Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Photo by Annisa Lam (former member of Stock.exchng)
Licensed photo DO NOT COPY

Currently I am keeping the following in my thoughts &  prayers:
-----I need to be in better physical shape and beat the symptoms of several thyroid problems. I have an appointment with what I hope is a better endocrinologist. I also need to find a place that does a digital mammogram (my Mother died of breast cancer).
-----A family member whose spouse passed away and a fractured relationship between family members that is starting to heal.
-----All who battle mental illness. Those who deal with the side effects of the strong medicines that are given for mental "health." For advancements in this area of medicine!


This post is in no particular order. Prayer/thought requests just go to the top as I hear more about what is going on. If you can think of a way to help these people, PLEASE do so. This post will be second-from-the-top during the midst of an emergency (such as an Amber Alert).

Note: I would not advise linking to this post...you will wind up with a broken link each time I have to change the post-dating to keep this a Vigil at the Top.

At JPUSA. Summer 2011.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Thursday Thirteen.....

I still don't like the fact that it was put in...but I would go out on it.
(No matter what you tell him about the construction, Preschool Boy insists that he would not go on it because it might break.)

Trivia: "Satisfaction" originally included a harmonica (I wonder what that sounded like). Mick Jagger is(was?) good at ballet.
‪#‎SoundTrackOfMyDay‬ ‪#‎LoudStereoMemories‬

-----Overnight Fruit Salad. With marshmallows, pecans and whipped cream.
-----"Dirty Coke
-----Boston Cream Cupcakes
One pound of black raspberries. First of this year.
Hopefully, my mother's red raspberry bush will have berries next year...it has quiet a history...it belonged to my grandparents-in-law, then I think to in-laws, then was ours and we gave it to my mother who was so happy to have a red raspberry (they are expensive at the stores). When my mother passed away, the traveling raspberry bush came back to us and it has been growing strong in our garden. I know there are more important things to pray about in the world, but I do hope and pray that the red raspberry bush grows and does well. #LifesBlessings

-----On the annoying side, our Aldi's seems to have stopped carrying frozen raspberries. I will be writing a comment/inquiry.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

I like a good portion of this cover...when turned up loud. :-)

Saturday, June 11, 2016

FREE Book Found.....

When Mazie Reynolds was a young girl, she believed monsters lived under her bed. Now a grown, married woman, she discovers one sleeps in her bed.
Mazie schemes to save herself and her daughter. Her plan will work, if she can out-maneuver the monster who is a master of manipulation and control. She's got one thing going for her, the one thing she truly owns. Mazie has moxie to the bone. But will it be enough?

Winner of the 2015 Kindle Book Award for Horror/Suspense.
Winner of the 2015 Indie Reader Discovery Award for Literary Fiction.
Readers Favorite Bronze Medal Winner
Named Best of Indie 2014 by Suspense Magazine

This Summer we are learning about Ancient Civilizations in our older preschooler's homeschool.
We are starting with the lands of the Fertile Crescent. So far we are covering the Mediterranean Sea, the Persian Gulf, Mesopotamia, Sumer, the Tigris and the Euphrates. Little Guy is interested in the other waters he hasn't learned about on the map, too.

Mesopotamia from the viewpoint of a little girl whose father was a trader.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

On the Considering-to-Read List

Dark Moon is a Sci-fi suspense thriller about a time in the near future when creatures from ancient legends emerge from hiding to help the surviving humans fight sinister alien invaders who have begun a ground invasion of New York City and cut down all in their path with lethal energy weapons. The story centers heavily on Raziel, the last remaining Werewolf as he is forced to begin turning the human soldiers that fall in battle in order to save their lives and rekindles his kind after centuries of near extinction.

The storyline follows his ancient mind back, to bittersweet memories of his distant youth more than a thousand years before, where he had met his counterpart and soulmate Lupea, a Pure Born Werewolf like himself that he had lost to the savagery of the Wars of the Moon. As he turns an elite squad of soldiers, one by one into newborn Werewolves, his memories of her are rekindled and he is forced to feel the loss of her all over again.

C.W. Holcomb's writing style and major influences include a wide variety of well known novelists that came before him including, J.R.R Tolkien, Mary Stewart, Raymond E. Feist, C.S. Lewis, Robert Jordan, Elizabeth Hayden and Frank Herbert. The biggest influences on his style were Terry Brooks and Terry Goodkind. He has drawn inspiration for his novels from other areas as well including, animated shows and video games.

