Tag Archives: travel

Where I’ve been…

21 Aug

In my last post I promised to reveal where I was on vacation so here I am telling you all the big secret… I’ve been to Romania and Italy and soaked my soul in the goodness of my parents, hugged my relatives and laughed with my friends. I had an incredible trip I hope to never forget!

I have so many memories, some tattooed in the folds of my heart, some on my brain’s  “screen” and some in pictures. I decided to write in episodes my entire trip, but for now I leave you with a bunch of photos.

Enjoy!IMG_3691 IMG_4372 IMG_3214 IMG_3266 IMG_3291 IMG_3395 IMG_3634 IMG_3899 IMG_4224

 

The green blanket

25 Feb

Death scares me. Dead bodies scare me, a scare I’ve been living with ever since I saw my grandpa in a coffin. I was twelve at the time and still remember his stench, his body still, and decay distorting his face in ways for years I kept dreaming of.

The other day as I drank a cup of burnt coffee in the waiting room outside my nephew’s hospital room, a family walked in. From the conversation they had I understood that the older, limping woman just lost her husband. Her daughter and son held on both sides as she sat across the room, diagonally from me. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but being just them and myself in the room, crumbs of the conversation reached my hearing.

“You need to take better care of yourself, Mom,” the daughter sniffled.

“I will.” The woman sighed, looking down at her bony hands resting on her lap.

“You need to get out of the house, do something,” the son added.

The woman didn’t respond right away, staring at her fingernails as if she saw them for the first time. After a long exhale she said, “All these years, I’ve taken care of your father. I’ve stood by his side . . . Now he’s gone and I can live again. Maybe I’ll get that garden going. Maybe the library takes me back for volunteering. I have so many books I want to read. Or maybe I’ll travel. There are so many places I want to see . . . Or maybe I’ll have my hip replaced . . .”

“The pastor is here,” a hospital employee announced and the family followed her.

I remained in the waiting room, thinking about the widow, about the family left behind and how they coped with their loss. To the worries about my nephew’s life, somehow sadness snuck inside me. Hospitals—unless when a baby is born—aren’t happy places, and if I never step inside one, I won’t miss it.

I got up and stretched, walking down the hallway, my mind all over the place and nowhere in particular. I stopped at my nephew’s door to listen if he was awake, but he wasn’t, and so I continued my walk.

Patient’s rooms marked one side of the long hallway. Above some doors a red light signaled the occupant needed help. Nurses in colorful scrubs walked in an out, with either trays with meds or syringes peaking from their breast pockets. The other side of the hallway was reserved for offices some closed some open. Further down double glass doors lead to the ICU.

I turned to look at the ICU doors opening with a clicking sound. A nurse pushed a bed, a green blanket stretching over the entire bed. Underneath the blanket laid an obvious form of a body.

I froze in place, the memory of my dead grandpa flashing before me eyes. Walking right by me the nurse pushed the dead body, an emotionless smile plastered on her lips. She was doing nothing but her job, a job like any other job.

For a moment the urge to run strangled me, but fear crippled me, rooting me in that very spot. My own eyes refused to look elsewhere but at the motionless form beneath the green blanket. Feet, legs, protruding belly, shoulders, head, nose . . .

Life has never seemed so fleeting and fragile. One minute you’re here, the next gone. One minute you make plans, build memories, a family, love and work, and just as quick you become nothing more than an empty vessel covered with a green blanket.

I’m still here. Breathing, blinking, walking. And I’m still scared of death. I know it’s natural, irrevocable and part of the circle of life.

No one knows when we are sentenced to go, me included. But what I do know is that I want to live, feel every breath I take, every heartbeat, every tear and smile. Build a different kind of garden; read books, travel, work out, spend time with my parents. Go to happy hour with my girlfriends. Go on dates with my husband. Fall asleep resting on his shoulder. Watch Smallville with my son. See him become the man I raised him to be.

Because after all, life is fleeting and fragile.

