New Blog Site Sure To Entertain You!

Well, as I am switching around my blog pages, and hoping I don’t lose anyone in the process, (Or if I do don’t worry, I will call 9-eleven on my phone…..when I can find that darned 11 button….) I do hope you will stop and say hi, read a blog, read a post, make a comment,(and you know you’re checking FB and IG and every other social site while you’re “going to the bathroom,” and besides… this blog will absolutely be a SUPASTAR! (Don’t make me pull out my FABULOUS side …….)


So while I am busy posting the reviews and linking all the blogs together into one site, even adding a link to my store, y’all run on down to this link below and help an RN that would always help you…..this aneurysm was no joke! I am quite the joker please see the information I have up on Grace and Restoring Faith! (now hurry and push the hyperlink….every dollar will help.) Thanks for reading my post!


~ J


Time is a river…



Eleanor by Jason Gurley                                                        by: PNJbookreviews   (~ J )


Two bubbles, back to back, a spark of light, a string severed in time. One brief, crushing moment and two bubbles float away from each other, forever severed and blowing away, each in their own iridescent way. Do the bubbles know they were together once? Can you miss something if you have no memory that they were ever there? What if only a thin red string reminds you of …something. Something familiar, something that carries with it a feeling, maybe a memory of that other bubble. Would you want to know if you knew this bubble? Watch it? Bend the shape of your bubble, stretching and bending to reach towards the other bubble. Would the other bubble recognize your presence? Would it also bend toward you? Time is after all fluid…what if you could go backward and forward through time and watch just snippets of that other bubble, would you? Would you want to fluidly move between time and place on that river of time?

giphy dark river

Such begins the story of Eleanor and Esmerelda, twins that were extremely close, that in one violent moment were forever separated. Eleanor is left behind to watch her mother grieve so hard that she turns into an alcoholic, and watches her father leave the family when he can no longer deal with the drinking and sadness. She mourns for Esmerelda every day. So much in fact, that she can rip the space of time, sending her waves of sadness through and catching her sister’s attention. Eleanor starts having weird things happen to her such as walking through a door at school and ending up in another dimension. The time she spends in her alternate universe seems natural to her, while back home she has disappeared for longer periods of time that her only real friend starts to notice. If they can bend space and time to see each other, could it be possible that they could rewind time? While looking at the destruction, would they even want to? Would the one who holds Esmerelda even let her go? So many questions, so little answers, and what will happen if they just experiment? What happens if there really IS a reset button?  What would you do as a 14-year-old girl that is desperately trying to heal the wounds of your family’s tragedy on your own?

alone kiss

Ostensibly, it’s the story of a young girl who is overcoming grief. On the surface, Eleanor goes on a quest to heal her family. But underneath, it’s also a story about her parental failure and growth. Eleanor is both the heroine and the grail. Through her parents the story explores, in a blunt, honest way, the claustrophobia of being the surviving sibling in an accident and just how powerful the idea of escaping from the pain can truly be. Eleanor sometimes fears she is giving up everything, even her very identity to protect her parents from their destructive paths as well as keeping the memory of her twin alive. She experiences the imagined relief of leaving it all behind. Whether through denial, death, or just plain escape, the characters become unbound from each other, free.

But as in every fantasy story, there are hidden prices to pay for abandoning Esmerelda. The themes of inadequacy and abandonment run through the second half of the novel. As the loving actions of Eleanor work on those around her, freedom turns to regret, and then to guilt and resentment, then at last, into empathy and forgiveness.
abandoned umbrella
The overarching message seems to be that things happen. Everyday. As parents, as siblings, as people. Sometimes we get pretty close to doing the right thing. Other times we fail spectacularly, or things just spiral out of our control. If we find a way to forgive ourselves, both for what we have done and for what we’ve wanted to do, we may discover that those we love forgave us for the same things long, long before. Through magic, mystery, or just through blind navigation of dream like places, or traveling through doors we know nothing of, or what we will find, there just might be a second chance, or reset button if you will, for those of us who keep our eyes and senses open to the possibility.

new world

For the author, Jason Gurley this was a magical, deep, emotional ride that he has presented for our imaginations. I’d read another novel by him anytime. Thank you for the depth of your creation Mr. Gurley, and for sharing your magical river of time.                           waterfallorgasm-large

*** I was given an ARC to post an honest review of this novel. ***



Dead of Night by Jonathan Mayberry


Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry   Reviewed by: PnJsBookReviews  02/18/2016


Serial killers. Who likes them? Killing men, women, and children as if they are inconsequential while causing fear, and chaos to reign over the mass populous. Then if our police are lucky, diligent, maybe both, and they are arrested, we house and feed them while they navigate the legal system. While they strangle more life out of our countries budget and now can control that chaos and fear, even while “off the street.” The public resumes its status quo existence until the next big story breaks on the news, giving less and less thought to that serial killer, while they are living and breathing behind prison walls. Back to the safety of our own individual lives and that thin veil of “safety” we each believe we have. What about the family of the victim? Do they resume normality, just in a new state? Or do they sit and brood about what they would do if they could get their hands on the killer of their loved one? What about the officers and staff in the prisons that deal with those serial killers every day? What if after the 10th, 50th, or 300th time as you continued to watch the tsunami of destruction that one person’s actions can cause, you start thinking about how death is easy, it’s the living that’s hard. What if you have found a way to preserve someone’s thoughts, feelings, and rationality all past the sentence of “death” that they are given, would you use that power to “even the score” just a bit? To allow the prisoner’s brain to remain intact, thus feeling the body as it dies, but consciousness remains. To feel every bug and worm consuming the shell that was your body. To exist in darkness but unable to move even a finger to do anything about it. Would that “even the score?” Could you do it if you were given the syringe and told to inject it just before lethal injection occurred? Would you want to? Would you think about the potential consequences of that single action? What if the same agency funding your research on how to perform this very feat assure you the body will be buried in a box on the prison grounds, always within watch and will be maintain public safety? Could you do it then? For all the senseless brutality forced upon an innocent child, a kind of “revenge” for the heinous crimes committed. No one would know. Would you do it? Could you?

