Monday, April 29, 2013

Have you ever fought over which television show to watch with your spouse?

HGTV and Me
By John Hartnett

My wife loves the HGTV Network.  It stands for Home and Garden
Television, and in our one TV household, there is nothing more deflating for me than walking into the living room on a Friday night,
all set to cuddle up with the Mrs. while watching an On Demand movie and see that I am too late.

     I am too late because my wife is already engrossed in the heart
rending story of a desperate couple from Pacific Palisades, CA, who suddenly find themselves struggling against all odds to find the
perfect pied-à-terre in Barcelona -- and by perfect they mean a
pied-à-terre that doesn't cost one penny more than their modestly
budgeted $1.7 million but absolutely must have a minimum of six walk in closets, an indoor lap pool that recedes into a wall when not in use, a 600 sq. ft. balcony with eight-foot railings for their rescued
Bengal tiger, Shoshona, an unobstructed view of the Mediterranean and a garage door that folds up like an accordion, but vertically.

     Yes, I'm jealous.  I want somebody from HGTV to help me fix up my home or help me find a new one.  

 photo doctor-lady-trailer-8b35667u_dorothea-lange_zpsf589d6d8.jpg
I've entered every contest they've offered.  Nothing. It's probably my fault for posting real photos.  If the Joads had passed by my house on their way to California, Ma would have stopped their jalopy long enough to say to her kids, "See that? I told you there's always somebody else worse off than you."
     My house needs work, there's no getting around it, but we have a DIY budget and no DIY skills. My entire family possesses the manual dexterity of a scallop.  To put it in perspective, while attempting to check in to a Marriot Courtyard Suites in Crossville, TN, it took 27 minutes to get all five of us through the revolving door and into the lobby.

     So why does my wife love HGTV so much?  Because every program is essentially the tile and backsplash equivalent of Cinderella or the Ugly Duckling story and because women crave instant transformation projects that work out,  as opposed to instant transformation projects that don't -- namely those involving their husbands.

     So anyway, it's Friday night and here I sit while my wife moves from "House Hunters International" to a taped episode of  "Property Brothers", a show about identical twins with well defined biceps who work with couples to purchase absolute hovels at below market prices, fix them up without exceeding the couple's budget and then mop up the tears of joy that the ecstatic new owners shed after receiving a tour of their newly renovated dwelling and fully comprehending that they have entered the homeowner's equivalent of Heaven, assuming Heaven has
bleached pine flooring and a fenced in yard large enough for an
energetic Jack Russell Terrier named Maxie.

     I'm doing the best I can to get into the show and trying really hard not to say something disparaging about the young woman homeowner whose skepticism that it will all work out is starting to grate on my nerves, but even with a nice glass of wine in front of me, it's impossible.

     First of all, I can't get the thought out of my head that for all the
contests I've entered and never won, everyone over at HGTV must be scared to death to even set foot in my house, let alone fix something, and secondly, the plots of these shows are All. The. Same.

     If I ran HGTV, I'd produce a home renovation remodeling show that would appeal to everybody because in each episode, in addition to seeing a house get all fixed up, there would be a murder.  The police, detectives and the FBI would swoop in and park all over the lawn and on top of insulation, drywall and recently spray-painted coffee tables with sunflower stencils on each corner.

     They'd investigate everything and everyone, dust for prints, take
blood samples, put up yellow tape in places where the paint wasn't dry yet, drag the stars of the show, the homeowners, contractors laborers and nosy neighbors downtown for questioning and snicker when the kitchen designer bursts into tears and tries to explain that the reason she can't possibly stand in a lineup today is because she still has 67 linear feet of kitchen cabinets to prep and sand before Monday noon!

     Wouldn't that be exciting and literally twice as suspenseful?  Not
only would the audience have to worry whether someone was going to be arrested, flee the country, kill again or get the electric chair, they would have to worry about whether the house would be completed on time and on budget and meet the owner's expectations, assuming the owners weren't the ones who were doing the murdering.

     I'm going to apply for a job there and see if I can shake things up. If HGTV won't remake my house, maybe I can remake HGTV.  And restore my Friday nights to their original condition.

