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Monday, June 26, 2017

Who is Rich? By Matthew Klam : an honest review for Penguin Random House's First Read.






Who Is Rich? 

Rich is a man suffering from an average life with middle age anxiety.Who has an affair and buys a $3,000.00 bracelet just to get back at his wife and then gives to his extremely wealthy paramore who doesn't need a gift at all! 

I have to be honest, this book was not for me. I tried to read it and give it a chance as the writing was quite well done. Matthew Klam has a way with spinning a yarn. I know I will have to read more of his work. 

However, I am not sure if it was the bouncing back and forth between Rich's memories between his relationship with his wife or the affair with Amy, that I just couldn't stomach the subject matter. 
I am not often approached to read adulatory stories. The love Rich has for his for children was heartwarming. His desire to feel needed, vaguely familiar as emotions I have seen with family members who has strayed from their spouse, and his lust for physicality was just heartbreaking to me. I am not sure if it is best for a couple to stay together just because of the kids as both Rich and Amy do in their prospective marriages. 

I felt as I was reading the book that Rich ponders over the same issues over, and over again in the matter of a space of 96 hours that he is becoming pandantic and pathetic. He definitely was not my type of man. Maybe this book goes over better when a guy reads it? Sorry. I really wanted to like it, I just didn't. 



It is with sadness that I rate this book 3 stars
 as the writing, as I said before, was well done. 



Thank you First Reads for giving me a chance to read and review this book.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Into The Water by Paula Hawkins

Beckford, UK a place with many, many deaths relating to their river. Starting back in the ages of witchcraft and misunderstanding...

Like the movement of a river, this books takes twists, turns and definitely has it's depths of danger and intrigue. Below is a little introduction of some of the characters in the story and I don't think any spoilers. I hope you enjoy this review and intro. 😁



I read Girl on the Train and thoroughly enjoyed it. When I found out, through Booksparks, that Paula Hawkins had written the book Into the Water I knew I had to read it!  I really liked the character development from the very start of the story. I liked that we were able to meet each person in their own words in their own time. I thought I knew what was happening and who "did the murders, but I was WRONG.  Yes, I admit it, I guessed wrong! That is the sign of a good writer in my opinion.

Jules Abbott, hasn't talked to her sister Nel for a very long time and now she will never be able to talk to her again. Nel died falling off a cliff at the infamous river's Drowning Pool, the one place that she swam in every day since she was a child. Jules didn't think that Nel would commit suicide, but what did she know? She didn't know who Nel was as an adult, did she?  Now,  Jules is going home to Beckford to take care of details of Nel's funeral and become Nel's daughter, Lena's guardian.

Lena's best friend Katie, died a few months before her mother, also committing suicide. Now she really had no one except for Jules. Lena doesn't know know her aunt, actually she hates her, because she never answered her mother's calls, never spent any time with her mother or her, and still, the nerve of her! She thought she could just come and take over, go through her mother's things and insert herself into Lena's life, like she had been around since Lena was little. Who did Jules think she was?

Detective Inspector Sean Townsend and Detective Sergeant Erin Morgan, are trying to get to the bottom of the mystery of why so many woman have died around the Beckford river. will they find answers?  Sean's mother herself committed suicide in the river. He has zoned it all out of his mind just like his father told him to, so why does he feel as if everything is all wrapped up together in a tight little package?

Have you ever read a book that you just didn't know how it was going to end?  That is that book!  Did she or didn't she? Did he or didn't he?  Only one in town knew all the secrets and no one, not a single person, but partly Nel listened to her. IS that why Nel died?  Well, you won't find out until you read Into the Water! 😉


I give Into the Water: 5 stars!
Q:  Have you read Into the Water yourself?  What did you think?
If you are local and would like to read it, I have a copy you can borrow. Just let me know.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa



Who would've known that some German refugee's fleeing during WWII would have gone to Cuba?  I sure didn't. This Historical Fiction book is about a girl, Anna who receives a packed of pictures from her father's aunt Hannah. Without realizing what the connection between the little girl and her great aunt is, she starts looking into the life of a father she never knew.

Anna Rosen's dad disappeared while her mother was pregnant with her. Her mother can't tell her much about him as she hadn't been married to her for very long herself when he disappeared.
Her mother struggles with missing him, raising Anna and moving on with life without her husband.

