Thursday, December 29, 2016

Goodbye 2016...Hello 2017

For me, I cannot say that 2016 has been particularly good or bad.  It's definitely brought changes into our lives, but that's to be expected.

But, as a whole, the world seems to be in a bit more turmoil, and since we can't get a do-over (and I don't particularly want one either), then we need to start fresh.

I try to keep my political views to myself.  I've watched too much ugliness this year over it.  People I respected have said hateful, ugly things...and it's like everyone has forgotten what it means to be human.  Too much social media perhaps?  Too many people feel like they can now say whatever it is they feel without worry of the consequences?   I'm not real sure, but I do not like it.  I am very glad my children are not so young that I need to explain to them about why it is wrong to call names...why calling someone an idiot/redneck/deplorable/racist/and whatever other word is thrown out there is wrong.  Are we all really so perfect that we have to put others down?  I know I am not.  Just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean you are ignorant...or whatever the word of choice is.  I was called an idiot..not specifically, but had someone I went to school with post on facebook that all nameyourpoliticalparttyhere were idiots.  Really?    Just because we don't agree with you?  I mean, seriously, how boring would the world be if every single human in the world had the same view on everything?  Yeah....it would really suck!

Anyway...this year we lost a lot of celebrities....great ones at that, but millions of people all over the world died, without a single mention in the news.  US Troops died; children died; average beautiful people died...what makes one person more newsworthy than another?  Yes, I was saddened at David Bowie's passing and Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds and Prince, but I was even more saddened to learn of a young, single mom, losing her battle with cancer; or the little boy killed sitting in the back of his grandmother's car, because the gunman had road rage and was mad because the grandmother was not driving as fast as he wanted her too.  Seriously, what is wrong with people?

I've missed my mom still....I didn't realize just how often grief hits you out of the blue....how a perfectly good day can turn around into the kind of day that leaves you ugly crying in the locked bathroom.  And my family thinks I have lost my mind, and I cannot possibly explain why I started to cry. I just did.  For no reason whatsoever.

I missed my reading goals for the year.  And not by a few books...but a LOT of books.  Meh.  So, I reset the goal again in 2017 and start over.  Don't dwell on it.  Just try to do better.

I have a goal to clean up my photobucket account, and upload the photos sitting on my laptop into that account so I can clean up my computer.  A goal.  One of many.  I used to think putting the goals in writing would help me get them done.  Nope.  It doesn't work.  You are either going to do it or you aren't.  If it's a legitimate goal, I feel like it's going to stick in your brain, like the knowledge that you need nourishment to sustain you...your goals should be a natural part of your life.  Or, I could be wrong, again.  It doesn't really matter though.  At the end of the day, what does matter is how you lived your life...what you did...not what you planned to do.  Did you make the world a better place?  Did you do something good? Help someone out?  Did you show kindness in your daily life?  How do you want to be remembered?  Do you want to be remembered as that person who had all the wealth in the world but was a complete asshole, or would you rather be remembered as someone who bought a meal for a homeless man?  Or offered to cut the grass of your elderly neighbor?

Anyway, I guess I have rambled on long enough...I think this is the longest entry I have made in a while!  Hey, GO ME!

Happy New Year to you. May 2017 be a good one to you, and to us all, all over the world!


Don't cha just hate....

So I am on page 12 of this book I am reading, and the sentence reads like this:

"This latest bout of karmic deserts was being served up by Harold Grader, her up-until-now friendly local banker, who'd apparently decided that loaning her more money to maintain and upgrade her hotel would be throwing good money after bad."

I am pretty sure, the appropriate word is desserts not deserts. I've read the paragraph with both words, and desserts works better every time.  What is a karmic desert?  Where is this so called desert, so I can avoid going there?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Two By Two - Nicholas Sparks

Two By TwoTwo By Two by Nicholas Sparks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tug at my heart strings will ya?

I loved this book. I'll warn you, at one point in the book, you will need tissues...quite a few of them. This is a story of love, loss, discovery and healing. The reviews I read on Amazon are mixed and I find that I don't like to read reviews before I read a book as they tend to skew my perception of a book from the get go and I would rather read a book first, then see what others have to say about it.

I do not agree with some who thought this book was one of Nicholas Sparks' worst. I enjoyed it, despite the fact that I read part of it before going to work one morning, and hit one of the parts that needed tissues, and went to work with puffy and red eyes.

Perception is everything, and I think that the characters in this book learned that in some ways. They also learned a lot about themselves.


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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

50 Book Challenge Status Update

I am so far behind in my goals to read 50 books this year, but while I may be slower , i am at least still getting some books read and whittling down the list as best I can! This is book 15. Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good (Mitford Years, #10)Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon


I love the Mitford Series so seeing a new book that I hadn't read yet was exciting. I love reading all about Father Tim and the citizens of Mitford.

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

What I have been reading lately...

I recently finished two books, both very different from each other. Killing Me SoftlyKilling Me Softly by Bianca Sloane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was on my Kindle and I was able to read the entire story on the Amtrak train yesterday. I really enjoyed the story, and will have to look for more books by this author!!

