Friday Free-For-All!

Happy Friday. This has been an incredibly busy week, and I’m looking forward to the weekend!

I went for the CT Scan of the carotid arteries this week, and the report came back clear—no blockage, no plaque—all clear. That is great news, and it puts me back at square one with the big question of what may have caused the health scare. I’m going to chalk it up to either vertigo or a virus and move along. I do pray that it never happens again!

I want to offer a huge Thank You to everyone who took the time to vote for Saddled Hearts in the RONE Reader’s Choice Awards!

There will be one more round of voting IF Saddled Hearts makes it into the finals. Fingers crossed!

On the writing front, I am super excited about an upcoming writer’s conference in July. It’s in Ireland! Ireland Writer Tours is not just a regular conference but also combined with tours. I first heard about this conference last year, but by the time I looked into it, it was already full. They only take twelve authors, so it’s small and intimate. When it was announced this year, I immediately registered. It wasn’t until they knew they had twelve authors that it all came together. My daughters generously paid the fee, thank goodness, and I got in the queue. Now we know it is filled and going to happen! I have my airline ticket and am set to go.

Why Ireland? Of all the countries outside the U.S., Ireland, and Scotland are the only places I’ve ever really wanted to visit. My ancestors migrated from there, and somehow I just know there is something waiting for me when I go. Along with the conference are tours of the area, castles, landmarks, and historic sites. The conference is in a small village outside Galway. I will leave Dallas on July 7th and return on the 17th. It is truly a trip of a lifetime!

I just started reading the latest book from C.S. Boyack. Once Upon A Time In The Swamp is a standalone. I haven’t gotten very far into it yet, but I can already tell I am in for a very entertaining read! Have you picked it up yet?

Purchase Link

This time of year is often difficult for me, as fourteen years ago, my husband, Rick, was nearing the end of his time on Earth. Hospice had put him into a drug-induced coma and transported him home from the hospital. I had already turned our living room into a hospital room, so everything was ready.

I’ll never forget that first night, after all the hospice personnel left, and it was just me and him. They hadn’t given him enough medication to keep him under, and all night he kept trying to get out of bed. I know he had things he thought he needed to tend to, but of course, he couldn’t do any of it. It was one of the most miserable nights I’ve ever spent. I felt so helpless. All I could do was keep him from falling out of the bed.

Of course, when morning came, and I called them, hospice came right away and administered enough drugs to put him all the way under, and that’s where he stayed until he passed on the morning of May 1st. Monday is May 1st, and my regular post might be a little different or might not happen at all. I go with what Spirit moves me to do. I always hope for a visit from him, some sign that he’s still around.

I’m not looking for pity or even sympathy. Death is a part of life. Of course, we never EVER stop grieving for lost loved ones. A part of me died with him on that day. I don’t dwell on the hard times or bad times. I choose to remember the love we shared and the many, many good times we had.

Rick and Jan Sikes 2007

I am blessed to have so much of his music, his writings, and his artwork that keep him and his memory alive. One of my greatest joys was singing harmony with him. I sure do miss the music part of our lives.

Here’s a fun and intimate little video of some of our homespun music.

That’s it from me for today. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

48 thoughts on “Friday Free-For-All!

  1. Wow Jan, what a post. From my heart to yours on Rick’s passing anniversary. I loved the video ❤ And how jealous am I you are going to Ireland and no room left. Wish I had known. I'll look forward to your reporting back. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Debby. I appreciate the kind words and loving energy. I wish you could go to Ireland for the conference. I would love to have a travel partner. I will definitely have lots to share when I return. This is a trip of a lifetime for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Jan. This post brought tears to my eyes. I’m sorry for your loss and how hard it was for you. What an honor though to shepherd our loved ones through those final days and send them on their way surrounded by love. I’m glad your health is checking out okay. Chalk it up to stress, lady, and a reminder to take care of yourself! And my fingers are crossed for both of us for the RONE award. 😀 Hugs, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! My fingers are crossed on the RONE Award as well, Diana. Thank you for your kind words and loving thoughts. I’m going to slow down a little and try to take better care of me. 🙂 It’s a goal. Thank you for the hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. What choice did I have but to move on? I will say that starting a whole new career and life as an author was the perfect thing for me. I had to totally reinvent myself. And you are right. That moment when we draw our last breath will come to us all. Thank you for stopping by, Jacqui, and leaving a comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow and wow. I would love to do that Ireland writing tour. I am not Irish but my current novel has Celtic characters and the sequel is going to have a scene from Ireland. This would be so perfect for me. I’m so torn! Will give it some thought. Is there a deadline to sign up?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Paula. The writer’s conference is already filled, but you could get on a waiting list in case someone cancels. They only take 12 authors, so it’s small and intimate. The link is above. Ireland Writers Tours. If you are serious, you could contact Fiona and ask to be put on a waiting list, just in case. It would be AWESOME if you could come. Take a look at the website.


    1. Oh great! I can’t wait to see the pictures he sends. I will spend very little time in Dublin, mostly at the airport. But will be in Galway for most of the trip. Thank you for stopping by, Teri!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, John. I am sure my visit to Ireland will be nothing short of amazing. I’m glad you enjoyed the video. I have so many and love revisiting them from time to time. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and leave a comment today!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so excited for you to travel to Ireland, Jan! It is a place I want to visit too. I know you will have an amazing experience there. What a wonderful video and you are so lucky for all the great memories you have with Rick. Sending hugs xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish you were going to Ireland with me, Denise! We would have so much fun. Yes, it will be an amazing experience and I’m feeling super blessed to get to go. I’m glad you enjoyed the video. And thank you for the hugs! I am sending them back to you. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My love and prayers surround you during this time, Jan. Good news about your test. I believe it might be virus-related, too. Our bodies are a complex machine, right? 🙂

    I believe if you make it to the RONE finals, your book goes to the judges. There’s no more voting. So, keeping everything crossed Saddled Hearts is a finalist!

    Enjoy your weekend. Hugs, dear lady.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thank you, Mary! I didn’t know the voting part was over. I’m very glad about that because, in truth, I hate voting awards. 🙂 And yes, our bodies are complex machines. It can be a full-time job to keep it all going. Thank you for the good wishes. Hope you have a wonderful weekend as well!


  6. You will love Ireland. I’m going in June to visit friends. It will be my first time too. I loved the video of the two of you singing. You obviously enjoyed making music together. Happy memories. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, wonderful, Darlene. So, you can come back from Ireland and give me all the tips I need. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the video. Yes, we did enjoy making music together and they are happy memories. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the video, Jill. Singing with Rick was one of my greatest joys in life. And the only thing that could make the trip to Ireland more exciting would be if he was going with me. I know he is, I just can’t see him. Thanks for visiting!


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