Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Marrowbone Marble Company by M. Glenn Taylor

The Marrowbone Marble Company
By M. Glenn Taylor
Published by Ecco/Harper Collins
Book Description

From the author of The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart, a finalist for the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award, comes this sweeping novel of love and war, power and oppression, faith and deception, over the course of three defining American decades.

1941. Loyal Ledford works the swing shift tending furnace at the Mann Glass factory in Huntington, West Virginia. He courts Rachel, the boss's daughter, a company nurse with spike-straight posture and coal-black hair. But when Pearl Harbor is attacked, Ledford, like so many young men of his time, sets his life on a new course.

Upon his return from service in the war, Ledford starts a family with Rachel, but he chafes under the authority at Mann Glass. He is a lost man, disconnected from the present and haunted by his violent past, until he meets his cousins, the Bonecutter brothers. Their land, mysterious, elemental Marrowbone Cut, calls to Ledford, and it is there, with help from an unlikely bunch, that the Marrowbone Marble Company is slowly forged. Over the next two decades, the factory grounds become a vanguard of the civil rights movement and the war on poverty, a home for those intent on change. Such a home inevitably invites trouble, and Ledford must fight for his family.

Returning to the West Virginia territory of the critically acclaimed The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart, Glenn Taylor recounts the transformative journey of a man and his community. Told in clean and powerful prose in the tradition of Cormac McCarthy and John Irving, The Marrowbone Marble Company takes a harrowing look at the issues of race and class throughout the tumultuous 1950s and '60s. It is a story of struggle and loss, righteousness and redemption, and it can only be found in the hills of Marrowbone.

My review:

I just finished this book in the last few days... it's fresh in my mind and I may ramble. I received this book as Advanced Readers Edition. We all know the spiel... I am not being paid, bribed or coerced into giving a good review.

On to the book... my advise... read this book... it is wonderful. First of all I should tell you if I saw this book on a store shelf... more than likely I might not have picked it up.. sorry, the cover didn't really get me... and I would have missed one of the best books ever. I will be looking for more of his books on my next book buying adventure.

What can I say about this book.... again, historical in nature...and I lived and breathed this book for a few days and when not reading it I missed and longed for the time when I would have a moment to read more of Ledford and his family and friends.

The story line is very strong with details and substance. The characters ... I could picture these people... I could feel their pain, their fear, their joys and sorrows. Yes, I cried through some of this book; but, I also shared some laughter and joys, too. 368 pages... nice long book... but; still wanted more ... not that the ending left me hanging or that the story line wasn't tied up... I just wanted more and I wanted to be with them a little while longer.

Just a note... If I read a book that is great, you will know it by the words I write; however, don't let anyone judge a book for you... we all have our likes and dislikes and when I find myself re-reading a book that I didn't enjoy the first time; but, loved the second reading I ask myself what the difference was ... Is it my age?? My life experiences?? My perspective on issues?? I am not sure; but, please never let a bad review hinder you from reading a book that you think you might like; but, won't read because someone gave it a bad review. Just my thought... if someone takes the time to write and pours their heart and soul into a book... give them the chance... so often I surprise myself when I chance upon a book that just lights up my world for a while... this book was that book.

Do I recommend this... YES... read this and let me know if you don't walk away with a new perspective and a new outlook.

Oh, by the way... if you have read this far... you will remember I mentioned the cover of the book... well, it all came together and it all makes perfect sense now... so lesson for today... Never Judge a Book by it's Cover... words to live by.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

2nd Decade -- the road continues

Well, if your still with me you'll know your in for some reading...

My second decade was much of the same... still lived in the little house in the country with the same people...

High school wasn't as much fun as elementary... can we say cliques, mean girls, puberty, teenage angst, hormonal upheaval, rebellion and that was just my own life ... you get the picture... it was a time in the 70's when a young woman did not have a college future.... either homemaker, factory worker or clerk in the local 5& 10... education was for the children of doctors, lawyers and chiefs of companies... not for a coal miner's daughter... and this was OK with me...

Married at 19 ... mother at 19 and in my little wee apartment living the life .... a son, Andy and all the glory... wonderful time to be young, in love and a new mother. Husband working full time at the local train station.... life was good.

I remember being so scared, first time mother's jitters... second guessing everything... colic and frustration... fear of not knowing .... loving the little guy with every ounce of my being... pictures taken at the local 5& 10.... his chubby little legs and his head of dark hair... working part time a few evenings a week... worrying if I was doing everything right for Andy... fretting about his sleep, his health, his feedings... a mothers worries... goodbye, teenage years ----- hello, adulthood....

Sisters and brothers entering new phases of their own lives... parents entering a calmer, empty nest and less stress with fewer people in the home.... economics changing, a different pace of life and responsibilities... children returning to the nest on major holidays and summer outings... different relationships forming between parent and child....

I remember the "Phone" being a life line to my mother... calling everyday and checking in... is she OK, am I OK, how is my grandson, my son is fine, just the little small talk over the distance of a few miles and to keep heart and apron strings from stretching too far....

Oops... my phone is ring ... it's my daughter Kimberly checking in ... only difference is now we are talking about my new grandson, Jayden, talking on a cell phone and all that high tech gadgetry... oh, my times change and change they do.....

to be continued


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Good Luck

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fifty ... the first 10

Fifty.... Fifty.... oh, my where did the time go and how did I get here....
I've been thinking a lot about what to post at this momentous occasion... and things have passed through my mind and I've had to edit and have thought of some things that make me who I am and maybe help me through the day or days past.

So, Since this is my 5Th decade I think I will break it down in to decades:

The 1st decade of my life....
What's to say .... middle daughter of Bill and Juanita, younger sister of Teresa & Brenda; older sister of Scott and Mark. Little ol' family living on a dirt road out side of a small town in Central Pa. A small three bedroom home with one bathroom, one yellow wall phone that still hangs by the basement door. House, garage and assorted toys occupying 2 acres of green, green, green grass. Not a inch of pavement to be seen. There were neighbors within shouting distance; but, you wouldn't be able to throw a rock and hit the side of their barn. It wasn't a home of wealth (but, at that age I didn't realize we were on the poorer side of the track)

I remember being told I was born with a hole in my heart... no, don't fret it closed all on it's own... but; that's my claim to fame in the family...

I remember Mom with dark, dark hair, beautiful eyes and a yearning for her children to do better... I remember loaves of warm bread and rolls and cinnamon rolls hot and sweet... I remember my mother becoming a working mother in a local factory and her driving to work in a car without my father in it... I remember back rubs when sick and sitting on chairs when I was bad ..... I remember practising my writing and having pen and paper in hand... I remember her giving me hair cuts that resembled bowls and short, short bangs... I remember a sense of yearning coming from within her ... with 5 children... probably wishing for some peace and quiet... a lot less work and worry.... a little me time ...

I remember a Dad with dark, curly hair, small of stature, an intense nature to fix all things and to build.... a hard working man ... a heavy, yellow equipment operator in a strip coal mine, losing his hearing to the machine and having his lungs and soul coated in coal dust...a man that drank a little, a man that had a lot of friends in need of car and equipment repairs and who was willing to lend a hand.... a man who tried his best in spite of how he was raised.... a man of anger and rage and then a man full of remorse...

I remember being the middle .... my oldest sister and my youngest brother were a pair... my next next oldest sister and my oldest brother were a pair... I remember wishing I was a part of a "pair"....