His debut novel, Dark Moon Book one of the Brotherhood of the Moon, is inspired by ancient Celtic legends about Werebeasts that stalked the forests of the Scottish Highlands on the full moon. His newly released novel, Chaos:Worlds Beyond Book one of the Reflections of Infinity Saga is deeply inspired by Ancient Greek Mythology and Lore. His works contain endearing characters that always have something special and unique that helps them survive in the brutal and unrelenting Worlds that he creates.



I got to learn about this book because I am a host. :-)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Pluff Mud Murders

At first, I did not find any of the characters likable and was going to have to force myself to continue reading...then the main characters switched. A story where things are not as they seem but the clues are all there. I could picture all of the outdoor settings and the mansion easily. We follow the amnesia-stricken Riley, and others, as they are pitted up against pure greed, pure evil and potentially becoming the next victim.
---A tale that is easy to picture as a movie or mini-series.

BUY IT ON AMAZON...Currently in Kindle and Paperback

Ann Carpenter is the author of three novels, Pluff Mud Murders, Circle of Player and The Mystical Doll House. She is the founder of Kidz by Dezign and lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and granddaughter.
ACMysteries.com   Facebook

-----An accurate description of Pluff Mud...interesting.


Eats named after Pluff Mud :-)
---Pluff Mud Brownies
---Pluff Mud Porter Pop(Holy City Pluff Mud Porter is a beer brewed in Charleston.)
---Pluff Mud Cold Salad. You can also have it warm. I am not a fan of feta but will try this salad.
-----Salty Pluff Mud Pie. This one gets mixed reviews.
--------Of course, you can also buy a Pluff Mud Pie mix. A chocolate meringue pie...that sounds intriguing.

Coasters partially made from Pluff Mud.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Travel the World in Books

Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge
So, this is one of those challenges where one is free to set there own goals. Doing the challenge for 5 years is even mentioned in the description! We homeschool and are on a very tight budget. Traveling long distances has been financially impossible for us the last three years. My mother traveled through her books....all 16,000-plus that she had read most of during her lifetime. She pared down the books to her favorite 5,000 or so and I inherited most of them which I am constantly reading and cataloging for my children's legacy...my mother could not travel like she would have liked either and I look at them as her "somewhere over the rainbow." I pass down the amazing(appropriate) parts of the world that I see painted in words....recipes, tours of faraway places, etc. So anyway, even if the challenge is not here then...I am looking at this as a 15 year homeschooling and reading project. :-)

My first stop is Israel (and, to a lesser extent, Egypt). Imagining the great open spaces. Oh the difficult choices that Solomon made during his lifetime.
"Words are easy; only actions tell who really loves."
This book was number 11, 807 in my mother's collection. :-)

Lila inherits her grandfather's home in the small town of Auburn, Nebraska. I didn't approve of who the villian was at first until why started being revealed. I would have liked to see more development of The Obituary Society meetings themselves...but maybe that will come in further books in the series.
-----I have always lived in towns where most fireworks are forbidden for ordinary citizens to purchase. I learned that Nebraska has a mix of fireworks-prohibited and fireworks-friendly cities. Mayhaps it would be fun to visit one of these towns on the 4th someday. :-)
I read a Kindle Edition.

I had never seen how some of the at-home stuff is done.

The next book I am reading takes place mainly in Memphis (but also in what is definitely a fictional county and Jefferson, Mississippi which is, from what I can tell, fictional). Faulkner is a bit challenging to me because I never know what is coming...whether he is going to tell the story from many different point of views that are hard to decipher or what. This seems to be a simple and humorous tale of some young people who take a car.
Published in 1962. It was a bestseller and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1963.
I have a first printing but it does not have a cover.
This was number 11, 270 in my mother's book collection.
New vocab I have learned thus far:
---A footlog is a simple footbridge consisting often of a single log hewn flat on one side
---Reiver...reive means to rob or plunder.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Clean Sweep ARC Challenge
MAY 2016

Clean Sweep ARC Challenhe

A memoir of a woman who is defiantly Christian in Romania during Nicole Ceausecu's Communist regime. The author, Virginia Prodan, is an international human rights attorney who was exiled from Romania.

The youngest daughter of a prominent radical politician, Sarah Curran comes of age in an era of rebellion and revolution, buffeted by tragedy and scandal. She has long known Robert Emmet, but not until she is caught up in the fevered calls for Irish independence does she fall in love with the budding revolutionary leader.
Her father forbids their union, but a child raised in a climate of insurrection veers towards her own small rebellion. Determined to win her father's acclaim, she strives to raise his fortunes through marriage to Ireland's future ruler, certain that the uprising cannot fail---even as Emmet's plans fall apart with deadly consequences.

