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Excerpt from Growing

I was thinking about taking this book down today. I am not sure still. The first chapter is pretty rough and I should probably listen to the one non friend review I had and consider taking it out of the book. Anyway, here’s a portion of Chapter 8.

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Chapter 8 dad, dreams and motivation…


My father was a good man. He had his things just like everyone else, but he took care of his family. When we were little my parents bought some property in Cooperstown, NY. This was were we spent many vacations. A lot of my friends went to like islands and warm places with clear oceans and sand. We went camping in Cooperstown, NY and pooped in the woods. It didn’t bother me to much. We always had fun. Unless my dad was showing us the local school and asking us what we thought about our new schools, that wasn’t a fun part.
Usually we had camp fires and cooked and played cards, and read books. I remember my brother John (the one I like) making shadow puppets at night and we would all crack up. There was a barn and my parents rented it out to a man who always kept his rescued animals in there. There were always random animals there. Horses, pigs, goats, cows, a German Shepard that bit my hand once cause I tried to move his food bowl. . Sometimes there would be kittens and we would chase them around. We always went for a long weekend and that was always enough.
My dad’s dream though was to build up that farm and turn it into a working farm. When he retired and sold the house in Greenwich him and my mom built a house up there. Right where we used to camp. They lived there for 15  years  and my dad had lots of cows, pigs and his dogs.
Growing by [Acosta, J.]

Let’s be honest

I’m not sure if I have a drinking problem. Recently I have been reading a lot on drinking and what’s considered okay. I don’t usually drink at all Monday thru Thursday. Come Friday I get wine and I indulge. A box of wine lasts me the weekend. Sometimes I drink bourbon on the rocks. I get all my stuff done during the day and then change into my pj’s at night and drink some and watch some movies or read a book. Growing up my parents drank a lot. My dad could crush a 18 pack everyday but he was working and drinking and functioning. My mom sometimes gets a little loopy… as do I, sometimes. I have a job. I get my chores done. I function. I don’t need to drink, it’s just something that I do when I get to relax on the weekends.
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Last year, I was like I am not going to drink for a while. And I didn’t. When my dad died in July from a farm accident, I started drinking every day for a while to help me sleep even though nothing really helped me sleep. From July till October I was drinking basically daily. In October, I woke up and I thought I was dying. I felt the worst pain right under my ribs. I went to the doctor like I think I broke my liver. She said it was acid reflux and heartburn. I never had that before. I quit drinking for a month for the most part and then holiday’s. Now I have fallen back into the habit of drinking on the weekends. My younger sister said that she only remembers my parents drinking all the time. That’s part of why she doesn’t drink at all. I don’t have those memories. I have good memories when they weren’t drinking at all and then some good memories of having a few beers with my parents. The thing is I don’t know if it’s really effecting my kids, or if they even notice. I mean they see me drink but I’m not drunk.  I guess I am just not sure what is a problem and what’s not. What’s the tipping point? What is not okay?
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I have been seeing a lot about liver transplants and how it’s more common and related to drinking now. I have a friend who I saw a few months ago. She said her mom died from drinking and she never even knew her mom drank that much. I watch my kids go to sleep and I think, am I messing up and they will have to bury me one day because of these choices? Then of course I googled it and now every ad I see is about drinking and liver damage.
Anyway, I think I am going to lay off the weekend drinking for a while. It’s just that I really enjoy it sometimes. No one has said that I drink to much, I have just been thinking about it lately. So what are you’re thoughts? Do you drink? If so how much and how often?

Bath note

My husband is away for the first time ever. 6 days. 5 nights. 3000 miles away. My daughter is not taking it well…Actually, none of us are. My husband and I have our chores divided. We balance each other. It’s really hard to not have my husband here to help. I think I am over compensating right now. I am like doing everything immediately. I have way more patience than I normally do. You want a snack, you got it! You want this thing that I know you can do for yourself, sure thing! There is almost a load of laundry, I must do it right now and fold it and immediately put it away. Like things that I normally would leave till later have more of a urgency because I know if I leave it till later, it’ll still be there.  It will just add to the list of things that need to be done for the house to run as always. I’ve also been walking the dogs. Something that was husbands chore always. I wonder what my neighbors are thinking. Do they think he left me? We had a huge argument last weekend. I am sure it was heard outside if someone was there. Then I laugh at myself. I am such a drama queen.
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On the other hand I found myself coming down on the girl today a little bit and my husband would have checked me at that point, or tagged me out so I could calm down… But without him I just kept pressing until she finally was like “I am trying to just calm down mommy!” and then I had to check myself. And all this was over me changing the plans cause we had seen a movie and went out to lunch and I was like maybe we should do ice cream tomorrow when we all actually want it. She was upset because we deviated from the plan. And my son was happy cause he just wanted to get home to his video games. But on top of it she’s 7 and dealing with her father being away for the first time ever… So I really should have backed off. I just was tired and thought like I had taken them out all day already to a trampoline park, and a movie, and then lunch, why is she giving me a hard time about ice cream?? … But I am the adult and I should have stepped back. I apologized to her and we talked about it later. I put them to bed and took a long hot bath and relaxed. 3 1/2 more days…
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I was talking to a friend today and I was telling her how weird I felt with my husband being away and she said it’s weird for her when her husband is home. He works so much that they are use to him just not being there. And I thought, wow. Everyone’s family functions so differently. How does yours function?

