Life in General

We Are Currently Christmas Tree-Less

November 27, 2016

This past summer I decided to throw away our Christmas tree. We have had it for way too long, something like 15 years I think, and needed a new one. But I just cannot bring myself to pay full price for an artificial tree when I know, in a few short weeks, they will be clearanced after the holidays. So, we considering getting a live tree this year. Mike and Raven have never had a live Christmas tree and I thought, if there was ever a time to have a live tree it would be now. But then I thought, how the hell am I going to keep the cats from a live tree? Pine can be dangerous for cats and, as I am sure you know, my cats are my babies and I don’t want to do anything that puts their health in jeopardy. So, I’m not sure what we’re going to do.

It seems so odd, though,  not having the tree up. Typically, the Christmas tree would be up and decorated by the first week of November. Here we are, almost into December, and we have no tree. But I really, really don’t want to spend $150 to $200 (if not more) on an artificial tree when they will be marked down by at least 50-percent the day after Christmas. I am, however, going to spend today putting up the other Christmas decorations so it will at least look a bit festive with or without a tree.


Life in General

It’s Election Time

November 8, 2016

I voted in the 2016 election.Despite suffering from a sinus infection and mild bronchitis, went to the doctors Friday and still not feeling any better, I dragged my big butt out to the polls to vote. And I cannot wait until this whole election season is over because, let’s face it, it’s been a horrible one. All sides have been spewing hate at each other much more easily then previous elections. And it’s ridiculous. You wanna know why kids are so disrespectful today? Because they see their parents, grown adults, calling other people horrible and just down right nasty names.

I don’t care who you voted for in this or any election, I judge you on your heart and not your political or religious choices. There are good people who are voting for Hillary and there are good people who are voting for Trump. Your choice of candidates don’t matter to me.

I just hope that, whoever wins, we as a country can heal and work together to make America better than ever.

Life in General

It’s Halloween 2016

October 31, 2016

So Halloween is here and it just seems like another day. That may be because we don’t get trick or treaters were we live and the annual Halloween party at our friends house was Saturday so we kinda celebrated early. And while I wasn’t able to do all the Halloweenie activities I wanted, I did get to do some. Watching “scary” movies isn’t really a big deal during this time of year because, as a self proclaimed horror freak, I watch them throughout the year. But me and my family did watch classic Halloween shows, such as Garfield Halloween Adventure (which is my favorite Halloween movie) and It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. It also feels like I may have ate my body weight in pumpkin spice goodies.

It’s bittersweet that I have to say goodbye to Halloween because I do love that holiday, but it means I can start getting ready for Christmas. And Christmas is the only thing that gets me through the horrible West Virginia winters.

So bring on all things Christmas!

Life in General

Hello October

October 1, 2016

Hello October

Today is the first day of October. While I love the month of October, I know that it means cold weather will hit soon and I HATE cold weather. This is especially true in my state of West Virginia where we can have some horribly low temps, harsh winds and lots of snow. But for now, I’m not going to think about the upcoming winter and instead focus on Fall and all the things that make it great.

One thing I am especially excited for is our friend’s annual Halloween party. I love cosplaying and dressing up, and I think I have come up with the perfect costume! It won’t take too much for me to pull it together but it should still look pretty cool. I’ll take more about it in another blog post.

I would say that I’m excited about pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavored things, but I have been apologetically consuming pumpkin flavored items since September and plan on continuing until they take them off the shelves and out of stores/restaurants.

So, what are you looking forward to most during this spooky season?


Life in General

Pumpkin Spice Season, Oh How I Love You

September 10, 2016

Pumpkin Spice ProductsWell, here we are 10 days into September and I have already enjoyed a wide array of pumpkin and pumpkin spice-flavored things! Pumpkin Spice Cheerios, Quaker Oats Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal, homemade pumpkin spice milkshakes, pumpkin cake roll and countless pumpkin spice coffees. And I am in heaven! I, like millions of other people, love LOVE pumpkin and pumpkin spice! If I keep it up, I may end up putting myself in a pumpkin spice induced coma before the season is over.

