is a topic that has caused great debate in the scientific and theological community.

I read this book with an open mind and enthusiasm for John Hagee’s interpretation of the floor blood moons that occur between April 2014 and September 2015.onebloodmoon

The book was well-written and easy to follow.  Hagee explains why he decided to write the book, the events that took place, and the amount of research that caused him to feel this book was necessary. I could almost feel his excitement as he stumbled upon information that caused him to believe God is sending a message to all of us.

For those of us who are familiar with the New Testament, but have not read the Old Testament, this book provides detailed information on how God used the sun, moon, stars, and time to get a message to the Israelites.  We are all familiar with the star that appeared in the sky at the time of Jesus’ birth.  Most Christians are aware that this star led the three wise men to Bethlehem.

However, there are many events in the Old Testament, where God shows that He is in complete control of the cosmos.  Hagee explains these events in Four Blood Moons and refers to thespecific biblical passages where these events occurred.. There is much to learn if you are not familiar with the Old Testament books. We know of Moses parting the Red Sea and we know of The Flood.  Does anyone know that Joshua stopped time?  Does anyone know that God reversed time for Hezekiah?  If you don’t know these stories, you will definitely want to read them after you’ve read Four Blood Moons. If you are already familiar with these events, they will provide the necessary background for Hagee’s conviction that something is about to change during the course of the four blood moons occurring between 2014 and 2015.

fourbloodmoondatesAlthough Hagee’s conviction relies on Biblical scripture, he also provides historical and astronomical proof that something is going to happen, based on the past three Tetrads. He has provided a substantial list of references for further reading on the subject.

John Hagee will give you an enormous amount of Biblical scripture and world history to support his conviction that the four blood moons occurring between 2014 and 2015 symbolize a major change is about to occur .  He accomplishes this by explaining events that occurred in Israel at the time of three other Tetrads. Theses Tetrads occurred from 1493-1494, 1949-1950, and 1967-1968.  A Tetrad is defined as four total full lunar eclipses. An interesting aspect of the Tetrad that occurs between 2014 and 2015 is that a solar eclipse occurs between the first two blood moons and the last two blood moons!

pasttretradsOverall, the book was very interesting and I learned a few things about Jewish history.  Unlike other prophecy books that I have read, Hagee didn’t say the world will end on a specific day.  He doesn’t even suggest that the world will end.  However, he firmly believes that something will change in this coming year.

I agree with John Hagee on one thing – something is about to change. Will this change revolve around the Jewish people?  Will this be a world event? Who knows?  Only time will tell.  Jesus says specifically in Matthew 13:32 – “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 33“Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.…”

 

Can You Hear Me, Medicare?

This is not a random post. Please – allow me to explain.  As a citizen of the greatest country in the world, (My apologies to all non-Americans. I am sure you  feel the same way about your country, as well.) I have expectations and dreams, like everyone else, when retirement comes knocking on my door. Call me a dreamer, but isn’t Medicare supposed to be a good thing?  Aren’t we supposed to be able to rely on this system when we retire?  The good news is that we can – as long as we need surgery and medication. 

I took my mother to the ear doctor today.  He didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know.  After a complete audiogram, the results indicated she had moderately severe hearing loss in both ears.  I knew this already!  Everyone in my family can testify to my mother’s hearing loss!   She needed to hear it directly from the doctor, though.  That’s how she is. Unless the doctor has spoken, it goes in one ear and out the other, so to speak.octogenarians

On behalf of the doctor, he treated my mom with genuine respect.  He was kind, courteous, funny, and made her feel at ease.  After all, she’s an octogenarian.  Not everyone makes it to 80 years old and still has their wits about them.  She does, however.  Sharp as a whip, that mother of mine!  She can work a smart phone better than anyone her age!   We like to kid her and tell her that all those years of games and puzzles have paid off in her twilight years.physician-examines-ear-of-male-patient

There’s probably some truth in that, isn’t there?  The brain needs exercise too, like every other muscle and organ in our body. But, I digress.  The doctor told my mother that there was no magic pill or surgery that could fix her problem, which caused me to start thinking about his statement.  More on that statement in a minute. The solution? A very expensive hearing aid.  Here’s the problem with that.physicians symbol