I remember an outhouse in the back yard...(yeah, we lived in the country)

I remember a chicken coop with chickens.... I remember that chickens will scare snakes that dare to enter the back yard...

I remember holidays with gifts overflowing, baskets hid, birthdays....

I remember falling in the mud of the dirt driveway running to get on the bus... I remember running to my oldest sisters arms and crying in them... the bus driver waiting while I went and changed into a clean dress..

I remember a wonderful, neighbor lady (Mrs. Pifer) who was a saint in my eyes and offered a sanctuary of calm, peace and quiet when and if ever needed... I remember walks in the woods, playing domino's at the kitchen table, I remember pink candies, home made cream puffs, sleep overs at her house, her homemade quilts.. her taking my sisters and I to church each Sunday and sitting holding her hand while we listened to the "fire and brimstone"...

I remember Sunday drives with a stop at a local grocery store... to pick up 8oz cold bottles of pop in flavors that bring a smile now... grape, orange, red, root beer... Coca-Cola was only used when we were sick and we had to take those big nasty penicillin pills... it was an exotic drink not for children...

I remember my third grade teacher, Mrs. Ogden... at that time we had maybe 30 children in a class and an art teacher who traveled from room to room and school to school in our area. We were instructed to draw a bird... all the children drew a bird standing on the ground... except me... my bird was flying through the air... what would the shrinks of today say about that... hmmm...

I remember days of learning.... to read and loving the feel of a book in my hands, I loved my grade school I attended... I loved writing in the tablets, the smell of crayons and paint, never ate glue... don't understand why one would... loved the little yellow bus we rode to and from school each day...

Living was good in the 60's in a little ol' house, with a little family, with a dog in the back yard, indoor plumbing and a yellow phone with a party line... not bad... wouldn't know any other way...

Are you still with me?? Well, stay tuned for the 2nd Decade... share your thoughts and feelings... leave a note...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Don't Look Now....

If you feel a need for a little quilting inspiration .... copy and paste link below or click link on side....
I find inspiration, joy and peace when I visit Kellie's blog... such talent... She is also having an awesome giveaway, too.

What motivates people???

Do you ever wonder what motivates people in their lives, their actions, their behavior?? Sometimes, I wonder what motivates people to make comments to one another. Why do we make comments out of meanness so much easier, than kind words of encouragement?? Why is it when someone feels really good about themselves that some people feel the need to give them a little poke and say something that is negative to bring that person down?? I sometimes don't understand the motive of these negative people... are they feeling inferior in their own life; are they so afraid that someone else may be doing a better job than they are?? are they jealous of what another person has?? or is it just heartless in actions and words??

Our world seems to be one where we look at others in terms of ourselves... are they worse off, better off, we judge their appearance, their jobs, their homes, their religions, we judge their friends, their family, even the family dog; sometimes, I find myself looking at people and making rash judgements... this is so wrong; because, they are then at liberty to judge me ... judge my physical being and my life without ever knowing my inner self.

The Internet has opened us up to sites where they photograph people and make fun of their physical self and their attire... and I hate to admit... I have looked and as I sit here and write this I am appalled at my behavior.... how would I feel if they put my photo up on this site?? would it not hurt my feelings??? would I not be embarrassed and ashamed that someone did that out of meanness??

I have been really trying in the year 2009 to distance myself from negative people; as well as, negativity in my own behavior, actions and words to others. Believe me when I say that it is not easy... every day I try to find the good in everyone and all things. I try to keep my negative thoughts of others to myself and try to talk myself out of negative thoughts toward my own life and inner being. It's hard to try not to look negative on people when that seems to be the easiest way for some people ... I use to be really bad in that behavior and ask God for forgiveness all the time. I am trying ... and some days it's a struggle and some days the negativity wins; but, I hope that overall that the positive view of life and people is winning. I am no better or no worse than anyone else and aren't we all just trying to get through each day a better person??

I do have to share this little insight.... I have a friend, M, who to me is about the most caring, unbiased person, I have ever met. For instance, I do not think she has a judgmental bone in her being... she treats all people as if they are her best friend and that they are worthy of being hers. She amazes me that she can share that compassion and love so easily with others. I told her Friday how much I admire her for these actions and she was very humble and said that no she's not that good. But, maybe that's what makes her so compassionate is that she doesn't know any other way to be...

and that, my friends, is the way I want to be .... compassionate, loving, caring, emphatic without trying... I want it to flow out of me with no other reason than; because, I breath.... I want to share that with others and maybe one day ....

Thanks for listening... hope I wasn't ranting too much... just sharing my thoughts; my hope of becoming a better person, my joy of knowing my friend M and a little of the struggles that I along with others may face daily...

Sunday, October 18, 2009


A week late; but, what a day.... creativity in action. My friend, Bekah and I rented a table at a local church bazaar. Well, we did good... not great... but, still enough to make it worth our time. We sat up at 9 am and closed it down at 2 pm. We spent the time talking to one another, our visitors and also the ladies of the church in charge of the bazaar. Bekah knitted like the pro she is and almost finished a set of fingerless gloves during our time together. She is really good at knitting and far out shines my humble skills ... we are talking gloves, hats, sweaters... you name it that girl can knit, read directions and sew the items together. Her little baby hats are precious and like any artist she has a list of to do projects waiting.

Me ... I am your basic scarf type girl when it comes to knitting... basic squares of different sizes. I do crochet, again, your basic squares of different shapes and colors. But, my passion is sewing ... I made a lot of totes, purses and bags. I only sold a couple of bags; but, it was my little crochet dish cloths that sold. I am not discouraged, though. I enjoyed the setting up as much as the crafting... I am a visual type person... I like to arrange, style and decorate. So, my little sets of three dishcloths were together in an old enamel dish pan. My little receiving blankets/burp cloths were tied with pretty ribbons. A little pottery bowl filled with lifesavers for our guests. I have visions for our next sale...

Bekah and I both felt that even though we didn't make big money... we are doing what we want, we love what we are doing, and if we make a little money than it is a bonus. When it is all said and done .... I will sew and crochet even if I were not to participate in craft shows and it also gave us both a few hours to become better friends, to fill a day when husbands and children were busy elsewhere, to meet new people who inquired into our art and also to spend a few guilt free hours crocheting and knitting without feeling that we needed to clean the house, do the laundry or cook the meals. So, I guess ... it was me time... and we all need a little of that every once in awhile. Or, should I say Me and a Friend time... and we all need more of that in our busy lives.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Grosgrain: Lisa Leonard Designs GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Check this site out for some really cute giveaways... they all are very nice and it's hard to choose just one...

Grosgrain: Lisa Leonard Designs GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

The Girl Who Played With Fire

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Pub. Date: July 2009
ISBN-13: 9780307269980
Sales Rank: 85
Series: Millennium Trilogy Series

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.But he has no idea just how explosive the story will be until, on the eve of publication, the two investigating reporters are murdered. And even more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander—the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker who came to his aid in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and who now becomes the focus and fierce heart of The Girl Who Played with Fire.As Blomkvist, alone in his belief in Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation of the slayings, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all.
The official website for Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire
bookmark, share & shelve:

Where do I begin... reading Stieg Larsson's books is bittersweet... I loved his first book The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and also, The Girl Who Played With Fire; however, knowing that there will only be one more .... makes me sad, makes me want more even though there will be no more...

I really enjoyed this book... I held off reading it knowing that it would be a very good read, knowing that the author died and there will only be one more book in the series, knowing that I could lose myself in the story and tag along on an adventure...

