Review This and That

reynzo-522685-unsplash My girl enjoying paddle boarding. Photo by Reynzo on Unsplash

“So what do you think?” I whispered to Mr. Divine as he suited up in a life jacket after the demonstration about how to use a paddle board.

“Not bad. The man answers questions with patients and tries to tell you everything you need to know. He explains potential problems and understands not everyone is at the same level.”

I nodded. “He runs a very tight ship. I like that.”

“So he goes on your list of people to approach about a partnership.”

“For now. I know you need to do your investigative wizardry to make sure the people who looked good were truly good.”

“I’ll get my man on it at once but for now let’s enjoy this.”

We spent the next hour playing on the paddle boards. The kids were truly enjoying themselves and after the time was up we went back to the car and got the picnic we had packed.

“So what did you guys think?” we asked the children. We hadn’t told them what we were going because we wanted an unbiased, unfiltered reaction.

Over the past few weeks, we had also been teaching them how to evaluate businesses, situations, events for business potential. Kylie was an ace at it so far but more than once Shane had revealed some truly amazing insights. In the quiet of the night when we talked, Mr. Divine noted that the children truly had the potential to dive into the business arena and do amazing and noteworthy ventures. They just needed to be trained to too at the things often overlooked by people on a daily basis. Believe me, they are getting the training.

Since the initial talk about making your money work for you, the children had been devouring information about business. Learning as much as they could about the stock market and how to choose stock. Right now, everything business caught their attention and they were always trying to come up with good business ideas.

“This guy is really good mom. Can we come again? He really knows his stuff.” They went on to explain what they thought about everything and why. The guys were on track and so were we.

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Book Review – Dating a Cougar

Dating A Cougar

The title of this book is what drew me in and when I finished the story I was so happy I discovered this new author. Dating A Cougar by Donna McDonald is the first book in the Never Too Late (7 Book Series) and it was so good I got the other books in the series as well.

The story is about Alexa Ranger, a former model turned businesswoman who after two decades of trying to find that special someone, finally throws in the towel. That was when a much younger and determined retired Marine Casey Carter entered the picture intent on becoming involved. Alexa tried to avoid being with Casey because of the age difference and all the other complications but sometimes how you want things to go is not how they turn out.

I loved this story. It was truly an amazing example of an older woman who is determined and ambitious and must battle through her uncertainties when it comes to the complications of love and relationships. The characters in the story are funny and combined with the pacing of the story, it allowed me to read it quickly. I recommend this story as a must read. In fact, I suggest you read the whole series. I did and loved every moment of if it.

So get a copy of Dating A Cougar and give it a read. Enjoy.

 

Money Madness

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Talking over dinner.

When I got home from my visit with Noel, I found Mr. Divine in the kitchen cooking dinner with the kids. From the looks of it, we are going to having some type of stir fry chicken with baked sweet potato with salad.

“How was your day, honey?” asked Mr. Divine as he stirred the pan on the fire.

“It was good. In fact, the best word for it would be interesting.”

He paused mid-stir. “What happened?”

“Well, while we were talking Noel got her bank statement in the mail and that was when the drama got epic.”

“Over her bank statement?” said Mr. Divine. “What did they do?”

“Had five dollars extra in the maintenance fee charged to her account. Then when she finally found a number of calls on one would answer. She had to press the extension for wealth management to get an answer.”

Mr. Divine’s jaw dropped. “Yikes. That’s….unheard of.”

The children watched us, listening to my explanation of what happened. As I continued the story I could see Mr. Divine becoming very disturbed by what he was hearing.

“That sounds insane. When I call the bank I never have that problem.”

“And I bet your account is under business or wealth management and you have a specific person you talk to about your account. Someone who knows you and sees to your every need.,” I said as I climbed onto the stool in front of the bar top that extended from the countertop.

He nodded as he mixed the pasta into the chicken and veggies he had stir-fried. “I see what mean.”

“So what’s the huge difference,” asked Kyla as she cut vegetables for a salad. Shane handed her the leaves of lettuce he had washed and continued on to the other veggies and fruits he had on the counter close to him.

