Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bride and Seek - A Haunting Tale

As told by "Palm Beach Dude"

Back in 1975 a young couple, both 18, decided to get married right after high school. The father of the bride lived in Palm Beach in a mansion and was able to afford a big wedding for them. To make a long story short, they got married and the wedding was beautiful.

After the wedding they had a big reception in an old building and when there were only about 20 people left, the groom decided that they should play hide-and-seek. Everyone agreed and the groom was "it." They all went and hid and the game went on.

After about 20 minutes everyone had been found except the bride. Everyone looked everywhere and tore the whole place apart looking for her. After a few hours the groom was furious, thinking the bride was playing a terrible trick. Eventually, everyone went home.

A few weeks later the groom, having placed a missing persons report, gave up looking for her. Heartbroken, he tried to go on with his life.

Three years later a little old woman was cleaning the place up. She happened to be in the attic and saw an old trunk. She dusted it off, and, out of curiosity, opened it. She screamed at the top of her lungs, ran out of the building and called the police.

Apparently, the bride had decided to hide in the trunk for the game of hide-and-seek. When she sat down, the lid fell, knocking her unconscious and locking her inside. She suffocated after a day or so. When the woman found her, she was rotting, her mouth in the shape of a scream.

Happy Halloween my friends!

R. K. Avery

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Amber - A Texas Ghost Story

Excerpted from Spooky Texas and retold by S.E. Schlosser

Oh, you hear the stories about how dangerous Ouija boards are, but hey—it’s just a game. Mary waited until midnight to begin our little game, and the four of us—Sarah, Jessie, me, and, Mary, started by asking all kinds of silly questions.

It was a strange-looking board, covered with letters and symbols. There was a plastic pointer that was supposed to move across the board at the behest of the spirits. The instructions called it a planchette.

Around one thirty in the morning, the planchette suddenly froze in Mary’s hand. It wouldn’t move, no matter how much we pushed and pulled.

Mary turned her frightened blue eyes toward me. “I’m not doing it,” she said, lifting her hands. I grabbed the planchette myself and tried to push it around, but it was fixed to the board.

Suddenly, a kind of electric shock buzzed through my fingers. I gasped and tried to pull my fingers from the planchette, but they were stuck. Mary and Jessie both tried to pull my fingers away, nothing helped. The other girls stared with wide, round eyes, as the planchette came alive under my fingers—which were still fixed to its surface—and began to move.

“Help.” The words spelled out under my hand. “Help me. Help me.”

The planchette kept moving back and forth between the h – e – l – p continuously, until Sarah cried out: “Who are you?”

 “Amber.” The board spelled. “My name is Amber. I am eight years old.”

“What’s wrong?” Mary asked. Her face was so white all the freckles stood out like darkened age spots.

“Water. Danger. Help.” The words spelled out as fast as my hand could move.

“Call 9-1-1,” Mary cried suddenly. “Quick. Amber is in danger.”

By this time, Sarah was gasping into the phone. Then she hung up the phone. “They wouldn’t listen to me,” she told us, almost in tears.

At that instant, my hand was suddenly free from the planchette.

“She’s gone,” I gasped.

“See if you can contact her again,” Mary said urgently. “We need to know if she’s okay!”

I picked up the plastic planchette again. “Amber, are you there?” I asked softly, afraid of what might happen.

After a long pause, it moved slowly across the board and spelled out the words: “Too late.” And after another long pause. “Water. Flood. Drowned. Mobile. Alabama.” The planchette stopped. I knew that Amber was gone.

None of us got much sleep that night. In the morning, we rushed through breakfast and then looked up the Alabama news on the Internet. None of us were surprised to read that there had been flash floods the night before.  I read the names of those who had died in the flood. One of the victims was an eight-year-old girl named Amber.

I don't know about you but this one gave me goose bumps.

R. K. Avery

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Haunted Tale

One cold rainy night, a man was driving down a dark and windy road and he saw a girl walking on the side of the road.  She was soaked to the bone and he stopped and asked her if she needed a ride.  She climbed in and he offered his coat to help warm her up.  She indicated her name was Anna and she lived about a mile from where they were.  She shivered as she spoke, her lips almost blue.  When they got closer to her house she pointed it out.  "This is where I live", she said as she lifted her skinny finger so the kind man pulled into the driveway and Anna climbed out and disappeared into the darkness.

The next day he realized Anna still had his coat.  If it weren't for the fact it was a leather jacket worth quite a lot of money, he would have forgotten about it.  Since he knew where Anna lived, he figured it wouldn't do any harm if he stopped by and asked for his coat.

He knocked on the door and an older lady answered.  He explained who he was and why he was there.  When he finished with his story, she started to cry.  "What is wrong?  What did I say?" he asked.

