Take a Staycation!

A friend of mine and I were on way back from an Aaron Lewis concert when we decided to take a small detour and visit a local distillery. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and when the tour guide suggested we go see one of the oldest wooden bridges in the state, we decided to do that too. Our little detour ended up being a whole day of stopping in to different places we had never been. It was a fun experience we plan on doing again. It doesn’t cost much. The distillery tour was free, as was the samples. 🙂 So was the small campground we visited. Here’s a highlight of our stops.

  1. Bayou Rum Distillery

staycation1Located in Lacassine, LA, it’s a beautiful structure just off the interstate. It’s open 7 days a week, with hourly tours. Our tour guide was friendly and knowledgeable. I highly recommend a stop here if you are in the area. Learn a little about the area, local farming, and how rum is made.

Website:  https://bayourum.com/distillery/.

2. Lorrain Park

staycation5

A short drive from Bayou Rum is Lorrain Park. A perfect place to stop for a picnic lunch, if you happened to plan ahead. It’s quiet, scenic, and picturesque. Take some time and snap some shots of the Lorrain Bridge, one of the oldest wooden bridges in the state.

Website:  https://www.cppj.net/services/parks-and-recreation/lorrain-park.

3. Uncle T’s Oyster House

staycation4

All our traveling worked up an appetite and we decided we wanted some crawfish. It’s getting late in the season, and we wanted to make sure we got in one last feast before the party was over. After several phone calls and one stop that go us nowhere on this adventure, we finally found some at Uncle T’s in Scott, La. We were not disappointed. The mudbugs were perfectly seasoned and not that hard to peel, which can happen as the crawfish get larger. I’ve had the raw oysters there before, and I recommend them as well.

Website: https://uncletsoysterbar.com/

 

4. Parish Brewing Company

staycation3

We made one last stop on our staycation. The Parish Brewing Company in Broussard, La. They too, also free tours, but only on Saturdays, and we arrived too late to take one. We did try a few of their craft beers in a sampler you can purchase. I found one flavor I will definitely go back for. Pets are allowed as well, so feel free to bring your furry friend along.

Website: https://www.parishbeer.com/

Have a free day? Get out and see what your area has to offer. It’s fun!

Here’s to new adventures!

Bon Chance and Happy Reading!

A.L. Vincent/Jolie St. Amant

Want to read more about our area? Check out my Boonie series set in South Louisiana!

Run away to the Gulf Coast

A.L. Vincent’s Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/A.L.-Vincent/e/B016X3YYW2

 

Books, Reviews, and More for the New Year!

One of my resolutions for the new year is to read and review more books. I guess I shouldn’t really call it a resolution, who really keeps those anyway? This is more of a  real goal. I spent so much time writing last year, that I didn’t read as much as I wanted to or should. After all, isn’t the major advice for writers is to read, read, read, and read some more?

Also, to be honest, I abandoned a whole lot of books last year. For the longest time, I knew who I was as a reader. I knew exactly what I wanted to read. I voraciously sucked down all things vampire. I loved to get lost in a good Heather Graham paranormal. Don’t get me wrong, I still love those books, but I think I needed a break from my norm. I needed a palate refresher. I needed something new!

What finally got me out of my reading rut and gave me something I could sink my teeth into? Reading genres I don’t usually read. I read a couple of fantasies. That’s one genre I usually avoid, but did find a good read in Jennifer Allis Provost’s Heir to the Sun. I also read a really awesome YA paranormal, that will be the first book I feature this year. I’ll be sharing that book in my next post.

This year, I will make it a priority to read, review, and blog at least once a week. I have one book and a novella under my belt already, and I’m about to dive into an ARC by one of my favorite romance authors.

Now, I just need a catchy name. Weekend Reads? Nah, too plain. I’ll think of something. 🙂

Here’s to a great new year full of awesome new books and blogs!

Peace, love, and crawfish!

I’m out!

 

Lordy, Lordy, I’m (Almost) 40)!

