Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I will be taking a couple days off from the blog to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.  I thought I would research to find out the date of the very first Thanksgiving.  Here is what I found:  In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as the first Thanksgiving celebration.

I've often said, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  It's all about the three F's; food, family and friends.  It is one of the few holidays that we have where no gift buying or gift giving is necessary. 


R. K. Avery would like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.  Count your many blessings and enjoy the day.  Don't overdo it.  Rest, relax, and unwind.  Black Friday seems to be coming earlier and earlier every year.

May you get the big end of the wishbone!

R. K. Avery
www.rkaverybooks.com
@RKAvery1

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pump Up Your Book Presents Not My Mother's Son

Pump Up Your Book Presents Not My Mother’s Son Book Blast & Win $25 Amazon Gift Card or an autographed copy of her book!

Pump Up Your Book is proud to announce R.K. Avery’s psychological thriller/mystery, Not My Mother’s Son Book Blast November 25 – December 20! R.K. will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card AND an autographed copy of her book. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below or on participating blogs throughout the blast and good luck! All participating bloggers willing to host are eligible to win.
ABOUT NOT MY MOTHER’S SON


 Title: Not My Mother’s Son
Genre: Psychological Thriller/Mystery
Author: R.K. Avery
Publisher: Brighton Publishing
Pages: 215
Language: English
ISBN – 978-1-62183-009-2

Devious.  Conniving.  Deceitful.  Insidious.  David Miller thought he knew his mother.  He thought kidnapping three children was the most appalling and horrendous thing any human being could do and she couldn’t possibly do anything more monstrous.  He thought there was nothing else she could do or say that would astound him.  How wrong he was.

After Beatrice Miller, David’s serial kidnapping mother, is sentenced to thirty years, David moves to Phoenix, Arizona; and with the help of a trust fund and an old friend, he starts the Never Give Up foundation, an organization dedicated to finding and returning exploited and missing children safely to their families.  With all the wicked things his mother had done, David feels it is his unspoken duty to do something worthwhile.

Hesitant at first but after reading his mother’s journal, David is determined to mend their dysfunctional relationship.  Every time David visits Bea in prison, she seems deranged insisting that people are trying to kill her.  She ends each brief encounter with a chilling statement, “Remember David, things aren’t always what they seem.”

As word about the foundation spreads, the services of Never Give Up are requested time-and-time-again to help where other agencies have failed.  That is, until the police come knocking on David’s door and arrest him, taking him back to Bunting Valley, North Dakota, for the murder of a newborn baby boy.

Forced to shut down Never Give Up, David is amazed at how quickly the entire world turns their backs on him.  The trial begins and his mother’s testimony is the only thing that can save him.  Telling the truth is as foreign to Beatrice Miller as giving up drugs is to an addict.  As everyone in the courtroom holds their breath, you will too.  Remember, things aren’t always what they seem.

Purchase your copy by clicking on the tabs located at the top of this blog.

About R. K. Avery

As a recent graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, R. K. Avery has written numerous, unpublished, children’s picture books, but her true passion is writing adult fiction.

“Having the ability to make people laugh or cry, just by using the written language, is a gift so powerful and I hope, one day, my name will be among those who possess it” ~ R.K. Avery

After Be Careful What You Wish For achieved near-instant eBook best-seller success even before its print release, Avery had re-signed with Brighton Publishing LLC for her second novel, Not My Mother’s Son. Sure to send chills down readers’ spines, Avery’s brilliant new thriller is now available for sale in both e-Book and paperback wherever fine books are sold.

R. K. Avery lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband, two kids, and four dogs.  She often jokes instead of sign that says, “Don’t let the dogs out” she has a sign that says “Don’t let any more dogs in”.

Visit her website at www.rkaverybooks.com.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

In the Pink!

I had purchased Gold Hot Seat tickets to see Pink back in May.  It was a gift for my husband for Sweetest Day and we also threw in our anniversary which is coming up on December 5th – 26 years, can you believe it?   Both of us love Pink so it felt like the perfect gift.

