Introducing: Meika Usher!

I met Meika Usher at a Capital City Writers meeting (or perhaps conference—I can’t remember now) a few years back. She was just starting out then, and we met at a local coffee shop to write together, or chatted after meetings, went to book signings for local authors.

Then I gave Meika her very first deadline.

Asked her how long she thought it would take her to finish her first book, have it edited, formatted and released on Amazon. She gave me a date. I said I was holding her to it.

From time to time I would heckle her when I saw her on social media instead of writing. I’d check in periodically on her progress. Mostly, though, Meika buckled down, risked carpal tunnel, and finished that manuscript. Then she did all the other things an author must do to get a book out.

She met her deadline. And I got an acknowledgement in her book. <3

Now, her third book, READY TO RUN, has just released. Her fourth book is currently releasing on Radish as well, so if you hop over there and subscribe, you’ll be getting a sneak peek at the next book as well.

Meika is feisty and funny and snarky and has the most gorgeous green eyes. She’s a riot to hang with because you never know what’s going to come out of her mouth—and that’s reflected in her books.

So, for a little fun, I invited Meika to do a Lightning Round of questions, a la James Lipton.

Ready? Set? Go!

Blue jeans or party clothes? Dresses are my go-to, but don’t try to get me in heels. I’ll fall and die.

Sushi or steak? DON’T MAKE ME CHOOSE!!! Um…sushi? No! Steak. Yes. Steak. I think.

Cats or dogs? (Or hamsters?) Pssh, dogs. Mine would kill me if I said anything else. Seriously. She’s scary.

Beer, wine or water? Beer, please.

Coke or Pepsi? (If you answer Pepsi I hereby disown you. Ask my father.) Coke! No disowning necessary! Technically, Cherry Coke Zero.

Favorite color? Burgundy. Almost everything I own is this color. Even my hair. It’s a little absurd.

Favorite word? Wanderlust. (PS Alyssa here, adding that Meika is also a solo international traveler, like moi!)

Least favorite word? Hmm. I don’t know if I have one. I know there’s a whole anti-moist movement, but that word has never bothered me. I think I’m gonna have to go with…gaping? Especially when paired with “wound.” Ughhhhh.

Coffee or tea? Hot? Tea. Cold? Coffee.

And last but not least…. Chris Hemsworth or Chris Pine or Chris Evans? This is cruel. Like, super cruel. I don’t know how I’m supposed to choo—Evans. With the beard, please.

Now for a peek at READY TO RUN!


Comic book artist Sunny Oliver is prepared for anything. Rabid fans? No biggie. Zombie Apocalypse? Piece of cake. Her older brother’s best friend? Er…not so much. He’s obnoxious. He’s gross. He’s…hot? Back in high school, Ben Owens made her feel invisible. But now he sees her. And the way he’s looking at her has her ready to drop her walls…AND her pants. 


ER nurse Ben Owens is a one girl kinda guy. One girl a NIGHT, that is. As a rule, he doesn’t get attached. Sunny Oliver has always been the exception to that rule. Years ago, he made a promise to keep his distance. Breaking it could cost him. But if it’s such a bad idea, why does it feel SO good?


With each pizza shared and every digital zombie vanquished, Sunny and Ben rekindle the friendship they shared years ago. Only, this time, something’s different. Will they give in to their newfound feelings, or will past promises–and past hurt–send them running in the opposite direction?

Want a little more Meika?

Meika Usher is a Michigan-based romance author, a puppy mama, and a pizza lover. When she’s not writing snarky, sexy love stories, she can be found binge-watching Supernatural (she’s a Dean girl), memorizing all the song lyrics ever (it’s her superpower), or planning her next solo trip (she’s thinking Estonia). She is on the board of Lansing’s Capital City Writers, and a member of Romance Writers of America, and Mid-Michigan RWA. READY TO RUN is her third novel.

Find Meika:

The Beginning of My 10 Day Trip to Ireland

Every good story should start with the same thing:

Food. All kinds of food.

In this case, Irish food.

But to know Irish food, you need to know the history of the country.

There were people living on the isle going back to, oh, nearly the beginning of time. I know, because I saw a long boat in Dublin dated to 2500 BC and preserved in a peat bog. (As all good things are in Ireland, including butter. Apparently, the ancient Irish would bury butter to preserve it, and butter is still being discovered in bogs. Including this 2000 year old butter.)

More on the long boat and the National Museum of Ireland - Archeaology soon, but back to the history and food.

