Posted in Halloween Party, Holiday Posts, humor

Happy Halloween!

 

 

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Posted in Entertainment

My Netflix Winter Plans

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I thought I’d do a fun post today since I haven’t done one in a while.  I’ve been in my writing cave this week and I’m making some real progress on my latest manuscript. So my brain needs some fun and entertainment.

The weather has turned cold and rainy here and it looks like winter is on the horizon. Since I’m an INFJ and we love our alone time, winter is a great time for us to hibernate and get in touch with our inner selves. It’s also a great time to   BINGE WATCH some Netflix and eat tons of popcorn. That’s right, I love popcorn with lots of butter. Don’t judge me. 😉

There are some great shows I’ve got my eye on and I thought I’d share them with you. Just in case you find yourself all bundled up on the couch during a blustery storm.

The first one we’re going to start this weekend. It’s “Stranger Things” and it has something for the whole family. Even my boys got into this one.

Stranger Things Season 2 Trailer

 

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The next one is “Mind Hunter.”  I have to confess hubby and I binge watched this one in one weekend it was that good. I love it because it’s great fodder for antagonists if you’re looking for ideas. We’re hoping season two isn’t too far away.

 

Trailer for Mind Hunter

 

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Next on our list is “Wanted.”  If you watched and liked the movie “Thelma and Louise,” you’ll like this show. It’s a story about two unlikely women and how they get thrown into a situation and how they outsmart everyone who’s trying to capture them. It’s a great show.

 

Wanted Trailer

Wanted Poster

 

If you’re looking for a great thriller series. You need to check out “Ozark.” I have to confess hubby and I already binge watched this one and it was awesome. We can’t wait for season two.

Ozark Trailer

Ozark Poster

 

Another great series is “This is Us.” If you love family drama stories then this show is for you.

This is Us Trailer

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We’re also going to be binge watching the second season of “True Detective.” I heard it wasn’t as good as the first season, but I’m reserving judgement until I see it. I love my detective stories. 😉

True Detective Trailer

When I need a bit of nostalgia I always fall back on my all-time go to show. “Special Victims Unit.”  I’ve been binge watching this show since it came out. 🙂

 

Special Victims Unit Trailer

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We’re waiting for new seasons on a couple of shows. One of them is “Homeland.” Hubby really gets into that one and it is interesting but not my favorite.

Homeland Trailer

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We also enjoy “The Americans.” It’s a great series about Russian spies in America.

 

The Americans Trailer

The Americans Poster

Last but not least is one we watched a long time ago and we’re hoping to get back to it. This one is dark. It’s called “The Following.” It’s about a serial killer with a fan club. If you like dark stories, this one’s for you.

The Following Trailer

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So there you have it, some dark and twisty shows for the winter. How about you? Are there any shows you’d like to recommend?  Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Parenting, raising kids, Teen

The Time I met A Sociopath

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week. I’ve changed the beginning of my latest WIP and now I suspect I’m going to have to rewrite the story.  Oy!  But it’ll be worth it in the long run because the story will be better, grittier. That’s my hope anyway.

But enough about that. Today I’d like to talk about a new friend who has entered the group my son hangs out with. He’s a smart little guy who we’ll call Damien (not his real name). Right from the beginning hubby and I thought there was something off about Damien. He’d call and ask my son if he could come over and spend the night. My oldest would ask us and we’d say, “Sure. Why not. Have his parents drop him off after four.”

My oldest would inevitably return and say, “His parents prefer that you pick him up.”

Well. We thought maybe there was something going on in the family where they weren’t able to drop him off, so the first time we obliged and picked him up.  However, this started to become a pattern, and we noticed other things too. Damien could tell real whoppers. I’ve never heard a kid lie with such ease. Hubby and I started discussing how something wasn’t quite right about this kid.

Photo credit: Moheen Reeyad via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC

We were perplexed, but we didn’t want to tell our oldest about our misgivings until we had more evidence than just a weird vibe.  A few weeks later, I happened to chat with one of the parents of another friend. We’ll call him Mitchell. Mitchell’s dad had seven hundred dollars’ worth of X-box games charged to his credit card. It wasn’t done all at once, but at times when Mitchell was with him (Mitchell’s parents are divorced), and he believes Damien must have somehow gotten his credit card number because Mitchel would ask before he’d charge anything to his dad’s card. Mitchell’s dad also went on to say that Mitchell had thirty five dollars in his piggy bank and the money had mysteriously disappeared.  Later that day,  Damien pulls a wad of bills out of his pocket states, “I want to buy Mitch a game.”

