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Today, March 17, was my beloved mom Victoria‘s birthday.
Here are some things I want you to know about my Mom:
She was a strong and loving woman who grew up in the coal mining camps of Kentucky and West Virginia and suffered through a very difficult childhood during the Depression. She could have grown up angry and bitter however she chose to spend her life looking out for children and making their lives better than the one she had.
She loved antiques, pink roses, purple irises, wisteria, and poppies.
She loved Tim McGraw, Kid Rock, Wesley Snipes, Snoop Dog, and James Garner. She esp loved Rod Stewart and Freddie Mercury.
She thought Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow should be together and it would have broken her heart if Tim and Faith ever broke up.
She loved Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter, and it would have broken my heart to tell her he had died. I was grateful she had passed before he did.
She thought a woman should be President saying that a woman would not be so quick to send our boys and men into war.
She would cry and get angry when another soldier fell on the battlefield during the Gulf War.
She loved history and doing research on our area.
My grandfather Jesse, grandmother Maude, my uncle Gerald, and my mom.
She loved to cook and bake, and our kitchen was always full of cakes, cookies and cupcakes, and she would always put cake mix in a coffee cup and hand me and Gary a spoon.
She was a writer who wrote short stories and published a small book called, “Almanac for a Bored Housewife” and asked me and Daddy to draw and design the cover. I was 15.
She loved ghost stories.
When I was a little girl, she, Gary and I went to a gas station one night in Frederick. The girl came out to pump our gas and it was freezing. My mother asked her where her gloves where and the girl said she had forgotten them. My mother took off her gloves and gave them to her. I remember sitting in the back seat thinking, I want to be like that one day.
Her favorite television show was “The Twilight Zone” and her favorite movie was “Random Harvest.”
She loved the Springtime and all the flowers and lush greenery that it would bring.
The original photo I used as the cover of Weedmonkey. My uncle Gerald and my mom Victoria.
She loved watching country music videos.
She was terrified of the movie, “The Shining.”
She was scared to death of snakes.
She loved anything Victorian.
She thought commercials were ridiculous.
Her favorite color was Blue.
Her favorite trees were Mimosa, Holly, Magnolia, and Willow.
She loved Butterfingers and Werthers Caramels.
She got me hooked on “Sex and the City.”
I got her hooked on “Days Of Our Lives”.
She taught herself how to use Web-TV in her 60’s so she could check out the internet.
She was a big seller on eBay and had the ID name Vic10 because none of the other Vics were available.
She was born dead in 1929 and her Cherokee grandmother saved her life by removing the “veil” she had been born with saying, “The white doctors don’t know anything about birthin’ a Cherokee baby!”
My Cherokee great grandmother Dicie, who brought my mother back to life as a baby.
As a child, she fell into the hole in an outhouse, landing in the “basement” and her father and some men had to tip it over in order to save her as she was drowning in the debris.
She and my Dad were the 4-H leaders for Pleasant Valley and she was the PTA President for Pleasant Valley Elementary School and made many changes to the area.
She volunteered countless hours at the school helping children learn how to read and write. Every life she ever touched can remember “Miss Proulx.”
She is responsible for the flashing light at the end of Valley Road.
She idolized her grandchildren Shelley and Mandy and said both of them would do great things one day. She was so proud of them.
When spelling our last name, she would always say, “P as in Paul, R-O-U-L-X.”
She could not tell a joke to save her soul, yet she was hilarious, would come out with the craziest things, and when we laughed at her she always said, “I’m glad I am a source of amusement!”
When I would climb too high in a tree and couldn’t get down, she would climb up there and get me.
She couldn’t stand anything around her neck and would never wear turtlenecks.
She loved my cooking and always told me I should cook for a restaurant.
After she passed, I baked some homemade yeast rolls and left her one on the counter with a note.
At her memorial service, I played all of her favorite songs including, “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen and “Memories” from the musical Cats.
When we were little, she would sing, “Summertime” to me and Gary as we went to sleep.
She let us roller skate in the house.
She loved Butter Pecan ice cream.
She was a 3rd generation psychic/medium who grew up in an era where people didn’t talk about such things.
Her other grandmother Mallie Victoria whom I am named after.
A chicken once attacked her when she was trying to save a baby chick, the hen jumped on her head, and my dad shot it off at about 50 feet away.
She had the patience of a saint.
