Noah Galloway & Sharna Burgess Dancing with the Stars

I – Inspiration What kind of hero are you inspired by?

I Inspiration
I – Inspiration

I write in a genre that is called inspirational. I take messed up people and help them through a journey of self discovery and of course love.  I do wright romance after all. I love a hero that carries scars inside and out. Sometimes a real life hero comes to my attention and I’m captivated by their strength and fearlessness.

When I was younger I would always wonder what if…what if I lost both of my parents…what if I was in an accident and lost my ability to walk…what if I lost my eyesight…my journal was full of stories about other people that had survived horrible events and I wondered if I would have the courage and faith to stay strong. Was my faith real are just an act I could use in good times?

I think that is why I love writing stories of people overcoming huge obstacle and finding their own happy ending. I like having that kind of control. (LOL just ask Fred)

There is one TV show I watch now, Dancing with the Stars. If you follow me on Faceboock you have seen the video of Veteran Noah Galloway dancing to American Solider.  He lost his left arm and leg in an explosion. I think his story is breathtaking and if I wrote it as a fictional inspirational romance, people would not believe it.

You have to watch the video. #noexcuses.

So do you have excuses for not doing  things you should be doing?

Confession time. I am living out many of my dreams but I need to move more…I need to take better care of my phyical health. Oh, I have plenty of excuses…I’m busy….I’m tired…I sit in the car for almost two hours a day…I have a deadline…I don’t have time.  OK people no more excuses.

So what are you avoiding, where are you using excuses?

Horse - the first love for many a girl

H – Horse. If I were Queen every little girl would get a pony!

H for Horse or Hugh?
H for Horse or Hugh?

I think most little girls at one point in their life would have picked horses over any prince charming. Why do we love horses or at least the idea of have a horse.

I have to say  some of my best friends growing up were horses: Smokey, Mitzi, Pancho, Marya, Jet Set Lena and Tank are just of few of the horse that gave me the honor of riding with them. I also played with Barbie’s horse and she rode with the Lone Ranger, yes I owned Silver. I have several model horses and poster of horses.

“He’s of the color of the nutmeg. And of the heat of the ginger…. he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him, but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him; he is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts.”
William Shakespeare, Henry V

Horse - the first love for many a girl
Horse – the first love for many a girl

Horse are secondary character in most of my stories. I was blessed to be raised by a mother that loved horses. We always had them in our life. Her grandfather was a farmer and horse trainer for the Army.

It runs strong in our family. The pictures are my cousin Audrey.

Horses with  Audrey
Horses with Audrey

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ”
William Shakespeare, Henry V

Happy Trails on Horse back
Happy Trails on Horse back

“In riding a horse, we borrow freedom”
Helen Thompson

The best day is on horseback
The best day is on horseback

Oh and just because I can here is Hugh on a horse.

Hugh Jackmen on a horse
Hugh Jackman on a horse

Have you owned a horse or wish you did? As a child did you play with toy horse?

True Beauty is Ageless

G – Go, Girl, GO!

As I get closer to 50 I find myself more willing to take risk to achieve my dreams.  I also don’t find the term GIRL offensive.

G Go Girl GO A to Z Challenge
G Go Girl GO A to Z Challenge

Little girls face life with a fearless attitude. They dance as if they are the princess, they dream of being horse trainers, doctors, mothers and queens. They play with dolls or trucks, but they are in control of their world. They will wear red cowboy boots and pink tutus with pride.

Somewhere along the way the world tells her she is not good enough, she has to fit in, she has to be this or that. Not too much… not too little…just right, but she doesn’t know what that means. So she starts looking outside of herself. Maybe by the time she is 50 she can be that little girl again that twirls with joy and laughs from her gut.

There is something stunning about a women in her full confidence of who she is and in that she builds others up and knows risking for love is always worth it.

I was a little irritated when I was doing some fast research and goggled women over 50 – I got hair styles, fashion and staying sexy.  UGH…When I looked up men over 50 I got what they are working on in their careers and how long they’d been married. The men did not have a single suggestion on how they should wear their hair or a list of clothes they should or should not wear.

“She has been marinated in life experience. She is at the peak of her influence and power. She is committed to living fully and passionately in the second half of life, despite failures and false starts.” – Gail Sheehy, author of Passages

Great things about Women over 50.