.....Cartoonist James Silvani combines easy-to-follow art exercises with the latest, greatest dino-facts to help you create fun and cool dinosaur doodles all by yourself. With lessons on old favorites like T-rex and stegosaurus, as well as lesser-known (but still awesome) creatures like the massive argentinosaurus.....

When fifteen-year-old Maribel Rivera sustains a terrible injury, the Riveras leave behind a comfortable life in Mexico and risk everything to come to the United States so that Maribel can have the care she needs. Once they arrive, it’s not long before Maribel attracts the attention of Mayor Toro, the son of one of their new neighbors, who sees a kindred spirit in this beautiful, damaged outsider. Their love story sets in motion events that will have profound repercussions for everyone involved. Here Henríquez seamlessly interweaves the story of these star-crossed lovers, and of the Rivera and Toro families, with the testimonials of men and women who have come to the United States from all over Latin America. The Book of Unknown Americans is a stunning novel of hopes and dreams, guilt and love—a book that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be American.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Musing Mondays

Preschool Girl wants swimsuits for her baby dolls, her Dora the Explorer doll and "my (shopping) cart, even, too."
She wants our doggie to have a swimsuit but I explained to her that the dog might not like that.
Preschool Girl talked about chasing the dog and said, "When my doggie chases me, I read a book at her." If only there were such peace.

-----Our friend drove a long way to bring Husband a motorcycle this week. It will be a fix-it-up project and a long time before I can ride around on the back of it...but I am so looking forward to it.

Well, then.
When we were at the park Preschool Girl was climbing up a little twisty slide and saying she was "being ingenious." I wasn't sure I heard right so I had her repeat it a few times. Later, she mentioned something with the same word. I said that I wasn't sure she knew what the word meant and asked Preschool Girl what it means...."Um, ingenious means you're smart."
We often say an idea/person is ingenious....Preschool Girl obviously paid attention.

I read 142 pages. I was looking forward to reading much more but I had two impromptu guests...one in the early morning and one stayed until evening. So, I am pleased with this progress.

I am on page 79. I am currently reading the story of what became of a Jewish abandoned infant. This telling is a vivid depiction of the hardships of the Polish during World War II.

I am 77 pages into a reread of "The Salmon of Doubt" by Douglas Adams. A collection of items found on his hard drives after he died. Douglas Adams is my favorite author. I enjoy his interest in science and he constantly manages to make me laugh.

FINISHED. "I Am the Dog" by Daniel Pinkwater. A read with the kids.

I didn't get much farther with this...just another 4 pages. Right now, is a family history of all the moving that the Hardings did after coming to this country.
---I am reading this for a "Banned Books Challenge." President Harding's strong suit was not marital fidelity and a restraining order was put on author Francis Russell...there are blank spots in the book where Harding's love letters to his married mistress originally where. This is not alleged activity...the National Archives eventually published the letters. Anyway, this is not a scandalous book but a well-rounded look at Warren G. Harding.

FINISHED THIS WEEK: "Bon Bons to Yoga Pants" by Katie Cross
I mainly enjoyed this for the telling of a possible (sweet) romance. I did have a hard time reading it at times because my thyroid care is not going well. I have a doctor who thinks just about everything to try fixing my multiple thyroid problems is futile or knows nothing about it, another doctor who doesn't/can't  read computerized records, loses tests and is treating me like I have just let myself go when I have been battling chronic illness for over 20 years, no endocrinologists in my community and the prospect of explaining my whole medical history to a doctor who might be just as bad...so I am kind of sensitive on what people think of weight issues right now.

FINISHED THIS WEEK. Another read where I had imperfect enjoyment. The lady being accused of the crime was not someone I felt for. The main character, a private investigator named Tiffany, ended up being TOO much of a romantic cliff-hanger and I really wished that I felt her enjoyment right along with her (things such as her frustrating relationship with her family) were well-done to the point that they were easily imaginable). I am interested to read other stories in this series to see if the author does better in immersing me as a reader.

Completed this read-a-thon with having read 610 pages. That is about average for me to find time to do during a readathon. Amongst my reading, I finished one "scary" book and started a "TV show thriller."

