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Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Gigi Story

I never know what configuration of children I'm going to be encountering in a day. I drive by one homestead full of them on my way to and from work. Sometimes I see them playing on the porch swing, sometimes I stop to drop something off. When I get home I may have an encounter with a crazy boy in a diaper and he may or may not be wearing anything else. Before I go in for work I often don't have plans, by the time I'm headed home I have picked up a babysitting shift, or baby holding shift. Sometimes the first sight I see upon exiting my car is a blonde smiley kiddo standing at the door with my four-legged beagles waiting expectantly for me to enter the promised chaos. 

And I love being a grandma. A Gigi or Gaga or the ever popular gramma or G-Ma. 

Last night we pulled out markers and crayons and some plastic stencils. This was my gift drawing. 

All the pets are drawn and labeled as you can see. The hedgehogs, Daisy and Daffodil and the beagles, Gladys and Gertrude. The picture in the bottom corner was a snapshot of the evening. I put the baby on my head and chanted, "Baby hat! Baby hat!" multiple times because. Well...kids were laughing, including the hat. However, toward the end of this ridiculousness the baby grabbed two handfuls of my hair. So I had to play that up, too. I mean it just doesn't happen every day. In hindsight I am grateful that he didn't throw up in my hair. Because that is a strong possibility.... My mom asked me why I insist on doing things like "Baby Hat!" I told her it might be because I sang the alphabet song 125 times in a on hour period to entertain the 2-year-old and then at the begging of the 10-year-old duet partner switched to Bingo. I think I'm delirious a good chunk of time. 

Sigh. I sleep like a baby after spending a few hours in the sea of children. But I am so blessed and so grateful to be their Gigi! 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Serials and Scenarios ~ I'm Sure You are All Wondering

You can be honest. All of you who know Zula, one of our characters from Out of the Frying Pan, know Zula has a bit of flare. 

She shares some of her top Diva tips with Ane Mulligan's readers. http://blog.anemulligan.com/flash-your-flare-diva-darling/  I'm sure you will find something of value in Zula's quick fix fashion, food and fluff suggestions. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Serials and Scenarios ~ Celebrating FLOWERS. Giveaway

Fern and Zula, our characters from our Out of the Frying Pan are sponsoring a contest. 

Now...this is the easiest contest you might ever enter. Simply a photo of a or some floral arrangements with a wee bit of tagging and sending said picture and you are entered into three possible categories. Fern pick, Zula pick and Wild Card. 

The prizes? 

Hobby Lobby gift card
Trader Joe's gift card
Amazon gift card and a signed copy of our book. 

Official details here. 

Two entries so far. You should add to it!  

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Serials and Scenarios ~ Feedback Part 2

Get a copy here http://amzn.to/2ndM0qv
A follow-up to yesterday. Read it here. http://bit.ly/2q4y1BK  

An author should never enter a debate regarding a review. It's just a bad idea. However. A comment made by a reviewer made me pause a bit. Her review was great and I appreciate it. But her experience is very different than mine. So I am using this next couple paragraphs to give more information about some reasons why our characters are written the way they are. 

A 78 year-old-reviewer said she didn't know anyone who acted like the ladies of Paradise. I am glad for her that she doesn't know the following story. But I have observed a whole different group of folks. Note: Some of the elderly or older church ladies I've known would not fit in with Fern and Zula. However, as with every age, there are extremes on both sides. And a wide road of gray in the middle (pun intended though I prefer to call my gray silver!) The town I live in has a very high population of over 65. We are ranked as one of the best cities for a healthy retirement. So. I have a little bit of knowledge with the over 65 crowd. 

Beaches and a cruise ship are great places to people watch. What I have observed in those locations is that those who are shy and inhibited are that way at any age. I've seen older women buttoned up in seven layers and I've seen others in the exact age group out and about in yoga pants and crop tops. Or doing the back stroke, in a tiny swimsuit in one of the cruise ship swimming pools. I know a 90+ year-old diva-doll who dresses to the nines and possibly gets most of her wardrobe from the junior department...and talk about spicy tongue and attitude.

So. When you are on a beach look around. I promise you will see at least one 65+ man in a speedo and one leather-skinned-sun-goddess in her bikini. Silver hair glistening in the sun. Neither one seems a bit concerned about showing skin. Right next to the 20-somethings in their thong bikinis.

True story.

One elderly lady shared her concern about her Peyton Place retirement village with me. Once, while delivering greeting cards to her neighbors she encountered a naked man. He left the room of a 70-something gal and trucked across the hall in all his glory. Right past her. Not a word. He may have winked but I'm pretty sure she had buried her head in the sand at that point. That religious holiday was ruined for the poor innocent gal.

In my experience here's the bottom line. If grandma was a tiger as a kitten, chances are she still has a purr.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Serials and Scenarios ~ Feedback

You know what feedback is...right? That horrific screechy sound that feels like nails on chalkboard. Feels like. Because it is so deeply painful. A sign that you are doing something that has attracted everyone's attention. 