Here are some women that came to mind.

One of my favorites is Helen Mirren. Here she is having fun with Jimmy

Then you have the wonderful Diane Keaton – I think she has just become stunning.

Fred serves the fish.

F – Fish Fry and Funnel Cake with Fred and the Family

A to Z Blogging Challenge F
A to Z Blogging Challenge F

I write stories of people stumbling through life and finding the things that make it all worthwhile: love, faith and hope. For me that also means family. Some of my people have large, crazy, overwhelming families, others are trying to gather some sort of family around them where there was none. For one of the characters I’m currently working with, he has three rescues dogs, he thinks he is just fine without people.

One thing everyone loves even the dogs is a Fish Fry!

At times dogs can make for the best family members. Pure Love
At times dogs can make for the best family members. Pure Love
At times dogs can make for the best family members
At times dogs can make for the best family members. Pure Love

With family comes family events. Yes, my stories always have some big family event. Holiday traditions are great to show off the worse and best!

So this Easter my sisters and I got together for a fabulous fish fry!  It was beyond delicious with a little Red fish, speckle trout and cat fish. Of course anytime you deep fry something it tends to work well for the taste buds. A few hand rolled hush puppies (in the south there is always a dog hanging out and acting if you haven’t feed them in three days)  You have to start with some good corn meal to coat the fish.

Ready to fry - Dip in milk, roll on Cornmeal, touch of flour mixed with sea-salt, ground pepper, onion powder and paprika.
Ready to fry – Dip in milk, roll on Cornmeal, touch of flour mixed with sea-salt, ground pepper, onion powder and paprika.

Got to make sure the oil is hot but not too hot.  You have to taste it before serving to make sure it is right.

Getting the deep fryer ready for the fish.
Getting the deep fryer ready for the fish.

Ready to Eat!!

Fred serves the fish.
Fred serves the fish.
Men cooking is always a little sexy
Men cooking is always a little sexy
Jackson likes the fish!
Jackson likes the fish!

If you have another fryer you can finish the fry fiesta with funnel cake. BUT you have to have clean oil!

Fishy Funnel Cake is not tasty

Funnel Cake- A favorite food
Funnel Cake- A favorite food

What is your favorite family tradition? Do y’all have a go to recipe that feeds everyone?

Cascarones - Egg shells filled with confetti

E – Easter Eggs Real or Plastic?

A to Z blogging Challenge E
A to Z blogging Challenge E

Spring time brings renewal and rebirth – which makes it a perfect time to celebrate The Gift of Eternal Life through Jesus Christ. He has risen and beaten death for us, even though we don’t deserve the gift is ours.

He has Risen!
He has Risen!

One of my favorite tradition for Easter is the Easter Egg Hunt.

Easter Egg Hunt in the Texas Hill Country
Easter Egg Hunt in the Texas Hill Country

Every year we decorate and stuff eggs. Some years it seems we run out of time and it is easier to stuff the plastics ones – or if your really uhm out of time – you can buy the already stuffed one.

Other years we dye more eggs than we know what to do with.DSC_1236

Great Grandma Olene Guinther and Katrina Decorating eggs in 1993
Great Grandma Olene Guinther and Katrina Decorating eggs in 1993

So which do you prefer… Plastic or Real?

Real or Plastic
Real or Plastic

The real ones are so personal and fun to decorate. You can actually eat them if you don’t leave them out too long or lose the in the yard.  You find them as you mow…eek!

The plastic ones are practical and if you lose it …well it’s plastic. And now they come in funky shapes – I’m not sure if I like these. Kids love them…but I  shy away from mass market products. I love the creative side of decorating your own egg.  I do tend to be more on the artisan side even thought we don’t always have the time for it..

jurassic-dinosaur-easter-eggs-filled-with-jelly-beans-
jurassic-dinosaur-easter-eggs-filled-with-jelly-beans-
Cascarones
Cascarones

There one other type of egg we have here in South Texas – Cascarones!  These are fun and messy!