She owned her own antique shop on our farm back in the 1970’s called “Vicki’s Antiques” and she was the first person on Valley Road to have a yard sale. She went on to co-own “Boonsboro Antiques and Flea Market” and ran it for 12 years. Then she owned “Victoria’s” in Hagerstown for several more.
She had a life worth remembering and today is not a sad day. It is a day we remember a beautiful woman who was a wonderful mother, wife and friend. A quiet, graceful Cherokee who could see beyond people’s faults and mistakes, someone who saw the good in everyone and made each of them her friend.
I was proud to call her Ma.
She had a good life … and she had a good death … surrounded by love. She is loved and fondly remembered today and every day.
Happy Birthday Ma! I love you and miss you so much! ♥♥♥
WEEDMONKEY available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle eBook:
Tucked away in the mountains of Gubbio, Italy is a gem that many are not aware exists. Il Turista is a charming and beautiful restaurant just minutes away from a 12th century castle hotel with views that take your breath away. Owned by Cosimo and Maria Vento, Il Turista is a family ristorante that makes one feel welcome the moment they walk through the door. Cosimo, a charming and handsome Italian greets his guests with a warm smile, a hearty laugh, and a story about his writing and poetry.
The walls are covered in old paintings, family photos, and autographed 8 x 10’s of celebrities who have eaten there. This makes Cosimo very proud.
Cosimo entertaining guests with his charming stories.
His lovely wife Maria cooks every meal and creates each dish with a loving hand that only an Italian mother could do. Their handsome son Gaudio comes to each table and tells you in a delightful Italian accent that each dish is made fresh to order and Mama is proud to do so.
The food is worth the wait. Not only can you taste the fresh Italian ingredients, you can taste the atmosphere of the surrounding mountains, and you can taste the love that each dish contains.
The pasta is light, delicious, not overwhelming, and the portions are just right. The Crescia which is a traditional “sandwich” of Umbria is one pearl on the menu, and dishes such as pasta with arrabbiata sauce and pasta con funghi, grilled vegetables stuffed with breadcrumbs and grilled meats bring your dining experience to life. The food is fresh and served with delicious flat bread from Urbino. Top it off with wine, espresso, and dessert to create a wonderful dining experience.
Speaking of dessert, the chocolate pie is unlike anything you have ever eaten. Light, flaky, buttery crust bursting at the seams with the most delectable chocolate filling. To say it is heaven would be an understatement.
There is also a comfy couch off to the side that Cosimo will offer to you so you can rest after eating. His sincerity is endearing.
Outside you will find ample parking and don’t be surprised if you find yourself in awe of the view. In the distance are mountains that in the winter are snow-capped and the medieval town of Gubbio is only minutes away with quaint shops and more Italian exquisiteness.
If you are looking for a restaurant that is off the beaten path and not your average fast food chain, you will be pleasantly surprised by Il Turista. With delicious food, warm hospitality, and love from a charming Italian family, at Il Turista, you are family and you are welcome.
Me, with Gaudio Vento, and his parents, Maria and Cosimo.
Roberto, Cosimo, Rossella, Helen, Gaudio, and Maria
Average prices: $8 – $21
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean, Barbecue
Restaurant features: Highchairs Available, Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Free Off-Street Parking, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Free Wifi
Find them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ilturistagubbio/
Received the Award of Excellence!
About Gubbio: Gubbio is in Umbria, Italy, 40 km NE of Perugia and about 65 km S of Urbino in the neighboring region of Le Marche, Italy. The town is beautifully located on the lower slopes of Mt. Ingino. Gubbio is an extremely ancient town mentioned in the famous Eugubine Tablets and was in the past the capital of Umbria.
The town of Gubbio, only minutes away.
Localita Colonnata | Gubbio, 06024, Perugia, Italy +39 075 927 1055
When I was a little girl … I was obsessed with I Dream of Jeannie.
When I saw this beautiful woman with long blonde hair shimmy her way into a magic bottle, I knew then I wanted to be a belly dancer.
However … it was not until I was 43 years old that I embraced the chance to learn how to dance and within a few short months, my instructor asked me to dance in her troupe and I belly danced for several years.
When I was a little girl … my father tried to teach me to speak French, his native language.
However … he said I was hopeless. He said, “I don’t understand you Lisa, you are a French kid but you are speaking French like an Italian kid. Nowhere on either side of your family are you Italian. I am French Canadian, your mother is French and Cherokee Indian, so why are you speaking Italian?”
I had no idea. It just came out that way.
Although frustrated and insulted, he taught me a valuable lesson that day … be a sponge and soak up all the knowledge that you can.