"You see, I had a daughter named Anna but there is no way it could have been her.  She's been dead for five years; she died five years ago last night in a car accident.  She is buried in our backyard in the family cemetery.  Come with me and I will show you her tombstone."

The woman and the man walked to the backyard and there, draped over Anna's tombstone was his leather jacket. 

[Insert evil laugh here]

R. K. Avery

Monday, October 28, 2013

Happy Halloween Week!

Twitter update:  478 followers

Since it is Halloween week, I thought I would share some scary stories.  This first one is actually true.  Two years ago in May, my best friend and I went to Savannah, Georgia for a long four day weekend.  We have always been fascinated with ghosts and things like that.  Whether they are real or not isn't really the point, it's just fun to believe in something that cannot be explained.

Savannah, as you may or may not know is one of the most haunted cities.  The city was literally built on the dead.  Roads cover cemeteries with ancient graves that hold slaves and colonialists.  Homes and buildings sit on top of Native American burial grounds.  Massive fires, battles, yellow-fever epidemics and hurricanes have taken thousands of lives leaving behind unsettled spirits.  So when my bff and I decided to go, we were anxious to take a ghost tour.

Turns out we didn't really need a ghost tour.  As soon as we checked into our hotel, strange things started happening.  The first of which was a knock on the door which produced no one standing on the other side.

Then I left the room for a minute to get some ice and when I returned, the sink in the bathroom was full of water yet no one had turned on the spigot.  

I slept in the bed closest to the bathroom.  I felt something tapping the bed down by my feet, almost like they were using the bed to guide them through the darkness.  My friend got up and I watched her walk to the bathroom.  She touched the end of my bed a few times to steady herself.  "Whew," I thought.  "It was just her going to the bathroom".  I mentioned it to her and she said, "That was the first time I've been up all night." 

Lastly, my friend bought a ring at one of those touristy spots and it disappeared.  She placed it on her nightstand when she went to sleep and in the morning it was gone.  We looked everywhere; under beds, in the linens, it our suitcases.  The ring never resurfaced. 

As we've told this story countless times, people have asked why we didn't leave or ask for another room.  Why?  It was what we came for and Savannah did not disappoint.

Have a ghostly good day.

R. K. Avery

Friday, October 25, 2013


Weekends.  The official definition is (I looked it up) the end of the week, especially the period from Friday evening through Sunday evening.  Regardless, most of the working world lives for them.  I remember when I was younger and worked retail.  The weekends were the busiest time for the store and I never had them off.  Hearing TGIF meant nothing to me.  It's much different when you work in the corporate world. 

There are many people who cram pack their weekends with one activity after another and then there are others who put on their jammies Friday evening and don't take them off until they have to on Monday morning.

I think I fall somewhere in between the two, even though my husband would probably disagree :).  I do like getting together with friends, going out to eat and going to see movies.  My favorite thing is book signings.  Something about playing the role of R. K. Avery makes me happy.  Sometimes I accompany my husband when he does the grocery shopping and that always fun, although when I tag along, we tend to spend a little bit more money.  But there's something to be said for sleeping in late, waking up to the aroma of coffee brewing, climbing out of bed, throwing on a pair of slippers and not doing anything.  Of course the days of not doing anything quickly turn into laundry and cleaning, but still, it's nice not to have any plans.

This weekend will be a busy one for me and my family but I hope to kick back on Sunday and do what I love -- nothing!

May your weekends be filled with what makes you happy!

R. K. Avery

Thursday, October 24, 2013

School Closings? In October?

Today is October 24th, seven days before Halloween.  Driving in this morning listening to the radio, they were announcing SCHOOL CLOSINGS due to the weather.  I know I live in northeast Ohio.  I know we get lake effect snow (thank you Lake Erie) but school closings?  In October?  As I was driving home last night, I noticed the sky was very dark in the east.  It didn't look like rain clouds, but snow clouds.  I tried to capture it with my phone but it was hard driving and taking a picture (shhhh, don't tell anyone) but this is what I was able to get.  Doesn't that sky look angry?

So this got me to thinking about snow and wondering what the earliest recording of snow falling in Ohio ever was, or at least since they have been keeping records.  It actually surprised me because it wasn't all that early.  The earliest measurable amount of snowfall occurred on October 3 in both 1974 and 2003.  The latest date for the first snowfall was December 12.  Typically it ranges around November 9th. 

Which led me to wonder when was the latest measurable snowfall and I found out it was in 1907.  It was May 10, 1907 and about a half an inch fell in Cleveland.  However, the latest snowfall that did not accumulate was May 20, 2002.  That's really late! 

