Category: loves Page 1 of 2

books I read

Within the last few years, I unknowingly purchased a book from the dollar store, that would change me into a better person for having read it. In fact, the book I purchased was the fourth in a 13.5 book series. Which of course I didn’t know at the time. Thus started my addiction to a charming and thoughtful way of storytelling.

Darynda Jones has since become one of my favorite writers. She not only unfolds a story with witticism and characters that spring from the pages with love and laughter, she creates a world, a universe where they exist! The fourth book of the Grave Series is where I began my journey. For a buck no less…smile!

I even wrote a fan email asking for her to make sure the rest of the series would end up at Dollar Tree as well. A polite reply saying it was out of her hands was my reward. (smile) I managed to find most used at Thriftybooks online and a few on ebay.  When I finished the series, (sadly as I never wanted them to end!) I realized she had written other books. Go figure, a writer who writes more books?

I was delighted to find 2 of her new series, one being a trilogy called Betwixt and the other series Sunshine Vicram and immediately devoured them both. Happy to say her writing is amazing even though she broke my heart when she ended the Grave Series.

life unplanned

Starting to work on house again. Slowly. Because “fastly” would give me gas. Although I can get that just from eating chocolate with maltitol in it. A supposed sugar alcohol that makes something sugarless. Well, hate to bubble your burst – it doesn’t. In fact on the glycemic index it’s only a few points down from white sugar, raising your blood sugar almost the same. Diabetics beware, maltitol intolerant people – fart away – if you like eating chocolate. There’s a much better solution. Eating Choczero which is made with monk fruit. Zero G.I. Or even making it yourself like my previously mentioned ChocCarl bars in an earlier post.

Sometimes you go through life with blinders on. Hoping that things gets better. At least until you crash the car, burn the house down and fall on a branch while cleaning the dead brush for the upcoming clearance mandated by the city. That did not happen to me. But if it did, I would be crying like a newborn. I would probably curl into a fetal position and wonder if this is what Elvis did as he ate and ate and ate, becoming Mr. Elvis Pudgy. Not to make fun of the guy, he was one of my heroes as a young teenager. I wore tight clothes like him and could never understand why my voice didn’t change until the doc said “you need time to let the testicles drop, might want to get some looser pants…”

Ah, the pains and gains of being young. There were so many moments as I sprouted from a teenager into a man, that life became overwhelming. I never wanted to check out, as some say, I only wanted to grok what was happening. So, I read books, learned to play guitar, was possibly tricked into swallowing some LSD as a teen, and while I’m not admitting that exactly, it was amazing and humbling at the same time. I learned that people are not always what they seem to be. Some are, of course, but the tricksters in life come off normal or somewhat sane, fooling the best of us.

Life unplanned, that’s what everyone born on this planet goes through. Some better than others. Choices are made and carried out while others appear to be forced on us. I watched all three John Wicks the other week. Sadly, I was cheering him on, watching the carnage unfold at rocket speed. Bodies were dropping left and right. I was his biggest cheerleader! The main story has his wife pass after being sick for some time. Two days after she passes – he receives a gift in the form of a puppy from his wife explaining he needed something to take care of after she was gone. Some jerk gang members break into his house later, beat him up, kill his puppy and take his car to teach him a lesson. All because he wouldn’t sell them his car. What the gang members don’t know is John Wick is the boogeyman. An assassin extraordinaire, that was employed when the odds were impossible to carry out. Yes, this movie is over the top. Yet, I found it intensely satisfying, mostly because they killed a defenseless puppy and John Wick, took them out for doing that, one by one.

I have a new puppy now.

Arrived at through a different route of course, no wife passed, no one beat me up or stole my car. Or killed one of my existing puppies. Although my pups will be doing that by themselves shortly as they are well past 18 years or so. I also say that every month  – and every day I wake up with a smile – seeing faces only a squirrel would love… i.e. to run away from as fast as possible in the other direction. Heck sometimes – I’m even scared seeing them in the morning, drooling over my face…ready to lick my skin completely off with their exfoliating tongues.

My new puppy is a challenge. I am learning patience all over again. I have always been forgiving of others. Forgiving of my pups. I lost that right before I first got the Malinois. Why I got the pup is a novel for another day. Suffice it to say, the NSA most likely know the truth. Where is Snowden when you really need him, hmmm? My reason for living, for life, for meaning, has slowly been returning to me. While I got her for a reason, I keep her for love. As much as she taxes my will, my patience, my responsibility, I am filled with hope. That the changes that are taking place within me, will lead to new adventures.