The Vikings invaded around 800 AD. They raided and pillaged and, more importantly, took wives and settled here. They assimilated and became part of Ireland, as much as the original Irish, while also leaving their own stamp on the country.

The Normans (Normandy was in northern France) invaded around 1150ish, give or take fifty years. Ever heard of Strongbow? Yeah, he was the guy. And I saw his tomb in Christ Church in Dublin! (Sort of, the real one was destroyed when the roof collapsed 150 or so years ago, but they found a grave from the same time period to replace it. Still a Medieval grave over his body, so it’s cool. Again, more on that later.)

But the Normans weren’t actually coming from France. They’d invaded England back in 1066, so technically, Ireland was being invaded by English Normans. Or a mix of those peeps. Either way, it brought Ireland under the rule of the English.

Following that was 800 years of English rule. And believe me, the Irish know it. So they should.

Then there was the Reformation, when Henry the Eighth got a bee up his bonnet (which is a polite way of saying it he took up with a girl who was not his wife), broke with the Catholic Church, got a divorce, founded the Church of England, then married his girlfriend Anne Boleyn.

For the record, Anne Boleyn is my second favorite historical figure. I love everything about her, right down to her alleged last words before execution by beheading: “I have a little neck.” She was also the mother to my first favorite historical figure, Elizabeth I. Cleopatra being number three. (Yes, I like strong women!)

So here are the Irish, circa 1600s, under English rule. Then the “undertakers” arrive, who “undertake” to confiscate Irish lands and give them to English Protestants for farming, etc. (Catholic was the name of the game in Ireland before that). These tracts of land were called plantations. This was a system where so and so worked the land, passed the profits up to a guy who owned the land, who passed it up to the guy who was the undertaker, who then passed it off to the government. Everyone kept their percentage and was happy—except that poor Irish guy who had his lands confiscated because he was Irish and the undertakers were in power.

Well, the Irish are rebels. Being of Irish descent, I feel them. There’s a bit of a rebel in me, too.

So the Irish started their uprisings, though I’m sure there were more before those I mention here. If you want a full list, you can Google it, but I’m going to the most recent. Uprisings during the French Revolution in 1798. More in the early 1800s, yet again around 1850, more in the 1880s.

Then came the Easter Rising of 1919: A declaration of the Irish Republic, men trapped in St. Stephen’s square and rebelling against the English, no matter what cost to themselves. 485 people were killed, the rebels were caught and eventually executed. Including James Connolly, if you’ve ever heard the name.

More fighting ensued and finally, in 1922, Ireland gained its Independence.

To that, I say, Up The Rebels!

Why is this important?

Because the food of a place is the food of their history.

The Irish traditional dishes are simple, because they did not have access to amazing foodstuffs to work with. They were oppressed. There was the potato famine, when a million died and another million emigrated. (I went to some famine cottages, more on that later.)

The ground is stony rather than rich. When I asked why and how there were so many stone fences everywhere in Ireland, my guide told me it was because stone is everywhere. They can’t plant fields without removing stone, as it’s just inches from the surface. When my guide was in America, he was stunned to see an excavator going 10 feet or more down and finding only soil.

But most of all, every country is a product of its location (the ocean!) and its history (invasions!)

So the traditional Irish breakfast of eggs, sausage, sautéed mushrooms, black sausage, white sausage, grilled tomatoes, and baked beans is similar to the British full breakfast. It’s meant to keep a body full to work the fields until dinner. FYI, it does the job. I ate a full breakfast every morning in Ireland and did not need to eat again until evening.

Fish and chips are common in both countries, but the fish is local to wherever you are eating. The mussels I ate were local, brought in just that morning from a port not 15 miles away. Coddle is a soup made with simple ingredients easily available. Potato and leek soup is a testament to what grows on rocky ground. Soda bread? I dunno. But it’s delicious.

And so…my meals in Ireland. I’ve included beverages too, though they are not quite as traditional. But the beverages were delish.

My very first meal in Ireland, at The Hairy Lemon Pub: Vegetable Soup with Homemade Brown Bread.

I ordered it because a local gentleman at a table ordered it. He was reading the daily newspaper, chatting with the bartender he knew by name, and ordered the soup. I thought, if this gentleman–old enough to be a grandfather and with glasses perched on his nose–was ordering the soup for his lunch, I should too. I expected something chunky, like a minestrone. But it was smooth and creamy and so, so good. The bread was heavy and thick, nothing like a loaf of “sliced bread” here in the US. I could have eaten a whole loaf, except they would have had to roll me out of the pub.