After reading the first in the series of three books, this book answered more questions concerning one of the main characters, Lisbeth Salender, and what a character she is... you can almost picture this precocious little person and her little quirks and tics. I can see where Lisbeth came from, what formed her into the person she is and what makes her tick. As with the first book.. Lisbeth is still the unique, off beat, follow your own drummer kind of person and you have to admire her tenacity even if she doesn't always follow the laws of the land and instead has her own set of laws that she lives by.

Then you have Mikael Blomkvist, what a man... do I like him or do I not... he is true to his profession; but, his personal life is a little wild. He seems to be a man who has many partners; but, is able to come across as still being a caring, kind hearted, moral man. Does that confuse you... read the book and let me know if you think he is a very complex character. I actually love the character he is even though his personal life and his business life seem to clash.

The remaining supporting cast, as always, intrigues me, kept me entertained and was totally convincing in the story line. I will be anxious to see where the next book leads, where and who the characters are and how the final story plays out. I hope that the publishers don't continue the series with another author... I feel when they do this the original authors true voice is lost in the telling.

As I was reading this book... I could picture this as a movie... now, I usually don't like movies that are based on books... something is always missing, the movies lack the connection that the books give you, or the actors don't come across true to the books characters. Given the chance, I would love to see this as a movie... as for the actors... who knows who could bring these characters to life?? would the story line play true with the book?? would I enjoy the movie as well as I have the books??

So, if you would like to escape with a good book and like mystery, suspense and thrillers, this book is for you. Enjoy the characters and don't forget to leave a post and let me know if you have read the book and what you thought.
Also, the winner of the book by Pat Conroy, South of Broad was won by Andrea... I only had two responses so it was a little sad; but, I am hoping to have another giveaway again, soon. Hopefully, with more comments.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

South of Broad by Pat Conroy

Category: Fiction
Format: Hardcover, 528 pages
On Sale: August 11, 2009
Price: $29.95
ISBN: 978-0-385-41305-3 (0-385-41305-X)

The publishing event of the season: The one and only Pat Conroy returns, with a big, sprawling novel that is at once a love letter to Charleston and to lifelong friendship.
Against the sumptuous backdrop of Charleston, South Carolina, South of Broad gathers a unique cast of sinners and saints. Leopold Bloom King, our narrator, is the son of an amiable, loving father who teaches science at the local high school. His mother, an ex-nun, is the high school principal and a well-known Joyce scholar. After Leo's older brother commits suicide at the age of thirteen, the family struggles with the shattering effects of his death, and Leo, lonely and isolated, searches for something to sustain him. Eventually, he finds his answer when he becomes part of a tightly knit group of high school seniors that includes friends Sheba and Trevor Poe, glamorous twins with an alcoholic mother and a prison-escapee father; hardscrabble mountain runaways Niles and Starla Whitehead; socialite Molly Huger and her boyfriend, Chadworth Rutledge X; and an ever-widening circle whose liaisons will ripple across two decades-from 1960s counterculture through the dawn of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. The ties among them endure for years, surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, and Charleston's dark legacy of racism and class divisions. But the final test of friendship that brings them to San Francisco is something no one is prepared for. South of Broad is Pat Conroy at his finest; a long-awaited work from a great American writer whose passion for life and language knows no bounds.

This was the first Pat Conroy novel I have read... it will not be the last. I am already looking for his other books and can only hope that they are as good as this one. I received this book as an ARC (thank you so much Doubleday) and started it on a Friday evening only to become so engrossed that I found myself stealing moments all weekend to read about these characters.
We have all had the "high school" experience and I am sure that we all have different recollections of our time and memories of those finest years in our lives. Lets just say for myself... high school years were not the most memorable. But... on to the reason we are here ...

The main characters of this book are a group of teenagers either thrown together or attracted to each other for all those reasons we bond with others. First there is the narrator, Leopold "Leo" Bloom King, nicknamed the Toad. We have the supporting cast of characters the beautiful Sheba and Trevor Poe except their lives are not as beautiful, the downtrodden orphan twins Niles and Starla with more baggage then two people should carry; the "silver spoon in their mouths" Molly and her boyfriend, Chadworth Rutledge X; Chad's sister Fraser, the younger sister in a family where the men rule and Ike, the football coaches son and Betty, another feisty orphan from the St. Jude Orphanage, who are the first African American students to attend the high school in the midst of the 60's racial tension.

We have teenage angst, rebellion, bravery. We have parents steering, guiding or driving the teenagers on their way to becoming the adults they will become good or bad. We have the lives of all these teens as well as their families intertwined over years of struggles, hopes, dreams, abandonment and finally death. We have a group of the most unlikely characters coming together at an age and a time in history where they are able to step out side their comfort zones and become life time friends forming bonds for all the right reasons.

I found this book to be the most wonderful book I have read in a while...Pat Conroy started us on this little story of Leo and his gang and then he added some twists, turns, bends and bumps that just caught me off guard. With a lot of books I have read, I am already forming the endings in my mind, the bad guys, seeing what's beyond the next chapter... this man got me... I did not see the ending coming at all... I was impressed by the way he wrote this book and kept me thinking right up to the last pages.

I came away thinking about the way fate plays such a part in all of our lives and the way our lives are linked to others along the course of one's life. Another question is.. is it nurture or nature, can nurture come from a group other than a family unit and can we change the nature of ourselves to become something other than what we have learned from parental guidance or what society wants us to be.

I have always kept in the back of my mind something my mother told me... words of wisdom... We only know what we have been taught and how we have been brought up as children; so, we have to learn and bring up the next generation differently. Now, in all honesty, I can not say my mother was a perfect parent; but, she was wise enough to tell me this and aware of her own limitations to allow me to aknowledge that I can try to do better with my own children.

Oh, I hope I have done that with my own children.... my children are great people in spite of me... and I can only thank all of the other's in their lives that have helped me.

I would highly recommend this book... it brought me to tears, it raised my hackles concerning injustices of society, it made me question fate and if some people are just doomed even after over coming great odds.

Now, for the really good part....

I would love to share this with YOU... so here's the deal

First and foremost ... leave a comment .... any comment ... let me know your thoughts....

Follow me

Post about my giveaway and add me to your favorites (ok, maybe, I won't be your number #1 favorite; but, list me in the top thousand, at least)

I don't want to confuse you (or really it's me that would be confused) by giving points for each of the above... so it's one entry for any or all and please tell your friends about this giveaway. I would love to share this book with you.

Contest is open from today, September 13th through September 26th.

USA only for now. Thanks.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Insomnia by Stephen King

OK, I ask myself, WHY, did I pick one of his books that has 787 pages?? Well, being the over achiever reader I am... I could do it... and a lot of his others books, I remember too well to be totally unaware of plots, twists and turns. I started this book last weekend and finished this morn... yes, it's a holiday weekend; but, I have a summer cold and didn't feel like doing much more than turning a page every few minutes.
I should give you a little information about my reviews.... I for one, do not want to know too many details, the plot, the characters in detail or the out come of the book. I have had people tell me about a really great book; only to tell me every detail so that when they were done I had no desire to read it since I felt as if I had read the book. So my reviews are a little of what I read and a little of what I gathered from the books. I always feel that after reading any book, I should come away with something... whether it was a little joke, a soul provoking thought, a sentence that spoke to me or just a new way to look at something.