Life unplanned.

P.S. I love this song! God Gave Me You

Warms my little heart…



Love Like There’s No Tomorrow

So, this is a repost kinda. From the old site. I really like this song. Hope you do as well…

Right now gonna take you in my arms
Hold you closer and tighter than I ever have
I’m gonna say all the things that I thought could wait
Now I realize that later could be a little too late

Baby let’s love like there’s no tomorrow
Live for every moment, laugh at least a little everyday
If we see the sun rise in the morning, is impossible to say
So let’s love
(Let’s love)
Like there’s no tomorrow
(No tomorrow)

From now on every time we kiss
It’s gonna mean so much more when I touch your lips
When I give myself to you baby I won’t hold nothin’ back
‘Cause there’s nothin’ I wouldn’t give to make every minute last

Baby let’s love like there’s no tomorrow
Live for every moment, laugh at least a little everyday
If we see the sun rise in the morning, is impossible to say
So let’s love
(Lets tomorrow)
Like there’s no tomorrow
(No tomorrow)

Baby let’s love like there’s no tomorrow
Live for every moment laugh at least a little everyday
(Every moment)
If we see the sun rise in the morning, is impossible to say
So let’s love
(Baby let’s love)
Like there’s no tomorrow
(No tomorrow)

Oh baby let’s love
(Lets love)
Like there’s no tomorrow
(No tomorrow)

conflict – are we in? Part II

Conflict Types Examples
Person vs Person Luke Skywalker fighting Darth Vader and Imperial forces
Person vs Self “A Separate Peace” Gene struggles inside with guilt over Phineas’ accident
Person vs Machine Just getting the printer to work with your computer
Person vs Supernatural ghosts, monsters, unexplained forces etc

The above shows a few examples of different types of conflict. Indeed, it can be sometimes overwhelming navigating through the emotions and memories that conflict can bring up. Becoming catatonic, seemingly unproductive during the event, leaves you more mentally aware once exiting that state. Huh? Yes. You’re body and mind shut down to a point where your subconscious takes steps to understand what has transpired. I am not speaking for everyone, only myself.

Some person vs self issues with me can be so intense, I literally shutdown. Exactly what are these issues? Well, that’s just it in a nutshell. I don’t always know. I guess a lot. Occasionally, I get it right. Like, I’m at a crossroads about whether to sell or rent out my house here and move to Arizona. That’s a biggie. On the other hand, I wonder what color to paint my kitchen during the remodeling I’m starting. Not a biggie. But both can render me motionless.

Relationship issues do the same to me. They are also powerful examples of various types of conflict. Person vs Person. Person vs Self. And sometimes even Person vs Supernatural. AND SOON, Person vs Machine as the life like robotic sex doll industry gathers steam. Me? I’m mostly the Person vs Self in a relationship. I am learning to forgive myself and understand the internal struggles I have acquired throughout the years. And to be sure, there are times when I curl up into a ball wondering if everything I am going through in life, is worth the trouble. By that I mean worth even contemplating. Some conflicts have no immediate answers or solutions so spending the time on fruitless outcomes – just becomes a black hole.

One thing for sure, at least for me, is the time I spend in the fetal position does a world of good. Getting up afterwards, making a breakfast of sourdough toast with various toppings like avocado, sauerkraut and miyoko butter, lifts my spirits once again. I know that wherever my path takes me, I’ll be there – in mind, body and spirit. Loving each day. Why? Always the same answer this one has. (spoken like Yoda from Star Wars)

Because I have faith.

conflict – are we in?

I was recently told I avoid conflict. My reply? Yes. Perhaps it’s just easier than hashing things out or maybe the conflict monster will get you by saying “conflict” 3 times while turning counterclockwise in front of a mirror. Not being superstitious rules out one of the thoughts above. But which one?

Is there any doubt that given a choice most would walk away or run in the other direction? Me myself and I argue all the time. Like now fer instance. But how can you really argue with yourself? You already know what the other persona is going to say and do.

Living a conflict free life is pretty tough almost anywhere in the world. In Krazyfornia, just about impossible. What kinds of conflict are there? Well, let’s play “name that conflict” for a moment here.