View all my reviews Tails of LoveTails of Love by Lori Foster
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's too bad this compilation of stories doesn't count as 10 books towards my reading goals. LOL

10 short stories of romance and dogs. Sure things progress quickly, come on, they usually do in these books. But they are good stories...fun to read and the dogs are all so loveable!

View all my reviews I am working on getting better with my review writing. I mostly want to share the books I have enjoyed, but I know sometimes I don't share enough to get anyone interested. Although, I admit, I have just one follower on this blog so right now, I'm not too worried about it. Would love to get many more followers, and people that will interact with me. Share their love of books as well.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Walk to End Alzheimer's

The rain did not hamper the spirits of the walkers today at the Champaign, IL Walk to End Alzheimer's. It rained before the event, and once we started our almost 2-mile trek, it started again, but it didn't last long. The sun was shining afterwards and our hearts were touched by the support for this cause that we hold near and dear to our hearts. It's always so heartbreaking to hear the personal stories. The speaker apologized for starting to cry when she spoke of her father and his Alzheimer's diagnosis. But, we all understand. We are all there because of this cruel disease and would never make anyone feel bad for not keeping their composure. Donations can still be accepted until the end of the year. My team, which consisted of my daughter and I, raised $370 this year. I would love to break $500. There is always next year! Thank you to all who have supported us this year, and those who walk along side of us. This disease is devastating....to lose all your memories, including your own identity, is something I just cannot imagine, but having seen my grandmother forget her family was one of the toughest things I have ever done in my life. My last memories of her were bittersweet. I kissed her cheek and said goodbye even as she looked at me, with eyes that showed her confusion, as she threw me out of her room as she didn't know me. "Goodbye Grandma, I love you". I hope those words she heard, even if she didn't understand them. Strides in research are being made, but there is a long way to go still. As someone said today, "The cure for Polio came because of test studies" and I believe that a cure for Alzheimers will come, in my lifetime. I believe. I believe. If this disease has affected you...your family, you understand the pain..the cost this diseases takes on the family. If it hasn't affected you, you are lucky, because this disease is affecting more and more people every year, and at a much younger age. It's not an "old-person's disease by any means. This disease has afflicted people in their 30's....maybe even younger, but I know of people in their 30's.
Thanks again for your support, this year, and the past few years. I'm in this for the long run.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Harry Potter....

Harry Potter and the Cursed ChildHarry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was nice to put some closure to the life of Harry Potter. The story picks pretty much where the last movie ends. This is written in screen play form, so at times was a little difficult to read, but you get used to it pretty quickly. There are twists and turns, but all necessary, and thats all I will say without revealing too much!

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

"Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Memoir of Humor and Healing" by Reba Riley

Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Memoir of Humor and HealingPost-Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Memoir of Humor and Healing by Reba Riley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While the reviews of this book were very mixed, the title captured my attention, as did the description. "Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome" is about the reality of spiritual injury and the path to healing. This book is NOT fiction, but is instead the author's story of her journey to healing, both physical and spiritual. Her "thirty by thirty" quest to experience thirty religions by her thirtieth birthday, were somewhat awkward, but yet inspiring and makes you think about your own faith. "You have to be lost in order to be found" and this is what Reba discovers, while checking out other religions, but also going back to the religion she was raised in (and fled from) before the found healing, and peace.

I laughed and I cried, and this book made me think about my own religious journey in life thus far. While I don't feel I could have PTCS, I definitely can understand how Reba felt.

I recommend this book to all of my friends, regardless of your religion and spiritual path. Read it with an open heart, and an open mind.

Book club discussion questions are included at the back of the book.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A moms heart

A mothers heart knows no limits
If her children need her she will move heaven and earth for them

My child needs me, so after his late night call I booked a flight for this morning just so I could comfort him, and hug him.

Well, I will also be helping him pack everything into his car to move home.  Life throws you curves sometimes.

I don't like it when my babies hurt.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Making Toast (Book 10 of the 50 book challenge)

Making ToastMaking Toast by Roger Rosenblatt


I really enjoyed this book. It was actually written as an essay, but now printed as a book. It is real life. An accounting of the author's life when their physician daughter dies suddenly, and they make a decision to move in with their son in law and grandchildren to help out after her death. It was an easy and quick read. My heart broke with the family for the loss and sadness they feel but I also feel the strength they each show in their own ways.

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Blackout

Black OutBlack Out by Lisa Unger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This took a bit longer than I 'planned' but it had nothing to do with the quality of the book, but instead the fact that this book deals with a lot of dark material and runs on three separate 'tracks'. One is the main storyline, where Annie is a wife and mother with a past that she cannot remember completely. Next is the past, where, as Ophelia (her given name), she is deep in the middle of murder and deception. Finally, the present life which she is dealing with, and tries to come to terms with, all the tracks of her life, and how the people around her fit in.

I thought I knew how things would turn out, and then I was wrong, and just when the last piece of the puzzle is put into place, you realize the piece belongs to a different puzzle and it doesn't quite fit.

