Trying on a Different Hat

Hello sweet readers,

Kim and I have been talking about Part Two of Haint Blue, and we are still working on how we are going to finish and release it. It has not been abandoned, I promise.

I know a lot of people have been asking about it, and I understand their frustration….they want to know how the story ends!  Trust me, we didn’t want to leave you all with a cliffhanger for so long!  It’s frustrating for Kim and I as well.

However, life happens….and has happened to Kim and I both.  We didn’t go into the Haint Blue books to make a profit, but to tell our story in full detail.  As far as I know, our episode of Paranormal Witness is still airing on SyFy and cable networks on demand, so we are getting new likes and traffic to the website….and that’s great! So anyone who wants to know the details of our story can find them in the book and on our website.

My youngest son was recently diagnosed with a disability, and as a lot of you know…my oldest child is also on the autism spectrum.  With the new diagnosis of my youngest, I’ve had to come up with a life plan that involves working at a job that helps to make ends meet for our family…..something that will help pay for all the extra therapies and things that my youngest needs to help him overcome his diagnosis.  So, I’ve had to give up writing for right now and work on a plan that I hope will help my family with all of these added expenses.  I have already written my portion of Haint Blue, Part Two…so that isn’t an issue at all.  I just won’t have as much time to devote to things other than my new job.

I just wanted to keep all of you in the loop, and thank you so much for all of your support.  If you don’t see many posts from me on here, just know that I’m not gone….just taking a little break:)

Thank you so much for your interest in our story, and how we have overcome so much negativity in our lives!

As soon as I have a definite release date for Part Two, I will post immediately!

Much Love,



Observation Room





Yesterday was a tough day.

I have officially tested (and have proven) the theory that parents of children with autism suffer from PTSD. As most of you may already know, my oldest boy has autism. He’s 13 years old, he’s wonderful, and he lights up the room.

Twelve years ago, I sat in an observation room at a clinic (behind the one-way glass) while my oldest boy completed a battery of tests given to him by Speech Language Pathologists, Pediatric Neurologists, Pediatricians, Developmental Pediatricians, Audiologists and Occupational Therapists.

And twelve years later, I’m having to do it all over again with my youngest child.

Yesterday, I sat in an observation room (behind the one-way glass again) and watched my littlest guy complete the testing required to pinpoint his problems, and find his strengths as far as his expressive and receptive language is concerned.

As I sat in the darkened observation room, I felt the slow building of a panic attack.  My heart began to race, I started sweating and shivering and that familiar pressure in my chest made me feel like I would explode at any moment. I felt light headed and couldn’t regulate my breathing… I cupped my hands together, closed my tear-filled eyes and did my best to avoid a full-blown episode.

I was alone in the booth. No one could see or hear me as I watched my child fail test after test, while he kept getting frustrated at the doctors….and began spitting at them.

Tears rolled down my cheeks and I was alone.

I did my best to keep my mind from drifting into panic mode, even as my body was betraying me.  My mind betrayed me, anyway….no matter how hard I tried:

“It’s not autism. It’s not autism.”

“What is developmental delay?”

“What do I do to help him?”

“If his hearing is almost perfect, then why does he not answer my questions?”

“Why doesn’t he understand me?”

“If it isn’t autism, then why does he have autism-like behaviors?”

“How could this happen?”

“I’m old, and I’m tired. I’ve fought for services for my oldest child.  How am I going to have the strength to do this all over again at my age?”

“How can we afford all these therapies?”

“How do I fix this?”

“Why did I wait so long to get these tests done?”

“Why didn’t I listen to my gut when he was 2?”

“You are a horrible mother.”

“You waited too long, and now he’s going to suffer for the rest of his life.”

“Your boys have two different fathers, so it’s obviously YOUR fault.”

“You did something wrong. You are cursed.”

“You are worthless and pathetic.”

“You should have …..”

“Why didn’t you…..”

Even as the avalanche of hateful words from my own mind poured over me, I managed to pull myself together long enough to keep from passing out.  I looked through the glass at my little curly-haired boy with the chubby cheeks and big brown eyes.  I smiled through the tears.  It isn’t about me.  It’s about him.

I can do this again. I will do it again.  There is no other way.

