Tag Archive | mountain

Hello Dahhhhhlings! (Pics)

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So, it goes like this . . .

Why hello, Darlings!

I just wanted to wish you a happy new year and check in for a moment.

It’s been a wonderful holiday season and frankly we’ve been quite busy with all of our social philandering! You might have read the blog before this one about our holiday party… Wow, what a good time that was! I can still feel the alcoholic vapors radiating from my pores. 😉

Naaa! But it was, just such a blast!

We went away for a week to Sedona. I never really realized how many people didn’t know where Sedona was until my husband happened to mention to some of his coworkers that he was going there. Hello? What’s Sedona? Are you for real?

Let’s just say that it’s one of the most beautiful places on this earth.

The red rock formations that are sprinkled on the landscape are breathtaking. And to have been able to drag our mountain bikes with us from Los Angeles, California to Sedona, Arizona… well let’s just say that were quite lucky to be able to have peddled those paths amongst the cactus and my children’s giggles.

Yes I am quite a lucky woman indeed.

Plus, to have the luxury of my husband preparing all of the mountain biking equipment and carrying the Camelback and making sure that we have our helmets and our gloves and our sunglasses… well, I was quite pampered with the luxury of him and his thoughtfulness. Frankly, I didn’t have to think about a thing except pedal! Yes, now that’s the way I LIKE TO TRAVEL!

Then of course we got back and we all caught the flu, which mine developed into a horrible sinus infection and have been on antibiotics still today. YUCK.

So frankly, I haven’t been online too much because I have been recovering, and have been taking this time it to move great strides on my new book. Which I am totally excited about! It’s humor/suspense, and it’s great fun! I can’t wait to finish it and get it “out there!”

In the meantime, here are some pictures from the holidays…

Much love to you all, and stay away from the freaking flu. It’s a bummer.

holiday dinner

holiday dinner

my man and our bikes

my man and our bikes

the kids

the kids

biking bell rock

biking bell rock

great shot

great shot

beautiful cactus

beautiful cactus

sedona dirt

sedona dirt

slick rock Momma!

slick rock Momma!

snowing in sedona

snowing in sedona

catching snowflakes

catching snowflakes

fesitval of lights

fesitval of lights

our hands

our hands

the kids

the kids

my silly kids

my silly kids

Happy New Year, everybody!

xoxo

Be well,

Belle

Writer's Digest Award Winner - S. Belle Karper  A 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Award WinnerBookmark and Share

S. Belle Karper, Author, Speaker www.BelleKarper.com
THE WIDOW WEARS BLACK – An Edgy Memoir from an Outspoken Survivor
Check out S. Belle Karper’s – Beauties and Beasts – Blog! Baby! Blog!
and Belle Karper Face Book & the popular Twitter-Belle – all on Website
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It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To… (Pics)

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So, it goes like this . . .

There we were getting ready for our annual holiday ornament party. Friends had up from orange County and from various parts of southern California. My parents were here helping along with a couple that come up from Long Beach to help us run the bar and make our celebration terrific. My husband has known them for many years, and they are from the same parts of Pennsylvania.

So I climb in the shower, and I’m doing all my normal things. Which one of my friends would call the PTA.

What is the PTA?

Well somebody might think that PTA means Parent Teacher Association. And, they might be right if there were from Alabama, and NOT in the shower.

Hmmm… The PTA.

And, like I said I was in the shower doing my normal things, which included the PTA…

Puss, Tits and Ass.

Well, let’s be real… everything does need to be cleaned, right?

I have to look, smell and feel absolutely divine for my guests that are coming for the annual Christmas party… so everything gets washed including the PTA.

So, I climb out of the shower and I’m towelling off…

I am calm, because downstairs I know that everything is in place.

The Bar.

The Buffet.

The vegetable crudite display and the candles in the chandeliers were lit.

24 Christmas Trees dangling beautiful ornaments from around the globe …

Yes, now the number had grown to 24 trees. I can’t help it. They just look so beautiful… I can’t stop buying them.