” Medicare doesn’t cover routine hearing exams, hearing aids, or exams for fitting hearing aids.” (http://www.medicare.gov/coverage/hearing-and-balance-exam-and-hearing-aids.html)  I was deeply discouraged when I discovered this information.
There was good news, however.  My mother has secondary coverage.  So I called her secondary provider and learned they would pay up to $1500 for the cost of one hearing aid.  I asked many questions to the young lady at the secondary insurance company.  At the end of the conversation, I was absolutely guaranteed a $1500 benefit from her secondary insurance company.  I became so excited, I promptly told my mother the good news.  She was elated and near tears at the thought of being able to hear at a normal range again.  She lowered her head and her voice became shaky when she said, “Oh good. I’ll be able to hear again.  That’s great news!  My mother is a very proud woman.  She doesn’t want a hearing aid!  She doesn’t want to burden anyone either.  She is a very strong-willed woman, who has been taking care of herself her whole life.  She didn’t want me to see those tears.  I understood completely, as the apple didn’t fall that far from the tree.  Needless to say, I was excited for both of us.
The doctor’s visit had estimated that the cost of the hearing aid would be approximately $1500.   It seemed the cost of the hearing aid would be covered and my mom would soon be enjoying the necessity of a good ear once again.dollar signs smiley face
Then, I called the doctor.  My phone call was routed to the audiologist, instead.  Her telephone voice was calm, kind, and firm.  I gave her the good news.  Then,   she gave me the bad news.   She told me that my mother would have to pay for the hearing aid up front.  My heart sank.  I became very upset.  I kept my emotions to myself temporarily.  I asked the audiologist why my mother should pay for it first if the insurance company is going to pay for it. She explained that the doctor’s office pays for the devices in bulk, or “large invoices,” as she put it.   She said that their experience has been that insurance companies frequently offer to pay “up to $1500” for hearing aids.  She said that whenever they say “up to,” it usually means they are only going to pay for a small portion of the cost. Age I reassured her that I asked the insurance company several questions, including “exactly” how much they would pay for a simple device.  She continued to say that they usually pay 1/3 of the cost and because the doctor’s office doesn’t bill balances to the patient, they have lost a lot of money.
At this point, my emotions ranged from disappointment to anger. disappointment I’m not exactly sure who I am angry with – the doctor or the insurance company.  Maybe I feel angry at both of them. I am thinking about my mother now, as the audiologist apologizes for company policy.  I don’t want to be harsh, as she does not make the company policy, but at the same time, an apology is not going to get my mother a hearing aid.  She doesn’t have $1500 to give to the doctor up front.  That’s why she paid for insurance her whole life.  Why should she suffer because a) the doctor’s office buys the devices in bulk,  b) some insurance companies don’t deliver, and c) some people don’t pay their bills.  I don’t understand the office policy.  I understand finances and overhead.  I even understand corporate economics.  I worked on Wall Street for 12 years.  I get it.  What I don’t get is why an otolaryngologist expects an 80-year-old woman to pay for her simple hearing device up front.  This hearing device is at the bottom of the device pool.  It’s not even the expensive one that comes with all the bells and whistles.  anger_quote
My mother raised eight children, almost by her herself.  She was raised in an orphanage and began working when she was 17 years old.  She has paid into Medicare for 58 years.  Let’s say she only paid $25 a week into the retirement coverage.  It’s way more than that, I can say, but let’s just be hypothetical and kind for the sake of argument.  She has always had a job.  Therefore, that would be a grand sum of $75,400 paid into Medicare in her lifetime.  We all know this is a ridiculously conservative figure.  Most of us pay twice that, if not more.  You would think that at the ripe old age of 80, Medicare could afford to buy her a hearing aid.  Even though her secondary coverage has offered to pay for it, the doctor will only supply a hearing aid if she pays for it beforehand.
What’s wrong with this picture?  Anyone?
After some research, I quickly learned that hearing aids are not the only necessities Medicare doesn’t cover.   Look at the following list that Medicare does not cover.  Examine it closely!

