Sunday, July 2, 2017


Stark. Barren. Minimalist. The cold of winter calls to me.
While the summer sunshine beats upon the land, drying the grass of the fields and skin of the occupants of earth, winter is but a memory.
The tendrils of ice that held my heart in it’s grip have thawed, now replaced with a much needed steady stream due to the heat.
I escape indoors, pressing my face against glass to mimic frost. The air on cold, chilled despite long sleeves.
Winter is past or … is it just ahead? The countdown has begun, where ladybugs go to die and snowflakes hope for momentary recognition.

Friday, June 23, 2017

You are Never Too Old

It's disturbing to my brain that so many of us have given up. The big 5-0 isn't that far up the hill for me. I know how it feels. To feel like things will never change. That YOU can't change and life is on the downhill.

But part of me has never quite believed it, and it upsets me to see so many of us settling, giving up on EVEN trying.

You're too tired, right? Too old for change? It won't matter, nothing you will do will make a difference. Your will power isn't that strong.

As an EEG tech, I've seen what obesity can do ... to a heart that goes into cardiac arrest and if not leading to sudden death, brain damage for lack of oxygen in many for the inability to do adequate CPR.

Unless you are lying in the ICU and my machine tells me there is no brain activity, THERE IS STILL HOPE.

Why are we giving up so easily?

I've seen so many buying into gimmicks, tricks, or products to lose weight. I hate to tell you, there aren't MANY shortcuts. I've tried most of them (even though I'm seeing NEW very expensive things on the market). Ugh.

Not only are you trying their products, you're doing the diet I'm on anyways (recommended by the weight loss product manufacturers) and wasting money.

Here's a hint, if you're eating KETO (which is what I do) or low carb, most of your appetite wanes. Don't get me wrong, I use my It Works products and they help me immensely, but if I didn't have an eating plan, they wouldn't be as effective.

You'll never be perfect. There will be a day or moments you will cave to cravings.  Here's the best advice I have, GO BACK TO THE BASE plan every time after you cheat. Have those boundaries. If you keep going back, you will succeed!! (see my top weight loss tips)

You are talking to a candy bar chocolate addict!! I just opened the fridge and ripped off a piece of ham with my bare hands. Then I grabbed pretzels (which are SOOO not on my diet) and shoved 5 in my mouth, and then a piece of dark chocolate. Well, am I proud of myself?!!  NOOOOO, but I will go back to my diet and again and again, put myself on the right track!

The point is, don't give up! Forgive yourself and move on. This is life after all and it's rich in blessings. Some of those are food. But to be healthy, you need to try to be healthy daily with little rewards along the way.

So you messed up? Get back on track. We can do this!!

I'm 20 pounds down and not stopping here. Sure, my slip-ups may make it take longer to lose ALL the weight, but I will not give up HOPE again! And either should you!

I don't care HOW OLD YOU ARE!

You can feel good, be healthy, and lose weight.

Keep going or get started!!

It can be DAY ONE or ... one day.

