Goodbye, Old Year. Hello, New (and Free Stuff, too)

2017 has been rough. Two deaths in my husband’s family, one before and one after a trip home to the Hawaiian islands to see my precious Mah has made for some bittersweet reflection as the holidays ushered in the new year, but it hasn’t been without its share of special occasions, and people.

Hubby enjoying the island weather.

We took a hop to the island of Kauai.

Scrumptious burgers here.

Haleiwa, Oahu. My brother and a commercial fisherman posing with our dinner. Wahoo, also known as Ono; a meaty, scrumptious prized game fish perfect for frying or grilling.

Our favorite new place for brekkers on Oahu. Don’t forget to try the poi donuts, and everything else!








We also weren’t planning to sell the home we’ve lived in for 17 years, but dynamic market conditions made it worthwhile. While the house had been remodeled and updated, we were looking at additional work to maintain it; new driveway, windows, flooring and roof were in the planning stages. We’d already spent the last decade tearing down walls to remodel the kitchen, using tile and granite. We’d ripped apart and updated existing bathrooms, added another full bath and finished a basement. Did we really want to start new projects, or could we just start new?

BEFORE pic of the old place. A jewel in the rough.


After. Pergola, hot tub hidden behind the trees and a mini orchard in the making. So cute.

It took years of projects, inside and out, $money$, patience, mistakes and hard work updating the house to our style of coziness that paid off. During a break between tearing apart and refinishing the deck, I happened to drive by a house that was for sale in an area I’d always found appealing. Lots zoned for horses, more square footage in the home.

A visit from a friend who is a real estate developer peaked our interest. He said our home would get multiple offers given its condition and location to schools and shopping, all within walking distance.

In 4 days, we stuck half our household items in storage, busted our butts making repairs and cleaning. Our home sold the weekend it showed, full price, and an offer we put in for a house my husband fell in love with was also accepted. It wasn’t the house I/we initially looked at, but I’m not complaining. Mister has great taste and since I picked the last house, he chose the one we ended up buying.

Part of our new back yard. We’ll need to cut down a few trees to get our gardens started. So far we’ve had visits from curious deer and wild turkeys.

In 7 weeks, we sold a home, bought a home, moved out of the old and into the new. Easy peasy. Psha. No. We had 4 days sorting through and tossing out 17 years of crap! Okay, not all of it was junk, but the stuff you accumulate when you stay in one place.

It was tough, saying goodbye to the love we put into a home we raised our kids in. Goodbye to a happy place of birthdays and graduation parties, of me and my kids chasing our rogue hens around the back yard. Goodbye koi pond and mini-fruit orchard of apple and peach trees, and grapes of different colors and varieties.  

Of course we’ll start over at our new place. The bachelor who owned the home we’re in now traveled a lot, so there was no existing garden. There’d be trees to cut down,  flower beds and vegetable gardens to be planted. The best part of all? There’d be new memories to make while carrying the old ones in my heart.

In the chaos of travel and change, I missed out on a book launch for my current novel, Tangled Up in You. I’m looking for a few good readers interested in writing an honest review on Amazon in exchange for the Kindle e-book. I’ll also do a drawing for one person to win a signed paperback as well.

Loving her will be the death of him.

Be aware–Tangled Up in You is a steamy suspense thriller. It also includes themes of substance abuse and domestic violence. Three dynamic couples, three stunning outcomes, one man dead set on revenge–and not everyone has a happy ending. The story centers around wounded Army veteran, Reid Mackey, and his scrappy rescue mutt. The arrival of Jadelyn Park, a mysterious ex-con looking for work at his Texas vineyard fires up the action, adventure and romance. This story includes recipes, like this chunky temptation made with fresh peaches.

A teaser:

“You’re taking me for a tour on horseback?” Jadelyn asked, surprised to see two horses saddled up for them and ready to go.

“Is that a problem?” Reid led her to a cute gray gelding on the short and stocky side. The horse warmed up to her, bumping his nose against her cheek and nuzzling her shoulder.

“No,” she replied quickly. The man didn’t look thrilled having to babysit her as it was. So much so, she almost wished she was back at the house being minded by his dog.

“Barney, meet Jadelyn. Jadelyn, meet Barney.” Reid plopped a hay bale down alongside the horse.

He didn’t even bother to ask if she knew how to ride! Jadelyn buried her face in the horse’s mane and gave the animal a grateful sniff, finding small comfort in the smell of leather, hay and friendly beast.

“Nice to meet you, Barney,” she whispered, feeling like she found a friend, “and please go easy on me, okay?” Because everything about this place was racking her nerves.

“Some little fella seems to have taken a liking to you.”

“Well, we know it’s not you.” She stepped up onto the hay bale, settled into her saddle and hoped they’d hear about her car soon.

“You got that right.” Reid swung up onto his mount, a big brown horse with striking vanilla cream patches that looked painted on. “’Cause I ain’t little, that’s for damn sure.”



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