Person vs Person

Person vs Supernatual

Person vs Self

Person vs Machine

My favorite is person vs self. More on that in PART II of conlict…

love this post

We will open the book, It’s pages are blank,

We are going to put words in them ourselves,

The book is called Opportunity and it’s best


New Years Day.

Christmas Eve, part II


But something was amiss. Where was the ghost of disappointment past? Don’t these things always happen in threes?

In addition, the air was brisk and cold, icicles began forming with each and every step that was taken. Where was the ghost of disappointment past? Helping some other souls? On vacation in Bora Bora? Or something less sinister like out to dinner with other ghosts eating ghost food. Although that also raises the question as to what constitutes ghost food and is it even healthy?

And then there was a total moment of utter clarity. Perhaps there was to be no disappointment ghost of the past. In fact, as I looked around me, the company I had, the brightly colored homes bursting with various Christmas light shows and cheer, a moment shared, a meal planned, the first few episodes of “Lost in Space” season II enjoyed under a toasty blanket. Just perhaps there wasn’t to be a ghost of disappointment past. Perhaps not even a small ghost. And then (smile), I completely figured it out.

It was Because we had the three “L’s”. And when the 3-L’s appear , ghosts simply cease to exist.

Life, Love and Laughter.

Christmas Eve

I started writing this post as a blow by blow account of the evening. After reading the first few paragraphs over a few times, I realized the direction of the post had taken a wrong turn. Was the evening great? You betcha. And yet there is always another story to tell when recounting an evenings events. A story that involves not only the physical aspects, but also the emotional ones as well. Add some supernatural phenomena and you have all the makings of a classic.

Our story begins at 6pm exactly. The rain, which had been expected, had bypassed the valley, leaving scattered and lonely clouds to show the storms passing. The air very frosty, so I practiced saying “I see dead people” over and over because it was so cool! The plan was to walk the northridge mall and people watch as they were buying last minute gifts. Alas, this was not to be. The mall had closed for xmas eve at 6pm sharp. It was then we encountered the first supernatural event of the evening. The ghost of disappointment present. (cue eerie chains rattling and spooky sounds)

“You cannot roam the pathways of the mall this eve. Closed we be while others grieve.” the ghost of disappointment present said eerily.

“OK, ” we replied. “Do you have any other suggestions Mr. ghost of disappointment present?

“Thank you for asking! I was a tour guide before passing into the spirit world. It feels good to share some ideas every now and then. How about going to Target or Walmart? There should be quite a few last minute shoppers there” The GDP said.

This time, however, we were not going to be denied! We consulted with the ghost of disappointment future “google” before heading to either one.

Target was open, google said! Yay! Happily, we headed over the hill to the closest Target. Arriving, we noticed throngs of people bustling about, purchasing last minute gifts before heading off somewhere, somewhere important they had to be. But something was amiss. Where was the ghost of disappointment past? Don’t these things always happen in threes?

Stay tuned for part two, too tired for now to continue…

***movie review***


Thought I would start off Christmas Eve morning with a holiday movie, fresh from Netflix. The movie was released on Netflix, November 1st, 2019. I passed by it many times, thinking “oh. another silly rom-com about elephants in the wild that need saving from evil poachers and rugged man gets perfect woman”.

For whatever reasons, on Christmas Eve Eve, I decided to give this movie the 10 minute watch review. If after 10 minutes I lose interest, off it goes into the discard pile. Longer than 10? Well, I watch it until it’s over. I settled in with a wonderful slice of miyoko butter, sauerkraut, parsley, sourdough toast and my special blend coffee. In addition, my favorite decadent ChocZero monk fruit chocolate bar (scrummy!)

I almost didn’t make the first 10 minutes. Very formulaic and tedious. Let’s discuss:

A woman ( Kristin Davis) Kate, surprises her husband with a vacation second honeymoon to Zambia after her son leaves for college. Now, with an empty nest, the husband tells her he’s not in love and is going to move out. Of course she decides to go to Africa anyway, without him.

Arriving in Zambia, a man at a bar starts a conversation with her because she has food enough for two people and of course she’s sitting alone. The man (Rob Lowe) Derek, is rugged, handsome, worldly and every womans fantasy. And yet, the woman is still upset, especially about going to Africa alone.

