Every day since the original posting of this answer on Quora someone finds it and responds. I hope this reminds you of something warm and fuzzy, and makes your heart feel full. If you’re curious read the comments on the link below.
This question gave me goose-bumps. You will see why when I post a photo at the end.
My older son was given a lovely plush “Teddy” from my mother when he was born. He also had a yellow “Blanky”—these became their proper names. Of course, Zack couldn’t live or fall asleep without these two things. Well, in the interest of full disclosure, he has always been kind of different. When he was two and couldn’t yet speak, he slept with a container filled with colored markers—yes, he’s a super creative Ad Guy! He knows exactly what he wants and at the age of 35, he still goes after what he wants and usually gets it.
Poor Teddy became less fluffy and more distressed as the years wore on. He ended up in the washing machine one time too many, and well, he managed to survive but definitely had a few bald spots! Blanky, on the other hand, shrunk—like older things and people tend to do. So from a nice baby-sized blanket, after cutting it down a few times, and redoing the ribbon on the side, Blanky was no longer at her best. Blanky became more like a napkin size but she was still perfect for Zack.
Now along comes University. Zack is leaving British Columbia and traveling to Montreal, Quebec to go to school. Now I asked my son, what do we do? He responded: “Mom. You know Teddy doesn’t travel.” And that was that. We found a special spot for him up on a shelf and Zack went off to college.
Fast-forward through the years. We sold the house. My husband and I split up. I moved to Mexico. Zack graduated and moved to Toronto, then Vancouver, and finally settled in Paris.
I now have a lovely grandbaby who just turned 3. Of course, I tried to find a teddy just like TEDDY, but it wasn’t meant to be. So Felix has a rabbit. Several of the same model. Because just like his daddy, there is no sleeping without Rabbit!
I can’t tell you how many panic attacks we’ve had when we can’t find our Lapin! But we always manage!
And then one day, a couple of months ago, my son sent me this photo through Messenger from Paris:
I responded with the ‘aaahhhs’ and lovely words of a Grandmother who misses her adult son and only grandson.
“That’s so sweet. It’s nice to see he has another toy beside his rabbit!”
“MOM, take a closer look!”
“Mom, Dad was visiting Judy in Montreal, and he brought this back from Canada for Felix!! It’s my Teddy!”
One day you will look back on your life. You will wish your daughter’s challenges in life were as simple as giving up plush toys.
Whether you are 14 or 35 or 72, there are some memories in life that are priceless.
How I ended up in this city is pure serendipity. But here I am and I LOVE it.
Everyday I learn more and more. 17M people live here, but it feels like any other city in the world, only more historical and beautiful. Let me tell you why I love it.You walk amongst historical sites like it’s part of everyday life. Take a look at this view. The Blue Mosque is in the foreground and the Hagia Sophia in the background. If you make an arrow straight from the left of this photo over the Bosphorus Strait, that’s where I live. It’s a 15 minute tram ride to the Blue Mosque.
The Old City Walls are intact and can be seen in various forms all around the city. Imagine driving on ultra modern bridges and highways, with a view of the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople that saved the city many a time during its wars against the Avars, the Tartars, the Russians, and the Bulgarians.
Photo Bob Phillips thank you! Fine Art America
The food is fun, delicious, nutritious, and colorful! And I LOVE the chocolates!!
The mix of old and new is felt in both the architecture, the culture, and the Islam religion. The unique ability for a 96.4% Muslim country to live side by side with all religions and cultures is felt in the welcoming nature of the people. As a secular woman I dress in my comfortable secular attire, and walk side by side with fully robed and casually attired Muslim women. There is no criticism, nor evil eyes, only nods of recognition that we are all one.
I LOVE the Call to Prayer, the Muslim tradition of the Quran prayer that reminds the devout five times a day, to stop what he/she is doing and say a prayer. Most of us have a belief in a Higher Power. It’s expressed by a variety of religions and ideologies, but the tenets are the same: We are all one and God is Love.
I was given a second chance at life in 2008 and I am determined to make the most of it! LOVE the Beat Goes On
Thank you for following my blog and I hope I gave you a small taste of life in Istanbul, Turkey.