This is the exact morality position we find ourselves in the suspenseful Dead of Night novel by zombie master Jonathan Maberry. One injection from the prison doctor, Dr. Volker, on the day of the execution of Homer Gibbons, a heinous killer, given and the start of the worlds demise. This tale is told by many perspectives of many of the characters in this small town, and how each one reacts, or is reacting to the rapid spread of “violence,” was the “icing on the cake,” as they say for me. Learning of the transfer of the body of Homer Gibbons to a local mortuary, as well as how the zombie wave starts its modest ascent, and then its building to a crest throughout the novel kept me turning pages well into the night. Seeing the world collapse around this small town, starting with “Doc” Hartnup, the local mortician, and his transition event, through his own thought bubbles on his journey to becoming a “Hollowman” was truly frightening. A consciousness and rational thought process, trapped in a Hollowman’s body, (one that used to be who was known as “Doc” Hartnup), and the driving force to kill made me cringe that on its fundamental principles, is not unthinkable in its simplest form. We also view the story through Officer “Dez” Fox, a local war veteran returned from Afghanistan, who I instantly identified with, and in truth, was rooting her on as if we were old friends. Dez is loud, Dez likes to drink and party, and Dez is a fantastic cop with killer instincts that she attributes to gaining while serving in Afghanistan. (I think more closely to the truth would be her character was meant to just BE a bad ass, because she was!) We also introduced to her partner, Officer J.T. Hammond, who serves as a “father figure” to Dez as well as the “Yin” to her “Yang.” This book is SO fantastic that I do not want to be the one that puts out spoilers, (as I HATE when that happens when I am reading an intense book), so what I can say is the entire plot leads you down a path of enlightenment as to HOW all of this really began, as well as a glimpse of what a future that starts as this one did could look like. I found myself cheering, and wanting to bite my nails, and hanging on to the edge of my seat while simultaneously angry and sad. THAT, my friends, makes a FANTASTIC novel.

If you are a person who loves thrillers and horror and that “quick let me check under the bed for monsters” feeling, then this is the absolute right book for you. If, however, you are looking for a book that ties up nicely and everything is just perfect, may I point you down the road towards the Twilight series where everything is sparkling and perfect and everything ends on a good note.

This novel has a sequel called Fall of Night, which I quickly obtained, but haven’t started yet. Everyone needs a chance to let their heartbeat come back down to normal before continuing on in the little town of Stebbins with their huge zombie conundrum. This is a fantastic novel with just enough blood and carnage to keep you hanging on tight to your seat without being over the top, completely unbelievable, or just gore to be gory. (If you like that type of book, may I point you in the direction of author Matt Shaw. Don’t get me wrong, I love his writing too. His are straight gore fests!)

I would recommend this book to even those zombie lovers who say “all zombie novels or movies are the same.” I would definitely challenge that, as I too thought at first, “what possibly could an author do with zombies that is new?” Well, friends, jump on board with author Jonathan Maberry and his series starting with this unbelievable novel, Dead of Night. You truly won’t be sorry. What fantastic writing Mr. Maberry did, and I am now anxiously waiting to jump into Fall of Night. I hope you all enjoy your home “safe” feeling. I’m headed to stock up on ammunition, food, secure my home, and get EVERY other novel Jonathan Maberry has written to read while being ready for the Zombie Apocalypse his book is building to.

Now, GO! RUN! BUY THIS BOOK! You won’t be sorry you did!


~ J

My Journey Finding Jake

Finding Jake Book Cover

Finding Jake by: Bryan Reardon

Reviewed by PnJbookreview  02/16/2016


Imagine, you are at work, home, in the grocery store, just going about your day. It’s been an especially pleasant and warm day in November, your day is like every other day. For 16 years you have stayed at home, raised your children in a loving and happy home. Everything is going just how you planned it and you are comfortable in your middle class life living in the suburbs and are proud of who you are, and where your life has gone. Neighbors wave at one another and kids build tree houses in the woods and play instead of being on the television all day. You feel your phone vibrate. You sigh and think I wonder who needs what now. You pull the phone from your pocket and feel the warmth of it in your hand, and then your blood runs cold when you read the words “THERE’S BEEN A SHOOTING AT THE SCHOOL. YOU NEED TO COME NOW!” Every parent’s nightmare.

Told from the point of view of a father who received that text, and all the earthshaking aftermath that occurs afterwards. The torment of rushing to the school where everything is blocked off, and being escorted to church to sit, and wait. Wait for news, wait as you see the body bags coming out of the school. Waiting for an absolution that may never come. This is the ride you sign up for as you embark on the journey with Simon, Jake’s father, as he searches for any clue as to what could be happening, and most importantly as he searches for Jake.