Jamaican cooking and Me

I have a friend I worked with for over 10 years when I worked at a Pizza Hut. They ended up closing our location because the 20 year lease was up and they wanted to triple the rent or something and it made no sense to keep us open because we were a restaurant that wasn’t in the red, but made little to no money. Everyone was there for so long that we were all at the top of the pay rates for our positions so we would often work a skeleton crew so we could stay in budget for the employee costs.  I learned a lot from this place and from the people I met there. I will forever miss it.
I developed some pretty great relationships while working there and one was with a Jamaican woman named Odette. Her nickname is Vivi and that’s actually where my daughters middle name came from. When I had my son I was out of work and Odette had just opened her very own Jamaican place about 40 minutes away from where I lived. Right past the palisades mall in New York. https://www.yelp.com/biz/tropical-delicacy-spring-valley  I highly recommend this place if you are in the area. The food is amazing! The people are amazing! Just go and eat!
Photo of Tropical Delicacy - Spring Valley, NY, United States. A classic oxtail and beer
 I use to bring my son with me and we would hang out all morning while she cooked. I would feed my son, put him down to nap and dive right in to whatever she needed. Wash dishes? Sure! Cut cabbage? Absolutely. She taught me a lot about how to cook Jamaican. When my son was 10 months old I ended up getting a job as an office manager so our time was cut down.
Then life happen and we just weren’t able to make it over there for a while. I needed Jamaican food though and even though I had helped in the kitchen I didn’t actually write down any recipes. Then I found this website https://cooklikeajamaican.com/new-recipe-brown-stew-chicken/. I have found lots of delicious recipes on this website and I really recommend trying a couple!
Now, since it’s the weekend, I think I need to make a trip to visit and old friend.
Photo of Tropical Delicacy - Spring Valley, NY, United States. Steamed fish wow!!!!

Meatloaf Tuesday

Is that a thing? It was a snowy day here yesterday for the first time this year. The last snow we really had was in November! This winter has been really weird in the northeast. A lot of rain and not a lot of snow at all. Anyway, the kids had no school yesterday, my husband stayed home with them and then my job closed at 11:30 so I went home and made meatloaf.
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I don’t know why I have been craving meatloaf lately and then I got this email for a meatloaf muffin recipe and beef was on sale last week so there you go! This is the recipe I used: https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/meatloaf-muffins-58434
I liked it. My husband really liked it and my kids didn’t care for it at all. I thought it was a little to sweet between the ketchup and BBQ sauce.  I think I will keep looking for another meatloaf recipe. Anyone have one they love?


This week has been hectic to say the least. We had a therapy appointment, a meeting with the principle, vice principle and teacher.  I hate confrontation. My anxiety level has been at an all time high. I seriously had a rash on my chest Tuesday because I was so flipping angry. It was my month close at work. Let’s just say I am ready for the weekend.
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It’s Friday. I have work to finish up this crazy week. Then grocery shopping. The kids both have “Hang outs” after school but husband is taking care of those duties. It’s not a play date anymore, those are for babies I was told. 😦  We have to find a birthday present for a bowling birthday party tomorrow. My daughter goes to the party but my husband, son and I will be having a mean game of who can bowl the worst on some other lane. Much needed fun and relaxation.
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Daughter needs some new pants. And I guess we have to find valentines for the kids to give at school. Sunday is book club brunch and then the in laws will be over cause it’s been a while and I miss them.
It should be a great weekend and I am really ready for it.
Side note. I made a seriously delish pasta carbonara on Tuesday. https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/12965-spaghetti-carbonara  I added onions, peas, and cherry tomatoes. Cooked them in some of the fat from the bacon on the side and then mixed them after I mixed everything together.
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*** picture from the Recipe***
Happy weekend everyone! I hope you all have a great one. Be back Monday!