© 2013 The Monkey Bellhop and John Hartnett

Monkey Bellhop Site
The Monkey Bellhop FB Page

John Hartnett's Amazing Book:
Click the pic to see it on Amazon

Friday, April 26, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness Week #4--A Man at Barnes & Noble

 This week, a friend and I decided to visit a local Barnes and Noble to do something nice for a stranger. We talked about various things. Paying for an order before or after us. Buying someone's coffee in the coffee shop. Purchasing a beloved book and giving it to a stranger in the store. All the ideas were fun, but they didn't feel quite right in this instance.

    As we walked around, I remembered last April. My first big signing was only a year ago at that same Barnes & Noble. It's amazing what's happened since then. I've talked at dozens of schools and been to many signings anywhere from coffee shops, books stores, fairs, schools, restaurants and libraries.
    Here are some pictures from Barnes & Noble at my first big signing:

That signing is one of the best memories I have. The employees were so kind. They printed posters about my books and put them all over the store. At the signing, they brought drinks to Cade and me. One of the employees even went above and beyond, visiting with us, making us feel important as he bought our CD. He even let Cade and me play music inside the B & N store!

     After walking around for a while the other day, my friend and I stood in line. I joked with the cashier.  She hadn't been there last year.  A few members of their staff had changed; they even hired new managers.   
    While purchasing the gift card, I glanced at someone who sidled behind us in line.  I couldn't wait to give him the gift card.  Sure we could have left it with the cashier and had her give it to the guy, but for some reason I felt like giving it to him myself.
    After buying the gift card and receipt, my friend and I immediately turned to the man behind us. "This is for you," I said.  Then I caught his eyes fully and gasped. He was the kind employee who'd helped me at the signing last year. He's the one who let us play music in the store. He's the one who kept bringing us drinks before buying our CD! 
    "Why?" he asked, and I'm sure he didn't recognize me.
    "We're doing random acts of kindness, trying to spread some joy."
    Then we left. And I keep wondering about the odds of that man being in line behind us? Does he still work at Barnes & Noble? I'm still not sure if he recognized me, but I hope he knows how thankful I am for everything he did for Cade and me last year. Writing can be hard, sharing everything with the world, getting rejections, or negative feedback. But people like him--and you--have really inspired me to keep going through this writing journey.

    Isn't it strange that for the last two acts of kindness I've wanted to give something to strangers, but they've both ended up being people who've already blessed my life?  Here's the previous story if you'd like to read it: Flowers for a Stranger 

Maybe it just proves that what goes around does come around.... 

I've vowed to do a random act of kindness (and write about it) once a week until the end of May--when the R.A.K. Blogfest starts.    
Please check out the blogfest HERE.  
I'd love if you'd join up.     

P.S. Cade and I are giving away $50 for Mother's Day.  Feel free to take a second to enter HERE if you have time.  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Yahoo! My First Audiobook was just Released and it's on iTunes!

Yep, How to Avoid Having Sex is now an audiobook, available on iTunes and Amazon.  Allie Mars did an AMAZING job narrating it--you can listen to a sample HERE by visiting the link and clicking under the picture on Amazon!

    I have to say that I loved writing this book.  It was hilarious trying out different "theories about avoiding sex" on Cade.  Too bad he caught on and starting trying them on me too!  And now that he knows what I was up to, I can never use these wonderful ideas again--like fake sleeping, mock-anger, grieving over stupid things, etc.
    But even funnier than that, is the man who asked if this was first published over thirty years ago.  "No," I said. "Why?"
    "Because if it was, I think my wife read it and took it to heart."
     Another woman bought a copy at a signing and immediately hid it under her jacket as she looked around, making sure no one saw her purchase.  Is this novella like booze?  Should I sell it with a small paper bag?
     Anyway, I had a ball writing this book since the material is mostly silly, almost meant to be a joke.  But the irony is that all of these ideas can actually work.  

Have fun avoiding sex and otherwise.

P.S. Last night I gave my kids massages and facials because they cleaned the house. We used apples since we didn't have cucumbers. Anyway that baking soda mask really works. It's just two parts baking soda, one part water. :) I LOVE these pictures.  And I hope this will inspire my kids to clean the house more often!

P.P.S. Cade and I are giving away $50 for Mother's Day.  Feel free to take a second to enter HERE if you have time. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mother's Day Celebration

Enter for a chance to win $50 
and check out some newly released books!

Wayman Publishing has joined VoiceBoks and The Social Media Panel to promote this giveaway and feature some of our newly released books! 

Also, check out these eBooks--
each less than a dollar!
Don't forget that if you buy any of Wayman's books, you can be entered to win an iPad Mini! 
More details HERE!