It looked like a gigantic Winter Wonderland inside my house…

Sans the snow…

And, of course, no mittens or galoshes…

79 degree California weather with palm trees outside.

A giant California Winter wonderland, okay?

We Californians have got to do it our own way… I just throw a little “Alabama” in on the side from time to time — with a Y’all here, and a Y’all there! But, you understand that I do have some of the California affectations absorbed by now, and so… well, I don’t really do anything “small.”

So, yeah, I’ve got 24 Christmas trees running up my electricity bill. It’s beautiful, dang it. So get over it.

Yes, now there I am. Unusally calm with the impending knowledge that very shortly my home was going to be alive with about 80 other minds… and the fact that I was going to have to be witty, charming, and beautiful… Well, hell… I should have been freaking out.

Don’t worry…

My calm didn’t last for long.

The help was busy prepping the hot food and everything was on schedule.

So, there I was… still damp, with my PTA’s still tingling.

I had just begun to shimmy into my beaded dress because I wanted to do all my makeup and hair after I finally got my dress on.

It’s a fabulous dress, but I don’t know why I always buy such complicated clothing. Once again, not a “step in” dress… an “over the head” dress with straps going this way and that.

Just a fricking pain in the butt to get this dress on.

Holy crap, what a mess.

I am standing there contemplating just wearing the stinking thing as a partial top since it was strangulating to get the dress on over my head and wet showered hair. One arm in, one breast out.

No problem. Throw on a skirt and my left tit will be the hit of the party.

Right.

So, I finally get the frigging thing on.

Slide it down over my hips.

Thank God it still fits.

I’ve been eating my weight in turkey, brownies, fudge and cheesecake for the past two weeks. So, my ass is about the size of Oklahoma right now.

Thank God for the proverbial black dress…

… that stretches….

A silent “yay” for  the creation of Spandex.

Bless this inventor, this Sultan of Elasticity. I will always display their label of honor on my expanding derriere…  

So, I finally get this beautiful, god-forsaken, beaded strappy dress over my head with final authority, and slick it down the side of me.

Finally.

I need a frigging drink just to get this dress on.

Relax. Relax.

“Honey, can you get my a green apple martini from the bar?”

Yes, relax.

Help is on the way…

No sooner to I get the dress on… zipped up… looking in the mirror I turn left, and turn right… and of course, curse the size of my butt…

When all hell breaks loose. The fire alarm starts to go off at my house. It’s a loud blaring bell that is completely destructive to all your senses.

BANG, BANG, BANG.

CLANG, CLANG, CLANG.

WTF?

Aaaaaaaah! I am running down the stairs with a trail of obscenities still stabbing the air behind me. Shoeless, and bra-less. Boobs bouncing, and wet hair flopping.

80-some people are coming to laugh and schmooze in less than an hour. WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO? TELL THEM THE NOISE IS SANTA COMING…

AND COMING…

I NEED THAT ALARM OFF. PRONTO.

“What the hell is going on?” I scream.

I then begin pounding the number buttons on the alarm pad.

Pressing. Jabbing. Cursing. Screaming. But, the alarm keeps screeching.

7 minutes of this was enough to drive me out of my f-ing mind. “We’ve gone to all this trouble for this party, I need for you (the alarm) to shut the hell up! (:?sdt% qvio4$ — More obscenities) ”

I was screaming so many bad words, that I ran out of them and had to make some new ones up.

I finally pressed a series of numbers that seem to work…

Aaaaah. Sigh of relief…

Well, it worked for 10 ten seconds, and then:

BANG, BANG, BANG.

CLANG, CLANG, CLANG.

HOLY CRAP!

I have this vision of all these firetrucks pulling up elbowing my guests, “Excuse me Ma’am, but we’ve got a fire in this house to attend to.”

“A FIRE?” And, then of course my guests run screaming for their lives.

Nice.

Yeah, that’s the type of celebration I wanted to have that night. Right.

Fun. Fun. Fun.

Right.