I knew that we were dealing with developmental delay last year when I got him evaluated by our local school district.  My little guy attends a program for special needs children, and he receives speech therapy once a week.  I was handling his diagnosis pretty well, prior to being stuck in an observation booth….

….so my conclusion is that I have PTSD.

Instead of facing the situation head-on and dealing with ALL of the emotions that go with having your child diagnosed with having a disability, I decided to bury all of those emotions.

It was the observation room that stabbed me in the heart…..and all of those emotions started to bleed out. It was a cruel reminder of the past.  A reminder of what all I had already been through, and it was the starting line of a new marathon.  A race I had run once before, and was still running with my oldest boy.

Last night, I had my meltdown.  I had a good cry….facilitated with an abundance of wine. Two bottles, to be exact.

Don’t judge…it’s my process.

I fall apart….and then I get up the next day and get my ass to work.

Today, I am picking up the pieces and getting to work on a plan.  All I know is autism, so I’m going to treat developmental delay like autism.  I’ll just tweak the treatment plan a little bit.

We are looking at diet changes, vitamin supplements, occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, neurological tests to rule out an underlying problem, visits to a feeding clinic, doctors appointments, changes to IEP, at-home therapies and weighted vests.  We are looking at play therapy, summer clinics, Proprioception excercises, sensory activities, language-building DVDs, music therapy and anything else I can find that may help my little man.

Last night, as I spoke with my husband about all the things we will need to do…we decided it was best to cancel the cruise we had been planning for our 10 year anniversary next year.  Our little man needs help, and our insurance deductible is very high.  Every penny we have will need to be poured into therapies for him.  I am going to our travel agent tomorrow to get our deposit back, and use the money to schedule some speech therapy sessions for this summer.

So….that’s what happened yesterday.

The observation room happened.  And I am fully awake now.  No more denial.

I am picking up the pieces, and getting to work.

It’s what I have to do.



Saturday Night!



Hey Y’all!

Just a quick little blog post to let you all know that Kim and I will be on The Knights Pub Podcast this Saturday night (April 29) at 7 p.m. CST.  For those that want to tune in, you can find the show on

There hasn’t been a lot going on in my world other than end-of-school-year activities with my little ones, field trips and the occasional cold…so doing a podcast interview is going to be a fun break from the norm.  Also, Hunter and I will be celebrating our 9 year wedding anniversary this year by making payments on a cruise to the Bahamas….for our 10 year anniversary NEXT year.  I have been constantly thinking about lounging on a Caribbean beach with a fruity drink….so that has been my MAIN distraction these last couple of months.  I even bought a new suitcase.  I need a break!

Anyway,  I hope you all can tune in to the podcast.  Kim and I are still working on Haint Blue: The Rockford Haunting, Part 2.  It is taking much longer than expected, because there is SO MUCH research that has to be done, and facts need to be correct. Be sure to follow our Facebook page to keep up with events, book signings, ghost tours and announcements! Also check out the Haint Blue website at for audio links to some other interviews Kim and I have done over the past year.

Have a great week!


Brace Yourself. Middle Age is Coming


I have been doing some hard-core obsessing lately. Although it’s part of my personality to obsess over certain things from time to time, this has been an all-consuming obsess-fest that I’ve been experiencing for the last month or so.

I am turning 40 in about four months.  This fact has not slipped my notice since that hot July day last year when I turned 39.  I’ve been waiting for the big 4-0 like a child waits for a shot in the butt.

At first, I decided to fight it. I would bleach my hair blonde and cover up my salt and pepper gray hair.  Okay….so I did that.  Then, I decided blonde was just not for me, and I dyed my hair back to brown. This made my salt and pepper gray hair very angry.  I now have to dye it every three weeks, or those angry gray hairs shine on my scalp like tinsel on a Christmas tree.  Since dying my hair every three weeks with harsh chemicals is not the best for my health, I’ve decided to go with henna….which will drip down my face as I sweat in the Summer or if I happen to get caught in a sudden rainstorm.  Oh, well…beauty is pain.