Gel manicure Review

I’ve been holding off of getting a gel manicure because I had acrylics for a long time when I was a teenager and it totally destroyed my nails. It took an entire year for them to grow out again cause of the damage. I have a sister In Law who’s a nurse and she’s very into makeup and interesting things. She had a gel manicure and said it did damage the nail bed. That only fueled my no gel manicure ever quest.
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The past few years I have been biting my nails unless they are done. But I haven’t always had the money to get them done. So my manicurist recently started recommending the gels. Saying they are not as damaging as before and they last for 2 weeks.
This past Friday, I got my first gel manicure. So far it’s lasted through groceries, prepping  envelops at work and chilling all weekend.
It’s Tuesday… 5 days in and I have been picking at them a little but they still look pretty and shiny.
One week in, I have shiny, strong nails still. I have to deep clean the kitchen tomorrow so we’ll see how this stands up for another week!
One week 4 days and after a weekend of deep cleaning and scrubbing my house. My Shiny strong nails are still shiny but the tips are starting to chip off. You can see the growth now at the base of the nail. I wonder if I can make it to Friday? I am trying not to pick cause I know it will case damage to my nails. We’ll see.
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Never mind. I am going to have to make an appointment earlier than Friday because now that it’s starting to chip, I am picking them. I think I am going to get another gel manicure because it really does look nice and my nails feel much stronger, Would I recommend gel manicures? Yes, for now! We’ll see how it goes after the second one.
They do make your nails weaker though. I saw that after they soaked off the first one and I notice that even with the new gels, my nails feel weaker. I do not think I will do this again in two weeks.
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Has anyone else tried a Gel manicure? What are your thoughts? Would you recommend them?
******** None of these are actually my nails. These are googled pictures of what my nails basically looked like. ********

Last night

I went to bed pretty early last night, about 9:00. I was just shot. It was a long day and I needed sleep. I was thinking about this conversation on Twitter I had read about how you shouldn’t get upset with someone for giving you a not great review. As a writer, you should be happy for the critique.  It got me thinking about how I reacted to my first review and how others saw me. I went back and read my blog about it and I think honestly, I was upset but I also realized that this review came from someone who would not normally read books like mine. It made me realize that I really need to find my audience.
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I couldn’t shake the feeling of being annoyed at myself for my reaction though. I think the feeling caused me to wake up on the middle of the night. I thought that I really should change something in my book. Then I was thinking that maybe I should take my book down all together. Maybe it’s to much about me and I shouldn’t put it out there. Like the one guy that reviewed my book had said. And I should change some stuff… Maybe I should change some stuff. I thought I would take the book down in the morning and then change some things and put it back up. It wouldn’t matter to wait because no one is buying it anyway. At this point I was wide awake and I was thinking to much. My neck started to hurt and I was getting anxious. So I ended up getting out of bed, correcting a part I couldn’t get out of my head and then re uploading the book again. I finally went back to bed at 4:30 AM.
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Happy Tuesday. I am now exhausted with a giant headache but at least I was able to go back to sleep for a little bit.
Is it okay to be upset though? Is that really frowned upon? I wasn’t ungrateful. I said thank you and I would consider all the suggestions. I am feeling better now but I don’t think I will ever comment on a review again.


It’s Monday. I have the Monday Blues today.

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It’s not like I hate coming to work or anything. I actually don’t mind my job at all. I just love the weekends where we can take our time in the morning and relax. Monday means getting everyone to school and work on time and rushing to pick everyone up after work.

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The weekends are fun with friends and the kids and we all get to hang out. On Monday I miss everyone. Tuesday things start to get back to the regularly scheduled normal and come Friday I am pumped again for another weekend. Does anyone love Monday?

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My First book Review Review

This is my first review:

” This is not a story I would put out to the world, but it’s your choice. It is reasonably well written though.

There is no such thing as Karma. It is actually God’s law of sewing and reaping. As ye sew so shall ye reap. If you sew the wind you will reap the whirlwind. Also, Christians aren’t allowed to hate. Those who are unwilling to forgive others will not be forgiven.

These stories are quite interesting. Not really my genre but I sure hope it does well for you. I still would give a great deal of thought as to publishing the fist story about your brother. Maybe change it to simply say that he molested you. I believe that would be better received.”

From a man on Facebook who asked me to email him a copy of my book so he didn’t have to buy it. I thought, Sure, why not! And there it is.

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This is my review of this review:

I really need to find my audience. I do not think this man is anywhere near it. I wrote about a lot of the messed up stories that happen in my life as a way to get it out. Maybe someone else is going through the same thing, or went through the same thing, and now they’ll know they aren’t alone. I have gone back and forth about publishing the first chapter in this book. I have put stuff up only to take it down the next morning. I have post it on Facebook and then deleted it because I was scared what people would think of me. Or that people would judge me.  I deleted my Facebook because I wanted to grow my own audience and not rely on people I knew in high school who I haven’t heard from in over 15 years.  I put Chapter 1 in this book because I wanted to. It was something that followed me a lot in my life and definitely impacted me in a lot of ways. So it should be in this book. I think. No wait. Yes, it should be.

And my tweets:

My reasonably well written life stories. I might change my description. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07J486XGH 

I’m not bitter. I’m really fucking bitter. #amwriting #readingcommunity #writercommunity

That is my review of my first review. I am not for everyone and that is okay.