We meet Hannah Rosenthal first though, the year of her 12th birthday. She lives in the middle of Berlin with her mother and father in an apartment her family owns. She is contemplating killing her parents as a protection of herself: "I was Almost Twelve Years Old when I decided to kill my parents." Her best friend Leo is the only person she knows that views life honestly and openly. She loves her father and puts up with her mother whom she calls, "The Goddess". Her family is wealthy. It is a few weeks after Kristalnatch and the threat from the "Ogres" is more dire than ever. She doesn't look Jewish and while wandering around town gets photographed by a man who puts her on the cover of Das Deutsche Madel. She becomes the image of the perfect German Girl. Ironic as she is Jewish.

I won't give away anymore of the story. You will just have to read it to find out "the rest of the story". I have read many, many books on WWII, the Holocaust and Jewish treatment in Germany, but this book was a new perspective for me. I didn't know that Jewish refugees went anywhere but to the US, Canada or other parts of the European nations. I was drawn in from the first paragraph and couldn't put it down.

All the women involved in this story had their own levels of strength, but I was impressed most of all by Hannah and her desire to honor her parents, Leo and the life she once had. It did hurt my heart that she stuck around Cuba, a place she never thought her family would permanently reside.  Living in one country that stifled peoples freedoms and having to leave that birthplace to be forced to live in another stifling country is beyond my comprehension. It also hurts that Canada and the US didn't even attempt to take the St. Louis's passengers into their countries. It is unfathomable to me, that they would rather have these poor people head back to Germany instead of protection them from the horrific situation of concentration camps.


Mr. Correa shows through his novel that he has researched in depth the passengers of the St. Louis and what it was like in Germany and Cuba at the time of the story. I once again felt like I was part of the story. Fantastic read.

I rate this 5 star for character development, and topic.





Sunday, May 28, 2017

Silence by Shusaku Endo

“Lord, why are you silent? Why are you always silent...?” 
― Shūsaku EndōSilence

Silence is filled with non-quiet moments that make you want to scream, "Dear God, please save these poor Japanese people!" It is a lesson in the decisions that religious people make to protect themselves from the torture in dictatorship ran countries where freedom of religion doesn't exist. 

Endo does a great job of helping you to feel the stress that Father Rodrigues goes through with every step of his journey from Portugal to Japan. He and his missionary companion Garpe go in good faith to find Father Ferreira a priest whom the word around the Christian world says apostatized from the Catholic Church. Rodrigues and Garpe were Ferreira's students, they don't believe that he could have become an apostate.

Many times Rodrigues talks to the Lord of Chicago, Inoue who argues that the Catholic faith is not for the Japanese. During one of those conversations Inoue argues that the Japanese don't need the christian religion, they have the Buddha, they have their religion and that the Catholic faith is a false teaching, an untruth for the Japanese. This is how Rodrigues answers: 


"'according to our way of thinking, truth is universal, said the priest... a moment ago you officials expressed sympathy for the suffering I have passed through. One of you spoke words of warm consolation for my traveling thousands of miles of sea over such a long period to come to your country. If we did not believe that truth is universal, why should so many missionaries endure these hardships? It is precisely because truth is common to all countries and all times that we call it truth. If a true doctrine were not true alike in Portugal and Japan we could not call it "true".' " - Rodrigues, Silence

Garpe, the priest and companion drowns in the ocean as Rodrigues watches, while trying to save some of their congregation before the faithful japanese are drowned themselves. Rodrigues in the end is not as strong as he believes as Garpe was to save the japanese people. The journey through his belief becomes parallel to the one that Christ took on his way to eternal life until the very end of Christ's Martyrdom. Their guide Kuchijiro fills the role of Judas. At the point right before death Rodrigues must decide what it means to save his people: for them to die for his teachings and their faith or for him to die as a martyr never backing down from his belief. 

“I did pray. I kept on Praying. But prayer did nothing to alleviate their suffering.”   Shūsaku EndōSilence

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda



Reading All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda was definitely an adventure. No, not an adventure, it's a psychological thriller. I loved every twist and turn.


Nicolette Farrell left her small close knit town when she was 18 years old after her best friend Corrine disappeared. 10 years later she gets a mysterious call from her brother and she gets sucked back in to a place she never wanted to visit again.  This thriller is written in a unique fashion. I won't tell you about that because i don't want to ruin any of the fun you will encounter.


This is the 1st book I've read of Ms. Miranda's.  I was blessed to be able to talk to her about All The Missing Girls



My Question: "Megan- what part of writing the story was a surprise even to you? Did your characters develop their own stories that you didn't plan?" 