The next huge obsession for me was skin care.  I bought about $200 worth of Oil of Olay products for my face, because I had a nightmare about the skin on my face dripping down into oozy pools of goop on my neck and shoulders. (As if that suddenly will happen to me when the clock strikes midnight on my 40th birthday.) Needless to say, the Olay products do not work.  I still have some deep wrinkles on my forehead, and a few fine lines around my mouth. Well, I take that back…Olay DOES work….if you want to turn back the clock to the age of 14 and have the acne break-outs that go with it.  I’ve never had acne before in my life, but thanks to Olay….I do now! Wrinkles AND acne!

Since those two obsessions failed and faded, I decided that if I can’t look any younger….then I should just invest in drawing attention AWAY from my aging face and hair: with JEWELRY!  It was ALLLLL about jewelry for about two months. I watched QVC and JTV religiously and I even ordered myself a beautiful Diamonique ring (Cubic Zirconia – I can’t afford the real deal) and some beautiful silver pieces from Tiffany and Co. (I’m OBSESSED with Tiffany and Co….that will be an obsession forever).  I got out my jewelry box and took inventory of the most sparkly things I own and decided I would make more of an effort to accessorize a little more.

While looking at myself in the mirror as I was trying on a few pairs of earrings, I noticed the deep wrinkle lines on my forehead.  Angry at the wrinkles, the failed attempt to minimize them, and the fact that I’m still too young for Botox, I decided to give myself some bangs to “hide” my forehead wrinkles.

As I type this, I am draped in jewelry…covered in acne….and I have a set of bangs that Zooey Deschanel herself would love.

Getting older is hard, y’all.

I have four months to go until my 40th birthday.  Considering that I don’t anticipate living until I’m 100…that 80 will probably be the oldest I can manage, considering my family history….I’m officially “middle aged” and that is not a title that I am ready to hold.

I suppose all of the obsessing I’ve been doing lately can be described as a mid-life crisis. I won’t go into the fact that I’ve also been obsessing over my younger days in high school and college, looking through old pictures and reminiscing with old friends.  But, I have.

So, here I am….dreading my 40th birthday, but looking forward to it as well (oddly enough).  I may not be a spring chicken any more….but I do know a little more about life and how to live it at my ripe “old” age.  I’m more confident, determined and patient than I was in my teens and twenties.  I still make terrible decisions, but NOTHING like the ones I made in my 30s (so far).  But I’m still young.  At least, my mind still feels young.

For the next few months, I will cling to the positive and try not to dwell as much on turning the big 4-0.

After all, age is just a number….right?

And I’m asking for hair extensions, jewelery, pink champagne and a smash cake for my birthday.

Is that wrong?


Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the Flu


My children and I have been sick with the flu for the last week.  In between cleaning up various bodily fluids, and shivering with fever under piles of blankets, I’ve been lying in bed reading Truman Capote.  When my eyes couldn’t focus on the page, or I kept reading the same sentence over and over, I’d put my book down, turn on the TV and watch “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” on loop. While my sick babies slept, I watched Holly Golightly puff on cigarettes and make a mess out of her life.

And drool over Tiffany’s.

It got me through the flu.

When I wasn’t shivering, laying prone in my bed staring at the tiny shadows in my popcorn ceiling, or taking temperatures and dolling out doses of medicine, I was either watching “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” or dreaming of those little blue boxes everyone seems to covet.


When my own “little blue box” arrived a couple of weeks ago around Valentine’s Day, I finally, for the first time in my life, got to experience what it feels like to be given a piece of heaven.

I gently pulled at the white satin bow, lifted the small blue lid (embossed with Tiffany and Co.) and carefully retrieved a small pouch from the box.  Inside the pouch was a shiny, sterling silver ring with the words, “I love you” written in script around the narrow band.


A bright beam of light shone down from the clouds, and I swear I heard a choir of angels somewhere off in the distance.

It was as if I’d received the Crown Jewels, just because this simple little ring came from Tiffany’s.

Somehow, the Tiffany and Co. brand, one of my favorite writers (Capote) and one of my favorite movies meshed themselves together in one ring given to me by my favorite person: My Husband. It was an expensive gesture too, considering that the sterling silver ring was bought for $125, when a similar ring could have been purchased at Wal-Mart for around $20.

But it was a ring from Tiffany’s.

And it came in a little blue box.