Another 6 minutes of ear-piercing stressing-inducing mind-numbing noise enveloped my house. What the heck am I going to do?

Where is my alarm company?

“Ding-dong.” 

BAM, BAM, BAM, BAM. Pounding on the door right next to where I was standing cursing and banging the alarm codes. I could feel the vibrations of the knocking.

I’m thinking, holy crap, the firetrucks are here and I am going to get a humongous bill from the City for a false fire alarm.

Shit.

I open the door, “Is everything alright here, ma’am? We got a signal at the station.”

It was a man from the alarm company dressed in a Kevlar vest and carrying a “piece.”

My eyes widen.

Double holy crap.

“Well, this alarm thing won’t go off, and in a matter of minutes I am going to be hosting a holiday party. I can’t have this thing going off! We’re supposed to be singing god-damn christmas carols! Help! I need help, man! I need this thing to stop to improve my stinking mood. I’m supposed to having fun, and I am NOT having any fun here, Sunshine.”

We finally got it to stop. “I can’t guarantee that it won’t start-up again,” he said.

Holy guaca-crapping-christmas-colored-mole.

“Well, that is the point when I will rip the freaking alarm out of the wall, sir.”

He looks at my husband. A knowing nod passes between them.

This must be male code for “and you have to live with this, huh?”

“Smile for the camera. You’re now part of this night,” I said.

So, I in barefeet and he in his kevlar, had just settled down the long alarm for a nap.

And, what to my wandering eyes should appear, but 80 familiar faces carrying ornamental reindeer.

Where up in the past the alarm rose such a clatter, and now it all behind us, it didn’t seem to matter.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, and stopped all the ringing and turned with a jerk.

Laying his hand upon the side of his Glock, I thought for a moment he was going to whip out his …

Identification.

You guys are so naughty… I just love it!

And, giving a nod, out the door he did flee, this house of freakouts and terminal glee.

He sprang to his patrol car, gave a loud call, “Have a great party, my dear! Oh, Belle of the Ball!”

But, I heard him exclaim as he drove away faster, “If is goes off again, I know a man that’s good in repairing wall plaster!”

The party was a great success… and, the alarm did NOT go off again.

Thank you, jeeze Louise.

We drank, and we schmoozed, and some carols we did sing.

But, the alarm stayed silent, not nearly a ring!

Here are some pics from the party!

The vegetable crudite buffet and us!

Me giggling

Me and the chicks

4 of the 24 trees

Before the party

More holiday cheer

Beginning the Ham Session

Belt it, baby!

Lou and my book

Me and my man

More cheer

My daughter and her friend

Open your eyes, man!

Our Saviour

Smile for the camera!

The Boy

What the hell am I doing?

Yay! Sing it!

Yeah Baby!

xoxo

Be well,

Belle

Writer's Digest Award Winner - S. Belle Karper  A 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Award WinnerBookmark and Share

S. Belle Karper, Author, Speaker www.BelleKarper.com
THE WIDOW WEARS BLACK – An Edgy Memoir from an Outspoken Survivor
Check out S. Belle Karper’s – Beauties and Beasts – Blog! Baby! Blog!
and Belle Karper Face Book & the popular Twitter-Belle – all on Website
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Farmville — A Picture is 1000 Words… or a Couple… (Part 3)

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So, it goes like this . . .

TO GET THINGS STARTED AGAIN, we’ll back track a little or you can get the whole prior parts of the story by ******* CLICKING HERE *******

So in need of FA… (Farmville Anonymous).

“Hello… My name is Belle… (pause)… and, I play…”

“Go ahead honey, you can say it… you’re in a safe and accepting place…”

“Hello… My name is Belle… (pause)… and, I play…FARMVILLE!” WAaaaaah-waa-wahhhhh (me crying).

There is a rumble in the audience. People twisting in their chairs. FA is a tough crowd, man… they have all survived… FARMVILLE! WAaaaaah-waa-wahhhhh (me crying again — can you hear the addiction in that cry?).

Sad, huh?

Sad. Sad. Saaa-aaad.