Monday, May 29, 2017

My Top Weight Loss Tips

Thanks for visiting.  Here are my top weight loss tips, the ones I've been using to find success (FINALLY, see The Candy Bar Story). I hate to say without much exercise, but I really haven't changed that portion of my life up yet. I do walk about 8,000 steps a day and use certain products from It Works! I love their products and am now a distributor. I'd like to help you start your journey also!
  1.  Find a plan and stick to it: I have done many different plans ... ways of eating that have worked short-term, most not more than two months then I fall back into the trap of kid-junk in the house and not caring. I've tried vegan,vegetarian, fat flushing, Weight Watchers to name a few. I have finally found a plan I can stick with (simple low carb, 20 or less daily). The important thing is having clear boundaries. This has helped me immensely. 
  2. Supplement support: I believe in taking a multi-vitamin, especially when eating less or different than you normally do. I take a multivitamin each day (we have a great one and it's minty and easy to swallow). I also take my Greens which have 34 fruits/veggies and take away my afternoon sugar cravings!
  3. Bring snacks: Core tip here. Bring your own snacks. Stuff some nuts or a packet of Greens in your purse for on-the-go craving busters. It really works. Remember your plan ... you usually can find something wherever you go, but if you have to hold off on eating, you have yourself covered. 
  4. Don't eat after 7:00: My mentor suggest nothing over 5 carbs after 6:00 pm. Personally, I have started not eating after 7:00 pm unless it's a special occasion (ie, wedding, date night). This helps my body go into a fasting state until I eat something the next day. (Yes, I have shoved a piece of 5 carb chocolate in my mouth at 6:55 pm more than once).
  5. Intermittent Fasting: I have no idea why I hadn't heard of this before, but I read about a woman that does a 16/8 plan. She fasts regularly 16 hours and her eating window is 8 hours. Several times a week, I have been incorporating this by stopping eating by 7:00 pm and stretching to not eat until 11:00 am the next morning (early lunch). It's really pretty easy, especially when eating low carb, because you don't get that gnawing hunger feeling as often as when you eat a lot of carbohydrates.
  6.  Time: Just because it is time to eat, doesn't mean you should eat. What is your body saying to you? Are you hungry? As you find a plan that works for you, listen to your body. Only eat when you are hungry.
  7. Water/bubbles: Oh water, you are so boring. I'm not in love with you. But I do, however, love bubbles. The kind in soda and gingerale. Thank you, Jesus, that water with bubbles and light flavorings are abundant in most places to purchase in bulk (latest ones I've tried is Limoncello and mango. Oh my goodness.) Zero carbs.
  8. Plan your treats (daily/weekly): You are darned tooting I plan my treats! Every day or two I have a low carb chocolate. I consider my Greens (2 carbs) a daily staple. I also know what I am having (mostly) on my cheat night! One night a week where I eat one meal that's "off limits" (proper portion size) and one dessert type food. Though, I must say, I am falling so in love with this way of eating that I sometimes plan a yummy low carb version of a favorite. 
  9. Five carb chocolate: I can and will save some carbs for my end of the day cheat. Five carb chocolate (Ghiradelli's Intense Dark, individually wrapped). I also DO NOT keep this in my room or I will drowsy eat then not care and eat the whole entire bag. I keep them on a different level than where I sleep. lol My husband calls it a crime scene when this has happened in the months past when I had no boundaries.
  10. You CAN change your mindset: There is hope! If I can, an almost 47-year-old who is set in her ways can change, so can you. Read The Candy Bar Story, I was a junk candy bar junkie. I've adapted over the past few months to realize that I can still eat what I want, but to be healthy, I have to feed my body good things. I have something to look forward to each week with my weekly cheats, plus a little daily cheat on the side. My body feels amazing, as good as I did back in my 20s (probably better) since I was a young mom of five sons. Also, give yourself a break! If you've had success and are being consistent, that cookie offered in the hand of a 5-year-old, specifically made for you ... eat it. I've had these moments along the way and as long as I go back to that plan with boundaries, it has yet to make a blip on this weight loss journey. 

Not perfect, but perfect for me. Working on my health.
Skin and body are getting in line.

Check out my 90 Day Challenge

Follow me on Facebook or Twitter for more encouragement. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

It's Time

It's Time.

To remember who you were, who you were meant to be.

Do you remember at age 8? The dreams you had lying in your bed at night, thinking about the long path before you and all you would accomplish?

Do you remember your whispered prayers at the tough times in your life, even as a little girl? And when you were trying to figure things out in your teens, or later … when everyone thought you knew what you were doing and things were settled. The years pass quickly.

And now you have a family and maybe a job you love … or hate. Did you deny and bury that hope deep inside of you? The world needs you. The darkness has not overcome the light. You shine brightly still.

Uncover and reveal without subterfuge.

The time is now to remember who you were, who you were meant to be.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Last Night - I Was the Most Beautiful Woman in the World

Last night, I was the most beautiful woman in the world.

I was at a public function and spurned by every woman there. The men looked at me with lust. One in particular strayed close enough to make eye contact. My heart contracted, I loved him yet he was married. As I stood to leave, his mother rebuked me. I ducked my head, trying to walk out with dignity.

Last night, I was walking home at twilight and witnessed a crime.

The angry thief turned to me with a bag in his hand intent on putting it over my head. I stumbled and ran. He didn't follow, but yelled obscenities and threats that he would find me.

Last night, I was a gay man with a broken heart.

I was trying to get home, but being pushed and confronted by an angry muscle of a male who wanted to pummel me because of who I was while his girlfriend screamed at him to leave me alone, that I was a 'human being'.

And when I awoke, I was me. My heart displaced and enlarged at who I had been moments before. I was privileged to be able to relate in some small way to the heart cries of the world.

Jesus came to mind and I wanted to weep.

I don't know if there's anything I can tell you that would convince you He is real. That what He did by dying on the cross and taking the punishment of yours and my sins away, was personal.

Just for you. He wants to heal your broken heart and gather you close. He wants to redeem your time here, for your good and God's.

God's holy. We're sinners. Every last stinking one of us. Jesus is the shed blood, the passover lamb spoken of in the Old Testament, for which the Jewish people had to make sacrifices so that they were "good with God".

While we're still in our mess, Jesus died for it. He knew about it and covered you. Whether you're still in it, trying to walk ahead of it, lonely, scared, rejected by the world, God still loves you. He wants you back, close to Him so He can take care of you.