Istanbul cats are famous. Who knew? They are everywhere and they are beautiful.
The religion of Islam teaches that animals are to be honored and cared for, but the Cat is the only one allowed to live in the home and walk into a Mosque. That doesn’t negate any other animals, it’s simply that the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) has laws for the treatment of animals and fellow man and he had cats!
I’m quite fascinated by the local cats, their beauty, their health, and their attitude. They know they rule! The community feeds the animals whether they are pets or not. I passed a cat on my street eating fresh chicken placed outside by the local butcher for the cats. Another day I encountered a lovely tabby having tinned tuna. It’s the same with the stray dogs. They are healthy and have been tagged by the city so we know they are free of disease. The dogs wander the streets; but hey are not aggressive at all. The spend their nights curled up in doorways or at the entrance of the Mosques.
When I go walking or take the millions of steps up to the top of the hill (Istanbul is a city of so many hills!) I stop to greet and chat with the cats. Even the street art pays homage to the superiority and love for the Cats of Istanbul! I thought I’d share them with you!
Do you have a favorite? I definitely lean towards the green eyes, and the Kung Fu Cat! I could go on and on, but you get that it’s a “Cats’ World” in Istanbul, Turkey!
If you occasionally drop by my Instagram account you will see photos that make you smile, giggle, downright laugh-out-loud, and shake your head. You might ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’ and wonder how my mind works! You see, I’m in love with creativity. I have a passion for fashion, design, street-art, people, faces, places, night time, day time, words, film, photography, writing–well, you get it, right? So when you drop by my blog, you never know what you are going to get.
Today we have two new book covers.
When I started Code Raven XPOSED, I had no idea it would turn into a series! Therefore, it doesn’t have a cohesive feel to each novella/book. So I started with the PREQUEL and worked with a talented designer from South Africa. I hope you love the results as I do because not only does it look great, but the novella introduces you to LUKE RAVEN and his Raven Group. This is where it all began.
I love the way my designer works. She blends photos to create this ‘feel.’ We have Ravens, and hieroglyphs, thunder and road maps!
The world’s most elusive billionaire. A brain trust that cannot be controlled. A warrior and a patriot. After the brutal murder of Luke Raven’s wife and seven-year-old daughter, Luke disappears for several months. When he returns, get ready for the non-stop action of Luke, Luci, Zach, RB, Maggs, and a cast of unforgettable characters who form the Raven Group. Discover the secretive life of billionaire Luke Raven, how he made his fortunes, and where his true loyalties lie. The Code Raven Series is a page-turner, an action-packed adventure. This is where it all began.
And for my second reveal, the first in the series is XPOSED. The new cover was uploaded to Amazon less than an hour ago and it’s already online! Now that’s great service.
XPOSED takes us on a wild journey of a mother and child running from the drug cartels in South America, Also free to read if you have a PRIME MEMBERSHIP!!
If you’re addicted to reading like I am, you want to have this subscription so you can BINGE read like me!
XPOSED is a wild action-adventure novella that uncovers a dark and dangerous world of high-level intrigue, passion, power, and greed.
After seizing millions of dollars from an illegal arms-for-drugs deal between a rogue CIA faction, and a South American cartel, Luci retires from clandestine operations and hides out in Central America with her four-year-old daughter. Spotted by her enemies, she is chased up the Pacific coast to Mexico where she is saved by teammates of ex-Navy SEAL Zach, a member of ‘Raven’s Group.’
Meanwhile, the US government is in the throes of cyber warfare with China. Luke Raven, a high-tech billionaire, is the only man that can save America from the deadly fallout. He enlists the help of Luci, an ex-Mossad assassin, who now feels an obligation to Luke Raven for rescuing her.
They take their high-stakes adventure across the USA and over the ocean to Paris. The action culminates in Shanghai, China where an ultra-wealthy and ruthless business tycoon possesses highly sensitive information that would have catastrophic results for the USA in the wrong hands. But will they get there soon enough to secure the data from their enemies?