“It’s okay, Belle. How many times did you go on ‘the game that shall not be named?’”

And, I mutter through my sobs… I turned on my computer… and I never… I never got off!” WAaaaaah-waa-wahhhhh (me crying still more).

My husband and my parents are sitting next to me for moral support… they are shaking their heads…

“We lost her. She’s our only daughter… And, she’s… well, you heard her… gone… to Farmville.”

My dad pulls out a hanky and blows his nose. My mom… suffers in silence. Slight whimpering, her only evidence that she hasn’t fainted… My husband twists his wedding band around his finger… questioning his 2-year old, “I do.”

The tragedy.

Belle…. Lost to Farmville…

So my life has now hit a new level…

I would like to say it hit a new low, but that may be aiming too high.

It wasn’t that long ago that I scoffed those that posted their Farmville Photos on Facebook.

Ha!

Ridiculous!

Like, whoooo would ever want to do that? Right?

Well…

Hmmm…

Maybe I was a little too judgmental.

Yes, my husband reminds me that a mere month ago, I giggled at the thought of people taking pictures of their cartoon farm.

So, in response to that, I am here to show you pictures of my farm keeping skills…

Enjoy!

Please note the sense of "order" here...

Here… You can appreciate the sense of order that I have here on the farm.

All my animals shoved to nicely into a row.

As you can see, I have the ultimate “brown-nosing” farming techniques DOWN.

Things are a'blooming!

Yes… things are a’blooming!

Life is grand now that I have invested in fencing, yes?

It is that I have two types of fencing here. I have regular white fencing, and I have my new “scary” fencing that is termed as dreadful, that I dropped $48,000 of precious Farmville coins on.

Somehow no one appreciates the beauty of my “goth” gatekeeping skills. My only concern is that I might not have bought enough of these overpriced limited edition funky fake cartoon fencing pieces at $1000 a clip.

Me, being an 18-year veteran of real estate commercial development (no lie), it is imperative that I get this set up just right.

Frankly… I have big plans, but in the beginning, if you would have checked my farm you might have noticed that even my cows have a house.

Five of them.

Yes, my cows had a house, but I was sleeping in the tool shed.

And, not even the big tool shed.

The little one.

That I got for free… from Farmville… because I was so damn fricking cheap to buy it myself.

Well…

I DID have plans, and I was working real hard… saving up my Farmville dough… hoarding my money so that I could make a cool million and invest the beautiful Villa mansion on level 34.

What can I say, baby? Real estate is in my blood.

….

Please, pity me at this moment.

I am now developing cartoon real estate.

So, like I said, I’m working hard on saving up my “experience” credits for the big digs.

Yep, holding out for the Villa.

Million-dollar price tag…

Until I noticed that level 34, the people at that level had about 80,000+ Experience credits compared to my 27,000 Experience credits at level 25. 

Well, I don’t need to be a brainiac (or maybe I do) to understand that to get to level 25, took an average of 1000 credits a level.

And, THAT was a pain in the ass.

Now, facing a difference of 53,000 experience credits to be made up in 9 levels — well, that makes my new average of needing to accomplish approximately 6000 experience credits PER LEVEL from now on.

Well… crap.

Uh… Holy crap.

Can you tell that I was a Math Minor in college?

Well, let just say that I easily can breakdown costs to benefits… and basically I would have about a billion “Farmville” coins before I would even be allowed to buy the freaking villa.

Yeah… like that’s gonna happen.

I’ve got a life, man!

I can’t sit here nursing a cartoon farm up the wa-wa!

I ‘ve got things to do…

People to see…

Places to go…

Oh, yeah…

And, crops to turn. Hold on… My blueberries are withering….

….

…. … .. .

Okay, I’m back.

The blueberries are fine. I am sure that you were concerned, so don’t be.

Well, like I was saying…

I can’t wait for dang villa and level 34!

I can’t sleep in the tool shed… the little tool shed until the end of time.

It’s time to spend some freaking Farmville cash!