At the cross, we're all on equal footing. We're the soldiers who hang Him, the women who weep, the accusers, and the robbers who look on mocking and the other accepting Him as the Son of God.

There is only One who is worthy of our love, adoration, every moment's breath and thoughts.

It's not our fancy cars, money in the bank, newest technological gadget, friends on Facebook, or messed up family that will make that little person deep down inside you, who aches and yearns to be loved, feel whole.

There is only One whose love is complete. Unlike the world's, it will fill you up and not leave you empty a few hours later.

Last night, I was the most beautiful woman in the world. I was heartbroken, lonely, rejected, and dirty. I covered my feelings with wine, men, things, my reflection. Yet I was still me inside and I hurt.

John 10:4-14 

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.  I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Home by Laura J. Marshall

Their weight sinks into the carpet then the floorboards beneath, permeating slowly into the concrete and the earth. Footprints of time and memory.
My head turns quickly to catch the shadow of a moment, a laugh, a sigh.

In the softness of home, the memories rock me. Gently floating across my mind and falling in waves that ripple like a rock skidding across a mirrored pond’s surface.
The air holds promises kept and broken. Words spoken long ago or tongues stilled out of respect and wisdom. Home has been privy to solitude, closed doors, deep thoughts, and heart’s cries.

When nowhere else would shelter, when no one else would hear,
When memories were once today’s and tomorrow was still promised.
Home was and is something fleeting, yet always steadfast.

Home is where your head lolls and you fall asleep on the couch after a meal of Thanksgiving.
It’s often Mom or Dad. Or scattered across miles and held tight in a brief visit.
It’s childhood memories, the laughter and the tears.
It’s rainy mornings and a steamy cup of coffee.
It’s snowy afternoons when hands cold from fort-making wrap around a hot mug of cocoa.

Home is said to be where your heart is, but it’s also where you’re given your heart.
Then as we grow, it’s scattered across the country, inside different people. The pieces you’ve given away. Willingly and unwillingly. Wrested over time or given at a glance into the warm brown eyes of a puppy.

Home is inside you and I.
It’s set across years and as we age,
And love and lose, it resides between heaven and earth.
Home is never lost, but rarely whole in one person or place.
But there are moments when the feeling of home is found in one terribly sweet piece of the present.
Grasp it loosely, examine it fully,
For the weight will sink into the carpet then the floorboards beneath, permeating slowly into the concrete and the earth.
Footprints of time and memory.
Of home.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Thursday, August 4, 2016

One Thousand Winks - Cape Cod Romances

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When Greg Conrad, a man who reminds her of painful memories, asks Samantha Tanner for a date to the annual Valentine's charity dance, she is resistant. She's just started looking for love at an online Christian dating site. But, Greg and her online love interest have something in common. Can mixed-truths, hidden secrets, and goat-stealing accusations end up in true love match for Sam? A heart-warming tale of finding love, healing, and laughter again on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.


“What’s his screen name?” Cass stood behind me in the cramped space of my cottage music room, glancing over my shoulder for the seventh time in twenty minutes.
“GoatMan.” I looked up. “Just pull up a chair.”
She dragged one across the kitchen linoleum and through the door, pulling it next to my desk.
“GoatMan? Why … just why?” She laughed, grabbing a chip from the bag before me and chewed happily.
I clicked his profile. “He raises goats for a living.”
“Well, at least he doesn’t look like one.
“No, and he winked at me.”
“What does that mean?” She leaned closer to the screen over my right arm.
I tilted my head. His profile stated nonsmoker, favorite food – breakfast for dinner (so me!) and loves hiking. I clicked the save button. GoatMan had potential. “Winking is flirting.”
“Ahh – okay.”
“Oh! I have a message.” A bright red one glowed across the envelope icon on the Sure Fire Christian Dating site.
Cass’s voice raised an octave in her excitement. “Is it from GoatMan?” She took another chip and munched in my ear.
“Let’s see.” A man’s face flashed on the screen. “No. It’s some guy named TinMan10.”
“Who’s he?” Cass scooted her chair close so she was even with me at the desk. In a minute she’d be snatching the mouse from my hand.
“I don’t know. The message says How you doin’?”
Cass giggled and clapped a hand over her mouth. “You totally just said that in a New York accent.”
I laughed, realizing the truth to her statement. Less than a half-hour on the site and I’d gotten several winks and now a message.
“Let’s go see his profile,” Cass prodded.
My knee jiggled a mile a minute under the desk. I clicked on his screen name and flipped through his pictures.
 “He’s got a go-tee … and huge ears!”
“Cass! That’s not nice.”
“Sam, you know you were thinking it.”
“What do I do? Answer him?”
“Um – well, if you find him attractive.” She drew the last word out syllable by syllable.
“Girl, you have a husband.” I pushed my chair back a few inches, breaking the dating game spell.
“That I do, so I have to live vicariously through you.”
“And you know that’s my end goal.” I scrolled down, “This guy is not looking for that.” The words nothing serious glared up from the seeking field.
“That makes it easier.”
I clicked to the home button. The Yes, No, Save for Later icons were center stage along with another profile picture of a handsome man with brown hair.
“He’s hot,” Cass commented, the chip bag now on her lap but forgotten.
“Yes,” I said. I hit save for later and poof, he disappeared off my screen followed by a red head.
“RustyTodd. Mmmm.”
“Cass! Maybe you need to go home to Brian.”
She sighed heavily. “Not nearly as exciting.”
I clicked past two more guys, pausing on ClassicCowboy. “And this is so romantic?”
“Hey, you’ve gotten five more winks and another message!” Cass exclaimed.

