Can’t Buy Me Love…

Remember that movie? From the 80’s? Or was it 90’s? Whatever…a million years ago…
Remember the deal? You pretend to date me so I seem more appealing, and I help you in return? It’s a win/win, right? Right?!
Nope. Never is. Never was.

So, the Turkish series “Bay Yanlis“ (Mr Wrong) gives us the same vibes as Patrick Dempsey did then. A 14 episode series, at two hours a piece, Turkish series, subtitled in English, fulfills our love story needs.

Ozgur (played by Can Yaman) is a player. Lots of notches on the bedpost. No intention to marry. Doesn’t know how to live in the slow lane. After an article is written about him in a local publication by a wronged date, his mother decides it is time for him to settle down and start his life.
Ezgi (played by…..) is a good girl, heartbroken after spending three years with her boyfriend to find that he cheated on her and kicked her out of the house.
After an unforgettable encounter with Ozgur, Ezgi and he enter into an agreement to have a “pretend relationship” so that Ozgur’s mom will get off his back, and Ezgi will learn the rules of dating and how to deal with men a little better.
What happens when you pretend for long enough? Is it still pretend? Or does it turn to love? What obstacles could get in the way of their happily ever after?

Even Further Down the Rabbit Hole…

Since my last posting, I have found a love for Turkish tv. I took up learning Turkish on Duolingo in order to improve my poor understanding of their language.

I just finished watching a series that I think you will LOVE. It was 51 episodes…at two hours a piece…BUT-the love story and the comedy in this show are well worth it.

Do you know anything about the Albatross? A large, independent ocean going bird that flies for the majority of its life. Big, strong wings, a desire for home, loyalty to its chosen, and love of travel keep the bird a secret from almost all.

Sanem, our main character, finds herself in a situation where she is looking for her Albatross, her one chosen, and the one who changed her life.
Meanwhile, Can (pronounced “JOHN”), is a traveler, returned to help his family with the advertising agency. He is a world renowned photographer, artist, handsome and rich. And not looking for anything serious with anyone.

In a twist of fate, Sanem and Can travel down the road to love, a long and winding road, twisted and opposed at every turn.

Can they do it? Will they be together? Will he leave her? Will she be able to accept her past mistakes? Do they trust one another enough to be honest about their fears?

If you love romcoms, please, do yourself a favor and watch this. It is a lot, I understand. But so worth it. I fell in love with all the characters for their own reasons while watching. Sanem (played by Demet Ozdemir) offers some Lucille Ball-like moments that are terribly funny, and very physically comical. Can (played by Can Yaman) offers some slow motion shots of a shirtless, well-toned man, and some romantic scenes fit for the love of centuries.

The room for growth, and the amount of love shared between the cast, gave me a sense of family in the series. And, as I mentioned before, Turkish tv blurs out blood and alcohol, and limits the occasion of physical intimacy to hand holding, hand kissing, forehead and cheek kisses, and a few lip to lip kisses. So, it is safe for the family.

The Rabbit Hole

Have you ever gotten into a tv or reading lurch, and then found out about a show when deep diving into rabbit holes on social media?

At the start of the year, I wasn’t really feeling my TBR list, and had finished many of my serial tv shows. So, I looked for something that would take up my time, and keep me busy. I went on instagram, and fell down a rabbit hole of videos and found a Netflix show called “Who Killed Sara?”

Off to Netflix I went!!

Watched the available season (and later a second season!), and really enjoyed! So, I thought I would share my thoughts with you.

Who Killed Sara?
A Mexican, Spanish, English dubbed novella about the Lazcano family, an outcast friend, Alex, and the friend’s dead sister, Sara. Sara died when they were young kids, and had gone paragliding on a lake. The rigging which supported Sara gave way and she fell from a height. How does the Lazcano family factor in? Secrets are unraveled, and the real lives of everyone involved become exposed. But will Alex get his revenge?

This is a fun whodunnit, with lots of twists and turns, revenge, love, hate, self loathing, and just enough drama to keep it exciting. The fact that it is dubbed in English is helpful. Overall, I enjoyed it. Waiting to hear when Season 3 will be released, after the news that there WILL be a new season! Will we find out who actually killed her? Will Alex finally get his peace?

I would recommend if you are into excitement, mystery, and drama, and aren’t opposed to death, sex, profanity, guns, drugs, and the like.