“The way bank staff deals with you basically. Your dad has a direct line to someone in the bank and they scramble to help him but when most of us call the bank its a different story. We have to hunt for a number firstly. Then we call and call but no one answers the phone.”

Kyla looked at me shocked. “Really!”

“Sadly yes,” I replied. “That why Noel is so against banks. Nowadays its fees, fees and more fees and little or no service.”

“So what can you do?” Shane dried his hands and moved to stand next to Kyla while he asked the question.

“It’s about being very strategic with your money. Making it work for you,” said Mr. Divine.

The kids looked at us confused. “What does that mean?”

Bank On That

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Never a boring moment with my friend, Noel. Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

I went to visit my friend Noel after I came back from my trip to Europe to just relax and catch up on how things were going. While we were sitting there, her mail came in and I speak talk she opened the letters. When she ripped open the last one her growl of frustration filled the room.

“These people get on my last nerve,” said Noel as she waved the letter in her hand from side to side.

“What’s the matter?” I asked and she pushed what I soon realized the bank statement towards me.

“Look at that,” she said pointing to a particular line on her statement. What she was showing me was the line that said maintenance fees and the corresponding entry that said twenty dollars. After I read it my eyes widened.

“What? Why so much?” I asked looking at what she was showing me. “What bank is this?”

She pointed to the letterhead.

“I don’t bank with them, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I had similar fees on my statement. Those banks. When one starts something the other quickly follows.”

“My question is what is the point of the bank nowadays? In the olden days you at least used to get a bit of interest from them, but nowadays if you if you get two cents added to your hundred dollars it’s a miracle.”

I laughed. “It’s not funny,” I said as I tried to hold in my laughter. I took a deep breath. “In fact, it is sad how true it is.”

“It’s so bad that they don’t even have the branch’s telephone number on the correspondence.”

“Yeah. I noticed that on my correspondence as well. Also, the fastest thing they can tell you is to go online.”

“One minute! They charged me twenty dollars. I only went to the bank three times. They owe five dollars. I’m going to call them now and sort that out.”

The fire was in Noel’s eyes. It was on now.

Next Step

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My children love Berlin. Love, love, love it. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

While we were away indulging out wanderlust we were keeping track of the next steps we wanted to take in our lives but we were not about to let that distract us from having a good time. The news we had been waiting for reached us during our three-day stopover in Berlin. Kylie got several emails about grades, school and the scholarships she has applied for. From there we put things into place while we continued our trip through Europe. All the necessary information was forwarded to the schools the children wanted to go to so things would be in place when we got back home.

The trip became even more exciting now we got the news about the kids going to the schools of their choice. As we traveled we allowed the children to the take the lead more so they could strengthen their navigation skills in a big and times more complication environment. They helped each other, figuring out how to uses maps and find out information in a country where they didn’t speak the language.

“I’m really enjoying this mom,” said Kylie as she tiptoed and looked through the crowd to see more of the stalls set up at Kunstmarkt, a huge flea market in Berlin.

“There is so much history and culture here. I think going to school here would be a lot more interesting than the US.

Mr. Divine laughed at her remark. “That is probably very true. We can check and see if your university offers a study abroad program. Another option is to do your Master’s Degree or make sure your first job is in Europe.”

“Can I do that?” she asked excitingly.

“Yes,” Mr. Divine replied as she held his arm and looked up him in awe.

“It’s time for both you and Shane to dream big and discover the world. Strengthen your language skills and travel.”

The kids looked at each other and nodded. Their excitement visible. They both had their sights set on choosing a new skill they wanted to discover and develop, plus the fire to go after it. I can’t wait to see what language or languages they choose.

 

Discover Europe

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Artwork and architecture on a building in Milan, Italy.

Mr. Divine has brought us on a trip across the pond and when we drove out of the airport we were all smiles. Yes, the kids and I were beach babies, but we also loved to explore and discover. Right now we are in London with its blend of old and new all hidden in countless nooks and crannies just waiting to be discovered. It called to use us to explore. First, we took a tour on an opened top double-decker bus all around the city. From that, the kids took a note of the places they wanted to revisit.