This brilliantly written suspense/ thriller novel brings about the question, how well do we really know anybody? The journey you join with Simon is a long an emotionally charged road. While you travel this road, think back, what was the last thing you said to your child? What were they wearing? This is the agony of the journey Simon is on, and we can only tag along and wait with him. Where is Jake?

The author, Bryan Reardon, was a freelance writer for a bit, and co-wrote a few novels and then worked in the government. His degree in psychology made this novel an intense journey for those brave enough to read along.

I read lots of genres of books and have written many reviews, but never has a book held me just as captive as Simon. The road is rough, there are lots of bumps along the way as he guides you through this terrible tragedy and is trying hard to get us all home. I most definitely would recommend this book to readers of all genres as well. In its own way this book was more intense than any thriller I’ve read, kept me hidden under the covers reading furiously with my heart beat slamming more so than the last horror novel I read. This also showed me kindness and redemption.

Go on, go purchase Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon. You won’t regret it. Amazingly powerful book! As always, I am adding the donation hyperlink to PayPal should you me moved to contribute to the Sudden Aneurysm fund to assist an Emergency RN that would always be there for your emergency. Suddenly life throws you a curve ball and you didn’t expect it…what can you do but ask for help. I was lucky this time but PLEASE take time to educate yourself on migraines, brain aneurysms and strokes. What you think is a headache may not just be a headache.

Thank you for reading my book review, and thank you in advance for your donation. Every dollar helps in the aneurysm fund.

~ J

Random Act of Kindness- for Aneurysm

Sometimes you have to believe………….

So, I said I would continue on about living life with my new diagnosed brain aneurysm and the “other” things that they have diagnosed, or are in the process of testing for searching for some other pleasant thing that I can add to my rapidly growing list. And I may get around to that, but first I just wanted to talk a bit about believing. We are taught as children to believe in the impossible, the unreal, the theory that you can me tiny but mighty……and then we crush our childrens dreams by finally admitting things like, oh Santa isn’t real (it’s really MY wallet forking all that out and that bastard is getting all the credit), and that there is no tooth fairy or Easter Bunny….(and I’m just saying that when I was little I was digging a quarter or a dollar for my teeth, kids now a days are getting anywhere from one to ten or I have even heard a co-worker talk abou giving $20 for a tooth……ok this is one of two things….parents now a days are just wanting to be show offs and put lots of money that the 5 year old child has no damn use for, or I WANT MY MONEY OWED PLUS INTEREST, BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN RIPPED OFF!!!!  …so tooth fairy, I do accept cash, credit, PayPal, just get to steppin! Time is money and I charge a CRAZY high interest rate….like 500%)…..whew! But again I digress. You will see I do that quite often.

she better

So, of course, like I said in my prior post, when confronted by TONS of bad news at one time……bury your head in the sand like an ostrich….or maybe not so much….


I realized that there were people that had already taught me things…people that had shown me true strength and pure love, and never asked for anything in return. Much like this beautiful ribboned eel, they had without even knowing it shown me true strength, true beauty, and unending grace. To remember that each turn will have another, and another, but that each turn meant I was getting somewhere, even when I felt lost, confused, and spiraling out of control. They willingly and eagerly shared their strength with me, even though they were fighting a battle of their own.

It has taken me a long time to understand the depths to which they have changed my life and didn’t mean to. I have also realized that for a long time I just took that for granted. They would always be there. I was busy thinking I was there supporting them, and yet somehow they were easing my pain.As in all good blogs, I won’t use their last name, and I debated using their names at all, but to tell a story that’s such a fairy tale, relate that to my growth and gratitude, names are in order…lest you will be more confused than I normally make people….

that doesnt make any sense

So, I will try to speed through some of this tale, as my posts are long and I know that gets tiring to read. My friend Anne-Marie (for all further references to her, she will be AMVM, because that’s so much easier for me to type, and well I absolutely love the significance of it.) When I first moved to where I live now, this was not a move because all my family was up here, or I was on the lam from the cops….(although……anyway where was I?) Oh yes,moving. I came to this area to work in a specific hospital for a specific reason, and so that meant moving up here with no resources or back up. Now, I will admit, that was one of the scariest things that I have done because you never know how it will turn out. Or did I just move the beautiful kiddos to somewhere terrible and now we would be stuck. I had previously worked in an area that is relatively small, but is known for its football team. I would never have guessed coming to this HUGE place that I live in now I would ever find anyone who knew where I had come from. Well surprise, surprise! I didn’t only meet one, I met two. And we all had worked there all around the same time, missing meeting each other there by months, days, or hell maybe even hours. But fate made up for it when it put us in the same place at the same time, this time.

Let me tell you, there has never been a bigger, more beautiful, intelligent, creative, loving, or honest person than my AMVM…..(o.k so this will be the spoiler because looking at that again I have to say sorry L, I know she REALLY is yours, but since its my blog and my story, I will call her mine…so there! ****although I already know that she doesn’t mind because she is mine by proxy!****) She is incredibly funny and I think the first person I actually ever heard use the words “Hey, I just love lifting heavy shit!” (Yes, she does a little cross fit, pick up my car and bench press it while balancing on the balance beam, sipping on Gin and Juice….hehe!)