Once I finished both of these seasons, I ended up in another Instagram rabbit hole. This one, with romantic undertones. Snippets of a girl and man, seemingly having relationship issues, while the gaze between them smoldered….I had to know…WHAT IS THIS SHOW?
It turned out to be a Turkish soap opera! That is right, y’all. I fell deeeeep down the rabbit hole this time.

A Turkish romantic drama called “Ask Laftan Anlamaz” (In English: Love Knows No Words) about Hayat and Murat, their love story, and their struggle to be together. This show is in Turkish, y’all. There are English subtitles, so you have to read. And the episodes are about two hours long each, with around 35 episodes. It is a COMMITMENT. It is on Youtube, and each episode comes in like 25-35 parts, at like 5 minutes a piece. Frustrating, but the only ones viewable for English speakers.

Hayat is a country girl, trying to live in the big city. Her parents are watching her and threaten her with removal back to home if she fails.
Murat is a big city, business man, with a wealthy and influential family, and lots of family drama. Hayat and Murat find each other, fall in love, and proceed to find obstacles to their love around EVERY corner.
While the focus is definitely on these two, there are a number of other love stories in the background. There are grand romantic gestures. There is heartbreak. There is redemption. There is failure. And there is love.

Would recommend if you enjoy romance, trying to figure out what will happen next, and beautiful actors. This show would be mostly considered “family friendly” as the intimacy is relayed in long gazes, hand holding, pecks on the cheek or forehead, and implied activities.

After finishing this show, and finding a new love in all things Turkish, I found the head actor (Burak Deniz) heading up a newer show. A complete 180 from the love story before…or so I thought.

Marasli is a Turkish crime drama focusing on the character Marasli, and finding out who hurt his daughter at a concert. This show has a bunch of gunfire, running, hiding, a rich family full of secrets, and a love story for the times. This series runs 26 episodes at two hours a piece, and is subtitled in English. Another commitment, but TOTALLY worth it. This show had me on the edge of my seat the ENTIRE time.
The love story between Marasli and Mahur, his charge as a bodyguard, is a full story all on its own.. One lie unravels another, and soon we are left to find the truth about their relationship, its start, and its finish.

If you have an interest in mysteries, shooting, occasional humor to break up the seriousness, then this is the show for you! Also found on YouTube, but in whole two hour episodes. Makes it easier to consume.

I am working on reading some books, as I have been a bit lazy with that aspect…
But if you guys watch any of these shows, let me know what you think!

Have any shows to recommend? Let me know that, too!



GRAB BAG

We are halfway through 2021 already! Ya’ll, it has been a roller coaster so far.
We have a new president; we have the end of a school year that was unexpectedly mostly home; we have a vaccine that has been administered widely in anticipation of returning to some sort of “normal”.
Well, friends, for me, normal is reading a book.
So, fellow bookworms, let me tell you: It took me a LONG while to get back into reading after the hot mess of 2020. I did not meet my goal last year of 12 books, but this year? This year is LOOKING UP! Now, don’t judge my reading choices. Reading is reading.

Here is a short list of the books I read, with short reviews to follow:
1) Fate by Helen Hardt
2) Legacy by Helen Hardt
3) Descent by Helen Hardt
4) Awakened by Helen Hardt
5) The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
6) The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
7) An Offer from a Gentleman by Julia Quinn
8) Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
9) To Sir Phillip, With Love by Julia Quinn
10) When He was Wicked by Julia Quinn
11) Raven’s Influence by Lynn Morrison

“Fate”, “Legacy”, “Descent”, and “Awakened” are all by Helen Hardt, books 13-16 in the Steel Brothers Saga. (I have previously reviewed some of the books from this series.) The Steel Brothers stories take place on a mountain ranch in Colorado, with the Steel family being very wealthy. They each have their own history of severe trauma. They own and run a cattle ranch, a vineyard and winery, and a fruit orchard. The series focuses on the history of each character, their development, and their love story. These four books deal with the Steel family fortune origins, and the families’ children’s adventures into adulthood, as well as their love stories. There are currently 21 books in total in the series, and each story is *almost* a stand alone. I recommend reading them in order.
*Trigger Warning: Assault, Child Abuse, Kink, Alcohol, Sex*
They are entertaining, slightly smutty, adult modern romance novels. The story line is easy enough to follow. Since there are so many books, it is a story you can become invested in-and the story is just descriptive enough where you can lose track of time.