Full. Irish. Breakfast.

I confess, I did not eat more than a bite or two of the black and white puddings. And, no, it wasn’t because the black pudding is blood pudding. That slight metallic tang didn’t bother me in the last, nor did knowing that it was made with blood. It was the spices. I don’t know if it’s made with allspice or anise or what, but there is a spice there I really, really do not like. I couldn’t eat the white pudding for the same reason. I also don’t eat pumpkin pie because there is a spice I don’t like, so the blood pudding shouldn’t take it personally. 🙂

I decided to eat “healthy” on day 2.

I don’t know what I was thinking, lol. You don’t eat healthy on vacation! Still, it was delish, and the butter was Kerrygold and worth every bite. A little bit of orange marmalade on that butter and bread, the Kerry yogurt mixed with the granola. Mm Mm Mm. I didn’t miss the sausage a bit.

Mussels and shrimp on beautiful pasta. It was at my hotel bar, which I loved. Sophie’s at The Dean became my home away from home. Breakfast, a drink, dinner–all multiple times in the 5 days I was there (2 at the beginning, 3 at the end of my trip.)

Breakfast on my last first round of days in Dublin.

That right there is a bagel with cream cheese, avocado, prosciutto, along with a tomato and potatoes. Why do we not have a warm tomato and potatoes for breakfast, is my question.

So I roll into Cork and I wander, and I’m more starved than I thought I would be. So far my breakfast has held me over until lunch. I stop at a little pub called the Linen Weaver and have some shrimp. Which I ate so fast I had no picture.

I wander again, heading into a museum that I wandered in so long I was kicked out at closing time. I lost my sweatshirt somewhere and had to buy another. Then I found a gastropub I fell in love with. The name has totally escaped me now, but oh, this beef pie was ah. maze. ing. You could tell the stew under the puff pastry had been cooking all day, it was so full of flavor.

And, er. I’m hungry just writing this.

Still in Cork, and I venture a few doors down from my hotel to a little tea shop. It was packed with locals, so I knew it was good. (Yes, you can tell locals from tourists!) As usual, a regular Irish breakfast.

I still don’t know why we don’t have mushrooms and tomatoes at breakfast. This seems like a very good idea to me.

Also, I bought Kerrygold butter when I got home. It’s that good!

That, my friends, is fish and chips done right.

I have nothing else to say.

When I came into Killarney I couldn’t get into my hotel. Yet I had a backpack I was carrying around, and I was also exhausted. So I found the nearest pub, settled in to journal and then write. While I was there, I had potato leek soup and a ham and white bread sandwich.

Simple fare, but I could not have enjoyed it more. The soup was amazing, and I’ve decided to try it myself. It was so creamy, and had that light oniony, scalliony bite of the leeks. I know why this dish is traditional, but I also know why it is so loved!

And then I ate again, lol. Because my hotel room still wasn’t ready.

These mussels, though? So fresh, and when I asked, the manager of the bar said they’d been brought in just that morning from the coast. Which, in Cork, is barely 10 to 15 miles away. Can you imagine? Here in Michigan, mussels have to be frozen and shipped in. And though we have the great lakes, much of our fish is still frozen and shipped in. I adore the idea that you can eat fish caught just that morning. It’s common in so many places in the world–and yet a luxury for me. It is the type of thing that makes me wonder, what is common for me that is a luxury somewhere else?

Soooo… I might have gotten into the buffet at my hotel in Killarney. But really, baked beans and mushrooms and coffee and fruit? I could eat like this every day.

As long as someone else cooked it!

My last night in Killarney I stopped into a pub on the recommendation of my guide. I met a lovely gentleman, lean and tattooed and rough around the edges, but sweet as pie. Or Irish cream. A mason by trade, he had a smile a full mile wide. He was chatting with a couple from Holland on vacay who were there to learn English. Someone told them the best way to learn a language was to go where it was spoken and hang out in the pubs. So they did.

And there I was, chatting and laughing. And suddenly starving. So I ordered the local version of a surf and turf. I ate the whole thing–though I shared my chips (fries) with the mason.

That mason told me of a place to visit in Killarney that was his favorite. A grove of yew trees that were hundreds of years old. He said he was a recovering addict, and when he struggles, he walks to that place. To him, it is like wearing ear plugs. All of the world and the pain and the bustle is drowned out. All that is left his him and the yew trees and space to be.

My guide and I tried to find it, but we never did. I like to think it’s because it’s my mason’s special place, meant only for him.