Megan's Answer: "So many elements end up surprising me as I write! This is one of my favorite parts about writing too -- I love to discover something I never expected when starting out. So many of the characters ended up becoming different than who I thought they were at the start. It was like I was uncovering more about them, just as Nic was." 


The intrigue of the muse has always gotten to me. We don't control our characters, they control us. We are just their mode of transportation into the world of their story. 
Nic seems to be unemotional, selfish woman during the whole story, however if you really analyze her reactions you see she is doing everything she can just to hold her mind together. Will she decide to face her past? Will we find out where Corinne disappeared to and do we ever really know who, in that small little town who is actually telling the truth? That is what you will wonder as you go through the life of Nicolette, her family and close friends. 
*I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The written format was perfect for the story. The characters were full of depth and I felt like I could be living in the midst of them all. Not that I want to be part of a murder mind you, but they were real flesh and bone to me. I feel that is the sign of a great author! 

I am now anxiously, anticipating reading her new book, The Perfect Stranger. 


My Rating: 
It's that good!
Read it for yourself and see if you agree with me...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I Choose You

"If you’re in relationship, I invite you to ask yourself this question: “Why am I choosing my partner today?” Bryan Reeves












I was asked the other day (and a few weeks back by two different people) how as passionate people, with extremely different personalities, Matt and I have made it to (almost) year 28 of our marriage, and year 30 of being together without killing each other. My snarky remark would be, "why in the world would I want to re-train someone?" 


My honest answer is, it's not always easy.  

After all, we are complete opposites. He is the yin, I am the yang... I talk a lot, he listens. Our love languages don't always blend well together, I am a communicative and physically demonstrative person; he is a service giving person. We've had to learn through trial and error how to make those two languages blend tightly together. We've learned to let things go, we've learned to go to different corners of the house, to think over our responses before we say something we might regret. We've learned to continue on and push through the difficulties because, we choose everyday. Let me repeat that: we choose every; single; day; to be together. 

You might have noticed my use of the semicolon to stop and pause those words. It's intentional. Sometimes you have to stop, pause, and think about what you want to accomplish, move on with those steps in mind, or stagnate and let a relationship die. This is what happens the majority of the time, when a marriage (or any relationship) gets beyond the honeymoon period and you haven't figured out how to blend your different upbringings together. 

Some people chose to get divorced, others choose to coexist and revolve around each other. The more successful marriages, i think, might coexist for a bit, then plug on through to relearning to love each other. 

In other words, they chose to find qualities they love about their spouse and focus solely on that, until they can over look the things that bother them and rediscover the other things they loved about their spouse from the start. Longevity is about give and take. Sometimes you give and other times you take, but you can NEVER, EVER, be the only one giving, or be selfish enough to only be taking, or you become unresponsive to the other spouses feelings and the connection can severe and die away permanently. 

Ask our children, it wasn't always sunshine and flowers. There were tears, yelling, silent treatments and trying to push the other person to be like ourselves. Trying to get him to think the way I did. Him trying to get me to be as active as he was. When an extremely active, wilderness loving person marries a bookworm, who is content to soak up the rays at the beach, compromise is needed. This makes for growing pains from each person in the relationship. Growth is a good thing. Not always when you don't want to and especially not on someone else timetable. Tears I tell you, lots and lots of tears... 

Moving often didn't help. I would just get settled into my herd of friends; the house decorated the way I liked; the kids doing great in school and after school programs batted up and flowing daintily, and bam! off we'd go to another town in another state. I thrive on socializing with people, I don't thrive on change per se. I would pray a lot that our move was what was best for each of us and like Ruth, "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay," my place was with my husband whom I loved. 

Communication is key. This is what the experts say and I completely agree.

I tend to want to communicate through a problem, "If there's a problem, Yo, I'll solve it." sorry, certain words always shoot off a song in my head...
I'm sure it drives my "think before you speak husband" absolutely batty when I push to get him to face my way of slamming through the problem, from the second I see there is a problem. I,  going to be straight up blunt and honest here, have a personality that doesn't handle criticism well.  I blame being a Gemini and an Extroversion Intuitive (and Sensory: I equal out on that and Intuitive. I think it depends on my mood on the day I've taken the Myer-Briggs test) Feeling PerceptionThat's my story and I'm sticking to it. This makes communication hard when talking to me. Luckily I married a man, who over the years, has learned how to "handle" me when I need refocusing. I don't like the word correction, it sounds like a parent is disciplining a child. He is not my parent, I am not his child, even if I act like one sometimes. 😉 