Know Me Better

26 Jan


knowmebetter

Coming from Kathy @ I’m A Reader Not A Writer this is a fun hop.
Each week will pick 5 questions to answers.
I invite you to share your answers to these questions as well.  You can share them as a comment on this post or share them on your own blog and link up to this post.

This Week’s Questions:

1. Top 5 songs on your playlist?

Catch my Breath – Kelly Clarkson

Wanted – Hunter Hayes

Try – Pink

I Look To You – Whitney Houston

Daylight -Maroon 5

2. How much time do you spend reading each week?

I have weeks when I literally binge on books. Can’t tell you how little sleep I get those days. Bless their heart whoever invented concealer ! Then I have weeks when I don’t touch a book. Those times I use for my own writing or editing for my critique partners.

3. What is the last thing you Googled?

How to spell correctly concealer! (about 10 seconds ago LOL)

4. Favorite places to travel?

Anywhere where there’s sun, beach and water.

5. What is your favorite way to spend a rainy day?

Oh, geez. I live in Arizona and Mother Nature is not very generous with … showering us very often with such “beauty”. But as it happens it DOES rain right now.

photo (1)

I woke up, ate breakfast and crawled back in bed until 10:45am. Went to get a cup of coffee at Starbucks then came home and I’ve been on the computer since then. I don’t have a favorite thing to do during such days just because they are so rare in my area.

Now it’s your turn! Share an answer to one or more of these questions as a comment or post your answers on your blog and link up here. If you are posting on your blog you can grab the linky to include with your post if you would like to do so.

GoodReads Giveaway

6 Dec

Great giveaway over @ GoodReads  for my novel titled Hidden Heart. There are 5 copies available and over 700 people requesting it. For more details click HERE.

test cover1

Sparknotes written on … thighs. Say what???

25 Mar

I’m pretty sure I don’t have a butt anymore. It’s flat, pancaked, gone–I swear it’s gone. I bet my next paycheck driving from Portland to Phoenix (about 1,300 miles)  in two  and 1/2 days would do that to anyone.

So, to unwind and get back to normal I stop by at Sandra’s Blog for a giveaway and a guest post about communications back in my time and now. Compared to my son—who texts without looking at the screen—my generation wrote notes on tiny pieces of paper, switching several hands until reaching the receiver, mostly at the other site of the class. For finals girls wrote sparknotes on … both thighs, abbreviating words only we could understand. I guess wearing a skirt had its advantages :). Guys on the other hand, wrote on their forearms. Talk about sweating bullets figuratively and literally wearing long-sleeved shirt when, without air conditioner there was no difference between the outside scorching temperatures and the classroom air.

Don’t forget to stop by at Sandra’s to read the guest post and for a chance to win an e-copy of A World Apart.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Who’s Your BFF?

9 Mar

I’m today guest blogging @ House Millar, the website of talented paranormal author Aine P. Massie, about friends and what they mean to us.

Back home in Romania we have different words describing the level of friendship with someone. If I want to refer to a person as my best friend, then I say prieten. If it’s an acquaintance then I refer to him/her as an amic/a.

When I moved to the U.S. over eight years ago, I knew no one, except my husband. I was a stay-at-home mom for the first six months and spent a lot of time bored out of my mind, cleaning every day as if a herd of bulls ran down my house on a regular basis. I met a few neighbors, a few of my husband’s co-workers, my husband’s family… but a real friend, a person I could just sit down and chat with, I had no one. For a while my husband’s ex-wife (yeah, you read it correctly, his ex-wife) helped me get around, taking me to a hairdresser, shopping or we would just hang out by the pool. read more

Interview @ Wordpaintings Unlimited

5 Mar

It’s a brand new week and after a relaxing weekend I start my book tour in full force with my dear friend Sherry Gammon, Author of Unlovable. Beginning of my tour Sherry had graciously reviewed A World Apart for which I’m forever grateful.

Today we sit down with a nice cup of coffee and chat about books, life and everything in between… Come join us at Wordpaintings Unlimited. But wait, this is not all… yes, there is also a giveaway for an e-copy of A World Apart.

What a great way to start the week!