Anyway, when I was a little kid, it seems like it started snowing around Thanksgiving and didn't let up until March or early April.  I always remember the ground being covered and building snowmen and forts.  We always seemed to have several snow days and life was good.  Nowadays, the kids are lucky if they get a snow day and usually when they do get a day off due to the weather, it's because of cold temperatures, wind chill factors, a pipe freezing and breaking or electrical problems.  Although I feel bad for the kids because they don't get to experience winter the way we did, I am very thankful that our weather has been better for the last several years.  I'm not sure if the weather is actually better or if the cities and road crews are just on high alert and seem to get a jump start to help prevent horrible driving conditions.  Either way, having to drive 18 miles to and from work every day, I am grateful for clean, ice free, roads.

Stay warm, my friends, stay warm.  It has only just begun.

R. K. Avery

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Oh Canada, How We Love Thee

In my house we are very big on those home improvement shows.  I'm not sure why.  It just makes you want to rip your house apart and re-do it.  Anyway, for the last year or so we have been watching the Property Brothers on HGTV.  If you are not familiar with the show, the hosts are twin brothers, Drew and Jonathan Scott.  Drew is a real estate agent and Jonathan is a contractor.  Born and raised in Canada, hence the title of this post.  They help families find their dream home, well sort of.

In the beginning of the show, they take the family to a house that is for sale and it is the home of their dreams.  It usually has every item on their wish list and then some.  Problem is, the price tag is usually a couple hundred thousand over their max budget.  This may seem cruel, getting their hopes up for something they can't afford, but it has a purpose.  The purpose is to show the homeowner they can't afford move-in ready; they need to buy a home that needs renovating which is where Jonathan Scott, contractor, comes in to play.

Drew and Jonathan take them on an excursion trying to find two homes that have enough potential to make the cut.  I am completely amazed at the horrible conditions of these houses.  Junk laying around.  Dirt.  Dust.  I've even seen a sink full of dirty dishes.  Really?  Someone is showing your house to a potential buyer?  Can you not wash a dish or run a vacuum?  Then they drop the price, which is usually substantially below the buyers max budget but still, a half a million dollars for a home that looks like it should be knocked down seems unreal to me. 

But, after Drew and Jonathan draw up plans of what they could do, the owners pick one and Drew gets started on the negotiation to purchase it.  It's funny but the owners have to pick the best of the worst.  They have to look past the ugly and pick a house they want to make their forever home.  Most of these houses they hate but once they put in an offer, they become so competitive and don't want to lose the house--the same house they never wanted to begin with. The same house they cringed at when they first walked in.  There was one episode where the woman REFUSED to enter the home because it was so ugly on the outside.  With a little coaxing, she relented and that turned out to be the house they wanted.  Drew always does a great job and gets the house they want.

In comes Jonathan Scott, and with a little magic and a lot of hard work, the house turns out gorgeous. Jonathan, with the help of his crew and the home owners, knock down walls, guts kitchens and bathrooms, adds, moves or removes windows and doors, completely redoes plumbing and electrical and changes the look of the house on the inside as well as the outside.  The transformation is completely amazing.  It's hard to believe it's the same house.

I had the pleasure of seeing Drew and Jonathan in person at a home and flower show several months back.  At the show I was actually lucky enough to speak with their older brother, J. D. Scott.
J. D. is a hoot, has a great sense of humor, and does much of the behind the scenes work to make Drew and Jonathan shine on camera.  He also does the majority of the writing.  J. D. and I have actually corresponded on several occasions and I would like to count him among my friends.  They have a website: The Scott Brothers.  Check it out and play some games with the brothers.

In addition to the Property Brothers, they also have a couple more irons in the fire.  Brother vs Brother and Buying and Selling.  The premise of both are described in detail on their website.

If you haven't watched the Property Brothers, please check it out.  You will be glad you did!

R. K. Avery

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Makes Me Sneeze Just Thinking About It

Twitter update:  440 followers :)

This past weekend I did a major cleaning of the bedroom and bathroom I share with my husband.  Don't get me wrong, I am constantly cleaning and picking things up, but once in a while I do a major spring cleaning type of event where I wash baseboards, door handles, light switches, etc.  This past weekend was it.  One thing I cleaned was the ceiling fan.  By the way, this picture IS NOT my ceiling fan but look at the dust!

My question is, how in the world does a ceiling fan, that is in perpetual motion, get so dang dusty?  I am not a dirty person.  You could walk into my house at any point in time and it would be clean but I knocked dust balls off that thing that were the size of a mouse.  It just blows my mind.  You would think, any dust that settled on the fan would immediately be blown off when you turned it on.  Not so, according to my research.  Apparently ceiling fans are dust magnets.

Here is an explanation from an expert, Charles Ausburn, of Casablanca Fan Company:

"The air always has a great deal of dust in it -- larger particles that you can see, and also microscopic ones. Over time, a large volume of the circulating air hits and collects on the blades of the fan. People often ask why spider webs and dust can be seen on the fans. But they must understand that there is a lot of dust in the circulating air."