Attack with a confetti filled egg..
Attack with a confetti filled egg..
egg fight Attack with a confetti filled egg.
egg fight Attack with a confetti filled egg.
egg fight Attack with a confetti filled egg.
egg fight Attack with a confetti filled egg.
Cascarones - Egg shells filled with confetti
Cascarones – Egg shells filled with confetti

To learn how to make you own Cascarones – read this blog…make your own cascarons

So which do you use – are do yo not even mess with eggs?

D for Dancing with Delight!

A to Z Blog Challenge D
A to Z Blog Challenge D

I love dancing. When my kids were little we would have dance offs in the living room. Now when I’m alone I will turn up the music and pretend I’m graceful and athletic. You should see how high I leap and how my hips move. Unfortunately my superpower is shy and disappears when others are around.

This is probably why I’m in love with Dancing with the Stars. It’s the only TV show I make time for each week. (In order to write you have to give up something) I become the dancer. I love the story of heartache and romance that dance tells…the emotions that dance creates.

Here are some of my favorite moments. You can tell yours if I missed it… I’m sure I missed many.

Amber just put it all out there – Not the classic dancer body but she used it and owned that dance floor

Amber Riley & Derek Dancing with the Stars
Amber Riley & Derek Dancing with the Stars
Amber Riley & Derek Dancing with the Stars
Amber Riley & Derek Dancing with the Stars

Could not have a favorite without my childhood crush Donny Osmond and Kym. He should have been my over fifty list.

donny osmond and kym johnson
Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson Dancing with the Stars
donny-osmond-01-2009-09-21
Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson Dancing with the Stars
donny-osmond-Kym Johnson jpg
Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson Dancing with the Stars

I loved watching JR Martinez! Just so talented and inspirational.

JR Martinez & Karina Smirnoff Dancing with the Stars
JR Martinez & Karina Smirnoff Dancing with the Stars
JR Martinez & Karina Smirnoff Dancing with the Stars
JR Martinez & Karina Smirnoff Dancing with the Stars

Speaking of inspirational…what about Amy, double amputee, below the knees. The beauty, grace and strength were amazing. I do think Derek’s partners have an advantage because of his choreography.

DEREK HOUGH, AMY PURDY

Amy Purdy & Derek contemporary DWTS
Amy Purdy & Derek contemporary DWTS
Amy Purdy & Derek contemporary DWTS
Amy Purdy & Derek contemporary DWTS

Some times I’m just totally inspired by the beauty of the human body and how it can tell a story through movement – that is what dance is all about.

Meryl and Maks on Dancing with the Stars
Meryl and Maks on Dancing with the Stars
Meryl and Maks on Dancing with the Stars
Meryl and Maks on Dancing with the Stars
Meryl and Maks on Dancing with the Stars
Meryl and Maks on Dancing with the Stars
Kellie & Derek on Dancing with the Stars
Kellie and Derek – This is one of my all time favorite dances on DWTS.

kellie-pickler-and-derek-hough-image10

Someone else that stuck with me and is in the over fifty group is Mel B

Mel B and Maks - power
Mel B and Maks – power
Mel B and Maks - power
Mel B and Maks – power

This season there is another dancer that has blown me away, Noah Galloway. You just have to watch. Yes, he is missing his left arm and leg.

Noah dwts Noah-Galloway-and-Sharna-Burgess- Noah-Galloway-and-Sharna-Burgess-2

Noah Galloway & Sharna Burgess DWTS
Noah Galloway & Sharna Burgess DWTS

Noah-Sharna-8001

So go dance people!!! What is your favorite dance? Do you dance all the time or only in private?

C – Cowboy Crazy

a to z challenge
a to z challenge

In the romance world there is crazy trends for cowboys. In my mind there are three types of cowboys.

Working Cowboy: This is a video from Zapata Texas – I like that a working cowboy will wear a pink shirt and pock-a-dot scarf.

Rodeo Cowboy (sometimes the same as the working sometimes, just rodeo)

Rodeo Cowboys at the Tejas Rodeo
Rodeo Cowboys at the Tejas Rodeo
a bull rider
a bull rider
Sterling Furr
Sterling Furr

Wannabe Cowboy along the lines of the Urban Cowboy, but some of them live in small towns)

These are the ones we might see on that sexy paper back – I have to say I have never seen a cowboy hang around horses and cattle without a shirt. When I Google cowboy I get a lot of these type of pictures and I found them funny. There was one and I can’t find it again – The guy is of course shirtless, with a rope over his shoulder and an English saddle in his hand…yes an English saddle!