Like I said, he is the Yin, I am the Yang, or as Rocky Balboa says,  “I dunno, she's got gaps, I got gaps, together we fill gaps.” Matt fills my gaps. He is steady, strong, sincere, and stalwart. I am mind blazing, full steam ahead, all over the place. I tend to have a hard time focusing on any one thing. He has helped me to learn to focus and complete tasks before starting on something new when it comes to serious ambitions, say like work or school; besides that, I am all about playing and having fun.  I'm a "jack of trades and a master of none". Luckily for me, I tend to pick things up easily. Unluckily, I want to try everything, so I tend to move on to step 1050 when I should really be on step 2: Come on people, The big picture is visualized, let's not have to plan it to death, let's just get It done, before I lose interest!! That is my thinking, why waste time when you know what you want to accomplish. 
As Nike's logo says, "Just do it!". This drive my husband, the planner, nuts. He sees the big picture, but wants to make sure all the steps aren't missed or it might not turn out right. I've always believed if you miss a step whatever comes from what you have done might turn out even more amazing than what you envisioned. Let it grow and breath in the direction it wants to... 

Yup, I run off creativity. He runs off of plans. I'm good with picking a spot on the map and saying let's go there. This is where I might want to rest my head, and then a few hours from where I might want to land is when I make a hotel reservation. He wants it all scheduled hour by hour; nope, doesn't always work for me. He's had to learn to stop and smell the roses on the way, because I won't let him just move from spot A to B without a few sniffs of those gorgeous roses. I mean, how can you learn to appreciate nature, if you are moving from A to B, without using your senses and stopping to enjoy those senses?  

He's taught me how to develop a work ethic. I had never in my life met someone who cleaned, as if they were spring cleaning, every single day. This was a 2 times a year ritual for our family, in his it was a way of life. He taught me how to clean, not the other way around. I am thankful for that. Like I said, he fills my gaps.

As I mentioned above- my friend and the other two people (one of them was my dentist; we also had a discussion on raising kids in-between him cleaning my teeth, that's another post...) who asked me what the magic of our longevity is. That caught me off guard. I really had no clue how to answer. I had to think about it for a minute. 

Here is the answer I gave my dentist: There is no secret formula. I figured it all comes down to choosing. I chose Matt each and every day and he chooses me. We just push along from that choice. My choice comes mostly with a smile, some fun and starring at him, realizing how lucky I am to have met this gorgeous man in the first place. 

Ultimately, the answer is that I choose to fall in love with him, as if it is the first time I saw him working at the electronics counter in Fred Meyer. I will continue to choose him every single day for the rest of my life, because I want to grow old with him. Him sitting next to me on the back deck porch swing looking out over our favorite view, where ever that might be, and me holding a book on my lap and one hand in his... 



Q: If someone doesn't fill your gaps, how can you continue a relationship with them? I am honestly curious about this, anyone have an answer? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Reading, Reading all over Lincoln... What's New with You?

I thought it might be fun to do the reading that I am doing for Life of a Book Addict in different places all over town and beyond. Sort of like the book sighting in New York that is facebooked and tweeted from the Subway every morning- like @hotdudesreading or @booksonthesubway, however this would be me and only me until I find other's who are doing it also while I am out and about.



Sorry, can't get my book into the shot with Webcam :(


Right now I am sitting in my back yard on the one bit of pavers that consists of seating area of our Fire-Pit. there is no other flat land that you could even say resembles a finished yard. Even this is semi-done in no flattering words. Matt still has to sandblast and water seal it. My brother-in-law Lou helped Matt but together the first layer of our garden wall. It is moving tortoise slow but I can see the potential and I am loving it!!!  Thanks guys!

I am reading The German Girl by Lucas Armando Correa It's a story about a girl named Anne who receives an envelop filled with information on her Great Aunt Hannah whom her deceased father was raised by. The book tells the story of Hannah's journey from Germany during WWII to an asylum meant to be the half way mark to a permament move to America.  I am only in chapter 3 of the story, but I am engrossed in it already. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I intrigued by history, especially WWII Nazi occupied Germany. It is part of my DNA, a large section of my family history, I couldn't ignore it if I wanted to which I don't!  What you don't learn from in the past can be recreated and accepted in the future. I can't allow that, so I learn from the experiences, I empathizes with those who have lived through it and I digest and apply the lessons I have learned into my core values and share those things with others.


