Life After A Stroke … It’s the Little things

I don’t believe people truly think about handling every day menial tasks. I know I never did before the stroke. One never thinks about the muscles it takes to spread the fingers of a hand or lift a foot from the floor. It was second nature before this. Now, it takes considerable conscious effort to do things as simple as place my hand on the keyboard. 

When I was first hospitalized, I was asked to do things like touch my nose with my finger then take that finger and touch the finger of a doctor not even a foot away from me. A pretty simple task, right? It was one of the first of many times I bawled like a baby while in the hospital. Watching my drifting, shaky left hand move from my side to my nose then to the doctor’s finger and back was one of the most difficult moments of many while I was being cared for during those three weeks. Knowing how easy it had been on prior occassions and how smoothly my right sailed through the air practically crushed me.

I was told many times how much better things may possibly get and they were happy to see that I had any motor function at all. Being an independent, single woman who has taken care of herself most of her life those weren’t words I wanted to hear at the time. Having someone assist me to the bathroom or knowing I had to wait for someone to be in the room with me while I dressed or shifted from bed to chair was a struggle.

By the time it was time for me to be discharged, I worried about everything. Knowing I had to walk with a walker and a brace on my foot scared me. The fact that short walks fatigued me and standing for even twenty minutes tired me out to the point where I had to rest for just as long concerned me.


I was reminded how far I’d come. Those little things reared their head and strengthened me. They also spurred me on. Being able to walk from one room to another with no one watching or assisting  me,  preparing and taking my own medicine, with some effort being able to put my hair into a ponytail (one of the only ways I currently wear it), being able to squeeze a foam ball or play with Play Doh, having almost one hundred percent clear speech were all things I needed to celebrate being free to do.

Am I currently completely independent? No. I can celebrate what I can do and not dwell on what I can’t do. I’ve been fortunate enough to run into some caring individuals who have been willing to lift things for me when I need them lifted or aid me with carrying some things. They are not always there, but I’m grateful for when they are.



#GuiltyPleasure To Sweet or Not to Sweet …

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Like most people, I have moments where I have an insane need for something to stave off my hankering for something to snack on. The above slideshow only showcases some of my favorite guilty pleasure items. Have you ever had a need for something or a taste for something so strong that your senses overload you with the very essence of it?

Have you ever had a need for something or a taste for something so strong that your senses overload you with the very essence of it?

If you haven’t, then count yourself as one of the fortunate individuals on the planet.

I’m not one of those fortunate individuals. I’ve suffered endlessly from significantly GRANDios sweet tooth cravings for years.


Herein lies my issue (s): how do you steer clear of these things when you know they aren’t any good for you?

Answer: You don’t.


I refuse to be the one to say that I am going to ever give up giving in to my “guilty pleasures.” The longest I’ve ever lasted without giving in is three days. My usual rule is if I crave it after two days, then I give myself permission to have it.


If you want to get my highly upset then tell me that I need to let go of the sweets forever. There might just be an epic battle that ensues afterward.

With that being said, to sweet or not to sweet? Is that even a question?

#Time More Hours Please

Infinity time spiral 15267876

I oftentimes say, “I wish I had more hours in the day.” What am I really saying? What is it that I’m really asking for?

The more I think about it the more it dawns on me that maybe more hours isn’t exactly what I need in my life. Maybe, what I need is a better way to allocate the time that I have.

Nah! I just need MORE HOURS PLEASE!


Most people try to jam so much into the few hours that we have in a day that they are beyond overwhelmed. I look at a computer screen all day then turn around and come home to look at another. In most cases, I fall asleep looking at some type of screen. As much as this may exhaust me, it excites me as well.

Why? The screen time during the day time is to ensure my family has what they need to survive. The screen time at home is to make sure I have everything I need to survive.

What do I mean?

I am sure that the firs part of that statement is pretty clear.The second might not be as obvious. When I’m home, I put on my writer hat and take care of the business I need to attend to in order for me to continue to be the author I so want to be. I am either responding to emails, reviewing messages, or working on a manuscript. the screen I look at before I fall asleep is the one that allows me to be the avid reader that I am or the home viewer I choose to be.


These things are necessary for my sanity. It allows me the “break” I need in order for me to get up the next day and start this crazy ride all over again.

Maybe I don’t need more hours in the day. I think this balance thing might just be working out for me.

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**From the journal of a clustered mind.**

#BigChanges My Something New


Something new for me this week/month/year is finding a new space in the big state of Texas. I’ve recently moved to Houston. I know. If you follow me on Facebook it states this has been my home. I knew this was coming so I decided to have my settings already set up with my new hometown.


Let me just start this by saying: HOT DAMN! I don’t know if any of my readers have ever crossed from Louisiana into Texas via automobile. If you’ve never done it, I recommend doing so. There is a bridge that is scary as hell but amazingly beautiful at night to take in. (I suck because I don’t recall the name of the thing.)

This is a joy to learn how to navigate.

Ha! I figured it out. Aren Cambre is the name of the bridge. (picture below) I’m  so excited to be here. My brain is not fully functional because I’m still adjusting to the area, heat, and time difference. It’s only an hour, but even sixty minutes has the ability to affect your well-being. New hometown, new job, and new adventures as I try to get everything in order. Goodness gracious, the things that I need to handle.

My thoughts were that I was on some form of roller coaster

Along with the newness of this place is the book that is soon to be released. Here is the cover, a teaser, and an excerpt from my upcoming November release.


Preorder your copy

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My answers would come in the form of a phone call from my mother of all people.

“Hey Mom, how’s it going?”

