June’s over? Julying.

Monthly update incoming! 

No real “news” per se, except that my new class has started, and I’ve begun a bit of a challenge for myself.

In previous years, I tried doing the “page a day” challenge, but that was too much to suddenly cram into a day. I managed it before by cheating my ever lovin’ arse off, but I don’t like winning like that. So I’m trying something a little different this month. 

Instead of trying to write 500+ words, I’m keeping it simple. 100 words a day. That’s it. It can be a blog post, it can be a short story, it can be part of Don’t Feed the Trolls. As long as it’s 100 words in the same project. The point isn’t to get a chapter done or push out as many words as I can in a day – it’s just to get into the habit of sitting down and writing. Maybe next month it’ll be 200 words. Maybe I’ll wait til after I get my teeth taken care of in September or October. It will depend on if I can get into the habit and stay in it.

I am also going to have to change my posting schedule around. Instead of a chapter a week, it’s probably going to be closer to a chapter a month. I’m not happy about this, but there’s so much more planning going into each chapter, on top of having to go back and edit “Say ‘No’ to Zombies” so I can have that ready before the end of the year. 

Yeah, I suppose I should’ve warned you all that this was gonna be a crappy update, but there you have it. At least I’m not announcing the death of another novel, right?

Happy Father’s Day, Dave.

Dear David,

I don’t remember what I thought when I first met you. I honestly don’t even remember our first meeting – period. I can remember meeting so many other people in my life – ask me about the first time I walked around my kindergarten class. I can remember sitting on the stairs in a house in Maryland when I was three, watching Dad keep an eye out for some idiot running around with a machete. I can remember holding the hand of a young girl who had just been hit by a car – the red and blue ambulance lights flashing across our faces – I was only four, then.

I remember meeting your oldest brother. He was tall and quiet, and I was thrown off at first by his appearance, because I was only six, but I knew heads were generally shaped a certain way, and his was different. He was nice though, and played with me until I got to know other kids in the neighborhood. I quickly forgot that he was considered “different” because of the way he looked. He was just Phil, my new older brother.

I remember meeting your other brother. He filled the room with his voice. He seemed nice, but he was so loud, I remember staying away from him. I remember meeting his wife. She wasn’t much quieter than him, but she seemed to adore me, and was very kind to me. When mom and dad started working and needed someone to watch me until it was time for school, I remember sleeping on the couch in her living room, the house was so quiet and cool. I have fond memories of both of them, and I still have the cassette tape she gave me, where all the songs had my name in them.

I even remember meeting your mother. She was measuring me for my Flower Girl shirt and skirt. I instantly liked her because she was the only person I could remember meeting who was even shorter than my mother.

You though. It seems like I went to sleep, woke up, and you had always just been there. Sometimes, I think I remember you greeting dad for the first time, but I don’t know if that’s an actual memory, or just my mind creating one to fill in the blank, because the first actual memory I have of you with my parents, was of you arguing with them the night before you married my sister. You were yelling at mom, and I heard dad tell you, “I know you’re mad, but she is still my wife, and you will talk to her with respect.”

I remember the wedding. I remember not really knowing much about you, but still hating you and admiring you in equal parts. I was only seven when you married sis, and it was the first wedding I had been a part of, so I had no idea how the whole marriage thing worked. As far as I could tell though, you had to be pretty friggin’ amazing for my sister to be willing to leave her entire family just to be with you. I remember everyone going “Awww!!” at the wedding when they asked me to speak a few words as a toast, and all I could do was cry because I thought I was losing my only sister. I remember the relief when I was told that I wasn’t losing her – I was gaining you. I could handle that thought. I already had one brother, and he wasn’t so bad (at the time) – what’s one more, you know? Plus, you came with two other brothers. Score! All the brothers a girl could want.

Then you gave me my oldest nephew. I mean, it was a joint effort between you and sis, but you did play a part in it. I don’t think I ever thanked you for that. He was – and still is – my favorite memory, and my favorite person (don’t tell your wife). We had our moments growing up, but that boy is my brother, and so much of that is thanks to you.