401

Twenty-two days ago, I celebrated my thirty-ninth birthday. I have to admit, it freaked me out just a little bit. Seems like you spend your twenties trying to find your place in the world. When you finally do that, you realize that you don’t really know who you are. So you spend the thirties trying to figure that out. So, what about the forties? What do you try to find then? Or, are your forties when you realize you don’t really have to look for anything? Is this quest for self-realization finally over? Then, why do some have mid-life crises? 

Not being forty yet, I don’t have any of those answers.

After reading a blog a few days ago by a person also turning forty soon, I’ve decided to adopt her strategy for the upcoming year. She has made a list of thirty things she would like to do before she’s forty. She left ten blank for reader suggestions, for a total of forty things she would like to accomplish in the next year. 

I already have two bucket lists, a musical bucket list and a list of things I want to do when I return to Louisiana. So, forty seems like a lot on top of what I’ve already committed to. I did try to merge the three as much as possible. Multi-tasking is always a good thing. I came up with twelve. I figure one a month for the next twelve months is completely achievable. Each one would make this last year of my thirties, one of the best years ever. Instead of mourning the end of a decade, I’m going to send my thirties out on a bang! 🙂 

My Twelve? 

1. Go somewhere I’ve never been before. See a town I’ve never seen. I want to see Galveston or Austin. Both are within driving distance. 

2. See my name in print again. I want to publish an article, or maybe even my book will finally be on it’s way to being published. Quite possible, considering that an agent has requested the full manuscript. 

3. I want to finish the novel I’m working on now. I have 45,000 words to go. 

4. See one band on my musical bucket list. Will it be Jimmy Buffett, Alice in Chains, Sarah McLachlan, Kiss, Mumford and Sons, or someone I add in the future?

5. Learn something new. I’ve always wanted to learn to Cajun dance. Sometimes, it just isn’t fun to sit on the sidelines. I feel a little like Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing. Baby is in the corner. Well, this Baby needs to learn how to dance and get out there and dance with a fine hunk of a man. I’ve also wanted to learn how to make sushi at home. I love to cook and try new recipes, and rolling my own sushi looks like a challenge I’d like to tackle. 

6. I wan to see the ocean again. I have such an affinity for the ocean. I can sit for hours by the water, watching the tide roll in and out again. I love waking up and watching the sun over the water. Maybe it’s the Cancer in me, but this water sign loves to be near the water. 

7. See a symphony or other great live performance. I would love to go to a performing arts center and see a Broadway play like Wicked.

8. Apply for my passport. One day, I will travel to Bali or Europe. But, one must have a passport first. So, a passport will be something I may need for my forties. 

9. Do one thing that requires me to dress up. I’ve always wanted to attended the Apollo Mardi Gras Ball in Lafayette. Dress up, have fun, wear my hair up and a gown. Party down like Gatsby. 

10. Stick to an exercise routine. Would be nice to look as good in my forties as I did in my early thirties. 

11. Buy one good original piece of art. I want a piece of art that represents South Louisiana. Maybe a painting of the French Quarter. Or a drawing of a park in Lafayette. 

12. This last one I’m leaving free for an “oh yeah” moment. One of those things when someone mentions something, or you see something on television, or hear a song, and you think, “I’ve always wanted to do that. Maybe it will be one wild and crazy spontaneous road trip. Or a trip to Vegas (maybe I’ll get married by Elvis), maybe it will be trip to New York to meet my agent and editor. Who knows? With me, one never knows. 

All in all, I want to sit here a year from now and think, Thirty-nine! Wow! What a ride! 

Here’s to Hunter S. Thompson, that wild and crazy writer. One of my favorites! 

Cheers!

I’m out!

Like this blog? Check out my inspiration for this blog. 

http://40x40n15.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

 

5 Great Love Songs for Rock Fans

Nothing melts my heart like a good love song. Especially a good ROCK love song. I’ll take  a good guitar solo and a rough-looking rock and roller over some Justin Beiber pop cheesiness any day.  Must be the lingering hair-band loving teen that’s still alive and well in my psyche.

So, what songs would I include if I were compiling a “Rock Love” CD?

1. “Everything Changes” by Staind

“Say that forever is more than just a word.”