 

We visited so many spots. Somehow we got in more than ten of the must see places to visit. As we bid London goodbye, Mr. Divine took a note of our sad faces.

“Don’t worry. We’ll be back again soon,” he assured us as we boarded a fast train to Scotland. When we got to Edinburgh we took in the crisp, fresh air, eager for more to discover.  We started on the Royal Mile and just rambled. After several hours we had visited The Writers’ Museum, Queen Mary’s Bath House, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Victoria Terrace and of course the Scotch Whisky Experience. The next day we took a day trip to  Loch Ness that also stopped at Glencoe and the best part is that it allowed us to discover the Highlands. The vistas we saw were truly breathtaking.

The trip didn’t end there, in fact, it had only just begun. We spent the next three weeks roaming through Europe. First, we went to Paris, then to Madrid, across to Barcelona, a stop in Marseille to see the views from the Basilique Notre – Dame de la Garde. In Monaco, we went to Jardin Exotique and Palais du Prince. We continued ongoing from one major city to the next until we had seen most of Western Europe.

We had the most amazing time on that trip and the truly amazing things we saw changed our opinions and impressions of the world. I’m sure there will be other trips like this in the near future and I can hardly wait until we all go to another. Along with the discovery and adventure, we enjoyed the togetherness and uninterrupted family time. It’s an experience we will never forget and are eager to repeat.

Summer Fun

 

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Tell me we are going on a cruise and my cases are packed.

Oh Goodness me! I now realize how far behind I am about what has been happening so I’m going to try extra hard to get you, my amazing readers, back up to date about what’s going on. We all had an amazing summer even though things were in limbo. The issue that has us unable to fully sit, stand or turnaround, is that we’re waiting to find out about the children’s next step when it comes to school. To take our minds off for that complicated bit of information, Mr. Divine decided we should all go on a trip and indulge in some adventure.

The next thing I knew, we were packing to go on a two-week cruise of the Caribbean. It ended up being one of the most enjoyable parts of the summer vacation. Like I said, only one of them because my lovely husband always has something up his sleeve. Our days were spent going on various tours that allowed us to discover the most amazing locations. We saw so many unique places and discovered so much information about each island we visited, it captivated us.

Every day the kids were up early and ready to scamper off and discover. Sometimes we went out together or they would spend the day with the new friends they met on the boat. No matter what, we always had dinner together every night. I had some serious foodies for children and dinner was our time to try new things. It was filled with pure fun and laughter. Dinner was our time to talk and recap the day. We would plan what we wanted to do for the coming days and to seek out new adventures. Whenever possible, the children had to get in some beach time. They were true water babies and the beach makes them happy.

When that cruise ended we were all a little sad, but it ended with new friends and the potential for more adventure right around the corner. Let the fun begin.

On Notice

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I love to just to be with you. Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

My trip to see Mr. Divine extended into the next week and as such, I had a deal with Lorna and each encounter was just as bad as the first one. If she wasn’t shooting me dirty looks she was dropping nasty remarks about how I looked and that I made her boss marry down. That Mr. Divine must have hit his head when he decided to marry me.

I looked at her and said nothing as she continued to try to make me feel uncomfortable. I didn’t want her and her horrible attitude in any way connected to my husband or children and I planned to let her fashion her own fire to destroy her own career.

Recording what she was saying and taking it to my husband would have been easy but what was the fun in that. No, Lorna was going to be lead on a twisted dance called don’t mess with the boss’s wife cause she will rip you a new one. When I was done she wouldn’t know which way was up.

First I looked on the Internet to get a list of the recruitment agencies in the area then choose two and got started. One of my talents had always been the ability to mimic voices and after getting my throat warmed up I called my husband’s office.

“Good morning I’m calling from McHema Recruitment to discuss the candidates for the PA position you asked us to advertise for.

There was silence then a slow voice answered. “Job for a PA? Ahhh…I wasn’t aware we were looking for someone. Are you sure you have the right company?”