Marrying my sister didn’t mean you had to let me spend the night with you guys as often as you did. You didn’t have to walk with me through the neighborhood after dad died, letting me grieve in silence while you stood by, ready to be there if I called for you. I needed to get out of the house, but no one in the family wanted to go, and you alone spoke up, “I’ll go with her. Let’s go, Tiff.” You didn’t say a word when we got outside. I walked ahead of you a good couple feet, and you just followed. I don’t know how you knew I needed that. I don’t know if you even knew, but in the madhouse that followed dad’s death, that is one of the moments that stands out the most.

You didn’t have to let me stay at your place with you and sis after dad died. Yeah, you probably felt like you couldn’t turn me away – sis and I had just gone through the most devastating moment in our lives – but you would’ve had a solid reason. You had a full house of your own at the time. It was a two bedroom house, and you and sis were already having to share a room with your son, while your brother had the other room.

You didn’t have to let me come out and spend that summer with you and sis in Ohio. Yeah, it worked out for the best for you guys, cause you needed someone to watch him while you guys were working, but there were other people in the neighborhood.

You didn’t have to let me live with you guys when the summer was over, and start attending high school there, even though the alternative was sending me back to mom and having to face the possibility of me being killed or assaulted on the way to school. I did more growing up in that time with you guys, than I did at home with mom.

That was when your boy went from being my favorite little human being to being my brother.

You didn’t have to let mom and I live with you while we waited for the settlement to finish from dad’s death. You didn’t have to offer to teach me how to drive (I did apologize for scaring you with the clutch, right?). You didn’t have to step in and tell me when I was treating mom wrong, or ensure that what mom said – went. You were an atheist, through and through, but if mom said I was going to church with her on Sunday, my ass was to be out of bed, and upstairs, dressed and ready to go on time. You didn’t care that I didn’t want to go. That was my mother, and I would talk to her with respect.

That was when you went from being my brother-in-law to my being my father.

You and I didn’t always agree. You didn’t always like me, just as I didn’t always like you. There was one thing that never changed though. I always knew that – if I really needed you, I could’ve picked up the phone, and you would’ve came.

When you died, we weren’t talking to each other. We hadn’t talked in two years at that point. Both of us were insulted and hurt by the other, but I like to think that you still knew you were loved. I like to think you know you’re missed.

Speaking of your death though, I’m sorry we didn’t do things the way you wanted. You always said you didn’t want the big somber funeral. You wanted clowns, drinks, laughter. You wanted the whole amusement park feel to your “remembrance party.” You didn’t want people to be sad or crying, because that’s just not what you were about. Sis and your boy were pretty devastated by your death though, and the rest of your family needed that somber sort of funeral.

I think you’d be proud though. I read the eulogy Johnny wrote. It was touching, and it had humor. He did really well. There was no fighting (that I was told about anyway – I didn’t make it. Blame the Chinese government – I know I do), and there was a good turn out. Plus, they sang “Amazing Grace” and if I recall correctly, that was one of your favorite hymns. You certainly sang it often enough.

Your wife and son are both still trying to get their heads on straight, but I think you’d be proud of them, too. They’re making their way. Sis is slowly starting to write again. Your boy got your gift with art, and he’s making money off of it.

I’m trying to honor your funeral request in my own way. When I think of you and start getting sad, I try to remember something funny you did, or my favorite stories I’ve been told about you. One of my personal favorites is the way you kept proposing to sis while drunk off your ass. It took a while, but you finally got a “yes” out of her. Then there was the time you woke up with your boy sitting on your chest, holding a curtain rod. He gave you a smile, with those golden curls and blue eyes, looking for all the world like one of Michaelangelo’s cherubs, said “hi, daddy!” and then cracked you right between the eyes with the metal end of the rod. I’m fairly certain that’s where you got that scar from, but I could be wrong.

When I can’t do that, I find something fun to do instead. I play games, I read a book. I watch clips from “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”. I do what I can, to make me laugh. Because that’s what you would’ve wanted. You didn’t want to be the reason for somebody’s grief.

Today is a little bit harder to find a smile. It’s the third year anniversary of your death and Father’s Day. Rotten luck, I guess. I’m spending the day playing games and talking to friends. I’m trying not to get bogged down in the fact that you’re gone, but I wanted to take time today to tell you a few things, just in case you’d forgotten in your time away from us: You are loved. You are missed. You will not be forgotten.

Happy Father’s Day.

Love always,

Credit: Stephan

[Reblog] As of today… my New Years Rez is fulfilled :)

Almost three years ago now, my sister’s husband died suddenly overseas. She’s been struggling, understandably, but she’s trying to find her footing again. Slowly, but surely, she’s getting there.