So, yeah… I bought the Dreadful fencing pieces… And, the whitewash gates… and a house…

Here's where I sleep now...

And, a barn… and a silo… whatever that is.

Bridal arches. Maybe for my daughter’s wedding there… 😉

I’ve got a bird house, and a lawnmower, three lakes, a harvesting machine, a tractor, and a seeder.

I have spent a whole bunch on money on arches and entries and mail boxes… and…

Oh, wait…

Look here… a little greeting…

There seems to be a greeting appearing...

Maybe a Hello… How thoughtful!

Uh... Oh my...

Uh… Oh My…

HELP ME NOW!

Oh Goodness… “HELP ME NOW!”

"Or the Cow is... ?"

“Or the Cow is… ?”

My heavens.

Hmmm…

This is worse than even I thought.

Worse than you even thought, I am sure…

Or the cow is…

What?

Or the cow is… toast?

Or the cow is… finished?

Or the cow is…

What?

Steak?

This is serious.

Now you all saw it, right?

That poor cow…

But, wait… another…

Farmville back to normal... Where did the message go?

Farmville back to normal… Where did the message go?

It’s as if it were never there… the plea… the hope… the warning…

Gone.

….

TO BE CONTINUED…!

Be well,

Belle

Writer's Digest Award Winner - S. Belle Karper  78th Annual Writer’s Digest Award WinnerBookmark and Share

S. Belle Karper, Author, Speaker www.BelleKarper.com
THE WIDOW WEARS BLACK – An Edgy Memoir from an Outspoken Survivor
Check out S. Belle Karper’s – Beauties and Beasts – Blog! Baby! Blog!
and Belle Karper Face Book & the popular Twitter-Belle – all on Website
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What I Missed… and What I Didn’t…

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So, it goes like this . . .

 

My darling husband went on this moutain biking trip.

I couldn’t go because I had to stay home and do the “Mommy Thing” and send my kids off to the Homecoming Dance in style (my son’s first!).

So this is what I missed in Bryce Canyon…

Utah...

Utah...

Riding the "fin" in Bryce -- I have had nightmares about rides just like this!

Riding the "fin" in Bryce -- I have had nightmares about rides just like this!

 

Beautiful Bryce Canyon

Beautiful Bryce Canyon

 

This is the trail... Riding between rocks instead of trees...

This is the trail... Riding between rocks instead of trees...

I call this "The Balls" of Bryce Canyon!

I call this "The Balls" of Bryce Canyon!

 

AND this is what I didn’t miss… My kid’s Homecoming Dance…

 

 

 

And, here he is...

And, here he is...

My Handsome Guy

My Handsome Guy

My Precious Duo

My Precious Duo

My daughter and her date... Yowza

My daughter and her date... Yowza

Some of the Gang...

Some of the Gang...

My Girl and her Crew!

My Girl and her Crew!

I figure Bryce will still be there after this dance… but, this night…
Well, you get the picture.

Be well,

Belle

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S. Belle Karper, Author, Speaker www.BelleKarper.com
THE WIDOW WEARS BLACK – An Edgy Memoir from an Outspoken Survivor
Check out S. Belle Karper’s – Beauties and Beasts – Blog! Baby! Blog!
and Belle Karper Face Book & the popular Twitter-Belle – all on Website
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Evidence of Beauty…

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So, it goes like this . . .

 

I told you yesterday that my husband is away…

I am home sitting twiddling my fingers…

Doing housework…

Dusting…

Cleaning toilets…

Yeah, right.

Ah-hah! That’s that biggest laugh!

My husband would say, “Hello… who are you… and what have you done with my wife?”

And unfortunately (or fortunately), he would mean it.

Dang.

He knows me too well.

Well… like I said he’s off climbing mountains on the back of a ridiculously expensive bike.

Before I met him, I didn’t know that there were bikes that cost more than $150.

Naive.

I try to buy him something for his bike at Big 5.

Stupid.

“Honey… please, don’t…” he would say. And, he would mean that, too.

Well, he spends very little money on himself, and all of what he does spend is wrapped up in his biking “stuff.”