Aaron Lewis is my favorite vocalist right now. I could listen to him all day long. The man has some pipes. That’s probably why he’s on my list of next ex-husbands. Which brings me to number two.

2. “Tangled Up in You” by Aaron Lewis

In this world
Where nothing else is true
Here I am
Still tangled up in you
I’m Still tangled up in you
Still tangled up in you

You’re the fire
That warms me when I’m cold
You’re the hand I have to hold
as I grow old.
You’re the shore
When I am lost at sea
You’re the only thing
That I like about me.”

Come on, what woman wouldn’t want a man to sing this to her?  It’s pure poetry.

3. “Far Away” by Nickelback

“Cause with you, I’d withstand all of hell to hold your hand.”

This is definitely a quality I’d want in a man.

4. “Broken” by Seether

“The worst is over now and we can breathe again
I wanna hold you high, you steal my pain away
There’s so much left to learn, and no one left to fight
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain”

You get two great vocalists on this one.  Would definitely like to see these two do more duets.

5. “Lifeline” by Papa Roach

“We tore down the walls I built around myself
I was struck by the light and I fell to the ground”

Definitely not your traditional love song here, but who ever said (or thought) that I was traditional.  🙂

So, there you have it. Five great love songs that melt my ever hardening heart.

Need some more great love songs? Check out the links below.

http://waldo2010.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/top-14-hard-rock-love-songs-for-valentine/

http://www.top-lovesongs.com/Songs/hard-rock-love-songs.php

https://soonergirl.wordpress.com/2009/02/08/you-might-want-some-wine-with-this-cheese-part-i/

https://soonergirl.wordpress.com/2009/02/10/you-might-want-some-wine-with-this-cheese-part-ii/

https://soonergirl.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/play-it-again-sam/

Giving Thanks

It’s that time of year again….No, I’m not talking about turkey, I’m talking about thinking about what it is that we’re thankful for. What am I thankful for?

1. Being happier this year than I was last year. I’m happier with my surroundings, with my job, with MYSELF….

2. The wonderful friends and family I have that helped me achieve #1…

So, that my friends, is what I’m thankful for the most this year. For now, I’m off to enjoy a good glass of wine and a day of pampering myself.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m out!

Where Have all The Good Men Gone?

This is why I’m still Single #2


Where have all the good men gone?

They’re not on any online dating sites, that I can assure you.

Granted, two of my friends found love online, and I’m extraordinarily happy for them. And I did find one guy worth dating, but that was many years ago. Since then, what have I found?

*The guy who wanted to take me to meet his parents after we met for a drink.

*The guy who wanted to bring his mom on our first date.

*The guy who raised dogs and drowned the puppies that weren’t worth anything.

*Or how about the guy with anger management issues who wondered if his meds were working?

*I’ve met every player and wanna-be-player in the parish. The guys who impress you by taking you some place really great on a first date, then for the second date they want you to come to their place and watch a movie. Uh, huh, right.

*On the flip-side of the player, what about Mr. Too Ready to Commit? The guy who calls five times a day, just to see what you’re doing?

Yep, I’ve found them all.

Where are the normal guys? I do have many guy friends, and most are normal. Well, pretty normal. If they were truly normal they wouldn’t be my friends. I’ll take semi-normal. I know those guys are out there.

At this point, I’d rather sit through a speech by Barack Obama than endure another dinner and a movie.

Is it just me, or did dating seem so much simpler in our twenties? In our twenties, we met someone, felt a spark, and Presto! We’re in a relationship. In our thirties, it seems so much harder. We meet someone, hope for a spark, and when it doesn’t flame up, we start all over again. Do we tend to over think things? Or again, is that just me?

Right now, it would take more than dinner and a movie to impress me. Be original. My favorite first date was dinner and a drive out to the lake. The stars were shining, the moon reflected off the water, the sounds of the waves and the night insects were the music. A few years later, I almost married that guy. Apparently, originality goes a long way.

Maybe it’s not just someone normal, maybe I’m just looking for that guy that stands out. The guy willing to go that extra mile to impress me.

After all, am I not worthy of an extra mile?