Further, another expert, physicist Chris Ballas, of Vanderbilt University explains:

"The charged dust particles are attracted and cling to any surface that develops a charge. This can be electrical equipment or a surface subjected to frictional forces, which result in a static electricity build-up. The latter is the case for ceiling fans. As the blades rotate, they experience frictional forces as they `rub' against the air; this knocks electrons around, causing the blades to build up a net charge. The charged dust particles then stick to the charged areas of the blades.  The leading edge of the blades usually develops the thickest layer of dust. That's because the leading edge, the edge first cutting the air as the blade spins, encounters the most friction and develops the largest charge.  So the dust doesn't collect on the blades simply by `falling' or landing on them. The electrical-attraction effect plays a large part."

Who knew?


R. K. Avery

Monday, October 21, 2013

On Screen Chemistry...A Trip Down Memory Lane

Over the many years I have been watching TV, there have been many shows where two of the main characters have major sexual chemistry and the viewers are rooting for them to end up together.  Just a few that immediately come to mind are Ross and Rachel from Friends, Meredith and Derek from Grey's Anatomy and Penny and Leonard from the Big Bang Theory.  I know that we want these characters to become a couple but 9 times out of 10, when they finally do, it changes the show; and usually not for the better. 

Ross and Rachel were together for a while on Friends but then they broke up so we could root for them all over again.  Ultimately, they had a daughter together and ended up back together just as the show was coming to an end.

Meredith and Derek were a couple but then they broke up when Meredith found out Derek was married.  Week after week, we hoped they would reunite which they finally did. 

Penny and Leonard were together for a while on the Big Bang Theory, then they broke up and are now back together, which ties in with the rest of the show where each character is dating or marrying their significant other, with the except of Raj :(  Just a side note, at one point Johnny and Kaley dated in real life.

But really, when these characters finally end up together, even though it's what we all wanted, it causes the show to lose something.  Case in point; years ago there was a TV show called Moonlighting with Cybil Shepard and Bruce Willis.  They ran a detective agency and the chemistry between the two was so great, it leaped off the screen.  Everyone wanted them to get together but when they finally did, the show went off the air. 

Then we have Joanie Loves Chachi.  Chachi pined for her for years on Happy Days.  They finally got together and Happy Days was cancelled.  But don't fret, as they got their own spin-off series which lasted for one season and has been called one of the 25 Biggest TV Blunders.  The need for them to get together was already satisfied so we no longer cared what happened to them, as a couple.  We didn't tune in to watch them fight and argue week after week. 

Remember the show Who's the Boss with Tony Danza?  When Tony and Angela finally admitted they had feelings for each other, the show went off the air. 

Another show that comes to mind is Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.  Jane Seymour had a thing for Joe Lando, a ruggedly handsome Indian whose screen name was Sully.  I also had a thing for Joe Lando as did millions of others :).  For many seasons they played cat and mouse and finally when they got together and married, the show went off the air. 


Just recently I was watching Joey and Melissa, a family friendly comedy that airs on ABC family starring Joey Lawrence and Melissa Joan Hart.  It is a cute show where Joe works as a nanny for Melissa, who is on the city council.  The last show of the season, they hooked up.  Where will it go from here we don't know but truly, the premise of the show is ruined if they become a couple.


So I guess what I'm saying, on screen chemistry is a wonderful thing.  It makes us tune in week after week and that is what keeps our favorite TV shows on the air so be patient and enjoy the ride.

R. K. Avery

Friday, October 18, 2013

Give a Starving Man a Fish ... Please!

Yesterday my co-workers and I decided to go to lunch.  We do this every so often as just a way to get away from the office, talk and get to know one another on a different level.  I recommended a restaurant within walking distance because the crab cake salad I had there last time was awesome.

Our server (waitress) was either drunk, high, or both.  She took our drink orders.  We all ordered water with lemon.  She brought the drinks and then asked if we wanted any appetizers, which we didn’t.  Then she asked if we were ready.  I said, “I am,” at which she turned and left to find something to write with.   In her defense, she did apologize and tell us she spent most of the night in the hospital, which hospital, not sure.  You know there is a psych ward nearby.  Lol.

We all placed our orders:  Keri, a crab cake burger with fries; I ordered a crab cake salad; Jen ordered a grilled chix sandwhich, no onions, with fries; Kevin ordered a salmon dinner with fries; and Matt ordered a crab cake burger with a salad.  Her gestures when each of us ordered and the look on her face when Matt requested a salad, no fries, and then had the gall to ask what type of dressing they have.  She even made noises and crinkled up her face.  It was very comical.  She promised to bring more water and bread and she promised to bring Keri a refill on her ice tea (?).