A little blip about this book... Published date January 1995
By Stephen King

Ralph Roberts, an elderly widower, hasn't been sleeping well. He is the main characters with a few of his elderly friends as cohorts. He has just lost his wife and is learning to live without her when he starts to experience sleep problems. As his life spirals through sleepless days other characters are added to the story. A neighbor widow, Lois, who seems to be experiencing the same symptoms as Mr. Roberts. A young wife and her daughter who are dear to both the elderly characters. Along with a few of Stephen Kings darker characters.... and of course the good ones who fight the good fight.

This book was about death and dying, your time on earth and the randomness of people's life spans. It was also about "aura" and how people are perceived. I for one have always associated people with colors... don't ask me why?? and in this book it contained a lot on the subject of people's aura and the meanings of colors, at least from the authors point of view.

The book raised questions in my mind about our time on earth, the reactions of one moment and how it effects others and the future. The aura in the book was interesting to read and I wonder if anyone else associates color with people whether in their moods, health or general well being??

Since I read this book for the first time in 1995 and it is now 14 years later... I will say, age has changed my perspective of this book... not to be a prude; but, language was a little shocking, the plot was good; but, did it really need to be almost 800 pages?? it was a horror story in the fact that it mentions historical politics of the time and the terror of being on the pro or con of an issue. It brings forth issues that are still a "Red Hot" debate in this country. Was it as scary and thrilling 14 years ago when our country had not faced what we have faced in the last years?? We read, view and hear about so much terror and horror in the world that now this book seems pretty tame compared to what is on the evening news.

Overall, I won't ever say a book is not worth reading... this would be a very cruel thing to do to an author who put his time, life and being into it. So, my recommendation will be... this was a book that I wanted to keep reading long after my eyes said no more, a book that I could envision the characters and the settings, a book that made me think outside my little box and ask myself questions that I might not have asked myself before reading this book.
So, if you feel that this is a book you would like to read... beware that you may lose some sleep (no pun intended) by wanting to read a few more pages even after you know you have to get up early in the morn. Beware that even though it is just a story.... some of it sounds just a little too close to reality... a fine line divides truth and fiction.
Thanks for reading my review... please leave comments...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Book Challenge - RIP

I found this book challenge through and saw the many people signed up for and didn't want to be left out... plus; this is something I can do ... this is my favorite section in bookstores, libraries and my own book shelves. I already have a short list in mind

1. Stephen King the early years
2. Dean Koontz the early years
3. The Girl Who Played With Fire
4. Not sure about this one yet...
5. This book was finished Saturday night and I was too early but highly recommend it .... South of Broad by Pat Conroy

Where have I been and why haven't I read his other books?? I can't believe this author has been out there and I have read none of his books. I will be doing a review on this book at a later date... be prepared if you haven't read it ... it is really good, if you have read it leave me a post to let me know your thoughts.

Enjoy the book challenge... I am.

Dark Fantasy.
There are two simple goals to the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Challenge hosted by
Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings:
1. Have fun reading.
2. Share that fun with others.
R.I.P. IV officially runs from September 1st through October 31st. But lets go ahead and break the rules. Lets start today!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Brutal Telling

The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny

I received this book from Minotaur Books ARE and after setting it aside for a while in the "to be read pile"... I received an email from Minotaur's Marketing Manager asking my views and opinions. Well, I picked the book up Friday evening and it called to me all weekend and I finished it Sunday morn. First I have to say I didn't expect it to be so good... and I am sad that I hadn't read it earlier; although, I will be on the hunt for more of her books.

The book includes murder, relationships, mystery, clues and many twist and turns. It starts out with a story between two men; but, whose story is it and why is the story being told. Does the story have a hidden message for the men, for the people that live in the little village or is it a story for you and I to ponder and find a deeper meaning??

The main character is Chief Inspector Camache and his team, the people of the village and far away lands and history. As I was reading this book... I could picture the little village, the people good, bad and a little mislead, I pictured the stores in the little village and the homes they lived in and loved. I was able to feel their fear of the unkown, the love they had for each other, the uncertainty of each other and the knowledge of their faults. Every book has a certain message and to take this little sentence out of the book says it all for me... "But there was no hiding from Conscience" ....

Upon coming to the end of this book... I wanted more... I wanted another couple of hundred pages... I didn't want it to end.. that makes it a good book to me... when it ends you want more .... when it ends you search for more books by the author ... you just feel that this can't be all there is ...

Well, I loved this book and I would like to share it with someone else... so I am having my first giveaway. I am also having this giveaway for my own purpose... I need comments in order to know if I have anything worth being read by others... aren't we all just looking for a connection with others even if it's just a thoughtful word or two??

My giveaway will end September 11th, 2009... I am giving the ARE large paperback The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny and all you have to do .....

leave me a comment --large or small
your name and a way to contact you (email address)
follow me or add me to your favorites

Since this is my first .... USA only... thanks

The winner was #3.... Dixie... thank you all for entering. Come back again for another giveaway coming soon.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

RoadSide Crosses - Jeffery Deaver Review

Finished this book a few days ago... RoadSide Crosses by Jeffery Deaver... as with any of his books (or most books) there's a good person vs the bad person... a shadowy little fellow who could or could not be bad, but, he throws in some thing else with this one... more on that later....

A brief little blurb to bring you up to speed, Kathyrn Dance, main character, works for the California Bureau of Investigation as a kinesics - body language expert on the Monterey Peninsula. Road side crosses start showing up and then mayhem and murder follows closely behind. What comes along the way are good characters, some filler on her family, friends and life and then in between all of that (we do need to know that our books characters are more than their jobs) we follow along solving this murder.

I have to say this book brings out questions regarding the net, socializing on the net, blogs, my space, your space and everyone elses space, tweens, teens and young adults and what to believe or not to believe just because it's posted on the net. The book raised a lot of questions for me regarding the net and I plan on visiting his site to explore more areas in the future.

I thought it was a good book... on a scale of 1 - 10 probably an 8. The one area I didn't enjoy was the rehashing of what kinesic is or the details; however, if you had not read any of his Kathryn Dance books it was necessary. But, that's just me. I've read most of his books and have really enjoyed the Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs series.

Now, to the other part of this book.... it concerns the Internet and all of social networks that are available to one to either notate their lives or to view others via the net. Some questions that I am still pondering not just for myself; but, for others and especially younger people... do we let people know too much, do we give them views of our lives that we shouldn't, do we open our hearts, minds and home hoping only the good people see our sites and hope that the darker side stays away?? Do we open ourselves up to others opinions and are we ready if we receive negative feedback as opposed to positive?? Is this a way for people who can't express their views, opinions, loves and feelings to do so on the net with out feeling inferior and unworthy. Or are we outgoing type A personalities that need a broader audience?? Or do we just want to "meet" new people outside "our little worlds"?

My personal opinions is... I love looking "inside" others homes, lives and seeing how other people live and sometimes "they are just like me"... I am the kind of person who when riding in a car I am looking at other peoples homes, gardens or catching a glimpse of the inside of peoples homes along the way. Who doesn't like to enjoy a photo album of a friends life?? wedding?? new baby?? So, when I am able to "visit" others blogs for a short one time visit or place them in my "favorites" I am able to connect with others across the world that I can relate to and feel comfortable with in the comfort of my own home. I guess, by blogging we are Welcoming people into our homes and as readers we feel Welcomed viewing their blogs. So, Welcome to my blog and I hope you feel Welcomed by me. Honestly, I will try to liven things up around here... a picture or two.. it's that "tech part again"

So, opinions please... leave me a post on your thoughts or concerns...