If someone offers you a free class-take it.
If someone knows something you don’t-embrace and learn from that person.
If someone has valuable information that may help you in your career, your relationships, your life-listen to them.
Over the years, I’ve regretted not knowing another language, I’ve regretted not being able to speak my father’s native tongue, and I’ve regretted not learning enough from my father while he was here to teach me.
So … at 49 years old, I decided to learn another language. I was going to show my father, who passed away in 1986, that I can do this. I can learn a new language, master it, and show him I can do this.
And now … well now I can speak Italian.
A little – un po!
But the point is, I’m learning and I didn’t think I was too old or too stupid to figure it out, I just wanted to learn something new and I didn’t let anything stand in my way.
Scientists have proven that our brains are a muscle and like our biceps, the more you use them, the stronger they get.
There are many benefits of learning a new language. Studies have found that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process. The brains of bilingual people operate differently than single language speakers, and these differences offer several benefits.
- You become smarter
Speaking a foreign language improves your brain by challenging it to recognize, negotiate meaning, and communicate in different language systems.
- Your decision-making skills improve
According to a study from the University of Chicago, bilinguals tend to make more rational decisions. Bilinguals are more confident with their choices after thinking it over in the second language and seeing whether their initial conclusions still stand up.
- You improve your English
Learning a foreign language teaches you the mechanics of language: like grammar and sentence structure. You become more aware of language, and the ways it can be structured and manipulated.
Knowing these skills can make you a more effective communicator, a sharper editor, and a stronger writer. Language speakers also develop a better ear for listening, since they’re skilled at distinguishing meaning from discreet sounds.
Guess what? These things are good! 🙂
So think about it, when was the last time you learned something new? Just for the fun of it or for the passion of enriching your personal growth.
Let me leave you with a quote from Matthew Lesko:
“It’s never too late to change. It’s never too late to make your life more worthwhile. By the time you reach 50 or 60, you have a good chance of making it to 80 or even 90 years of age. And you might as well be doing what you really want to be doing in the next 40 years of your life, if you didn’t have the chance to do it in the first part.”
Many people are tired of working 9-5, wasting away at a job they despise, or working for someone else’s dream to come true while watching their own dreams get farther and farther out of reach.
However, Roberto Vento, 26, is out to make a change and not only is he making a difference in his own life, he is changing the lives of others as well!
Roberto was born in New York City to a large Italian family, he lived in Queens, New York, then moved back to Italy when he was 12 years old. He grew up in the ancient town of Gualdo Tadino which is in the province of Perugia in northeastern Umbria.
He moved back to the states about three years ago, first living in Chicago and he now lives in San Antonio, Texas where he currently works as a Biomedical Technician with New Vision Endoscopy.
He has a dream of making the world a better, safer place and he is on “a mission to help people escape the rat race and live life on their own terms by living the laptop style.”
A Positive Attitude and a Passion for Change
Roberto, a firm believer in the law of attraction and having a positive mindset, has been making huge strides in his online business and encourages others to join him. “I want to help everyone! Persistence is key. Know what you’re after, set goals and GRIND to make it happen!”
Roberto also has aspirations of being a motivational speaker and his love of reading motivational books, especially those by Tony Robbins, is giving him the inspiration to get started. “I really started implementing everything that I read in my day to day life and I really want to be the best I can be in anything and everything I do.” Currently he is also hosting weekly online webinars to help others find their way.
“A positive mind will always give you positive results,” says Roberto. “Don’t waste time and thoughts on what you don’t have! Instead, use that time to set goals and GRIND! So that one day you can have everything you’ve ever wanted! Because, if you think about it, that time is going to pass by anyway, it just depends on you and how you’re going to use it.”
“There is absolutely nothing we can’t achieve … everything is possible! It all comes down to HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT!”
With an amazingly optimistic attitude, the drive and determination to see his dreams come true, and a passionate and loving spirit, Roberto Vento is well on his way to achieving success. He is one to watch out for … the future is in his hands!
“It’s truly becoming an amazing journey!”
To learn more about Roberto and his business, and find out how he can help you get started too, please check out his Facebook page Roberto Vento Facebook Page
Thanks for stopping by!
♥ Lisa ♥
Have you ever heard of the Banshee (bean-sidhe) in Ireland?
The word Banshee means Faerie woman or woman of the Faerie mound. Many legends exist surrounding the Banshees and just how evil she is meant to be.