Yeah, that’s my bad ass friend who likes lifting heavy stuff so much she has become a coach and a trainer (and hell no I don’t go with her…..lifting my 24 oz. Dr. Pepper is enough for me.) I mean Starbucks is as far as I go in the whole coffee fit thing. I’m cross fitting from Starbucks to Dr. Pepper now….you can feel free to talk to me after I’m done with THAT workout! Whew! I mean some of us DO work harder than others in their seriousness of our training…..just saying……


And yes they were totally all mine! Ha ha! She’s a firefighter and a medic and communication specialist, that moonlights as a tech, all while teaching Yoga, coaching and training as well as competing in cross fit….she’ll never beat me in the Starbucks and Dr. Pepper events though! Man, I’m tired looking at that list…..and did I forget to mention she’s a new mommy of a beautiful special needs baby and helps her wife as needed teaching classes in the yoga studio? Totally, she is Wonder Woman!


So, now the fairy tale….Anne-Marie and I talked at work, but nothing like we do now. I knew she had left a bad relationship behind her and just happened to have one if those lock eyes across the cross fit gym and I know I’m in love moments that we all wish we had as a romantic tale to tell, and I knew she was so crazy in love that she and Lisa decided to get married (and this was still in the same sex marriage ban, otherwise known as the way too much in someone else’s life and you need to find your way back to your own life ban.)

need jesus

I was invited to the wedding, however so many people wanted to attend that since I was the newer kid on the block, I offered to work so that someone she had known longer could attend the wedding. Of course I was about mauled by dozens of RN’s wanting me to swap … Yes I’m a good friend like that to almost be killed by maurading Emergency Nurses wanting to see these two beautiful souls get married.


That could just possibly be my favorite picture of a real true love moment captured on film.  There wedding looked like wonderland with candles and smiles that made me wanna throat punch the girl I swapped with haha. I can tell you to be in the presence of true love is a humbling experience. Never have I seen two people show more depth and compassion, as well as humility and grace. These two crazy chicks are an example to all people, not just me, that love has no color, it’s blind to physical body composure. Love is driving from the studio to the ER Ambulance bay to get food and a quick kiss.

Love is definitely blind to every thing except forming one hell of a partnership and wanting to help your other half accomplish all their hopes and dreams. It’s about being there when the other half of your heart and seeing pain and heartbreak, frustration and hopelessness, and still opening every wall you have erected to keep you safe in exchange for the piece where openness, calm, tranquility, and understanding have time to flourish and bloom. (Wow, AMVM did I get sappy there or whagt? Taco Bell time ha ha) And yet as always I digress….

From the first time I met this lovely human something clicked and I know we were destined to be friends. She’s a riot to be around! I have never really got into the part of sub-cultures where they believe that all people when they die are reborn to give life another try. In that culture, people believe that the old souls find each other and will be around but each other until whatever they are supposed to have fulfilled in life has been fulfilled. Strange as that is, that’s kind of how I feel about AMVM, right from the start I as at ease and comfortable with her, like a cool breeze on a warm day, soothing, and it felt like she had been in my life forever. (And besides, who else can you run around and share that your friends spouse has a great butt and not get knocked out for looking, but have an instant agreement and a whole conversation about it. ****hehe sorry Lisa… least I didn’t share how her and I made plans for everytime you drove up to bring food, I would run to another window to watch and then her and I would compare notes**** ooohhhh wait…..did I just say that?!?!?! Oh well at least now it is public, all that yoga and cross fitting something made your butt look great! And now the world knows too…. I mean you always see face pictures…..why don’t you ever see great behind shots….YOU TOO CAN HAVE THIS BUTT FOR $29.99 WITH GUARANTEED RESULTS! NO MONEY BACK POLICY PEOPLE, IF YOU BUY IT, YOU OWN IT! ) AND NOW…..back to our regularly scheduled program already in progress!)



So, these two amazing people that stood up to the retarded gay marriage ban, and went their own path. They were married in an amazing outdoor beautiful wedding ceremony that was attended by family and friends. But you know what they say about first comes marriage……………

Well, the baby carriage was the tough one. Without going into detail (because if you really want to see how beautifully raw and honest these two were you can always check their blog out as well,) I watched my friend suffer. I saw sadness and raw pain. From her? Really?During this time, I had a car accident and injured my shoulder. Everytime I watched her come in or through the Emergency Room, she was smiling, and silly, and always either grabbing  me to walk with her to get coffee or bringing it to me. She was so much more concerned for me than for her AND she had a shoulder surgery during this time too. (I would think she was my twin as many things as we do the same and the way we approach and treat life.) The amount of time and love that went into trying to have a baby was crazy awesome. She called me and said I do pediatrics, the needles are little, you do both. Can you come give my wife a shot in her ass for me? I don’t know what size and this thing looks HUGE to me. I said are you really asking me to because I will but you better see how Lisa feels about me seeing her ass!



Yes, well I ‘m sure you wanna know how that turned out…well so did I so I asked and AMVM had been able to finally give her the shot. (Just for the record the above jerk and stab video……I’m all for it! Come see me some time haha)

I watched them try and try and try some more. I heard about all the things Lisa went through to have a baby, including a surgery before a baby to have a baby. They never complained. AMVM always had a smile. Each time I was there waiting for the update. They would go to the OB clinic and each time AMVM would come find me if I was working, or text me if I was off. Each time that the test was negative I watched a little more of AMVM spirit fading. I even started joking that the milkshake was spun too much so the little guys didn’t know where to go.


They were getting to the bottom of their reserve strength. I hurt so bad for my friend, because she was always asking me how I was and really what I wanted to do was just be there for her. She also is a giver not a receiver and so in some aspects that allowed me a space to believe. There was a collection on Go Fund Me and let me tell you, the village threw out their hearts to my friends. In the first hour alone I think they were over a thousand dollars in gifts and love, and that just kept growing. They had said one more time then if it was negative this time that was it. So, poor Lisa was under the microscope by her entire village as we patiently waited for her results….