Here's how to enter for the PayPal Cash Wayman Publishing is giving away for Mother's Day.  It's open internationally so anyone can enter to win.

Have a wonderful day and don't forget to check out other participating bloggers who are also giving away great prizes and cash HERE.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

What is True Beauty?

    I stood amidst a huge crowd.  So many people clustered there, shuffling around.  "Where are we?" I asked one man who remained stretching.
    "We're getting ready to race," he yelled above the commotion, obviously shocked I didn't already know what went on.  "It's time to pick your partner, or decide if you want to make it on your own.  I'm making my own way."  He pointed ahead.  "That's the only way to win."
    The mountainous road in front of us looked tragic, with bumps and potholes.  Almost everyone wore running shoes and shorts.  I looked down; I wore them as well.  What seemed strange, though, was the fact that we were spirits, not flesh.

    My heart suddenly beat fast. The trail ahead said something simple, something terrifying. "The Race of Life," I read the fading words.  "If you so desire, pick your partner before you get a body."
    I closed my eyes and wondered, was I meant to race alone?  If not, I needed to find someone to run with--and fast--the race was about to start.  I mulled over the crowd, and grew frantic all the while. 
    One man approached me, but I knew he didn't have what it would take.  My arms pushed past him and moved along.  Who could I race with?  They needed to have similar goals, similar ways of thinking.  They would have to be fun and inventive.  A hard worker, a good father if we ended up having children.
    "We'll race in ten minutes!" a voice boomed.
    About a million girls circled around a handsome spirit.  He beamed from the attention and I wondered over the sight.  I finally crouched on one knee.  It was useless, the spirit I searched for probably didn't exist.  I needed someone who would help me finish the race and not just run it.  
    I tied one of my running shoes and prayed, "God, I'm scared to get a body.  I'm scared to live.  What if I stumble and fall?  What if I forget your power and your love?  What if I make terrible choices?"
    Tears came to my eyes because it was scary.  I was about to leave the comfort around me, the peace of seeing God's face in Heaven's eternity.  
    Many of the people around pulsed with anxiety as well.  I wondered how they would fair.  Would even one of us succeed?  I stood tall then, dusted the dirt from my running shorts, put my hair in a ponytail and got ready to run.
    Hundreds of people had already paired with each other, but I remained alone, refusing to be nervous any more. 
    Sure, I could lose almost everything, but I refused to lose my faith.  
    I bent forward.  The journey would be hard.  I could make it on my own, though--I had to.  At any minute the whistle would blow, and so much depended on the race.
    My breath slowed in concentration as I studied the wide road ahead.  Then a hand touched my shoulder and I turned.  
    A spirit stood beside me--an amazing spirit.  "I'm Cade," he whispered, and with those simple words, I knew I'd met my match.  
    "I've been looking for you," I said.
    "And I've always been looking for you."  He held my hand, making me feel truly beautiful and complete, truly worth something despite anything that might happen on Earth.  "Are you ready for this?" he asked, smirking.
    "You bet I am," I winked and that's when the whistle blew.   

    Happy 12th anniversary, Cade! I love you.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I Went Skydiving With Edward Cullen and Jim Croce

Sunday is my 12th wedding anniversary.  We're going to the mummy exhibit and everything.  I know what you're thinking!  "Mummies?  Is that romantic?"  Well, it'll be interesting and that's what our anniversaries always are.  Remember two years ago when Cade took me skydiving?  It was AWESOME!      
    They paired Cade with Jim Croce--a man who died in a plane crash, and me with a guy who I thought looked like my version on Edward Cullen.  I’m not a huge Twilight fan--let me send that thought in the wind.  I thought Edward was obsessive, overbearing, controlling.  If I could pick one literary character to NOT go skydiving with, it would be him or Captain Ahab!  There’s something about jumping from a plane--with a vamp--it doesn’t bode well.  It’s like facing death TWICE!