Saturday in Cleveland was cold, windy and snow squalls came and went.  We got downtown a little after 4:00 as we were allowed to pick up our tickets between 6:00 and 6:30 PM at the will call window. 

To kill a little time we walked over to the Horseshoe Casino to get a bite to eat.  I went to Corky & Lenny’s and my husband went to B Spot.  Despite the fact that we paid an arm and leg, the food was awesome.  Or maybe it was just the anticipation of the Pink show; nothing could damper the mood.

My husband stated it was a shame to go to a casino and not at least pull one arm but we managed.  I told him we were not going to risk being late to the concert so he could play the slots.

We got to the arena a little after 6:00 and got our tickets and stood in line with the Gold Ticket patrons.  Along with the cost of the ticket we got a reception which included hors d'oeuvres and drinks.  I thought it would be a cheese tray and a carrot stick but no; there was shrimp cocktail, hamburger sliders, sushi and much, much more. 

Finally we got to our seats in the seventh row.  The energy in the crowd was electric.  The opening act was The Kin, a band from Australia.  They were really good but like everyone else, we came to see Pink. 

It’s difficult to describe because words cannot do it justice. It was the best concert I have ever been too.  I told my husband, it actually was not a concert – it was a show!  The music was fabulous, one hit after another.  She sounded wonderful as she has a beautiful voice but sometimes it sounds different live and I honestly think she sounded better live.  She did so many acrobatic things swinging high above the stage with no wires.  The woman is fearless!   The encore song, I can’t even begin to tell you, was phenomenal.  She was attached to a harness and actually flew around the entire arena!  Upside down, right side up, there was not a bad seat in the house.


I can tell you Pink puts on an incredible show.  She has been through the darkness and came out so much stronger.  Kudos in my book, girl.  You are awesome and happy and it shows.

R. K. Avery
@RKAvery1

Friday, November 22, 2013

Christmas 102.1!

The radio station I listen to has started playing Christmas music around the clock.  They play it continuously until around New Year’s Eve.  I think it’s wonderful.  It puts me in the holiday mood and makes me happy.

There are certain songs that I hear that can transport me back to another time and place.  When I was growing up, we lived in a modest three bedroom, one bathroom ranch that sat on a slab. We weren’t rich by any stretch of the imagination and my mom would make a lot of things for me and my sister.  She sewed and crocheted so we could always expect some new doll clothes or a blanket of some sort.   

Our Christmas decorations were stored up in the attic.  We had one of those staircases that folded and went into the ceiling.  When mom pulled on the string and the stairs came down, she always sent me up to get them because I was the smallest.  I had to be careful where I stepped because one wrong move and my leg would go through the floor and end up in a room down below.  There were always three boxes; two boxes of decorations and one box that stored the tree.

We had an artificial tree and the stems of each branch were painted a different color.  So we sorted them into piles.  As time wore on, the paint started to fade and chip away so it got pretty difficult to tell the difference between the colors but we managed.  The limbs were placed in the “trunk” of the tree in order.  The blue went on the bottom as those were the biggest branches followed by red, yellow and so on.  You get the picture.  When we finished we stood back in awe.  We created a tree!! 

The strands of lights were old and looking back on it, a definite fire hazard but we didn’t know any better.   We had a strand of bubble lights and back then, they were a novelty.  Our tree sat in front of the window and looked the same every year with lots of garland and icicles but to us, it was beautiful.      

When we decorated the tree, my mom always played Christmas music.  We had a record player and she played Gene Autry - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  I still remember what the cover of the album looked like.  It was white and Gene Autry was standing there in a cowboy outfit and Santa, sitting on his sleigh with all the reindeers, was flying around him.  I loved hearing the sound of that album come out of its sleeve because that meant Christmas was coming and I loved Christmas. 

I still love Christmas to this day.  It just seems like people are a little bit nicer and the generosity of total strangers is overwhelming.  It just makes you want to do something to help someone – usually someone you don’t even know.

Today my tastes have changed and my favorite Christmas song is Little Drummer Boy.  There is just something about that “rum pum pum pum” that gets my heart beating and helps me visualize the scene of the baby Jesus in the manager. 