Mrs. Magoo Reads

You have to check this site out... just the name, how did she come up with it?? her cute little Mrs. Magoo button?? and, she's having an awesome book giveaway for 9 books... if you like to read as I do than who doesn't need a few more books to open and get lost in the pages??

Here's her link...

Just seeing little ol' Mrs. Magoo dressed to the nines is worth the visit... enjoy

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Blogging for Bliss By Tara Frey

Come join the Blogging party... If you are not a blogger, a new blogger or a veteran ... please, read this book... it is wonderful, it is pretty, it has many of my favorite blogs and bloggers featured, and it has technical words that make my brain hurt when I hear them... lovely woman, lovely book take a peek at some new blogs today...

Bliss to me was holding my niece, Christina & her husband Jeff's, five month old twins -- girl and boy, Claire Juliet and Quinn Patrick for the first time today..... bliss... new babes -- not only am I going to be a Grandma; but, I am now a "Great Aunt". Bliss is the smell of babies, the little look of wonder in their eyes, the so soft feel of their skin and the joy they bring to so many people.

So, for today... that was one Blissful moment.... out of a few others.

Bliss such a nice little word.... leave me a comment and tell me what brings Bliss to your life??

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The birds have returned to the nest....

It's been a while.... I have even received a few comments that I just now read and they were positive and they are giving me the boost to write some more....

Well, the month of July is usually a very busy one... I am very busy working 12 hour days where I am employed and my husband, the "house painter" is busy painting between rain drops and day light hours in the day.

This is usually the time when my youngest daughter, Victoria, spends a week with her brother and sister-in-law, Andy & Jessica in Baltimore. This always works out that when Steve and I are at our busiest Victoria is having a grand time and new adventures. She has spent the last 5 - 6 summers doing this and always comes home with stories and great shopping.

Andy, Jessica and Victoria made it home around dinner time Friday night and then Kimberly and Jay stopped down for a cookout and relaxing in the back yard. I was able to take a half day of work and cook and clean (some) and get ready for all the "little birds" to be back in the home nest. It was good to have them all at home, even if it was only a short time after dinner when Victoria and friends disappeared for a "walk" to catch up on the week. I remember, that "walk" word it's code for getting away from the "older people" and being teenagers.

The kids being home is not a 24/7 kind of visit... Andy, Kimberly & Jessica have other family members (ex-husband & grandparetnts) that they need to visit and time spent together as siblings to reestablish the bonds weakened over the milage distance. It's nice to see the connection between my three children and the connection with my son and dauther-in-law and I realize that Steve and I have done a pretty good job raising them in spite of ourselves. As they say, Kids don't come with instruction manuals"... so hopefully, their therapy sessions are few and their good memories are long.

I am so glad that my son, Andy and my son-in-law, Jay are working on a good friendship as well as being related. And my girls are the "best" and have lots in common and among them is the "shopping gene" so I can truthfully say ... I have two sons and three daughters and life is good. At this moment, it doesn't get any better than this.... Oh, did I mention Kimberly is "with child"??? Due date early January so life will be changing and Steve and I will enter a new stage of life... I am going to be a GrandMother....

If you haven't noticed... all of my kids are important to me and I am glad to have them all in one place even if it's just for a little visit. One thing I have learned or want for my children are for them to do, visit, explore, be braver and daring than I have been in my life and to live their life not let their life live them. Sometimes, I feel that I get too busy just "living" and forget to "live in the moment".

So, please take a few moments just for yourself and "live and breath" the moment.... they pass to quickly and are gone in a blink of an eye... slow down and enjoy each lovely moment to it's fullest.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Mothers... it's that time of year when we all think about mothers. I was lucky to have the best Mother possible... I just didn't realize it until I was in my 20's. Maybe the teenage years are a lesson so that when we have our own children we will know that this stage will soon pass.

What can I say about my mother that someone else has not already said about their own mother. We read all about every kind of mother in the aisle of Hallmark and we are reminded to buy our mothers flowers and little gifts to say thanks. But, really what if we had to say it with our own words??

My mother was not one to tell me she loved me out loud ... but, after having my two children I felt the need to know... to hear it... to feel it in my heart. I would speak to my mother every day on the phone and finally one day... I did it.. I told my Mother "out loud" over the telephone wire that "I love you" now at this time she says... "oh, Debb".. and I said say it to me... so she said it "out loud" and said "you know I do I don't have to say it" Well, I've always been the person that I need to see it, hear it and feel it and then I would believe what a person said. Well, with each of our following telephone calls we always ended with "I love you, Mom and she would say "You know I do, Debb. This was usually followed by a little hhmph sound coming from her end of the wire as if she were saying "after all of these years, Debb, you should know".

Well, I was then 35 with three children of my own and it was all to soon to say goodbye. She fought the good fight starting with breast cancer, then lymph nod and at the end cancer of the brain. May 1995 she was referred to a larger teaching hospital three hours from our hometown. She was brave and proud till the end. My sisters and I split care taking duties, while my father and brothers did their best to be helpful in any way they could. This was a humbling experience not only for my Mother; but, also myself... as I was now doing things that she was mortified that I would have to do. My sisters and I all became very intimate with our mother's daily needs. I hope that this made us stronger women if not better daughters and mothers.

My Aunts (of previous post) were also in attendance and did their share of helping, hand holding and praying. During this time... my mother was unable to use the telephone and she would tell me that this was God's way for us "girls" to get use to not talking to her every day. We all lived with in 10 minutes of each other; but, each of us girls had a time we would call our mother and if we were unable to get her we would then call each other to see where she was when she should have been waiting for our calls. This was well before the cell phone in every hand stage.

If you have never taken care of someone with a terminal illness, watch some one who is in pain lose the will to fight anymore, see that the treatments are only prolonging life not curing the disease ... you will know how hard this was for me. I would leave work and go straight to my childhood home with a prayer on my lips ... begging, God, please let her be OK... only to return to my own home after my sister relieved me of my duties with a prayer, Please, dear God, don't let her suffer any more. Sadly, in Sept 95 she passed away with family and friends around her and that's the way she wanted to go. This is a life altering experience and I hope that I was a good daughter to her til the end.

So, if you are lucky to have a mother... hug her, hold her tight, embrace her life, rejoice in her and your time together, honor her and be proud of the woman she was, is and will be; because, life is so short and time is so fast and dear. Precious few of us realize how dear our mothers really our until we no longer have them with us. We forget to honor them for their sacrifices, for their determination to give us a better life than their own, to thank them for instilling their virtues in us, to teach us that life is not always fair; but, that with will and determination we can overcome anything and be a virtuous person.

Happy Mothers Day, Mom... "you know" ... Some say Love is a river... from The Rose... sung at my mother's funeral...yes, that song will bring my tears ... a mother's love or love for a mother... it is one of the deepest loves in the world.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Quilting Sisters

Well, the last Saturday in April was a day full of laughter (and a few tears) and I have to share a little with all of you.

Today was the yearly Friendship Quilter's Club get together... it was formed by two of my aunts back in 2001... now, I don't know if you have aunts; but, you have to have a little background on "my aunts" ... Aunt Jane, Lily, Kate and Toots (Toots is a sister-in-law who became a sister do any of you have that kind of sister-in-law??) .... (now my mother wasn't involved .... but, I do think she would have come along for the great food and laughs if she had been here on earth)

Sorry, back to "the Aunts" ... now my mother, my Aunt Sue, Charlotte and Viv were the younger sisters... so they never led the troops.... but, Aunt Jane, Lily, Kate and Toots .... they were and are the troop leaders... they were the team... they were the support system through out my life ... they were there and did it all.... if one of them did it they all did it together.