To top things off, my cameraman looked like a preacher I used to know.  It wasn’t until the video guy started dropping the “F” bomb that I questioned his faith.   
    “Are you related to any pastors?” I asked the “F Bomber.”
    “Well, you look like a very successful one I used to know . . .  You could probably make a good living, if you held services before people jump.”
    He laughed so hard.  “Even though I swear a lot.”
    “You could still do awesome.  Pass around an offering plate, tell people this might be their last moment and you’ll be golden!”
    I watched a few people jump before me.  When my turn came, that’s when I finally got nervous.  This is just a dream, I closed my eyes and instead of jumping, I just leaned into the wind like when I let go of Zeke’s ashes
    I kept my eyes closed for a couple seconds of the sixty-second free fall.  It was beautiful!  I was a bird--that had no wings and couldn’t fly--but still I was a freakin’ bird!!!  That’s when I opened my eyes and forgot about everything except God’s beauty.  My cheeks flapped as I thought about how my teeth might freeze and then fall from my face.  The world looked beautiful from up there in the frigid--teeth chattering weather.  I almost cried thinking about God’s awesomeness and the fact that a little spit dribbled from the side of my mouth and probably into my instructor’s face.
    After he pulled the shoot, he let me do a few turns and then we landed.  I ran up to Cade and hugged him.  “You jumped with Jim Croce and you survived!  That was sooo awesome!"     We started  walking toward the hanger and I turned to Cade.  “Were you nervous?  Did you have a hard time jumping?”
    “You wanna know the truth?”
    I nodded.
    “We got up there, and something with the pressure or something.  Anyway, I was strapped to Croce, who could hardly speak English and all the sudden I had to . . .”  Cade looked around and whispered, “I had to fart.”
    “Oh my gosh!” I giggled so hard.
    “Well, I held it, until I had to jump from the plane, and I think it gave me an extra boost.”
    “So you abandoned the plane AND a bad fart?”  I laughed so hard, my side hurt. And I couldn't help wondering, did the fart stay in the plane after Cade jumped? So many people waited to jump after us.  If they would've died, would that smell been one of their last memories from life?
    When we walked back to the counter, an instructor pulled me aside and said, Kevin told me that normally skinny girls are hard to dive with because they end up being so light, gravity will flip the both of you upside down.  But he said you went out of that plane easier than any skinny girl he’s dove with and it was one of the best tandem jumps he’s made.”     That made me grin.     “You’re a natural,” he said.  “You shocked me today, and you’re a natural.”     So, I did it.  I’m a natural faller.  Me and gravity . . . We get along.  

To celebrate our anniversary, Bible Girl & the Bad Boy is only 99 cents.  It's the story of how I met Cade and ran away to Hawaii.  You can check that out HERE.

Also If you want to see part of the jump, here's the video. If you watch any of it, watch 3:42--it still makes me smile.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Congrats to Brandon Ax: A Cover Reveal

Congrats to Brandon Ax, whose book will be published on 4/20!
Here's some info about it. 

The car pulled into my apartment complex and I heard Mrs. Watts tell her friend to hold on, “Well thanks for all the help with the yard, guess I will see you Saturday,” she said smiling.
     “Oh, it was no problem, glad to help. Thanks for the ride,” I climbed out and started making my way up to my door. The parking lot was dark, the lights around my building had gone out a week ago and no one had seen fit to fix them yet. I guess seeing wasn't part of their living accommodations. Situating my book bag I looked around. I was alone except for an older woman walking her dog. I nodded to her as I headed for the stairs. No sooner had my foot touched the first step when I began to feel this revulsion like something was crawling on my skin. Out of instinct I turned and looked behind me.
     Leaning against one of the broken light poles was a man. I couldn't make out his face as it was covered in shadows, but fear shot through me like a bullet. My body felt frozen, I knew I should run, but it felt like doing so would set everything back into action. I tried to will my foot back onto the step.
     “Hello pretty,” the dark man said in a haunting voice that chilled to the bone.
     My voice shook as I formed the words, “Who are you?” It felt stupid, but nothing had come to mind. I managed to get my foot back on the step.
     He stepped from the pole and said, “Me? I’m no one. You though? You are something special, in fact you’re so special I have a feeling I’d like to take you home with me.”
     I turned and ran knowing it wouldn't be fast enough. I felt him grab my shirt from behind and push me to the metal stairs below. I kicked out and struggled to pull myself from his hold. A gust of wind rushed past me, it blew my hair wildly and I was free.
     Not waiting to see what happened I scrambled up the steps and quickly unlocked the door. Slamming it behind me I slid down with the cold white wood to my back. My breath came in quick gasp, I felt my whole body shaking. What was that, why did he let go? I quickly stood up peering through the peephole in the door. No one was outside. Putting my ear to the wood I tried to listen for any sound that would lead me to believe he was still out there.
     After a few seconds I backed away from the door and sat in one of the chairs by the table. I had just calmed my thundering heartbeat when the handle of the door started to twist. I scrambled for anything I could find to defend myself with, settling on a picture frame that was on the wall next to me. As the door opened I drew back ready to swing with every ounce of my strength.