The three year anniversary of his death this year falls on Father’s Day. If anyone feels up to it, send her some love and/or support here:

> > Kawanee Hamilton

♥ Tiffany

Oops, Eye did it again…

Hey-lo, people! I had to scroll through a bunch of posts to make sure I hadn’t used this title before. That was annoying, but on to the news:

Okay, some of you might’ve noticed that I didn’t update “Don’t Feed the Trolls” this week. It wasn’t because I forgot to post it – I had already planned on not posting, actually – I just forgot to keep you all in the loop. Oops?

The reason for no update this week was because I had an appointment with a cornea specialist. I believe I mentioned it in a previous post, but at the last appointment with my eye doctors, they noticed a “blemish” in my right eye, and they were concerned. They were tossing out the big “c” word again, and talking about “up-growth” and “down-growth.” I wasn’t too worried about it, because it’s the eye that I can’t really see out of anyway, but you can’t play around when it comes to cancer.

The appointment was on Friday, and the kids were also home from school (end of the year – they only have one full day left, and two half days). When the kids are around, it’s near impossible to get any homework done. Robin likes to run his mouth constantly, and if he’s not bugging me, he’s annoying his sister, which means I get to listen to both of them go at it. I usually try to have my homework done by Friday night, because I have the kids all day during the day on Saturday, and work at the gas station that night. Sunday is the one day I have completely off, and I try to keep it free. This time though, with the kids being home, and not knowing if the doctors were going to want to dilate my eyes, send me down for a CAT scan, etc., I had to rush to get it done by Thursday night. That meant no time for writing on Trolls – or anything else, for that matter – hence the lack of warning about no updates. To be fair, I would’ve had time to write up a quick post last week, had I known then that the kids didn’t have school this Friday, but I didn’t find out until too late, and then it was scrambling to decide what we were going to do with them, since everyone else was working.

Oles kanebckuu @ Pexels.com

It was a bit of a nightmare, frankly, but we got it sorted out, and I made it to my appointment, ohhh, three hours early? Fun times, people. Fun. Times.

The good news is, I was right not to be worried about the whole eye thing. I forget his exact wording, but basically, the cornea specialist said that the “blemish” is a result of losing part of my cornea in the accident. I think he said part of the iris actually moved, and that’s what is causing the pigmentation. He made some noise about attacking the cataract in that eye, but that it wasn’t something I don’t need to worry about for another 20-30 years, so that’s a good ways away. They also checked my eye pressure again – glaucoma is still a concern – but even that was okay. It was on the “high” end of the normal spectrum, but it was still within range.

The bad news is that the doctor couldn’t sign off on me yet. I have to travel 30-45 minutes – each way – to the appointments, so I was hoping I was done, but nope. This doctor was “just” a cornea specialist, not one of the doctors who have been following my case for the past three years now. Hopefully though, I’ll only have one more appointment with them, and then I can go back to having the doctor down the road keep tabs on me. He’s a lot more expensive than the others, but he’s also only about five minutes away, and really good.

Don’t Feed the Trolls:

Honestly, for the next couple weeks, you guys should probably forget about regular updates, I’m just going to tell you now. The next two semesters I have are all filled with 300-400 level classes, which means a ton of homework each week. I’m trying to write on a regular basis, but the school year for Batgirl and Robin is also winding down, which means life is getting a bit more hectic. I’m still hoping to get a chapter out at least once a month, but I can’t make any promises at this point.

I’m also considering saying “screw it” and releasing “Say ‘No!’ to Zombies” on Amazon while I work on Don’t Feed the Trolls, but I haven’t decided yet. I’ll keep you all updated on that one.

That’s it for now. I have to work tonight, and then tomorrow I refuse to do anything but bury my head and try not to think about how much crap I have to get done with the kids around all summer.

Wish me luck.

Don’t Feed the Trolls – Chapter 06

Just when she thought everything was finally settling down, Shelly is once again thrown into the fray. Her friends are stuck on the other side of the Mississippi River, with no weapons, no food, and no chance of survival without her help. Throw in the complete collapse of civilization, extremely limited technology, and hordes of zombies that are becoming more and more sentient every day…

Hey, no one said it was going to be easy, but where there’s a will, there’s a way, and Shelly made sure to update hers just before she left.