That is an Irish coffee, made by my own hand during a food tour in Dublin. The guide walked us through every step of the way. I have to say, mine was perfect.

I’d give you the recipe, but then I’d have to kill you.

On my very last day in Ireland, I had my very favorite dish: coddle. It’s a stew with carrots, potatoes, sausage, rasher bacon…and that’s it. Still, it was so flavorful I asked the bartender what else it was seasoned with. The answer? Salt and parsley.

Now, this bartender was reluctant to serve it to me. I ordered it and he said it was unusual, I might not like it, was I sure? All I could think was, it’s coddle. It’s a local dish. Of course I want to try it–and if I don’t like it, my mama taught me to eat it anyway and pay my compliments to the chef.

I didn’t have to lie. I could have bathed in it.

Knowing what I do about food, it was the bacon and sausage that flavored the broth. It likely cooked for hours and hours, the spices and meat juices seeping into the potatoes and carrots, creating the depth of the broth. All I know is it was probably the simplest and best meal I at in all of Ireland.

Except maybe that potato and leek soup with the ham sandwich.

Just goes to show, simple is best.

Well, Here We Are In The Beverage Section

I drank everything from coffee to juice to gin to Guinness to a drink made with seaweed.


Speaking of Sophie’s at The Dean, here is their signature drink. The Sophie, of course.

Er. I might have paid the bartender 20 euro to give me the recipe, it was that good. We’ll see if I can recreate it.

This beverage has no name. I asked Cat, my bartender, to make me something yummy. This was made with Dingle gin, tonic, something elderberry-ish, and a bunch of dried fruits. Oh, if only I had this recipe too!

My first and only Guinness in Ireland

A Porter at The Hairy Lemon

An Americano (Espresso with water added)

An IPA from a local brewery in Cork

Water (See! I drank water!) on the train between Dublin and Cork

Something made with seaweed in Cork

I can’t for the life of me remember, but it was in Cork

An IPA (Irish Pale Ale) at a local pub in Killarney

It’s Release Day! Dukes By The Dozen Is Here!

Today Is The Day!

The greatest and wonderfulest and marvelous-es-est (?) of anthologies is here! Not that I'm biased or anything.

DUKES BY THE DOZEN is officially available on your e-reader of choice as of 12 midnight.

To celebrate, I'm going to offer you a little sample of Duke In Winter below, my contribution to this anthology. But, first, a bit about it.

Thirteen historical romance authors have banded together to provide you a story for every month of the year, plus an extra month for good measure. A baker's dozen of novellas featuring dukes! Every kind of story is here, from broody dukes to mistletoe to capers and, in my case, a bit of Robin Hood re-imagined.

I hope you enjoy!

Don't forget to add DUKES BY THE DOZEN to your Goodreads Shelf!


Impeded by a blinding snowstorm, the Duke of Highrow is determined to find his way home. But when the highwayman demanded he stand and deliver, he didn’t know she would steal his heart.




Hunching his shoulders against the bitter wind, Wulf guided his stallion onto the narrow track between the trees. With luck, he would be standing before his own fire before the storm worsened.

“Stand and deliver!” The shout was sharp beneath the swirling snow, echoing between the silent, naked trees.

Cursing, Wulf lifted his forearm to block the white flakes and studied the shadows dancing between the wind-tossed snow.

The highwayman was not ten feet away, sitting atop a horse in the center of the path. His greatcoat swirled in the wind as he raised his arm, the double-barreled pistol he held appearing small and light.

Though size was not indicative of deadliness. The thief held the weapon as straight and steady as any spymaster Wulf had encountered during the Reign of Terror.

“What shall I deliver?” Wulf pitched his voice above the wind and narrowed his eyes, evaluating risk. He kept a pistol in his saddlebags, but he would never be fast enough to beat his opponent.

Still, he took one hand from the reins and slid it onto his thigh. Easily, he hoped, so it would seem natural and not calculated to move closer to the saddlebags.

“You may deliver whatever valuables you have on your person.” Through the eerie, dim, snow-light and thickening flakes, Wulf could distinguish a cap pulled low and a scarf wrapped around the thief’s face that was substantial enough to fight the wind. “Beginning with the winnings in your pockets, sir.”

“Now, how is it you know about the blunt in my pockets?” Wulf leaned casually on the pommel. Considered his adversary.

“A rich nabob like you, coming from a house party? Of course you have blunt.” The man’s jacket was big enough he might swim in it. A local lad, perhaps, fallen on difficult times.