Aunt Lily told the tale of how the quilt exchange came to be.... Aunt Kate and Lily were quilting together and they both came up with the idea of making 30 - 12 inch quilt blocks and trading them with each other ... well, Aunt Jane heard about this and had to get in there and then along came Toots and then they had to get the daughters and nieces involved and then it was sisters getting sisters involved.

They are a really devious bunch... first they invite you, then once you show up ... they start showing you all of the wonderful projects they have done... much oohing and aahing... then they feed you.... then they do a little vote for next years block and by that time you are also voting because the "sisters" say Oh, You can do it ... it's easy... and there you are your a member... and you have one year to complete 30 - 12 inch blocks... so why is that some of us have pulled all nighters to get our blocks done... we've sewn together and taunted each other with phone calls with how many blocks we have done or need to do... oh, they are sly ones... these "sisters/fristers...

So, you see "the Aunts" started this wonderful little get together of Aunts, Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Cousins, Nieces and most important the Fristers... I read that a Frister is a Friend who becomes a Sister. We have many Fristers who have become "sisters" in the years that we shared. We shared some good laughs today and had a really nice lunch... nothing like a bunch of women preparing lunch for each other that get the competitive juices flowing. We laughed and shared a lot of memories of the past .... of years gone by and also the years of quilting. We shared good news and bad.

Sadly, in the past couple of years we have lost two of the founding members... Aunt Jane first and then Aunt Kate this past year. Needless, to say there is a void there and we are doing our best to continue on and honor them with our perseverance. Another "Frister" also lost her mother this year and we were all able to feel the sorrow and loss that she and my two cousins were feeling.

Needless, to say... Aunt Lily was ready to hand over the responsibility that she has under took all of those years. When she asked for a volunteer... my sister, Brenda, gladly raised my hand into the air and I was voted to be the leader... it's a scary feeling... I am one of the youngest cousins... I am no leader... I follow... I need words of encouragement...I am the one that always tagged along.... I was the "quiet" one.... I need to not sit next to my sister any time anyone needs volunteers.

Truthfully, I am thrilled... I was voted in (yes, most were relatives and you know blood is thicker than water... although, I was the only nominee... we won't think about that) I had a really good time with this... I felt like I was the Queen of the Quilters my "Ladies in Waiting" were also having a lot of fun at my expense... curtsying and such... Sorry, but, I let them... they will need the practice for next year....

Seriously, I know with all of the "Sisters" I will have help, encouragement, a little laughter and some tears...

Just a little personal note... if you would like to come to next years quilt exchange... the block is "very easy" and you would have lots of fun... just come to see all of the lovely quilts and enjoy the company and the good food.... really, it's easy... seriously... easy .... trust me I am learning from some of the best quilters (and arm twisters) around... let me know... we would love more Fristers to join... say it after me.... "it's easy.... are your eyes getting heavy... it's easy... just keep saying that"

Friday, April 24, 2009

Quilted Bags.....

I am going to share some pictures of the little projects I have been working on.... maybe

First, my sister, Brenda and I spent a day making quilt blocks for an annual Quilters Exchange that we participate in every year. The quilters are a variety of women with varying degrees of talent, the gift for gab, projects that we have worked on during the past year and also share a meal. Every year, my sister and I hope that we get a really easy block to make.... we make 30 blocks to exchange having enough to make a full size quilt when put together... and every year we say we are really going to get the blocks done early... and every year we seem to be down to the wire and sewing our little fingers to the nubs. As of today, I think we both are halfway done. The pressure is on.

Now, my other project that I have been working on is a tote bag filled with spa related goodies that will be chanced off at work to reduce some costs of our retirement/Christmas party in December. (That ol' E word again raises it's ugly head --economy). I really like how it turned out... I followed a pattern; but, adjusted it to suit me and made some other alterations to make it "me". Does that mean I developed a pattern or did I just tweak someone else idea?? I worry about that ... I don't want to infringe on someone's artistic talents.

I have to tell you that I have made a few purses in the past few months and friends and family are talking me into selling them at local craft shows... this may be a possiblity if not a dream.

So, on to the bags.... the first bag I made with this pattern and design is the one being chanced off for the party. I really like ME (Mary Englebreit) and her "fun fabrics". The second one is very "Tuscany looking material"... and I have to tell you that while I was sewing this one... turning, twisiting, inside/outside... pulling, tugging, and getting a little light headed... I felt like I was "birthing" this bag... Hey, it's only me in my little sewing room and the music had ended so my mind was just going... So, when I thought about the "birthing of this bag" I also thought if I did birth this bag it needed a name... so I am calling it - Sophia... what do you think?? Well, then the ME bag cried out "what about me?? I know, she's your favorite, huh?? so I named her Lucy... doesn't she remind you of LUCY... the one and only Lucy there can ever be... just fun and full of frolic and adventure...

So, there you have it ... some pictures of my endeavors... of my attempts at artistic pursuits... of a way to go in my little sewing room, turn on some music and just let that little ol' sewing maching do it's majic.... nothing like a little room of your very own, some music, crafty pursuits, the solitude and time to think to make a person very happy....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

In Search of.....

In search of... what are you searching for?? have you been searching long?? do you have help in your search?? do you think you will find what you are looking for?? have you given up your search?? will you search forever?? are you searching for answers?? are you searching for others?? are you searching for yourself?? are you searching for something bigger than everything else??

I don't know about you; but, I have searched for many things in my life. From the little to the big and from the least important to the most dear. Sometimes I wonder if that's what we are put on this earth for... to search. To search for the truth and righteousness above all else. To search for love and caring; because, who in their right mind would search for hate and carelessness?? To search for peace... not world peace; because, after all these years I don't think that's a possibility. Maybe just peace and solitude in my own little corner of the world.

To search for a way to make it through the next ten minutes if not the next hour or the day ahead. Sometimes the search is an easy one... and you reach the destination in a decent amount of time... other times it may be days, weeks or years .... maybe it will be a lifetime.... doesn't this search give us a purpose in life??

Do you sometimes feel that your life is just "going along" with no direction or aim?? Do you feel that everyday is just another day followed by many more just like the one before?? Do you feel that the world is rushing by and you can't keep up?? I think, whether we are searching for something, someone or ourselves... we are destined to travel on the path we are on until we take the first step down an untraveled one. In order to pursue a fulfilling life... we need to search out new experiences, change the status quo, shake things up, rock our world a little or at the least get out of our comfort zones and live a little.

So, whether you are in search of your car keys, all the unanswered questions in the universe, world peace or Him... don't stop searching... you will find it when you least expect it and you will realize that your needs have been fulfilled. Keep searching.... when you cease to search you cease to be....

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Joy... every one's talking about it... have you heard about Joy?? Do you feel Joy?? Do you want some Joy?? Do you already have Joy?? Who or what brings you Joy?? Do you allow others to take your joy from you?? Do you allow bad circumstances or situations take your joy?? Do you find you are Joy less??

Everyone has to have a little Joy in their lives... what would life be without Joy?? Joy can come along and surprise even the most downtrodden person and bring them a smile, a little pitter patter pat in their heart and a little moment of reflection and thanks. A lot of things bring me Joy... the usual are ... my children, husband, family, sisters, brothers, parents and friends... but, what else brings joy to me....