“Of course I’m sure. This is a follow-up call updating our client with regards to our progress. We have ten candidates we shortlisted and we want to discuss second round interviews.”

“We searched around individuals we had previously head hunted that are looking to switch positions. It was requested we move quickly as there was a time element involved. It there someone I can speak to?”

“Ahh…the boss is not here right now but I’ll give him your message.”

“Thank you very much. I’ll also call you again a little later.”

Lindsay disconnected the call and relaxed back against the lounge chair. Looking up she smiled as Mr. Divine walked towards her with two cocktails in his hands.

He put them down on the side table and sat down on the towel next to me.

“I know that naughty smile. What are you up to?”

“Nothing. Just stressing out you PA because she keeps being rude to me.”

“Lindsay,” he growled. “What did you do?”

“Make her think you were recruiting someone new for her job.”

He shook his head and gave her a rough kiss. “You are so naughty.”

“No, I just learnt to fight dirty. Now it’s to see what happens tomorrow.”

Mr. Divine settled back against her. “We’ll see.”

Oh Really!

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Happy to see my hubby.  Photo by mari lezhava on Unsplash

Throwing back her head Lindsay started to laugh uproariously. With a smile, she took her picnic basket off the secretary’s desk and moved into the corner and sat down.

“Madam you might as well leave. The boss is busy all day,” she said.

Lindsay smiled and took out her phone. “I’ll just send this little message first if you don’t mind.” Lindsay crossed her legs and got comfortable.

“In fact, I do mind. I’m going to have to call security.”

“Just checking. You did hear the part when I told you I’m here to see my husband.”

The woman got up and rolled her eyes. “As if my boss would be stupid enough to marry someone looking like you.”

Lindsay looked at the woman in shock when she heard her comment taken aback by her blatant rudeness. Just then a message came through on her phone and after Lindsay read it she sat back down with a smile.

“Why are you sitting down? Get out of here woman. As if you can make me believe my boss married you.”

“Lorna! Why are you speaking to my wife like that? In fact, why don’t you call me and let me know she was here?”

The woman looked from Mr. Divine to me then back. “No way. There is no way you are married to her.”

Mr. Divine walked out of his office towards me, pulling me into his arms and floored me with a long, deep kiss. It took me so by surprise that I ended up clutching his shirt and I didn’t even know when I did it.

“Mine,” he growled pulling me closer. Then he turned and looked at Lorna and she backed away slowly.

“If you ever disrespect my wife again you better start looking for a new job.”

“Yes sir, okay sir.” She moved around her desk and sat down watching as Mr. Divine leaned in and kissed me again. After he raised his head he gave me a heated look, took up the picnic basket and dragged me towards his office.

“Hold my calls,” he said to Lorna as I trotted after him. Then she slammed the door shut and locked us inside.

 

Blocker

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I need to see my Mr. Divine. Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

I’ve been telling you all about what’s going on in the children’s lives but I haven’t told you about what is up with me and Mr. Divine. He has had to travel quite a bit for the past few months and like always I miss him like crazy. When he is not here we talked every day, sometimes three or four times a day. He tries to keep his trips short but sometimes they ran longer. Neither of us like when we are apart for each other for long periods of time but it happened.

After one of his trips started running into three weeks I started planning a weekend trip to slip over and visit my man. The kids said they could spend the weekend at either their aunt or at one of their friends but they wanted me to go on this trip. Quickly I arranged everything and took a flight to were Mr. Divine was staying. I went to our home and put down my cases then moved away to his offices.

I arrived armed with a picnic basket for lunch to see my man and when I get the main entrances of his office I saw he had a new secretary and sighed. This was going to be interesting. As I walked closer I watched the woman’s face and noted the way she was looking at me. It was not an inviting look and I had a feeling she was going to a pain when I asked to see Mr. Divine.

“Good morning. I’m here to see Mr. Divine. I’m his wife, Lindsay”

“Do you have an appointment?”

“No,” I gave her a long look. “My visit is a surprise.”

“Well, I’m sorry. You can’t see him.”