Photo credit: Refracted Moments™ via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

Damien flaunted his cash in front of Mitch’s dad. Now, the dad’s totally suspicious but he has no proof so he doesn’t say anything to the kid. After I heard this story, alarm bells went off in my head. I shared this info with my boss who shook his head and said, “That’s sociopathic tendencies right there.”

Click here to see what Sociopathic tendencies are: Sociopathic Tendencies

I totally freaked because my mind immediately goes to serial killer.

 

Photo credit: aftab. via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC

 

When I got home from work that night I shared this info with my hubby and after doing a little research, we sat down with our oldest and explained why we wanted him to distance himself from Damien. I listed the characteristics of the sociopathic personality and my son listened and he agreed with quite a few of them, especially the one about lying.

My son has distanced himself from Damien, he’s still in the group of boys he eats lunch with, but that’s the only interaction they have together. He doesn’t come over to spend the night anymore. Phew! Crisis averted!

Photo credit: woodleywonderworks via Visualhunt / CC BY

I can see this kid when he’s older getting caught doing something illegal. Maybe he goes to a store and steals something. I can see him blaming it on his companion without feeling any guilt.  Sociopaths have no moral compass and that’s bad news for anyone who ends up being friends with them.

It’s fodder for a story, because as you know real life is stranger than fiction, but it’s also another example of why parents need to be involved in their kids’ lives. If we hadn’t been, this situation could’ve escalated into something irreversible.

Photo via Visualhunt.com

Sociopaths are among us. Most of them haven’t suffered child abuse or been neglected so there’s no way to tell who they are until you get to know them. Your child doesn’t have the life experience to understand the consequences of hanging out with someone like this, and the sociopath is manipulative. He can easily gain control in the relationship.

I’m still shocked I’ve seen one in action at such a young age. Sorry. I’m not a psychologist, but I totally feel this kid is one. To what degree, I can’t say, but I know he’s heading down the wrong road. Luckily,  my son won’t be travelling with him.

How about you? How do you handle it when one of your kids brings home someone who’s headed down the wrong road? Does your child listen or does he defend the kid? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Guest Author

Introducing Iris Blobel and her New Release!

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m sharing with you my good friend Iris’s new release, “Fresh Beginnings.” Check it out, this series is a great way to relieve stress and escape the pressures of life for a while! 🙂

 

 

 

~~  Fresh Beginnings ~~

(2nd Edition)

by Iris Blobel

 

 

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2kyJsm9

AMAZON AU: http://amzn.to/2hWGjMh

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2xsEtF2iBooks

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2z7TPk5

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2g4b5C6

 

♥♦♥  BLURB ♥♦♥

 

Jared Fraser, a landscape business owner in Hobart, Australia, sets out for a holiday to the USA to travel along the Route 66 in a motorhome. Looking forward to his first holiday overseas, he’s excited as he prepares himself for the journey. But little could’ve prepared him for crossing paths with a beautiful hitchhiker.

 

Will he be able to put his past aside and grab onto happiness?

 

Ivy Bennett thought leaving her boyfriend would be the hard part. It doesn’t take long to figure out how wrong she was. As she struggles with making a new start in her life, the last person she expects to lead her to happiness is a laid-back Australian on vacation.

 

But she will have to say goodbye again? And not only to Jared.

 

 

♥♦♥  EXCERPT ♥♦♥

 

Ivy enjoyed being with Jared. During their drive towards the Grand Canyon he told her of his home and described as much of Tasmania as possible.

“I always imagined Australia to be hot with white beaches and beautiful water.”

“That’s up in the north in Queensland,” he explained. “We have spectacular beaches as well. Tasmania is a small island in the very south. The last step before the Antarctica, so to speak.”

“That sounds cold!”

He laughed. “It clearly isn’t Queensland.” Settling his gaze on her, he continued, “But it has beautiful beaches as well. And a wonderful marine life. And the mountains. We have some stunning mountains in Tassie.”

“Tassie?”

“Tasmania.”

“It sounds beautiful.”

He agreed. “Yes, it is. One of the best places on earth.”

Once they arrived at the National Park, they found a parking spot and walked towards the edge of the Canyon. She touched his arm to get his attention. Not that she needed to. His attentive nature drew her to him, and she couldn’t get enough of listening to him.

“I feel bad that you pay for everything,” she said in a low voice.

Jared waved his hand. “Nah. It’s only money and luckily the Australian dollar is—”

“Whether you can or can’t afford it, it doesn’t matter. I don’t like it.”

He stopped and turned towards her, causing heat inside her body. Her breath caught but she kept walking, yet, it took him only a few steps to catch up with her and, by way of placing his hand on her shoulder, to stop her.

“Wanna tell me why?”

Avoiding his stare, she lifted her shoulder in a casual shrug.

“A shrug is not really an answer, ya know that, right?”