Please note: this work contains language and themes that may not be appropriate for young readers.

Please note: this work contains language and themes that may not be appropriate for young readers.

Warning: Biohazards ahead.

Okay, so this has been an interesting week. Remember how I said I was going to be introducing you all to my family? Yeah, well. This isn’t how I imagined doing it, but here we go anyway.

Reference tip:
Alfred = sister/roommate
B (Batman) = Alfred’s husband
Batgirl/Koda = Niece (Alfred & B’s daughter)
Robin = Youngest nephew (Alfred & B’s son)

TL;DR – Robin got everyone sick except for me (at the moment), “Don’t Feed the Trolls” might be late. No update next week.

Don’t Feed the Trolls – Chapter 05

Just when she thought everything was finally settling down, Shelly is once again thrown into the fray. Her friends are stuck on the other side of the Mississippi River, with no weapons, no food, and no chance of survival without her help. Throw in the complete collapse of civilization, extremely limited technology, and hordes of zombies that are becoming more and more sentient every day…

Hey, no one said it was going to be easy, but where there’s a will, there’s a way, and Shelly made sure to update hers just before she left.

Please note: this work contains language and themes that may not be appropriate for young readers.

Please note: this work contains language and themes that may not be appropriate for young readers.

[Review] Frostbeard Studios – Pemberley Gardens

This candle is part of the limited time Spring collection!

Time for the candle I had the most concerns with: Pemberley Gardens.

When I opened the tin, it was like I got punched in the face with a rose. Not the most terrible thing to be hit with, but I was hoping for more of the lavender scent to make an appearance. So far, it’s the spring candle with the most scent throw.

Now, I have to say – for having such a strong initial throw, I expected this candle to be overpowering. It’s not though. I burned the candle for a couple hours, and while there’s a definite rose scent to the room right now, it’s not like someone is trying to shove an entire rose bush up your nose. It comes across as the scent you would get if you were walking through an actual rose garden. Sometimes the smell is stronger, and I can just perfectly imagine walking through a rose garden with puffs of wind carrying more of the scent as I go.

As someone who isn’t generally fond of roses, I have to give this candle its due: it’s good. The tin pictured is actually the 4oz, because as soon as the 2oz tin was gone, I turned around and immediately ordered the larger one. I figure this should last me until next year.

Still, I do wish the other scents were actually noticeable

Breakdown:Frostbeard Studio says: I say:
Scent Details Rose, Lavender, HyacinthRose garden.
Scent Strength Medium/StrongMedium/Strong.

Note: This particular candle is seasonal and only currently available from
March 16 – May 31 .

Click on the bearded fellow above to get your order on~


So, if any of you have ever checked out the “Who I Am” page, you know that I’m a nanny. A live-in one, at that. It’s…an interesting life, I have to say. A lot of the time, it’s just me yelling at the kids now days, but it used to be cuddle time in front of the television, letting them make “chili” out of me (that’s another story), and/or sharing the absolute geekiest videos online I could find with them (seriously, these kids know more about this galaxy and assorted planets than a lot of adults do).

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Something no one told me about this nanny business (probably because I’m the only one any of us know), is that – if you hang around long enough – you are no longer just a glorified babysitter. You become part of the family. You will find yourself adopting certain characteristics from the parents, just as they will with you. And the kids. Oof, the kids.

When I started working for this family, the eldest (Batgirl) was about to turn three, and the mother was pregnant with the youngest (Robin). This year, Batgirl will be turning the big 1-3, and Robin will be turning 10. It has been absolutely mindblowing watching them grow. I grew up with my oldest nephew being more like a younger brother than anything else, but with him – I watched him grow in, I guess what they call “fits and starts.” I saw him all the time, but he still managed to grow a little more every time I saw him. These two kids though…

Anyway, so here’s the thing. I’ve been thinking, and I’ve realized that I have some really strange families.

Photo by Leah Kelley @ Pexels.com

Yes, plural, and no I’m not complaining.

They’re different in many ways, and they’re perfect for me. The thing is, I want to share them a little bit. So I’m going to. They’re such a big part of my life, it doesn’t seem right not to. I won’t ever share real images of the kids, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever see such images of the adults, either, but over the next couple weeks, I’m going to introduce you to the strange cast of characters I call “family.”

This should be fun…

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