But a really beautiful Christmas song is Silent Night sung by Sinead O’Connor.  I am not a huge Sinead O’Connor fan but the way she sings this song completely blows me away.  I heard it for the first time at the end of the movie Fred Clause.  Take a listen. 



So thanks Jen and Tim and the entire 102.1 team for helping bring back wonderful memories.  You rock!

Hope your day is cheery and bright!

R. K. Avery
www.rkaverybooks.com
@RKAvery1

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Happy Great American Smokeout Day!

The Great American Smokeout Day is today. I know when people decide to quit smoking it’s usually a New Year’s resolution so I was surprised to learn The American Cancer Society created the Great American Smokeout Day back in 1977 and it is always the third Thursday in November.

The goal of this extraordinary day is quite obvious: to get people to give up the “butt” and quit smoking which will result in fewer health problems and fewer cancer and emphysema related deaths from smoking and secondary smoke.


Since I am not, nor have ever been, a smoker, the only thing I can compare it to is a diet.  When you diet, your drug of choice is food.  Food is everywhere.  You can’t sit down and watch TV without seeing multiple commercials advertising the latest and greatest sandwich at the local fast food restaurant.  All holidays center around food.  All celebrations center around food.  You can’t go anywhere or do anything where food is not involved to a certain degree.  Going on a diet and giving up the foods I love is my “Great American Smokeout”.  It is something I struggle with every day and probably will for the rest of my life.
 
That being said, I am not trying to say I’ve suffered physically by giving up food because I know nicotine is a real drug and I’ve been told giving up smoking is not an easy task.  Often (usually), it takes repeated efforts. That's okay, as long as you keep trying until you finally succeed. The health benefits and the prospect of a longer life are crystal clear not to mention all the money you will save. 

R. K. Avery as well as The American Cancer Society encourages everyone who smokes to join millions of other Americans today and take the first step to a happier, healthier, longer life.  Just one day at a time....  

I salute you with my 90 calorie breakfast bar that tastes like cardboard drizzled in cough medicine.  J

R. K. Avery
www.rkaverybooks.com
@RKAvery1

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Teen Getting Bad Grades?

If you have been reading my posts, several months back I wrote about my son and the trouble we were having with him getting horrible grades primarily due to not turning in school assignments.  Well this year he is a freshman in high school and the problems continue.  Of course, he’s 15 years old and thinks he knows everything.  He doesn’t understand why we make such a big deal out of his grades.  Basically, he is asking us to stop parenting him and let him do things his way.

The first semester passed and his grades were lackluster.  We tried taking everything away from him last year (phone, Xbox, PS3, Kindle Fire, lap top) but the more we took away, the more stubborn he became.  It was almost as if he was not going to let us win no matter what we did. 

My husband and I discussed what we could do to get him motivated.  He’s a great kid.  He’s very smart and funny. He stays out of trouble.  He typically gets good grades on tests and quizzes, but he will not do his homework (he claims homework is an exercise to help you learn the material and if he already knows the material, it's a waste of time) and when homework is 30 – 50 percent of your grade – well you get the picture.

Please let me state that we are not experts, we are not psychologists, we do not claim to have all the answers but this is what we decided to do.  We took everything away from him except his phone, which he is allowed to have during school hours only.  When he is at home, it is to be placed on the counter top in the kitchen (we didn’t want to leave him without a phone in case he needed to reach us during the day).  He is able to “earn” hours by doing his assignments, turning them in, and getting good grades. 


At the end of each week, I pull up his progress on-line.  Our school system has a thing called Progress Book where you are able to look at any point in time and see a snapshot of things.  It shows grades, missing assignments, and other comments the teacher may leave.  So, when I pull up his grades, he can “earn” 2 hours with each A and 1 hour with each B  (this is the overall grade in the class).  He has seven classes so he has the potential of earning 14 hours of playtime.  IF, and this is a big IF, he has any missing assignments for that week, he forfeits 1 hour of playtime.  So last week when I pulled up his progress on Friday afternoon, he had three A’s and one B, yet he had two missing assignments.  So he “earned” 5 hours of playtime on any one device of his choice for the weekend. 