Help! I've lost my shirt and horse.
Help! I’ve lost my shirt and horse.
Another poor cowboy not smart enough to keep his shirt or hourse
Another poor cowboy not smart enough to keep his shirt or horse
Oh good he found his horse, now if he can only locate that shirt.
Oh good he found his horse, now if he can only locate that shirt.

Even Nicholas Sparks has jumped on the cowboy bandwagon with his book The Longest Ride.  Ugh. I have boycotted Mr. Sparks ever since the movie Message in a Bottle. Killing people off and torturing them without giving the a happy ending is not romantic. He does not write romances. Okay rant over…what was I talking about? Oh yeah how we love cowboys.

I have to say The Longest Ride might force me to cross the Sparks picket line I set up for myself. I mean it has Scott Eastwood (yes the son of Clint) as a bull rider.

I love writing about cowboys myself and even have a bull rider in my future line up. They represent  down to earth honor and integrity along with hanging out with horses. What’s not to love? Both of my books have have cowboys on them..One to of them a Cowboy Preacher (Lone Star Holiday)

The love story of wild child Lorrie Ann Ortega and single father, Pastor John Levi
The love story of wild child Lorrie Ann Ortega and single father, Pastor John Levi

the other is the Texas Lawman (Lone Star Hero).

Second chance at love.
Second chance at love.

Here are some of my favorite cowboy pictures.

Kids and Cowboys
Kids and Cowboys
Photograph of operations and personnel at 44 Farms, near Cameron, TX
Photograph of operations and personnel at 44 Farms, near Cameron, TX
Jesse Wright in  Western Horseman Mag
Jesse Wright in Western Horseman Mag
Kenny Johannes Matador Ranch West Texas photo Matt Brockman
Kenny Johannes Matador Ranch West Texas photo Matt Brockman

Do you have a favorite cowboy? Do you love reading about cowboys?

B – Beauty

B in the AtoZ Challenge
B in the AtoZ Challenge

“You are so Beautiful” is one of the songs I sang to my kids when they were little. Yesterday I talked about aging and looked at several men that were aging well – So for today’s April Blog Challenge A -Z we are looking at B. Why do women have a hard time seeing their own beauty?

Beauty is something that glows from within, a smile, a spark in the eyes or a touch of a warm hand. We are beauty to the people that love us. This video has been around for a while now, but worth watching again. Yes, I get the irony that it is an ad for beauty products. But the message is still a good one. Be Beauty!

A for Aging – 9 Sexy men over 50…Who is the 10th

The first day of the A to Z blog challenge is here!

I have been thinking about age…my Mr. Dark & Handsome just turned 50! What!? How could that  be – we are still so young, right? Everyone says that 50 is the new 30 and with Mr. D&H I think it might be true. As we age so are our favorite actors. Hey, that starts with an A also.  So I made a list of a few of my favorite aging actors that are taking a bite out of middle-age and making it a time to celebrate life. Aging is not a bad thing – it is either get older or die so I want to age with joy and pride. And if my Mr. D&H ages as these guys – well score for me. HAHA

# 1 One of my first TV crushes. He has loved and lost. After saying he would never marry again he has found love for the second time.

Pierce Brosnan Irish age 61
Pierce Brosnan Irish age 61
Pierce Brosnan  age 61
Pierce Brosnan age 61
Pierce Brosnan Irish age 61
Pierce Brosnan age 61 With his wife.

# 2 Denzel Washington, 60 – I think I fell in love with him in Glory. He seems so down to earth and grounded. A hard, gritty core surrounded by class and sophistication. What is not to love.

Denzel Washington, age 60
Denzel Washington, age 60
Denzel-Washington-DT-Photo-Shoot-002-800x1056
Denzel Washington, age 60 One of the men Jolene loves

#3 George Clooney 53. The man who says he will never marries then when in his 50s falls hard. George is another one that had gotten better with age and you can’t have a list of sexy over 50 without him on it.

