Tag Archives: Love

peace, solitude, the arboretum

“The Arboretum now nurtures people in the same way it once nurtured trees. It feeds their spirits and souls, their minds and bodies. It provides somewhere to put down roots, to be part of and give strength one to another through its collective efforts, its coming together whether to fight that which threatens it or to nurture its young and old, each “tree” supporting and being supported by its neighbours.”

~ The Arboretum Story, 1991

prairies, woodlands, wetlands, and gardens–find it all at the arboretum.

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Morris Arboretum Philadelphia, PA

 

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Filed under Blogging, Life, Love is life, Nature, Posts, Promote, Romance, Vickie McKeehan, Writers

When home is hell

There’s something about having the safest place in the world for you in the same room. ~ Julia Roberts

Actress Julia Roberts has stunned fans for decades.  Who out there wasn’t charmed by her portrayal of Maggie Carpenter in Runaway Bride? And can you picture anyone else playing Vivian Ward, the hooker with a heart of gold, any better than Julia Roberts did in Pretty Woman? Probably not. Remember Grace in Something to Talk About? Who didn’t side with her against the cheating Eddie? 5919f96512e32ec14fa6287268e8c959

That’s why it’s great to read how happy she is these days. And according to the interview she gave in the October issue of Allure magazine, she’s singing the praises of her strong, loving relationship with her husband, cinematographer Danny Moder. Since they’ve been together for thirteen years that longevity sounds so unHollywood-like. But what’s notable here is that she says Danny makes her feel safe, secure, more confident in her work, and goes on to describe a natural chemistry of joy between them. Wow! Natural chemistry of joy sounds amazing. Isn’t that what all married couples should strive for? Isn’t that something they had to feel for each other at one time or another in order to take that initial, serious walk down the aisle in the first place? You would think to achieve that goal on the road to happily-ever-after, every couple out there would practice that safe, secure, confident thing with each other, right?

Not so fast.

Maybe if two people are able to toss in a heavy dose of respect for each other along the way, you stand a greater chance of developing a winning formula that lasts. Respect for each other is essential, especially in front of impressionable kids. Without showing each other respect, all you really have is a crash and burn scenario that sets your relationship up for serious failure. Respect is key.RespectEachOther During times of stressed out and hurt feelings, if you’re able to fall back on the respect you have for the person you paired up with, it will get you through a lot. After all, neither party should expect to run a prison camp or a dictatorship and call it a marriage. A successful relationship is NOT either one of those things. When you said “I do,” you were hoping for a soulmate, not a cellmate.

Sad to say, that hellish atmosphere thing at home is the norm for many. Too many. I should know because since I published my first book four years ago, readers reach out and share their personal, painful, real-life experiences. For them, marriage hasn’t been a bed of roses. It’s more like a horror movie that doesn’t stop.

I’m not a relationship expert, nor do I want to be. For that kind of serious help you need a pro. There are plenty of blogs out there written by noted psychologists far more adept at handling questions about these kinds of situations than I ever could attempt to address. And I’ve recommended those sources  to my readers.

Having said that, I DO know one thing. No matter what people tell you, relationships are not supposed to be WORK. If you’re in one where home is hell and your partner piles on a ton of stress, day in and day out, you’re with the wrong person!!!! Plain and simple. All the therapy or couples counseling in the world will NOT change that one fact.

That’s one reason when you hear about a good marriage working out it’s worth the mention. But if your partner is a nightmare, if there’s no mutual respect in your household, if screaming matches (or worse) greet you as soon as you walk in the door after an eight-hour shift at work, if your home life is a living hell, then it’s okay to start considering the alternatives. take-care-of-yourselfIt’s okay to start visualizing a little peace and quiet for yourself. It’s okay to leave. Remember, it’s okay to take care of your health, your well-being. In other words, take care of yourself. If you don’t, who will? Improve your living situation. Don’t put up with a hellish environment where a partner makes you feel lousy about yourself. Nowhere is it written that you should endure such emotional abuse. Life is too short for that. There is hope out there. And you can do it!!!

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Filed under Blogging, Hollywood, Life, Relationships, Romance, Vickie McKeehan, Writers

Oh, those crafty mason jars!!

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Give me a jar, any kind of jar, and I can rule the world!!

 

Make scented oil candles for Christmas

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Store stuff

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Make an herb garden!

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A mason jar wind chime

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Use them for inexpensive luminaries

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Got seashells? Display them in jars!

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Photos: Pinterest Pinners

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Filed under Art, Artists, California, DIY, Life, Love is life, Vickie McKeehan

Sunday Kindness

Kindness is always fashionable, and always welcome.

Amelia Barr

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Pay it forward: To repay a good deed or act of kindness to someone other than the original giver.

It doesn’t cost a thing to be kind. Most people think you have to have money to be a philanthropist. But the truth is you don’t have to have a vast amount of wealth. Think of it in terms of paying simple things forward. A random act of kindness, no matter how small, goes a long way. Even a smile could make someone’s day. Below are 14 things you can do today to make a difference.