That definitely was me. I think I even still have the green coat! Ha!

When they finally found out you could hear the collective sigh of the entire village! This time, SHE WAS PREGNANT!!!! My faith again restored because if any two humans needed or deserved a baby, that would be them. Their child would be the most well loved and well rounded kiddo. Everyone was excited, but remained with the cautious optimism so that if things went south, there would be a village to help her. As time went on all seemed to be ok. Now, I however, had been in a car accident and injured my shoulder. I could not get people to operate right then do to medical things, however thought she now had “mission get ready to be a mommy,” I didn’t want to ask for help from them. They were so awesome about checking on me, and I was almost ashamed as they had this wonderful gift they had been dying for, and I’m in whiny mode because I’m in pain and working and no one could fix it, and I was so grumpy and salty, and she was so filled with joy, I was trying to fake everything was ok so that we could focus on her, and because we are alike she called me out on it. She offered to drive, bring food , whatever I needed and though I was grateful for the offer, I knew her plate was full and so I refused to let her carry any of my burden.

Moving forward in time, I had signed up to go listen to a speaking session which was being held in the hospitals auditorium JUST because my friend AMVM was one of the speakers. She had came and asked if I was going, which I already was, but she asked me to sit where she could see me if she got nervous and I could help be her strength. Damn right I sat in the front row, right in front of her. She was an AMAZING speaker! She did great, so calm and poised, like she didn’t need me there at all. Afterwards she asked if we could walk to get coffee, but I saw her face, I knew something bad was happening…..I mean it was only an hour so I didn’t think her hemorrhoid’s would cause her so much pain she needed me to help her walk it off….but you never know, it’s a crazy ass world out there.


As we walked she told me that they had found out the baby was going to have Down’s Syndrome as well as a multiple other medical problems and they were struggling with it. This baby they worked so hard for and they were struggling. I watched as one was weak the other was strong. I learned that being open about what was happening was like watching the pressure valve release for their emotions. They were raw, they were brutally honest, and most of all they were of love. This is an amazing thing to watch and grow from if you have never had that experience. The struggle, the emotions, the raw and real pain, and also grace and humility and strength. That is the biggest thing I learned from her, strength and resiliency. That my friends, is a gift.


How grounding is the gift of life? How beautiful is it to know the struggle and pain, and the blessing all in one big package. You see, my friend taught me that there’s always a way through. My friend has given me strength when I had no clue how to tackle my journey. These two people are a God send, and if you are lucky enough, you just might get to call them friends too. That’s not a word I use often, but that is what these two are. My friends. They are symbols of strength and perseverance for me. They are there to say it’s ok when my cup is empty. These two have taught me grace and beauty. Friends like this don’t come along often.

I’m proud to say my friend just graduated from fire academy and moving closer to her dreams. I’m proud to say that Lisa was the most beautiful and patient pregnant person I’ve ever known, and through her commitment to see it through, and the thought they put into this baby…..I know that more than anything life is a precious thing.

That my friend is your rose for graduating, for sticking it out when times got tough, and for having the sense to snag Lisa and marry her! And the biggest thanks is for this gift, this is a gift she shares with me everyday because that’s how a kick ass friend rolls. Friend, twin, whatever, I love you my friends! The world just needed to see you, because you two make it a better place to be.

Thanks for teaching me about how to walk this journey with grace and hope. Thanks for always being there. And a BIG thanks for this:

You guys are my heroes! It’s just not often you meet people like these, and that’s so sad. I chose to share my joy and lessons and part of my journey because THIS is what it is all about, knowing it’s gonna be tough, but still buckling down and getting it done. This is how life’s journey is supposed to be…….beautiful and innocent, and a whole big adventure where we leave pieces of our selves, our foot print in the lives we cross.

I just can’t leave a post sappy with love (though I love to be sappy when it comes to them, I just don’t tell them……..I’m not an emotional weakling **cough cough **….so I will leave you with one very important final thought:

~ J



Heartfelt Donations


If your heart leads you in such a way that you would like to donate to the medical needs and other costs of living associated with the recent, life altering diagnosis of the aneurysm, please feel free to email me at

Every little bit helps in this strange turn of events in the lives of those in this aneurysms highly destructive path. We do have a special pay pal account set up purely for love donations to assist, so please email if you want to give even $5.00. You can also use that email to send tidings of love via email too. The good will and well wishes. 

Alone, an uphill battle is daunting and seems impossible. With the help of our fellow humanitarians, anything can be accomplished. 

Whether you want to make a monetary donation, send words of love and encouragement, or you just want to ask questions, please feel free to do so. I am not shy and I know that sometimes lighting one candle in the dark will help lead others in finding their way too.

Please also remember to wear burgundy in support of aneurysm survivors, and those that put forth a great fight to lengthen our path, but sadly have gone on to help pave the paths in heaven in burgundy too, to guide the rest of us on our journey. 

As always, thank for for reading my thoughts, my book reviews, and supporting my small bookstore and I wish you good tidings, love and peace.