Monday, April 15, 2013

That's a lot of sticks!!!

A quick note for today.

Our neighbors just cut down their tree and quite a bit of the branches fell in our yard.
    With how much our dog likes sticks... Well, she thinks this is her birthday.  She keeps grabbing one, then dropping it for a bigger one--and a bigger one!
    Poor husky.  That's a lot of sticks!!!

The neighbor will be helping me clean this up later today.  I'm soooo thankful!

For a silly post about Luna, please go HERE.

Also, if you want to listen to my radio interview from last Friday, here's the podcast:

Have a great day!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness Week #2 -- Little Caesars Harlem Shake

Random Acts of Kindness Week #2

It all started on Wednesday. That was one of the best days of my life.  Wayman Publishing was featured on many websites including CBS, ABC, and FOX News.  I just sat at my kitchen table, completely floored.  I work so hard for Wayman, hardly making anything, and suddenly it's starting to succeed!  I kept visiting the websites, speechless.
   Well, I finally decided to take a break and check the mail--guess what was in my mailbox?  Look!

After getting this, I couldn't control my excitement anymore.  I bawled, so overwhelmed with gratitude for life, for kind people--for you. I still have no idea who sent this, but it means the world to me.
    Even though it was for our clunker (that I wrote about HERE), I couldn't keep the money.  I instantly decided to pay it forward.

Recap: I've vowed to do a random act of kindness (and write about it) once a week until the end of May--when the R.A.K. Blogfest starts

Well, this is what I did today with the generous, anonymous gift.

In northern Utah there's a man who makes everyone smile.  Ray, better known as the "Little Caesars Dancing Man," works tirelessly, always happy, always kind to strangers.  
    And he's quite talented too.

He spins the sign on his foot.

He spins it on his head.

And no matter what kind of crappy mood I may be in, this stranger always makes my day better whether he's waving or smiling at me and my kids.  
    I remembered a day not too long ago, when I'd just been to get a blood sugar meter.  I was terrified after seeing the doctor, because apparently I'm a pansy.  Anyway as I drove back home, I saw the Little Caesars Dancing Man rockin' away.  The light turned red and I watched him--his exuberance for life lightened my burden.  I felt better from his random kindness.  And I realized, he's kind 24-7 even though he's out there working in the blistering sun, and that man needs to know he's appreciated.
    So today the kids and I went to where he dances.  I met Ray in person, even shook his hand and got a picture with the awesome guy!
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I told him about what an inspiration he is--how he might not know it, but he makes life better every day for people like me and my family.  I gave him the $20 from anonymous and asked him to pay it forward. After that we talked for a minute and he showed me this video that was just posted on youtube by another fan of his.

So, I had another great day, almost as great as Wednesday. I hope Ray had a great day too.

In closing, my big radio interview is Friday night (4/12)I'll be talking about infant loss, love, redemption and hope.  I'm praying that someone will hear my story and see that even if they're going through a hard time, God is still there for them.
Here's that info:
Join EC Stilson April 12th, 2013 at 8:30 PM Eastern Standard Time Zone on Triangle Variety Radio. Patrick Walter's interview will last for 1(one) hour here:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"But the Lord will deliver them out of them all."

When I knew I carried a baby with birth defects, a guest speaker--who had no idea what I went through--visited our church. At the end of the service he called me to the front of the room. He didn't even know me, just pointed, and told me to stand. In front of the whole church he said that God gave him a message meant for me. He said, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord will deliver them out of them all." Chills ran up and down my body before I started crying. 
    My baby, Zeke, ended up passing away. But I never forgot that scripture because somehow it helped me recover from the death of my son.

To learn more about Zeke, please click on this picture.

If you'd like to hear a live interview about Zeke and his story, visit THIS LINK on April 12th, 2013 at 8:30 PM Eastern Standard Time Zone.   

The interview will last for 1(one) hour.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I'll be on the radio this Friday! Will you come listen?

As quoted from a PRWebs press release:
"Stilson's been a homeless musician, a grieving mother, a celebrated author, a publisher—a failure and a success."