I admit, I didn’t know a lot about her until I meet Irish horror writer Chris Rush. we have a unique story. I met Chris and his girl Amy two years ago in Florida. They were visiting America from Ireland and Chris told me about a screenplay he was writing. I was intrigued and wanted to hear more.
I offered to help Chris get his work out there and now, two years later, his first book FOLKLORE is being released today, March 21st! I am so proud of him.
Chris lives in County Wicklow, Ireland and has been a fan of horror for as long as he can remember.FOLKLORE is his first book and he has already begun writing his next one.
I was fortunate to sit down with Chris and share his good news with you. Enjoy!
Author Chris Rush
FOLKLORE by Chris Rush released March 21
1.) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Back in the summer of 2013 I said to myself I would really like to take on the challenge of writing a horror story. So I began writing a horror screenplay. I was excited to see if I could I actually do it.
2.) What inspires you to write in the horror genre?
I have always loved horror movies and anything else horror for that matter. Anyone that knows me knows that it’s my favorite genre. If I was to say what inspires me to write horror it would be people’s reactions to it. I am always amazed witnessing people being unsettled by what they see and hear, that’s how I feel you know if you have done a good job or not.
3.) Where do you get your ideas for your writing?
When writing I say to myself what is the best way to mess with someone’s head? I try picking something ordinary and make it terrifying. I could literally be driving, or talking to someone and an idea pops into my head and I say to myself “Yeah I’m going to use that”
4.) Who are your favorite authors and why?
Very good question, to be honest this may sound extremely cheesy but I believe that a favorite can change over time. I believe that if someone’s work can stick in my head over time then that’s a job well done. I will never criticize anyone’s work because first of all who am I to criticize? And second of all, horror is such a broad topic that anything could be defined as horrific to any person. To answer the question, an author that stands out to me is Stephen King. I’ll be quite honest, I have read only one of his books. But why you may ask? Because he is without question one of the first authors you think of when you hear the word horror. Also in my opinion the amount of books he has written is a great accomplishment and also the amount of them that have been developed into movies speak for themselves. I feel that that is an incredible achievement that someone takes something that you have put on a page and turns it into a visual display.
5.) In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great?
A key part for me that makes a story great is if the reader can actually relate to what they are reading. For example, if you talk about a creaking floor board in a house late at night in a story, 90% of the readers may say to themselves, “Oh crap I hear that a lot too!” Another key part of a good story in my opinion is make nothing safe. For example, things in a horror story don’t always have to happen at night – make the reader feel that it isn’t safe during the day either. Finally, description -the more descriptive the more the reader will feel it.
6.) What activities do you do for inspiration?
When writing Folklore I had my favorite music playing in the background. I feel it can help getting the mind working. I am a huge fan of Metallica, Fear Factory, Slayer, Exodus, Alice in Chains … the list goes on!
7.) What advice would you give to others who are interested in pursuing a career in writing?
Do it! I never thought I would be at this stage but look, I did it. It takes time and hard work but trust me it is worth every bit.
8.) What is your ultimate goal/dream concerning your writing?
My goal is without a doubt to keep writing and finding new ways to scare people. A dream would be to be considered a good horror writer by horror fans around the world.
9.) What do you want your fans to get from your writing?
In one word, scared! I want my fans to read one of my books and say, “Crap this could happen to me!” I want my fans to want to read more, which means that I first of all have to do a good job to engage them within my story. Also I want my fans to enjoy my story and believe that I did the horror genre justice.
10.) Any final thoughts?
Yes first of all thank you Lisa for all your help along my journey. I want to thank anyone that takes the time out of their day to read my story. Finally, I’m going to keep writing horror and hopefully making every single person happy (in a sense) that they actually read a book I wrote.
Thanks Chris for a great interview and congrats on your new release! I am sure this is the beginning of a long and exciting writing career for you!
Thanks Lisa and remember – my goal is to scare you as much as possible and make you second guess turning off the lights.
FOLKLORE by Chris Rush is available in ebook and paperback on US Amazon.com
Chris was recently featured in his hometown newspaper, The Wicklow News!
You can meet Chris at one of his book signings this year (more to follow):
June 6, 2016
The Gutter Bookshop
Temple Bar Dublin
With very special guest, bestselling American author Lisa V. Proulx
October 10, 2016
Beans In The Belfry
Brunswick, Maryland, USA
Photos from a recent experience Chris had at ScreamVention in Dublin
Chris and Kane Hodder who plays Jason in Friday the 13th
Chris and Tony Todd who plays The Candyman
Lisa V. Proulx