“The Duke and I”, “”The Viscount Who Loved Me”, “An Offer From a Gentleman”, “Romancing Mr. Bridgerton”, “To Sir Phillip, With Love”, and “When He Was Wicked” are books 1-6 in the Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn.
With the newfound elite status of the Bridgerton series on Netflix, this book series has seen a serious uptick in readership. So, reader, beware. If you want to borrow these from the library, you may have to wait a minute. There are nine books in the series directly, with two offshoots about Lady Whistledown.
In case you didn’t watch Bridgerton, (and I suggest you do because it was HOT) I will tell you about this series. Book 1 introduces us to the Bridgerton family-eight children and their widowed mother. The story takes place in Regency London (in the early 1800’s), with the Bridgerton’s being a wealthy city family with daughters in search of husbands. They are known for naming their children in alphabetical order. In these books, we follow the love stories of the Daphne and Simon; Anthony and Kate; Benedict and Sophie; Colin and Penelope; Eloise and Phillip; and Francesca and Michael.
These books are a fun trip back in time. And while I am certainly glad that we no longer have to marry for stability,comfort, and protection, I do enjoy a great Regency story about dressing for a ball and inappropriate clandestine meetings. The love stories are sexy, torrid, and have the ability to fluster the reader. Some of the best descriptions are of the fantasies, and while the author will always allow that they reality is better than fantasy, I believe that sometimes, the fantasy can hold more anticipation and suspense.

“Raven’s Influence: A Paranormal Women’s Fiction Novel (Cleo’s Second Act Book 1)” by Lynn Morrison
This is book one in a new series by London Cozy Mystery writer, Lynn Morrison. It revolves around a middle-aged divorcee, Cleo, going home to help her mom and finding that, of course, she has to save the world while she is there. Because, obviously, women don’t have enough on their plates. On the cusp of being an empty-nester, Cleo has to train and learn how to use her inner powers in order to follow her fate.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! There is enough paranormal to make it sci-fi, and realistic enough to make it a modern fun coming-of-age (again) story. With ancient gods, witchcraft, and general badassery, this is a great story for women empowerment! Can’t wait for book 2!

That is my rundown for now, folks. Have you read any of these? How did you feel about them? Enjoy them? Hate them? Did you enjoy any other series that you think I should read? Send me a message and let me know about it! Catch you on the flip side, word nerds!

May, 2021

Today, I embarked upon Stage 1 of “Getting back to close to normal”. I went to the pharmacy and was able to get my first dose of the Covid Vaccine!!
Since I had to wait a full 90 days after HAVING Covid, I was able to get my shot last week…however, I ended up 2 1/2 weeks ago getting my Tetanus booster. So, I had to wait a bit longer….but I DID IT! I finally feel like we are moving forward!

Yesterday, I got bored and painted a wall. Just one. Not even the whole wall. Just an arch. The husband came home to paint stuff on the porch and the smell emanating from the house, and the only thing he had to say was “what did you paint today?” Ahhahaha.
He knows his wife pretty well, I guess. Of all the things that NEEDED to be done, I painted a wall.

This summer is looking up. Conventions are starting to reschedule and we are looking forward to seeing family again!
With everyone immunized, we can see family after an entire year of being apart. I am so excited. I have missed seeing my family-our visits are rare anyway, because we live so far apart.
As long as conventions are going to follow some safety guidelines, I will be excited to jump back into the role of volunteer so that I can see my nerds again!

In the meantime, I have managed to read a few books, after so long of not being able to. I have completed two room redo’s in my house. I have purged nonsense out of my life (both figuratively and literally). I have managed to clear out all the people in my life that were toxic. I feel good about my decisions, and am feeling hopeful of the near future.

So, y’all. Keep wearing masks. Keep getting your shots. Keep your guards up just a bit. We are not fear mongering. We are REALISTICALLY preventing illness in our communities.
Hugs to all. If you have anything you want to share about your year, about a book you recommend, about your summer plans….just email me here!

Writing Sample (Professional Letter-an example, not a real letter)

Justin Ball, Director
Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture
1370 Church Hill Drive
New Braunfels, Texas 78130
RE: Day Camp Proposal

My name is Medrith, and I am involved with a scouting group in San Antonio. We are interested in using your property to host a day camp.
We are prepared to work with you on all of the arrangements to make sure we are fully prepared and agreed on the proceedings.

Our group was thinking of using your facilities to offer a variety of informative and interactive activities.
We know, for instance, that you have a blacksmithing area, and access to Blacksmiths in the area that might be able to show the historical and cultural significance of that trade, as well as showing the youth how they might participate. Learning about metal work is a badge to be earned, and all topics from safety to tool usage would be able to be covered thoroughly, allowing our scouts a greater understanding of the subject.