It seems to be going well.  This is only the 3rd week and he is getting the hang of it and knows what he needs to do.  The anger towards me and my husband seems to have abated because he knows if his grades are bad, he has no one to blame but himself. 

We even drew up a CONTRACT and had him sign it.  With his signature comes the understanding that he will abide by the contract and he has taken ownership of it.  I had to pull it out once when he was arguing something wasn’t fair.  It’s in writing.  You signed it.  End of discussion.

We still have a long way to go but things are looking up.  I get to see my son more often and he actually does things with us instead of being the bitter, technology driven person that he was.  I just want him to succeed in life.  I want him to be more than I could ever imagine.  And I want him to learn that in life, no matter how old or young you are, your actions have repercussions. 

May you earn an extra hour or two of fun today :)

R. K. Avery
@RKAvery1

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Luke Murphy, Author - Part II

As promised, today is Part II of my interview and conversation with Luke Murphy, author of Dead Man's Hand.


Luke, why don't you give me a little synopsis of what the book is about?

What happens when the deck is stacked against you…

From NFL rising-star prospect to wanted fugitive, Calvin Watters is a sadistic African-American Las Vegas debt-collector framed by a murderer who, like the Vegas Police, finds him to be the perfect fall-guy.

…and the cards don't fall your way?

When the brutal slaying of a prominent casino owner is followed by the murder of a well-known bookie, Detective Dale Dayton is thrown into the middle of a highly political case and leads the largest homicide investigation in Vegas in the last twelve years.

What if you're dealt a Dead Man's Hand?

Against his superiors and better judgment, Dayton is willing to give Calvin one last chance. To redeem himself, Calvin must prove his innocence by finding the real killer, while avoiding the LVMPD, as well as protect the woman he loves from a professional assassin hired to silence them.

And exactly who is Luke Murphy, the guy behind the book?

I live in Shawville, Quebec with my wife, three daughters and pug.

I played six years of professional hockey before retiring in 2006. Since then, I've held a number of jobs, from sports columnist to radio journalist, before I earned a Bachelor of Education degree (Magna Cum Laude).

My debut novel, Dead Man`s Hand, was released by Imajin Books on October 20, 2012.

For more information on me and my books, visit: www.authorlukemurphy.com, ‘like’ my Facebook page www.facebook.com/#!/AuthorLukeMurphy and follow me on Twitter www.twitter.com/#!/AuthorLMurphy
Here are some reviews of Luke's work:

Review Blurbs:
 "You may want to give it the whole night, just to see how it turns out."
—William Martin, New York Times bestselling author of The Lincoln Letter

 "Dead Man's Hand is a pleasure, a debut novel that doesn't read like one,
but still presents original characters and a fresh new voice."
Thomas Perry, New York Times bestselling author of Poison Flower

"Part police procedural, part crime fiction, Dead Man's Hand is a fast, gritty ride."
Anne Frasier, USA Today bestselling author of Hush

To purchase Luke's book, follow this link to Amazon.  The Kindle eBook version is currently only .99 cents and the print version is on sale for $13.49.  Books always make a great Christmas present!

Thanks, Luke, for spending some time with us.  Best of luck to you!

R. K. Avery
@RKAvery1

  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Luke Murphy, Author - Part I

I'm going to try something a little different today.  Recently I had the pleasure of talking to Luke Murphy, pro-hockey player turned published author. 


We spoke about his first book, Dead Man's Hand, and he shared with me where he got his inspiration and how he went about writing and marketing it.  The answers were so intriguing I thought I would share the interview with my readers. 