Yes, she knew that. How could she tell him that she’d left Dylan because he’d spent all the money she’d worked so hard for? She didn’t want to be in the same situation, as in spending someone else’s hard-earned money. But deep inside she didn’t want to hurt Jared, either. She was enjoying her time with him so much, she wasn’t ready for it to end because of some silly pride.

Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted a little squirrel in the bushes and despite some guilt inside, it was a perfect distraction.

“Look!” she said louder than she’d intended. “A squirrel.”

With great relief, she noticed how her devious plan had worked. Jared quickly grabbed his camera and kneeled down to get the best shot possible of this little creature.

Kneeling next to him, she asked, “Don’t you have squirrels?”

Still trying to get that perfect photo of the little creature, he whispered, “Nope.”

 

 

♥♦♥ MEET THE AUTHOR ♥♦♥

IRIS BLOBEL

 

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

 

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.

 

Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Click here to subscribe to Iris’ Newsletter

** Website ** Blog ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Goodreads ** Amazon Author Page **

 

Posted in Health

What’s in Your Water?

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after writing a new beginning for my latest WIP. It’s made the story stronger which makes me happy. 🙂

Now to finish it. I’m hoping it won’t take me too much longer. I like this story just like my last one.

Well. Enough about that. We had an interesting week this week. Our community has learned our water supply may be in danger due to the fact a company I shall not name used the surrounding area as a dump for the chemicals they used in tanning the leather used in their shoes.

Photo credit: dantelecan via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA

The middle school my sons attend is near one of the dumpsites and this company has started providing bottled water for the school until the results of the water tests come in.

A few days later we learned there were other dump sites within the community. So we’re all worried about our water now.

Photo via VisualHunt

This is just another example of corporate greed and further evidence that supports a theory I have. We are going to end up killing ourselves if we don’t stop this kind of behavior.

Look at the Flint water crisis. According to sources they still don’t have viable drinking water. At least this company is taking responsibility and trying to correct the problem, but many companies don’t they deny…deny…deny until the evidence is overwhelming.

I know it’s cheaper for corporations to cut corners and work around some of our environmental restrictions, but if it’s bad for our environment, it’s bad for us. Those restrictions are there for a reason.

Photo credit: Images George Rex via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

I also know that countries like China and Japan don’t have the restrictions we do. They aren’t as concerned about the environment as we are, but they should be. This is the reason they can produce products less expensively than we can.

Photo via Visualhunt

We need to set up a global environmental protection agency. Set up a protocol we can all live with. I know corruption will still go on, but maybe it’ll be a little bit better if everyone’s playing by the same rules.

We need to make sure we leave a planet our future generations can survive on. I’m worried about the mess we’re leaving behind for our kids. I want to make the world a better place for them, don’t you?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today. Do you have any ideas on how to make the world a better place? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Health, Reading

Reading: It’s Cheaper than Therapy

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about the future of reading in our society. According to this article, reading is on the decline. Washington Post Article

Like the article states, we readers have many distractions pulling us away from our beloved books. There’s the internet, movies, and video games. Now, I’m not big on video games. In fact, the only time my boys want to challenge me to a game is when they need an ego boost because I suck at video games. However, I can attest to the fact there are more things demanding my attention so I don’t read as much as I’d like to.

Photo via VisualHunt

I’m sure you’ve heard many educators claim that reading teaches empathy, and with reading on the decline so is our ability to empathize with our peers. This is evident in the arguments I see on social media. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but it just seems like we have less tolerance for people who are different than us.

 

Photo credit: Bikes And Books via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Not only is reading linked with empathy but there are other benefits we need to pay attention to as well.

For example, reading is an incredible stress reliever. Did you know by picking up a book and reading for just six minutes you can reduce your stress level by sixty eight percent?  I don’t know about you, but I’m teaching this to my kids. Exercise and reading are better ways of handling stress than drinking alcohol or taking drugs, wouldn’t you agree?

As a parent, we need to teach our littles how to cope with everyday stress and one of the cheapest ways is to pick up a book and read. It sure beats the alternatives and is less expensive than therapy.

There are still more benefits to reading for pleasure. Like running is exercise for the body, reading is exercise for the mind. It improves focus, improves memory, and analytical skills. To read more about this check out this post: The Benefits of Reading

I don’t know about you, but I feel we can’t let this decline continue. If we do we’ll be seeing our young people resorting to other stress relievers that aren’t as beneficial.  We don’t want that to happen. You realize there’s an opioid epidemic happening don’t you?  I don’t want one of my kids to end up as part of that statistic, do you?

So teach them healthy coping mechanisms like reading for pleasure and exercising. They’ll be happier and healthier because of it.

Photo via Visualhunt

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share? Leave a comment. I love to hear from you!