What do you think?  Will I see you out and about reading throughout Lincoln too?  How about lunch time? I mean after all, it is GORGEOUS outside!!!  Take my challenge, read a book, snap a pic, add it to the comments of my post. What can it hurt? It could be fun!  Hope to see you out and about reading. Enjoy.

The Marvelous Misadventure of Ingrid Winters by J.S. Drangsholt, Tara F. Chace (Translator)

** spoiler alert ** 


A quick read from Amazon Prime First Read. Good thing I didn't spend more than 13 hours on this book. I feel let down, confused and stressed out honestly. Ingrid was insipid and completely annoying. I found the pop culture references the only decent part of the book. I'm not sure if the translation was what messed it up for me or not. There's neurotic and then theirs just lack of common sense. This was truly Ingrid's problem. I felt as if there was not a truly well built character development of all the people who are part of her world. Maybe that's because she didn't care about anyone else but herself. There is social awkwardness and then there's just selfish and mental. This is what I got from this book. I didn't find the hectic feel of the book relatable nor normal for a mother of three. I mean after all I am a mother of three with a husband with a time consuming job. This felt fake. The only realistic thing to me was loving a house so much you would do anything to get into it even if you know it isn't financial solvent.

Sorry, just my take. I guess I can't love everything I read...





Saturday, March 11, 2017

Sisters One, Two, Three



When Ginger Tangle worries, she worries herself, her family and her friends into avoidance and ultimately pushes away one of her loved ones. (which one? I will never tell, read the book.)
Ginger may or may not have been a worrywart before the accident. No, she definetly might not have been, however ever since she was 13, she had stood up and taken care of all her siblings and this might have fed into the worry she carries throughout her adulthood.

Glory Tangle, her mother, was the complete opposite of Ginger, she worried about nothing. If anything she was an avoider. I relate to Glory, some how she reminds me of a past I don't remember, maybe it's because of my birth mother Trudy, maybe it's from being an avoider myself. I was enthralled with Glory and her fun, fly by the seat of her pants personality until the accident where her ofttimes moodiness of her children's hold on her life showed up in double spades and she decided to go back to work so she didn't have to face her emotions.

Ginger's family consisted of 5 members, her aforementioned mother, her father Solly an offbeat toy seller of toys that no one wanted, sort of like the Island of Misfit toys, somehow just not right. She had two younger sisters- Mimi and Callie and a younger brother, Charlie. When they were all together they created trouble as most kids do when their parents are involved in their own dramas.

As an Adult Ginger is dealing with her troubled marriage, her daughter Julia who pulls away from her and her of course all that Glory involves her in. Her mother is a fist full of dynamite that Ginger avoider communicating with because her mother avoided communicating with her.

That Tangle Mangle of wording is endearing and until the end you don't know it serves a purpose you just think it's a funny family trait.

Sisters One, Two, Three is written in the present tense and the past tense. Most people have a problem bouncing back and forth between memories because  they don't know which tense they are in at the start of a chapter, I felt that Nancy Star did a great job of keeping the era's separated and yet connected in what was going on in the present. I enjoyed the format very much.

The book is a two part story. Part One consists of "Before and After" what is this before and what is it about the after that it goes all into Part One? Well you are going to have to read the story to find out. I refuse to give it away. bwahahaha  Part Two contains "From Now On"  this section is much shorter, the ending of the story so to speak. However it is not this nice tidy little tying up of the story, far from it. You are left breathless up until the last few pages. I like that in a book. Makes for an interesting read the whole way through.

Over all I give this book a 4 in ratings for believability, topic, writing format and character development. A rating of 5 would mean it was my favorite of all time and those come very few and far in between. Although I would read this story again (one of the requirements for my rating of 5. I would have to wait and this would be maybe a two time read not a continuous yearly read, like say, Anne of Green Gables; the Harry Potter series, Grapes of Wrath or The secret Garden.

The twist in the story was surprising to me, I didn't see it coming and that is refreshing as I usually am very intuitive to a climax in the story. Mrs. Star does a great job at not hinting at what the falling action is until the very end. I loved that.

My only problem with the story is that we get this perpetual feeling that something bad has happened when it comes to one of it's characters Carter Diggins, or as the children called him Mr. Diggins. This truly never gets fleshed out. As if as a child you have this feeling of people you don't like, but don't really know why and never find out, it's frustrating and not worth worrying about... Why were we given that feeling in the first place? My one and only confused source of wonderment. :)

Over all this was a great story and I am excited to speak to Mrs. Star tomorrow at the Author Discussion about this book.