We could potentially cover the following topics:
Architecture
Basketry
Bird Study
Camping
Citizenship
Collections
Cooking
Metal Work
Nature
Photography
Woodwork

We would, of course, offer volunteers to help with each of the lessons, as well as a detailed schedule, so that our children would know that they could accomplish all of their goals in one day.
We would welcome any help from any experts in the above mentioned fields that would be willing.

Because your facilities are located on private property, are fenced in accordingly, and are rather large and wooded, we would love to be able to camp on your grounds as well. Our motto is always “Leave No Trace,” so you can be sure that your grounds would be left cleaner than when we arrive. We will make sure to supply our own food, cooking supplies, cleaning supplies, trash bags and the like.

If you have any suggestions or compromises that would make this event successful, and fun for the scouts, please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience and I will do my best to accommodate.
Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Medrith Loe




Writing Sample (previously unpublished review)

I ordered two boxes of the InHome Wildwood Peel & Stick Wallpaper (covering approximately 28 sq ft) recently from an online resource.

I received the wallpaper in an appropriate amount of time (2-3 days). The box was in decent shape, and the wallpaper was enclosed in plastic boxes inside.

Other reviews complained about the color variation, which I thought was as represented in the photo. Another complaint was about the quality of the surface when scratched.

First, application was smooth, and went easier than planned. Second, there was not any scratching to the surface, so I did not experience the paint effect peeling or tearing.

There is 16.5 linear feet of the wallpaper, which was more than enough to cover the closet doors in my child’s bedroom. The doors look like they are made of real wood from a distance. The paper lined up easily to continue the design on the next door. I enjoy the quality of this purchase, and my only criticism would be that a texture added to the surface would make this item even more realistic.

5/5 stars for ease of application
4/5 stars for appearance
5/5 stars for delivery time/condition
5/5 stars for accurate online representation/description
3/5 stars for price (this stuff is NOT cheap)
4/5 stars overall

Writing Sample (Blog Post)

When my youngest was born, he was a preemie, and had a lot of challenges early on. What we wouldn’t know for another two years, though, is that he would suffer with sensory processing issues his whole life.
What that meant when he was small, as compared to now, has not changed all that dramatically.

Let me start by explaining SPD. Sensory Processing Disorder is a challenge in processing stimuli from outside and inside the body, such as hearing, visual, taste, smells, touch, vestibular, and proprioceptive. A person can have a variety of reactions to any stimulus, being either hypo- or hyper-sensitive.
While many people know of the “five senses,” many don’t know of the other two mentioned. Vestibular system function relays information on balance and head location in relation to gravity. Proprioceptive system function is the reliable location sensing of your body and its location in relation to everything else around you.

When he was small, my kiddo suffered with hearing aversion (things were always too loud); taste aversion (certain textures of food were off putting); but needed touch, vestibular, and proprioceptive input regularly and at a higher level than neuro-typical individuals.
As he aged, we noticed a few patterns that stuck around. Mostly though, his needs changed with his growth, and as he reached puberty, he outgrew quite a few of the symptoms we had learned to expect. While his motor-planning skills have improved over time, he also still has deficits that can cause restrictions in autonomy (bike riding is currently still his nemesis).

Enter Covid.
Enter Online Schooling.
Enter Mom and Child together 24/7.
Enter room for improvement.
Enter new and improved sensory needs.

My child just turned 15. He is currently schooling from home, due to lack of vaccination for under 16, and underlying health issues. No judging what works for your family-so don’t judge what works for mine, please.
While he has been home for over a year, we have learned that our boundaries are way more blurred than ever. Reminders of socially appropriate behavior are near constant. Just because they can’t see you or hear you, does not mean you can behave that way.
Please sit correctly in the chair, stay on task. You only have to be in class for 20 minutes.
How have you never learned to take notes? What math skills will I be teaching you today? What do you mean you wrote several poems and entered them into a contest? I thought you hated English?
Please get dressed before venturing out of the bedroom, because while the human body is nothing to be ashamed of, you are preparing to follow a schedule and you wouldn’t do that if you had to attend school in person, so please don’t do it now.

All these reminders may seem like little things. Nagging even. But some sensory issues can evolve out of these behaviors. When he sits incorrectly in the chair, he has to receive input somewhere else-which usually ends up with him eating the pads of his fingers. He bites them until they bleed. Not the nails-the pads. The parts of the fingers one must use to TOUCH the touchscreen on the ipad.
When he hyper-focuses on one assignment, he loses track of time and ends up missing other classes. We have alarms set on the computer for the beginning and end of every class, so he has a warning before he has to change settings. He also has a built in break between classes, so that he can get up and bounce around, stretch, or go pee.
Learning skills like taking notes, math, and English take a LOT of focus. So, before we set to those, we have to really get in something good. Like a chore with heavy lifting or moving items from one room to another in order to activate those muscles.

