As a Multiple Sclerosis patient, it has become necessary for me to reinvent myself. I have ... and continue to ... refuse to lie down and die, or in this case, follow the normally prescribed drugs and treatments that do nothing to defeat my disease. I am not only surviving by pursuing alternatives, I am thriving. I do the things specialists told me I would never be able to do. I walk and hope to one day even run regularly. I retain my cognitive and creative abilities for the pleasure of my readers. Although you may never see me on my daily walk, you are welcome to read my novel(s) and in doing so, come to ask yourself, "How can the 'out of the box' protocol she has followed, help my loved one with an autoimmune disease like Multiple Sclerosis?"

Tickle Tease on Thursday

Tickling your interest with Dave Bond's new release, Just out today - A Time To Build.

Brian took his time making his way to The Corner Café shortly after five. The front door stood wide open at one of the vacant spaces half-way between the Donahue Brothers office and Hallie's place. He paused and peered into the darkened interior. He heard voices, but saw no one. He looked for a sign announcing what might be coming, but couldn't find one.

In front of the café, sure enough, a large butcher-block island stood on the sidewalk, as if the previous owners wanted to dump it and get away as fast as possible. He went up to it and gave it a tentative push. It barely rocked. A closer inspection showed him the block was probably eighteen inches thick, with massive legs. He wasn't so sure Joe would be strong enough to help him.

"You're here. Thank goodness."

Hallie spoke to someone inside then walked toward where he stood. He repeated his earlier push on the massive piece of wood. "This thing weighs a ton."

"I know. Wanda and I tried to move it." She lifted her eyebrows at his expression. "I'm tougher than I look."

A middle-aged man approached Hallie, and she turned and spoke to him for a minute. He stood, his hand resting on the oily, knife riddled butcher-block top. Brian's gaze stole a glance at this woman whose mysteries drew him to her like a magnet. She had a pair of work gloves on, and he detected the sharp smell of varnish. A dark brown speck sat on the tip of her nose as if she'd dipped it toward the open can to smell it.

He jumped when a finger jabbed his side. Joe smirked and nodded toward Hallie, still engrossed in a conversation. "Man. I was hoping you would have had this thing in there by now."

Brian repeated his pushing action for the third time. "Did you eat your Wheaties today?"

"Gees. Just leave it here. She can serve outdoor stuff."

"We're going to put this inside, exactly where she wants it."

"Rock climbing later?"

"I told you. No."

Had he subconsciously wanted to allow free time to be around Hallie? He looked at Joe, dressed in his sport shorts and woven athletic shirt. The guy had the look of a man with supreme confidence in himself, especially in the area of coaxing a pretty girl into some liaison. A glint in his eye wasn't hard to translate.

"Sorry, gentlemen. Hello, Joe?"

Joe attempted a clumsy bow. "At your service."

Joe stepped around the hunk of wood separating him from Hallie and held her hand. "I've come by a few times during my lunch hour these last few weeks. Fantastic coffee."

"You look familiar. I'm glad you approve."

Hallie's expression lacked its usual save-the-world glow. She extracted her hand from Joe's and blew air through her lips which funneled up toward a few rebellious tendrils of hair sliding across her forehead.

"We'll get this inside so you can get back to whatever you're doing. You must have a million things to do."

"We've been working all hours, but it's coming along. Actually, I had a good day today. Three women from the church I attend volunteered to help me stain and hang wall coverings. The place is really looking good, if I do say so. You'll have to let me know what you think."

Her words might have been meant for both males standing near her, but her gaze never left Brian's face. She all but ignored Joe. Brian nodded involuntarily. A reflex action she had control of whenever she was near.

Hallie darted inside the café and returned with a heavy-duty dolly. The men wrestled the butcher-block onto it, then eased the solid mass inside. It took all of fifteen minutes to move it and deposit it where she indicated.

"Man. It's probably a good thing we're not rock climbing tonight. I think I used up my vitamins for the day."

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