At this point, I knew they would somehow find each other and the romance would stutter along, sometimes boldly and other times with a squeak. But something, perhaps the sap in me, kept me glued to the screen. I could almost see what was coming. In fact, the writers even played openly with the formula by having Derek say “Didn’t see that one coming” and “I saw that one coming” and “should’ve seen that one coming”.

Even knowing they would get together in the end, I couldn’t stop watching. At times, tears were running down my cheeks (sappy guy I am, huh?) when some of the goodbyes were said. Again, I knew the goodbyes weren’t going to last. Didn’t matter, I was still affected.

Kate just happens to be a veterinarian (I know, right?) and wants to help the elephants after Derek lands to save a baby elephant. Poachers killed the mother for her tusks. Kate becomes hesitant to leave after learning about the organization that Derek is part of, deciding to stay longer.

I was laughing and crying as the writers were tugging at my heartstrings and it didn’t matter. I was hooked. Rob Lowe played an excellent mans man, in the tradition of Tom Selleck, Sam Elliot, John Wayne and Pierce Bronson among others. Kristin Davis did not seem like a vet to me, but that didn’t matter as she played a strong mother figure restarting her life after divorce very well.

Rather than continue to give away the plot, which I really can’t be guilty of because each step of the way they telegraph what’s about to happen – take a chance yourself. Be warned, you’ll need to get past the obligatory opening setup subplot in order to get to the beef brisket. Side note: keep some tissues handy, …just saying.

This movie gets an “I am a Sap” rating from me. I would write more but I need to replenish my fluids from all the happy tears I’ve been having from writing this review.

turning points

I was retelling a story the other night, which I’m going to share here today. The names will be changed to protect the guilty of course. No graphic warnings needed as there will be no photos associated with this post.

The following true events recounted as told to me by Carlj:

Carlj: About 30 years ago Ceej, I had a relationship that I considered very loving and good. The highs were amazing and the lows sometimes devastating. Overall, the chemistry was great. At least until a few “turning points”. I didn’t even know what turning points were until 30 plus years later. By then the damage to the relationship had already occurred.

And unknown to me as well, I had the power to change the events for the better. Did I? Did I even try? Nope. In fact, I doubled down on my spoken thoughts and concerns. OK, I get it, you’re asking me to get to the point? Or turning point in this case…

My girl Nancy called me in the wee hours of the morning, during the middle of the week and said, “Come over and service me, right now. You’re my man and I need you”

WOW! Any normal male wouldn’t even take the time to gracefully hangup the phone. To be sure, I was a normal male, but something prompted me to say, “I have work in the morning. Are you crazy?” Or something to that effect.

Fast forward to the second event. Nancy, was in a small fender bender one evening coming back from a clandestine meeting with another man. Did I know about it? Not at the time. But still, who did she call? Me. Crying and upset she reached out to me. Once again I was in bed and said, “I have work in the morning. Glad you’re OK. Talk later”

Two attempts at making a solid connection. Two attempts refused. What could I have done differently? The first attempt I could have explained myself better “I have work in the morning. I love that you continue to bring the wolf out in me, you’re offer is so tempting! Could we take a rain check for tomorrow evening? Nothing would make me happier than to service my woman”

Second attempt: “I have to work in the morning. Can the car be driven? Do you need a tow truck or a ride? I am so glad you weren’t hurt, darling. Please call me after you know more…love you”

Even though the second attempt sounds better, the correct thing would have been to go there. Accidents/deaths/sadness are somethings you share with a loved one to lessen the impact and get comfort from. And I failed both attempts at a loving connection.

The damage had been done and events were set into motion that ended our relationship. And they continued to pile on. It was easier to double down adding new reasons as well, than to back up and rethink it all. Just one moment in time, where if I had really listened, might have changed the dynamics of our relationship completely.

So Ceej, I know you’re curious and want to ask, if I could go back in time and change my actions to obtain a better outcome, would I?

Ceej: You are not only wise and fascinating Carlj, but also a mind reader?

Carlj: LOL. You’re funny Ceej. But no. Not a mind reader. To be sure, I would not change anything. It pains me to say that. The lessons learned are more important to me now that I understand them. Even if it took thirty years or more. This “turning point” was huge and not hidden from sight at the time and yet, I couldn’t see it much less understand it. Time teaches.

Ceej: Well, thank you for being here Carlj, that’s all the time we have on this blog, so join us next time for:

“the intensity of life”

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