My child still makes “Angel Wings” every. Single. Day. It’s a way to flex the muscles on the shoulder blades, and gives him thorough input on his back.
He still toe-walks. Walking on the toes provides input to the vestibular and proprioceptive system, reminding his body where it is in space and which way it is facing.
He bites his fingers, peeling the skin off of them. Which sounds painful, but really just provides more sensory input because then the skin is thinner, allowing more sensitivity.
He still likes big bear hugs, pillow smooshes, and swings. He likes foods with extreme tastes: sour and spicy. He likes jumping, swinging his arms, and sports that use a lot of body systems at once.

So, while we started with one set of issues, his age and growth-and more than anything else, situation-have led to a new set of issues.
I am not claiming to be an expert. I am just a parent. We argue, we fight it out, and there are meltdowns. They can be epic. And tiring for everyone involved. But we have a way to deal with those too. It isn’t perfect, but it sort of works for us.

So, mommas and dads, grands and aunties and uncles: if you have a kiddo in your life that is diagnosed with a sensory processing issue, be prepared for a lifetime of learning. You will learn how to help your kiddo. You will learn what senses are impacted, and how they work. You will learn how they change over time, and how that change effects their behaviors. You will learn how to love your kiddo in a way that is good for them.

Already March 2021

So, this week we celebrate one full year of our two week curve defying lock down. We celebrate the release of THREE separate vaccines. The fact that no one in New Zealand has died in MONTHS. That doctors are addressing the needs of those showing long term symptoms. That people are generally good, and fight for wearing masks. That there are more helpful folks than Kens and Karens.

This week we celebrate the small things. The beginning of Spring. The potential for signing into law that we don’t have to adjust our clocks again. (*praying for that one*) This week we celebrate that we have all come out the other side smarter, stronger, more likely to remain healthy, and possibly starting to socialize outside the house in person again.

This week we celebrate that I have started reading again. I needed to read. I forgot how good it made me feel. I started reading a series of e-books, smutty and more regency related. But books, nonetheless. Books are an excellent escape. They make you laugh, cry, think, investigate, and just imagine. While the historical aspect of these books makes me day-dream of the time of Austen, they are also rather fun. The banter between characters, the revelations of young lovers, the fight with hundreds of layers of clothes with multiple sets of ties, buckles, and buttons. (LOL)

So, in an attempt at restarting my book reviews, I am attempting to read. Kind of necessary for a book review. If you have any suggestions for me, let me know! Also let me know how you have handled your past year. Do you have anxiety? Depression? Did you fall in love via Zoom? Did you move? Did you get sick? Recover? Have you worked from home? Gotten tired of being cooped up with your loved ones? Taken a vacation? I want to know!

Welcome to August…

It is the middle of the month of August. Only fourish months left in this year. Things have changed so much this year.

My kiddo will be starting school in a week. He will be distance learning until December, at least. We have his room set up so he has a desk and a learning center, and he has an iPad updated with all the apps needed. He has done his summer reading, and will be able to focus on his work. I am hoping that a real schedule will help all of us.

We are considering going on a day trip soon, to celebrate making it to the end of summer without too many issues. A day trip to the beach, with water and sun, a picnic, and just a minute to disconnect and relax? Yes, please!

I was able to read a couple of books recently. Smut series follow ups. But books, nonetheless. It was like a short lived fuse, two quick books that took about a day and a half each to read. Now, I am working on getting me on track again. Again. Again. Always again.

I have gained some weight. I guess lounging with snacks and Netflix will do that to a person. :). But I was able to watch some movies and catch up on series that have been out forever that I never really had the time to watch. I really need to start doing yoga again, and I can’t wait for the cooler weather so I can go outside and walk…without suffering a heat stroke 10 minutes in…

I had a gym membership, but have since cancelled it due to Covid. And living in South Central Texas is its own special form of torture. The summers are starting earlier and lasting longer and getting hotter. We recently set up an easy up with our furniture under it to keep them cooler, and an inflatable pool in the front yard. Gotta do what ya gotta do.

While we await school, while I look for stay at home work, and while my husband risks his health every single day, we hope you all stay safe. Wear your masks. Wash your hands. Stay socially distant. Be healthy.