Writing a book invites feedback. In this case feedback grabs attention and gives us details about what the tiny piece of the world we've touched thinks of our book. In the past couple of days I've gotten the following feedback. And what an interesting picture it is. 

Jennifer Slattery
May 9 at 11:08am
Working on some interview questions this morning, and in it, the interviewer asked what literary character I'd most love to have dinner with. Kelly, you knew who I said, right? The Ethel and Lucy of the 21st century! (I'd bring plastic flowers, of course! ;) ) #outofthefryingpan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z88w0hV074I

Here's the link to her interview. Question 5 is our spotlight. http://newhorizonreviews.blogspot.com/2017/05/q-with-author-jennifer-slattery.html

This on Facebook.

That moment when you're in the checkout lane and the older woman in front of you is purchasing silk flowers in red, white and blue and it's all you can do to not start laughing out loud because all you can think about is Zula, from Out of the Frying Pan. Thank you very much, Jayshua Porterand Kelly Klepfer!!  
I think it was national love on Out of the Frying Pan day. What did you do to celebrate? HaHaHa!

Then this in the comments on Zu-fer (Fern and Zula's blog)

I just love Fern!

And a 3 Star review on Amazon.

on May 6, 2017
I enjoyed the mystery, but it took me over a week to finish it, could have done without the senior citizens acting like hormonal teenagers. I am 78 and no one I know acts like that. ;) 

Our "negative" reviews are even pretty positive. We got one 2 star and the reviewer called it fluffy and cute. Well. Sometimes fluffy and cute is just what the doctor ordered. But I'm going to suggest you come back tomorrow for a fictionalized story that is based on a true event. A flip side to what sees as a 78 year-old who has chosen those around her very, very well. Just sayin.....

Ahhhh Now We're Talking

Friends from the great northern state of Minnesota came up for the weekend to help my daughter do some landscaping at her new house. One of the duo just got her bachelors in nursing. Shout out to Callie! Way to go.

6 year old doing a selfie. Oh, the pics I find on my phone!
We were laughing because I keep getting gunk from the kiddos. Between my nine grandkids I'm exposed to the germs of nine different day care/school settings. And I choose not to avoid their little hugs and kisses so it's inevitable that when someone's nose starts running I'm going to be right behind them. 

She said. "Oh you have Daycare Cold." 

I said. "That's a thing, like Kennel Cough?" 

"Kinda, where you can get a hybrid due to multiple things going on in the daycare, yes." 

Well, you know me. I can't not own this. I have Kennel Cough. Again.  

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Playin Grownup

Do you ever feel like you are a child wearing grown up shoes? 

Maybe it's all the changes and constant ebb and flow of ocean waves in my life but I'm often feeling like I'm faking this adult thing. 

Case in point. I've done Dexascans at my employers for a decade. I'm in a newish location with a brand new to me machine and multiple people teaching/giving me expectations for what the outcome should look like. I was the lone ranger before, doing things for my 4 providers who just wanted the bottom line data. This new adventure is for 20+ providers and radiologists and I'm no lone wolf. One trainer says to include more femur, the other says, analyze and print right away, one says wait till you are done with the whole exam. Oh, and the anatomy lessons I memorized 20+ years ago have gotten a little rusty. 

I've been given the opportunity to do these alone, twice. Both times I've forgotten a detail. 

Yesterday's oops was so obvious. Such an oops that I feel like a total idiot. My trainer came into the room and said "You didn't use the postioner." This is no small thing. The positioner is a massive foam block you put under the legs to put the spine in the perfect position. I have never. In the hundreds of Dexascans I've done. Forgotten that piece of the puzzle. But I think in trying to go through my mental checklist of the differences between my old machine, this new one, the expectations of the trainers and wanting to get off the remedial list I overlooked the elephant in the room then tripped and fell face down into a pile of elephant poo. 

The even scarier part of this. (BTW, no patients were harmed in this process. Ha. Ha.) My new bosses want me to fully utilize the degree I have. Which means I will be on a learning curve for basically forever while I begin training on the digital x-ray unit. 

Monday, May 01, 2017

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Silence

When kids are over and put away the toys but accidentally put away the dog toys, too. And your sister finds the only toy you want and takes it. First World Dog Problem. 
As I write this my house is literally silent. Well. There is ambient noise. It's an old house with 4 creatures in the same room, after all. 

This was not the case a mere hour ago. Instead it was filled with all the noise that a heaping 11 people, two dogs and two hedgehogs can make. (Hedgehogs are the least on the noise pollution scale, BTW.) 

A baby cooing, three little ones under three and three ten and under. Oh, and five adults coming and going for all various sorts of reasons. 

I can honestly say I might like the chaos a wee bit better. However, my body says the silence is lovely. 

Soaking up the silence. Ahhhhh....

Never mind. My daughter and husband are now debating the difference between butterscotch and caramel and it's intruding into my quiet bubble. Nice while it lasted. Ha Ha. 

If you are looking for more Fern and Zula check out the blog. There is a serial short story being put together one day at a time. http://fernandzula.blogspot.com/2017/04/stories-from-paradise-ferns-portrait.html  Twitter bite-sized pieces per day, so it's going to take a bit.