  1. Volunteer to read to a sick child in the cancer unit at your local hospital or volunteer at a nursing home and read to the elderly.
  2. Send a care package to a serviceman or woman serving overseas.
  3. Write an encouraging note and leave it where people can find it. Encourage others to follow their dreams. Don’t belittle them for their efforts.
  4. Donate to your local thrift stores and shop there. The money remains in your community.
  5. Have an old pair of eyeglasses sitting around? Donate them to LensCrafters. The retailer participates in the OneSight Program which offers free eye exams and eyewear to people who need it.
  6. If it’s possible, donate blood. Most of your local hospitals have a donation center. If there isn’t one in your area, there’s always the Red Cross.
  7. Donate a bag of dog or cat food to your local animal shelter.
  8. Donate a professional outfit to Dress For Success and you’ll help a disadvantaged woman get back on her feet. By looking her best in an interview, your donation could help her nail the job she needs to move forward.
  9. Start a donation box at your workplace and ask others to bring in canned goods. Then deliver the food you’ve collected to your local food bank or to someone you know personally having a hard time making ends meet.
  10. Make simple sandwiches, put them in sacks, and hand them out to the homeless in the park.
  11. Pay for the person’s coffee behind you in line.
  12. When you’re shopping, let someone else go ahead of you in the checkout line with less items than you have.
  13. Volunteer to clean up trash in a park or along the beach.
  14. Speak up if you see someone who needs help or is being bullied.

These are just a few suggestions to get you started. If you’ve already made your own, list them in the comments section.

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Gardening during the drought

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Sometimes I think I need my head examined for trying to have a garden during a drought. Everything’s so brown and some days I feel like the stingy amount of drink I give the lettuce is a luxury. Lettuce is about all I have left. The lavender is struggling and so are my daisies. I follow the stringent guidelines of water restriction both inside and outside. We haven’t washed our cars in months. I’ve moved most of my regular plants indoors to keep them from frying in the blasts of August heat. But let’s face it, if California doesn’t get some relief soon, I’m not sure a garden is worth the effort.

To give you an idea of how bad things are, the trees located behind my house are dying…slowly. Pine, cypress, and the cottonwood that are located in what we used to refer to as the “greenbelt” are turning brown. The roots are searching for water that doesn’t come. The grass, once lush and green, has turned to what resembles straw.

I’ve always loved a garden setting. But here locally people are replacing their yards with rock, stone, or letting them go burnt brown naturally. I don’t judge. Whatever others feel they need to do for a yard during this drought is certainly understandable. Even though a few of the more elite are snubbing their noses at restrictions, we all wonder how long it will take to get rain. The media talks about some monster El Nino supposed to hit this winter. Cities are gearing up for torrential rain, floods, and they make evacuation plans and practice scenarios if mudslides occur. But for now, everything bakes. And we here in Southern California can only dream about a good downpour.

My idea of the perfect garden. This one’s in West Philly thanks to Farmer Liz.

 

So wherever you are, if rain is in your forecast, enjoy it. Not everyone is that lucky. 🙂

 

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Filed under California, Drought, Gardening, Life, Love is life, Personal Ramblings, Posts, Summer, Vickie McKeehan, Weather, Writers

Beat the heat. Read.

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What better way to deal with the triple digits of summer than to stay put and settle back in your easy chair to read. Nothing like getting your hands on an adventure to another realm, a touch of romance, a splash of suspense, or a hard-edge mystery to  get your mind off the August doldrums. Get your beach read on before school starts!

 

 

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Filed under Amazon, Books, Crime, Evil Secrets Trilogy, Fiction, Kindle, Novel, Pelican Pointe, Posts, Promote, Relationships, Romance, Skye Cree, Stalking, Summer, Summer fun, Vickie McKeehan, Writers

And the Liebster Award goes to…

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Getting to know new blogs is a fantastic way to connect with more people. Katherine at The Fashion and Mind…Travel! blog has nominated Romance, Suspense, & Chocolate for the Liebster Award, which we gratefully accept.

In order to keep the nominating process going and allow you, the readers, to find more and more interesting blogs, I’ve been tasked to answer ten questions and then nominate other blogs to hold that honor. First, I’ll answer the questions thrown at me.

What’s your favourite color?

Bluegreen. Tomboy that I was, in first grade I used to fight to keep that particular crayon all to myself. I know, selfish, huh? But I’d gladly share all the others, so there is that. 🙂

Coke or Pepsi?

Personal preference, definitely Coke. But I have a few characters who favor Pepsi. I have no idea why that is. 😉

What is your most prized possession?

My imagination. It’s gotten me through tough spots from teen years to an office environment.

What does the perfect date for you look like? With whom? Place?

A walk on the beach or a hike in Big Sur with my hubby.

What is your passion in life?

Hands down, writing is my passion.

Best compliment you have received?

I get letters, emails, and Facebook messages  from readers who tell me they connect with my characters.  That IS the ultimate compliment.

What does a perfect day look like to you?

Any day I can get in a thousand words minimum writing is a perfect day.

Your dream vacation? Worst vacation? Best vacation?

I have yet to experience Hawaii. It’s on my bucket list though. The worst vacation would be when we took off for Florida in the middle of a thunderstorm. Turns out lightning hit our house while we were gone. Then on the flight back, we hit horrible turbulence which convinced half the passengers we were going down. To this day it’s the scariest flight I’ve ever been on.

Who do you most admire in life?

People who have the courage to follow their hearts. People who stand against the criticism of the world when all that world wants to do is hurl insults at them for wanting out of a toxic relationship, who want nothing more than to be happy.  As Jay Leno once said, you want a soulmate, not a cellmate.

If you were president, what is the first thing you would do?

Declare all Fridays free chocolate and coffee day!


That’s it for my part. Now to nominate the other blogs I enjoy. These blogs don’t have to do a thing, participate or not, it’s up to you.  But I highly recommend giving them a look-see.

I Didn’t Have My Glasses on

Helle Gade Photography

Backyard Edible Gardening

Crafts and Coffee

Be Like Water

Bitch Can Write a Book

Bookmobiles A History

Everything Else Thrown In

Jump For Joy

Keep blogging and connecting,

Vickie

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Filed under Blog Awards, Books, California, Chocolate, Entertainment, Features, Life, Photos, Posts, Promote, Summer, Vickie McKeehan, Writers