Patrick Walters, of Triangle Variety Radio, will be interviewing me about my memoirs (The Golden Sky & Homeless in Hawaii), as well as about Wayman Publishing, on April 12th, 2013 at 8:30 PM Eastern Standard Time Zone.   
The interview will last for 1(one) hour here:  

I'm so excited!  Here's to hopin' that it'll go great--that many lives will be touched--and that no one will think my voice sounds like a little girl's. *still smiling*

Friday, April 5, 2013

Would you feel bad about this if you were me?

Inspired by Janie at

Preface . . .
Once upon a time I was accepted into a local university nursing programI volunteered at a rest home, and even though the nurses treated me terribly, often making me and the other volunteers cry, I stayed, hoping to learn. 

When ninety-year-old Rose talked, the past came alive.  She'd met her best friends and later her husband at extravagant dances and parties.  She'd been quite a prankster, witty, rich; I saw it in her sparkling blue eyes.  In her picture, sitting on the tiny dresser, Rose looked like a movie star.  Yet now she sat in a stained chair, and wore faded clothes.  She frequently felt too cold despite warming weather, or the crocheted scarf she wore every day.  
    I spent my breaks with Rose because she was something special.  On my last day, I asked her why no one came to see her.  "They're all gone," she said.  "The older generation has passed on.  The younger ones are too busy.  And it seems as if I'm the only one left."  Her shaky hand picked up the picture of herself, still stationed on her dresser.  She used her precious scarf to wipe dust off the glass.  It felt strange seeing her wrinkled hand next to what she'd looked like decades before.
    "It's your last day?" she asked, and I nodded.  "Promise you'll come back.  I get so lonely."
    "I promise." I hugged her thin frame close to myself.  "I'll be back when I can.  Things are busy at home with my kids, but we'll make time. We'll all come to see you."
    Rose opened the top dresser drawer and gently handed me something wrapped in tissue paper.
    "For me?" I asked, trying to be careful with the gift.
    "I've been working on it since the day I met you.  I hope you'll like it."
    I slowly took off the tissue paper, revealing the most beautiful jewelry box.  Rose had crocheted it, using some type of stiff material to keep everything together.  "It's amazing!  I'll never forget this."  I hugged her again, and then went out the door to finish my shift.
 photo 569348782_tp_zpsf7789b21.jpg
This (blue one) is similar to the jewelry box.

At the end of that day, I went to the nurses' station to grab the jewelry box, my coat and keys.  "What's that in your hand?" a short, brown-haired nurse asked.
   "It's a jewelry box. From Rose," I said, wondering if that nurse's picture is in the dictionary--under the word bitterness.
   "Ya know, Elisa . . .," she said, digging her fingernails into my arm before I could leave.  "I never figured you'd be one of them." 
    "One of who?"
    "Those volunteers who take advantage of old people."
    I gasped.  "I would never--"
    "Yet, you have.  Does Rose have much in this life?"
    "Well, no."
    "And you've taken something from her?"
    I thought hard.  "But she made it for--"
    "And you took it from her.  Didn't you?"
    "Yes." That was all I could say.
    "Elisa, you took something from a woman who doesn't have anything. YOU are a terrible person. I'm ashamed any teacher would recommend you as a volunteer."
    Tears came to my eyes.  That stupid nurse glared up at me, finally smiling.  That sickening red lipstick practically symbolized her craving for discord.  That's all I could focus on as she spoke slowly, her lips moving over bleached teeth.  "I'm glad you're done volunteering. And I hope you'll never come back. We don't need users like you."
    I hated myself. My own skin crawled with heat and embarrassment.  I clutched the jewelry box closer, knowing even then that I would never see Rose again.  Not because I didn't adore her, but because I was too scared to face that nurse.

    Thinking about the Random Acts of Kindness Blogfest, I've decided to do something extra nice once a week for the next two months.  My action this week was to go see Rose and tell her how sorry I am. But she was gone.
    I've learned something.  I should have gone back to visit my dear friendThat friendship would have been a blessing to both of our lives.  But instead I listened to a cynical pessimist. 
Life's not worth living for other people, especially if we compromise our convictions just because of fear.   
    I keep thinking about Rose, waiting and waiting for me to come back. I once heard that if God gives us "a mission" that we pass by, He'll give it to someone else.  I hope this is true, that a wonderful soul started visiting Rose--and I hope they stood up to that nurse!

Maybe next week's random act will be more uplifting.  But this time around, learn from my mistakes.