I AM Queen Alisha.

Hehehe.

For now, I’m going to do some castle cleaning and enjoy yet another day off.

Here’s to the good men out there! I know you’re there somewhere!

Cheers!

I’m out!

The Songs of My Life #10

#10 “Scars” by Papa Roach”

One of my good friends gave her students an assignment last year that had me salivating. The students were to create the soundtrack of their lives. They started with selecting songs that represented different parts of their lives then wrote short essays explaining their choices. I so wanted to be in her class! Lol. Combine music AND writing? It’s Alisha’s idea of nirvana. Well, that and Orlando Bloom, Johnny Depp, and a can of whipped cream (or two), but I digress. As usual.

Since then, I’ve wondered what songs I would pick. I know I have a few in mind, but where do I begin? Do I begin in the beginning with “I was born”? Should I start at the end and work my way back? Or should I write in true Alisha fashion and bounce from song to song, time period to time period?

How about I begin with the present and start working my way back. And if I want to bounce around, well, I’ll just bounce around. It’s my writing. I’ll bounce if I want to.

I’ll start with “Scars” by Papa Roach.

“Alisha, can you……”

“Mom, I need…”

“Alisha, will you….”

“Mo-o-o-m, are you going to….”

“My weakness is that I care too much.”

I love to help people. I have taken in people who have no place to go. I’ve given money to people on the street. I’ve taken in just about every stray that’s crossed my path, human or animal. I’ve listened and tried to solve more problems than I can count or should be humanly possible.

What I’ve come to realize lately is when you become everyone else’s solver of problems, it leaves you with little time or energy to solve your own. Especially when some (not all) of those people who so depend on you to solve their problems or be there for them are not always there when you need someone yourself. It can become very one-sided.

“Go fix yourself.”

I’ve had a few days off lately and had some time to do some serious thinking. And sleeping (being everyone’s Superwoman can become exhausting.) I played hermit crab for two days. I realized that I’ve been giving too much of my energy away to those that don’t deserve it or don’t give back. And it’s something I’ve done all my life. I’ve got to let these people “go fix themselves”.

“I’m sorry but I’ve got to move on with my own life.”

This is the time for Queen Alisha. It’s time for me to be selfish. Time for me to take care of myself for a change. Time to concentrate on me and those that take time to take care of me in return. It’s time for me to get on with my own life.

It’s time.

Here’s to Papa Roach, “Scars”, and Queen Alisha

Cheers!

I’m out!

Better Than I Used to Be

Sunday, March, 20, 2011
29 days left
“I ain’t no angel
But I’ve been sitting out a few more dances with the devil.
And cleanin’ up my act little by little
I’m gettin there
I can finally stand the man in the mirror I see
I ain’t as good as I’m gonna get
But I’m better than I used to be

I’ve pinned a lot of demons to the ground
Got a lot of old habits licked
But there’s still one or two I might need you to help me kick
Standin’ in the rain so long has left me with a little rust
But put some faith in me
Some day you’ll see there’s a diamond under all this dust.”
-from Sammy Kershaw’s “Better Than I Used to Be”

I heard this song months ago, and cannot get enough of it.
Sometimes music just speaks to you. And this song definitely speaks to me. I’ve definitely had times in my life like this. I’ve definitely had to kick a few bad habits and wrestle some demons to the ground.

I was watching Criminal Minds, Suspect Behavior the other night and the characters were talking right before the episode ended. They were talking about ghosts. One character asked the other what he did with his ghosts. That character told him, “I make mine fly in formation.”

Demons, bad habits, ghosts, it’s all the same thing.

It’s how we deal with them that make us who we are. Do we let these things control us? Do we control them? There’s time I’ve controlled mine, and times they’ve controlled me.

I definitely prefer making mine, “fly in formation.”

And that’s what makes us better than we used to be. We live, we learn, we grow, we make mistakes, we dust ourselves off and get back to the business of living.

Speaking of which, it’s time I get busy living mine.

Here’s to becoming better than I used to be!
Peace!
I’m out!

I’m Alisha…And I’m Still A Dating Idiot

Thursday, March 10th
39 days left.

