When Heroes Die

pete-burns-net-worth-600x558I just heard that Pete Burns died Saturday night at the age of 57 of cardiac arrest. Some of you may remember him as the front man for the group, “Dead or Alive” and their exceptionally nostalgic hit, “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like a Record).” But, I always thought of Pete Burns as much more than that.

I, like many, first heard of him with their hit back in the early 80’s, but I kept following him, because I have a tremendous respect for very strong characters. It’s true, I have a very diverse list of heroes. I appreciate artists with unique tendencies, and Pete Burns was no different.

I kept following his career and found that he was always a “go-to” when I needed a particular sort of inspiration. In many respects he had become a legend in the arts community because of his own particular bravado. And I appreciated that about him. Perhaps that’s why he was one of my heroes. When Boy George was stealing the spotlight with a very feminine approach to gender bending in the 80’s, Pete Burns was more aggressive, darker, more cynical and sinister and it was awesome. And his voice was TRULY great. Full of bombastic tremble and howls. His ideas of beauty were extreme and challenging. But, most importantly, he showed you could be different and be strong about, not victimized by it. And I don’t tolerate self victimization and self pity.

It’s sad when one of your heroes dies. We don’t know some of these celebrities, but they do have overwhelming influences on us, so when they do pass away, there is a definite sense of loss. So, when I heard of his sudden death, I did get emotional, and found something inside me that was quite hollow, something seemed missing. However, that emptiness was soon filled with a great sense of respect for his artistry and his impact on music and culture. When our heroes die, we rely on the very reasons they were our heroes to begin with, in order to grieve in our own interesting ways. Those very traits that drew us to them, also fill that abrupt emptiness that opens up when they die. He was strong, independent, unapologetic about his work. That’s why I appreciated him. He was simply strong. And that’s how I shall remember him.

My deepest condolences to his friends and family, and with much respect, a heartfelt farewell to one of my heroes, Pete Burns.



15 Minutes For Your Consideration

teddyfrontI can’t tell you how much I enjoyed writing this little book. There was a part of me that was frightened for writing in a certain voice that some may have thought too advanced for young readers, but I address that right in the first few pages. Children are much smarter than you give them credit for. Furthermore, I tried to find a way to convey a moral story that many may have thought too controversial. And again, I have to remind you, that children are much smarter than you think they are. They hear, they see, they react, they lash out, they crave…

So, for the next 15 minutes, you’ll able to read my new book, “The Teddy Bear That Saved Me,” in a pdf format. And I am anxious for your opinion. If you hate it, tell me. If you think your children will be scarred for life, even more interested in hearing. But, if you think this could actually be a rather good book, I’d love to hear that, too.

So, Ladies and Gentlemens I give to you, “The Teddy Bear That Saved Me,” by clicking here.

Again, I’d love to know what you think.

(update: 7:42pm, the links have been removed. I saw so many downloads and I can’t thank you enough for the kind words). Thank you!

Preview…and be honest, it’s ok.

teddybackAt 7pm est tonight (Sunday October 23), you’ll be able to read my new Children’s book in pdf for free for 15 minutes, then it goes back to print. And I want to get your feedback. I really do. I want to know if I’m really off my rocker, or if I could actually make this happen. So, come back tonight at 7pm. See you then🙂


“Make America STRANGE Again….”

img_2916Phillip is unleashing a new squadron of Strange Friends to keep all of you on your toes. Oh, yes, Strange Friends have a tendency to keep you constantly aware. Strange Friends are intensely loyal, and will do anything they can to help you…..but, they all have their own quirks and weird little habits. Sometimes they say things out of line, and sometimes they do things that make you blush. But, most of the time, strange friends can be some of the best friends to have. Because what some people may find embarassing for a friend to do, another person may find it quite charming.

In his new group of Strange Friends, he has one former punk that refuses to age. “REAL punks NEVER age!” And another one that tried to hide in the dark and scare people….just for fun. But, no matter what he does, his bright tuft of white hair gives him away. Another friend looks like a hot dog, but instead of asking people if they’d like to be friends, he simply asks, in the most gentlemanly way possible, “Pardon me, but do you happen to have a hot dog already?” Phillip’s Strange Friends are all unique and off, odd and unusual, but the one thing they all have in common is what all REAL friends have: loyalty.

Take a peek at Phillip’s new group of Strange Friends by clicking here!


Where Have You Been???

What a WILD month its has been. Let’s see, first I got married, then we had a hurricane, then I was working day and night on my children’s book (which is finished, thank you), and then Phillip got canned from his job. (We saw that coming, they were beginning to bounce their paychecks-never a good sign).