You can't have a list of older Sexy Men without George Clooney 53
You can’t have a list of older Sexy Men without George Clooney 53

george-clooney-77966113583_xlarge

#4 Yes, Uncle Jesse is 51. He sings, makes music and has a silly side that is adorable. John Stamos is the image of classic Greek.

John Stamos age 51
John Stamos age 51
John Stamos age 51
John Stamos age 51
John Stamos age 51
John Stamos age 51

# 5 Robert Downey Jr has had a hard journey and is open an honest about past mistakes. We love the reformed bad boy, don’t we? He’s smart, funny and I imagine high maintenance to live with and love. But you can’t help but love him. Mr. Iron man just turned 50.

avengers-black-sabbath robert-downey-jr-286x300

Robert Downey Jr 50
Robert Downey Jr 50

#6 Angelina’s man, Brad Pitt is 53. Father of six has a gaze you can’t look away from and that jaw. I love a strong jaw. What do you think of the scruff with grey, Sexy/Not? I say yes.

Brad-Pitt-2015-Images Brad-Pitt-y-su-esposa-la-actri_54423187433_54028874188_960_639 angelina-jolie-honors-unbroken-at-afi-awards-with-brad-pitt

#7  Jon Bon Jovi 53 is still married to his high school sweetheart. They were married the same year Mr. D&H married me. (1989) I would think being being married to a star rocker could be a challenge but they seem to have made it work. Again with the jaw!

200-size-musician-jon-bon-jovi-celebrity-singer-rockstar-rock-sexy-men-aarp.imgcache.rev1337264128400.web 1354228151_bon-jovi-467 Jon Bon Jovi# 8 Approaching 50 Hugh Jackman has attacked middle age with the fierceness of  Wolverine. And talk about triple threat this man can do it all.  Plus he has been married for twenty years to a women that is ten years older than him.

#87mCXFxAyoNEl en-celebworkout-11 2deb-and-hugh

#9 Fred Navarro

My hero
My hero
Enjoying Life.
Enjoying Life.

2014-football-1So I’m proud of my own hero – I think he can hold his own with the best of them.

So that leaves number 10 – I need your help. Who did I forget? Who would you put on the list?

You’re Too Old to Wear That! Fashion Rules for Women?

You have to watch the video at the end of this post. I want to be these women when I grow up! They make me smile. Life is to be lived fully at all phases!

There has been a couple of blogs lately that have laid down rules about what women of a certain age should not wear. This infuriates me. I will not post them because that will just give them more traffic, which is what they want.

What right does one person have to tell another what is right for them? They write, once you’re thirty you can no longer wear hooped earrings or graphic tees. What??? Once you’re forty you can’t wear sleeveless tanks or wedged flip flops. (Some people believe no one should own wedged flip flops, but I say who cares) They go on to say the women of certain age should not wear colored eye shadow and have to keep it neutral. Really???

Age should not dictate  what a women wears.

Actually I think if you like it you should wear it. Once, many years ago a group of fit women that 80% had fake boobs (not that I’m judging heheh) were talking about how some women should never wear sleeveless shirts in public. Since I was the go-to-fat girl in the group. They all turned to me as I was leaving and asked. “Jolene, you don’t wear sleeveless shirts do you?” They wanted me to confirm that they were right. I realized I always wore jackets or long sleeved shirts. So I agreed with them, but felt a little uneasy in my gut. Was I allowing other peoples opinions of me to keep me from doing things I enjoyed because I didn’t want people to laugh or mock the “fat” girl?

I want to thank them for forcing me to take a hard look at why I did or didn’t do somethings. From that day on I decided to wear and do what I want based on my pleasure gained from it. The same goes for someone that others think is too thin. Or too old or too tall or too short. I do agree you can be too young, but that is another post. We all have a story and if we knew that story we might not be so fast to judge and laugh at people. So go forth and enjoy life – dress in any color you like, any type of shoe and if you love red lipstick layer it on and tell anyone that says otherwise to kiss your beautiful red lips!

Every women has a bathing suite body – all you have to do is put a bathing suite on and head to the beach or lake or pool. Only rule? Enjoy your life, it’s yours to live.

Have you ever been told not to wear something that you love?

Watch the The Fabulous Fashionistas. Their average age is 85.