Or the Honorable Highwayman.

Wulf had yet to make the acquaintance of the local legend, though he had heard a great deal about the highwayman’s ill-gained generosity.

“I don’t particularly care to give up my blunt, even for widows and orphans.” Though he was actually quite willing to forgo his winnings for such a cause. “At least not at the end of a pistol,” he continued, attempting to stall.

Another few inches and Wulf would be able to reach his weapon. He shifted again, setting his hand a little closer to the saddlebag.

Wind rattled the branches above them, so they clacked and creaked like brittle bones. Wulf’s stallion sidestepped, pranced a few paces. Using both hands—unfortunately—Wulf brought the animal under control again.

“Very well, Your Grace.” The pistol notched higher, its barrels seeming to stare at Wulf with two dark, round eyes. “Then I shall wound you with the first shot. Perhaps you shall change your mind.”

“Unlikely.” Still, Wulf had lost the precious inches he’d gained reaching for his own weapon. His stallion was edgy, and the storm swirled around them—and the coins and pound notes in his pocket were not worth the effort.

But by God, it was the principle. He’d not spent years dodging the guillotine in France only to be bested by a highwayman a few miles from his home.

The wind sharpened, howled, and in the momentary silence as it died again, Wulf clearly heard a long-suffering sigh.

“As you wish, Your Grace.”

The report was deafening, slicing through the silence of snow and night. The already-spooked stallion reared, pawed the air. Even as Wulf recognized the searing pain in his shoulder for what it was, he understood he would not keep his seat.

“Bloody hell!” he cursed, tumbling through flying snow.

When the ground slammed into the back of his head, everything went black.

* * *

She’d shot him. Actually shot him.

“Damnation.” As the sound of panicked horse hooves faded into the night, Bea looked down at her pistol and let out an irritated huff. “Why did you have to pick now to be slippery?”

Her aim was nearly perfect, and she’d never yet wounded any of her intended prey.

Only frightened them.

Bea contemplated the man sprawled on the ground as snow began to blanket his greatcoat. She couldn’t leave him here. Unconscious, wounded, and without a horse, since his had gone running off into the trees.

He was also the Duke of Highrow—a boy she’d known. A man she didn’t.

“Damnation,” she said again, as she saw the stains on the snow. Blood. She didn’t need sunlight to recognize the dark drops dotting the ground.

A Duke-a-licious Sample

On April 16 (next Tuesday, woo hoo!) DUKES BY THE DOZEN will be live! And to whet your appetite, I’ve got a little sneak peek from of one of the novellas in the anthology. I’ve been sharing on them on my Facebook Page, and playing along in our Dukes By The Dozen Facebook group as well. If you haven’t, be sure to join us for information on giveaways coming up in the next few days!

In the meantime, read below for an excerpt from DEAR DUKE, by Anna Harrington!


Barnes & Noble:



Dear Duke

Anna Harrington


John, Duke of Monmouth, has no idea that the anonymous pen pal who has stolen his heart is the same woman standing between him and his new canal…


Good God, he was nervous! Surrounded by a sea of masked guests inside Bishopswood’s ballroom, John tugged once more at the sleeves of his black kerseymere jacket.

He nearly laughed at himself. When had he ever been nervous about a woman before in his life? In his younger days, he’d bedded more women than he could remember, sharing in all kinds of pleasures with down-to-earth women from the markets, inns, and villages. In more recent years, he’d been too busy with his business to spend much time in pursuit of the women of the gentility that his new money brought him into contact with. Since he’d inherited, though, it was society ladies who vied to capture his attention, those women who were more than eager to raise their skirts for a wealthy duke. He rejected those ladies outright, knowing he’d find no pleasure in them, because they wanted to be with the title and not with the man.

But the woman who pinned those notes to the tree knew nothing about his title or his status as one of England’s most powerful men. He suspected that she wouldn’t care even if she did. At least he hoped she wouldn’t, preferring the true man he was. God knew how much he liked her.

If she were half as beautiful in person as she was in her letters, he feared that she might also capture his heart.

He snatched a glass of champagne from the tray of a passing footman, more so he could continue to take glances toward the top of the stairs over the rim than for the drink itself. His eyes hadn’t strayed far from the landing all night, although how he would know her when she arrived, costumed and hidden behind her mask, he had no idea. He only prayed that he would. And that she would come at all. When he’d returned to the tree to seek her response, the invitation was gone, but she’d left no reply. Nor did she write even once during the past week.