As usual, thanks for joining me in this wild and exciting journey. I’m currently working on Code Raven 7. And all I can say is wow!! TEASERS: ISTANBUL, Syria, Iran, and the usual fast-paced-action-based stories I love to write and you love to read!
It’s that time of year, again! Happy Mother’s Day! I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy in early 2008! After many months at 28% EF, there was no improvement although the shortness of breath and what felt like heart attack seemed under control with meds.
The doctors told me at best I’d need a transplant but basically the last words were “get your affairs in order.” This photo was taken a few days ago in Istanbul Turkey. This year I sold everything and decided to travel and visit all the places I write about in my books! I’m now in my fourth month!! I’ve written my personal story it’s available on Amazon LOVE the Beat Goes On, and has inspired many! But I’m writing this to let you know not to give up hope!!!
I went to work with a shaman in Arizona in 2008. I never had a transplant nor any operations. The last thing I did before I started this trip was to visit my cardiologist in Puerto Vallarta where I lived. He said “you will always have some left bundle blockage but your heart is functioning at 86% normal! And it’s been that way for several years! Live and enjoy your life!”
I’m embarking on a journey-of-a-lifetime. In the next 48 hours, I will book my destinations! So many people have asked me why I’m going. Why now?
I’ve sold all my possessions, and yes, I’m taking my photos, and small family heirlooms. So my blogs/vlogging/books/photography will take a different spin over the next six months. Get ready. I promise you it’s going to be amazing and I’m taking you with me!!
We believe that traveling around the world shouldn’t be hard: it’s actually something everyone should be able to do at least once in their lives. Whether you choose to spend a few years or just a couple months traveling this beautiful planet, it’s important to see what’s out there. It’s up to you to make the dream come true and take the first step. Launch TripPlanner to piece together and price your ideal route. Not sure where to start? You can always call one of our travel consultants and get some complimentary advice!
2. Travel opens your eyes.
If you’re open and willing, travel will make you an incredibly more well-rounded human being. And that’s really the goal, isn’t it? If you don’t know where to start, check out our Around the World planning guide.
3. Traveling helps you learn who you are.
All the challenges and opportunities travel lays at your feet help you discover who you are in a way that’s only possible on the road.
4. Travel creates meaningful relationships
People you meet while on the road become some of the most valued names on your contact list. They become places on the map to visit later on. These folks give you a glimpse outside your hometown circle of friends, and force you to take in new and refreshing perspectives, and ultimately realize that everyone is the same.
5. Traveling develops skills you didn’t know you had
Sometimes it’s only far from home that you realize you you’ve got skills you’ve never used. It’s travel that brings them to the surface and makes you smile, satisfied to have reached the mountain top, or crossed a gorge or helped a villager clean up after a storm, or even to have successfully ordered a meal at a rural Chinese restaurant.
6. Travel helps you learn new languages
There’s something satisfying about being able to throw around a few words of Greek, knowing how to say thanks in Thai, pulling out that long dormant Spanish to book a room in Santiago, or simply hearing a language you didn’t know existed just a few weeks before.
7. Travel means adventure
Zip-lining over the jungle canopy in Peru, successfully navigating the maze-like streets of Venice, bartering for the best price in the traditional markets of Marrakech, taking a speedboat ride in New Zealand, or hopping in a Land Rover and heading out to watch animals grazing in Tanzania: these are adventures worth having. People are hardwired for the excitement of adventure and travel may just be the best way to tap into it.
8. Traveling gives you perspective
Meeting people from other cultures will teach you that the way you’ve been looking at the world isn’t the way everybody else does. In fact, your point-of-view might have some major blind spots. Seeing the world for yourself will improve your vision and your grip on reality.
9. Travel helps you move forward
If you’re between jobs, schools, kids, or relationships, around the world travel can be a perfect way to move from one of these life stages into your next great adventure. A big trip won’t just ease your transition into the next stage of your life, it’ll give you a chance to reflect on where you’ve been, where you’re going, and where you want to end up.