Bullhead City, Arizona Day 1




Bullhead City, past home to my dear friend Leah whom I met in Ocala, but seemed like I had known her for decades. I was so excited to see her kids and give a hug to my once former Bishop Joe. We had a ton of fun with each other and they showed me around different historic sights close to Bullhead City.
















Across the Colorado River from Bullhead City, Arizona sits it's border neighbor Laughlin, Nevada. These are a few photos that I took from the side of the road. I loved the old Colorado Belle Casino that was built in 1979. I love the theme of this casino, sitting on the side of river, why wouldn't you make it look like a steamboat?  I find the idea brilliant.


Below are a few other hotels located on the Laughlin side of the Colorado River




 To me Bullhead City has the feel of an old western without the nostalgia left over from the old buildings. It was originally called Hardyville named after William Harrison Hardy. The only nod to Hardyville is the old historic cemetery and a landmark on HWY 95. I happened to stop at Safeway to grab a drink and ran into the cemetery. I decided to check out the very rustic cemetery. It boggles my mind that the burial mounds are still as if they were buried yesterday and I stepped back into a John Ford movie. :)


sorry it's so blurry. :(


There was a woman who was 16 who died giving birth. A man who was killed by the Indians. Another man was a stagecoach driver and was accidentally shot by one of his passengers. He was supposed to shot a arrival shot for the ferry and the passenger did it instead and the stagecoach driver was shot in the back of the head. When I was standing at the cemetery I decided I wanted to find information on the people buried there. So I looked at "Find A Grave" and there was information about some of the remains. Seriously, doesn't it sound like an old western?









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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Inspiration leads to Adventure... Pt. 1

Route 66,  a road that I have always dreamt about driving down in my convertible, top down, hair scarfed, sunglasses on (think Thelma and Louise) radio blasting a nice mix of 1940's through 1990's inspired music- definitely the song with the same title as the road: Route 66 was the beginning of the play list. My favorite version is sung by Perry Como which has a second, less heard, verse which carries more towns names when following Route 66, all written by Bobby Troupe.

My journey started with a thought. I was driving down the very boring and empty roads of Highway 95 through Northern Nevada. I mean you pass Area 51 when you do this drive. Super interesting Alien titled buildings and a Clown Motel (one day just for the fun of it, I would love to stay there).

I was headed to Las Vegas, Nevada and St. George, Utah to spend Easter and a few extra days with my kids. I was listening to Pandora when I had the light bulb go off in mind, "hey, why can't I go visit my dear friend Leah after I leave Devin and Aliza?  They are super close and right off of Route 66. Then I can follow it home (well, extended way home) It could be a great adventure. I got my camera, I could go all the way to the end..."  So, I called Matt, told him what I was thinking and he knowing me to be a non-adventurous gal, said, "hmmm, you don't usually stretch yourself this way, go for it!"  I find that hilarious as I love Road Trips. Always have, always will. Probably started out from our family weekend drives all over Utah.

Anyway, I found on my Trip Advisor app that there was already a bunch of cool things mapped out from Topock, AZ to Santa Monica Pier, CA.  From there I found a bunch of eclectic sites to visit on the roads that I knew Matt wouldn't want to stop at, places like a Bottle Tree Forest, An original Orange Fruit Stand, The Wigwam Motel (to some a dive. To me, fun!)

For the next few Wednesdays, I thought I would post about the different places that I visited and my growth as a person from my observations throughout the adventure!

Are you ready to join me?  Have you been on Route 66? What were your favorite memories and observations?


Faded but not done



Faded buildings
everyone, life that's ended
can't be undone.

Families that live no more
in their houses,
Seen outdoors, wandering, wandering,
wondering where it all when to.

These lines describes what happens when we close down the factories. I have a friend that I met on the train on my way to Chicago. Let's call her Wendy.  Wendy has been traveling across the country, going to the places that most people don't see, the places where people struggle, try to live as they can on what they have in their homes that no one else would want to own.  Her photos are filled with a home here and a home there where one home is occupied the others are abandoned because the factories these families worked at shut down. Names like Ford, Chevy, Chrysler employed millions and moved away leaving empty buildings like the one below. I saw for myself the ruins and decay of towns that used to thrive by the rail road that no longer do. It was heartbreaking. The spirit of these people keep me in awe of the tenacity and perseverance they continue to move forward and do what they need to for their families.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris



Grace and Jack seem to be madly in love with each other. They spend all hours of the day with each other and fit together like a glove. Grace's sister Millie comes to live with them and all heck breaks loose. Is it because of Millie? Read the book and you shall find out...