Since then, he’d kicked himself repeatedly that he’d pressed her to meet, fearing he’d gone too far. Would he ever hear from her again?

Quashing his worry, he watched as the parade of new arrivals appeared on the landing and handed their invitations to the Master of Ceremonies, who announced them based upon their costume. Tonight was a true masquerade, with all identities hidden until the midnight unmasking. He’d insisted on it. For a few precious hours he wanted to be nothing more than one of the crowd, so that he could enjoy the party himself before they set upon him like locusts in their rush to curry his favor. Most of all, he wanted time to enjoy the company of the woman who had written all those letters.

He had no idea what his secret authoress would look like or what costume she’d wear. If she’d appear at all. But he knew he’d feel her presence when she arrived, the way old sailors felt oncoming storms.

White flashed at the top of the stairs. His gaze darted to the landing—


A low tingle rose inside him as he watched her give her invitation to the Master of Ceremonies. His breath hitched with nervous anticipation despite a soft chuckle to himself as her name was announced. Lady Swan. A graceful, gliding vision in white silk and feathers, one in perfect opposition to the black clothes of his panther, of her softness and elegance to his hardness.

Meeting her gaze across the room, he held out his hand toward her in invitation, as if she were only a few feet from him rather than across the grand ballroom. The party faded away around them until it was only the two of them. No one else in the room mattered.

She drew in a nervous breath, her slender shoulders stiff. Then a smile spread beneath her white satin half-mask, and she moved on, gliding down the remaining stairs and into the crowd which parted around her as she came to him.

Wordlessly, she slipped her trembling hand into his. He raised it to his lips, unable to resist this small kiss, then led her forward to the dance floor, to take her into his arms and twirl her into the waltz.

The Truths I Have Yet To Learn

I recently turned forty. It’s made me suddenly aware of time and age and maturity (or immaturity).

I certainly don’t mean that I am mature. Heaven forbid.

But I am suddenly aware of the passage of time in a way I was not before, even more so as I just attended a retirement party for friends I could not believe were old enough to retire. That places me just that much closer to retirement as well—a revelation I was unprepared for. Time runs away from you, I suppose.

In my twenties I barely noticed time. I married, played, worked, traveled, played more. Every day was like the next—a cacophony of fun and work and pleasure.

My thirties were concerned with diapers and bottles, daycare and elementary schools, homework and the inevitable chauffeuring to sports events. And writing. I was on maternity leave when I turned thirty, and decided it was time to be a writer or let the dream die. In the words of my wonderful mother, “Shit or get off the pot.”

Now I am forty. “The days are long,” they say. “The years are short.” I look back and wonder what happened to both.

Here I am, wondering what I’ve learned between the ages of twenty and forty. Part of me says nothing.

My awful temper still runs away from me, wreaking verbal havoc. I still have infinite patience for those in need, but none for those who are blinded by hatred or too stupid to look beyond the end of their nose. I have some of the same insecurities—though I have thankfully graduated from others. I still like to have the last word in an argument, which I am trying hard to overcome.

And, dammit, I’m still scared of the dark. Too much imagination for me to get over that one!

What have I learned, then?

Enjoy every single day. Because you don’t know if you have 20,000 days gifted to you, or 30,000 days. And that’s a 27 year difference.

Family is the base of your life, but friends will fulfill you.

Children bring joy and sorrow in equal measure.

Dreams can, and do, come true—if you apply a lot of elbow grease.

You are never as smart (or beautiful or wonderful or talented) as you think you are.

If you blink, a decade will pass.

Listen to your spouse so that when they are gone, you have their voice in your head.

Take joy in the sunny days, as they are few in the winter.

Just because you don’t love your job every day, doesn’t mean it’s a bad job.

Your children will leave you before you are ready.

A spouse is not a crutch or a person to lose yourself in. A spouse is a partner.

Sometimes, life just plain old sucks, so make lemonade out of those lemons.

Don’t whine. It’s unbecoming and annoying.

It’s a lot easier to lose weight at twenty than it is at forty.

Wrinkles just happen. I don’t know how, but one day, you just wake up with them.

Loved ones leave you before you are ready, so appreciate them while they are here.

There is more of course. More life lessons that I can’t even put into words. And I wonder, how much more will I know at sixty? Or eighty? What other truths will I discover going forward?

I also wonder what lessons others have learned. No two lives are the same, and we can never fully understand what other people have lived through, as we cannot be in their shoes.

So I ask you, what have you learned in your life?


Photo: newleaf01 [CC BY 2.0 (]