      1.  What was your inspiration for Dead Man's Hand?

I never thought much about writing when I was growing up.
But I was always an avid reader, which I owe to my mother. She was a librarian, and although I lost her when I was young, I will always remember a stack on Danielle Steele books on her bedside table, and a lot of books lying around the house at my disposal.
My first chapter books were the Hardy Boys titles, so they are the reason I love mysteries. As an adult, some of my favorite authors are Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly and Greg Iles, so naturally I write what I love to read – mystery/suspense novels. DEAD MAN`S HAND has been compared to James Patterson books, which to me is an honor. Maybe in style (short chapters, a quick read), as I have read many of his books.
Plot: I get my ideas from stories I hear about, whether through reading (newspapers, magazines, etc.), what I hear (radio) or what I see (TV, movies, internet, etc.). The plot is completely fictional. I wouldn`t say that one thing or person influences my writing, but a variety of my life experiences all have led to my passion in the written word. There is not a single moment in time when this idea came to be, but circumstances over the years that led to this story: my hockey injuries, frequent visits to Las Vegas, my love of football, crime books and movies. Dead Man’s Hand became real from mixing these events, taking advantage of experts in their field, and adding my wild imagination. The internet also provides a wealth of information, available at our fingertips with a click of the mouse.
Setting: I usually set my stories in cities I`ve visited and fell in love with. Las Vegas was the perfect backdrop for this story, glitz and glamour as well as an untapped underground.
Characters: I have never been involved in a homicide investigation, LOL. Although I am not a 6’5”, 220 pound African-American, I’ve used much of my athletic background when creating my protagonist Calvin Watters. Watters past as an athlete, and his emotional rollercoaster brought on by injuries were drawn from my experiences. His mother died of cancer when he was young, as mine was. There are certainly elements of myself in Calvin, but overall, this is a work of fiction. I did not base the characters or plot on any real people or events. Any familiarities are strictly coincidence.
I’ve always been a self-motivated person, and my harshest critic. Whether it was in school, hockey or writing, I’ve been the one to put the most pressure on myself to succeed, to be the best in everything I try.

2.  How did you go about marketing your book?  What have you found to be successful and not so successful?

Once my publishing contract was signed, then the real work began, building my "plateform".  I knew that when I signed on with a smaller publisher that the bulk of the promotion load would fall on my shoulders, and I accepted that.
I did four things quickly: created my own website, started a blog, and opened a Facebook page and Twitter account.
Now, I have been fortunate to have had many jobs in my life, jobs that have created interest in not only myself, but what I do.
Here are some things I did next:
  • I scribed a letter to all of my email contacts (2500) and all of my FB friends (2500).
  • I scribed a letter for all of the media outlets (radio, TV, print) in the cities where I played hockey, or have contacts. One of the benefits of playing professional hockey was that I went through a lot of interviews with personalities in all forms of media.
  • I picked out the site for my launch party and spoke with the owner about it.
  • I played hockey for teams and leagues all over North America, creating a fan base in a variety of cities, and also worked in hockey camps, so I already had some followers that I contacted.
  • I was a reporter on the radio for a couple of years after retiring from hockey, and my radio reporting was a presence on the web as well as in radio.
  • My sports column (2006-2009), Overtime, which was a main feature in The Pontiac Equity, not only had a following but helped in writing concise and exciting prose.
  • I composed a list of local stores for potential book signings
  • I compiled a list of local stores to sell my book
  • I started creating relationships on the internet through Facebook and Twitter. I met not only authors, but fans of the genres I write.
When my book was released in October, 2012, I felt I had a solid foundation to stand on, but I still had a long way to go.
I contacted media for interviews, held book signings, joined shows and blog toured. I contacted anyone who wrote a blog and asked about being a guest. I joined Pinterest, Linkedin, and Google +, as well as sites created to support Indie authors. I did anything I could to get my name out there, get my book in front of readers.
My publisher set up special promotions where my book was FREE on Amazon for certain periods of time. All of this was done to increase my following, and expand the awareness of my book on a worldwide scale. This will hopefully lead to future sales with not only my debut novel, but subsequent books if I’ve fortunate enough to write more.
I’ve been happy with the result thus far, but I don’t have anything to compare it to. I feel that the more books I write, the more success I will have. The more I get out there, the more excitement and interest is garnered.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
I know that the ebook and technology era has taken over the publishing industry, but I still love my book signings. I love meeting people face to face, making that personal connection and receiving their feedback. With social media, I’d have to say that Twitter has been my number one source for meeting new people and spreading the word about my writing.