~ J




Grace Under Fire and Restoring Faith

So , once again before I finish writing my book reviews and reading the last 30 pages I have of the book I am on, and holding my sick fur baby, I thought this would be the perfect time to write a blog about Grace Under Fire. Sometimes I wonder how it is we navigate through this bomb riddled, post apocalyptic mess of a thing we call life. I can hear you now, “Such a negative view of life, nothing is ever THAT bad.” I will now challenge you to reach beyond that scope of vision and deep into the recesses of your own mind where we all hide those things we don’t want other people to see (kind of like shoving everything laying around in the closet when you get word of surprise guests coming over, and shoving the door closed so that you appear to have a clean house.) The problem with that in life is what if someone opens the door, and all that mess falls out? What if when it falls out it knocks somebody out? What if while that stuff is shoved in the closet a tornado comes through and rips everything, including your closet and all of its packed tight glory, and scatters the pieces so far around that you no longer know where to start picking up at, how to make everything whole again, or even more basically, how to make it all make sense again?

I will be the first to acknowledge that I HORRIBLE at letting people know everything that is happening to me because my entire life’s goal has been to give people peace and comfort when their 2 year old died after being hit by a truck that was driven by a drunk driver that walked away without a scratch. A firm, yet loving shoulder for a 15 year old who just found out she is pregnant, and the baby is a product of rape. I am the voice of reason to a new mother who is afraid that everything she is doing is wrong, and certainly she must be harming her baby. Just another human reaching out and saying it is o.k if your baby cries, and it is o.k for you to cry because the beginning of any life is filled with tears and screaming. I am the patient provider to the elderly drunken man who comes in to the Emergency Room every time it is cold, cursing and causing a ruckus, but I know that he fought in a war he never really came home from. I know that while I am safe in my bed sleeping, he has no home to go to because his government pension is not enough to provide him warm shelter and food. I know that I am the closest to human interaction he ever has, and I know that this rude and disheveled man gave up his life to defend a country that has left him out in the cold, and I know that while his behavior is gruff and stand-offish, that my bringing him a bagged lunch and a warm blanket will get him through the next 8 hours of his life. For that little old lady who is dying and has not one of her family members there, no one to comfort her and be there for her while she is traveling that lonely road we all must make. For her, I am a warm hand to hold hers, a soft touch to brush her hair from her face, a reassuring voice that she is not alone, and that it is o.k. to let go and shake loose the bindings of her beautiful angel wings. I knew long ago that for me, giving was the best part of what I could do for my fellow humans as we all navigated the land mines and mortar rounds that life has laid out for us as we each travel our own path.

I never really learned how to be a gracious receiver. When  people asked me was I o.k, I could always pull out a smile and say yes, while inside I was battling a hurricane of emotions, and I was battling them alone. Giving to people became a substitution for me for the pain that I too was feeling. By giving to them, I didn’t have to think about me or my problems. I felt safe and comfortable in my world of giving spun cocoon. But like that stuffed up closet, I was already close to bursting when the tornado finally came for me as well.

For me the vortex starting spinning when I bought my first brand new car. Now, for most of you, that may not be a big deal, but for me it was supposed to be the apex of years of struggling as a single mom without child support, school loans I had finally paid off so that I could go ahead and go back and get my Master’s Degree, and surviving 3 teenagers in my house without killing them or myself. I had always had a car my parents gave me or that was used, or was a certified pre-owned vehicle. So I finally took the leap. I sat there looking at the numbers on the page for the brand new vehicle I was fixing to purchase that only had 4 miles on it and everything was still wrapped in plastic. Needless to say I was a sweating, nervous mess. I felt so guilty. I always sacrificed buying for myself to buy for my children as they were my heart and I would rather go without then for them to go without, and here I was buying something that was totally for me. One thing that I owned that was MINE. No one had it before me to have smoked in it or wrecked it, etc. MINE! SELFISH! SHHHHHHHH MINE! SELFISH THE KIDS NEED THINGS! SHHHHHHHH HEAD PLEASE MINE! SELF—- ……MINE! I had signed the papers and going home in a new car while leaving my other car there. (I hadn’t traded it, but I couldn’t drive two cars home, and when I left the house I had no intention of buying a car yet here I was.) I had no idea of the storm that was going to let loose to wreak unmitigated hell in my life. Oblivious to anything other than being proud, and thinking I wish my Daddy could have been here to see it. (My Daddy had just recently passed away, and honestly to this moment I am not over it, nor do I think I will ever be. Never let anyone tell you that the pain lessens with time, they are damn liars.) Yet I digress.

So, the new car, that was so absolutely wonderful to me got me to and from my job that I loved and life was  spinning its vortex and planting its bombs, and I was bopping around oblivious. Then as I was coming home from a two day nursing conference that was on its second day, and BAM!!!!! THANKS FOR THE LIGHTNING BOLT LIFE!! The bomb life planted ended up exploding around and into my new car as I became part of a 5 car accident. As I rethought that day, I missed the critical sign when I had that opportunity to go a differently way and I opted not to. Oh life, you couldn’t just take my happiness with the car, but you gave me a messed up surgical shoulder and it was on my dominant arm. See life had its strategic planners out there and I was now not even paying attention to where there might be more explosions and storms in the horizon.