FINISHED THIS WEEK: "The Deep End" by Joy Fielding
The story did keep my attention all the way to the end but I found it lacking in places. The main character was largely passive as her life was falling apart. It was a lot like the story was being told instead of shown in places and there was not enough of the pool metaphor to really be into that TITLE part of the story. Like the tennis coach said there needed to be follow through and just did not see that with this thriller.


Sunday, April 24, 2016


Reading so far:
77 pages "The Salmon of Doubt" by the late Douglas Adams
41 pages  "Innocent in Las Vegas"   FINISHED
32 pages "I am the Dog" by Daniel Pinkwater FINISHED
4 pages "The Shadow of Blooming Grove." A biography of Warren G. Harding
255 pages "From bon Bons to Yoga Pants" FINISHED

I have read 79 pages. I am on the first story which tells what became of two infants whose parents abandoned them (likely in hopes they would be protected).

103 pages of "The Deep End" by Joy Fielding. A condensation. This counted as one my horror reads. I am kind of getting emotionally invested in this story because I just don't understand the heroine thus far. All the relationships in her life are falling apart, her best friend is striking me as a bit creepy and she has a phone caller threatening to kill her....yet she doesn't really do much about any of these situations. Routing for Joanne to change before I start yelling at a book!

I also read 19 pages of a "TV thriller series" called "Hold On!"

Total Read: 610 pages :-)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

You can sign up for the readathon HERE. :-)

So, starting my reading at about noon. Two impromptu house visitors today....one of which is still on the way. I am hoping to still get in a good block of reading!

I have read 62 pages today. This is a young lady's weight loss journey.

I have read 80 pages so far today. Joanne's friend is getting creepier (well really I am detecting hints of a word that starts with b that I try not to use). Her husband might be turning out to be an absolute jerk (I was hoping he was just selfish). Is Joanne going insane or some other plot twist to explain the phone stalker? Stay tuned.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Musing Mondays

We read this today in homeschooling.

Here is an online reading. :-)

This rather lengthy book...almost 700 pages. Though it is enjoyable, nothing terribly exciting. So I am reading three pages a day and reviewing one (I hate just skimming over the things talked about in books,especially history books, I want to know what is being talked about). This book is being read for a Banned Books Challenge. There are blank places in the book because the author was under a restraining order as the Harding family did not want love letters Harding wrote to his married mistress published.

The heroine is one of those people who has more than the average share of loss and death. The story is a telling of entwined events and lives. I cried in several places and there was one passage that was really profound about how to deal with the losses that life brings...so glad I continued reading for having found this advice.

Rereading this as part of a readathon and because I find Douglas Adam's humor to be so enjoyable.
I have always been absurdly ridiculously tall. To give you an idea-when we went on school expeditions to Interesting and Improving Places, the form-master wouldn't say "Meet under the clock tower," or "Meet Under the War Memorial," but "Meet under Adams." I was at least as visible as anything else on the horizon, and could be repositioned at will. When in Physics, we were asked to repeat Galileo's demonstration that two bodies of different weight fall to the ground at the same speed, I was the one who was given the task of dropping the cricket ball and the pea, because it was quicker than going to an upstairs window. I always towered over everybody. Right back at the very beginning of my school career, aged seven, I introduced myself to another new boy (Robert Neary) by coming up behind him and, in the spirit of experiment, dropping a cricket ball on his head and saying, "Hello, my name's Adams, whats yours?" This, for Robert Neary, I'm sure was his one terrible mind-scaring memory.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Spring Cleaning Readathon

I found the activity late but I am starting now. :-) Today I have read 15 pages of the Reader's Digest Condensed Book version of "Tree of Gold" by Rosalind Laker. The heroine is reminding me somewhat of Princess Diana (among the people while still being upper class). Thus far a fascinating look at family silk businesses in the time of Napoleonic France.

So, I ended up reading 154 pages and finishing the story. :-)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Musing Mondays Meme

Solomon starts out the story as very sad and I am wondering how much of the book will have this tone. This was book number 4, 807 in my mother's collection.

I am reading this for a Banned Books Challenge and finding that Harding's ancestors had a hard time after coming to this country. I am on page 20 and this was book number 9,485 in my mother's collection.

We are reading some of this collection in homeschooling. We particularly enjoyed reading "The Fifty-First Dragon" and then listening to a radioplay. This volume was published in 1968 and was book number 11,571 in my mother's collection (yes, she had read most all of them).

Kindle Edition and first book in a series. I am only about 18% through the book and if you have ever experienced great loss in your life, this book might make you cry A LOT. #HopingForAHappyEnding


Thursday, April 07, 2016

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts.....