3.  What would you like readers to take away from your novel?

I hope they would be entertained, satisfied that the book was well worth the while to sit down and keep them glued to the pages from start to finish. I want readers to, like when I read, have the opportunity to leave their everyday lives and for just a moment, be in another place and time. Living through my characters, following them and being a part of something special.

4.  What was the hardest part of writing your novel?

For me, the most difficult thing about writing has nothing to do with actual writing (ideas, flow, writer`s block, etc.), but it`s finding the time.
Between teaching and tutoring, with three small children and a wife at home, finding the time to sit down at a computer and have serious, quality writing time is almost impossible.
But I love my girls and spending quality time for them is a great feeling. I wouldn’t give up my games of ring-around-the-rosie and duck-duck-goose for anything in the world. It just puts writing my next novel behind a bit.

5.  Did you learn anything about yourself while writing your book?

I learned how patient, persistent and thick-skinned I am.

6.  Who is your favorite author and why?  (I can't believe he didn't say R. K. Avery, LOL)

My first chapter books were the Hardy Boys titles, so they are the reason I love mysteries. As an adult, some of my favorite authors are Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly and Greg Iles, so naturally I write what I love to read – mystery/suspense novels. DEAD MAN`S HAND has been compared to James Patterson books, which to me is an honor. Maybe in style (short chapters, a quick read), as I have read many of his books.
“Kiss the Girls” by James Patterson was the first adult crime-book I ever read, and I fell in love with the genres. I read a lot of James Patterson in the late 90’s. Probably my favorite crime book to date is “The Poet” by Michael Connelly.

7.  How long did it take you to write your book?

Feeling that I was finally prepared, in the winter of 2006, with an idea in mind and an outline on paper, I started to write DEAD MAN`S HAND. It took me two years (working around full time jobs) to complete the first draft of the novel.
I then worked with editors and joined a critique group, doing anything I could to learn, to improve my writing and my novel to point where I could create the best possible work.
My years of hard work finally paid off. With my dream still in mind and my manuscript ready, I hired the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency to represent DEAD MAN`S HAND.
I signed a publishing deal with Imajin Books in May, 2012.

8.  Tell me about how you went from pro-hockey player to published author. 
Writing just kind of happened by accident.
Growing up I never thought much about writing, but I was an avid reader. The only time I ever wrote was when my teachers at school made me. I wanted to be an NHL superstar…period.
It was the winter of 2000, my second year of professional hockey, and I was playing in Oklahoma City.  After sustaining a season ending eye injury (one of the scariest moments of my life), I found myself with time on my hands.
My girlfriend at the time, who is now my wife, was attending a French college in Montreal. She received an English assignment to write a short story, and asked me for some help.
I loved the experience—creating vivid characters and generating a wire-taut plot. I sat down at my roommate’s computer and began typing. I wrote a little every day, around my intense rehabilitation schedule and before I knew it I had completed my first manuscript.
I didn’t write with the intention of being published. I wrote for the love of writing.
Thirteen years later, I still write for pleasure—and I still love it! The fact that I am being published is a bonus.

To purchase Luke's book on Amazon, follow this link.

Join me tomorrow for Part II of Luke's story.

R. K. Avery
www.rkaverybooks.com
@RKAvery1
   

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Holiday Decorations...When is Too Early?

Each year it seems the holiday decorations come out earlier and earlier in the stores.  I still haven’t decided how I feel about this.  On the one hand, Christmas is my favorite time of year and I love all the decorations.  In my own house I put up three full size trees and many other Christmas decorations. 

I love snowmen so there is a rule in my house that at least one snowman must be in each room.  How can you not love snowmen?  They are so cute and always look so happy.  I actually have a snowman room in my house that stays up year round. 



Pictures of snowmen are on the walls and I have a curio cabinet stuffed full of snowmen.  In that room I actually put up a snowman tree; all 300 ornaments are snowmen of some sort mostly purchased as souvenirs during our vacations and travels.  The tree skirt has a snowman on it and of course the tree topper is a snowman head.  The tree comes down but all the rest stays up. 