About 15 minutes later, she returns with her little notepad to “double check” our orders.  OK, we are cooking with gas now.  She has the orders.  She knows what each of us wants.  Any minute now we will be enjoying a bountiful feast.

A few minutes later she brings Matt his salad.  He is the only one with food as we still haven’t gotten a water refill and still no bread.

About 10 minutes after that, she returns to “double check” our side dishes.  This time she does not bring a pen or a pad, obviously she has suddenly passed a memorization course and whatever we say is getting tucked away into her memory to be recalled later on command.  Again, Matt stresses he already has his salad, he is good on the side dishes.

5 minutes later she carries out a huge tray of food.  The only order on the tray that is correct is Jen’s chix sandwich, which btw, has onion.  The other dishes were all the crab cake appetizer.  She also has a basket of fries, which she sits down in front of Matt.  Matt, as you recall had a salad, no fries.  So the basket was passed to Kevin.  She takes the incorrect stuff back to the kitchen and returns with 3 crab cake sandwiches, one of which looks like it may have been dropped because there were literally finger holes in the top bun as someone grabbed it before it hit the floor.  One sandwich for Matt (which btw has fries on the side) and one sandwich for Keri.  She tried to give me the other sandwich but I explained yet again I had ordered the crab cake salad. 

She leaves and returns moments later with another crab cake sandwich for Kevin, who if you are taking notes, ordered the salmon dinner, no salad.   When he told her he did not order a crab cake sandwich, she placed the entire meal on a side table and left it sit there as she goes back into the kitchen to find our missing food.

Our waitress comes out of the back, walks up to the front, gets her stuff and leaves the restaurant, like leaves.  Gone.  Not returning.  Bye-bye.  Great.  At least when she was there we had a server, now we have no one.

Keri actually flags down another server who apologizes and offers to help.  We wait a few more minutes and Kevin’s salmon comes out, which is cold (btw all the fries and the other sandwiches are cold as well).  He takes a few bites and says it is awful.  My water glass is empty.  No bread ever appeared and my crab cake salad is still a no show.

Finally an older lady comes over and apologizes.  She offers us free dessert.  Really?  I still haven’t gotten my friggin salad!  She returns moments later with a dessert tray and brings with her a gentleman who introduces himself as Dominic and is half owner of the restaurant.  Dominic apologizes and tells us he will comp the entire check and send us home with dessert.   While everyone places their dessert orders, my salad comes from the back. 

We totalled it all up.  There were 15 plates of food that came out that didn't belong to us and all total, 17 crab cakes were passed in front of us in which our table actually only ordered 3.  Goodness, I thought we were on candid camera.  Who recommended this place?


R. K. Avery

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Worth a Share!

Someone sent this to me in an email.  I am not trying to promote Ben Stein and I do not have a hidden agenda.  I typically shy away from posting things about religion or politics.  Not because I don't care, but because there are so many different views and opinions, the battle is lost before the first shot is fired.  I just thought this made a lot of sense and was worth a share.  Forward it if you like :)

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on the CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians.  I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period.  I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country.  I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different.  This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny.  It's intended to get you thinking.

In light of recent events -- terrorists attacks, school shootings, etc., I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools.  And we said okay.

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school.  The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal; and love your neighbor as yourself.  And we said okay.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities will be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide).  We said an expert should know what he's talking about.  And we said okay.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.  I think it has a great deal to do with, "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell.  Funny how we believe what the newspapers say but question what the Bible says.  Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the schools and workplace.  Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Are you laughing yet?

Pass it on if you think it has merit.  If not, then just discard it.  No one will know you did but if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and Respectfully,

Ben Stein

Well said, Ben Stein, well said.

R. K. Avery

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Happy Boss's Day!

Today is Boss's Day.  I'd like to say I'm good and I remembered but the truth is, I had to stop at WalMart this morning on my way to work and I saw the sign, "Boss's Day, Wednesday, October 16th."  Ooops!  Of course the cards were so picked over but I managed to find one that I thought was funny.

This led me to think about Boss's Day and why we have it.  I mean, I don't remember it being around when I was younger.  So, as I often do, I did some digging.  Turns out National Boss's Day was registered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1958.  1958!  I am a horrible employee as I think I've only gotten cards for my boss the last couple of years! 

But after a little more research, I found Hallmark did not offer cards to celebrate the holiday until 1979.  That made me feel a little bit better.  But truly, with an employee like me, every day is boss's day :)

May you be the boss of your own self and just for the heck of it, boss someone around today.