Fast forward a bit, and on December 16th, I started noticing some mild tremors in my legs and I felt just kind of “off.” I knew I’d had an infection in my toe that I was treating, but my foot had started turning blue and black. Everyone just dismissed it and thought that as soon as the antibiotics kicked in good, things were going to be o.k. I went into work on December 17th with my legs shaking so bad I could barely drive the car in to work. I was pouring sweat and having some chest pain after one very hard and sharp pain to my right side. I thought “oh no! I’ve thrown a blood clot to my lung from my foot.” I barely got to the hospital, and was driving myself. My vision was going in and out and when I wasn’t having tunnel vision, I was seeing flashing white light streaks. My foot was black and cold, and I was in so much pain I honestly believed that I was dying, (which is the only way I willing would go to an Emergency Room, as I too work in an Emergency Room, and I know how busy they are. And I couldn’t reconcile that I too was riding a train that maybe I wanted to step off of.)

I will not speak ill of my cohorts in Emergency Medicine, but I will say that with intense chest pain, having a hard time breathing, sweating so bad I looked like I was taking a shower right there in the Emergency Room, and my foot was blue and black and cold up to my mid calf. I sat there in the waiting room for 8 hours before I was ever taken back to be seen. The wait in the Emergency Room was so long that they sent a tech from the ER with a list of names of all people that had been there 8 hours or more just to take our blood pressure’s again in the lobby. That was the only other medical person I had seen since the Triage nurse saw me, and I kept debating on whether to leave. In the end, an 8 hour wait in a lobby FULL of entertainment made me realize I had committed to the long haul, and buckled down waiting for the storm to hit full blast. Now I have to say I had the most entertainment I have ever had in a hospital sitting in that waiting room…..but that I will save for another post.

After being taken back, examined, tests run, IV fluids and pain medicine and warm blankets later, the doctor came back in to tell me what I had already known, (I just couldn’t really admit fully to myself that I was TRULY a patient,) and that I was going to be admitted to the hospital as a real live patient. My scans had shown that the blood flow was reduced and gone in multiple toes. So off I was whisked to bask in the company of that nurses that occupy that strange world of “the floor.” That’s where I sent MY patients, and in truth I had never really ever known what these mystical floor nurses DID. I mean for me, I had already got the patient diagnosed and comfortable and most of the work done…what POSSIBLY could floor nurses do? And by this time it was 2 or 3 am when I was heading up to the unknown. I knew as an Emergency Room nurse that I worked my arse off from the time I got there to the time I left as I cared for patient after patient in the rooms I was assigned to care for that day. Floor nurses? They have a couple patients, and maybe medicine to give, but from over the many, many, many years that I have been an ER nurse, and had to give report to the “floor nurse,” my image of them was really quite frightening.

So, let me just say I was WRONG, WRONG and WRONG about floor nurses! I had some of the most amazing human beings taking care of me. They were loving and kind and were in my room so much I never had to ask for ANYTHING!!! I was allowed to see nursing from a different angle, (but nope, I couldn’t do it, I’m just to fast paced for that,) and I was taking the opportunity I thought life was giving me by slowly appreciating how well they cared for me that again, missed the damn sign that the apocalypse was not over yet, and the tornado was right on my heels again.

If I could just learn to read the signs…..and spell right…..oh you will see……

So not long after I arrived on the floor, I had one intense sharp pain in my head. It was so bad, I was actually in fear that my head was in fact blowing off my body. I started having some “stroke symptoms” as well and was immediately taken for a CT of my head. Now, the MD wanted to to have contrast (which I am DEATHLY allergic to), and so began my 13 hour prep of steroids and Benadryl and many other things to get me through to the next day to have my procedure done.When it came down to it, I was scheduled for a 10 am scan, and the vascular surgeon and the ICU MD as well as anesthesia and the critical airway team were all going to accompany me to a 5 minute head scan, (which I was BEYOND grateful for), and the Vascular surgeon stood at my bed at 955 am and said you know, it’s not worth it for us to do the scan with contrast. Huh??? I had been woke up, fed medicines, medications in my body when he KNEW the reaction was so severe, and he came at 955 and called it off. WOW MAN!! Talk about adrenaline let down.

So, I was whisked off to the land of MRI and MRA without contrast. Meanwhile my internist is running around saying I need blood, I cant move things, my vision is seriously different that what it has been all my life, and apparently I was learning how to speak a foreign language. I think for me that was one of the worst parts. I don’t brag but I do hold lots of degrees. Why? Because I have a love of learning, of writing, of reading, of trying to figure out the dynamics of what  went wrong  in the past so that those same mistakes are not made over again. In my head, I knew EXACTLY what I was saying and what I meant, and even to who I was talking/ texting to. What came out on the other end was nothing but jibberish. That is a tough blow to take. Now my family on the other hand,found it humorous to read my crazy texts, but then realized that it was hurting me to the core that the thoughts and communication I was having were not coming out in the way that I meant them too. So off I went to have the MRI/MRA of my brain…….

Do you know that an MRI/MRA which is done all at the same time is terribly clostrophobic when they are putting your head in there. And those earphones they put in your ears so you “don’t hear the machine”…….. well I’m sorry to say that is the purpose of the ear phones are to keep me from hearing……YOU FAILED MISERABLY!! I felt like I was at the shooting range, without ear protection, shooting a cannon while the person next to me was emptying the machine gun they had brought, while mortar rounds are being fired. And that was WITH the earphones in.

Now I know why my patients always come back pissed off and in pain. I couldn’t figure out how I was going to make my getaway from the evil machine of death because they had me strapped in!! Can you imagine strapping in an adult??? Like they thought I would run or something?? (O.K. so yes, that was A #1 on my list of things to do…curse those straps!) I could clearly see life’s bomb attempt that day, but due to a Doctor’s order, (and the fact I couldn’t walk or move well on my own), life most definitely had me by the head and was NOT letting go! I guess finally life ran out of bullets to shoot, because finally, (a whole 45 min later), the test was done and I was set free.