A sincere smile or a nice comment... sometimes that alone can get me through the darkest days. A husband that loves me no matter my deepest, darkest "leave me alone" moods... he loves me even when I am unlovable. My children can give me such Joy by just a look, a hug or a pat or just a smile because they are my children. My sisters who laugh with me as well as at me and still loves me just because they do. My true friends when I need one really badly and when I just want to be left alone.

Joy can come to us in such a way that it's a pleasant surprise... something as little as a kind word when you really need one, a nice cashier at the store, a helpful clerk, someone letting you enter a long line of traffic... what simple acts of Joy have you encountered?? Do you return that Joy?? If not to that person than to the next person you meet?? Isn't that what life is all about... encouraging each and everyone we meet, to bring Joy into lives that may not have any Joy or needs a little more, bringing our loved ones joy as well as sharing it with strangers.

With every positive there is always a negative... do you know people, situations or things that steal your Joy?? I have encountered a few people that seem to take the Joy out of my life, situations where it is hard to see the Joy and certain things that I really struggle with to maintain my Joy. I am trying to not let this happen, by limiting my exposure to people who like to steal my Joy, I am trying to stay out of situations that steal or deplete my Joy and staying away from things that suck the Joy right out of my life. This is my life (as well as your life is yours) and it's a precious commodity and we only have a certain amount of time in our lives... why allow others, situations or things take our precious Joy???

When a person is Joyful I think that it can be a positive not only for them; but, the people they encounter everyday. Think about the Joyful person that you meet ... do you not try to reflect their Joy onto others after meeting them?? Don't you feel a little more upbeat after the encounter?? Do you feel an uplifting of your mood?? Don't you want to share and spread the joy among others??

Have you ever met someone that is joyless?? ... downtrodden?? ... down in the dumps?? ... woe is me?? ... nothing is good in my life?? ... I have it so bad?? ... my life isn't as good as yours?? I have been used and abused so why look up and try to find Joy?? How do you come away from these encounters... with me it's like I soak up their negativity and question my own Joy and feel as if I shouldn't be as Joyful due to their negativity and the "lack of" in their life. Almost, as if ... if I have Joy in my life it's unfair to show my Joy when others have none. I am firmly saying to you and myself... don't let this happen... your Joy is your own and don't let someone take it due to their insecurity, bad mood, bad outlook on life or their nae saying. Don't rely on others to bring you Joy... bring it on yourself, share it, spread it around and savour each Joyful moment.

It is hard for me when I encounter negativity that I don't also "catch it" so to speak... everyone wants to belong to the club, be part of the group, be part of the cliche; but, if it's negative it can't be good for you. It just steals your Joy and happiness and brings you to a cross road ... do you choose to be part of the group or do you choose your own path and seek Joy?? I for one want to pursue Joy and Joyful moments yet to be... find Joy in the little things as well as the big... I want to dwell in the Joy of each moment and let it fill me up.... I want to share that Joy with others in the hope that they spread the Joy far and wide.... and I feel that at some point that Joy will come full circle .... that the Joy will be unlimited to all....

I have always been someone who wants to be "part" of the team; but, secretly I enjoy being a loner. I long to be part of "the group"; but, realize that it goes against my inner peace if it is among negative people. I find my Joy in very simple things, too ... quilting, sewing, reading, decorating and improving my home with "touches of me", I enjoy gardening and I enjoy nothing more than spring, summer and fall and the opportunity to sit on my front porch swing and watch the river flow while I talk to family and friends, read, crochet or just daydream the time away.

Where do you find your Joy?? Is it in the most simplest of things?? Isn't that what Joy is .... just the small things in life that make us stop, think and smile to ourselves... we received Joy and we were touched. Now, if only we share that Joy with others is the world complete... Share your Joy... Be Joyful ... Spread the Joy and see what blooms in your life as well as others....

as always, please leave me a post or contact me.... info on left sidebar.... thanks, Debb

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Well, today I have been thinking about change... change is a really hard thing to do when you have people who are dead set against the changes enacted. Take a look at your own home... changes are seldom made without a little grumble here or there... where did you move this?? why do we have to do it this way?? when can we do this??... now, granted you may have moved "it" to a better place to organize your home better or just because you were tired of where "it" was... or you start doing something differently in order to save time and/or money or it's just not feasible to do it at a certain way anymore.

Now, take the workplace ... with this "economy"... we are all facing changes that we may not like... we may actually hate them, hate the people who are enacting the changes, even hate the people who are part of the change even if they have no say in being part of the changes, we may hate the changes that we are being made to use ... instead of doing it "the way we have always done it" we are in a stage where to be prosperous and stay afloat we have to make changes in order to compete in the marketplace. Changes could be enacted through staffing changes, work routines, hours of operations or the most dreaded "improvements made in the technology" .... Egads... computers... can you believe that there are still people "out there" who fear computers?? Who fear the time saving changes that they are programmed to do?? That fear that their job will be replaced if programs are designed to speed up the work day?? I don't think computers can do everything (yet); but, I think computers and programs are needed in order to make businesses viable in todays world.

Change is good... if everyone is on board with the changes; but, with everything in life ... not everyone will agree and there will be nae sayers and doubters. I have been one of the few who has welcomed change and was on board for the changes needed to keep the company I work for up-to-date and competitive with other companies. Sometimes it's a very lonely place to be... why, fight change when it's going to happen with you or without you... make the best of it and fasten your seat belts for a bumpy ride till all the bumps are smoothed out....

Have you noticed change in your own life due to the economy?? Do you see it where you work?? Are you doing anything to ensure that both your home and your workplace remains solvent during this down turn in the economy?? How are you saving at home?? At work??

Are you agreeable to change or do you like everything the way it has always been?? Does change disrupt your life in a major way or do you flow with change and hope for the best??

Think about all of the changes that you have seen in your life this far... I am amazed at the changes I have seen.... not only in my own life, my childrens, the world, the economy, the technology .... if you can believe this I can remember when a boy in my sister's class got the first hand held calculator... now, that was big... this would have been in the 70's... the 1970's that is.... can you remember any changes that just rocked your world?? OK, now think about what you would do if you didn't have them?? Sorry, I live by a river; but, I don't want to pound my clothes on the rocks to wash them. Change is good... it's all in the way you flow....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Oh, Brother....

Oh, Brother.... this is what my daughter, Kimberly, was probably saying this past weekend... Andy and Jessica and Kimberly and Jay made their way to New York City by foot, car, bus and train and spent the weekend bonding as only siblings could.

To give you a little background ... Andy will be 30 this October and Kimberly will be 25 this coming June and Victoria was 15 the beginning of March. Spacing... I had three children in three different decades... the 70's, the 80's and the 90's.... no, I am not going there... I'm done.

Since, Andy and Kimberly were basically a team, until Victoria came along when they were 10 and 15 years old, they formed the sibling bond that only comes with years of tormenting and teasing each other. As, two children growing up together the stage was set... talk about the fights, the tears, the yelling, the hair pulling, the gnashing of teeth... and that was just me. They could love as well as they could fight and they do each very well. Big brothers also come up with their own form of "capital punishment"... the dreaded "kiss the knee and I'll let you up routine".