1. I received the second part of a Capital One settlement for annoying phone calls today. The class action amounted to about $7 or $8 total...sigh. I think they thought it would be about $16.
-----Worst annoying credit card call ever...and I don't think this was Capital One. My account had unjustifiably gone to collections. I was dripping wet, naked in fact and trying to get ready for work...and very cold...I told the collection agent who was harassing me all of this...yeah, they didn't care and I don't remember what threats they made (why I didn't just hang up on them). Anyway....finally dressed but dripping wet and headed out into the winter weather but the apartment door is stuck. knowing I will get fired or disciplined if I am late to work, as a last resort I attempt to carefully pry the chain,etc. from the wall....that works but the area around the chain cracks off and I am left with a hanging scrap of wood...I have to leave the door unlocked and hope no person or the wind doesn't open it. #AhMemories

2. I need to go upstairs and put this away. Forgive the glare. Neat thrift shop find for when Preschool Girl is older. I used to love the tall coloring books. The poster is in tact, too.
---A lot of my fondness for Snow White comes from a moment Husband and I had at FAO Schwartz when there was a Chicago location (sad it is gone). He was standing by the "BIG" piano and just burst out laughing. Apparently, he was suddenly picturing me dressed in one of the Snow White costumes hanging there.

Our tree this past Christmas. I just realized we have never had normal colored lights...red the first year, purple for many years, return red again the past two years(only due to burnouts). Our first Christmas tree was actually a ficcus. :-)
-----This year's book gifts were Dora the Explorer and "Trumpet of the Swan" (in honor of my mother who liked E.B. White). I think we should getting around to starting on the Trumpet of the Swan Read today.
I don't know where I collected this from (will have to do a reverse image search to see if I can credit)...but will so be using this for Christmas 2017. :-):-) :-)

I love the colors in this photo from cooking a recent pan-seared tilapia dinner. Tonight we are having Pan-Seared Tilapia with Lemon and Caper Sauce. I like that it makes full use of the lemon.

5. A bill to make the Bible Tennessee's official state book is headed to the Governor.
Tennessee is about 81% Christian. It is for that other 19% that the governor should probably veto this bill. While the historic moment will make many Christians happy, this may cause a sense of division and exclusion for others in a place that is their "home"
Will the official book then change when the majority of the state becomes some other religion? This could have humorous/disastorous results.
(FYI in case some legislators think of this as proselytizing, people do not genuinely come to faith by such gestures.)

6. Found a manuscript of a book I will eventually write "There Lies Lincoln" about lies and honesty in Lincoln's life. Perhaps this will be my NaNoWriMo project...maybe I will actually complete the challenge this year.

I am probably almost done reading this. A very addicting read. Just as you think too many beans have been spilled there is more to the story. Somewhat reminiscent of "A Wrinkle in Time." I really, really hope the ending is good. I am going to rate/review this on Netgalley. 
When the real world is emptied of all that you love, how can you keep yourself from dependence on the virtual?
Animal activist and punk rock star Larissa Kenders lives in a dystopian world where the real and the virtual intermingle. After the disappearance of her soulmate, Andrew, Kenders finds solace by escaping to Nirvana, a virtual world controlled by Hexagon. In Nirvana, anyone’s deepest desires may be realized - even visits with Andrew.
Although Kenders knows that this version of Andrew is virtual, when he asks for her assistance revealing Hexagon’s dark secret, she cannot help but comply. Soon after, Kenders and her closest allies find themselves in a battle with Hexagon, the very institution they have been taught to trust. After uncovering much more than she expected, Kenders’ biggest challenge is determining what is real – and what is virtual.
Nirvana is a fast-paced, page-turning young adult novel combining elements of science fiction, mystery, and romance. Part of a trilogy, this book introduces readers to a young woman who refuses to give up on the man she loves, even if it means taking on an entire government to do so.

7. Charlie Sheen is under investigation for stalking-like behavior. So surprising(sarcasm). Yet he presents himself in such a way AT TIMES that you want to believe him...sigh.
I wonder what is in "The Charlie Sheen Tiger Blood Coloring Book."

8. Two years ago:
Toddler: Daddy's not listening to me. (complaining, hand on hip)
Mommy: What did you say to Daddy? (having heard nothing)
Toddler: I didn't say anything. (walks away to play with Legos)

9. Looking through notes from several years ago. I was wondering why no one attempts to make low-sodium Ramen?


Participate in the "Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts" meme. :-)


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