So , with that complete, and the 954 other tests they had scheduled or had me participating in, and after 8 days in the hospital, I finally was set free. With a walker. And violent leg tremors. And short of breath still. No real answer’s except I most definitely had extreme type 2 Raynaud’s disease in all 4 of my extremities (which I had known about Raynaud’s in my hands since I was much younger), and told that I had experienced a “cardiac event” as well as I suffered from a TIA, and was given a ton of blood thinners and heart medicine and BP medicine and so on until my am pill count was at 12 and my pm night count was 6 and one in the middle of the day, because EVERYBODY just LOVES waking up only to take handful’s of pills. OK LIFE I GOT IT NOW!!!THANK YOU FOR MY HUMILITY AND MY ABILITY TO BE PATIENT AND COOPERATIVE INSTEAD OF MY USUAL HURRY UP AND GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY SELF. LESSON LEARNED. REMOVAL OF EXPLOSIVES AND BOOBY TRAPS GREATLY APPRECIATED NOW. I wondered if life had heard me.I just wanted to scream uncle.

Why yes, yes it can. Don’t EVER say “It can’t get worse because believe me, it can and it will.” While there is a process I’m going through, I feel like I need to separate them, and to be sure each one has its own place.

So, remember after 8 days, (which started on my birthday. Yup, all day in ER on my birthday), they sent me home with a fist full of prescriptions and an ever bigger list of people I had to see ASAP. They told me I needed to see a PCP, and a whole slew of specialists. Luckily, (or unluckily, it just depends on how you choose to take this one), the hospital has this beautiful service of providing you as a patient with MOST of your medical records. It does NOT include all the things the doctors and nurses wrote about you, but it DOES give you every test result to every test you have had with results, and it tells you when you have an appointment coming up and with whom. Well, la-dee-dah LIFE, I GOT YOU NOW! Yet again I just couldn’t grasp that an F-5 tornado was wreaking hell in my life and had no plans of slowing. Right before I got my first result, I found out through my co-workers and not my boss that I would not be coming back to the ER because I couldn’t provide an illness note she needed. I did apologize as when you are strapped to a heaprin drip and having mini strokes and you’ve has enough elevation in your cardiac enzymes that they are calling it “and event,” and your now blind in your right eye, and other FANTASTIC body out of control experiences, that I couldn’t get to her unless I ripped out my IV’s to get YOU what YOU need. I can be there when discharged, but not before. That’s right folks…the job I am fantastic at, the job I have never had anything but positive reviews and where I was in a management role, a job I put before EVERYTHING else, and she told the staff first then sent me a text that because I couldn’t get the note to her that my job was severed, and there was no discussion, no anything. She just went into a morning staff meeting told them I was a great nurse and leader, but wouldn’t be coming back. I was sent a text 3 DAYS later. WOW LIFE SERIOUS?????I’M THE ONE SUPPORTING THE HOUSE PAYMENT AND BILLS AND NOW YOU TAKE MY JOB???

OK, so the real quit tally:

  • Brand New Vehicle: Wrecked
  • Shoulder Screwed
  • Foot got infected
  • Foot turned blue
  • Foot turned blue and black and became cold
  • Started having chest pain and hard to breathe
  • After 8 hours in lobby, admitted to hospital for 8 days (And LUCKY ME was admitted on my birthday!)
  • Had TIA and “Cardiac Event”
  • Lost peripheral vision and most of right eye vision
  • Sent home with walker due to tremors, a pile of prescriptions and a pile of appointments to follow up with
  • And now the biggest winner of all:


The WTF factor went up by like 10 million. OK LIFE YOU WIN! UNCLE! I CAN’T DO ANY MORE!!! Oh, but yes, yes you can. In my next posting I will tell about all the SUPER fun things I have had to do and as a sneak preview, the next step is looking for these little darlings too:

All these SWEET gifts that LIFE thinks could be fun are what we are hunting now…..all because of the crazy testing they had to do on me. Sometimes you can only take so much (or tell so much ) in such a short period of time. I will leave you with this though:



So, as you can imagine, no job, no income, medical bills piling up like crazy, I am a walking time bomb myself, and yet I still go forth. I still read books and do book reviews and I think about how will I pay all the bills and I do a whole lot of crying sometimes.

I didn’t plan this. I didn’t ask for this. I’ve spent my whole life giving, now I have nothing but time and books and my little bookstore and the reviews that I do for the books that I read and post. I have beat cancer once……..or so I thought…..

If you are reading this, as I know it has been one hell of a long journey for both you and my to get to these words on the page, and you are so compelled to donate to helping with the medical bills, to help a nurse, a mom, a book reader, reviewer and re-seller of the books, I would be most humbled and greatly appreciative beyond all of LIFE’s curves. I want to proudly display this :

If you want to donate, every little bit helps. I will be posting the donation link on all my blogs and reviews for people. I can’t thank you all personally, but if I could I would. So let’s make a little noise and help educate people on stroke symptoms and the danger of brain aneurysms. EVERY 8 MINUTES SOMEONES ANEURYSM HAS RUPTURED…so lets wear BURGUNDY in honor of brain aneurysm survivors and those that have fought that last fight.

Again, thank you for reading this, and thank you for any donation your heart leads you to give.

Heart Felt Donations for aneurysm



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