Now, I haven’t been blogging lately, because I have been in a mad dash to finish my new book, and have all my teddy bear orders finished before Christmas. To be perfectly blunt? I just haven’t had the time to blog. Which I imagine is good! I mean, really, if I haven’t been able to communicate because I’ve been busy working, then that’s a good thing! The paperback should be on Amazon shortly, and the kindle version should be up about the same time, hoping by the end of the month.

img_2893With Phillip being unemployed now, he’s been rather busy, too. While actively seeking work, he has also been busy busting out more of his Strange Friends. And he’s gotten rather creative, too! He found some faux fur at the thrift store and got crazy with it, then printed out some coupons from Joann’s, and got a slew of different colors of the stuff and found himself truly taking his crocheted things to a new level. Give us a few days and we’re going to upload and post them all. At least count, he had crocheted 8 of them and they truly are cool🙂

Everything on the home front (I accidentally just typed “homo front”-and seriously considered keeping it), ahem! Everything on the home front is fine. Phillip heads to his space to crochet, and I into mine to write or knit, he heads out midday to look for work,  and somewhere towards the end of the day we make some dinner, cuddle on the couch and watch something we find on our antenna. There’s some brilliant stuff out there.

The weather has been getting cooler and the both of us are looking forward to sitting in the little garden area next to the building. No more humidity, cool breezes, and a nice amount of sunlight would be perfect for knitting and crocheting. All in all, everything is practically perfect. It really is. I mean, we don’t have much, but how much does one really need to find fulfillment? I still love Herman Cain’s principles to achieving happiness. Something to do, something to look forward to, and someone to love. Check, check, and check!

Just wanted to let you know, Phillip and the furries and I are all just fine.

Hope you are well, too! I’ll be back in a few days with more of Phillip’s Strange Friends!

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hurricane-matthew-path-674160I thought I’d go ahead and blog. I haven’t in a while, but with the coming storm “Mathew,” I felt I should go ahead and say something, while we can. Now, having been through Charlie, the entire city was pretty much without power and provisions for a good week. With trees down everywhere, no truck could come in and supply. So, they’re telling us that Mathew is 10 times worse than that. It’s about 9:45am on Thursday. He’s expected to be here sometime early tomorrow morning. With 100mph winds, no electricity, and no cell phones, we are as prepared as we can be. We have 3 days worth of water, a good 3 or 4 days worth of canned food, and a small Coleman stove with about 10 hours worth of gas. I’m prepping the windows with cardboard boxes (for flying projectiles). Thankful that we live in a concrete block building, the best we can hope for is that the initial wind won’t damage us too much. 100 miles per hour sustained is nothing to downplay. We’re expecting to be without power for a few days, and out of contact. So, if there is any kind of emergency, we thankfully have a fire station one block away. But, we just wanted to let you know that we are preparing, ready, and will do our best to weather the storm. We know that at some point, when the wall of the storm is closest, we’ll be in the bathroom (the central part of the building), just doing our best.

We ask that you not only keep Phillip and I in your thoughts and prayers, but all of those that will be affected. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.


The Hangover Honeymoon!

…..and we’re recovering nicely, thank you🙂

It’s probably one of the shortest honeymoons in history. We started celebrating at about noon. Pizza was ordered, a few beers cracked, then Kara showed up with a bottle of wine. Mercy….As they say, never mix, never worry. We shouldn’t have mixed, is all I can say. But, we had a marvelous day. Laughed the whole time, cuddled when necessary, and giggled coyly at each other.

I have to say one of the highlights was when the pizza arrived. This truly nice old man (probably in his early 70’s) knocked on the door. I went outside to greet and pay him and he said, “Sounds like quite the party in there!” I couldn’t help myself, “Yeah! I just got married!” And he asked so innocently, “What’s the lucky girl’s name?” I said in the most deplorable baritone, “(BUUUUUURRRRP!) Phillip….”

Without missing a beat, he says, “You know I was married to my wife for 48 years. I’d still be with her if she hadn’t passed. Oh, I miss her. I got this job just to get out of the house. I still walked around, expecting to find her, or even the ghost of her somewhere there….alas, she is gone….”

I paused for a moment and said, “That is soooo SAD! What are you, Irish?”

He laughed, “Why, yes I am!”

“What’s your name?”


“If I ever order a pizza can I request you as a delivery driver?”

“Well, sure you can! Just ask if the old man is around. And I leave work at about 3 in the afternoon.”

“Thank you, Bill!”

I paid and went back to our little get together. I know I promised a video of our little reception, but to be truthful, my functions weren’t camera friendly🙂 And today, we’re both nursing our own individual hangovers, being slothy and lazy. I had to take this picture of Phillip. Just to show how far down the rabbit hole we have to crawl back from. I begged him, “PLEASE let me use this pic on my blog??? PLEASE???” And he responded quite appropriately, “It’s YOUR blog, why not a picture of you???”

“Dude, I have my career to think of…..”

And with a smile he said, “Fine, use the picture, but I want you to know I wanna be like Dolly Parton’s husband. Nobody knows who the hell he is….” (A kiss to my forehead). And this is why I love him.

img_27722So, there you have it, the perfect picture of our day after, honeymoon extravaganza. I can’t thank all of you enough for your well wishes, and your congratulations, and your prayers. We are both so grateful for all of you thinking of us on our wedding day. Tomorrow I meet Phillip’s family for the first time. I’m more nervous about meeting them than I was marrying him!

Thanks you all so much!

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