So… now I bike, too.

I’m great.

As far as you know.

🙂

Actually, I am pretty good, but not nearly as accomplished as he.

What do you expect? He’s been doing this for 20 years!

Competed internationally.

Man, he kick’s ass!

Yep…

So, here’s my honey. He’s riding in Utah, like I said.

Just look at his surroundings…

Evidence of beauty.

This is Utah!

This is Utah!

 

Woah! Man... riding on the edge of THIS!

Woah! Man... riding on the edge of THIS!

Don't fall, Honey! That rock stuff is actual ROCK. Hard. Not soft... like me. Miss me?

Don't fall, Honey! That rock stuff is actual ROCK. Hard. Not soft... like me. Miss me?

Just another beautiful thing. Gosh.

Just another beautiful thing. Gosh.

"Uh... Pardon me...uh, Mr. & Mrs. Cow... Did I wander onto Belle Karper's FARMVILLE?"

"Uh... Pardon me...uh, Mr. & Mrs. Cow... Did I wander onto Belle Karper's FARMVILLE?"

He took this picture to remind him that he is a Gooseberry when I am not around to remind him.  ;-)

He took this picture to remind him that he is a Gooseberry when I am not around to remind him. 😉

My MAN kicking back after a hard day of riding... the bike.

My MAN kicking back after a hard day of riding... the bike.

Be well,

Belle

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S. Belle Karper, Author, Speaker www.BelleKarper.com
THE WIDOW WEARS BLACK – An Edgy Memoir from an Outspoken Survivor
Check out S. Belle Karper’s – Beauties and Beasts – Blog! Baby! Blog!
and Belle Karper Face Book & the popular Twitter-Belle – all on Website
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BelleKarper-AuthorSpeaker7.jpg picture by bellekarper

Mountain Biking in Mammoth

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So, it goes like this . . .

 

I have to tell you that today was one of the most beautiful days.

It started out being a little testy. I was a little nervous. I hadn’t gone out for a while.

I was afraid that I had lost my edge.

The only way to learn this time in the saddle, and I have been away from my saddle for quite a while.

But, like everything else in life that starts with the first step . . . the first pedal.

Taking it slow. Climb the hill. Enjoy the show of the trees in all their wildness.

And, before I knew it . . . I was flying.

Stones, drops, roots, logs.

No problem.

My momentum back.

I wish you could have been there.

Standing high, then pulling back on the reigns of my bike. My weight turning me instead of my handle bar.

Yes. Back in the groove.

Yes, me, my husband and this glorious mountain.

I will ride you again tomorrow.

Until then, rest until I torture you again, dear hillside. You are mine, and you are smitten.

Hitting the Trail

Hitting the Trail

 

The Bike and I

The Bike and I

 

Jim & I in Mammoth

Jim & I in Mammoth

Mammoth Full Access Mountain Biking Pass

Mammoth Full Access Mountain Biking Pass

—–

Y’all come back now, Y’hear?

Be well,

Belle

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S. Belle Karper, Author, Speaker www.BelleKarper.com
THE WIDOW WEARS BLACK – An Edgy Memoir from an Outspoken Survivor
Check out S. Belle Karper’s – Beauties and Beasts – Blog! Baby! Blog!
Belle Karper Face Book
& the popular Twitter-Belle – all on Website
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S. Belle Karper -- Author & Speaker

Coffee is Brewing…

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So, it goes like this . . .

 

The coffee is brewing.

The breeze is coaxing me.

A reminder of life past the screen door.

My mountain bike is calling me . . .

 

Be well,

Belle

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S. Belle Karper, Author, Speaker www.BelleKarper.com
THE WIDOW WEARS BLACK – An Edgy Memoir from an Outspoken Survivor
Check out S. Belle Karper’s – Beauties and Beasts – Blog! Baby! Blog!
Belle Karper Face Book
& the popular Twitter-Belle – all on Website
Save it, Baby! Count me in! Add to Technorati Favorites
S. Belle Karper -- Author & Speaker