View the book on Amazon here.

Check out Laura's other books on her website at

Monday, November 30, 2015

Stormy Towne - Faith & Fame Series

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When help arrives in the form of a spoiled, rich girl from New York City, cowboy Justin Olsen is afraid his burden just got heavier. He’s been working and caring for his aunt Velma on his own.

Stormy is heiress to the Towne family fortune. Living in posh hotels and partying at the hottest New York City night clubs is part of her glamorous life. That is, until her grandmother banishes her to Apple Bottom, Texas with a mandate to aid an old family friend.

God surely hasn’t wrought these two hearts for each other, opposites to their very core. But what’s a vegetarian and a ranch hand to do when the failing town of Apple Bottom and Aunt Velma may need both of their help to survive?

The second book in the Faith & Fame series.
Short and Sweets - Cozy Afternoon Reads. Christian Romance.

Lainey Sparks - Lead Singer of Christian Band, Depth
Stormy Towne - Heiress to the Towne Fortune
Red Walker - Executive Officer of MacKenzie Oil


Willing himself to remain calm, Justin stood, waiting patiently for her to make up her mind. When she made no move, he walked to his side of the truck and slid behind the wheel, starting the engine. To say it purred like a kitten would have been a gross understatement, but it ran and was reliable. A cloud of dark smoke choked from the engine a moment later. He couldn’t help but split a grin when he heard Stormy shriek and rush to get into her side of the truck.
“Yes, ma’am. That’s what we grow here in Texas.” He put the truck in gear and proceeded from the parking spot. In minutes, he was out on route six and headed towards the highway.
“You hungry?” he asked into the silence.
“No,” Stormy said in muffled reply, her chin resting on a delicate hand perched near the window.
“Okay, but dinner might be long in coming, especially if Velma’s lost track of time again. I’m stopping for a burger. You want one?”
“A burger? Um, no. I don’t eat meat.”
Justin’s jaw worked, but no words came out. He glanced at her full on for thirty seconds before the road called his attention back.
“Don’t eat meat? Good Lord, woman. Whatcha goin’ to eat then?”
“Fruit and vegetables.”
“There’s no accounting for taste, I guess.” Justin pulled the truck into the drive through lane. “You want fries?”
Stormy looked at him and wrinkled her nose. “Fried in what kind of oil?”
“Lady, I have no idea. Does it matter?”
“I guess not. I don’t eat fried things. No, thank you.”
Justin placed his order, paid, and collected his food. He swung into an empty parking space and let the truck idle. Rummaging through the bag, he pulled out the double cheeseburger, conscious he was being watched. His eyes slid to Stormy’s. “What’s the matter?”
“I – I just …” she stuttered, “You’re so callous about eating meat. Do you know where that comes from?”
“Yes, ma’am. A cow. We’ll see plenty on the way to Apple Bottom and on the ranch.”
“Ranch?” Her nose wrinkled, which would have been pretty if she wasn’t so full of herself.
Justin looked down at his now unwrapped burger, turning it over in his hand before taking a huge bite. “Double-Y, yes ma’am. Then you’ll really appreciate your meat.”
Stormy shook her head in disgust at him and turned back to the window. Justin finished the burger in two bites and gulped down half of his soda. He jumped from the truck cab and threw the trash away. Within minutes they were back on the road and headed to the highway.
However long this girl was here, it would be too long. How could he cook for someone who didn’t eat meat? He ran the ranch as best he could, and most nights, he was so tired he couldn’t see straight. He didn’t have time to coddle a spoiled brat of a girl who never grew up.
The Good Lord knew how much they’d struggled this year with steer prices down and feed climbing higher and higher. You raised the animals, and they became your food. You didn’t get attached. They had a good life on the farm, in the fields, until it was time to send them for slaughtering. That was the circle of life.
Stormy, she had a strange way of thinking. She must be from a city with so much concrete between her and the dirt, it had affected her brain. 

View the book on Amazon here.
Check out Laura's other books on her website at