Brother... it is nice to have a brother that looks out for you and cares enough about your life to make suggestions and guide you in the easiest routes. OK, maybe it sounds bossy; but, it's really love. Having a big brother is never being alone and always having someone to lean on when your really down and out. Also, it's a real plus if your brother and your husband are good friends, too. It keeps the boys busy and gives Kimberly and her sister-in-law, Jessica time to shop.

During the past weekend, I received many calls from both children and everything seemed to be going well. I did mention, I didn't want to see anything on NYC news about siblings fighting... all in all I think they had a really good time. Check out pictures at Lemmo Photography link on the side bar. Beautiful pictures .... awesome photographer... if I must say so myself.

Since, Victoria is so much younger she has missed this particular sibling bonding routine passed down by generations of sisters and brothers. Her bonding with her older brother was so much more tender given the age difference... upon bringing Victoria home from the hospital.. Andy developed the "Lemmo Pat" to perfection... as Victoria slept in her crib or in our arms... he would "pat" her little shoulder.

So, whether your brother "makes you kiss your knee" or he gives you a little pat on the shoulder... just know ... that is love and that's how he shows it....

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's all in the delivery....

What a title... think about this... someone tells you really great news, pays you a compliment, offers their help; but, says it in such a way that it is delivered with a ho-hum attitude... are you going to readily respond to this person in a positive light..... no, you will receive it the same way it is delivered no matter the scope of the news.

Now think about someone coming to you and telling you the greatest news, paying you a compliment, offering their help, being kind and generous and you pick up on the sincerity of this person and feel that you are open to their words and deeds.... it's all in the way it's delivered ..... it's the delivery that we will remember.....

OK, now picture this in a negative way...someone points out your faults, your mistakes, your limitations, your inadequacies and it's delivered in such a way that you feel small and very unworthy... well, your going to feel beat down, defensive, your going to walk away feeling really bad about yourself and wondering if you can ever be as perfect as some people.

But, if you take another look and someone points out the same faults and it's delivered with tact and consideration of your feelings. If it is delivered knowing that you are doing your best, that you are trying and it's just a reminder that you need to be more aware of your faults... if it is pointed out in a way that is fair and unbiased .... this is a little easier to take then hearing it from someone that is not being considerate of your situation.

At times, I think we all feel that "our family, our job, our problems, our health, our issues" are the only thing that matters first and foremost in the world ... that we tend to see our self in a different light than what we see others ....that we may be too ready to judge others with out knowing the "whole story". Try putting yourself into some ones shoes and see what they are facing, dealing with, trying to handle in their lives and their job before you are so apt to judge someone at face value. I know for myself... I seem to get wrapped up in my own life, my children's, my family and in my own little corner at work; but, when we live and work with others we need to be more aware of others and the challenges that we all face in our daily lives.

Next time you find yourself either on the giving or the receiving end of a message... just remember.... that it's all in the delivery .....

this is a little bit off subject; but, check this out.... now we are talking delivery... .... this will make you weepy... get the Kleenex ... Susan Boyle delivered....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday....

Today, Easter Sunday... we may not be all of one faith or have the same measure of our faith; but, just wanted to share something that touched my soul this morn...

"Have we allowed others to see the Lord in us??
By our words??
By our actions??

Now this made me stop and think for awhile... now, I am not going to go on about religion and faith - as I feel this is a personal choice and I am sure that we all have our differences in our faith, our Gods, our beliefs and our religious tenets.

But, reread the question and insert whatever other word you want where the Lord is?? (not that My Lord is replaceable) Think of it like this .... as a child we are always aware of our actions and words due to the fact that we want to reflect well on our parents. Then as we grow... we may stay single, marry, divorce, become parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, become employees, employers, friends, neighbors, co-workers... and so many other titles in there...

Now think about that phrase and how our actions and words impact and reflect on others... I for one need to be a little more reflective and choose my words with more care... I for one need to be more aware that my actions may be a reflection of me as a person and it may not be a good one at times... I need to know that I am being seen for what I say and for what I do... and by doing so I am either a really good example or I am in need of some improvements along this road called life. How do you feel about your own words and actions?? Are you aware of your words and how they are perceived?? Are your actions an example of the person you are or want to be??

I guess, what I am trying to say... is who or whom ever you look to for affirmation either in your faith or your daily life... will your words or actions make one proud - or make them feel disappointed??

Just a thought to ponder...

Disclosure... these are just my thoughts ... not a hard and fast rule .... just me trying to make it through whatever the day brings at me... if these words resonate with you feel free to follow them, too. If not, so sorry; but, maybe tomorrows thought for the day will be what you need to hear.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Nothing like a vacation day...

Since I had Good Friday off from work... I also took Thursday as a vacation day... to get a jump start on the weekend. Talk about a work out... started out at the usual time I go to work, 7:30 am, at the local WalMart store... did some Easter shopping and I always get my Yoplait Yogurt there because they have a wider variety of flavors then the little grocery store near my house.

I was even prepared with coupons and my "save the planet" reusable bags... I also want to mention the really great Yoplait insulated tote that I won from Bargain Briana....this was another one of my lucky wins... insulated tote, free yogurt, water bottle and note pad. The tote is really nice with a zipper and handles that can be used as shoulder strap style.

After, I loaded up the car I went to my favorite store in my little town... CVS. I really watch my coupons, my extra bucks and all my other offers... I was really saving today... in a previous visit I transferred two prescription and had 2 - $25.00 gift cards... a few rain checks and some free coupons. Well, it started out at 104.00 ... minus coupons, free, extra bucks... down to $54.16 ... still with me.. OK, $50.00 gift cards... $4.16. But, that isn't all... I didn't receive my $5.99 off for a double pack of Crest toothpaste... so they gave me $5.99 cash back. I think it was worth the trip for them to pay me to shop and give me $2.00 on top of everything. This doesn't happen very often; but, I was thrilled. With the economy the way it is I try to watch everything I buy, use coupons, watch sales, price check and really watch while the sales clerks are ringing up the order.

Your probably wondering what did she buy?? Well, the usual... TP, papertowels, feminine products, toothpaste, facial cleansers, body lotions, shaving products, laundry detergent, and even a bottle of water. These are things that we use every day and I splurged on facial products for my daughter and body lotion for myself.... Jergens original scent... cherry almond this is a "grandma" smell, but, I love it.

Next it was a little trip to an area town... DuBois, to JoAnn Fabrics... well, I decided since I had the time and had not been to the local Goodwill "Boutique" for a while... stopped in... my lucky day... 50% off.. yes!!! Started browsing and came to coats ... spied a really great Anne Klein black toggle button coat... looked like my size... tried it on... it is my size.. looked a little harder and found a brown coat by Ann Taylor Loft for my oldest daughter. Found a few other little things and headed for the check out. The two coats were $4.50 each. I don't know about you; but, that was one great buy. So, far my day was going pretty good. I then called my oldest daughter, Kimberly, to see if she would like to meet me for lunch... drive through and then a little visit while we ate. Yes, the coat fits and even though it's brown... I talked her into it by telling her to add a little splash of color with a scarf and it wouldn't be so "blah brown". The brown was a little drab... this coming from a young lady that wears a lot of black.

Next stop was JoAnn's Fabric... well, I boosted the economy a little with purchases there. I bought some material to finish a couple of little quilted throws and some really cute material for totes. Pictures to come... later. Then headed home... but, took a side tour and stopped at McDonalds... got two sweet teas... used my $2.00 from CVS... one for the road and one for later... love those sweet teas...

Have a great weekend....