R. K. Avery

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sunny Side Up or Over Easy

Twitter update:  408 followers

Each morning someone at my house needs to drive my son to school.  A few years back a school levy didn't pass so they took away the busing at the high school.  Then when the levy did pass, they didn't add it back so it's a pain because us and five thousand other people (this is an exaggeration) are trying to drop their kids off at the same time.  Seniors, if they choose to do so, are able to drive and have a guaranteed parking spot.  If there are any spots left, they offer them next to the Juniors and then to the Sophomores and so on so my son's chance of getting a parking spot as a Freshman are very limited.  Besides the fact he doesn't have a license and WILL NOT have a license until he achieves a B (or better) GPA.  You would think this would be enough to motivate him but no, it doesn't seem to be. 

This morning we woke him up extra early so we could take him to breakfast before school.  As a kid, wouldn't you love that?  A nice hot breakfast from a restaurant before you went to school?  Bacon, eggs and toast made just the way you like them?  Pancakes stacked sky high with syrup and butter?  Crepes with your choice of fruit topping?   You would think this would be enough to motivate him but no, it doesn't seem to be.

So my husband and I went without him.  Ha!  Two eggs, over easy, wheat toast with butter and a turkey sausage link was just what the doctor ordered.

Enjoy your day.  Hope it's over easy :)

R. K. Avery

Monday, October 14, 2013

Haunted Spooktacular Hayride

About five years ago, we started a family tradition.  We don't have many family traditions so the fact that we can add one, and stick with it, is fantastic in my book.  I like to do fun things; things that the kids will remember; things that our kids will tell to their kids and hopefully continue the tradition.

What is the tradition you ask?  Well maybe you didn't ask but I'm going to tell you anyway :)  We started going on a Haunted Hayride. 

The first year it was just me, my kids and a couple of their friends.  I remember that year it was so muddy!  As we stood in line waiting to get on the hayride, our feet were sucked into the mud and muck and when you pulled them out to walk, it sounded like a suction cup.  When we got back to our vehicle, I had all the kids remove their shoes and we put them in the plastic bag.  It was a mess but we still had a great time. 

The place we go is called Spooky Ranch at the Rockin' Ranch located in Columbia Station, Ohio.  When you get there, you stand in line to purchase your tickets.  They have several attractions besides the hayride so they have three different packages you can buy.  They have The Famous Haunted Hayride, The Haunted Barn, Crazy Clowns 3D, Funny Fun House and Extreme Nightmares.  Here is the blurb from their website describing Extreme Nightmares:  

Most Extreme Haunted House in Cleveland - Extreme Nightmares Haunted House is Cleveland’s most extreme Haunted House, taking the ordinary Haunted House to the next level. This is our one Haunted House that features extreme gore, blood, guts, frightening scares and in your face acting. Experience extremely detailed, high-tech, Hollywood make-up and acting.  Actors have professional speaking parts with a theme to the house.  This is not the ordinary boo’s and black walls of other haunts. Extreme Nightmares Haunted House” is a theatrical production that will linger in your mind and cause you sleepless nights. This Haunted house is so extreme that it is not recommended for children, pregnant women or people with heart conditions. No one under 10 years of age will be admitted.

Needless to say, I have never been in the Extreme Nightmares Haunted House.  If the babies are too little for all the scares, the ranch has their “Old West Pumpkin Fest” during the day, although I did see some pretty tiny kids on the Haunted Hayride.

The next year I went and took my best friend and her son, along with my kids and another family friend.  That was a fun trip.  No rain and no mud.  We stopped at a restaurant and ate dinner before we went and once we got there, we rode the hayride and went through the fun house.

Last year we didn't go.  I'm not sure why but it was never mentioned but this year my husband went for the first time and my daughter took her fiance.  It was so much fun.  It seems each year they add a little bit more to the ride.  As you board the wagon full of hay, you wonder what terrors await in the woods and it never disappoints.  My daughters fiance was scared because he didn't know what to expect but said he'd like to go again next year.  The creatures that jump out at you are not bloody or gory, just mostly scary with the things they say, "I'm gonna chop your head off," as they swing an axe. 

Aww, family traditions are the best!


R. K. Avery

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fake or Faux?

Twitter update:  378 followers

Around two years ago at this very same time of year I got my first set of fake fingernails.  I reasoned that, being an author, doing book signings, I needed to have nice nails.  So I kept up with it for two years, going every 3 to 4 weeks for a fill and a color change.  I tried the acrylic, and the gel; the regular nail polish and the air brushing; the fancy tips and the not so fancy tips.  At Christmas I even kicked it up a notch and did both red and green sparkly, one red, one green, one red, etc.  You get the picture.  My nails have always been a big part of R. K. Avery and I love the sparkles!

I was due for a fill last week and I didn't feel like going.  When I first started, it was a treat, getting pampered for the hour or so I was at the nail salon but the last six months or so, it has felt like a chore; a very expensive chore and the longer it went, the more I hated going.  So on Thursday evening, my daughter and I ripped off all my fake nails.  It was a great reunion, seeing my actual nails after two long years but they were in sad shape.  Very thin and rough, at first I didn't know if they were salvagable.  And the skin just under the nail was so sensitive, I actually thought I was going to be heading to the nail salon for a new set. 