Warning: never read this when you are mad at your spouse or significant other. Especially if they are male. You may think you see a nasty glint in his eye.


~ I received Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris from St. Martin's Press through my membership with Life of a Book Addict. I don't usually read suspenseful thrillers after living my childhood surrounded by Stephen King books, because I tend to absorb the storyline into my soul and it's hard to exorcist it after I've absorbed it.

However, I decided to give this book a chance just from the description St. Martin's Press sent to me. I am glad I read it. This book was a really quick read if you have a few days or a whole day into the night- which I would not suggest you do, reading from the middle to the end in the evening late into the next morning was something I wish someone else had warned me against doing; It kept me up after finishing it with phantom noises, worries and straight up scared to close my eyes!

B.A. Paris does a wonderful job of keeping you on the edge of your seat. Although, I wish the cover of the book didn't have the blurb "The Perfect Marriage or the Perfect Lie" on it. It gave me the sense of the direction the book was going even before I read the book. I don't like when I know the premise of the book when I haven't even started it yet. That is why I only rated this book 4 stars instead of 5.

If you love a good thriller, this book is for you! Enjoy.



Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Everland Chronicles: Truth

Author A.J Bell has written a fantastic rookie novel. We read about John, a squire to Sir Richard nephew to the King of the Everlands. John is a stalwart and loyal companion to Sir Richard, however John has a secret...

Elle, John's sister, is a fair maiden Prince Victor has set his eyes on who seems to have been dragged into a triangle of love interests that she can't make up her mind about. Prince Victor however has other ideas about her future and will do anything to win her love.

Can Elle live her own life or will John take over and make decisions for her future?  These and other pressing questions will only be answered if you read the book!

Buy the book



Friday, January 06, 2017

Ready, Steady and Goal-ing Through Life

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the month that starts every new year for us. Some of us love welcoming the new year, other's dread ending the month of December, which is usually filled with love, peace on earth, special one-time-a-year nostalgic music, and cozy fires crackling next to some form of holiday decor for Christmas. Some of us don't want to give that feeling up so we try to ignore that number 31 coming speeding towards us off the page.


Never the less, January always comes. Each year millions of people set out to plan their lives, to change. They do this through goals, making vision boards, their Bullet Journals (BuJo), yearly planners, even just plain old college lined paper inked with pen, or in my case all of the above and even this computer I happen to be typing on.

What makes one set goals?  Is it the realization that something didn't go the way we wanted the previous year?  Is it the need to grow and extend ourselves farther than we have already? The fact that we see what is happening in the world around us and don't like what we see? Or is it the even more tangle understanding, after a loved one dies, that life is short and what have we done with it so far???  

I didn't start making yearly New Year goals until after I married Matt, we had our two boys and Mckenna was being carried nice and warm inside the womb. I think maybe Matt had been doing them all along, but I hadn't. 
My procrastinating, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, spontaneous personality had me doing these things without a set plan in mind. Which meant my goals were done creatively. Don't get me wrong, I wrote things down: I was a Post-it Note type of gal, with eye-rolling patience of my quirkiness from Matt. Ask anyone who came to our apartment at Tallavilla in Tallahassee, they were all over the back hallway closet door and walls reminding me of Devin's school activities; Games I wanted to teach the boys; Kyler's preschool lesson prep; places I wanted to visit; book titles someone mentioned that I wanted to read; doctors appointments for monitoring Mckenna's growth and pregnancy progress; things I wanted to accomplish for the week, month and/or year. Go ahead, I gave you permission: ask my Tallavilla friends, you can find them on Facebook. They are super amazing people. I wasn't a planner girl yet, not sure completely that I really am today.... I digress, this was about goals, right????

My way of celebrating the new year was to pick out a song that I felt would guide me to better myself. My song for the year is a throw back to my childhood: Chariot's of Fire's theme song. Can't you hear it, speeding you down the path of life, egging you on to the next achievement and the next one after that?  I sure can. A carefully chosen word, this year it's FEARLESS. I happen to be a skittish dog when it comes to taking on new challenges, especially when it deals with heights or stressing my body out, to help cheer me on throughout the year and a forecast as to how many books I would read in that same year, 50 -consisting of all genre's except romance- yuck. I would do this for a new school year in High School too. I didn't think life needed to be so complicated, so I kept it simple.
When you have kids, that changes. Kids complicate your life if you allow yourself and them to challenge themselves through after school activities, friendships through play dates, church events; without even throwing in the school stuff: homework, studying for tests, choir performances, art showcases, history competitions, and/or band concerts. This is when I learned to plan and set goals formally. I didn't want to miss appointments I consistently forgot about when they were tiny; I didn't want my kids to outgrow me: I didn't want them to think I didn't have a clue what was going on in the world and just stay in my dreamy book reading existence socializing to my hearts delight with written characters or even the characters of our own town.