In the movie, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”  Holly can’t afford anything from Tiffany’s, but her friend Paul gets a small silver ring as a prize in a box of Cracker Jack, and they decide to take it to Tiffany’s to have it engraved for her as a present.

I’m sentimental enough to see the connection between Holly’s ring and my own little ring, since I can’t afford much from Tiffany’s either.

Anyway, I wear it with pride. I wear it while reading Truman Capote books, and watching “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” while my body still aches from the flu.

I’m not entirely sure about the point of this blog post ….I’ve got some serious brain fog from these meds I’m taking.  I guess the point is: Tiffany’s can cure you from the “mean reds” – as Holly Golightly says…  it can keep you entertained while you can’t move anything but your eyeballs, and it can make you feel as special and as sophisticated as Audrey Hepburn.

Especially when you’ve got the flu.








I have been in bed since Friday.  It is currently Monday, January 30, 2017 and I am out of bed.  Not because I want to be, but because I have to be.

Friday morning, I met with the financial aid department at my chosen school and was told that since I already have a four-year degree, I don’t qualify for ANY financial aid to get a certificate.  Apparently, you can always go forward from a Bachelor’s degree….you can get a master’s or a PhD…but you can’t go down.  A certificate isn’t considered “academic” – so I can’t borrow the funds needed to obtain my goal.

Of course, I didn’t take “no” for an answer….it isn’t in my nature.  I called and spoke to my own school – Auburn University, with the hope that my Alumni status might carry some weight,  and they have the same policy.  It’s across the board… can go up, but not down.  Of course, I looked into scholarships and grants (none of which I qualify for) and I looked into getting a private loan from Sallie Mae….no dice.  I am not employed.  I am a stay at home mom.  I could get someone to co-sign, but no one I know is able, or would qualify for that for various reasons.  Plus, I don’t want to put anyone in that position.  I don’t want anyone else to pay for my education.  My goal was to borrow the money on my own, have the debt go onto my credit report and help me raise my credit so I could buy my own car in a few years.

The answer was no.

My self-worth took a huge hit.  I don’t regret going to college 20 years ago.  I regret my major.  Twenty years ago, I had energy and drive.  I wanted to move to a big city and become a hard-hitting journalist.  I’d even kicked around with the idea of going to graduate school.  Columbia was my chosen school for advancing my education.  But for many reasons I won’t mention here, after I earned my Bachelor’s degree,  I chose another path.  I got married.  I had a child.  Then, I got divorced, I got remarried and I had more children.  I made the decision to stay home with those children when I learned about the harsh reality of the American Work Environment….it is NOT family friendly.  I had trouble balancing the high-stress and deadlines of a newspaper career, with taking care of sick children and autism meltdowns.

The main point is, I am not the same person I used to be.  The world of journalism also isn’t what it used to be.  Jobs are few and far between….and the pay is just as lousy (if not more) as it was when I graduated in 1999.  Journalism is also one of the Top 10 useless degrees in the last five years. Anyone can be a journalist these days, and you don’t need a degree to do it.  My degree came before the internet took off, before newsrooms were downsized and before copy editing was outsourced.  Hometown newspapers are still thriving, but the pay is even worse than the larger newspapers.

Friday morning….my dream to escape the confines of “stay at home mom life” and “taking a new career path when the kids grow up” was shattered like a crystal glass on a tile floor.

So, I shut out the world and wallowed in my depression and self-loathing.  I cried and lamented about my life.  I reflected on all the time I wasted in college, of all the time SINCE college that I changed diapers, wiped noses and played with Play-Doh.  I cried when I thought about getting up the next morning to stand at a sink and wash dishes, scrub floors and do an endless pile of laundry…..again and again and again. For the rest of my life.

And now, here I am.  Another day older and another day wiser.  I still don’t know what I’m going to do, but going back to school for a change in career is not an option.  I’ve got to do some more soul-searching, some more crying and some more thinking about what I’m going to do once my youngest little person starts school.

I refuse to be useless.  And I flat-out refuse to stay at home and clean day in and day out until I die.

And by useless….I’m not insulting other stay at home moms…other “lifers” who choose to stay at home indefinitely. I completely understand and respect the path they have taken.  But I didn’t know that once I stepped off the working mom hamster wheel….it would be next to impossible to get back on.