But I got out the clippers and trimmed them down as far as I could, then I used the nail file and tried to smooth down the surface.  Of course this made them even thinner but at least they weren't as rough.  Then I applied a layer of clear polish which added back a little bit of shine because they were dull, dull, dull.  On top of that I applied a layer of purple polish, followed by another layer of purple polish.  Not finished yet.  Then I added a layer of sparkles.  It was actually clear polish with sparkles in it.  The sparkles kinda hide the other blemishes that I couldn't remove with the nail file.  So here is a picture of the finished product:

Now it has been a few days.  I have several hang nails which I never had with the fake nails.  The polish also seems to chip really easy.  Does anyone know a way around this?

For now, I guess you have to take the good with the bad.  At least I don't have to spend $25 - $40 every few weeks to get them done.

May life hand you a lot of sparkle moments!

R. K. Avery

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Isn't Nature Grand?

Do you ever get those emails from people showing the winners of the National Geographic Photo contest?  The photos are amazing and you wonder how in the world a photographer could capture the image at just the right moment.  Nine times out of ten, they leave me breathless and I want to save every single one of them to be used as a screen saver or wallpaper at some point.

I just got one of those emails from my good friend Kelly Cohen.  Kelly and I have been friends since 1998 when we worked together for about a month.  She was a temp called in to help out and the assignment she thought she was going to be doing turned out to be something different so we stood, side-by-side, making copies; 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for about 3 1/2 to 4 weeks.  You see the company I worked for was up for sale and we needed to make copies of all kinds of documents for the due diligence part of the sale process.  Who knew it would turn into a friendship that would last 15 years!

Kelly and I are the same age and always get together for my birthday (in May) and her birthday (in December).  It's funny how much we have in common, two people who were thrown together due to circumstances but now feel like they have known each other forever.

Anyway, here is a picture that was in the email Kelly sent me.  Just look at the colors!   The photographer is GREG LICANDRO.

Here is another one: 

Make some lasting memories and enjoy your day!

R. K. Avery

Monday, October 7, 2013

T G I M - NOT!

Twitter update:  357 followers

So if you have been reading my posts, you know that I am on a diet.  I try to do this every year from Labor Day to Thanksgiving and usually I can lose 20 - 25 pounds.  I remember the year I was pregnant with my daughter, my first non-diet year!  I was so excited to have Halloween and not have to say no to every piece of candy.  I had planned to eat and eat and eat.  Problem was, I was so nauseous from the morning sickness, I couldn't eat anything.  Dang Karma. 

Anyway, yesterday my husband and I went to Abuelos, our absolute favorite Mexican restaurant.  Of course what I would normally order is not considered diet fare in the very least so I scanned the menu for something enjoyable, yet something with less calories.  I decided on a side order of refried beans.  I like to dip my chips it them and they taste fantastic.  Here is a picture of my meal.  Looks absolutely tasty, doesn't it?

Then we have my husband, who is also on a diet to give me moral support and to try and lose a little weight along the way.  Here is a picture of his meal:

Does anyone else see a problem with this?  lol  I love you sweetie, even if you did cheat a little bit.

May you eat what makes you happy!

R. K. Avery

Friday, October 4, 2013

Feeling Scatterbrained

Some days the alarm goes off and I'm ready to hit the ground running.  Then other days I hope I'm dreaming and it really isn't time to get up.  I wonder why that is?  I go to bed around the same time every night but sometimes I feel like if I could just get another hour of sleep I would feel so much better.  Does it have to do with the quality of sleep?  How much you tossed and turned?  How many dreams you had? 

Then once I climb out of bed, kicking and screaming, I drag myself into the shower telling myself once the hot water hits me, I will wake up.  Not so.  On those days when I have to crawl out of bed, nothing seems to help, not even my extra large cup of coffee from my favorite donut/coffee shop.

I hate days like that and I wish I knew what triggered them.  Is it the weather?  I know I always sleep better when it's raining and gloomy but it's not rainy and gloomy all the time but I swear, sometimes I think if I could curl up under my desk, I could take a nap no problem.  lol  Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George slept under his desk and his boss came in and heard his alarm clock ticking and thought it was a bomb.  Gosh, I miss Seinfeld, the show about nothing.

Some of my favorite comedy shows now are Mike & MollyThe MiddleModern Family, New Girl and the Big Bang Theory.  I still love Grey's Anatomy but believe it or not, I prefer to watch it on DVD.  My daughter and I have Grey's Anatomy Marathon weekends where we will sit and watch 7 - 8 episodes in a row.  We haven't done that lately because it's hard to find that type of time but now that the weather is changing, maybe we will plan a day soon.