10. Travel is education
Seeing the world provides an education that’s absolutely impossible get in school. Travel teaches you economy, politics, history, geography, and sociology in an intense, hands-on way no class will. Fortunately, the school of travel is always taking applications, no entrance exam required.
11. Travel challenges you
Getting your daily latte at the same place and staring at your screen at your nine-to-five every day not nearly interesting enough? Even if you choose to work on the road (and keep staring at the screen), you’ll have to find a new place to drink your latte, and depending on your destination, finding coffee, and foamy milk or a good place to sip them could prove to be a sizeable challenge. Travel is full of moments of joy and challenges. Overcoming the challenges gives you some of the greatest joys of all.
12. Travel shakes things up
It sucks to be stuck in a rut. Everyone knows what that’s like. A big trip can be your perfect solution. Fly around the world, stopping over in all of the places you’ve always wanted to visit. Go ahead and plan your ideal route around the world (it’s easier than you think!)
13. Traveling proves that dreams do come true
You imagined it, daydreamed about it, envisioned it. Guess what? It can be done. Around the world travel is possible, you just have to decide you’re willing to take the first step and start planning your itinerary. What are you waiting for? We’ve put together some specials to inspire you to live your dream.
14. Travel gives you cool stories
Let’s face it. Even for folks who can’t tell a story, just the words “last year in Mongolia” get you instant party points. Even when events seem trivial, nostalgia and distance create an irresistible spin that makes mundane things like getting your laundry done in Zanzibar, entertaining. Just don’t be that person and overdo it!
15. Travel is literally food for thought.
You’ll be constantly surprised at the flavors the world has to offer. The way people in other cultures and countries prepare food, and break bread together (not that all cultures even eat bread) will astound you.
16. Travel gives you a sense of accomplishment
If you’re the kind of person that dreams big, you’re probably one to reach for new challenges. Finishing a trip gives you the satisfaction that you were able make a goal to travel and accomplish what you set out to do–see the world.
17. Traveling for the hell of it
Why travel? Because you can. Because you want to. Because it beats the alternative (staying home). Why not pick up your tickets and get the ball rolling!
Yikes, this weekend saw so many authors with books that dropped out of the Amazon system. I experienced half of my novels directly “not available for sale,” or they disappeared altogether. I don’t know what happened, but apparently, it was a technical issue. If I lost sales for 3 days, can you imagine what this international glitch cost the company in lost revenue?
But, after all that, I finally got SHOOT ME up and running, linked with the paperback and the ebook on pre-order. But the question remains, should an author put all her book eggs in one online basket? I don’t know. The top authors are not too upfront about this specific issue. Are the other online retailers responsible for a large percentage of sales? Or do they represent single digit percentages?
Readers’ Favorite Best in Contemporary Fiction 2018
In Lie to Me, an exposé on sex for money I introduced you to Layla an American writer who has an insatiable curiosity about the men in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico who sell their bodies to vacationing women. Yes, it is as interesting as it sounds. Who wouldn’t want to know how a male prostitute feels about his life and the clients he services.
Tomorrow I head for Miami, Florida to receive the 2018 Bronze Award for Contemporary Fiction Social Issues for Lie to Me. I will be posting from the Miami Book Fair, and the Readers’ Favorite Awards show. It should be so much fun. A wonderful side benefit will be the interaction with fellow authors that I only know online.
Layla wakes up one morning to an empty bed in steamy Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. She drowns herself in wine, espresso, and pot but nothing seems to dull the ache of losing Mateo. A change of scenery in the trendy city of Guadalajara might be the answer.
Insert Pablo, a hot young fashion photographer. Add forty-something writer Layla, her pink stilettos and her insatiable appetite for hot young men. Complicate things with Omar, a musician, and a one-night-stand. Enter Mish a University student who is relegated to the friend zone in Layla’s life. But will he stay there? Then invite the cartel boss’ son to a private opening of the fashion photographer Pablo’s latest erotic exhibit. A bomb goes off, and the action goes into overdrive.
If you love sexual-tension, and a complex series of titillating and exciting twists and turns, you will want to read Shoot Me. Layla is a woman with a heart who keeps searching for love in all the wrong places. Will she finally find it?