I needed to grow as they were. It's in my DNA to want to learn, it's handed down to me from Grandmother, to my Father and Mother and self preservation. I feel happier when I am learning. Goals tend to be focused more on that then anything else in my life. The learning goals deal with spiritual growth, book reading and taking free online courses from colleges that provide such things. Apple has a great app that helps you find those kinds of classes. I think I am wearing it out. I think that is what happened to my iPad 2. I just educated myself way too much and it got plain old stinking tired. Righhhttt...

Each New Years Eve our kids, their spouse, right now it's just beautiful Aliza, which is fabulouso !, and even a boyfriend/girlfriend participates in our annual ritual of writing goals, places we want to visit and predictions for each family member's life changes. This year Mckenna did it while we were on the phone with her and her boyfriend Ryan. We even had him do the ritual too. It's fun to open up the previous year's paper (marked with a Do Not Open until December 31st and whatever year it is) and see what we all predicted about each other and if we accomplished our set goals. This past year, I didn't read as much as I would've liked. I didn't lose the weight I set for myself, well lets be honest, I did lose some of it and then gained it all back and then some. Grrrrr.... stupid, Ediiot... Yes, I say negative things super drawn out for impact. It's a fault. Deal with it if you like, or not, I really don't care. It makes me happy. 😎

Anyhoo- today I started a plan to get myself healthy again. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired AND overweight. I made a phone call a month ago to a sweet couple who coach others on the Take Shape for Life program. We are going to get to know each other really well after all this is over. I went to the doctor yesterday to make sure I was doing what I needed to do with my autoimmunity situation. I wanted to make sure I was ready, steady and GOaling on The Turtle versus the Hare race of change- focusing on my plans. "Be a turtle" I said, don't get sucked into the Hare's thinking. Slow and steady is the key. 

My bloodwork will be completed in a few weeks. My "tired blood" as my grandma Field called it, is being made strong by the miracle of medicine and nature's hand: iron tablets and delicious lean steaks. 

Life is going to be Golden, like my glowing skin hydrating with the appropriate amount of drinking water for my body. I mean after all- I don't have the luxury of that oft complained about by others, yet not by me, humidity that I used to have in Florida. We can't have our Sierra Nevada mountains to hike in AND humidity at the same time or EVERYONE would want to live in California.  
Seriously, I love you all and like to host fun-blasted parties for my family and friends, but, it would get super crowded, polluted and the traffic would cause me to have road rage. Besides, I happen to like the small town feel and openness of Lincoln with the beautiful blue sky sprinkled with white animal-shaped clouds hovering over me; so thanks, but no thanks, stay where you reside please...

Over the next few weeks and months the goals our family put together on New Years in our various homes, will be complicated by birthdays, holidays and community related events but I can do this, I just need to remember my mantra: "Slow and Steady is the way"... will you remind me when you see me reach for that cleverly disguised by-the-prettiest-pink frosting you ever saw sitting on a donut which is a bane to my plans?  

Will you cheer me on when I am slowly approaching the finish line on my second Mudrun For Life? (okay, truthfully, it will be more like walking over the shoe sinking & sucking them into squishy mud-filled trails and sliding on my butt down the walls and hills all the while getting down right filthy like a pig in his pen and smiling that huge smile only accomplishment can produce...  You know, legally I have to call it a Mudrun when it's title is Mudrun For Life but you get the drift

My sugar levels might be off, I might not be my super sun-shiney self. Do you notice the word hiney in sun-shiney? Yea, me too. Funny word hiney; my brothers used to laugh when they heard it. Did you know there was a song called Shiney Hiney by the Fleshtones?  Yup, I didn't either until a few minutes ago. So forgive me if I act like a butthead. It's temporary. I will resume my originally aired happiness programing after a few cranky sugarfree ad days.





What, if anything, do you have set as a goal for 2017? I really want to know. Come one, tell me. I promise not to tell anyone else if you don't want me to...