All time favorite drama would be NCIS.  This past Tuesday was Cote de Pablo's last show as she decided not to renew her contract.  I liked her character Ziva but at least they didn't kill her off, like they did Kate and the first Director, so she can come back.

This is an odd post.  Started out talking about being tired and ended up talking about NCIS and other TV shows.  Weird how the mind works.

Have a great weekend!

R. K. Avery

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Contract Signed!

Twitter update:  320 followers

The Indians lost 0 - 4 last night.  But we are still very proud of them and they gave us something to root for even after the regular season ended.  They have nothing to be ashamed of -- they did a fantastic job!  A guy I graduated high school with, Dan Polk, actually sung the National Anthem at the game.  Of course the network decided to show commercials during it so all of us watching at home didn't get to see it but I'm sure Dan did a wonderful job.  So proud to say I know you!

Now, some more exciting news.  I finally signed the contract for book #3, Reflection in the Mirror.  Yay!  This is a very exciting time and I can't wait to see what type of cover design Brighton Publishing creates.  The title alone leaves it so wide open for them to use their creative energies but add to it the story line and I have no idea what it will turn out to be.  No matter what, I know it will blow me away.  I will have a cover reveal as soon as I get the first proof. 

Here is a small blurb about the book in case you are not familiar with it:    Reflection in the Mirror is a fictional story of identical mirror twins Clarissa and Marissa Wagner, best friends and roommates since the first heartbeat they sometimes feel as if they share the same soul.  One warm winter afternoon in a residential neighborhood on the outskirts of St. Louis, the unthinkable happens which once again proves the unique twin bond can never be broken.  You'll never look at your reflection in the mirror the same way again.

Go Browns!

R. K. Avery

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Twitter update:  306 followers

It's a good time to be from northeast Ohio.  Our Cleveland Browns have a better record than the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Maybe I need to say that again just so it can sink in; our Cleveland Browns have a better record than the Pittsburgh Steelers!  They are 0 and 4 and we are 2 and 2.  Yeah Baby!

And tonight, the city of Cleveland will shine as our Indians take the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays.  This is a Wild Card game which brings us one step closer to the World Series.

The Indians were in the World Series once before.  It was 1995 and I was lucky enough to get 4 standing room only tickets on a mail in lottery.  My dad, my husband, my husbands friend and I went and stood the entire time right above the 1st base line.  They were playing against the Atlanta Braves and the Indians won.  Unfortunately they didn't win the sereis but it was still exciting, just the crowd and the feeling in the stadium was electric.  It was the first time the Indians had been to the World Series in 41 years and I can honestly say I was there and I got to share it with the two most important men in my life at the time; my dad and my husband.  I still have those tickets and keep thinking I want to get them framed but I haven't done it.

Now if we could get our Cavs on the right path everything would be perfect and Cleveland would be a winning sports city once again.


R. K. Avery

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Happy World Vegetarian Day!

Did you know, October 1st is World Vegetarian Day?  It is a day set aside to encourage all of us to eat more fruits and vegetables.  We all know fruits and vegetables are good for our health but vegetarians have taken this love of fruit and vegetables even further by not eating meat of any kind.  Usually this conviction stems from a moral or ethical dilemma where they are opposed to killing animals for food.  I have known a few vegetarians in my life and some do it for the sake of the animal, and others do it for the sake of their own health, trying to lower their cholesterol or blood pressure.  Either way, you can't disagree that fruits and vegetables are good for you.

I do not claim to be a vegetarian but I can say I have not had red meat since 1993.  When I was pregnant with my daughter, just the site and smell of it made me sick.  I would actually gag walking through the grocery store.  So, I stopped eating it and have never gone back (I also stopped grocery shopping so my husband does it every week).  Now, if I eat something that may have hamburger as an ingredient (such as soup or chili), it tastes very metallic to me and I have a hard time swallowing it.  I also have a difficult time with pork; sausage and ribs mostly.  I do, however, enjoy my chicken and turkey.  I also like some seafood's.  Not the ones that taste fishy but shrimp and scallops are wonderful.

Then we have vegans who take everything to a whole new level, not eating any animal or any animal by-product.  This would include eggs, dairy products and cheese.  Although I can't begin to understand how difficult it must be for vegans to prepare a meal or even go out to a nice restaurant, their conviction and commitment to loving all of God's creatures is nothing short of amazing.

Anyway, this day is used to promote awareness of the issues and to encourage others to educate themselves on the benefits of becoming a vegetarian. Seeing as fruits and vegetables are very healthy for you, it's a good day to try a vegetarian diet. You might just be surprised at how good it tastes.
R. K. Avery