I DO want to be there for my children when they need me…that’s why I can’t and won’t  go back to a newsroom or advertising department.  I want to have something that is uniquely MINE….I want my own paycheck, my own sense of self and my OWN sense of accomplishment away from the home and the children.  I’d like to contribute to our family income, and help us get out of debt….and into a bigger and better home. Basically,  I’d like a lot of things.

Anyway,  that is only ONE of the issues I’ve been dealing with for the past few days. I won’t go into the other issues, as they are far too personal to mention on this blog.

So….here I am.  I am determined to get myself out of this depression and carry on. Brainstorming and lots of caffeine is on the menu today.  I also disconnected myself from ALL social media so that I can stop comparing myself to others….and so I can be free of distractions while I try to figure out my next move.

Dear readers, drop me a line.  I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading my rant:)









Still Here


Hi All,

It has been a very busy couple of months. I realized a few weeks ago that I haven’t written a blog since September. Oh, the laziness!

Truth is, I just haven’t had much to say.

Haint Blue is doing well, and Kim and I have done a few podcasts here and there, as well as a student documentary.  We got a wonderful review from and he will be posting a follow-up interview soon on the website.

On February 18, Kim and I will be on the Knights Pub podcast, and we are looking forward to that.  Also, on March 11, I’ll be (and possibly Kim will be) doing a book signing and reading at the local authors festival here in my town.

As far as the book goes, things are great!  As far as life goes, I feel some changes need to be made.  I have decided to go back to school.  I graduated from Auburn University in 1999 with a B.A. in Journalism, but I’ve been a stay at home mom for most of my time post-college. I’ve worked at several newspapers, and I’ve done freelancing…but as anyone with children at home knows….it is HARD to get back to an 8-5 job after you’ve been a stay at home mom for a long period of time.  Also, as much as I love to write, I want to do something different with my life.  I still want to write, and I will….but I want to learn a new trade.  They say you are never too old to learn, and I’m about to test that theory.

I’ve sent for copies of my college transcripts, and I have applied to a local community college because I plan to pursue either a two-year degree or a certificate.  Not sure which just yet, but I am VERY interested in holistic health, specifically, therapeutic massage. I have always been passionate about natural healing and essential oils, and I’m looking for a career free of deadlines, editors and crippling stress.  I’m getting older, and this old heart can’t handle what the young me could handle career-wise. I don’t want to pound the pavement and explain to every sexist male in charge why I’m “ready to go back to work” and prove to them that I can “handle a job and a family”  It is something I’ve had to do once before, and not only is it absolutely humiliating, I just don’t want to work for newspapers anymore. In case you haven’t noticed, the same kind of journalism I studied in college in the 1990s….and the journalism that exists today, are two very different things.  I won’t go into that, I’m just being honest.

I also want to help people.  I would love to be able to help people manage their stress, and get on the path of natural healing….but I’d also like to take what I learn and help children with special needs.

Children with special needs, specifically autism, have a GREAT deal of stress.  I am hoping that I can find some way to combine elements of therapeutic massage and knowledge of essential oils to help children with special needs and their caregivers overcome the constant stress in their lives.  As most of you know, I have a child with autism and I am always looking for ways to help my little guy navigate through this crazy world. I think I might have hit upon something.  Anyway, that’s my dream.  I would love to help people with disabilities, illnesses and injuries.  That is something that I would love….and they say you don’t truly work, if you are doing something you love.

So, back to college.  I enjoyed being a student in my youth, and I think I will more than enjoy it as an adult. I might be one of the oldest people in my classes, but I’ll be the most dedicated. I’m excited to begin this new journey….and I suppose I’m not truly happy unless something is changing.  I both fear change, and adore it.  Strange combination!

So, that’s my life currently.  I’m going back to school.  I will still write, though.  No way could I ever stop writing.  I am still working on several projects and possible book ideas  as well.

Well, y’all…that’s all from my little corner of the universe. Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written.

Don’t forget to tune in to The Knights Pub Podcast on Saturday, February 18 to hear Kim and I discuss the book!

Live Long, and Prosper….