Besides stuffing myself with all things pumpkin, I have lost 2 pounds in a week and a half. I know it’s not much but after falling off the wagon, it’s nice to see the scale move in the opposite direction. It also shows me that what I’m doing is working and to keep it up!

As a lover of Halloween, I am looking forward to the upcoming holiday. Growing up, my mom and dad made sure that Halloween, along with every other holiday, was a special event that I would remember for the rest of my life. Our house would be decorated both inside and out, and my mom would dress up as a ghost every year to take me trick or treating. As I got older, my dad would rig up our house to scare my friends when they stayed the night for my annual Halloween sleepover. They really are two of the best parents EVER and gave me a wonderful childhood.

The past few years, however, I have done little to nothing to celebrate the spooky season that I once had a such a big passion for. But this year, this year is going to be different. I vow to actually do all, or at least most, of the Autumn/Halloween activities that I love doing. Hayrides, haunted houses, scary movies, decorating, dressing up, carving pumpkins, baking Halloween and Autumn-related goodies, go to the Apple Butter Festival and just enjoying the season.

What about you? Do you have any fall activities that you will be partaking in this season?

Life in General

Support Young Comic Artists

August 25, 2016

If you know me, then you know that my daughter is a wonderful and talented artist. Recently, she released her first graphic novel on Amazon. It is the first issue of her fantasy comic entitled Overmorrow and is free for a limited time only. So I am asking all my lovely readers to please, go download her comic. Once the free promotion is over, the price raises to $2.99. The more downloads she receives, even during the free promotion, the higher her comic is ranked on Amazon, which can help her exposure to potential costumers in the future.

In the village of Huormonna Lore, a strict religion keeps the elves away from werewolves; but what happens when Nev’R, the girl who forgot her past, finds out someone close to her is a werewolf? Will she abandon her friend for orders from the village elder? Or will she try to hide and attempt to help her friend escape? Find out in the first issue of Overmorrow!

So please, do me a huge favor and go download/read her comic Overmorrow, you won’t be disappointed. And if you would like to leave an honest review, well that would be great also!

Overmorrow: Comic by R.J. Crow

Life in General

Where Has the Summer Gone

August 10, 2016

Is it just me or did this summer fly by? It seems like just yesterday, Raven was finishing up her last year as a freshman and college and now, in only a few short days, classes for her sophomore year of college will begin. The older I get, the more it feels like time is speeding up. Hours feel like minutes and minutes feel like seconds. I guess that’s just one of the many downsides of getting older.


I’ve only gone swimming once this summer and, come to think of it, I’ve only gone to the Farmers Market once. Though I hope that changes soon ’cause I love the water and need to support our local farmers more. But with us being down to only one vehicle at the moment (both mine and Raven’s cars are out of commission for the moment) it’s kinda difficult sharing 1 car between 3 people, especially when the husband works 10+ hours a day with an erratic schedule. But, God willing, we will have another vehicle soon.

What about y’all? How has your summer been? Do anything exciting?

Life in General

My Life For The Next Few Days

July 16, 2016

I’m no stranger to sinus headaches and pressure. In fact, I get them regularly. But the ones I’ve been dealing with for the past week have been horrible. Usually, I can relieve the pressure and pain with some over-the-counter medicines, but not this one. So after being forced by my husband and daughter, I went to the doctor. And, lo-and-behold, I have a sinus infection and upper respiratory infection. The funny thing is, besides the extreme pressure, pain and fatigue (which is saying something because, due to my extreme iron deficiency, I live on a daily diet of prescription iron supplements and caffeine just to try to feel normal), I don’t feel sick. So I was surprise to be diagnosed with upper respiratory infection.