“Oh good. I was hoping I didn’t call too late or wake the boys.”

“Congrats. You caught me in a rare moment of quiet.”

“Ah! I won’t keep you long because I recall all too well how few and far between those moments are. As a mother, you tend to cherish every second of them.”

I chuckled, “That’s exactly it. To what do I owe this call?”

“I had the strangest … visit today.”

“You did? From who?”

Never in a million years did I ever expect her to mention the name that she did.

“Nathaniel Porter. He surprised us with a rare visit and a bottle of wine. He just arrived back from a trip to Italy. Did you know that he’d gone there? He mentioned seeing you in Savannah a few months ago.”

Every part of my body felt as if it seized and locked in place. My hope was that nothing was said that would make my mother suspicious. I should’ve known my … Nathaniel was better than that.

“We did see each other.”

“I can’t believe that you were so close and didn’t make a trip to see your parents. I miss my other daughter. It’s not fair that Marilynn gets to spend so much time with our grandchildren. I want them to know me just as much as they know her.”

I hoped I could keep my mother on the subject of the little competition that she had going with Theodore’s mother. I just needed to be on the phone long enough to appease my mother’s need to keep in touch with all of her children and make a quick excuse as to why I couldn’t remain on the phone.

After about five minutes of reassurance that she’d see her grandchildren soon, I prepped to end the call when Nathaniel was brought up again.

“I was surprised to find out that Nate didn’t have the correct phone number for you. As close as you two have always been, I would think he would be one of the few that had every way to contact you at the touch of a screen.”

I clearly heard her unspoken question, but didn’t respond to it. Instead, I waited.

“Hmm. You’re quiet. Is there something going on that I need to know about? He said you’d left a bag of yours with him and he’d wanted to get it to you. If that weren’t odd enough, he appeared taken aback when I mentioned Theodore. The man seemed genuinely perplexed when I asked if your husband had been there on business or not. I actually had to say the words, ‘Theo is Clare’s husband.’ The devastation on that man’s face told me that there was more to the story than met the eye. Now, I ask again. Is there something that I need to be made aware of?”

This is why I have stated on countless occasions that mothers should automatically be given detective badges upon giving birth. My mother is a human lie detector and can sniff out misdirection better than anyone I know. Even with her skills, I find myself fighting the urge to spill my guts. I don’t want to discuss this. It’s too much. It’s more than I want to deal with right now.

The handle of the door twisting saves me from having to respond. I know who’s on the other side and I’ve never been so happy to hear that my husband is home in the entirely of our short marriage.

“Mom, I have to go. Theo is home. We’ll talk soon. I love you.”

I hear my mother’s tsk as clear as if she were standing directly in front of me.

“I’m going to go now, but know that I will be calling again soon and you will tell me what’s going on. Know that I know something’s not right, young lady.”

I’m beyond glad that I’m not in front of her. Those two words tacked on at the end would get me to sing like a canary. Until I get a handle on things, I don’t need to talk to anyone about what my feelings may or may not be for Nathaniel Porter.

“Mrs. Taylor, I’m home. Where are you and my babies?”

I hear Theo call from the foyer and turn in the chair that I’ve been parked in since I first entered the library.

“Mom, I’m going to go. I don’t like to be busy when Theo arrives home. He usually has a million things he wants to share with me.”

“Oh, all right. Fine. Go. I’ll call tomorrow.”

There’s a call I’ll be dreading, but know I will answer when she calls. I also know that the call will come tomorrow. She won’t be ignored and I’m unable to decline a call from her.

If only I could follow through with some of the hopes that floated through my brain, I would be so much happier.


Add to Goodreads and enter for your chance to win a paperback copy of my first release: 

Goodreads Giveaway


**From the journal of a clustered mind.**


The Windows that slay me #colorfuleyes

I am a very visual person. I have always been. I’m the type of author that uses my imagination along with visual references. The problem is I tend to get caught up in my research and have to remind myself where I was in my story. Why am I writing about this? Of course, this just happened to me. I am supposed to be putting together a character description for a story that I’m working on and I am being swept away by the beauty of some of the eyes that I am coming across.

I have these for the males that could easily cause a woman to overheat:

(Yes. I know there is a certain set of eyes posted twice. Aren’t they pretty.**pauses for a moment to take in the sights.)

Anyway, these are the females that could tempt a saint with their peepers:

Now, all I have to do is get my mind back on the story at hand and the character I was supposed be working on. I might feel like I’ve accomplished more than just this post.


**From the journal of a clustered mind.**

A Place for Me to Create #createaspace

I’m in need of a space, a place where I can go and know that it is mine to create what I wish to create. I know I want a place that is perfectly representative of me and my colorful self. Herein lies my issue:

1. I am eclectic.
2. I am colorful.
3. I don’t know where to start.

Have you ever gone to Pinterest and felt overwhelmed by the multitude of ideas that are there? It is astounding and a bit disconcerting to say the least.

Here are some of the things that I’ve found where I like something that I see, but don’t think it’s exactly me:

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Since I am so eclectic and colorful, I need my office area or creative space to be the essential space that taps into both aspects of me. It also has to give me the room that I need to allow me the freedom to move about. What I don’t want is a place that I’m unable to feel comfortable enough to make a mess in or appears the area isn’t inviting.

A couple of these have potential but have the look of “serious business” happening in their spaces:


I don’t know.I think I might table this and return to it when my “writing bug” dissipates a bit. For now, I sit on my bed in my room and allow my characters to use me in the best way they possibly could.


**From the journal of a clustered mind.**