We actually put up smaller trees in three other rooms; my sons room, my daughters room, and we have a palm tree in our room that I decorate with lights and ornaments.  Garland of some type always adorns the railings and we have a lighted double sided wreath about 4 foot wide and 4 foot tall that hangs in a large window in our foyer.  We actually made it ourselves attaching two wreaths together. 

Now, all of that being said, I start decorating for the holidays the weekend after Thanksgiving and typically start taking things down the first or second weekend in January.  Because we put up so much stuff, I want to enjoy it for as long as possible.  It doesn’t go up in an hour and it surely doesn’t come down in an hour either.  Plus, we usually have people over all throughout December so there is a reason why we tend to go overboard a bit with the decorations.

However, I do love the harvest colors; red, gold, yellow and orange.   So we decorate for Halloween and Thanksgiving with a fall wreath on the door and a beautiful centerpiece on the dining room table.  I have pumpkins, gourds and candles sitting on the mantel as well as a stuffed turkey and a knick knack that says “GIVE THANKS.”


So, that’s my message for this blog.  Decorate when you feel like it and you don’t have to justify it to anyone.  Just remember the reason for the season is the birth of Jesus so GIVE THANKS in all that you do.



R. K. Avery
@RKAvery1

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Oh Baby!

The wife of a co-worker of mine just had a baby about a week and a half ago.  The process of birth is a miracle, no doubt about it.  The intricacies that our Heavenly Father calculated into the whole thing, from fertilization to the actual birth are nothing short of amazing. 


But there are a few things that have always struck me as odd and I thought I would share them with you.

First off, my co-worker said his baby is very good and the only time she cries is if she’s hungry or wet.  This got me to thinking.  A baby spends nine months floating around in fluid yet they cry when they are wet?  Really?

Second, near the end of the nine months, the baby flips upside down so their head is first out of the birth canal.  So basically, the baby is standing on its head.  Yet all our life we are told its bad if all the blood rushes to our head.  And just this past weekend, my mother commented it is bad to flip a baby upside down because you might tip their liver.  Really? 

The last thing is their arms; baby’s arms are very short and if you stretch them as far as they will go up next to their head, the tips of their fingers reach about the top of their ears.  Baby’s bodies are so out of proportion yet we don’t see it when we look at them.

No doubt about it, the whole process is a miracle and babies are absolutely perfect; wet or dry, big heads, short arms and everything else.

Have a great day.

R. K. Avery
@RKAvery1

  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Oh My Aching Back...

I have had back problems for many years.  It started when I was just a teenager.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  We were sitting at the kitchen table and I sneezed.  Something in my lower back snapped and I was in pain for a few days; difficulty standing from a sitting position and breathing actually hurt.



Fast forward to 1994 right after my daughter was born.  Oh my goodness, the pain.  Shooting down my legs and nothing I did or didn’t do seemed to make a difference.  That was the first time I went to a chiropractor.  Dr. Bennett is a very nice man and he tried his best to get my lower back to crack to no avail.  It’s almost like it gets inflamed and swollen and the vertebrae compress and pinch a nerve or something.
Eventually the pain went away and I was back to about 95% of my old self.  If you have back problems, you know you are never 100% again.
So here it is 2013 and I've had about a dozen more backaches.  I’ve been to see doctors, specialists, chiropractors, and surgeons.  I’ve had x-rays and MRI’s.  I’ve done physical therapy – twice.  Nothing seems to help.  It just comes out of nowhere and it leaves just as easily.  When I have an episode, I try to rest and take muscle relaxers and pain pills.  I’m not sure if they actually help with the pain but they do make me very tired so I sleep through it.  In a few days, or a week, I’m back to about 90% of my old self. 

I can sympathize with anyone who has back pain; it is excruciating.  The back is one those body parts that you use no matter what you are doing.  Just this morning I drove my son to school and I had a hard time turning my head to check for traffic.  When you turn your head it pulls your back muscles and it hurts.  Picking up my leg to put on my boot hurt my back so badly.  Just rolling over in bed makes me want to cry.
So I’m at home today, trying to rest and get back to about 85% of my old self.  Each time I have an episode, it seems to chip away a little bit more of me. 

Take care,
R. K. Avery
@RKAvery1