“Some of the items and services that Medicare doesn’t cover include:

    • Long-term care (also called custodial care)
    • Most dental care
    • Eye examinations related to prescribing glasses
    • Dentures
    • Cosmetic surgery
    • Acupuncture
    • Hearing aids and exams for fitting them
    • Routine foot care”

(http://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/not-covered/item-and-services-not-covered-by-part-a-and-b.html)

As the site states, these are SOME of the items Medicare doesn’t cover.  I can see that my mother, who wears dentures, will not be covered for the cost of a new set of dentures.  Her dentures are in desperate need of repair.  Being able to get proper nourishment is not a luxury.  It is a necessity.  Being able to hear is a not a luxury.  It is a necessity.dentures
My mother is also a diabetic, so proper foot care is also a necessity, not a luxury.    According to the National Diabetes Education Program, “10.9 million Americans ages 65 and older have diabetes..”  That’s a lot of people who need proper foot care.  It’s not covered under Medicare.  I’m not done yet, either.foot care
Medicare does not cover eyeglasses.  Here’s what the website says: “Generally, Medicare doesn’t cover eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, following cataract surgery that implants an intraocular lensMedicare Part B (Medical Insurance) helps pay for corrective lenses (one pair of eyeglasses or one set of contact lenses).”http://www.medicare.gov/coverage/eyeglasses-contact-lenses.html”
My mother had an intraocular lens implant.  I am getting suspicious at this point.rolling eyesg  
Overall, Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids, dentures, foot care, or eyeglasses. These are not luxuries.  These are necessities for many who will make it to 80 years of age.  You need to be able to see, hear, and eat to survive, but these basic services are not covered under the healthcare system that has at least $75,400 of my mother’s money.  I fail to see the point in paying in to this system if these services will not be available at my time of retirement, either!
The following is my opinion, but I strongly suggest you do your own research and get the facts yourself.  Consider this – hearing aids do not require surgery.  Eyeglasses do not require surgery.  Foot care does not require surgery.  Dentures do not require surgery.  That is not to say that ear surgery, eye surgery, foot surgery and dental surgery will not occur.  However, If you don’t need ear surgery, but still need a hearing-aid, you are not covered under the Medicare program. If you don’t qualify for an intraocular lens implant, forget about those eyeglasses, unless you are prepared to pay for them yourself!  By the way, they can become quite expensive.  Apply the same line of thinking to foot care and dentures. Do you see a pattern here?heart puzzle
It is my opinion that unless you need to take a pill or need to have surgery, you will have to fend for yourself at 75 years of age.  Unless insurance companies and some doctor’s offices are getting paid by you and the rest of these United States, you will be held responsible for your own eye care, dental care, hearing care, and foot care.  All of these types of healthcare can become very expensive.    
What does any of this have to do with the title of my blog, you ask?  My dream is that all people are created equal, regardless of race, creed, gender, or age.  My dream is that healthcare is offered to all people, regardless of race, creed, gender, or age.  I don’t mean affordable healthcare, either.  I mean free healthcare. After paying into the very same healthcare system for 57 years of one’s life, if they worked every day from age 18 until age 75, Medicare should be utilizing a person’s hard-earned money to provide them with basic needs. greedy hands  Where did that money go?  Why are insurance companies quick to pay for surgeries and medications, but decline to pay for the very basic necessities of life?  
As a beloved rock group of mine says, “Think for yourself.  Question authority” (Tool).  When you stop asking questions, you allow systems to become unchecked and therefore, fail.  Medicare has failed.
Fortunately, my mother is living in North Carolina.  There is a state program that will evaluate her need and provide her with a free hearing-aid, if she qualifies.  Thank you, North Carolina, for caring for the elderly.  I pray she qualifies, because I am going deaf with her.  
Thank you for allowing me to rant and rave about healthcare.  Thank you for reading this post.  All comments are welcome, as always.  I am done now.  Blog on!  praying_hands[1]
 

On Dreams

IMG_4799Do you have dreams?  Is there something in you that is begging to be released?  Have you ever wanted something so much that you could not stop thinking about it? Then, this is a good time to dream! Why? Because you are still here. You are still alive. Never give up on your dreams!
Every day that I am alive, I am fully capable of achieving my dreams and I intend to reach the goal!