Already I feel more successful than I did when I tried to find a man in forty days. It’s been like 4,000 days since I started that quest and I’m no closer to finding a good man than I was four years ago. Maybe not 4,000 days. Maybe it just seems like it’s been that long.

Four years later, I’m still a dating idiot. Hell, it’s been so long since I’ve been asked out on a real date, this is how one text conversation went recently.

Me: I had a good time hanging out the other night.
Friend: Me too. Maybe we should make a date of it.
Me: A date? Are you sure you have the right number?
Friend: Yes.
Me: You know who this is, right?
Friend: Yes.

See? I get asked out on an actual date, and I don’t even know what to answer. I’m still a dating idiot. Still single 4.000 days later. Give or take a few.
Let me refresh some memories……

There was the time I got into the WRONG truck after a concert. That was soooo not my fault. My keeper definitely wasn’t paying attention that night. I don’t know who was more scared, the guy who lost me, the guy who opened his truck door to find ME in there, or ME!!!

What about the guy who showed up at the WRONG restaurant? Yep. After I’d given directions at least ten times.

He says: Do I turn?
I say: No, stay on Johnston.
He says: What about here, do I turn here?
I say: No, stay on Johnston.
He says: Wait, are you sure I don’t turn?
I say: No, stay on Johnston.

Then, there was the guy who was the WRONG size. His poor little feet didn’t touch the ground, but his face sure touched a part of me on that goodbye hug. He must’ve liked that because while walking me to my car he invited me to meet his parents. In another state.

WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

And I could go on. But then, I’d probably just be depressed. Or start drinking. Or both.

So, how does being single relate to making life simple?

If I have more time for ME, I have more time for dating.

If I am more relaxed and less stressed, I have more time for someone else.

See, this Lent thing is really starting to work out for me.
And I don’t really feel like I’m giving up a thing. For now I’m off to shop the personals. I’m sure I can find some good stuff to report on from there!

Then, it’s time to figure out what I’m going to do for ME tonight.

Here’s to…..well hell, here’s to ME!
Peace! I’m out!

Keep It Simple, Sistah

Wednesday, March 9th.
Day One
I admit I’ve been very unfocused in my writing. I write about this, about that, and nothing ever really gels. But recently, I’ve been inspired.

I have a new goal.

I want to make my life as simple as possible in the next 40 days. Why 40? For those of you who are Catholic, you know that this is the Lenten season. I’m not Catholic, but I always admire those that set goals for themselves and follow them through.

Keep it simple.

It sounds “simple” enough.

Where do I start to make life less dramatic and complicated? I think I start with looking at myself. What is complicating my life?

One thing for me is taking care of everybody but myself. Granted, I have gotten better. The word “no” flows from my lips a lot more than it used to. But, I still need to work on it.

So the first goal is to focus on myself. Selfish? I don’t think so. In order to take care of others, I need to take care of ME first. I want to do one simple little thing for me everyday. It make be taking a little walk. Or cooking a quick and simple dinner (Lean Cuisines are getting old). It could be taking more time to read.

Now, on the goal number two. I need to streamline my finances and clear the “fat” out. Working two jobs does not contribute to “simplicity”. I’m challenging myself to cut enough from my budget in the next forty days to justify not having to work extra. I do love my second job, so I probably won’t quit completely. BUT, my extra pay could contribute to goal number one. Taking care of ME! I would have extra money for travel, books, concert tickets…..Sounds good to me.

A good friend of mine once told me I should always pick three goals to work on. In order to continue to simplify, I’m going to clear some clutter. I’m going to pretend like I’m moving and a clear out absolutely everything I wouldn’t want to take with me. Clothes that don’t fit or I haven’t worn in years? Gone. Books lying around that I’ve read and are taking up space? Going to Book Rack. I may even have a yard sale. I can get rid of crap AND have extra money in my pocket. (Again, this helps out with goal number one. ME!)

That’s it. Three goals for making my life a little simpler. Hopefully, in forty days, I will emerge a less-stressed, rejuvenated, happier ME!

Here’s to keeping it simple!

I’m out!