I really enjoyed this, despite the fact it took me longer to read it.

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Sunday, May 8, 2016

This is Where I leave you

This is Where I Leave YouThis is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper


I have not seen the movie for this, which is good. I try not to read a book if I have seen the movie first as in my opinion, the book is always better.

I liked this story and felt there was a lot of depth in the characters, and a lot of drama. This family is about as dysfunctional as you can imagine, but yet, they love each other.


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I am 9 books behind schedule..I guess I need to try to read more or I won't meet the goal again this year!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Does heaven have a mailing address?

It's a quiet Sunday afternoon and I decide it's time to sit out and address the Mother's Day cards I picked out.  I have them all done, signed, stamped and ready for tomorrow's mail, when I realize I have one left over.  That doesn't make sense to me, as I didn't think I missed any, so I look at all the envelopes...my mother in-law, my sister-in-law, my sister and my niece..yes, they are all done.  So I look at the remaining card.    It says "For a Wonderful Mother on Mother's Day".....

Oh damn...I did it again this year.  Bought my mother a Mother's Day card.  She passed two years ago on March 31st.  It was understandable that year when I bought one..my grief was still fresh and raw and I couldn't even think straight.  Then last year, well, it slipped my mind. I even remember thinking, "Mom would love this", and the card ended up in my basket.  But this year...I read through the cards at the store, and made a mental check of the ones I needed.  I needed 4..but I got 5 and didn't even realize it.

I guess it's just proof that the loved ones you have lost are never really ever far from your mind.

I miss you mom.  Happy Mother's Day.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

An anniversary of sorts...

6 years ago today, my niece, passed away suddenly at the age of 8.  Carly was a special little girl, always with a smile on her face.  She was born with a hole in her heart, and Down's Syndrome but nothing kept this girl down for long.  She got Leukemia and beat it.  Survived open heart surgery.  We always knew she was given to us for a short time, but as time went by, I think we all forgot.  Then she was gone.

She taught us so much in life...and in death.  She loved everyone.  She would start dancing anytime the mood struck her.  She learned sign language easily, and we all learned what we could to communicate with her.  She was learning to talk more and more before she passed.

Suddenly.  Cardiac Arrest.  Her little heart gave out.  And our lives changed completely, and forever.


The loss of a child is a different kind of grief then the grief I feel after the passing of my mother....at least I feel it is that way.  Maybe I am wrong though.

I miss you Carly Elizabeth George.  You are our sunshine.


Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Gilboa Iris

The Gilboa Iris: A Thrilling Suspense NovelThe Gilboa Iris: A Thrilling Suspense Novel by Zahava D. Englard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I first started this book, I had a hard time getting into it, then I couldn't put it down, finding myself reading it every chance I got. This is a story of rebellion, love, loss, terror and hope and at one point you have to wonder just how much more one person can take. I cried, a lot, and I am not afraid to admit that, but then I do cry easily. I do not know if I could survive everything Dara went through in her life. The characters in this book are well written..there is depth to them all and life...it is as if they are as real as can be, and perhaps that is why my emotions were so so strong with this story.

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Humans of New York

Humans of New York: StoriesHumans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My son introduced me to the Humans of New York Instagram account last year, so when I saw this book in the book store, it was an easy decision to pick it up. I loved seeing the pictures and stories attached to them. It's proof that you should not judge someone by their appearance because you do not know their story...every person in this book has a story to tell...some of them are sad and heartbreaking, and others are much more hopeful. Definitely something I think everyone should look through.

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The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thought I had it figured out....then I didn't...and then I did, and then I didn't. One thing you can be sure of with this book, is that you will be led in different directions when it comes to making your way to the ending of the book.

Rachel has a drinking problem and she just can't seem to let go of her ex husband, or remember things that have happened in her past due to her drinking and blackouts. Rachel is a mess, no one would deny that, and comes across as a bit of a nut case, but at the end of the story, I feel, her behavior makes sense. Or at least enough sense that she seems less crazy.

I don't want to reveal too much of the story in this review.

I did like the fact that the story is told from various points of view...not just Rachels. You get Anna's side, and Megan's.

I would recommend this book, definitely.

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Friday, February 5, 2016

The Next Accident by Lisa Gardner

I have a goal to read 50 books this year. This is book two of my goal, which is tracked on Goodreads.com (see widget on the right). The Next Accident (Quincy & Rainie, #3)The Next Accident by Lisa Gardner


I had read other books in this series years ago, but it wasn't long before I remember enough about the characters to get into the book.

I have to say, about midway through the book I was sure I knew who the bad guy was. And I was wrong. That is exactly what I like to see in a book like this...characters so deep and a plot so well written that you have to really get the evidence in front of you to solve the crime~

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I can't believe I am coloring

I joined the coloring craze, and have bought probably way more books than I will ever use.  I am not (and have never been) much good at coloring but I at least stay within the lines!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Reading goals

Every year I set myself a goal to read 50 books.  In 2015, I didn't make it.  I only read 28.  So, here I am again, setting myself a goal to read 50 books.  I have done it before, so maybe this is the year I will do it again!