I left the doctor’s office with a steroid shot in the hip and 3 prescriptions (steroid pack, antibiotics and benzonatate for cough). I had plans to spend the day with some friends, a girls day/night out, and was actually looking forward to it, but with the pain, pressure and now possible contagiousness, I decided to cancel.


So here I am trying to get some work done and I cannot concentrate and just want to stretch out on the couch and fall asleep.

Life in General

Things They Don’t Tell You About Being a Freelancer: Part 1

June 20, 2016

Freelancer working from home.If you don’t already know, I am a freelancer. More specifically, a freelance content writer. In short, I write articles, eBooks, blog posts, reviews, product descriptions and various other online content for businesses and individuals. I have been doing this since 2005 (full time since 2010), and while I do love my job, there are a few things that no one ever told me about working in this field. And because of that, I thought what better topic to write about then what I learned firsthand in this wonderful, exciting and often stressful world of freelancing.

Procrastination is a Major Problem

Working from home is awesome, but it’s not without it’s drawbacks, and procrastination is one of the biggest. After all, you’re at home and daily distractions can get the best of you. That pile of laundry that needs washed just keeps calling your name, and you think “hey, I can get that done in a few minutes and then get back to work.” But after you get the laundry done, you notice something else that needs tending too. And it just keeps piling up and up until the day is over and you haven’t got much freelance work done. What works best for me is creating a schedule and trying my damnedest to stick with it. I also use a desktop app called Focus Booster, which uses the pomodoro technique (a time management method developed in the 80s).

Some Think Being a Freelancer isn’t a Real Job

This has been one of the hardest things for me to come to terms with, and I haven’t completely accepted the fact that some people, especially family members, don’t take my career seriously. Despite the 10+ years experience I have creating various content for companies, despite having many of my articles published on respectable websites, despite being the main bread winner in our household for several years, despite paying all the bills (including a mortgage) every month, some just don’t/won’t believe that I actually do have a job. And I just gotta learn to live with that, because, in all honesty, it really doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. This is my life, my career and I love what I do.

No Job Security

Freelancing is more like owning a small business then being an employee of a company. As a freelancer, no one is responsible for you but yourself. There is no guarantee that a client you worked for previously will continue to give you more business in the future, nor is there any guarantee that the market won’t dry up. After all, several content sites have closed their doors or greatly reduced their need for freelance writers in recent years, and the overall freelance market has become saturated with freelancers who will work for pennies on the dollar. I’ll be the first one to admit that finding clients now isn’t nearly as easy as it once ways.That is why it is important to have more than one client.

Sporadic Pay

The frequency and amount you get paid usually isn’t the same from one week to the next so you will need to plan accordingly for bills. For example, one week you may get paid $350 and the next you only get $60. And if you’re working on a large, long term project, you may not get paid for weeks on end.

Taxes Are Now Your Concern

Once you are a freelancer, taxes are not automatically taken out of your pay and you are now responsible for ensuring that Uncle Sam gets his share (no matter how unfair it is) of your hard earned money. Thankfully, you have the choice to either pay the taxes you owe in one lump sum at the end of the year or with smaller quarterly payments throughout the year.


Keep in mind that the above are just a few of the things I learned on my own when I started out in the freelancing industry. Others may not have experienced the same problems. Also, this post was originally pushing way past the 1,000 words mark so I decided to split it up into different parts. So be on the lookout for Part II (or Part 2) coming soon!

Life in General

Just A Little Update

June 7, 2016

As I am sure you can tell, I haven’t blogged in about a month. Life, as usual, has just gotten in the way of my desire to blog. As John Lennon sang in the song Beautiful Boy, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” But I have excited news, well exciting to me anyway. After five years, our home is finally paid off!

We made our last two mortgage payment last month! That means our home is 100-percent ours! No more monthly mortgage payment!

Too say I’m ecstatic would be an understatement! It’s just a big relief to no longer have to worry about that bill and can instead put that money into savings.