When I was a teenager, I wanted a driver’s license. No one in my family had a driver’s license. Who needed a driver’s license if you lived in New York City? With public transportation, via bus, train, or ferry, the whole city was at your disposal. If you wanted to leave the city, you could buy a bus, train, or plane ticket and still get to your destination without all the hassle of driving a car. Many New Yorkers are content with public transportation and that is just fine.
Not me! I needed a driver’s license!  I wanted a car! I wanted to go places that weren’t on the bus or train agenda. I didn’t want the conductor or bus driver in charge of my destiny. I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny. I wanted to stop by the river that passed me by when I was on the bus or train. I wanted to take pictures! I wanted to visit places I could only see briefly on public transportation, because I was on someone else’s schedule.  A picnic in the woods or by a lake was one of the things on MY agenda. I wanted to travel the country and then the world! There was even a time in my childhood when I wanted to travel the universe! I had BIG dreams!
I finally got my driver’s license and it changed my world. I was now in control of my own destiny. I was very excited! Where should I go first? What kind of place did I want to visit? When did I want to visit? The Who, What, Where, When, and Why was all in my hands, now that I had a driver’s license.
I had accomplished my first dream.
I have been to many places within the continental United States. I have enjoyed every place for its unique taste and culture. I have been surprised and appalled at some of those places, but I have been there, nonetheless. Some of those places go into my data library for use in my stories. They are worthy of mention.

Daretodreamwaltdisney My second dream was to get a college degree. I had to put that dream on hold for a long time. I finally achieved an Associate’s Degree while I was raising four children. I even graduated Summa Cum Laude! It was a good time to dream! I set an example for my children, that no matter how busy life can get, you can still accomplish your goals if you will only dare to dream!
I’m not finished dreaming about my college education, though. I want a Ph.D. in Ancient Literature. I will get there!

My third dream is to become a published author. I am working on that dream now.

I often wonder what other people are dreaming about and how they managed to achieve their personal goals. So, do you dare to dream?  What are some of your dreams?  Have you accomplished something that you would like to share?  Share your dreams with me!  I would love to hear how you accomplished your goals.

Until we meet again, keep on dreaming.  May all your dreams come true!

It’s All About Writing!

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Hi there fellow bloggers!  I hope that you are doing well and living the dream – the writing dream, that is!

I am currently 16,683 words into the great American novel and I am having a blast!  I have developed one of the more sinister characters for this book.  He is the antagonist!  In fact, his name is Sinister (although I may change his name down the road).

In this book, everyone’s name serves a purpose. This is deliberate and something I learned during one of my short story courses when I was in college. I learned that every word matters.  Every adjective serves a purpose.  All the hidden details of the story are hidden in the adjectives.  So in my story, everybody has a name that means something to me and hopefully, my readers will learn to appreciate my style and mysterious messages.

The main character in my story is a female protagonist.  Her name is Destiny and I call her that for two reasons.  The first reason is quite obvious.  Destiny, by definition, is “the predetermined, usually inevitable or irresistible, course of events” (Dictionary.com).

The second reason is more personal.  When I lived in Florida, I met a little girl whose name is Destiny. She is 12 years old now.  She’s a wonderful girl with an enormous imagination.  I tutored her for a few months, learned a lot about her, and grew very fond of her.  During that time, I showed her pieces of my novel.  Quite frankly, she didn’t believe that she shared the same name as my main character. I had to prove it to her, so I showed her my manuscript.  She became excited and told me that she loved dragons too!  Well, I promised Destiny that I would not change the name of my main character and that every time I wrote that name, I would be thinking of her.  So there you have it.  Destiny!

What’s in your style of writing?  Do you have something special in your personal life that you’ve indoctrinated into your writings? I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time, write on!